I drove, on the afternoon of yesterday’s catastrophic elections, across a large slice of North and East London, from suburban Hertfordshire to Stratford in the East End and then – via a nostalgic peep at my old flat next to the flyover (and the planned Olympic Village) in Bow – to Stoke Newington and back home again via the Holloway Road and the A1.
The city is on good form, doing that thing it does when the sunshine returns – shoving open its doors and giving the good weather a sort of tentative “don’t wind me up you slag” welcome (because, obviously, it’ll be pissing down tomorrow).
So Walthamstow and Leytonstone (those jewels of the North Circular) were looking a bit more like Sienna or Granada today: chairs propping open shop doors and streets full of crop-tops and happy slappers and graphic designers making a serious attempt to make Upper Clapton Road a bit more like The Ramblas.
The local authority elections gave the whole thing an extra buzz, of course. I passed dozens of polling stations and the heat-haze gave them all a bit of Cape Town glamour. The fact that 40% of the white folk around me had just voted for a fascist hardly troubled me at all…