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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on July 7, 2009, and categorized as Flip side.
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London is a mad place in general. That quote “If you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life” should be seen in context. It’s for the person in the insane hospital who does not dare to leave, in case his or her world is challenged by realities far more comfortable and humane.

What do we have that you don’t? Opportunities which are about to evaporate, stranded by the financial tide, competition, chaos, universal health provision from world class hospitals, terrible rates of death from preventable disease, air pollution every bit as bad as Beijing, Heathrow Airport’s ninth runway already on the drawing board, ready to eat up Reading.

We’re well on track to host the Olympics, but failing to address the sticky problem of the 19,000 toilets that London will need to cope with tourist effluent. This kind of sums up my town – ambitious but not good at washing its hands, except of responsibility for the global financial slump which of course was all Wall Street.

Despite this, we do not have fascism. In the apathetic Euro elections, the far right BNP and the Conservative party made no gains in the metropolis, while the Greens advanced from 6% to 9%.

As the Thames rises inexorably, and the Thames barrier prevents the North Sea from swallowing parliament, envy us only the constant hum of our latent political conscience, and be careful about shaking hands.

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