Hugo Rifkind

Lefties should cherish trendy London while they still can

Let ‘champagne socialist’ become a slur, and you give a free pass to those who want to drink it all themselves

16 May 2015

9:00 AM

16 May 2015

9:00 AM

London is a bad thing. Everybody knows this now. Britain has had enough of London. Ed Miliband failed in part because he was ‘too north London’ (euphemism) and Chuka Umunna would fail just the same because he is too south London (euphemism). According to one commentator, Britain’s capital is now a ‘Guardianista colony’; filled with the ‘petty moralism’ of the ‘cultural’ elite.

According to another — in the Guardian no less; no fan of his own colony, this guy — this is a city of glass and steel, so different from northern cities of ‘brick and hard stone’, and it produces in his northern soul a sense of ‘cultural alienation’. This, right now, is Britain’s big story. London is soulless and smug, and finally getting its comeuppance for the full half-century it has spent forcing everywhere else to dance to its selfish bloody tune. This is what I keep hearing, and I just don’t know where the hell these people think they’re even talking about.

You may tell me that I know nothing of Britain outside London. I’ll fight you on the point, given that I grew up in one part of not-London and spent many years living in another, although it may not be a fight I’d nowadays win. But you will not tell me I know nothing of London, and the London I know largely gives glass and steel a miss. Over most of it, terraces sprawl. So many terraces that Stephen King, the horror writer, once wrote a scary story about just how damn scary and endless our sprawling terraces were. They stop where bombs once carved dimples out of the land, and concrete sprouted like fungus in a wound. And they are full, these terraces and concrete sprouts, of people who keep a little bit of their heart somewhere else. You cannot be out of touch with Britain in London, for all of Britain is here. Often it plans to one day go home again, but probably never will.

Paul Mason, he of Channel 4 News and the cultural alienation up above, wrote also of the ‘tennis-club belt around London’. It may exist — I only really leave this city to the north — but it is a place as different from London itself as it is from any other part of Britain. Much of London is not rich at all, and even most of the wealthy bits are not remotely of the tennis-club sort. I mean, Wimbledon is, obviously. And Putney. And a whole pizza slice going south-west, in fact, from Chelsea on out. On an electoral map, though, that’s but a small blue sliver. It is not this city’s soul.

For the most part, even London’s wealth has a beard and wants to buy an electric car. In Britain at large, Labour got 31 per cent of the vote. In London, it got 44 per cent, a higher percentage than even Tony Blair got across the UK in 1997.

Think about that. This is a city that voted for its own mansion tax. This is a city which actively voted to drive away rich foreigners who might want to live here, and to reduce the value of its own housing stock. This is a city which heard the rest of Britain complain about how rich it was, and how that wealth should be redistributed, and thought, ‘Yup, that seems fair.’ And sure, quite a lot of Labour-voting London, particularly in its richer bits, will have voted Labour in the fervent secret hope that Labour didn’t win. Still, though. That’s what it did.

I could understand why the south-east and shires might loathe London after that, only they don’t seem to. What I struggle to comprehend is why everywhere else does. Indeed, the places that seem to now loathe London the most are also the places which seem to be the most like London in soul and spirit. Glasgow is remarkably Londonish these days and getting ever more so. Manchester feels like it ought to be one of those new stops on the orange East London line, somewhere between Shadwell and New Cross. You could swap Birmingham and Southwark around and nobody would notice the difference.

If I were of the left, I’d be showing London a bit more love right now. Most of all, I’d work hard to prevent the term ‘champagne socialist’ from being a slur. Allow it to become one and you’re basically giving a free pass to anybody who has champagne to drink it all themselves.

Post-election, though, and particularly in relation to Labour’s sudden identity crisis, you can feel the way the rhetorical winds are blowing. You’d think that relatively rich people who wanted a relatively fairer society would be considered broadly a good thing, even if they are called Tristram, but no. Labour seems on the verge of copying the Ukip fallacy that ‘metropolitan’ is a dirty word. Even though one quick look at what actually happens in Britain’s major metropolis these days really ought to convince it otherwise.

One day, London might actually turn into the city that its detractors think it already is. Its many, many Tristrams, Chukas, Eds and Stellas will look at the rest of Britain and reflect upon the sneering disdain in which they are still held, despite having all the wealth and constantly clamouring to be allowed to give it away. And they will think, ‘You know what? Sod this.’ And thereafter the whole area inside the M25 will look like that vast lake in the middle of Northern Ireland. Blue as blue can be.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Hugo Rifkind is a writer for the Times.

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Show comments
  • pp22pp

    No point in this article if you don’t mention demographics. London is the capital city and as a result much of the wealth of the country ends up being concentrated there. It has the government, the embassies and the banks. The same is even more true of Tokyo or Seoul. The only reason that Sydney isn’t the capital of Australia is because a conscious, political decision was made to build a smaller capital in Canberra, ditto Ankara, Brasilia, Ottawa and the Hague. The wealthy in London are a cut-off group of decadent, pampered brats who think the rest of the world exists only to serve them. They have left the nation behind and see themselves as cosmopolitan and superior. They don’t care where their slaves come from as long as they are cheap and docile. It reminds me of South Africa circa 1975. My guess is that as the slaves become less docile, the smug will try to palm them off on the rest of us through the British equivalent of Section 8 housing. I don’t care how talented Tristan thinks he is. Britain would improve if he relocated to Antarctica.

    • sir_graphus

      Interesting; before this election, it was perceived that the Tories had the problem because it couldn’t persuade immigrants to vote for it. Now it emerges that fully one third of Labour voters were immigrants or ethnic minorities, and that their policies are hostage to this group, hence the vital support they lost among white working class voters in key constituencies. So Labour has the problem now.

      Keeping race out of policies, which is the right thing to do, has proved a benefit to the Tories.

      Either way, race is playing a larger part in national politics, these days & days to come, and that’s a really bad thing.

      • Linda Smith

        If you had been a regular reader of the Spectator you might have recalled the Andrew Nether revelations that the Blair government deliberately opened the floodgates to 3rd world immigration to dilute the Tory majority in England, ie to rub the right’s face in diversity.

  • Jack_H

    Er the large labour vote is a reflection of the huge inequality that now exists in London.The average pay is 34K a year and there are more renters than owner occupiers.In a city with exorbitant rents and where buying a house is not even a remote possibility of course labour will of well.Just how many people in 2 million pound plus houses actually voted labour do you suppose?

    • pp22pp

      The large Labour vote is a reflection of the number of alien settlers.

      • Jack_H

        It has many causes but the Tristrams and Hugos votes for labour have no bearing.

        • Verbatim

          Unless they’re bearing down, which we know they’re not!

      • djkm

        Yes, I forgot, London has special voting privileges for non-uk residents doesn’t it.

        • Leo McKinstry

          Commonwealth citizens can vote in UK elections. Given the huge influx of Asian and African migrants into London over the last 15 years and the fact that more than 70 per of migrants support Labour, it is pointless to pretend that this has not altered voting patterns in the capital.

          • djkm

            Show me the numbers of migrants who support labour and are able to vote. It’s definitely not 70%. And they’d still be a minority so unable to swing the voting to the extent that you’d need to see the numbers you seen in London. However, saying that, Turkeys very rarely vote for Christmas, so I’d imagine that if one party is trying paint them all as ass hats, that they’d most likely put their vote elsewhere. As would their friends and neighbours. It’s kind of how society works.

            We can’t help it if people out in the sticks are so easily swayed by fearmongerers.

          • pp22pp

            Alien voters mainly vote Labour. Here’s the proof.


            That is why they were brought in – “to rub the Right’s nose in diversity.” Britain’s desirability as a place to live is inversely proportional to the concentration of their settlement.

          • djkm

            Or, maybe, as hinted at before, you wouldn’t vote for a party that thinks you’re a leech. Or pretends to think you’re a leech because there are some easy vote wins to be made from idiots if you say that they’re leeches.

          • Harry

            This is why Labour lost the last election.

            The snotty, sneering, rude and self important arrogance of the ‘You’re a racist’ crowd.

          • djkm

            Oh really. You know, given the lake of red in an otherwise sea of blue on the political map, I’d say that they did pretty well in areas where immigration wasn’t such a hot topic. which is strange, since most of the migrants come here.

            It’s not sneering, it’s bafflement at people being wound up at in problem that doesn’t exist. If wages are being cut, that’s not competition, that’s called people taking advantage of an imagined situation, and everyone else just lapping it up.

            In any case, it was one ‘on the economy’, I thought? This emergency budget is going to be fun to watch. Watching the faces of everyone who finally realises how books are balanced the conservative way. Bye bye services!

            (On that note, emergency budget? Did the last chancellor spend most of his time on election giveaways or something? Who WAS the last chancellor anyway?)

          • Closedshop


          • monkeybird

            Speak for yourself. Most of us in London like the diversity. Currently for me, the desirability of non-London is nill, because it’s full of people like you.

          • Verbatim

            I wouldn’t vote for any party that would have somebody like me as a member!

          • Indeed! Some people just don’t get London.

          • wudyermucuss

            Most of us in London like the diversity. –
            Well yes,most of London is foreigners.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            “the desirability of non-London is nill, because it’s full of people like you”

            That kind of comment perfectly sums up what’s wrong with London inhabitants such as yourself, because non-London is very definitely **not** full of the kind of people who typically post here. You need to get out more.

          • Harry

            This is why Labour lost. The sneering, arrogant, snotty know it all bigotry of the Left “People like you”.

          • Closedshop

            Snobby much?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Oh look another sneering lefty bigot full of racial self hatred.

          • Linda Smith

            Deliberate policy of New Labour, see Andrew Nether.

        • pp22pp

          The rules on voting eligibility are not enforced and many of the aliens have been given British citizenship.

          • EIBB

            What, like aliens from New Zealand? Sidney Holland called, you’re wanted back in the 50s.

          • pp22pp

            Kiwis aren’t alien. The bearers of sharia and FGM are.

          • EIBB

            Actually, fuck it, yeah, explain. The bit about kiwis, I gather what you mean by the whole Muslim thing. Tell me why kiwis aren’t alien to this country?

          • Ivan Ewan

            He’s doing a thing, blending in rhetoric about cultural alienation, and he’s got a point. Your average kiwi is like a next-door neighbour compared to your average salafist, who resides, metaphorically, in a mouldy, blackened castle, fortified with many spiky iron things, a hundred miles away.

          • Verbatim

            Go the All Blacks.

        • Speedy

          Tower Hamletstan certainly did

          • Shazza

            Minaret Hamlets.

  • Ali

    What a pity you didn’t inherit your father’s vast intellect.

    • ADW

      Oh him – the bloke who thinks he should be able to filch money under the table because he is ‘entitled to the standard of living’ he would have had if, instead of being a jobbing politician, he was a very successful member of a profession. F++ing scumbag who learned nothing from the expenses scam or, if he did, doesn’t care.

    • jeffersonian

      Sleazy father – stupid son.

  • Richard Ferguson

    You only have to read the Zoe Williams’ diary in your print/online edition today to get a full sense of classic North London bien-pensantism at its best. All that weeping last Friday over the organic polenta bake. Pure Pippa Middleton meets Wolfie Smith in an Islington Deli. Craig Brown would have struggled to have bettered it. Hilarious.

    • Castro Spendlove

      Quite so Richard. It seems that the spirit of Bel Littlejohn is still strong at Kings Place.

  • kathee

    I remember lying in my room when I was in high school and writing in a journal to my future husband. I’d write all sorts of notes and questions and things I’d wonder or ask this man when I eventually met him. I would wonder where he was and what he was doing and if he was thinking about me too. It has always been succh a strong desire in my heart to find a wonderful man to marry, someone who would love me and cherish me and appreciate me for the person I am. I always thought I would get married right out of college, just like my parents, so when that plan didn’t work out, I started to get discouraged. A school mate snatched my future husband away from my arms just because she had spiritual powers, all hope was lost to me before i came across the help doctor (
    ) who i confided in, i told him my long story and he helped me regain back my lover with his prayers which is now my husband today. if you have any problem email the help doctor (

  • Woodby69

    Hugo’s really funny. He wrote that email to the copy editor defending a joke about being noshed off in Soho. He’s really funny. He did a joke about eating and fellatio using the word ‘nosh’ as a pun. He’s really funny.

    And this column is the best thing he has ever written.

    Better than the nosh gag. If anything can be.

    • Hugo Rifkind

      Wrong bearded, rootless metropolitan, Woody.

      • Verbatim

        Phew, that was a close shave.

      • Mc

        I assume this is your attempt at being condescending and smugly humorous at the same time.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “a whole pizza slice going south-west, in fact, from Chelsea on out. On an electoral map, though, that’s but a small blue sliver. It is not this city’s soul.”

    No, not its soul – too much soulessness in fact. But it IS its wallet…

    • tjamesjones

      the blue sliver includes the cities of london & westminster. perhaps that isn’t the city’s soul, but they’re most people’s working definition of “london”.

  • EIBB

    I think someone on here is confusing their ability to spell and use grammar with possessing intelligence. You’re still basically a scaredy little racist. Fuck this, I can’t believe I was even moved to comment like this.

  • FailedEvolution

    Maggie’s ghost returns to Britain

  • Stephen Milroy

    London is not really a city so much as a port town bloated with all and sundry coupled with a multicultural experiment gone awry.

  • Korgarath

    Oh come on we all know the vote for Labour in London wasn’t from the rich champagne socialists opening their hearts. I bet even Russell Brand secretly voted for the Tories, he’s making a good chunk of his money from selling his books to the “disaffected masses” but don’t come after his mansion.

    So sorry to be “non-PC” on a left wing paper but we know it’s due to the fact White British is now less than 50% of the London demographics, and the Labour party are the softest party on immigration.

    • 1664averygoodyear

      The journalist who authored this shoddy shoddy piece should read the above comment, before tendering his resignation.

      Please save us all the hassle of your inane, logic and fact-free ramblings from now on.

    • Plugs Muttley

      The Spectator is a “left-wing paper”?? Only if you’re to the right of Hitler. Which, reading your asinine comment, you probably are.

      • Harry

        Thank you 1664averygoodyear

        Sometimes I go to the Frontline club, where all the Guardian/BBC oids hang out. Its more upper class than Buck Palace, and 99.999% White. I’m one of the only non-Public school toffs there.

        I’m always reminded of Singapore before the Japanese invasion. Utterly clueless Brits who have no idea that within a few days they’ll be slaving in work camps as subjects of the great Japanese empire.
        How soon before London is Malmo or Brussels, and we are the minority?

        Within our lifetimes I suspect.

        • Petra Thompson

          I was brought up in a Lancashire town, in a Trotskyist household, by parents who left school at 15. I’ve lived in London for over 30 years, and this city has got no sense of unity. The riots of 2011 mark the future (and the elite know this, hence the purchase of water cannon to be used on the streets of London).

          There have been two other riots in London (2009, 2010) which the media did not even report. They were “race riots”, although the only “race” rioting were all muslims. In the 2010 riot in Whitechapel, the police simply threw a ring of protection around the City, and allowed the riot to continue.

          I too find the fall of Singapore to be very revealing. The elite thought they could easily beat the “uncivilised” Japs. Instead, it was a rout. And the Japs were assisted by all the 5th columnists living there, mapping the minor routes of Malaya so that the Japs could get to Singapore more easily.

          White Brits are already a minority in London. Back in the 1990s, I met a Brazilian illegal immigrant in London. He worked on one of the two (yes, two) Brazilian Portuguese newspapers in London. Brazilians have no right to live in the UK, but even in the 1990s there were enough of them to have two ex-pat newspapers.

          Our own elite are lying to us about the state of the country. Even muslim academics at UK universities have pointed out how the 2011 Census was rigged to enable muslims to conceal how high their numbers are in the UK.

          • Harry

            Interesting Petra,
            Like so many others I’m fleeing London, I’m part of the ‘White flight’ its too upsetting to see what’s happening here.
            When one associates with BBC types one is struck by the posh accents, upper class upbringing, trendy Marxism and un-reality.

            I often think of those Brits, well fed and relaxed in Singapore, not realising what is about to befall them. Of course back then the BBC was lying as well, playing up the appeasement line and ignoring the threat of fascism.
            Now the fascists are here, and getting stronger. I fear it will not be long before Jews, like those in Malmo, are told to remove religious headgear, gays hide their sexuality and British patriots run.

          • djkm

            What does marxism have to do with this? I think that some people just bandy words about without thinking about what they actually mean. You don’t need to be an ‘ultra lefty’ to consider multiculturalism a good thing.

            FWIW, I don’t much like the idea of people trying to import, or at least impose, values from their countries that impinge on other people’s rights either. Tower Hamlets, for instance, or Galloway’s cynical use of these values to further his own cause (up until recently, anyway), but these are outliers, they aren’t the norm.

            I don’t think this is something that most people understand. They read some hysterical story about something that needs to be covered in a more mature fashion, imagine ‘oh, is that how it’s like out there? I don’t want that here, I think i’ll vote against immigration’ but don’t seem to imagine that ‘expats’ as they’re known who jog off to another country, don’t care to learn the language and enjoy nothing more than chicken and chips and pubs and ‘keep to their own’ are in any way similar to behaviour that they disprove of on their own doorstep.

          • Harry

            I assume ‘people’ is me. I am perfectly aware of the meaning of Marxism, I don’t bandy words about and I’m know what I’m writing about and do so with intent.

            Marxism is the political view of society favoured by the BBC/Guardian.

            You may not be an ‘ultra lefty’ but you may have the demeanour of a condescending Guardian/BBC type, talking about how stupid people are and looking down on them from a great height.

            The British people are not immature, stupid or gullible – this is the attitude that lost Labour the election.

          • Abie Vee

            Ipso facto… the British are indeed immature, stupid and gullible… that is the reason why the Tories won the election. I rest my case.

          • JohnnyDuke

            Immature, you mean like the people who rioted (threw teddies from pram) because more people voted for the Tories than Labour … I think that would probably encompass stupid and gullible as well but I wouldn’t be so unkind nor arrogant.

          • Abie Vee

            Presumably you are not English? Otherwise you’d be aware of our long and proud history or riots, risings and revolutions.

          • JohnnyDuke

            Then you would be wrong Abie,

          • Abie Vee

            Then you need to bone up on your own history.
            May I point you in the direction of of “Riots, risings and revolution” by Sir Ian Gillmore (a dyed in the wool patrician Tory). The education will do you good.

          • JohnnyDuke

            Defacing the memorial to women … very grown up. As for my knowledge of history there may well be gaps regarding the number of risings etc … totally irrelevant however in the present day context. For if that is the justification for behaving like spoilt children then the country has more problems than I first thought. Still at least you got to vote the failure of the bureaucratic system surrounding the postal voting system for people such as me meant we were denied our democratic rights. Do you see us rioting? no of course not … you see we are grown ups … unlike those silly people who think that scrawling ‘F— Tory Scum’ on a memorial to the women who worked fought and died for their country with dignity.

          • Abie Vee

            Tsk tsk… What makes you imagine that the graffiti was aimed at those women? Do you have a shred of evidence to support that? Of course you do not, Mr, Huff and Puff.

            To my mind, the main thing , when you are going to post a slogan, is to find a flat piece of visible space . I mean, if I were to write (as I have done) “F**K capitalism” on the side of a building, would I be sending a message to bricklayers? No.

            Stop before you dig a hole you cannot escape from. You must try to understand exactly was is meant by “oligarchy”. The democratic deficit.

            In the meanwhile, you are simply clutching at straws. You really do not understand.

          • JohnnyDuke

            My my Mr Huff and Puff, very adult … did you really think that I thought that the ‘idiot scrawlings’ were aimed at the women to whom the memorial commemorates … Now I see why you would riot and cause damage … as for holes it is not I that is digging … I understand you and your ilk only too well … self righteous, arrogant, needy with a finely tuned sense that world owes you a living at the same time as having no real direction. As for the democratic deficit, I don’t recall there being unrest when the ‘Idiot Blair’ and the ‘Bigot Brown’ managed to fool so many for so long under the same system remind me again how the left campaigned for PR at the last referendum … oh! they didn’t did they, because they know which side their bread is buttered. There I think that is us done don’t you.

          • Abie Vee

            My my… what an outpouring of bile. I can recommend Omeprazole twice a day… it enables you digest anything.

            So you would arrest everyone who ever defaced a public monument or building? How very, er, Georgian of you. I’m not sure where you’d put all those graffiti artists, I doubt Australia will take them any longer.

            Do you imagine that you have some god-given right to sail through your solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short life without being offended? Good for you. I’m sure you’d scarce be interested in what rattles my cage.

          • JohnnyDuke

            Your point regarding ‘Ex-pats’ is well made … staggering the arrogance and stupidity I come across here in France.

          • James Mayer

            Boy, is this country full of weak people…you think Britain will fall because of what’s happening to the country at the moment? We’re only just waking up. MAN UP, boy.

          • Harry

            Talking honestly about the situation in the country is not weak, or unmanly – on the contrary – it is honest, brave and against current accepted norms.

            We don’t need to Man up or down, …. boy.

          • Abie Vee

            Sums it up neatly. “Fear”. You people live in the fear of your own imaginations and ignorance. However, like the white working-class exodus of the last 20 years or so, that flight of yours is most likely occasioned by the lovely fat bonus you’ll pocket from trading-down your house. Immigration is a convenient fiction to cover greed.

            You’ll regret it I can assure you… oh yes, it’s great fun at first, the green wellies and the obligatory labrador… not unlike being on holiday, but you’ll soon be pining for the convenience of living in the greatest city on Earth. Wait until you’ve a 40-mile return journey for a decent restaurant, a theatre, a museum, a library, a synagogue; wait until you discover with a shock that everyone in the village knows all about you and, unfortunately, you know all about them! Wait until you run up against their casual and tedious racism, their narrow-minded parochialism and their disdain for us “townies”.

            Listen to the wail of despair from those who preceded you to the wind-blown fringes of our country: the lost and the lonely. They hate it with a passion! They long to return to the city of their childhood but they can’t… their old communities are gone, sold for fool’s gold under Maggie’s Right to Buy Act, and unless you’re particularly well-heeled returning will be a financial impossibility.

            Burn your bridges if you like, but you’ll regret it until the day you die.

          • MA0

            Can you explain your interesting theory about how “Maggie’s Right to Buy Act” has lead to excessive immigration? Sounds really interesting.

            Meanwhile it seems clear to us non-intellectuals that the following factors have lead to mass immigration:
            1) unions inflating wages so that immigrant workers seem like a blessing, at least until they join unions
            2) a thoroughly indulgent welfare state
            3) uncontrolled borders as required by the EU
            4) inability to send people back whither they came due to a save-the-world welfare complex
            5) the Marxist idea that economic growth provides a blank cheque to spoil the less well-off, and therefore GDP is all that matters, not product per current Briton

            6) economic migrants from badly governed countries, including those which have suffered from Marxist revolution and Islamic hate-culture
            7) gerrymandering and anti-white racism by the Labour party

          • Abie Vee

            There is no connection between “right to buy” and immigration. There is a connection between right to buy and the exodus of traditional London communities to the fringes of this land.

            In a unionised environment, there is no mechanism whereby an immigrant can enter into the business and lower wages. It simply cannot happen. I can assure you of that after 30 years of experience in manufacturing industry. Unions are nothing at all if they are not protectionists and concerned with “differentials” [have you ever heard of that word? I doubt it]

            Indulgent? I met a man on the street last Saturday who assured me that his “entitlement” was £18 a week (some kind of hardship payment which could be withdrawn at any time: hardly what I’d call an “entitlement”).. Whoopee. Do you think that you could live on that indulgence?

            “Uncontrolled borders” Er, no… the UK has an opt-out from the Schengen agreement. What the UK chooses to do with the ex-Commonwealth, the remnants of Empire, is entirely our own business. NOTHING to do with the EU.

            Sending people back (as you put it) isn’t the real problem: it’s finding countries which will take them in!

            Marxism is about the distribution of wealth. [among many other things]

            Here I bail out, having lost track of you drivel/

          • Shorne

            Singapore fell in 1942, examples of BBC ‘appeasement line’ from that year please.

          • Petra Thompson

            “it will not be long before Jews, like those in Malmo, are told to remove religious headgear, gays hide their sexuality and British patriots run.”

            These things are already upon us. I have friends who teach law at university, and have done so for 30 years. They state how when they first started they would rarely have a class without some man wearing a kippah. They now say it is years since they have seen such a thing (and this with their university increasingly hugely in size over these past 30 years).

            Most of the gay bars in east London have closed down. About once every 2 years one can see someone who is identifiably gay on the street in east London. 20 years ago, the street where I live had 6 gay households out of 20 houses. Ours is the last household left on that street. 2005 was when the last gay person left.

            The maps showing population change in London boroughs based on race, show that the white population is falling in every borough except central London, Kingston, Bexley, Bromley, Havering and Hackney. You can be sure that it’s the deluded white Lefties who are living in the central boroughs and Hackney. Those with any sense have moved to the other boroughs.

          • Shorne

            Firstly Theresa May has refused to licence the use of water cannon in London despite Johnson already buying them, £250000 down the drain one could say.
            The 2011 census showed the White population of London to be 59.8% of which 44% were British. However there are wide variations between Boroughs some have BME populations of 80%, some have White populations at a similar level.
            I was born in 1950 and grew up in a village in Kent, some would say it was idyllic, Church with a chiming clock, cattle being herded through the street at milking time, amateur dramatics in the village hall, Village Fete in the grounds of the Big House. However once I came of age I fled to London which is infinitely better. There are in fact two working farms in the Borough where I live, one is just up the road from a tube station. Ten minutes away is a street we call ‘UKIP’s nightmare’ with an incredible variety of ‘ethnic’ food shops of exceptional quality and remarkable cheapness. My children went to school with a wide variety of fellow pupils from all over the World and still have many of them as friends and are the better for it.
            Your analogy of the fall of Singapore is little short of bizarre and ignores the part played by the British Indian Army in defeating the Japanese.
            By the way there is an English Language newspaper in Rio de Janeiro.

          • Abie Vee

            The statistics you quote about ethnicity are bogus. Why? Because it is up to those who fill in a census form to declare their origins, ethnicity, and by implication (inference) colour or racial origin. There is no audit.

          • Shorne

            Ah, typical reactionaries response to those troublesome things called facts “I can’t be wrong so millions of people are lying”…pathetic.

          • Abie Vee

            The 2001 Census suggested that one million people had simply disappeared since the previous census (a process given a massive impetus by the disastrous imposition of the Poll Tax). You can add to that figure the Government’s own upper estimation of the number of illegals living here (who are hardly going to declare themselves to any government body) and we arrive at a ball-park figure today of perhaps some 2 million people who are not included in the Census returns.

            Add to that the likely error-rate in form-filling of say 5% (we’ ll leave aside your sneers of “lying”), add to that the fact that much of the questioning of ethnicity was passport-based, and the fact that nearly 20% of UK residents to not own one, you will begin to see the more nuanced picture emerge through the film of your froth and bluster.

            Upon reflection, “Bogus” was perhaps too strong a word, but the figures are most certainly incorrect.

          • Shorne

            “suggested”,”estimation”, “ball-park”, “likely” is not evidence. Well, it is to you I suppose as it suits your agenda to rely on it.

          • Abie Vee

            When dealing statistically, one always works with probabilities, likelihoods, and with margins of error.

            You yourself also offer nothing but doubt. You don’t even take the time to seek alternative evidence… your doubt is enough for you.

            How conveniently Cartesian: you can indeed doubt anything you want to… (anything except the fact that you doubt).

            And you wriggle with semantics.

            Suggested: submitted. advocated.
            Estimation: evaluation.
            Ball-park : a figure within certain boundaries.
            Likely : probable. to be expected. more likely than not.

            You are something of a fraud are you not?

          • Shorne

            You suggest that 2 million people may not have completed their census forms in 2011. The UK population in 2011 was 63.26 million. Your totally unproven assertion, if correct, would not have radically affected the overall picture. I see the ad hominem attacks have started.

          • Abie Vee

            I indeed suggest that. Take the government’s own admission of a million people who disappeared in 2001, add to that there are no obvious reasons why that process should not have continued (many thousands of students have simply vanished off the radar rather than repay their loans), add to that the unknown unknowns (the number of illegals, the number of Census forms incorrectly filled in [for whatever reason, error or deception])) and I’ll be absolutely amazed if the figure is any less than 2 million. I’d bet my pension on it being higher.

            Be that as it may: the statistical difference is there nevertheless… “radically” is your word old bean. All polls are imperfect… you shouldn’t rely on them without taking that fundamental point into consideration: a 3% error is quite normal. 3% of 63.26 million is, um, er, oh, 1,897,800 million? Crikey… the combined population of Birmingham and Wolverhampton!

            Maybe that is “radical” after all!

          • Shorne

            A census is not a poll.

          • Abie Vee

            It is.

          • Shorne

            No it isn’t it’s about collecting facts not canvassing opinions and intentions.

          • Abie Vee

            A poll can also be a survey. The words poll and survey are synonymous.. You are as usual off the beam… I think you are referring to an opinion poll. Which is, of course, another matter.

          • Shorne

            People are required by law to fill in a census form, this does not apply to polls and surveys.

          • Abie Vee

            And WTF has that got to do with anything?

            I’ll admit I’m slow, but I get there in the end: you’re ‘avin’ me on.

          • Shorne

            That’s why I said a census is not a poll, do try and keep up.

          • Abie Vee

            Because it’s a legal matter? Nonsense of the very highest order. You’re just making it up.

          • Shorne

            “A census is a complete population count for a given area or place taken on a specific date.”

            the process of voting in an election.”

          • Abie Vee

            Good grief.

            Poll, synonyms, survey, count, tally. WTF is actually WRONG with you?

          • Shorne

            This exchange started when you refused to accept the findings of the 2011 census because it factually contradicted your standpoint so you started saying it was wrong and you were right. You then sought to muddy the waters by claiming a census is something it manifestly isn’t. So, as is usual with reactionaries, you ignore the facts and try and discredit me. One can usually tell people like you are losing it when upper case words start appearing.

          • Abie Vee

            My point was clearly made: that all surveys, polls, call them whatever you will, contain identifiable margins of error. Further, I indicated how and where the basis of those errors laid.

            No one has even attempted a refutation of my basic comments, why would that be? Because the premise is incontestable. At which point you run for cover behind pathetic semantic quibbles, so childish as to be laughable.

          • Shorne

            I’ll try again, this is about the 2011 Census participation in which, unlike ‘surveys’ and ‘polls’ is a legal requirement. It had an overall response rate of 94%, 98% in some areas. It showed that, even taking margins of error into account, 80.5% of the UK population were White British. Talk by the UKIP claque and worse of ethnic cleansing etc. is thus revealed to be rubbish. However I would not expect you to concede anything, looking at your last two sentences I suspect if you were made of chocolate you would eat yourself.

          • Abie Vee

            The “legal requirement” is a red herring. Completely irrelevant. Neither here nor there. A mere semantic wriggle in some kind of frenzied desperation to prove something or other (not quite sure what).

            80.5% are “White British” because they say they are! That is to say, more precisely, 80.5% of the people who filled in the questionairre said they were white. There is no way that I know of for verifying that figure.

            Likewise, we can only guess at the ethnicity of the two million or so people who are missing from the Census.

          • Shorne

            And there is no way you can prove they were not other than in your fevered imagination,still as the Reverend Sydney Smith put ‘Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man, it wasn’t reasoned in and it cannot be reasoned out.’

          • Abie Vee

            “Prove”? There you go again down your Cartesian escape hatch!

            I can prove (if needs be) that the accepted error rate is plus or minus 3%. That is to say, the error rate when surveys are conducted by professional interviewers… one would imagine that self-audited Census returns have an even higher level of error (the government admits to 95% accuracy…. indeed, in 2012 they had to backdate a Census housing error all the way to 1911).

            Using the government’s own best guesses I can easily back up my assertion that 2 million people are missing from the 2011 Census. The Guardian cites a much higher figure based on government sources, of 3,000,000! So for once in my life I am being conservative (small c).

            Quite what you yourself are trying to “prove” has been lost in your tsunami of needless semantic posturing, schoolboy point scoring, obfuscation, diversion and cant. It isn’t clear to me whether you are making a claim that there are more white people or fewer (or indeed if that is even the point of this extended communication).

            Anyhow, I’m certainly sure that whatever your point actually is, it’s quite immaterial to any comments I have made.

          • Abie Vee

            ZAT all you got?

          • Shorne

            Well yes as it shows your failure to grasp the situation.

          • sarahsmith232

            Spot on. Was in Tower Hamlets in 2010, got caught in that ring, couldn’t get out, they literally had the streets trapped off. Nobody could get out of Tower Hamlets!
            This Rifkind is on another planet. It’s the welfare dependant immigrant vote that accounts for Labour’s 44%. If anything, i’m amazed they’re only getting 44%, London’s become a 3rd world welfare ghetto. Mile after mile after mile of nothing but pound shops, kebab shops, Africans, burka’s and wannabe black Asians. Place is a hellhole.
            This Rifkind doesn’t know Manchester either, Manchester is basically Benefits St but with shops, bars and restaurants instead of terraced housing. Same people, go anywhere in Manc’ city centre and all you see are people lost to Labour’s welfare policies, everyone destroyed by long-term welfare dependency. The writer Rifkind has obviously never been there.

          • sarahsmith232

            do you know the names of the academics? there’s no way it’s only 5%, far, far higher.

          • Petra Thompson

            Leon Moosavi, lecturer at Liverpool University is one.

            Muslims are 14% of the general prison population. They are 21% of the Young Offenders. 25% of meat is halal.

            More likely, as Moosavi indicates, the muslim population of the UK is closer to 12%.

        • James Mayer

          No, never, in fact.

          • Harry

            Certainly within the next 20-30 years – or if the Left has its way and immigration continues from the 3rd world – sooner.

            Just see what’s happened to Malmo and Bradford.

        • vieuxceps2

          How long? Now.

        • takasar1

          seems to fly in the face of demographics….

    • justsomeone

      I think only 10% (“only”, haha) of London is Muslim. Not 50%.

      • fundamentallyflawed

        he didn’t say muslim – he said nonwhite. Not the same thing

        Edit *its a cunning twist of statistics. Whites are technically the majority still as the dominant ethnic group but are smaller than a rainbow coalition of non-whites.

        • Harry

          It still amazes me. As London slowly changes to a 3rd world slum, and millions of poor 3rd world immigrants flood in – people still imagine that its going to be OK.
          10% only? That’s the official figure I guess, what is the unofficial percentage?

          • MA0

            My wife and I visited the local primary school at which our boy has been offered a place. I’m born, bred and still living in Chelsea. 66% of children there come from non-English speaking homes. The friendly English staff proudly informed us that the school had received a juicy state pay-out for its conformance with the various left wing virtue rules, and we saw evidence of the extra staff effort that goes into coping with an absurd range of ability, including many children with no English just off the boat, and children with what looked like fairly severe idiocy. As far as I could discern, there were no white children at the school. Well, there was one blond boy. The staff member showing us round all the classes pointed him out to us with a kind of embarrassed pride. Look, that’s Peter, he’s from Latvia. Seriously, the staff at a Chelsea primary school point at a blond boy to prove they exist. It was surreal.

          • Harry

            Your story is terrifying. Its not immigrants I mind, but the fact that the crime, terrorism and welfare scrounging rate among these people is just terrifying.

          • Petra Thompson

            This reminds me of the education website I saw which praised the “multicultural success” of a school in Tower Hamlets. The educationalists saw no contradiction with saying that a school that was 99% muslim was multicultural. 95% of all its pupils were not only muslims, but were descended from one province of Bangladesh.

            No school that was 95% indigenous English would be regarded as a multicultural success. Indeed, I was reviewing the Ofsted reports for a school on the very periphery of London’s east, and Ofsted had given the school bad marks for not being diverse enough, when the school was almost certainly a reflection of the local demographics.

            These educational organisations are institutionally racist against the indigenous population of England.

          • Abie Vee

            You made that up.

          • MA0

            “You made that up.

            Standard Stalinist response to first hand account. No I didn’t make it up, it happened two weeks ago, but I’m not going to bother proving it to a deluded t w a t like you. Cheers.

          • Abie Vee

            “Stalinist”? In actual fact it is Rule One on page one of the UKIP Rapid Rebuttal Manual: Doubt the veracity of everything.

            “Institutional racism under the Tories? ha! Well if there is, I wouldn’t take Einstein to work out which way the bias ran.

          • MA0

            “You made that up.”

            In the event it turns out to be easier to provide evidence for my experience than I had thought.

            Let me first say I thought the staff and the school were excellent, and I wish every possible success to them and the children and families of the school. This is not an attack on those children or families who have come to this country with a great variety of rational incentives.

            Equally, there is another perspective, which is that it is an extraordinary and unsettling thing for a white Briton to walk into his local state school and realise that his child will be in a tiny ethnic minority, and that there will be scant traditional British culture amongst his peers’ families. This was not the case forty years ago.

            Here’s the school picture:


            Still think I made it up?

            The 66% statistic for children for whom English is not a first language is in the school’s own OFSTED report. The staff told us that they normally have some pupils who speak no English.

          • Abie Vee

            Some ghetto… by 2035 the average price of a London dwelling will be £1 million. It’s not only the poor who flock here old boy (and the poor don’t stay poor).

          • global city

            as it becomes more and more akin to the 3rd world the more it will function like part of it…. prices will plummet sooner or later and all the rich will move on.

          • Abie Vee


          • Abie Vee

            The rich never move on… they are perfectly happy where they are (until they are forcibly evicted).

        • justsomeone

          At least half and probably most of the immigrant population is Muslim. So they wouldn’t be 50%.

      • Brogan75

        i think that is way too much

    • alexw

      Your post is wrong. Demographics may have played a small role but that’s all. The european incomers cannot vote at general elections, nor can most non-europeans.

      The reason driving this trend is housing. Over 50% of the population of London now rents (was 50.5% in 2011 now over 60% I expect), and rents on average consume 60% of take home pay. It is basically a crisis zone for non home owners.

      Labour offered some policies that were attractive to renters, and with renters forming such a large share of the population (mansion tax, rent controls, etc) they gained a large increase in the voter share.

      The same will happen at the London mayoral election, and the Conservatives will do even worse in 2020 unless the situation is fixed.

      • montyburns56

        But most Commonwealth citizens can vote in our elections and they constitute a large portion of non-white Londoners.

    • Marcus

      Very true. Simple maths blows this pap article out of the

      Self sacrificing wealthy middle class Londoners all voting Socialist?


      There are far more poor people in London
      than rich. Just like everywhere else in the world.

  • Josh Cook

    Excellent article

  • Scradje

    London will become less labourite when the boundaries have been made more equitable.

  • Verbatim

    Decades ago I worked in television at Australia’s national broadcaster and ostentatious little ‘chardonnay socialists’ worked there with other, eager-to-be-accepted lefties of the inner urban variety imagining themselves to be the great thinkers, moralists and world saviours of the day. In reality, they were smug trendies in leather jackets who were every bit, if not more, materialistic – certainly light-years more condescending – than most and certainly fancied themselves as belonging in the true elite. And they had real contempt for those conservatives who actually did have wealth and social position, generally through family and successful businesses. I formed the view – as yet, still in my early 20s – that class warfare and resentment had the most unlikely allies.

    And I should mention that these same types put extreme pressure on others in the ABC to conform to their ‘orthodoxy’ from the Left. The situation remains the same today, I’m told.

    I’m leaving Europe (aka *Little Africa) in a week’s time and won’t ever *return. But I’ll watch British politics unfold with interest – albeit from afar.

    • JohnnyDuke

      Are you sure you aren’t talking of the BBC not the ABC ? or is this behaviour endemic at certain levels of the broadcast media.

      • Verbatim

        Both BBC and ABC are of the same mindset and philosophically interchangeable, I’m sorry to say!! I get where you’re coming from on this. My son has a friend working in the ABC news room in Sydney and they all stand up and cheer when something good happens within the Labor party!!!

      • jeffersonian

        In certain respects ABC is even more vitriolically lefty than the Beeb at its worst.

    • Shazza

      I think those people who are leaving the UK for Oz are merely jumping out of the proverbial frying pan into the fire.
      Percentages and demographics are against Oz and when Labor win there next time, the foot on the brake will be applied to the accelerator.

      • Verbatim

        I am not “leaving the UK” for Australia – the latter is my home. I’m returning after 3 months in Europe, where we spend lengthy periods in Vienna every 4 years or so.

        I agree with your comments about Labor in Australia and I’ll be working just as hard as I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

        • Shazza

          We really are living in dangerous times.
          Good luck in Oz – it’s a great country.

          • Verbatim

            Thanks so much, and we share many values with you people – not least being our national pride and the right to self-determination. Bugger off UN and it’s various “commissions”! That organization has out-grown its remit.

          • Sten vs Bren

            Or, indeed, anybody else.

    • Johnny Foreigner

      You lucky blighter, escaping, it’s what I dream about now, not a holiday home or retirement in the countryside, just to have the money to get away. Good luck.

      • Verbatim

        Thanks very much for your good wishes. It’s quite cheap to travel to Australia so why not come out? Of course, the 24 hours duration is the spoiler alert and I’m facing up to that myself on the return home next Friday (if my husband makes it through the week with a seriously infected tooth!!).

        We were heavily into “delayed gratification” when working and raising kids and are only just now, both well into retirement (my husband is 72 tomorrow), enjoying the ‘spoils’ as it were.

        I hope I didn’t offend with my comments about the UK – I’m sure the vast majority of your people are warm, friendly and decent (if those in Australia are anything to go by). I just don’t like the new arrivals all that much.

        • Harry

          Yes, I was in Australia when the Left brought in the migrants in the 90’s, the crime rate didn’t go up it exploded, but every night but the ABC kept up its mad pro-immigration propaganda.
          Lucky you to have escaped Europe’s sinking ship.
          Good luck to the great people of Australia.

          • Verbatim

            I’m in Austria and on the news this morning the government here has put some ‘migrants’ into ‘camps’ in Salzburg and some buildings in the 3rd District in Vienna: Landstrasse. That will go down like a lead balloon (it’s a major district of architectural and historic significance) because the people are quietly seething about the ‘migrants’. Everyone, over 45, you speak to says, “oh yes, it’s a very bad problem”. But people are afraid to speak, same as everywhere, for fear of being vilified. The horse has bolted I’m afraid.

            I want to live in Austria too, but I am not wanted. Educated, white, self-sufficient but over 60. Not of any use to them.

          • Harry

            1939 all over again. But people are afraid to speak, same as everywhere, for fear of being vilified”

            1939 in Austraia all over again.

          • Verbatim

            And on the Austrian news this morning a quote from the BBC that many ‘asylum seekers’ from Africa are from terrorist groups and are heading on the boats to Europe to “reek havoc” – this according to people smugglers from Africa.

            So, this is the price for outsourcing national security to people smugglers, refugee activists and Caritas.

          • Sten vs Bren

            How the indigenous people treat you immigrants?

          • styants64

            1939 all over again-it was the cretin that Austria produced Adolph Hitler who is responsible for this multicultural nightmare that we are now living in, there is in western Europe a massive counter reaction to Hitler’s white supremacy regime and it is orchestrated by cultural Marxists fascists.

          • Sten vs Bren

            Have you tried Baffinland?*

            * c. Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

        • Sten vs Bren

          You were a ‘new arrival’ once.

    • Sten vs Bren

      We are used to colonials taking against the mother country. Best of luck in your future wandering.

  • Robertus Maximus

    London may be trendy for some but not for those with established roots in that once beautiful city, who are now either fleeing in their droves or, due to circumstances or limited means, forced to endure the rest of their lives in an increasingly alien and deeply unpleasant environment. I belong to the former group – and very lucky to be away from it all. I keep a mental picture of how it used to be. I will never return, not even for a day. I will leave the incomers to fight it out amongst themselves for whatever is left of my once beloved old home town.

    • Harry

      The old London is becoming but a distant memory- it is turning into a 3rd world slum by the day. Areas once clean, safe and friendly are no more.
      Keep your memories close to your heart, London is on the precipice of slumdome.

      • Linda Smith

        Are we allowed to mention that London has become a TB capital in recent years.

        • Harry

          Only if you don’t mention immigration, which I’ve heard the BBC do.
          But of course most BBC employees are White and well off, so they don’t rub shoulders with the lower orders, or let their kids.

        • Callipygian

          But I was ‘screened’ for TB (with an utterly pointless chest X-ray) before I went with my American husband back to the US (which we had only recently left: just how quickly do they think an English girl contracts TB?).

          Who is screening those coming into England for it?

  • davidofkent

    Surely, the writer does not think that the voters who returned Labour wanted to pay any mansion tax themselves. Apart from the Lefties who bought their expensive houses years ago in parts of London which used to be cheap, the only people who live in London are either rich (and don’t care who is in government) or on welfare and expect other people to do the paying. The suburbs are a different matter altogether.

  • It isn’t just Lefties who should cherish London while they still can, it is native Englishmen and women of all political ideologies. It takes several decades to go from majority English to minority English, but only 1-2 decades to go from there to no English at all.

    • Sten vs Bren

      English people are people from England. There’s millions of us in London.

  • Johnny Foreigner

    What a load of vacuous blather, no mention of the future mirroring the Third World then? When did you last go to Specsavers Hugo?

  • justsomeone

    In twenty five years there’ll be so many Muslims in London that few non Muslims would want to live there. There’ll be nothing trendy about it. Not many fashion shows are frequented by women wearing a burkha.
    Even UKIP don’t speak out specifically about mass Muslim immigration.
    You’d think there’d be debates on television about whether Britain will be Muslim in 2040, 2050 or 2060 and of whether that’s desirable. Instead, whenever the topic raises its head, it’s head is clobbered to sink without a trace. The pc line is that Britain isn’t on its way to become a Muslim country (let alone an Islamic country) and yet that’s a lie too big to swallow. If they want to make the case that there’s nothing wrong with our finding ourselves and our children living in a Muslim country, that’s one thing. It’s quite another to refuse to discuss the matter.

    • Sten vs Bren

      “there’ll be so many Muslims in London that few non Muslims would want to live there”

      I bet you £1000 that this does not happen.

      “You’d think there’d be debates on television about whether Britain will be Muslim in 2040, 2050 or 2060”

      No, you wouldn’t.

      • justsomeone

        You mean, you think it would take 34 years?

        “No, you wouldn’t”

        You mean that we’re held in a vice by political correctness that one actually wouldn’t expect there to be any debates on television about when Britain will be a Muslim country and what life in Britain will then be like? Well, I suppose I agree with you.

        The Muslim population keeps doubling in size every few years while the non Muslim population actually shrinks. This is an ongoing trend. Muslims are now some 5% of the population but just over 10% of newborns, so it’s silly to pretend that Britain will not belong to the Muslim ‘community’ – and be run by the Muslim ‘community’ within our lifetime, certainly in our children’s lifetime.

        • Sten vs Bren

          “You mean, you think it would take 34 years?”

          No, it won’t happen. People used to say that old line about the blacks, and then the Sikhs. I have a long memory. Are you up for the bet?

          “we’re held in a vice by political correctness”

          No, I am not and you are not. I bet you another £1000 that most people are not.

          “the non Muslim population actually shrinks”

          No, the non Muslim population grows.

          “it’s silly to pretend that Britain will not belong to the Muslim
          ‘community’ – and be run by the Muslim ‘community’ within our lifetime, certainly in our children’s lifetime”

          No. it would be silly to pretend the opposite as you are doing.

          • justsomeone

            Where did you get the funny idea that the non Muslim population here in Britain is growing? Noone is even claiming that the non Muslim population here is growing. Instead, people just say “oh, the trends will change, the Muslims will not continue to have many children”.

            The Muslim population has doubled again and again and right now, the proportion of Muslim babies is double that of Muslims in the population – 5% of the population and 10% of the babies, which means there’s no slow down in the Muslim birth-rate.
            If we were talking about Muslims being the majority in 370 years then I’d understand your being skeptical but it should happen in about 40 years, some would say less, some would say 50 years, just 2 generations. No time for them to have a nice, steady drop in their birthrates before they’re the majority.

            Surely even you with your head in the sand can appreciate that this is at least debatable, yet there are no debates on television over where we’re heading and when (you would say “if”) we’ll be living in a Muslim country.

  • Harry

    The London we knew is disappearing in a tidal wave of immigration, like a child’s sandcastle under a changing tide.

    BBC journalists and their friends live in White areas, send their kids to private White schools, and go to White newsrooms, they go to White journalist clubs like the Ivy and Frontline and enjoy White only lives – but this will change too.

    I know I have friends there and go to these places.

    London is soon to be a 3rd world toilet. And its only a matter of years. Just look at Paris, Brussels, Malmo and then weep for England.

    • Linda Smith

      It’s “enriching” don’t you know.

    • Sten vs Bren

      Sorry but you don’t seem to know London very well. There are no special journalists’ ‘white areas’ with ‘white schools’. We all live side by side.

      Also, I assure you that most journalists do not go to the Ivy which is not a club but a restaurant.

  • MA0

    Rifkind, your writing is dire: “Often it plans to one day go home again, but probably never will.” As I laboured over this ugly and unclear sentence for the third time, I realised that you are trying to sound conversational, like Philip Larkin. However, Larkin could make his nonsense beautiful: “Something, like nothing, happens anywhere.”

    Later I came to an even more painful sentence and skipped to the generally well written comments, on the assumption that you would conclude as you went on, with nothing much to say. This was the final straw: “Indeed, the places that seem to now loathe London the most are also the places which seem to be the most like London in soul and spirit.” The endless split infinitives don’t help the fact that it’s all just a load of hackney bollocks.

    Please read what you write before publication. This kind of drivel is the reason that I don’t take a newspaper.

    • Mc

      Rifkind sees himself as a brilliant intellectual who delivers his breathtaking, though convoluted, insights with captivating humour. His responses to comments here and on his Twitter feed indicate that he doesn’t take kindly to criticism, so don’t be surprised if his response is liberally laced with Fs.

      • MA0

        Haha, yes. I don’t mind the Fs as much as a writing style which seems to have been passed through an office shredder. Good writers used to be succinct, but the style and content of this aimless and meandering doggerel is a waste of our time.

        • Mc

          Aimless meandering, along with the occasional parable is his signature writing style.

  • Callipygian

    Well, I don’t know a d@mn thing about London, since my people are from Walthamstow and Chingford. That’s like saying you come from Pompeii, after Vesuvius erupted. It’s all buried and there’s no chance of going back (even if I wanted to, and I don’t).

  • Harry

    In my job I sometimes drive around London, I just want to weep.
    I see lovely old areas with churches, town halls, scout huts – all the remnants of Judeo-Christian civilisation only recently. Places that were clean, prosperous, hard working and proudly British.
    Now they are slums, rubbish everywhere, no care, men hanging around who have never worked, women in bin bags – all immigrants.
    Houses once cared for with manicured lawns, now looking like shacks, filth, squalor and poverty where once Shakespeare was read and democratic values cherished.
    Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere women in head scarves with children.
    This is not immigration, it isn’t multiculturalism, its a takeover.
    It is so upsetting that I, like so many other natives, am moving out – we are leaving and London will be for them.

    • Sten vs Bren


  • Precambrian

    “to reduce the value of its own housing stock”

    Interesting phrasing. Reducing cost is not reducing value, and homes are only housing stock to the philistine.

  • Maureen Fisher

    Surrey is still fairly English and middle class. Having lived right next to a mosque in North London, that’s why we moved here – to regain the feeling of living in my own country and not in Pakistan.

    • Sten vs Bren

      Surrey with the fringe on top.

  • Nick

    I was born and bred in a west London suburb into a working class family.And to cut it short,my parents moved us to Cornwall in 1974 because they saw what was happening in our street,our town,our borough and our city.

    Even back then my parents understood the threat of a muslim dominated culture and got us the hell out of London.

    It’s not that my parents had a problem with black people,it was more of a problem with the complete Asian/muslim culture change that rapidly took place.My parents recognized that something was going wrong.

    Me and the wife visit London usually twice per year for the shopping and theatre etc and we moan about the muslim dominance in London.

    Burqas,aggressive muslims trying to give us leaflets in Oxford street,aggressive speaking muslims at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park,the Tower Hamlets debacle…..I could go on but I guess you get the picture.

    I love London but I hate (with a self surprising disturbing vengeance) what it is becoming.

    • Sten vs Bren

      I blame your parents.

      • Nick

        LOL! So do I but I don’t half miss my mums cottage pie and my dads braised lamb hearts.

  • Marcus

    What an Owen Jones / BBC uninspiring & lazy article.

    “You’d think that relatively rich people who wanted a relatively fairer
    society would be considered broadly a good thing,”

    What sort of a sentence is that?
    Who says that Socialism is fairer than Conservatism and Libertarianism?
    Left wing people.
    I vote for the right because I believe they are fairer.
    Who is sorting out the millions squandering thier lives on
    benefits? IDS. And what is he Hugo….? He’s right wing.
    Who is giving poor children good schools?
    Gove. Is he a Lefty?

    It is exactly the sort of lazy pathetic rhetoric in this article that got the Tories in:

    Left wing people are nice and want to give their money away and right wing
    people aren’t and wont to keep people poor.