Friday, August 25, 2023


In London there is the City and the city -the Urbs-. One is greedy and international, willing to revisit the unforgivable Brexit decision. The city remains contemptuously English with the peculiar mannerisms that come with it.

Obviously Brexit created a gridlock and an economic slowdown that continue to haunt the business community. The former model of free-enterprise and deregulation has become a machine stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare of its own making. The open market became to the UK what a free market might feel like for the Chinese. The City struggles to retain its former sterling reputation and relevance as a financial hub.

The city self remains as arrogant and perversely funny as before. Unlike other capitals on the Continent, London was always a Commonwealth-obsessed city, showing little interest for other capitals, who struggled for relevance in a world that has chosen English over nostalgia. London never gave up its arrogance, even in its more vulgar, quaint appearances.

London retains that exceptional vibrant quality which also benefits from the input from what Churchill called the "English speaking people". Other capitals might look romantic, spectacular, impressive, but none beats London in cosmopolitan allure. Yes, the Londoners can be supercilious, inhabiting a world of sweets, tea time and mannerisms, but these are just a cauda in a play.

Probably the continental Europeans miss the British more than they themselves want the former anchor to the continent restored. The EU is a club of frustrated countries that compete for lost relevance. The Londoner can still rejoice in wit and pomp, knowing that he is the world's second-best entertainer, after the United States. 

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