London is a miserable place

Why on earth would anyone choose to live or work there? Today it’s been hot, smelly, noisy, bad-tempered and overcrowded everywhere I’ve been. Breaking with my normal habit, I picked up a copy of the Evening Standard to read on the train back home to Derby, hoping it might shed some light on why anyone with a desire to have a decent quality of life might want to live there. I’m even more confused than ever after reading it. A selection of articles from tonight’s edition:

  • House prices set to soar by 6% – the value of a family home will soon be £500,000 in the capital. You’d probably get two very nice four bedroom detached houses for that amount of money in Derby – and the glorious Peak District is on your doorstep.
  • Tube passengers sweat it out as temperatures top 34C to beat Bali. If I were from Bali I’d be hugely annoyed by that comparison. Bali is nothing like a dirty, smelly, hot, overcrowded tube carriage.
  • Three cyclists have been killed on London’s roads in the past three weeks. That’s shocking. Anywhere else in the country it would be on the front page of the local newspaper, be the top item on the regional TV news and radio and politicians would be resigning. In London it appears that all people do is shrug and blame cyclists for breaking the rules of the road. In tonight’s Standard, this is a story hidden away at the bottom of page 15.
  • In the richest city in the country where some of the most highly paid individuals are employed, London doesn’t appear to be able to afford to pay a living wage to the cleaners who look after our Whitehall mandarins.

… and most Londoners still think that Boris Johnson is a good choice as a mayor.

I rest my case.

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