High life

Neither London nor New York will be livable in ten years’ time

25 April 2015

9:00 AM

25 April 2015

9:00 AM

A recent column in the FT made me mad as hell. The writer, Simon Kuper, calls Vienna a backwater, which is a bit like calling the Queen a busted flush because of her age. Sure, he writes how great Vienna was back when the Habsburgs ruled the roost, attracting people from all over, ‘some of them nuts’. He includes Freud, Hitler, Stalin and Trotsky. Not the nicest bunch I can think of, but then the paper is a pink one. He fears London might go the way of Vienna, and price itself out of the reach of everyone but a few Chinese, Russian and Indian billionaires. He’s right about London but dead wrong where Vienna is concerned. (Vienna, incidentally, is dirt cheap.)

Feeling myself inflate like a blowfish at the insult to my beloved city, I thought back to all those Schoenburg-Hartensteins who have been gallivanting in fancy pantaloons around those beautiful palaces since the beginning of the 18th century. These were noble German counts who moved to Austria and became princes, a smart course however upwardly mobile. The place is still full of them.

My daughter recently visited Vienna and reported back that it was the most livable city in Europe. That it is. At 1,700,000 inhabitants, Vienna is the perfect size. Yes, there are Muslims, but most of them are Turks and Bosnians, since the Austro-Hungarian Empire included parts of the old Yugoslavia. Last time I was in Vienna it was summertime and the city was sleepy. The Ringstrasse, which is lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks, was empty of cars and it felt like being back in the good old days when the Austro-Hungarians reigned supreme. The Schönbrunn Palace, located on Schönbrunner Schlossstrasse, is now let out for parties and such, a bit of a comedown, I admit, but the Brits have been selling their souls since time immemorial. (A nation of shopkeepers and house rentals, according to Napo and Taki.)


What I don’t understand is how one can call a city a backwater when the quality of life is the best by far in Europe. Vienna is the city of music and of the waltz, the city of wonderful cafés and two of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, the Hofburg and the Belvedere. The FT columnist must have been drugged by people unknown when he called Vienna a backwater. Surely nobody could be so base, and yet in this Kardashian reality-show century the worship of bigness overrides the respect for beauty and class.

Mind you, I’m being a bit tough on Monsieur Kuper. It was a throwaway line about Vienna. His column is about London becoming a place in which no normal person can afford to live in future. Neither London nor New York will be livable in ten years. Only last Saturday, 18 April, there were six shootings in the space of a few hours, including a 15-year-old girl in the Bronx. And it hasn’t even got warm yet, which is when the bullets tend to fly. In Brooklyn, houses are being sold for $6 million, whereas 20 years ago the price was less than 150,000 big ones. One house in Brooklyn Heights has a $40 million price tag. Last year I described 432 Park Avenue as an undulating middle finger to good taste. It is 1,396-feet high, the brainchild of a horrible real-estate shark I had the bad luck to go to school with. He was big and brash but wouldn’t go out for sports. His name is Harry B. Macklowe. I am sure some American citizens might end up owning an apartment there, but I am equally certain that they will be naturalised Americans, born under a somewhat bluer sky in Taiwan or India, or southern China.

London, of course, is no longer the grey, grimy city that I moved to 40 years ago because it was fun. On Friday nights one could get the best table anywhere as the Brits queued for hours on the M4 to prove they were country gentry. No longer. The Gulf Arabs have descended and there are no tables available anywhere, anytime. Property prices, needless to say, are at nosebleed levels, and even the upper middle classes are moving out. London’s state schools cannot meet the standards of private ones — too many immigrant children who don’t speak English at home — which means that only rich foreign people with children will be welcomed by London’s warm and extremely expensive embrace.

The solution to all this is easy: move to Vienna or Warsaw or Krakow. Personally, and because of my advanced age, I will stick to the sinking ship. I’ve just bought myself a jewel on Park Avenue and once it’s finished I shall be receiving my refugee friends from London in the style they’re not accustomed to. In the meantime, Vienna beckons for my 80th birthday in two years. I had my 70th in London. Do I go east or west for the 80th? Vienna or New York? Schoenburg Palace or Palazzo Taki? It will most likely be Vienna, but if Greece is still afloat, it might also be a contender. My, my. What problems.

Everyone at The Spectator will be invited, and also many of its readers, if I make it to 80, that is.

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Show comments
  • Doogal

    “Yes, there are Muslims, but most of them are Turks and Bosnians, since the Austro-Hungarian Empire included parts of the old Yugoslavia”
    So here we have the notion of the tolerability of Muslims being determined by their ethnicity. Could you elaborate on the racial profile of a Muslim that would make an undesirable neighbour? I’m guessing “Gulf Arab” would be ok as long as there were segregation rules at The Ivy.

    • Oliver Low

      I was about to say the same thing! What a strange and highly inflamatory comment – totally unneccessary in this context.

      • little islander

        Taki’s losing it, if it’s not already lost. For the better. I now see him for what he’s. A loser with no place to call home.

    • Aporia

      This relates to nationality, not race, and I think Taki’s point is that (a) given Turkey’s long tradition of secularism, which dates back to the height of the Ottoman Empire, and (b) given Bosnia’s close historical ties to Austria, integration ought to be less problematic than it typically is with Muslim populations. Since the context is the desirability of Vienna, and since socially and culturally divided cities are not desirable, the point is both correct and relevant, though it might have been made more clearly.

    • James Jones

      “Could you elaborate on the racial profile of a Muslim that would make an undesirable neighbour?”

      Well the Turks seem to have so far resisted the endless warfare that seems to be the preferred condition to hundreds of millions of other muslims.

      To me that is preferable to the mindless medieval death cult version so popular elsewhere.

      PS (edit)
      It is nothing to do with race but to do with culture. Death wish or no death wish, that is the question.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      No, it is defined by history. They are in Vienna because they have a past within the Empire, i.e. they are not newcomers since the spread of Wahhabism and the birth of modern jihad.

  • EHGombrich

    The Turkish government just pulled its ambassador from Vienna. That´s another reason to consider Vienna.

    • Robert Maxwell

      Well, the Turks only got to the gate of Vienna, maybe the embassy was an embarrassment.

      • Robertus Maximus

        The Siege of Vienna was ended largely due to when the Polish cavalry charged the filthy Turks. Maybe they’ll do the same here in the UK and drive out the muslims.

        • ClausewitzTheMunificent

          Nah, I think they’re too busy being roped in as the spearhead against Russia. Nothing to see in Britain, move along, move along…

  • Robertus Maximus

    What do you mean “in ten years time”. For me, London has been uninhabitable for at least ten years already and is getting worse by the day. I say that as someone who truly loved the city, being born there in the fifties and having lived there for half a century until unbearable grief at watching it trashed became too much and I departed with a picture of how it used to be stored safely in my mind.

    • Planet Vague

      For London to be the capital of the world it needs to attract the capital of the world. That includes human capital.

      • Melon Man

        You speak as though Britain were a developing nation. Britain was the world’s richest, most powerful, most productive nation in the middle of the 19th century. How exactly did it manage that while still maintaining a predominately white British population? How, in your mind, did Britain spark both the agricultural and industrial revolutions without the help of millions of foreign born immigrants? Britain doesn’t need to import foreign labour, the government needs to address the issue of educating and training the British underclass. But instead it chooses the easy option of poaching people from other countries and then claims this is a reason for celebration.

        • Planet Vague

          Do the maths. Not educating/paying for the education of your own will save you $200,000 per head. It is one of the basic principles of market economies to examine upfront cost and act accordingly. The market will provide, the market will deliver.

          Another reason for not educating your own is it makes it much more easy for a ruling elite to manipulate them with cheap treats. How often did we observe this in living memory?

          • James Jones

            “Not educating/paying for the education of your own will save you $200,000 per head.”

            Rubbish.

            Education pays for itself over a lifetime. Otherwise it would have died out long ago.

          • Dogsnob

            So everything is down to doing the maths?

        • James Jones

          “the government needs to address the issue of educating and training the British underclass. But instead it chooses the easy option of poaching people from other countries and then claims this is a reason for celebration.”

          This is the most pernicious effect of mass immigration and the reason that I object strongly to it. Since 1997 we have abandoned our own youth to the dole on the bandwagon of “diversity”.

          Then there is of course the Religion of Peace which seems to be rapidly rising in influence.

          What a disaster.

          • bionde

            Agee with all the above plus a few more things: the majority of deaths caused by malpractice/incompetence were by foreign born doctors, Aside from the obvious problems caused by lack of language skills, the diseases in African and Asian countries are vastly different from Western Europe. How many cases of dengue fever, beri beri or filaria are you likely to encounter in Chipping Norton? And how many cases of gout are you going to find in a India?

        • StrategyKing

          How did Britain do this then? By bleeding the colonies dry that’s how. Sorry fellow, the empire’s gone so no colonies there to bleed anymore.

          • ThatOneChap

            “Bleeding the colonies dry” is an odd way to say creating agricultural production and then selling companies in those nations products and machinery to increase production.

            Many people need to actually stop repeating misconceptions and actually look at what colonial activity entailed.

          • Dogsnob

            That’s fine. Are we done?

      • Barzini

        There’s surely a difference between attracting people from around the world with skills that are needed, and deliberately importing millions of unskilled workers from Africa and Asia when we already have mass unemployment……

        • EUROJESUS

          Which is why INDIA, your former no.1 largest colony, is making it much harder for you to get a visa, even as a tourist.
          Goa farewell.

          But you won’t talk about that, you don’t even know.

          • Barzini

            If that’s the price to pay for reducing mass immigration from India and postponing the time it takes before White British people become a minority in their own country (around 2060) then that’s fine by me……

            I have absolutely no problem with a points based immigration policy where we accept people who have skills that we lack for whatever reason, or in areas where our economy is growing….

            However, the taking in of millions of unskilled workers and their dependents from Africa and Asia at a time when we have mass unemployment and when England is the most densely populated country in Europe is pure insanity…….

            Surely you can see this?

      • Dogsnob

        Who wants it to be the capital of the world?

        • Fried Chicken

          yeah, who?

    • jim

      Exactly.We can barely stomach it today.In ten years it will be Jo’burg in the middle east.

      • Callan

        Look on the bright side Londonistan is becoming more and more multi cultural, vibrant, cosmopolitan and the immigrants pouring in are all there not to burden the NHS, beg, steal and claim welfare but to work hard and make a valuable contribution to the economy and society. Did I get that right Soubry?

  • Malus Pudor

    I had the misfortune to be in The Ivy the other day and a shoeless one was picking his toenails with a pudding fork… I kid ye not…

    • Doogal

      Did this happen whilst you were recounting a facile, racism-stoking apocryphal anecdote to your dining companion?

      • Malus Pudor

        No, it was while I was reflecting upon not being subjected to the pretentious, self-righteous diktats of the politically correct assholes, like your good self… and my dining companion was an extremely successful and charming North African author…

        I suggest you poke your head up a dead bear’s bum… you might find room there to expand your horizons….

        • Terry Collmann

          How Wildean – not. And the word is “arsehole”. An “asshole” would be a cavity for a donkey.

          • Malus Pudor

            Arseholes are normally expunged by the mods… assholes is a North American version of the same and appears not to suffer from censorship…

            Are you aware of North America… it is about 2000 miles west of Limerick….

          • Terry Collmann

            And your point is? You’ll note the web address on this site includes the initials UK, not US.

          • Malus Pudor

            You are even more obtuse than the impression given by your avatar.

          • Cyril Sneer

            I guess it takes one to know one Terry.

          • Terry Collmann

            Is that your idea of clever repartee? 0/10 Ask for your money back.

      • Sanctimony

        Your smug complacency oozes from every pore… how do you dispose of all your vile excretions ?

    • little islander

      I found fingernails don’t do the work, unless I wet my feet and the toenails soften a little.

      • little islander

        Oops! This here’s high life?!

  • post_x_it

    Didn’t you tell us just two weeks ago that you’re renovating a farmhouse in Switzerland and intend to spend the rest of your days in it?

    • JabbaTheCat

      Always thought Taki was FOS…

    • little islander

      Taki leaving Switzerland for Vienna will be ‘a publishing event in the world’. Not going to happen.

      • post_x_it

        He didn’t say he’s leaving for Vienna, read the last paragraph, it says “I’ve just bought myself a jewel on Park Avenue…”

        • little islander

          Didn’t get that far, sorry. He can renovate and buy all he want with his inheritance. He would never have a home now after all the bile he vomitted on his Greek countrymen.

  • JoshuaCzajkowski

    I’m currently Living in London as a student, I moved here last September. I can honestly say, although I love it, i’m quite disappointed with what I’ve seen.
    I’ve visited in the past and seen only the thin veneer of London, what’s meant for tourists. In reality, lots of it resembles a ghetto and a dump. Within around two weeks of moving here I was walking down an alley and was followed by someone that only stopped once I picked up a glass bottle.

    I spent my entire life as a kid then a teen wanting to live here. Within a few months I realised how much I prefer even my now detestable hometown of Rotherham.

    • MikeyW

      Well you obviously live in a sh8t part of London – hardly the best way to judge an entire city. I’ve lived here my most of my life and never been followed down an alleyway.

      • little islander

        Probably because you’re not as ‘gorgeous’ as him; that’s what he’s saying. Only not as gorgeous for the stalker to risk being hurt with a glass bottle, unlike those in Rotherham.

    • Cim Thayne

      I find that as long as one stays within the rough area bordered by Notting Hill, Hampstead, the Thames and the City to the East one is generally insulated from the shittiness. I live in Maida Vale/Little Venice and I almost never lead West London unless absolutely necessary.

      • post_x_it

        If you call this a rough area then what about all the other ones?

      • Guest

        I live in Maida Vale, and have so for 20 years. It pains me how much it has changed, as not a day goes by without seeing a full face veil or the repulsive bin liner and/or male night-gown.

        • Cim Thayne

          I agree, but that’s because we’re surrounded by the council estates of Edgware Road and Paddington. I stick to my communal garden and it remains rather civilised. The French are here in force, as are the Americans, but they’re honestly quite bearable.

        • ptolemy

          You must be a sensitive soul if other people’s clothing causes you pain.

          • Guest

            not as sensitive as those lovely cuddly muslims, who beat women with sticks, for showing their wrists and ankles

            if you like garbage-bag fashion, and don’t think that a suicide bomber might use this eventually (has been done countless times before in their own tolerant and non-racist countries), then you’re a dhimmi

          • ptolemy

            Your concern for women’s rights is truly touching. Perhaps if you also campaigned for the rights of non-Muslim women I might believe you.

            For example, the lion’s share of domestic abuse in this country is perpetrated by drunk white Christian men. Yet we’ll not hear a squeak of protest from you about preventing that.

          • Infidelissima

            actually it’s the other way around, it’s just that muslim women do not report their abuse
            neither do the muslim girls, since they might get killed by their own family members

            any thoughts on Rotherham, Rochdale, Manchester, Birmingham, or the other dozens of British cities that have seen thousands upon thousands upon thousands of mass raped and abused girls as young as 11, at the hands of *gasp* MUSLIM men?

            liar

          • ptolemy

            It’s amazing how some people have such a focused concern for the rights of Muslim women, the rights of gay Muslims, the rights of animals killed by Halal methods, the rights of children abused by Muslims.

            Yet when you ask them about women’s rights, gay rights, animal rights, or child abuse in general – a deathly silence. Funny that.

          • Infidelissima

            Blah blah blah, yet no comment about the TENS OF THOUSANDS of mass raped girls by Muslims? THEY are my concern and they are NOT muslims! Learn to read please.

            If only us terrible Brits, were as respectful to girls and women and children, as you cuddly Muslims are.

          • ptolemy

            What about the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS?!@£$% of girls abused IN their OWN homes by A Family MemBER. Oh wait, no Muslim connection so not interested.

    • MC73

      yeah, that’s right dude, Rotherham shits on London! That’s why people are flocking to the jewel of Yorkshire!

    • “I could bound myself in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space.”
      You boys and girls are missing the point! I agree with the aficionado of Rotherham.

    • Robertus Maximus

      I am sorry that you have had to witness London as it is now. I grew up in Ealing, West London, in the sixties which had the largest concentration of Poles in Britain. The borough was called the Queen of the Suburbs and was truly a lovely place to live. My school friends’ Polish fathers were ex-Polish army officers who had all lost friends at the Katyn Massacre. None could return to Poland so they had their own church and community centre in Ealing near where they lived. They were able to prosper due to hard work and be free from any threat or unpleasantness. I left Ealing eight years ago because of its rapid decline and that of much of London. Thirty years ago I was proud to show an Italian girlfriend around London – nowadays I’d be too ashamed. My best wishes to you.

    • pointlesswasteoftime

      You jest.

  • Oliver Low

    This could have been an interesting article with valid points to make, instead it is nothing but drivel. What a waste of 2 mins.

  • TheHappyHarpy

    Vienna is a gorgeous city. It is clean and civilized. Only a pompous and ignorant fool would think otherwise.

    • little islander

      That’s not a city. It’s a tourist trap.

      • Verbatim

        You’ve got absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I live in Vienna for months of the year, every second year or so since 2011, and I have tickets to Theater an der Wien, Musikverein, Wiener Staatsoper and Wiener Konzerthaus. Then there’s the many many other gorgeous aspects of Vienna, including the food. and the Viennese people.

        On Sunday I’m going to a Hochamt (HIgh Mass) at Peterskirche with a full symphony orchestra, choir and conductor – followed by organ music. All of this to the highest international standard and FOR FREE.

        I avert my gaze away from the things I don’t like about Vienna.

        • little islander

          ‘Pompous’ likes ‘gorgeous’. Reminds me of 2 Austrian bankers whom I met in the early 1990’s at a large gathering. One was less than ‘civilised’ toward a Swiss banker I was talking to. The other wouldn’t deign to live in the Hong Kong mid-levels and chose the posher southern bays without the effing skyline he had to put up with during the day. A tunnel through the Victoria peaks had to be built to shorten the commutes for these arses. High-end, but still arses. Vienna is just a playground. LONDON IS A CITY, A CITY OF THIS WORLD.

          • Verbatim

            Just keep taking your pills; you’ll feel better soon.

          • little islander

            I had a bit of Dom. No pills, don’t need them. Got up, just. Felt better. Am most pleased I rested. Couldn’t have responded properly last night (over here).

          • Apaliteno

            Seeing as the south side of HK island is home to many of Hong Kong’s richest tycoons, I doubt the needs of expat bankers ranked very high in the decision to build the Aberdeen tunnel

          • little islander

            Thanks, but I should have refrained from calling others ‘arses’ on account of this, as the cab driver whose earnings depended on no. of fares and not distances travelled preferred using the tunnel to indulging an effing tourist’s whim to go to see Stanley via the tortuous eastern route only a few months ago.

          • Apaliteno

            Nothing tortuous about taking Stubbs Road, just takes a little bit longer

          • Marketthinker

            They always say”you want tunnel?” You simply say, “no take the gap” which is the route over the hill or “no go by Tai Tam” which is the way round the eastern corridor. They never argue. Hope that helps next time.

          • little islander

            Thanks. True, the others never argue. This one’s different. A Fujian from China whose Cantonese is as hopeless as my Fujian. And before we knew it we were inside the tunnel.

        • goodsoldier

          Smoking is one of the great things about Vienna!

    • Verbatim

      Agreed. I’m living there now and spent all of 2011 in Vienna, from Sydney. The latter city has become violent and so multi-cultural now that I do not recognize it anymore. And it’s being bought by the Chinese at an alarming rate. Actually, most of the immigrant population is Lebanese or Chinese. So, don’t just select London and NYC for the article. Sydney is TERRIBLE. Zurich is another great place to live, btw.

      Vienna is changing and there are now lots of immigrants and it’s like babel. Everybody has a different language, and this is socially divisive. Even since 2011 it has changed alarmingly – drunks on the streets, people sleeping rough at Karlsplatz and multi-culti tens of thousands speaking their own tongues. I put my hand on my heart and say that I never saw the first 2 sights in 12 months living in Vienna in 2011. Europe is taking the world’s “left-overs”.

      As for London: I hope I don’t offend, but for the reasons already suggested by others, I’d never set for in that city if my life depended on it. None of Britain interests me anymore, to be honest. I’ve met Brits on my travels through-out Europe and most have bored me witless. I know this isn’t really a representative group, and that I was once very English-minded – but I find as I get older I don’t have the interest in the nation anymore. Even the British sense of humour, once so valued by myself and husband, has gone off the boil – hostage to PC or vile toilet humour (Billy Connolly) and general coarseness.

      My husband’s cousin lives well in Hampstead and is a retired Psychiatrist. No doubt he lives the good life there!!

      • post_x_it

        “people sleeping rough at Karlsplatz”
        Sorry, but you should have seen Karlsplatz in the 90s! You couldn’t walk through the station without being accosted by skag heads. It still has problems but it’s been cleaned up a lot compared to how it used to be.

        • Verbatim

          Oh really!!!??? There was a large police presence back in 2011 when I was first there and the place was spotless. Now there is no sign of the cops, the station has been enlarged/refurbished and the losers have taken over. I expect “snivel” libertarians have stopped the Polizei from doing their valuable work. You know; the old maxim: “more freedom for me” which means “less freedom for everybody else”.

          I generally feel totally safe in Vienna and can walk the streets at any hour of the night (don’t know about beyond the Gurtel, though). There are not many cities in the world (Singapore perhaps) which can boast that level of safety. You do see the occasional mentally ill person raving, though this seems to be a world-wide problem of de-institutionalization. You know, “Oh, I didn’t WANT to take my medication today”.

          I walk home from the Innere Stadt and the Musikverein sometimes after concerts which end at 9.45pm – and that’s out to the 5th District (Margareten).

      • MC73

        If Sydney’s immigrants are Lebanese and Chinese then it’s a lot better off than London…

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      Vienna is specifically German – and I love German architecture (not the modern stuff), but Vienna is also largely what European cities (I don’t know about Britain) mostly looked like until the Second World War. It’s been downhill for us ever since. First came awful Stalinist concrete and in the West, modern and post-modern architecture, then came the horde.

  • TheHappyHarpy

    In terms of future habitability in places like New York or London, we all know where the real problem lies, but no one is courageous enough to confront it.

    • little islander

      You need to get some sun, whitey.

      • vieuxceps2

        Imagine a comment along the lines of “You need to get some air,darky”-How would PC Lefty view that,I wonder?

        • Incoming

          Sounds fine to me Vieuxceps2

        • ptolemy

          The comment above yours is racist, but it has nowhere near the strength of a white person using the N-word (hint – historical connotations).

          • Cyril Sneer

            So it’s less harmful because the recipient is white?

            Racism right there.

          • ptolemy

            I didn’t say it was less racist, I said it had less strength. If the enslaved ancestors of white people had the word Whitey screamed at them as a form of insult it would be different. If you don’t realise the N-word has historical connotations you must be on a different planet.

          • vieuxceps2

            You associate what is coyly called the n-word with slavery.In fact it derives from the Latin/Portuguese/Spanish word for black.No-one links “white” with Saxon slaves, why does PC Lefty?

      • freddiethegreat

        Ke mLungu – Ke bulalawen’ inja!

      • Melon Man

        little islander? Interesting username. What exactly is little about Britain?

        • little islander

          Considering where I live, I wouldn’t deign to call Britain, Japan, etc islands. Hence, ‘little’.

          • MC73

            Borneo? Sumatra? Baffin?

          • little islander

            s’pore, where ken livingstone and seb coe got awarded the olympic games.

      • TheHappyHarpy

        I’ll make a deal with you. How about if you stay in the sun and leave me to my snow, mountains and clouds?

        • little islander

          Sure. Be sure to wear sunglasses; you could be blinded by all those whiteness.

          • TheHappyHarpy

            It’s not blindness, it’s brilliance.

          • little islander

            No sunglasses then. You need it. More brilliance to you.

  • Paulo Williams

    I stopped reading when I got to “Yes, there are Muslims, but most of them are Turks and Bosnians”. What a racist comment! I cannot believe it got past the subs (or do you not have subs at The Spectator nowadays), or are they all asleep at the switch? And then I see another one below “Maybe they’ll do the same here in the UK and send the muslims packing” which has just astounded me. I would expect to see these sort of remarks on Britain First pages, not in an article in The Spectator and a comment by one of its readers. Absolutely shocking.

    • Mc

      Yes, I suggest you lodge criminal complaints of racism with your nearest police station 🙂 People have been accused of racism for lesser offences, such as owning a gollywog or displaying an un-PC wall mural.

      • korikisulda(コリキ)

        Why should racism be acceptable? I don’t follow.

        • little islander

          He didn’t say it’s acceptable.

          • little islander

            I made this comment and had it deleted because ‘He’ said it with more ‘blah’ (to borrow somebody’s comment).

        • Mc

          I think you are misunderstanding what I’m saying – notice that I used an emoticon.

          Some believe racist speech / writing should be permitted under free speech, however objectionable one may find it. I’m also alluding to the fact that the UK has used minority rights and human rights legislation as a justification to introduce extreme curbs on free speech.

          Furthermore, dubious claims of racism are often used as a way to shut down debate under threat of legal censure and ostracism.

          Finally, context, tone and comprehension are important: it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that Taki isn’t being racist by appearing to suggest that Muslim culture can be incompatible with Western culture. It would be racist if Taki had unambiguously said that an ethnic group (not a religious group – that would potentially be bigotry instead) should be targeted for discrimination, persecution or be killed, or that they all possessed certain negative characteristics.

          • Verbatim

            Same in Australia. Lefties want to shut down speech and be the sole arbiters of what is good and correct. Thought police, moral police, nannies, anti-religion, anti-wealth, anti-values…they’re just anti life. You know why? Because they don’t feel powerful without their negative demands.

          • Mc

            I suspect also that some on the Left who understand history – such as the Bolshevik Revolution – know that if you are more organized and persistent than your opponent, there is a realistic chance that an authoritarian minority can gain the upper hand.

        • Barzini

          Should it be OK in your view to complain of Gypsy immigration, to say crime is high among gypsies, to say that you believe Irish immigration would be better for the country than Gypsy immigration………

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            Tutti con Salvini! Però era ora di dirle queste cose, dopo anni di soprusi… Per quanto riguarda gli Irlandesi, basta tenerli lontano dall’ alcool

    • James Hamilton

      Islam is not a race.

      • Verbatim

        Damn: I was going to put a bob each way.

        • explain this

          I like Greek/Turkish jokes – the best ones originate in Germany who are paying for the upkeep of both nations now, effectively.

      • ptolemy

        It’s a good cover for racism though as most British Muslims are non-white.

        • James Hamilton

          So one may never dislike or disapprove of anything a non white says or does. If you say so.

          • ptolemy

            Same argument was used by the far-right in the 90s to justify antisemitism.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Except your argument falls down because that anger is not directed at all the other brown skinned people following all the other religions. It is against one religion and for obvious reasons which seems to be well beyond your intellect.

          • ptolemy

            Considering that, since the 1950s, the Irish/Black/Indians/Jews/Gypsies/Gays and now Muslims have all been the target of this “anger”, it seems some people will concoct any excuse to hate. Next decade you’ll move on to another group.

        • Cyril Sneer

          So are most British Sikhs… there doesn’t seem to be a problem with Sikhs…. Hindus… Jews…. Christians etc etc.

          From the man who thinks racism against whites is a lesser crime, I don’t think you have anything of worth to say.

          • ptolemy

            I didn’t say racism against whites was a lesser crime.

    • vieuxceps2

      But you didn’t object to “get some sun ,whitey”. Why not? Is it ‘cos they’s black?

      • little islander

        Or yellow.

    • Verbatim

      Your cry about “racism” has a hollow ring these days. People have been denied the freedom of speech to discuss issues to do with immigration and multiculturalism and when they dip their toes into the water along comes some smug toad labelling them “racist”.

      LISTEN UP: Not all races are equal and will never be. The Germans and Japanese had the be-jesus bombed out of them 70 years ago and both represent now high water marks of modern societies – in terms of export, production, innovation, science, standard of living and technology. They have literally risen, Phoenix-like, from the ashes. Meanwhile, millennia-old African nations are still driving around on donkeys and pulling water from wells in buckets. The Japanese have just invented an EXTREMELY high speed train which doesn’t even touch the ground, but rides on cushion of air like a hovercraft.

      There is no such thing as racial EQUALITY and never, ever, ever, will be. No matter how much you or others dislike it.

      • little islander

        You need more training for your witchcraft here. Taki does it better. I got fooled once or twice.

    • Barzini

      The guy obviously doesn’t appreciate mass Muslim immigration from Africa and Asia.

      Is it not better that we live in a society where people can say how they feel? If not, who gets to control what people can and can’t say?

      • Verbatim

        The Left. It’s that simple.

        • little islander

          No, you. It’s that simple.

    • unclegibbo

      Having trouble understanding this racism business .
      If someone said that he wanted no associations of any kind with Muslims would that be racist ?
      Change Roman Catholic for Muslim ?
      Change atheist for Roman Catholic ?

      • Verbatim

        You’ll have to ask the Thought Police; they’ll have a response to your questions and directives about how you should live your life.

    • ClausewitzTheMunificent

      How is this a racist comment. It was pointing out that the “Religion of Peace” has long established roots in the city, but that fortunately, these are mostly the non-militant-jihadi European types. Btw, as pointed out above, Islam is not a race, nor are professional offense-takers on blogs.

    • Vuil

      Don’t you get tired of allowing political correctness to destroy your rational thinking? Come to think of it do you know what rational thought is.

      The author was reporting facts. Can you get that into your thick head.

      What next: statements like “there were a lot of Muslim in the mosque, but they were hospitable” are construed as racist.

    • Infidelissima

      if you truly want to be shocked, may I suggest directing yourself towards the article about a ‘british’ universities’ DIVERSITY OFFICER, organising an anti-racist event, asking white males to stay away. It’ll shock your little socks off.

    • Malus Pudor

      Another apologist for the shoeless ones…

      Just wait till they start grooming and raping your daughters, matey !

  • Planet Vague

    Vienna – only when I retire.
    Krakow – only if I want a cushioned life and downgrade from the above.
    Warsaw – only for investment.

    Berlin – when I hold the power.

  • ubik

    You may live more than 10 years, hope you like halal food.

  • Bonkim

    Yes Vienna and all Austria – extremely civilized and liveable. The Spargel and beer also so good.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Holocaust denial laws take a bit of beating.

  • Shorne

    This article and many of the comments are rubbish. All London is not the same. For example the Borough where I live is one of the safest and contains two working farms, one just half a mile from a tube station. The air is clean as witnessed by the amount of lichens that grow on the buildings. 40% of the population were born abroad which means a rich mixture of shops and restaurants and indeed my neighbours. I was born in 1950 and well remember the boring, stifling, uptight Britain that many commenters (and I might as well say it UKIP) long for.What most of the commenters here really mean is ‘We don’t like foreigners especially if they aren’t white’ to say nothing of clowns who talk about ‘the underclass’. As for ‘Taki’ well a few points
    In 1984, Taki served three months in Pentonville Prison for the possession of cocaine.

    In 2004 he was investigated for racist, actually anti-Semitic, comments in an article.
    He constantly defends the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement. There remains a strong anti-Semitic undercurrent in Vienna, no wonder he likes it.

    • Barzini

      Shouldn’t people be free to criticize certain groups/religions/cultures?

      Are you saying you think people should be prosecuted for what they write or say?

      I personally have a problem with Gypsies, I think they cause trouble wherever they go, I’d rather not let them into the country – should I be prosecuted for this belief?

      I find your desire to police people’s thoughts appalling and far more concerning than what some writer of an article thinks about a certain ethnic group….

      • Shorne

        Another ridiculous comment, I’m not in a position to police anything. Moreover I don’t have to the Law does that, you appear to resent the fact that you can’t have your own way in this regard.

        • Barzini

          Apologies for being unclear…..

          You seemed to be suggesting that because the author was investigated for racist remarks, we should be wary of him and look down upon him….

          This sounds to me like you approve of the fact that he was investigated

          I am personally horrified that anyone can be investigated for what they say or believe

          I myself am prejudiced against certain groups (hence my question whether you believe I should be investigated and looked down upon)

          • Shorne

            This is a classic case of ‘If you have to ask the question you wouldn’t understand the answer.’

          • Barzini

            Classic leftist response, basically what you’re saying is:

            ‘I could respond to your concerns over mass third world immigration, but you wouldn’t understand it…..instead just accept that I am morally better than you and correct’

            In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Miliband and his kind actually adopted this as official policy for responding to the ‘White plebs’ when they voice concerns over becoming a minority in their own land….

            In the meantime, you and leftists in general will continue to show the exact same discrimination to certain groups as everyone else – such is the hypocrisy of our times

          • Shorne

            I am not a lefty and voted Tory in 2010. What you have been saying is why can’t I or other people make whatever comments I /we like about other ethnic groups regardless of how offensive they are? You are now dragging in rubbish about the British becoming a minority which is not reflected by the last census figures (Gypsies, Travellers etc 0.1% by the way). My original comment about you and others effectively saying ‘We don’t like foreigners especially if they aren’t white’ still seems entirely valid.

          • Barzini

            White Britons are set to become a minority by around 2066 (probably well before according to most predictions)

            (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10032296/White-Britons-will-be-minority-by-2066-says-professor.html)

            White English will be a minority significantly before this…

            I’ve never met anyone who says they don’t like foreigners or non-white people….

            I have met many many people who are concerned about mass replacement level immigration via the importation of millions of low skilled workers and their dependents from Asia and Africa.

            Especially considering we have mass unemployment and England is already the most densely populated country in Europe .

          • Shorne

            People who hold your views tend to deliberately associate with, or are drawn to, people who hold similar views, this is one of the reasons why so many appear in these comment columns. In this way your World view is confirmed and cognitive dissonance is avoided. Others prefer to take note of people who know what they are talking about;
            http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-will-britain-have-a-muslim-majority-by-2050/13690

          • Barzini

            I appreciate your point in general, but I don’t know why you sent that link….

            I’m not claiming the UK will be a Muslim majority country – I’m claiming that the White British people who accounted for 99% of the population in the 1960s will be a minority by around 2060 (hence the link I sent you)

  • Fritz123

    Leiwand, untranslatable.

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