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Whenever we’re in the capital, my best mate and I usually try to pay a visit to one of our favourite pubs – the Lord Moon of the Mall close to Trafalgar Square.
We were in there during our last visit just before last Christmas. After running a gauntlet of Roma gypsies on Westminster Bridge – making an oh-so-valuable contribution to the UK economy by fooling tourists with con-artistry cunningly disguised as street theatre – we needed somewhere for our respective blood pressure levels to return to normal. So we headed to the Lord Moon for some much-needed refreshment.
This pub made the papers yesterday. Not for any section on real ale guides or London watering holes, but because it was commandeered by the Met as a place of sanctuary for those who potentially were in danger for their very lives. These people weren’t guilty of any crime; they weren’t part of a sophisticated paedophile ring discovered by a mob of enraged parents. No, all these people were ‘guilty’ of was the ‘crime’ of expressing support for the democratically-elected President of the United States on his UK state visit. That’s it! Scenes which 40 years ago we would have associated with a mass protest against a brutal dictator in South America are now increasingly commonplace in our ‘tolerant, diverse, welcoming, sophisticated’ capital city.
Do you want to know why London elects ‘stone cold losers’ like Sadiq Khan?
Why its politics are so out of kilter with much of the rest of the country? Because the last 20+ years has seen the city become an incoherent blend of foreign savage cultures and white middle guilt-tripping imbeciles, imbibed to the point of delirium on a psychedelic cocktail of uber diversity, unabashed ‘right-on’ liberalism and niche minority causes. Meanwhile, normal everyday traditional Londoners (those who can actually still afford to live there) are dispersed to the outermost reaches of the metropolis, where they keep their heads down lest they incur the wrath of this millions-strong perma-furious battalion.
There’s a great film with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg in called ‘Broken City’.
That’s what London feels like to me now whenever I go there.
Not forgetting this is the city I grew up in and positively adored for the entire 1980s and early 1990s. Behind the facade of shiny new skyscrapers and thousands of gentrified streets lies a city without a soul.
And cities without souls become ones where thugs such as those we saw yesterday can easily wreak havoc.