Seriously, get over yourself, Honey

The City of London Corporation uses the rates from The City to pay for Hampstead Heath. Including the swimming ponds. They also now charge for use of the swimming ponds:

“It’s like an iron fist has made its way into the space, it’s more controlled and there’s a barrier of access,” the 21-year-old says. “It’s removed that sacred femininity of the place, the freedom to feel unbothered and unwatched, to connect with nature without any mediation through payment. There’s this harshness about it now.

“It makes me feel sad. It feels painful to think about, but I feel alienated from the space. It really hurts my heart that that’s what’s happened.”

Jeez, get over yourself, Honey.

Now try it again. Other people should be forced, at gunpoint, to pay for your pleasures why?

19 thoughts on “Seriously, get over yourself, Honey”

  1. That’s the nature of tax though. We all pay towards park maintenance, street sweeping, and so on; even though we all vary in our usage of parks and streets.

    There’s nothing wrong with the principle; we’re just left arguing over the details. Should swimming ponds – and beaches, and rivers – be classed as public parks or as private leisure facilities?

    It’s odd that Hampstead’s ponds were paid for by CoL, rather than by local council tax payers; but the principle is otherwise sound.

  2. “Traditionally, access to the ponds was free and swimmers could pay voluntary contributions. The CoLC maintains mandatory fees were necessary to sustainably fund upkeep of the ponds.”

    So, a “community” and “culture” of terribly sensitive people who don’t like the idea of “mediation through payment,” even on a casual, voluntary basis.

  3. Look this is NW3/5. The woman quoted would be perfectly normal for the area. There’s more barking mad per square mile than anywhere else in the UK, barring perhaps Brighton. I speak as a one-time resident

  4. As Ms Campbell concedes in an earlier Guardian article, the ponds still offer off-peak discounts and free access for the elderly, disabled, etc. And for other users, £1.46 for a week’s access hardly seems scandalous.

    You’d think that a thrusting and fearless journalist might explore why the voluntary payment arrangement didn’t work, why many users, including frequent users, were unwilling to contribute even small change to the upkeep of this allegedly miraculous facility, thereby making mandatory fees necessary.

  5. Micah Sami spent her teenage years swimming in the Hampstead ladies’ pond.

    Strange women lying in ponds is no basis for a system of funding local government.

  6. Someone living in Hampstead who cannot afford to pay £40 in a lump sum for a six months season ticket? YMBJ
    21p per day – and they wonder why the Hampstead Heath Charity doesn’t want to collect cash daily which would cost more than the cash collected? No they don’t, they can see that they would go back to not collecting it so the selfish rich Hampstead dwellers would get free swimming at the expense of the City taxpayers.

  7. “It really hurts my heart that that’s what’s happened.”

    Really! Get the smelling salts! How feeble.

    Has she ever visited any other public pool and seen what the cost of a swim there is?

    The City Of London Corporation also pays for the upkeep of Epping Forest, West Wickham Common, Ashtead Common, Farthing Downs and a number of other green spaces well outside of its geographic limits. Some are not even in Greater London. Evil Capitalist Bastards!

  8. “Strange women lying in ponds is no basis for a system of funding local government” Fair comment Steve. If I went around saying I was an economist just because some moistened bint lobbed a wet towel at me, they’d put me away.

  9. I can’t go around claiming to be an professor of political economy just because some watery tart threw a drying cloth at me

  10. “that sacred femininity of the place, the freedom to feel unbothered and unwatched, to connect with nature without any mediation through payment.”

    Lots of blokes need mediation through payment to connect with femininity.

  11. Let’s also bear in mind this comes at a time when restrictions on everyday life including closing most pools that the entire country has been living under for the last year or so are higher than ever.
    Maybe they are charging the money for following extra Covid protocols or have seen contributions drop or even be zero for a while

  12. A season ticket results in a cost of £2.42 a week, or £1.46 a week for low-income concessions, which is hardly a sound basis for indignation. And presumably why Ms Campbell doesn’t mention it.

    In addition to the above concessions for people on low incomes,

    Those aged 60 and over and under the age of 16 are eligible for a free morning swim from 7am until 9.30am… Carers can accompany a swimmer for free.

    People who help out with occasional volunteering also get free swimming. Again, this doesn’t strike me as the last word in cruelty.

  13. @BiS: I’m a current NW3/5 resident. I also swim in the mixed ponds occasionally. Never thought anything of having to pay for them – someone has to fund the lifeguards and maintenance after all and the cost per swim is not exactly expensive. Boggles the mind to hear someone complain about it.

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