Here’s a stunning essay from David Goodhart of the non-partisan UK think tank Demos, in which he exposes the underside of the boom times in contemporary London. He points out that mass immigration, diversity ideology, and a globalist, capitalist worldview embraced by the leadership class in both left-wing and right-wing parties, has made London into another country, one that is increasingly divided from and even hostile to white Britons from the rest of the UK. It is a global city, not so much a British city anymore. It’s too expensive to live in unless you’re rich or willing to live with relative poverty and instability (it’s much like New York City in that way). Whatever your ethnic group, if you are in the middle class, London cannot promise you a good quality of life. And despite the official propaganda of London being a place where a wide diversity of people live together in relative peace and harmony, the city is divided, often sharply, along ethnic and racial lines. Excerpt:
Although London is essentially a left-wing city the ‘old left’ issues of pay, jobs, public services, community and public housing get drowned out by ‘new left’ issues of diversity and minority rights – Doreen Lawrence rather than the late Bob Crow. This makes it hard to mount a case from the left for more social and employment protection – more fellow citizen favouritism – for London’s school leavers and young unemployed.
There is a bigger reason too why London gets away with telling itself and the rest of the country (and the world) such half-truths. It is that the London ideology largely overlaps with, and indeed contributes to, the wider liberal ideology that dominates the country as a whole – the ideology of much of the upper professional class, both centre left and centre right. It is an ideology for the successful but caring, favouring individual autonomy, geographic and social mobility, openness, diversity and equality in most things apart from income.
London’s liberal ideology does not like immigration caps or favouritism towards long-established Londoners. It has little understanding for popular hostility to needy newcomers jumping queues in social housing or the NHS. Similarly, it cannot comprehend white flight from the capital because it involves sentiments of group identity and affinity and a desire for familiarity in neighbourhoods that are not generally felt by more mobile elites, and are therefore too often dismissed as xenophobic.
Exactly: you can’t point out problems caused by immigration without having liberal elites (in politics, academia, media) instantly dismiss you as a racist or nativist, and think of themselves as virtuous for so doing. And in this cultural sense, “liberal elites” belong to both the Democratic and Republican parties. After all, even conservative, capitalist elites don’t use public hospitals or send their children to public schools greatly impacted by mass immigration. More:
And the London ideology simply ignores what does not fit its worldview. It was striking how little coverage the news of London becoming a ‘majority-minority’ city received when it was announced by the ONS at the end of 2012. The Evening Standard did not even put the news on its front page, tucking it away on page 10. And the BBC London television news had it as its seventh item. Boris Johnson’s usually ubiquitous blond bob was nowhere to be seen.
According to the Financial Times columnist Janan Ganesh demographic and social trends are remaking Britain in the freewheeling image of its capital city. He argued in a recent FT column that Britain is becoming more urban, more diverse, more atomized, and altogether more like London. And he concluded: ‘If the future points to a rootless, postmodern society in which nothing is sacred, then London got there long ago.’
Ganesh evidently approves of the London-isation of Britain. But a rootless, postmodern society ‘in which nothing is sacred’ is not, given a choice, where most people want to live.
Read the whole thing. I especially liked the point Goodhart makes about how London looks down on the rest of Britain as the domain of rustics and provincials who need to be shown how to live by their London betters, in fact it could not survive without the contributions of the rest of the country. During the economic crash engineered in part by the irresponsibility of City of London bankers, only the tax base provided by the rest of the UK saved the City.
In the US, we don’t have a city that dominates the rest of the country as London dominates the UK. But nobody who has lived in New York City or Los Angeles can read Goodhart’s essay without nodding in agreement with much of it.
[Via The Browser]