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London is overpriced, overhyped and over-rated

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The capital’s decline will be great for other British cities, says Rory Olcayto

London is in decline. It’s too expensive now for young, clever people with new ideas about life, the universe and everything - unless they are bankers or toffs, of course.

Or foreign students with rich parents who don’t mind that their kids spend 17 grand on a bottle of champagne in some crappy West End club just because a lap dancer smiled in their general direction.

Or Geneva-based hedge fund managers who plunge their millions into basement projects in Knightsbridge because the returns are better than the interest rates in their local Swiss bank.

Or celebrity-class humanoids who’ve launched some pointless accessory that poorly paid drone-workers born and bred in Stratford save up a couple of months wages and then queue up for in the rain overnight to buy so they can brag about it on Facebook.

Or media-class chancers whose jobs will go pop in 4.7 years time, but still draw a decent 80 grand salary because they’ve convinced the even more under-threat executives and managers they service that they are the ones who can help steer the whole ship through choppy digital waters, yet instead of saving their dosh blow it on mediocre fusion grub in one of London’s many ahh-mazing restaurants dahling. (‘Extravagant? Not really. We bought a four-bed in Dulwich in, like, 1996. Chillax. How’s your baba ghanoush by the way?’)

Or political-class bluffers who make their money god knows how but, let’s be honest, probably because they’re being paid by corporations to ask questions in the Commons the answers to which will be of great benefit to their secretive paymasters.

Or tech whizz-kidults who translate an 80s Sinclair Speccy game into a smart phone app and reap the rewards when a hundred thousand bored commuters download it for £2.29 and only play it once because they’d forgotten how rubbish it was when they played it last in 1986.

Old Street

Actually, that last one, hold on. The start-up crowd, the Silicon Roundabout mob, the ones who are supposedly building London’s new economy, the ones David Cameron is backing with his Tech City plans; the same lot to whom during a visit to Downing Street, as the Evening Standard reported, Cameron offered a pair of tickets to the final of the women’s Olympic beach volleyball for the one which created the most jobs. (Tech City is still a very blokey sector, more so even than dear old architecture.) Well, it’s not all going to plan here. London’s too expensive for them, too. What’s more, Cam’s hyping of Tech City has been blamed for inflating rent levels there. Oh dear.

It’s true. The rising cost of living in the capital means start-ups could well consider setting up elsewhere. In Birmingham, for example, as was widely reported last week, following a recently commissioned survey whose results highlighted the high costs of doing business in London. Carried out by YouGov for Business Birmingham, the survey questioned more than 150 managers of small to medium-sized firms in the capital. A full 70 per cent of respondents said they were ‘struggling to grow’. About half said it was ‘too expensive’ to run a business in London; and a quarter or so said they could not find decent staff.

Wouter Schuitemaker, investment director of Business Birmingham, said his city was looking to lure these companies away from London. ‘We’re seeing a surge in interest from innovative tech firms,’ he said. And they’re the ones who want to grow, but can’t afford to in the capital. London is in decline. Hooray! Isn’t it great? Yes it is - for other British cities.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • yes london is hugely overrated. The only thing that makes london ie london is the false airbrushed pictures in magazines, ovrrated tv talk and shows and news brain washing. London is very very very stressful, the people in london are very very ill mannered and very very rude. They treat each other really badly, no manners at all. The traffic oh the traffic is far too much, its really really bad. How these people do this in the morning for work and then going home again at night, every single day must be really affecting on there health for stress and anxiety. Everyone looks to be on there nerves edge to me, they are not relaxed at all, far from it and i don,t think they realise how bad there stress really is. Its very filthy in london ie there is lots and lots lots of rubbish in london and i noticed going in to london how run down and dirty the roads are, like no one has bothered to clean the roads in years there filthy, and i thought how can this be after all the hype. Most roads are blocked or you can,t park there and you can,t park there, and you can,t go down that road and so on and so on. So why did you build a road there if you can,t use it. To get anywhere is london is like an army of ants gone mad in the morning, everyone is very dangerous whith there driving. I saw lots of car drivers cutting just in front of fully loaded very heavy lorrys and breaking really hard, that is insane. Im surprised they don,t kill each other, as they are only a few hairs from doing so. There are a lot of run down area,s in london, and a lot of doggy looking places all so, i did not feel safe in london at all, it felt very very aggressive to me, unkind and inpolite.

    uk parliment and palace unimpressive once you see it, i know now pictures and programs on tv have been manipulated to make you think its all fantastic. Once you arrive its all gut renching and an instant downer, at aleast thats how i felt.

    i was really looking forward to london, but highly dissapointed and i will not return there its horrible.

    No i do not rate london at all, its a horrible place to visit.

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