Five reasons it might not be so bad to have Boris as Mayor after all

1. The Mayor doesn’t have much to do anyway. He may have an £11B budget but it’s really only half a job. New Labour deliberately hobbled the Mayor’s office from the beginning by retaining control of everything important at the centre and providing no direct tax raising powers. The remarkable thing about Ken’s tenure has… Continue reading Five reasons it might not be so bad to have Boris as Mayor after all

Published
Categorized as London

Spitting nails in London W1

Passing The New Piccadilly today I got chatting with Lorenzo, the owner. His battle with the landlords isn’t going well… (More pics here).

Published
Categorized as London

Londony things

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… Continue reading Londony things

Published
Categorized as London

On the buses

The Routemasters are like jellied eels or Hawksmoor Churches or those people who swim in the ponds on Hampstead Heath. They’re eccentric and they say something about London’s weirdness and complexity and also its attachment to worn-out ideas and things. History tells us we won’t miss the old buses as much as we think we… Continue reading On the buses

Published
Categorized as London

Parking people

Why are 80% of Central London parking attendants from West Africa? Terrific Radio 4 programme (MP3) by Ade Daramy. These guys take terrible stick from God fearing Londoners who think it’s OK to throw dog shit, darts and racist language at them because they fight the good fight against out-of-control traffic congestion and antisocial motorists.… Continue reading Parking people

Published
Categorized as London

7/7?

Looks like only the foreign press has adopted 7/7 as a name for yesterday’s bombings. Seems crass to be worrying about labels but a unique tag for the events would be useful – it would make finding references (in the blogosphere, news, flickr and so on) much easier. That terrible day was characterised by a… Continue reading 7/7?

Published
Categorized as London

The day after infamy

A big city is an amazing thing. It’s obviously more than the sum of its parts. This city’s history makes it wide open, accepting, perhaps incautious and that makes London a perfect target for the psychopathic criminal nihilists but it also makes it a robust and adaptable entity. Even an ingenious, distributed attack on the… Continue reading The day after infamy

Published
Categorized as London

And watch out for those pea-soupers…

Strange ‘insider tips’ from The Economist’s London City Guide that came through my letterbox the other day, apparently cut and pasted from a 1950s travel guide: Table manners are keenly observed as a sign of good breeding. Never talk with your mouth full; never reach across the table; do not wave cutlery around or yell… Continue reading And watch out for those pea-soupers…