Tuesday, April 19, 2011

London and Not-London

Rod Lidl writes a lot of sloppy, pointlessly provocative tosh (as Nick Cohen knows, it's not easy to keep generating controversial angles and moral outrage to deadline), but this is very good:

Not-London does not think like London; it has its own ideas. And these ideas have diverged from those of the capital over the last 20 years; they were always a little distant, but never so much as they are now. Economics is, as ever, at the heart of this widening chasm.

It is often said, by its critics, that the BBC has an inherently left-wing bias across its output. I don’t think this is correct. It is certainly biased, but it is not, to my mind, a left-wing bias: it is a metropolitan liberal bias. It is not noticeably biased on issues such as the minimum wage, or redundancies, for example, or the need for the government to invest in industry, which you might expect if its bias was truly from the left. Its bias is that of London’s: a sort of mimsy faux-leftism based on economic self-interest. We are ruled by the ideas of London — or, to be more accurate, a certain affluent and arrogant part of it. A gilded crescent that stretches from Ealing in the west to Hoxton in the east, south to Dulwich, Greenwich and Wimbledon, and north to Hampstead Garden Suburb. From within this place emanate all the shibboleths of Politically Correct Britain, and its epic sense of rectitude that no person in public life dare challenge.

Evangelistically secular, socially ultra-liberal and unwilling to allow even the mildest challenge to its political hegemony. And you can see why; for the London middle class, immigration, for example, means nicer food on the high street, much cheaper nannies and plumbers and mini-cab drivers and so on. (But this is just the London middle class: to be sure, there are plenty of parts of London that should also be designated Not-London; the poorer, nastier bits, where these views do not hold sway). Beyond London, out in the desolate wilds of Not-London, ie in the rest of England, the economics do not work in quite the same way.

(from a duelling article with AA Gill about the BBC move to Salford, alas behind the paywall)


The Spine said...

Saw this about a week ago and my estimation of Liddle rose considerably at the same time as the esteem I’d previously had for Gill declined. There’s a good video which goes with the articles. Gill lost one reader on the basis of that performance.

Brit said...

Yes I read it on hol and was mighty impressed by Liddle winning that one from what I expected to be a weaker position.

That still doesn't excuse most of Lidl's output though. The one about blacks on the Speccie that (for once, rightly) got him into trouble was one of the most lazy, stupid bits of provocation I've seen in the mainstream media for ages.

worm said...

good stuff - I've always thought that my london acquaintences have a particular sort of 'london politics', and vice versa for the countryside dinner party set