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Tuesday, September 13, 2011 

Uniform (or, always back to Dawn of the Dead).

Covering 1.9m square feet – five times the floor area of Tate Modern, 20 times that of St Paul's Cathedral – Westfield Stratford City contains multitudes of chain shops: Apple, Bose, Lego, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara. There are "exciting" food options: KFC, Krispy Kreme, McDonald's, Mr Pretzels, Starbucks and Subway. There is a "state of the art", 17-screen cinema, Vue, where you can book "luxurious VIP seats". If you need more than a day to choose from the mountain of Made in China stuff sold here, hotels have been built into the complex. "Shop then sleep", suggests the 267-bed Premier Inn. For the more active, there is a "luxury" bowling alley, while a casino, doubtless luxurious and fit for VIPs, opens in November. It boasts a panoramic window overlooking the Olympics, so gamblers chancing on chips can watch athletes turning sprints into silver and games into gold.


(Apologies for the dreadful blogging so far this week. Mixture of a lack of inspiration, laziness and anything like interesting news. Ed Miliband getting booed at the TUC and a bunch of the usual blowhards complaining about their already artificial parliamentary constituencies being split up has somehow failed to get the "creative" juices flowing.)

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Ultimately, it's the same as all the other shopping centres, filled with all the same same shops selling stuff that can be bought in all their other branches.

The only difference is that this shopping centre is a little bigger.

And this excites people.

What have we done to ourselves, indeed?

Did I hear correctly? That people going to the games have to pass through this Hieronymus Bosch inspired cathedral of consumerism?

What better way to be introduced to the joys of London after the riots?

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