28 February 2018

Capital

Boxes in Wood Green
When barbarians from The North descend upon London they are often amazed. They see where the lion's share of our nation's wealth is spent. There's Big Ben undergoing a lengthy refurbishment (estimated £61 million) and there's Buckingham Palace ready to undergo its own improvements (estimated £369 million) and there's the new Crossrail project (estimated £14.8 billion). There are many other costly projects, including of course The London Olympics of 2012. Yes - that's London for you. Plenty of capital in the capital.

Meanwhile, London's senior citizens enjoy free public transport use from the age of sixty and schools, the police and local councils receive preferential funding too. Folk from The North can only look on with mandibles sagging. We are poor cousins but we are used to it.  National politicians live and work in London so we guess  it's only natural that they'd want to look after number one first and scorn The North. It's what they have always done.

To people from The North, London is another country.

And here's a random parade of pictures of the place - snapped this very weekend gone by.
Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square
St Paul's seen from The Oxo Tower Pier
London Eye pod with gull above it
Cafe in the South London suburb of Morden
In Wood Green - photo in the style of Steve Reed
Statue of Jan Smuts in Parliament Square
The Walkie Talkie Bulding
seen from Tate Modern

30 comments:

  1. Well given that I live In Australia's biggest city and have the same benefits of London I can't say much except that there is a huge amount of pressure on services in big cities

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    1. In Sheffield and other northern cities, road surfaces are badly maintained because of funding but in London the surfaces are generally smooth and properly marked. London school class sizes are smaller. London gains many unfair advantages.

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  2. What we need is a "northern rebellion" like they did in the 1500's
    That'd show 'em!

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    1. Arise ye northern hordes! Let us go forth unto The Cissy South and wreak our sweet revenge!

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    2. And don't forget yer big coat!

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  3. I'm a "senior citizen" who receives an Aged Pension. I never use public transport. I pay for my own vehicle, its upkeep and the fuel to run it, to enable me to get around. I wish I wasn't dependent upon the pension, but it is what it is.

    If London was allowed to go to wrack and ruin the people would soon be up in arms over the dire situation. Similar would apply to major cities in other countries throughout the world.

    I guess the "city fathers" can't win, either which way, but they have to dress for every game.

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    1. Sheffield is a major city, so is Leeds, so are Manchester, Bradford, Hull, Liverpool and Newcastle. All we would like to see is fairness. London gets the cream. We get the skimmed milk.

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    2. Well, there you go! You are up in arms!

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  4. Well, if it makes you feel any better, even people in London aren't satisfied with the services and amenities we have. People are fighting Crossrail and the "bicycle superhighway" and various other improvements. We're never happy!

    I AM impressed with the transportation and ease of access we have now, though. I can't compare it to elsewhere in England, having not lived anywhere else, but I'm sure London both sucks a lot of resources away and contributes a lot of resources back. There are probably plenty of competing theories on how that balances out.

    I love your "Steve Reed" photos -- ha!

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    1. In paragraph 2 you are sitting on the fence Steve! Too much fence-sitting may result in haemorrhoids so be warned! By the way, it's quite easy to produce a Reedesque picture. All you need is a shopfront and somebody passing by.

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  5. I'd happily swap places for the gorgeous countryside you have around you and the ridiculously cheaper house prices. We Southerners feel hard done by too!! Miles of concrete jungle and a struggle to even afford a garage, let alone a one-bedroom apartment.

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    1. And I would be happy to arm wrestle you ADDY! North v South or in other words - Hard Knock Reality Rovers v Soft Underbelly Plum Munchers.

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  6. You could always move, YP ;)

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    1. Nope. We couldn't afford to and besides living in The North does have its compensations.

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    2. And living in London also has its compensations; why should it be different?

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    3. I don't know what you mean.

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    4. I meant there are compensations for living in either place: in the North you pay less to live and have pleasanter surroundings; in London you pay more to live but have to put up with concrete and metal. Doesn't it all balance out?

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  7. In my haste to be snarky, I forget to say how lovely your photos were. I especially enjoyed the Steve Reed style picture; it even has a funky name like many of Steve's shots! And is the Walkie Talkie building really called that?

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    1. That's its colloquial name. It is really 20 Fenchurch Street.

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  8. I just read about the 20 Fenchurch Street building and I think it looks rediculous there. The old building was fine! And, so many problems it keeps having.

    Anyway, why did your country give seniors services such as the transport only in the London area? That's not fair. There are more areas than that which would benefit greatly from the same cost reductions for seniors.

    (Here I am giving my opinion about your government when I am over here living under the bully, Donald, and his children and best friends.)

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    1. In England, seniors don't qualify for free travel passes until they are 65. In Wales and Scotland you only need to be 60 and in London it's the same. This unfairness makes my blood boil.

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  9. Well, London certainly looks like a great city. I'm not sure about the rest of the country.

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    1. London is certainly a buzzing, vibrant city but Yorkshire is much, much better.

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  10. You should try living in the US before you complain about the public services in England! Free travel passes? Ha! We can't even get baseline medical attention without a huge price tag attached. Our elderly and veterans often live below the poverty line. It's disgraceful.

    Yes, I'm a little bitter. I'd love to have the life security you have in your country. Wanna trade? :)

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    1. We pay handsomely for it through our working lives. Nothing is ever really free.

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    2. I understand that. I hope you didn't take offense to my comment. I was partly joking anyway.

      And honestly, I would be glad to pay higher taxes in return for a better social safety net. I'm envious of the way you do things across the pond. :)

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    3. Trouble is this Brexit thing could scupper our dreams.

      And no of course I was not offended by your comment Jennifer. America seems to be becoming a different place from the one I experienced and loved in the mid-seventies.

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  11. Your picture of people on the tube yesterday shows that Londoners are not too happy with their lot!

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    1. You are right Margaret. I think they were all going to a funeral!

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  12. Every always believes that everyone else gets a bigger share than they do whether it be ice cream or government expenditure. Living where I do I see a lot of that: "Stornoway gets everything".

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.