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The Observer: "If London is so wretched, why do so many of us want to live here?" [In reply to previous week's article, also posted here.]

Link to web site

"In last week's Observer, this paper's architecture critic, Rowan Moore, wrote that 'London is eating itself'. He argued that rising house prices, a fast-growing population and billionaire foreigners are making life increasingly difficult for the inhabitants of the metropolis.

"As someone living in a rented basement flat, I can certainly identify with Mr Moore's argument about how hard it is to get on to the housing ladder in our capital. A big part of the reason I left my dream job at Downing Street after nine years working in the public sector was that I couldn't see a way to own a home in London without a drastic change in my financial circumstances. That's not how things should be.

"But what was missing from Mr Moore's elegy for doomed London was a proper explanation of why, given the hideous costs involved, so many of us choose to live in the cramped city. Or, to put it another way, why, in the same week that he wrote despairingly about our capital, did the Guardian commentator Jonathan Freedland proclaim it 'the world’s greatest city'?"

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