Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Crypto-Communist Roof of John Lewis

Coincidentally continuing the theme of multi-storey car-park top-decks, today I found myself on the top of the building which is occupied by the John Lewis department store. The top of the building forms an adjunct to the Loch Street car-park of the Bon-Accord centre. The building was formerly called "Norco House" and was occupied by the department store of the Northern Co-operative Society.

The Communist Party and the Second and Third Socialist Internationals paid great attention to the Co-operative societies, seeing them both as a form of communism-in-action but also potentially as a counter-revolutionary lightning-rod sop to the working class; earthing the charge of revolutionary tension through their rosy ideologies; thus preserving the status quo.

As far as the Northern Co-operative Society goes (and, skating all too quickly over the surface of this frozen yet deep pond) its own history of soaring idealism betrayed by mis-management, pilfering, inefficiency, spanish practices, featherbedding, jobsworthy empire-bulding and eventual over-reach and collapse in 1993 (followed by subsequent carpet-bagging and asset-stripping) parallels the history of Soviet Communism itself. In a very approximate way. Sort of.

John Lewis is an employee-owned partnership business, which is managed through a system which resembles that of worker's councils, so it's entirely apt that they should occupy this building in Aberdeen.

The roof of the building is accessed by car via this thrilling sky-bridge from the main section of the Loch St carpark. The sky-bridge straddles Loch Street below. Pedestrians can reach the roof via the stairs inside the John Lewis store itself.

You can drive your car on top of that. Really, you can.
As usual, this open-to-the sky portion of the car-park was largely deserted.

Nobody here but us psychogeographers.
And the views are, of course, spectacular.

George St




John Aberdein said...

Eye-opening, *comic*, fertile post!

* a. funny as
* b. creating inclusive,as opposed to divided,vision


Anonymous said...

That's my mothers car! No Much wander i couldn't find it..
Steve B