I returned to London at the end of 2021 after an extensive period living and working in East Asia, in many respects I now wish I hadn’t. Hindsight is 20-20, as they say. If I had known then what I know now I would have taken a different course of action.
There is no continuity, no coherence to life in London. It is a mess of people, commerce, and consumerism that in turn produces chaos, confusion, and endless contradictions. London is a non-stop assault on the senses the likes of which I struggle to explain and process. Globalisation demands that construction takes place in the most inconvenient of locations no matter how much disruption it causes, that foreign people with strange customs and languages be brought onto these shores en masse to ‘enrich’ us, and that nature and tradition make way for economic growth and development. This is the culture of chaos that London embraces.
London is an incredibly unpleasant city: It is dirty, it is overcrowded, it is violent, it is expensive, it is intimidating. There is no charm or mystique and nothing quaint about it anymore. It is increasingly becoming defined by crime, segregation, and urban sprawl. Okay, I know that some of those are not unique to London but this is a city that had a cost-of-living crisis long before covid and the Ukraine war. Taxes are high, public services are famous for being poor, and crime is as varied as the many ethnicities that perpetrate it.
One thing that truly disgusts me is the amount of litter that is everywhere. It is almost ubiquitous now; on the streets, in public places, at bus stops, parks, and in underground stations. Laughing gas canisters (laughing gas being the current soft drug of choice) are everywhere too. I did not even know what these actually were until I happened to see them in a newspaper article. Whenever I am outside in London it just feels like you cannot escape the dirt and grime. Compounding this problem is the prevalence of rats, an all-too-common sight in the capital. I have even seen dead rats here before (seems like even they are sick of London). Symbolising both decay and disease, rats have now become a rather fitting symbol of London.
The stomach-churning smell of weed is as common as air itself in London. If failure had a smell, it would be the smell of weed. It clogs up my senses quite like nothing else does. The prevalence of weed, and how it has become normalised in culture and discourse, has come to symbolise the decline in standards and etiquette that only gets worse as time goes on.
Globalisation has decimated the London high street. The London high street has increasingly become defined by halal fried chicken vendors, betting shops, vaping and shisha establishments, phone repair shops, and tattoo parlours. Throw in an American franchise or two, a Turkish barber, and a discount shop (sometimes referred to as a ‘poundshop’) and that is your typical high street now. I find it all very sad. I call this the economy of decline because that is exactly what it is, it exists to sustain the legions of low-wage earners that have been imported to these shores from afar. The London high street symbolises the very worst of globalisation: gone are the local fruit sellers, the bakers, the quaint bookshops, the butchers, high street staples like Woolworths and Our Price, and the numerous family-run businesses that once characterised the area.
When I am out in London harm avoidance is my number one priority. There is a culture of fear and intimidation that just never goes away in this city. I just don’t trust anyone, after all why should I and, being honest here, if they don’t trust me then I can hardly blame them. Strange people abound everywhere, mental health is one driving factor behind this (high rates of mental health diagnoses are heavily correlated with how diverse a city is) but there are alarmingly high numbers of people who are just outright unpleasant and whose behaviour is quite frankly abhorrent; Gangs, men going around with large dogs, swearing, spitting, people dressed in strange cultural or religious attire from foreign lands, those speaking foreign languages loud enough to wake the hounds of hell, obesity, the prevalence of tattoos, people engaging in anti-social behaviour of some kind or other, those horrendous e-cigarettes, people who use mobile devices without headphones, people who cannot walk, queue, or even stand properly, the list goes on, it’s endless. Nothing has come to embody the degeneracy of London more than its twin festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival (that ‘celebrates’ black and Caribbean culture in the rather ironic way that the festival is characterised by violence and drugs) and the Pride festival (which gets more attendees every year). Recalling a famous Rod Liddle article from The Spectator, this author too likes goat curry but it isn’t worth dying for.
On some level, the tension can be felt every time l leave my door. Many young men don the facade of what David Starkey once described as the Jamaican patois accent to appease their urban overlords; you see this a lot, especially amongst the youth. It is a culture that embraces loud, baggy clothes, fake jewellery, the adoption of urban speech, aggressive body language, congregating in large gangs, and much more. This recalls Julius Evola’s idea of the negrification of society, a most strange phenomena that has gripped many of the major cities in the western world whereby whites, in particular, try to mimic black standards of behaviour, cultural habits, language, and customs; in doing so, they are steadily regressing into a more primitive and primordial existence. A whole article could be dedicated to that topic alone, all I will say for now that it is clearly visible in London.
In his book The Diversity Illusion, Ed West points out that the only kind of segregation that is allowed is that which is determined by wealth, wherein high prices act as a defacto barrier to entry. People pay exorbitant prices in order to keep a certain type of person out, conversely, if you pay below a certain price, you know what types of people are going to be around you. The elites manage to wall themselves off from the consequences of their own policies through their wealth, power, and prestige meanwhile us plebs are stuck with the consequences of diversity, and that, ladies and gents, is democracy for you.
Nothing is more diverse in London than the variety of crime we have on display here: gang crime, drugs, moped attacks, knife crime, acid attacks, sexual grooming gangs, terrorism, rioting, mob violence and more, the police really have their hands full. Kind of makes you wonder how they find the time to investigate thought crime, hate speech, and similar acts of wrong think; as l said at the start of this article, there is very little in London that makes sense anymore. Whilst real crimes like the London riots in 2011 and the more recent Black Lives Matters riots, where statues were torn down and public monuments were defaced, more or less went unpunished and were even openly celebrated in some sections of the media.
People just accept the decline; whether it is the crime, the outrageous house prices, even terrorism, it has become internalised as normal, just “part and parcel of life in a multicultural city”. No one does anything, they just complain. The reality is that normal, law-abiding citizens must constantly find work arounds for the myriad of problems that daily life now presents. Abject government failure lies at the root of many of these problems; policies of multiculturalism and diversity, mass immigration, and economic growth no matter the cost have, in turn, led to rising crime, overcrowding, the collapse in basic norms and standards, a never ending cost of living crisis, and declining social trust; the result of all of this is a completely unrecognisable city that is in terminal decline and is, quite honestly, beyond saving. The taxing, Jedi-like mental gymnastics that one must engage in in order to deal with all these problems is itself unrelenting.
Mass immigration has transformed London to the extent that it is totally unrecognisable from the city where I once grew up in. To paraphrase the venerable Mark Steyn, if you mix one kilo of ice cream with one kilo of faeces it will most likely come out tasting like the latter than the former. That is exactly how I see London’s demographics (minus the ice cream perhaps). I find myself constantly asking “Who are these people?” and “Why are they here?” They speak languages that sound like harsh, fuzzy noise, that disorientates and distracts me, a linguistic representation of the real-life confusion that so often surrounds me in London. Arabic, Balkan, and eastern European languages, basically anything east of the Adriatic right up to the Arabian sea, perplex me the most. Their mannerisms, appearance, accents, behaviour, body language, even the way they move, are all entirely foreign. They are strangers to this land and strangers to each other. I don’t like them, I don’t know them, and I don’t particularly want to know them either, and what’s more they are everywhere. There are so many foreigners in London that you can often observe foreign service providers serving foreign patrons, it is truly bizarre. There are far too many people in London who are just a stain on the country and a burden to society and to decent, well-meaning people and they are fundamentally at odds with the history and heritage of the place they inhabit. You don’t need to be a scholar of Spengler or Heidegger to come to the conclusion that it would be better for everyone if the vast majority of these people just left.
Much like in the former Soviet Union, in London you are never more than a short walk away from the ideology of the regime, its symbols are dotted everywhere. The Union Jack and flag of St. George have been replaced by various iterations of the rainbow flag, the Ukrainian flag, the EU flag and, most recently, the trans flag (it’s a long list), symbolising how the native culture of London has been replaced by the culture of globalism, imported from all regions of the world. Posters for the COVID vaccine, the black lives matter symbol (the author has always found it mildly funny that a fist is chosen for the BLM symbol, considering that group’s propensity for violent behaviour, but alas l digress), and the NHS logo are also very common. However you choose to view the transformation of this city, the total displacement of London – its people, its culture, and its history – is a fait accompli by the elites; as in no one voted for any of this nor were we asked if this is what we wanted. The change, I fear, is permanent and irreversible.
London is just too diverse to sustain the mutual obligations that are necessary for a high-trust, prosperous society. Before these wonderful people descended upon London, and the UK generally, this land, while not perfect by any means, was a safer, more pleasant, more recognisable place. The longer mass immigration and globalisation continue the more unpleasant London slowly becomes and the further it drifts away from its history and heritage. And the further it drifts away from me.