Struggling Croydon is to be "returned to its former glory" by a £1bn plan to build Britain's biggest shopping centre.Interesting report from The Independent, above, on the new mega-mall for Croydon. So it appears that the remedy for the hangover of 30 years of bubble-growth based on the untenable expansion of consumer credit is......more shopping centres.
The giant, 2.2 million sq ft mall is set to be open in Croydon's town centre before the end of the decade after a landmark agreement between London's two most powerful retail developers.
The scheme will combine the two existing malls in Croydon – The Whitgift Centre and Centrale – in one huge new scheme that will overtake Gateshead's MetroCentre to be the biggest in the country.
What's interesting about the proposal is not just the inability of the rentier-plutocracy to understand that the world as they have always known it, which is to say one of debt-based growth, has irrevocably come to an end, but also that even within that paradigm there exist only a very limited number of practical concepts.
As such, the Croydon Mall is a very good example of what I call a legacy behaviour, which is simply the continuance of an obsolescent practice, long after it has lost efficacy, but before circumstances become adverse enough to prohibit it.
Another example of a legacy behaviour is currently being practised by France in Mali - the imperial intervention long after the end of empire. Britain is of course particularly prone to this kind of legacy behaviour, and as its troops are beginning the pull-out from Afghanistan, it's no surprise that David Cameron is starting to fulminate about North Africa.
This kind of action is normally known as "neo-colonialism" by theorists, but I'm not really convinced by that description, as the level of subsequent exploitation by the Westerners is always substantially lower than would be the case with a real conquering power. I think it's basically a moderately expensive habit that these countries won't really kick until they can economically no longer afford it. It's another reason why I expect chronic hot-clime-interveners France and Great Britain to form an ever-closer relationship in the ensuing decades. The pooled military resources will give them a few more precious years of sorting out the affairs of the natives.