The end of the world is nigh, and it’s started in London (the beginning of the end). When you’re there, and in its rougher boroughs or mingling in its underbelly, you can feel it.
Media coverage of London is hardly ever positive these days – it’s all about gun crime, knife crime, 19 teenagers killed this year already, and hopelessness. Shots of high rises. The Ferrier Estate. Organic veg stalls for the rich. Tourists clogging up Leicester Square.
It’s the perfect city for destruction. By that I don’t mean it should be destroyed, or that it destroys you – what I mean is that if you like a challenge, and want to experience what life might be like when it all goes downhill, just go there. It’s quite dark and hostile, but you can imagine yourself in an apocalyptic episode of Doctor Who. It’s not going to get any better either.
There again, maybe it never was. Having read London: A Social History seemed to confirm that the city has always been overall an apocalyptic, dangerous, stinky, unpleasant mess.*
*unless you’ve got money, in which case it’s fab!