In the 1950s a young girl, who would be Queen, whiled away her hours watching her father plough the fields. Whilst other men ploughed together, the girl’s father seemed destined and determined to do his work by himself. So isolated was his father that he came to believe his isolation reflected a natural state of man. As the young girl matured into a woman, she, like her father experienced the same feelings of not fitting in, which meant she too, was determined to plough alone.
However underneath it all she was different to her father, for she, unlike her father, did not feel his struggle was pre-determined or innate, but instead socially and personally peculiar, more down to bad luck than to destiny.
Somehow, in some way, she wanted to help her father, make things easier for him. The determination of this girl was unparalleled, furthermore she was astute and could learn quickly, all of which meant that with the passing of the years, she was able to ascend to the lofty position of governess of that fabled market town established by the Romans some two thousand years earlier. Two thousand years ago the Romans had established a small port and market town, which grew in size as it became the hub for goods sucked out of the country and channelled to Rome and the rest of the Empire. In this way, the Romans created a psychogeographic space, one which both helped realise but also celebrate the avaricious ambitions of the Roman Empire, one in which material goods abounded and washed around. They created a honey pot, to which anyone interested in material gain gravitated reinforcing its pull on the resources from all around. Wanting to emulate the Roman’s achievements, she attempted to revive the town’s fortunes as one of the world’s great trading centres, this time for financial, accounting and investment instruments, somewhere where people like her father would be free to work and get on.
Inspired by the Roman’s acqueducts, she wanted to harness a previously untapped power, in this case the power of deregulated banks and competition, so she encouraged the engineering of electronic rivers, which bought cash flowing into the market town. Inspired by the Roman’s appropriation of foreign labour she invited international bankers and financial businesses, from the United States and Switzerland in particular, to create such bridges.
Her new market rose up, metaphorically and literatally, as towers of glass and steel. So big did this market become that pretty soon a population of men and women, of the size of a small city, would descend upon the market place in the morning and then leave in the evening, every day.
However not content to rest on her laurels, keen to expand these markets, to allow her vendors, her father figures, the freedom she felt they needed, she agreed for the northern part of the Isle of Dogs in East London, a place called Canary Wharf, to be developed into a second financial market place. Glass and steel edifices were constructed, some of the biggest known to man.
On its completion she smiled at what she saw. She saw her father, hundreds and thousands of people like her father, working their hardest and without restraint to make a living, and she saw them doing it together. She felt happy, her father no longer seemed so alone and so neither did she.