Everybody seems to have it in for London. Writing in the New York Times last week, Ben Judah decried Britain’s capital as a ghost town of empty mansions owned by Russian oligarchs. This morning, Cory Doctorow of the blog Boing Boing has a separate but related complaint: Shoreditch, the part of London favoured by tech startups, is being overrun by new developments! And student housing! And incubators! Meanwhile, Ben Southworth, the founder of a Shoreditch-based “content, promotion and events company“, is busy opposing a planned development on the site of the long-disused, boarded-up Bishopsgate Goodsyard. “We don’t want the area to lose its soul and heart,” he tells the Evening Standard.

What is going on? Has London truly become an ultra-gentrified town run over by “oligarchs’ dirty billions” (in Judah’s words) and “war criminals’ money” (in Doctorow’s formulation)? More specifically, are people going to Shoreditch simply “because it is…

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