We all know the propaganda. London: it’s the best city on the planet. So say its Mayor Imran KhAN, Yes claim the diversity hounds, London is a vibrant metropolis, at ease with its diverse, tolerant self. A shining example to the world of how folk from different backgrounds and cultures can rub along together.
At least, that’s what we’re invited to believe. But the truth is that this depiction of London is not one recognised by millions of its citizens. And that’s because London is, in fact, a tale of two cities.
There are the gentrified hotbeds of liberal cosmopolitanism – top heavy with the professional classes and cultural elites, the type of areas that were a bedrock of Remain support in the EU referendum.
London is increasingly atomised, a place where millions feel a diminishing sense of belonging
But, then, there are those places outside the bubble. On the one hand, the grittier, traditional working-class areas – populated by those steamrollered by globalisation, for whom austerity and mass immigration have exacerbated the problems of low wages, poor housing and under-pressure public services. On the other, the middle-class suburbs, inhabited by those who sense that their small ‘c’ conservativism is increasingly incongruous with the image of their city as a beacon of progressive modernity - as they would have you believe
It is between these places that a new and unintended coalition has emerged, born out of resentment at having to watch their old-fashioned, socially conservative – what some describe as ‘faith, family and flag’ – views shunned and disparaged by the liberal elite. You can see something similar writ large across England: California, and other sanctuary US cities, Paris, Berlin, Belgium which incidentally is no longer really Belgium, but a tale of 2 countries due to the immigrant influx
For Londoners their city is not the harmonious and cohesive ideal seen through the eyes of the chattering classes. It is, instead, a place that is increasingly atomised, where millions feel a diminishing sense of belonging and in which entire communities living within a few hundred yards of each other live utterly parallel lives.
For those short on money and opportunity, the concepts of place, belonging, identity and relationships take on so much more meaning.
Britain is not over-run with fascists or racists or bigots... but we do have too many 'enlightened liberals' who hate debate
. Over a few very short years, around the turn of the century, there was a sizeable influx of migrants to the UK, precipitating rapid social and cultural transformation. More recently In the light of more and more demographic convulsions meant that the indigenous population suddenly found itself in the eye of the storm of the debate over mass immigration, they cried out for respite, in their feeble way, letters tot he local newspapers, but nobody in power took a blind bit of notice, other than to patronise them with ite arguments about improved GDP, good for the economy and cultural enrichment. “stop blaming migrants” came the elite but what was genuine bewilderment and disorientation on the part of local citizens was, inexcusably, dismissed as casual racism and bigotry. Yet it wasn’t their sense of race that had been violated by the sudden upheaval in their community; it was their sense of order and belonging.
So what happens inevitably in such circumstances the 'populist, far-right', or whatever the left terns them, Ttump, Brexit, Germany, Hungary, Italy shows its frustations at the ballot box and not because populations had overnight turned into vile racists, but because they had repeatedly been ignored by an an elite establishment, who have pathologically pursued their own elitist agenda