Shopping centre replaces socialist landmark


I’m probably going to wait a while before dandering round to the new Victoria Square retail complex, opened last night by our soon to depart First Minister. Partly because it’s a bit upmarket for me, partly because half of Belfast’s female population will be packing it out.

This marks the latest stage in the swanking up of Belfast city centre with service sector developments. And, let’s be honest, the old Victoria Square area was grotty verging on the derelict.

But for local lefties it has a somewhat greater sentimental significance. Victoria Square, you see, was for many years the location of the Militant Tendency’s local premises. And now the sometime headquarters of the proletariat has been replaced by an enormous temple of consumerism. Isn’t that a sign of the times?


  1. anarchaeologist said,

    March 12, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    One hopes the Morning Star has survived the despoliation of this neighbourhood? Back in the day, it seemed to be full of older lefties sipping the pints, watching the racing and occasionally humouring younger lefties with stories of the old days…

    There was little or no comment a few years ago on the obliteration of the Pye factory in Dundrum, swept off the map to make way for south Dublin’s own retail Babylon. It provided employment for lefty republicans throughout the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s and placed an add in most issues of The Bell when it was up and running.

  2. splinteredsunrise said,

    March 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    The Morning Star is still standing… but if you’re looking for old lefties, the John Hewitt would be the place to go.

  3. anarchaeologist said,

    March 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for that SSR. Anything to drag me out of Kelly’s on my regular visits!

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