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I’m (Not Really) Sorry, John Cleese is Right About London.

You can argue if you want, as many have with both Cleese and myself in the past 24 hours, that London is still “one of the greatest cities in the world”. I suppose that’s a matter of (poor) taste.

“London is a shithole.”

My words to Sky News in January of 2018, when host Gamal Fahnbulleh attempted to shame me on national television for supporting President Donald Trump in his alleged statement about “shithole countries.”

Well, I didn’t actually say “London is a shithole,” I said “London’s turning into a shithole under Sadiq Khan.”

Fahnbulleh and his Sky producers were apoplectic. They first dropped my feed half way through the interview, and when I doubled down, they cut the whole thing short.

Actor John Cleese – best known for Monty Python and Fawtly Towers – appears to agree with me.

Yeah, he never said “shithole,” but I reckon he meant it.

He tweeted on Thursday: “Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more. Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation. So there must be some truth in it… I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU.”

Utter heresy, of course, according to neoliberals and leftists who have been only too glad to see Britain’s capital transfigured into a metropolitan “paradise” of fragmented neighborhoods and spiraling crime.

You’ll remember, perhaps, that in early 2018 London’s murder rates eclipsed those of New York City. Thankfully for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, his NYC equivalent Bill de Blasio stewarded the Big Apple to a greater number of deaths by the end of the year. I’m not certain the New York murder victims are as grateful.

Khan took issue with Cleese – a British institution – over the past 24 hours: “These comments make John Cleese sound like he’s in character as Basil Fawlty. Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub.”

…sure London is a global hub. But so is Tokyo, and you don’t see the Japanese clamoring to replace their populations via mass migration.

Well, he’s right about half of it.

London isn’t the “English capital.” It’s the capital of the entire United Kingdom. There’s a difference. Not that I’d expect Khan to understand.

It’s also only a European city in as much as Britain is a European nation. And if the repeated Brexit-related results are anything to go by – the answer to that is “not very much.”

Finally, sure London is a global hub. But so is Tokyo, and you don’t see the Japanese clamoring to replace their populations via mass migration.

Cleese’s point, I imagine (having not spoken to him), was also scarcely related to race or ethnicity. It has to do with culture and what those cultures mean for Britain, and specifically, London.

So let us take their points at face value: Cleese and Khan are arguing about London’s culture. It doesn’t take decades of research to recognize what has taken place there due to multiculturalism.

Firstly, crime is at an all time high in London. Gun crime, knife crime, robbery, violent crime in general, rape, burglary, you name it. Is this is a symptom of culture? Certainly. Is it a symptom of imported cultures? Also yes. These increases aren’t predominantly occurring in Greenwich, or Richmond, or Mayfair. They’re happening in what Khan would call London’s most “diverse” neighborhoods (which actually aren’t “diverse” at all – they’re dominated by one or two racial, ethnic, or religious groups).

Nor are the travails of London somehow inculcated within genetic or racial distinctions. Much as Islam’s culture emanates from the Quran and the hadiths, most of London’s problems hail from the cultures people are encouraged by state sponsored multiculturalism to bring with them to Britain.

Much of this was the focus of my last book, Enoch Was Right: Rivers of Blood 50 Years On.

Enoch Powell, famed for his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, understood and said that if the immigrant could assimilate, there would be little to stop them guarding British history as well as the natural-born or indigenous Brit.

Powell probably believed this was harder than it is, in my opinion. He did it himself in India without much fuss, a little known fact his critics are oblivious to.

But looking back to London – one of the knife and acid crime capitals of the Western world – it is hard to see why Cleese’s words would be offensive to ordinary people. And really, they’re not.

Nigel Farage – of Nigel Farage fame – noted something similar back in 2014:

It wasn’t until after we got past Grove Park that I could actually hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage. Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes. – Nigel Farage.

“I got the train the other night, it was rush hour, from Charing Cross, it was the stopper going out. We stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green. It wasn’t until after we got past Grove Park that I could actually hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage. Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes. I wonder what’s really going on. And I’m sure that’s a view that will be reflected by three quarters of the population, perhaps even more.”

Nowadays Farage’s celebrity means he can’t really take the stopper out of London to his home in Kent. But if he did, he’d find the situation has scarcely improved. Truthfully, it’s worsened in five years.

This isn’t to say London has a plethora of “no go zones” (also the name of my first book, since you’re in a ‘Buy Raheem’ mood). But it is somewhere without one distinct identity anymore, and that is a great shame.

Once identifiable via the British flag, our double-decker red buses, our Black Cabs, our red phone boxes, and our bowler-hatted, bumbershoot carriers, London is now a little of bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing.

Certainly you’ll find me arguing with my friends in America that London still has some of the best cuisine of anywhere in the world and some of the best theatres. But it also has some of the highest priced property on planet Earth, and for not much space with it. London has the worst pubs in Britain. The worst English speaking rates in the nations. The most congested roads. The rudest residents. And a creaking transport infrastructure. Don’t even get me started on the public schools, the hospitals, the airports, or other core assets.

No one is asked to learn a language, conform to a set of values (nor laws), nor are they asked to even think of themselves as British. Fundamentally, it isn’t a British city.

London, via mass migration and cultural Marxism, has been stripped of everything that made it London.

No one is asked to learn a language, conform to a set of values (nor laws), nor are they asked to even think of themselves as British. Fundamentally, it isn’t a British city.

You can argue if you want, as many have with both Cleese and myself in the past 24 hours, that London is still “one of the greatest cities in the world.” I suppose that’s a matter of (poor) taste.

What you can’t argue against is raw data, statistics, and facts about how far London has gone from being, well, London.

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Maybe some people prefer it that way. An “ever evolving metropolis” that stands absent foundation and blows with the wind.

Okay. If that’s what you want just say so. But don’t blame Cleese and others for pointing out the nation’s capital is unrecognizable from 20 or 30 years ago. Just admit you like shitholes. That’s all.

Raheem Kassam is the Global Editor in Chief of HumanEvents.com

Written By

Raheem Kassam is the Global Editor-in-Chief of Human Events. Previously the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart London, as well as the former senior advisor to Brexit leader Nigel Farage, Kassam is also the bestselling author of 'No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You' and 'Enoch Was Right: Rivers of Blood 50 Years On'. Kassam is a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, a fellow at the Bow Group, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum

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