Saturday, September 3, 2011

Basil Fawlty's London

Following our link to Richard Glover's interview with John Cleese during which the comedian claims London  is "no longer an English city" there have been howls of outrage in a British newspaper. The London Evening Standard and it's readers have taken Cleese to task.

London mayor Boris Johnston is reported as saying in response to Cleese  "we should celebrate the capital's diversity" while former mayor Ken Livingstone said :"to stay competitive London must be what New York is to the USA, a global centre of business, culture and innovation, none of which can be achieved without people of all nations working and living here. Without that London's status as a driver of the British economy would be permanently lost."

Cleese said that "the capital feels like a foreign city and that English culture is disappearing."
"I'm not sure what's going on in Britain. Let me say this, I don't know what's going on in London because London is no longer an English city and that's how they got the Olympics  "

The Sydney Morning Herald's travel writer The Backpacker ( Ben Groundwater) agrees with Johnson and Livingstone. 

He said : "London still feels like the centre of the universe. You stroll the streets and there are Indians, Pakistanis, Turks, Iranians, Poles, Spaniards, French, Americans and, of course, Australians. It's as if the whole world has come to visit ". He qualified  that with :  "The city still has its down sides, of course. The weather's crap. Well, actually, the weather's great, and then it's crap, and then it's great, and then it's crap again – and that's before you've even had lunch. "

Read the full report here in the London Evening Standard. 
The Backpacker's website is here.