The Chelsea Badgers



“With land prices in the capital rocketing, the uber-rich of upmarket areas of west London have dug down, digging out basements of often several floors to expand their properties. The home-owners doing this are becoming known as ‘Chelsea Badgers’, after the nocturnal animals who are prodigious diggers.” (Western Daily Press)1 

A response to Brian May’s open letter to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea about “Basement Building Hell.”2


“I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24) “Sell what you have, and give it to the poor.” (Matthew 19:21)


Unlike their noble,
Black and white
The Chelsea “badgers”
In the Royal Borough
Of Kensington and Chelsea,
Are the carriers
Of a genuine social disease.
They are Tear Bringers,
Torture B*st*rds,
Top-drawer Bedlam-makers,
Tory Barbarians,
Digging deeper and deeper
Into their Self-fashioned,
Basement hells,
Causing misery and stress,
Nerve-wracking noise
And nightmares,
To all sentient others.

They love their neighbour
Not a tad or tittle.
They think not at all
Of the moles and voles,
The slow worms and earthworms,
The rabbits and rats,
The mice and shrews,
Of their slumbering fellows –
Whose night and day
They deafen
With their deadly,

They are so Uber-rich,
They are so Upper,
So above it all,
So top-soil –
That they have to flaunt
Their shameless over-wealth
(The greed that deprives all others) –
With subterranean cinemas,
With sweaty gyms,
With hot-tubs,
With steaming saunas,
With under-paid servants
Who rake over
Perpetually-glowing coals –
As if to prepare
For that future abode
Of their masters and mistresses:
The fiery Other Place,
Of the nether regions.

Despite the fact that
The council now states
It has the “toughest
Basement devilopment policy
In the country”
(The “Permitted”
Slipped through
By central Government
Having now been
Over-turned) –
The Gold diggers
Continue un-a-baited;
The not-so-United Kingdom
Turned topsy-turvy
As Darkness is favoured
Yet again
Over Light.


Heidi Stephenson
Illustration: Claire Palmer









By Heidi Stephenson

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