From the Evening Standard:
Londoners increasingly feel more "patriotic" about their city than about their country, new research reveals.
Almost four out of five people living in the capital told a poll they felt "very proud" or "fairly proud" to be a Londoner. Only 68 per cent were proud to be English and 74 per cent proud to be British.
The poll, by YouGov for the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank, suggests many thousands of Londoners identify with a "city state" ahead of any national affiliation.
Another question found that 53 per cent were "very attached" to London, compared with 44 per cent to England, 33 per cent to the United Kingdom and eight per cent to Europe.
Peter Ackroyd, author of London: The Biography, said: "How could it be otherwise? London is a state of mind as well as a geographical area."
Forgive me for stating the bleedin' obvious, but how could it be otherwise when a third of Londoners were born outside the UK and over a third were born outside England?
What’s the one thing you would like to achieve as mayor?
Ken Livingstone: Total independence for London. A Republic of London. If London was independent we would have more people than half the members of the UN do, we’d be able to use more of our wealth to provide better infrastructure and a better quality of life instead of pumping £20 bn more into the national economy than we get back.
Here's a colour film of London in 1927.
It looks so nice. Obviously some of the architecture is different but the real difference is the lack of barriers, road markings and signs. It looks much freer. Nowadays we have barriers to prevent us crossing the road (and getting back onto the pavement), stripes to tell us where to cross, further markings on the road to tell us which way to look, traffic lights, pedestrian lights, road signs, bollards, central reservations, garish hoardings and CCTV surrounded by spikes. We've gained so much and yet lost so much more.
Londoners may not realise it but we bumpkins who visit from more rural locations experience a sensation of being herded down pavements and corralled into groups. Sometimes London feels like an overwhelming and claustrophobic assault on the senses.
I was in Whitehall last week and the Cenotaph was surrounded by traffic cones, police ribbon and metal railings. Frankly it looked a fucking disgrace.
It's been a rollercoaster couple of days for Londoners as this photo from Murky shows.
The worry now is Canada:
Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist network, has twice declared Canada a 'legitimate target' for attacks.
A set of preferred targets from March 2004 cited in order: Americans, British, Spanish, Australians, Canadians and Italians. "Every other country on this and the previous list of targets has already been attacked by al-Qaida terrorists," the Mounties noted.
Take note Bin Laden - don't try it here because the mounties always get their man.