Why is London a Great City ?
January 16, 2008, 02:58 PM
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An article in The Independent recently reported a study which declared London the "capital of the world":
London has topped the most exhaustive comparison ever compiled of the world`s great cities in a finding that sees Britain`s capital outstrip global rivals as a centre of economic performance and cultural significance. Following months of research of population figures, financial markets, tourism trends, transport facilities and data relating to sports and arts events and transport, the study comes to a dramatic conclusion: London is the world`s capital city.
The article gives some specific reasons for London`s rating :
With one of the world`s most ebullient stock exchanges, a bustling and economically attractive City, the highest number of Unesco World Heritage Sites in any city, and a truly international restaurant scene that typifies its cultural make-up with more ethnic restaurants than any other metropolis, London scores highly across the board.... London achieved particularly strong ratings for its much-maligned underground Tube network (the world`s first), its cultural credentials and for hosting the Olympic Games twice in a century (1908 and 1948).

Indeed, there are many reasons to consider London a great city, it has a long list of historical accomplishments in the political, economic, literary, religious, scientific, and architectural fields. As an American, I`d also like to point out that, 400 years ago, our own nation was founded by the Virginia Company of London and that the city has much to do with the cultural/legal/political foundation of the U.S.A.

Nowadays of course, it`s considered necessary to tout diversity as a reason for London`s success. For example, London`s Mayor Ken Livingstone (also known as "Red Ken") said that

" Londoners are proud of our `unity in diversity` and regard the multiculturalism of our city as one of its greatest strengths. With over 300 languages spoken here, London is literally the most international city in the world."

And Frenchman Laurent Feniou said that

"You never really feel like a foreigner in central London. Whether it`s food, clothes or people, the diversity is just amazing."

Yes, diversity is great, isn`t it ? But what does it really entail?

In London, diversity really means making London a city that is less British . And if diversity is given the credit for great ethnic restaurants, should it also be given the credit for the threat of terrorism, and the July 2005 terrorist attack in London, mostly carried about by British-born Muslims ? Isn`t that another example of diversity ?

For a chilling example of today`s British diversity, watch this video interview with British-born Mullah Anjem Choudhury, who explains how Muslims are, by definition innocent, and non-Muslims are, by definition, not innocent, thus refusing to condemn terrorist bombings.

So if people like Anjem Choudhury take over London, will it still be a great city? And if so, in what way ?