99call

London..... a dead concept?

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Well, I have lived in central London for over 20 years. I'm certainly not one of the super rich, and all the same I love this city. It is an incredibly varied metropolis, with dozens and dozens of different neighbourhoods that are home to communities from literally all around the world. On the whole, it's a very crowded and expensive place of course, especially for housing. there is also a thick crud of crap, tourist trap rubbish in the centre. But I've lived and worked in many cities around the world, and it stands up well. Things i love include: amazing cultural resources (the National Gallery and British Museum are among the very best of their kind anywhere in the world and they are FREE to visit). Fantastic restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. Strong sense of local identity in different neighbourhoods, once you get out of the sterile new developments. Dense, fascinating history everywhere and some very handsome parts like the river and Royal Parks. Really open and vibrant intellectual and political life: tons of lectures, clubs, research institutes and world-class universities. Lots of whacky looking people and cutting edge fashion on the streets. Tough, energetic vibe and a lot of people determined to make a better life for themselves and their families. Compared to most cities this big it is highly functional: relatively clean, green and not that congested despite being built principally on C18 and C19 streets - it's now ok for cycling and public transport. It's relatively safe - unless you are a young black man living in one of the places where gang affiliation matters (very few guns and approx 150 homicides a year in a city of 10M people). It's highly tolerant: come here if you are gay, disabled, a woman or just don't feel at home in a repressive regime. Great public services: largely honest police, free world class healthcare, and good public schools (I have two kids at them). Lots of opportunities and lots of interesting people.

Covid has definitely hurt London a lot though. The vibrant art scene has been hammered - especially live performance like theatre and music. Bars and clubs obviously screwed, and the centre feels weirdly quiet. Visiting museums etc is much harder now - I used to wander in and out of them as shortcuts between meetings, now you have to book. And in total lockdown it's grim, especially for those without outside space. But... London is inexhaustible and it will come back. 

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8 hours ago, 99call said:

Very much so, but it's was put up to be torn to bits, if people felt differently   

Manchester

Very important follow up here......are you red or blue?

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9 minutes ago, mprach024 said:

Very important follow up here......are you red or blue?

Neither,  Rugby fan 🏉🏉🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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5 hours ago, Webbo said:

I don't know anywhere in the world where the cost of property is so high and so widespread, for a city of 10-15 million people the value for money must be the worst in the world. For those who don't know London only  a small part is the bit you see in films and TV, the vast majority of people live nowhere near the famous tourist attractions, they are in the suburbs of what geographically is an enormous sprawling conurbation (1000 sq miles).

The price of a small, dirty one bedroom flat/apartment in an area in "Greater London" you would not want to walk around in after dark, above a kebab shop, 5 miles from the city center, START around £500K ($700kUS). In London if you are not renting (eye watering prices get you nothing) then you have to be either extremely rich, a family home from your parents or live in council rented accommodation (impossible to get and often in areas you would never want to set foot). To buy anything half decent (and I mean half) prices start at £1m and that gets you nothing remotely close to the center.

You've obviously haven't been to HK! 😂 Though I'm not saying it's a good thing. It's horrible. I personally believe that it's one of the key causes of the societal unhappiness we have here today and I strongly believe that no city/country should ever try to go down this route. However, this probably deviates from the topic on hand. 

But honestly from personal experience, housing prices in London isn't as expensive as what you listed above. Last I checked, a one-bedder (700 sqft) apartment next to monument station can be had for around £800k. I'm not saying that's cheap by any means. That's expensive - just not as expensive as you make it out to be. A recent stat that shocked me was that the average Londoner would take 33 years to save for a downpayment on a flat (assuming they are paying rent for the period), and probably would need to take out a 30+ year mortgage after. That would simply mean you work till around 80 years old. No biggie. 

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31 minutes ago, 99call said:

Neither,  Rugby fan 🏉🏉🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Lol ok

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13 minutes ago, mprach024 said:

Lol ok

I did enjoy the era of Eric Cantona and real characters, but after that tuned out

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27 minutes ago, 99call said:

I did enjoy the era of Eric Cantona and real characters, but after that tuned out

He’s a legend, and hysterical

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7 hours ago, CaptainQuintero said:

Which side near the peaks? You must be totley/the Strines way?

Bradfield

8 hours ago, Meklown said:

You've obviously haven't been to HK! 😂 Though I'm not saying it's a good thing. It's horrible. I personally believe that it's one of the key causes of the societal unhappiness we have here today and I strongly believe that no city/country should ever try to go down this route. However, this probably deviates from the topic on hand. 

But honestly from personal experience, housing prices in London isn't as expensive as what you listed above. Last I checked, a one-bedder (700 sqft) apartment next to monument station can be had for around £800k. I'm not saying that's cheap by any means. That's expensive - just not as expensive as you make it out to be. A recent stat that shocked me was that the average Londoner would take 33 years to save for a downpayment on a flat (assuming they are paying rent for the period), and probably would need to take out a 30+ year mortgage after. That would simply mean you work till around 80 years old. No biggie. 

The average London salary is £37k gross per year, £800k might as well be £8million. No one on the average wage will ever get a mortgage for a London property, here in the UK its is max 4x your annual salary plus a 20% deposit (£100K whilst paying minimum £15K per year rent for a room) . The other distinction is that HK is perhaps 2 x smaller than London so the minimum £500k apartments I am referring to are literally 10 miles outside the "city" of London.

10 hours ago, RDB said:

Well, I have lived in central London for over 20 years. I'm certainly not one of the super rich, and all the same I love this city. It is an incredibly varied metropolis, with dozens and dozens of different neighbourhoods that are home to communities from literally all around the world. On the whole, it's a very crowded and expensive place of course, especially for housing. there is also a thick crud of crap, tourist trap rubbish in the centre. But I've lived and worked in many cities around the world, and it stands up well. Things i love include: amazing cultural resources (the National Gallery and British Museum are among the very best of their kind anywhere in the world and they are FREE to visit). Fantastic restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. Strong sense of local identity in different neighbourhoods, once you get out of the sterile new developments. Dense, fascinating history everywhere and some very handsome parts like the river and Royal Parks. Really open and vibrant intellectual and political life: tons of lectures, clubs, research institutes and world-class universities. Lots of whacky looking people and cutting edge fashion on the streets. Tough, energetic vibe and a lot of people determined to make a better life for themselves and their families. Compared to most cities this big it is highly functional: relatively clean, green and not that congested despite being built principally on C18 and C19 streets - it's now ok for cycling and public transport. It's relatively safe - unless you are a young black man living in one of the places where gang affiliation matters (very few guns and approx 150 homicides a year in a city of 10M people). It's highly tolerant: come here if you are gay, disabled, a woman or just don't feel at home in a repressive regime. Great public services: largely honest police, free world class healthcare, and good public schools (I have two kids at them). Lots of opportunities and lots of interesting people.

Covid has definitely hurt London a lot though. The vibrant art scene has been hammered - especially live performance like theatre and music. Bars and clubs obviously screwed, and the centre feels weirdly quiet. Visiting museums etc is much harder now - I used to wander in and out of them as shortcuts between meetings, now you have to book. And in total lockdown it's grim, especially for those without outside space. But... London is inexhaustible and it will come back. 

I could not agree more about your comments on London’s culture, tolerance and opportunities. All things to be incredibly proud of and just a part of a city I miss greatly. I have to say though, without prying, that you must also be very fortunate to live near the centre and not be rich. Genuinely I do not think that it’s possible now (20 years ago perhaps) but to get that first foot on the ladder without a  large cash deposit or a council home in 2020 would be more than tough. 

Enjoy the “Smoke” and stay safe.

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3 hours ago, Webbo said:

the minimum £500k apartments I am referring to are literally 10 miles outside the "city" of London.

If you're interested I'll sell you a 1br, 450 sqft apartment in a 10 year old development, 5 mins walk from a tube station, only 1 station away from canary wharf, for 500k. 

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9 hours ago, Webbo said:

I have to say though, without prying, that you must also be very fortunate to live near the centre and not be rich.

No offence taken at all. I was indeed fortunate. I bought ten years ago when property prices were significantly lower in absolute terms, and lower relative to earnings, and deposits were 10% not 20%. I also bought a falling down place that still needs a lot of work, in what many would think is a tough part of town.

These days most young people buying in London have a terribly hard time. Only those in the very highest paying jobs can manage a traditional deposit and mortgage on their own. The lucky ones rely on parental money for deposits, but even then you need high income to support the mortgage. Partial ownership (rent to buy) is also becoming more popular but there’s limited availability. The rental market is absolutely mad: people pay £1000/month for a bedroom in many places. It’s really hard to solve this without serious public home building. There has been massive private building in London over the last 20 years but it hasn’t reduced the pressure at all. Most of these flats are being purchased by investors and many are being left empty. Lots of sites are not built out because the land appreciates so quickly. When interest rates are so low, property becomes an attractive home for money. And of course, all those nice things about London that I mentioned keep drawing people in!

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17 hours ago, RDB said:

Well, I have lived in central London for over 20 years. I'm certainly not one of the super rich, and all the same I love this city. It is an incredibly varied metropolis, with dozens and dozens of different neighbourhoods that are home to communities from literally all around the world. On the whole, it's a very crowded and expensive place of course, especially for housing. there is also a thick crud of crap, tourist trap rubbish in the centre. But I've lived and worked in many cities around the world, and it stands up well. Things i love include: amazing cultural resources (the National Gallery and British Museum are among the very best of their kind anywhere in the world and they are FREE to visit). Fantastic restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. Strong sense of local identity in different neighbourhoods, once you get out of the sterile new developments. Dense, fascinating history everywhere and some very handsome parts like the river and Royal Parks. Really open and vibrant intellectual and political life: tons of lectures, clubs, research institutes and world-class universities. Lots of whacky looking people and cutting edge fashion on the streets. Tough, energetic vibe and a lot of people determined to make a better life for themselves and their families. Compared to most cities this big it is highly functional: relatively clean, green and not that congested despite being built principally on C18 and C19 streets - it's now ok for cycling and public transport. It's relatively safe - unless you are a young black man living in one of the places where gang affiliation matters (very few guns and approx 150 homicides a year in a city of 10M people). It's highly tolerant: come here if you are gay, disabled, a woman or just don't feel at home in a repressive regime. Great public services: largely honest police, free world class healthcare, and good public schools (I have two kids at them). Lots of opportunities and lots of interesting people.

Covid has definitely hurt London a lot though. The vibrant art scene has been hammered - especially live performance like theatre and music. Bars and clubs obviously screwed, and the centre feels weirdly quiet. Visiting museums etc is much harder now - I used to wander in and out of them as shortcuts between meetings, now you have to book. And in total lockdown it's grim, especially for those without outside space. But... London is inexhaustible and it will come back. 

As a place to visit I have had a great deal of positive experiences living in London, living there much less so, as I was renting, and the synthetic nature and impossibility of living what I would consider a normal life, was in my thoughts every hour of everyday. 

I'm interested to gauge your thoughts on whether you think the focus and prioritisation of Londons progress is sustainable....of even a noble enterprise?

Using the Elgin Marbles as a very very crude metaphor.  It's great in many ways that it's possible to visit a single city in the UK and experience such a wealth of culture, The British Museum, The Natural History Museum, The National Gallery etc etc but much like the Elgin Marbles do you as a Londoner ever feel as if the richly burning flame of London life is connected to a dulling and culling of a culture somewhere else?  

As great as it can be, if I find myself in London these days,  my overriding feeling is that it is a sort of grotesque sort of energy blob, drawing in, consuming the life force of the rest of the country.  It is indeed suffering many problems associated to its success, i.e the control of unsustainable gridlock traffic, housing shortage, perversely inflated house prices etc.   How much bigger does it need to be?  is the rest of the country only ever going to be enriched when the sprawl of Londons fringes eventually covers every inch of England. 

To me, I think London would actually probably benefit from the focus being removed from it. It has a wealth of culture and heritage which is 'baked in' (a new wanky political phrase of the moment),  and I don't particularly feel as if it would regress any. 

I do want London to be the Capital (not of power, but of place),  there are many crosses it has to bare,  that I don't particularly want repeating in Manchester or Leeds etc,  The thing that I just cant get over is why if there no desire within the Tory party, a party that should be about aspiration,  to actually inject the regions with wealth, to get them paying more taxes, etc etc.    It seems they want the regions to be weak, and content to have every small town in a hand to mouth existence,  multiple betting and cheap booze shops on every street.   It all just strikes me as sad and unnecessary,  and a model of power (one capital city and the cost of all others)  that doesn't appear to be replicated in any other developed country around the world.   

 

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@99call I do think London is ‘sustainable’ in the sense that it is economically dynamic, liveable (beyond housing costs), and generates huge tax revenue. Covid and the move to remote working does seem to present a serious challenge though. 
 

Is it a good thing that it’s so dominant? Of course not. I really like the German model where there are multiple large cities but none dominates. Mind you, I would only want to live in Berlin out of all of them.
 

It’s not that unusual for a single mega city to be so dominant within a country. In fact it’s quite common: there are huge economies of scale and multiplier effects from the concentration of politics, finance, research, skills, culture etc. In Europe there are obvious examples in Paris and Athens. The developing world is full of them (it’s the norm in Africa and S America for example). London also has extraordinary regional impact: for about 90 minutes travel around London it has huge effects on housing, local economies and transport. This isn’t going away any time soon!

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55 minutes ago, RDB said:

Paris and Athens. The developing world is full of them (it’s the norm in Africa and S America for example)

Hhmm,  I'm not sure I would pick any of these cities or countries as leading lights of prosperity. 

55 minutes ago, RDB said:

London also has extraordinary regional impact: for about 90 minutes travel around London it has huge effects on housing, local economies and transport. This isn’t going away any time soon!

So you agree!! the only path for regional impact is actually just the swelling and growth of London bursting at the seems?  it's just a case of connect the dots until it reaches Birmingham?   Why is it such a anathema to the Tory conscious to trust and invest in areas outside of London,  is it just a feeling, or a very well placed acknowledgement that if power were seeded to the regions, we would take it in our own direction,  not in step with the Tories, and affectively break away?

55 minutes ago, RDB said:

Is it a good thing that it’s so dominant? Of course not. I really like the German model where there are multiple large cities but none dominates. Mind you, I would only want to live in Berlin out of all of them.

I would add, that Japan is a great example...... that whilst Tokyo is obviously the leading light,  Sapporo, Sendai, Osaka,  etc etc are all really well funded important cities, all with their own style etc. you really get the sense in Japan the the county is moving forward all at the same pace, and relatively same investment. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 10:12 AM, El Presidente said:

From an OS visitors perspective it is one of the great cities of the world :party:

  • superb food
  • brilliant service 
  • vibrant
  • history
  • great cigar culture
  • hotels that provide a civilised area to smoke
  • quirky
  • friendly
  • confusing
  • tube
  • ridiculous excess
  • eccentric characters 

perhaps i was visiting damascus and not fishing but i agree with rob here. mostly.

that said, it is many years since i was there. superb food was definitely not part of the deal then, unless you liked Indian (which i do). brilliant service? they could not have spelt 'service', let alone provided anything resembling brilliant service. 

toss in things like sports - lords, wimbledon, the oval, soccer, twickers and so on. 

theatre. when i lived there, i set myself the task of at least one different shakespeare every week. i completed it with a few months to go. where else could one do that? and that was scratching the surface only. the galleries, museums...

i'm told shopping, not that i care.

the wine scene.

one of the world's financial centres. 

i am aware of the views of the original poster when it comes to maggie thatcher. without going into politics and looking specifically at her, i first visited london very late 70s for quite a while. i returned mid 80s for several years. the difference was beyond comprehension. the first time, as much as i loved being there, the place was like a human who was old, tired, sluggish and suffering badly from bitterness and depression. i remember being on a simple bus and people spitting bile at each other over their differences. the place was dull and grey. the next time, it was brilliantly alive. sure, i accept that maggie did stuff that hurt many but overall, she saved britain for mine. a lot of places would be way better off if they had a maggie today than want they do endure. 

one small thing (well, actually anything but small), remember the ozone hole? younger members probably have no clue, but maggie and reagan just about saved the planet as we know it at the time. they faced the same old rubbish we see from climate deniers today. maggie took no crap from anyone and nor did reagan and they reversed this. remember maggie was a scientist (reagan anything but, but he had a good understanding of the outdoors and he could see the danger). if maggie was in charge today, there would be no pissing about with climate change. she would have long recognised the dangers and would have led the charge.

oh, for someone in any government to operate like that. 

finally, wouldn't havana qualify as one of the cities mentioned up front? (apols if already covered -i have not read all the posts yet)

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12 hours ago, CaptainQuintero said:

  It must be with being out of London for brewery if anything else! It isn't Christmas without Belgian Blue.

Friday night was the last Bradfield Pale Ale before lock-down 😞 (and a 2015 Epi 2)

image.jpeg.97f3be6bd03e95c72e1f4bd6508201a6.jpeg

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10 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

if maggie was in charge today, there would be no pissing about with climate change. she would have long recognised the dangers and would have led the charge.

Ken, if the closing of the ozone hole was a by-produce of sticking a knife in the heart of unionised industrial Labour, then there is (as you've laid out) reason to highlight some of the benefits,  but I would argue it was a by-product,  and not the core motivation.  She wanted to reverse the direction of power away from workers, and into her hands. 

All that said, I'm glad that we moved away from coal, CFC's, etc  regardless the core motivations for it at the time.   For someone you seem to paint her as a wonder women futurist, with all the ideas,  what replaced these industries?  what was the grand plan of the majority of the regions?  the answer was a big fat nothing....no jobs, no ideas,  just a hinterland of depression and poverty.   Slow sarcastic hand clap for "Maggie"

Trying to come round to my original point, I wouldn't have anywhere near the degree of negative feeling towards the Tories if they in fact were,  what they purported to be, i.e pro the upward social mobility of all the citizens in the UK, through entrepreneurial endeavour, fiscal responsibility and hard work.     Thats something I don't see any real problem with.....the problem is, it's a bullshit.  In reality its protectionism and back handers for the elites, and stagnant, unregulated modern day slavery conditions for those at the bottom. 

The UK is crippled by class, nepotism etc. the Tories, (and to some extent Labour too), have treated the regions like some sort of shadow lands backwater, and not really connected the dots that it's their obsession with London, and ignorance to the potential of what these once great cities Manchester, Liverpool, etc etc. could again be......that has led to this dereliction.  They are the problem, not the regions

In recent history we don't need to look any further than the appointment of Dido Harding. At a time of national crisis, when the brightest and best need to be chosen to run the UK's Covid track and trace systems.   the Tories choose a women who's major qualifications for the role were:

  • Part time jockey/racehorse owner
  • Responsible for bankrupted Talk Talk (large telecommunication firm) 
  • Married to a Tory MP

What a farce.  They say it's all about being the brightest and best,  but when it comes down to it,  they just give there mates, college alumni, private club members,  and family relations, the job....sickening

 

2 hours ago, Webbo said:

Friday night was the last Bradfield Pale Ale before lock-down 😞

Hope you enjoyed it,  I'm imaging the scene out of "Ice Cold in Alex"

 

a9ca81c39ccbdc1913fe6b1115964ab7.jpg

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Sounds like you are making a great argument for Federalism, although I cant see how it would work in a country so small.  

We all in the USA have our issues with so much stuff coming out of DC, but for the most part, states and cities are free to pick their own course, which I think works well here since we are so large geographically.  If they go too far in one direction and screw things up, then the people are free to leave and move to another state or city that is doing better.  Such has been the case here with CA and NYC.  

I cant speak for CA as well, but NYC (where I do a lot of work, or use to) is quickly dying, not just due to the pandemic, but politics that existed before it (even my liberal friends hated DeBlasio) and that the governor and mayor seem to be in a pissing match over who gets to do what first.  De Blasio will decided to do one thing, and then Cuomo decides to supersede him so he can get the credit, and/or vice versa.  It's driving people crazy.  The reaction, it is projected a million people will have moved out of NYC by the time this thing is over, mostly wealthy to.  I think the projection is 40% of the tax base will have left by the time this happens.  I would predict even by 2030, NYC will still be recovering.  

Many are moving to Philadelphia; we are the 2nd destination for disgruntled NYers.  I have my issues with the politics here, but we are growing!  House prices have skyrocketed in the last 6 months due to so many NYers moving down here.  If I wanted to, I could net at least $100K if I decided to sell my house I bought two years ago.  Many I know did, but then cant find a new house to buy because the market is so hot, and are having to rent again or move back in with the folks.  

Actually I think all of the first tier cities in the USA, with the exception of Dallas, are going to suffer due to an over reaction to this, and the result will be the second tier cities growing by leaps and bounds, especially with remote work.  

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37 minutes ago, Kitchen said:

We all in the USA have our issues with so much stuff coming out of DC, but for the most part, states and cities are free to pick their own course.  If they go too far in one direction and screw things up, then the people are free to leave and move to another state or city that is doing better.  Such has been the case here with CA and NYC.  

I think with countries as large as the US or Australia etc,  you naturally get pretty large cities that to some degree a large slice of power,  as to how a given city is self governed.etc. 

The situation in the UK is pathetic.  Still huge swathes of professionals, (myself included) if you'd want your CV or experience to be taken seriously to any extent, you had to live and work in London.  Gladly with the technology, having to go and do a stint in London, is becoming a little less of a necessity. 

The way the UK operates is like some sorry Dickensian tale, cities paying their taxes into central government, then have to beg for public investment in return.  The reaction from Westminster and London is, we'll keep you on some sort of subsistence allowance.  it's the opposite of how they want to project themselves. i.e enterprise loving, pro business etc.  They seem to what the rest of the country to limp on, like some sort of poor relation, weak and needy to take the 'handouts' when it's not hand outs, it's our bloody taxes. 

Again I return to my original line of thought with regards to London, it's operates much like some tax free playground for the rich,  why don't we just be done with it and actually put it into law. Let them be the Monaco, of the UK.  Let them break away and continue their grubby dealings....but not,  at the cost of the rest England and the wider union. 

If Parliament was moved up to York, or Birmingham wherever,  I can guarantee you the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg wouldn't be seen dead in Birmingham,  He would perform a massive u-turn on his red-lines that governance cannot be phoned in, and that it must be done in person.   He would be on zoom in a flash, giving half assed apologies about prior commitments etc. 

I think London can continue to be a great place, but it must be outed for what it is, a laundrette for dodgy billionaires, and toxic to the rest of the Union.  If things continue Scotland will get independence,  a return to bloodshed in Northern Island,   The North of England in revolt etc etc

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Well said regarding this:

"...I can guarantee you the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg wouldn't be seen dead in Birmingham,.."

Get used to seeing him, as he will be the PM when Boris is done.

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43 minutes ago, ha_banos said:

@99call for prime minister! 

And Brian Rose for Mayor of London!

And Nick Whitcomb for health secretary!

#alondoner

Hhmm not sure who these people are,  but I'm guessing they're not pleasant...and it's a dig. 

I don't mean to be do London down, I just think there is a toxic imbalance in the UK.  Do I think Londoners are complicit in that?  no not in the slightest. I've lots of mates in London, some of them hate it,  but the majority of them love it, and will never leave.  

I'm just pissed off that the UK is a, or was until Covid,  a wealthy country, yet so much of it has been forgotten and allowed to rot. 

I would totally support London carrying on as it is, an interesting, yet slightly alien enterprise,  but with an understanding it's not a reflection of the UK,  it's other,  it's apart.  so why not designate it as such, and have it as a Hong Kong of sorts.    Thats not a negative thing to say,  I don't see anything wrong with Hong Kong. 

Sorry if I've caused any offence, it wasn't intentional,  I was a great deal more raw and slightly more inebriated when I created the thread, but it was more to put it out there, and work out, why London is such a point of anger for the rest of the Union, and what changes could improve things. 

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Don't apologize as no offence taken! There might be some interesting change if you lot got some say!

Nick Whitcomb is the Scouse gym owner who fought the powers that be to keep gyms open even in tier 3 lockdown. News went international too. 

Brian rose is a ... Well probably dangerous but I couldn't predict the outcome there. Not sure if he would be able to shake anything up or just talk everyone to death.

I'm also very concerned how this country is going. It makes sense to annexe off inner London. It does seem to have been becoming for the super rich for a while now. I bought a house 20 years ago no where near inner London. Burbs. Was born here. Family keeps us for now.

The history from an earlier post in this thread has always intrigued me.

London is a lovely place:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGxmSLFJR0P/?igshid=1s10l2gzftxi poor Rob (that's Robert Oberst, a US world's strongest Man competitor)

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2 hours ago, ReelMan said:

Well said regarding this:

"...I can guarantee you the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg wouldn't be seen dead in Birmingham,.."

Get used to seeing him, as he will be the PM when Boris is done.

Hhmm, I don't buy it.  Much like Mark Fracois,  he's that oily kind of politician whereby to be head honcho, would deprive him of what he loves most, scheming and stabbing people in the back.    Also,  he feels as him and his invester buddies are going to make more money than ever out of no-deal brexit.   He wants to be in prime position to make money out of the UK going down the toilet, then off-shoring his millions into euros in Ireland. 

The fact he has had 9 kids or whatever if is, sends a shiver down my spine. Here's him and his mini-me

Jacob-Rees-Mogg-and-his-son-Peter-1984740.jpg

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As others have noted, London's importance, both for the U.K. and internationally, is its position as a major financial hub (similar to NYC). The concentration of so much capital in one specific area has clear downsides, one of them being that most of the job opportunities are in one place which pushes people to get up and move to said place. In the abstract, that may sound easy, but when you get down to the concrete cases, moving to where the bulk of a region's - or even a country's - employment opportunity rests becomes hard for many, probably most. High housing prices and the sheer cost of living are what makes that so hard. The drain of those with talent and skill in turn hurts the communities that they originally came from.

The current pandemic has at least highlighted the problem of having so may people living close to each other in one location. Not only are you relegated to small living quarters that come with a steep price, now you have the added risk of catching a highly contagious virus and potentially spreading it to others. But hey, still come and live here for those jobs! It will be interesting to see if it leads to a lasting change where  more people decide that living in these mega cities is not worth it and either leave them or don't even go to them to begin with. Hopefully more remote working from home continues as I would bet at least half the jobs that are done in an office setting can be done in your own home.   

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