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Is London a bit of a Scotland – totally out of touch with “real England”

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 10 May 2015

It is clear that Scotland now thinks totally differently to England in social, economic and political terms. It is another country and it must be given independence now – more on that later. But there is another country within England – London. 

As a resident of the boonies and someone born and raised a small town boy I have always thought Londoners odd. As they wander around buying properties on a sub 1% yield and thinking that is a bargain, paying £100 for underwater yoga sessions and more for regular colonic irrigation the middle classes of London just seem peculiar to me. 

And in political terms the whole City is also out of step with the rest of England. In the capital UKIP has almost no support. London did serve up surprise Labour gains. Sitting Labour MPs enjoyed increased majorities. It was just not like the rest of Britain.

London’s middle classes are more multicultural than the rest of England and more relaxed about immigration and socially tolerant. All of those things I welcome.  The white London working class has moved in large swathes to Essex and Hertfordshire leaving an urban poor which is far less white than in the rest of England. 

And that means that London’s voters voters and – consequently -  the politicians who live there, notably all of the Labour and Tory elite, have a rather different mindset to mainstream England. I suspect that is partially why Labour remains so unelectable in vast swathes of England.  It is why the Tories can only win the Mayoral election by putting up someone above politics, the buffoon Boris. And it is perhaps why the Londoncentric liberal BBC found what happened on Thursday night so hard to understand. With minimal experience of life in the rest of England it was as if they were staring at the actions of aliens for the first time.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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