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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Sep 22, 2016.
Old Basil Fawlty is going to get crushed for speaking the truth.
Top hits on that quote (from 2011) are Daily Mail, London Evening Standard, and Stormfront.org.
You are in like company.
Cleese is part of the post-war Baby Boom generation, so this attitude should be of no surprise.
oh no, a mesh of different cultures in a global city where almost everyone from any background gets along and contributes different view points. the horror.
another "hate anything which i don't understand and i feel threatened by"-thread started by aarovan. he seems to be in a roll
Why have you disinterred a five year old interview?
I'm no fan of Cleese, but I don't think he came across as a foaming-mouthed kipper who thinks it's clever to talk about 'Londonistan'. My interpretation is that as a long term expat he feels a bit lost on his return; I'd imagine any septuagenarian who's not lived in London for decades (and I'm only guessing that he did actually live in London for chunks of the sixties and seventies) would have a similar reaction.
Cleese is correct in saying that London isn't an English city any more, at least in the way it was in 1935 or even 1985. And compared to say, Leicester or Southampton, it certainly isn't.
What that statement leaves out is whether or not it's a bad thing. And, in all honesty, there are arguments to be made on either side.
London is today an undeniably a global city. Arguably the most global city in the world, in a way that New York (and certainly not Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, or Rio) is not. Part of that is geography, part of its historical, parts of its cultural, part economic. And part of it is political. You could fill a book on each of those topics.
The massive influx of people from outside the UK has made London, and by extension the rest of Britain, an immeasurably richer society than it was a generation ago. Richer not just in monetary terms, but also culturally, socially, and from the perspective of fundamental social justice. Britain may have lost the Empire. But it's arguably more influential in world society, culture, and economics today than it has been in more than half a century.
The downside is that it's all but impossible for middle-class people under the age of ~ 50 or so to afford a decent home in a "good" neighborhood in central London. I'm old enough to remember when Chelsea was considered slightly downmarket. The sort of house occupied by the couple in 101 Dalmatians (in London's Regents Park neighborhood) is today the province of Russian oligarchs and Chinese billionaires.
You may very well see burqas in Kensington high street. You will probably be the only English speaker on the Jubilee Line train.
But English culture isn't dead. In fact, it's thriving. People are proud of being British. They are proud of being Scots, and Welsh. They are proud of being from Yorkshire or Birmingham. They are proud of their athletes. They are proud of their scientists, and writers, their filmmakers, and their pop stars.
Renting a flat in London is unbelievably expensive these days. But it's equally expensive in Manhattan and San Francisco. But in London, unlike those other two cities, you are extremely unlikely to be shot by the police or a random guy on the street. And if you get sick with cancer or a burst appendix, you won't be bankrupted by medical costs.
The major changes in London now are really how property prices have been made so unaffordable after being bought up by private landlords, and that specific strain of London culture is disappearing as people move out to Manchester etc.
London now, really is just catering to rich Businessmen, and tourists. Its a shame, its a city I've always live in or near, and now I'm even feeling like its not my home anymore.
There's always Liverpool. =P
Why does everything have to be global now? Cant people of the same nationality make up a city that was founded by THEIR people? Is it so bad to embrace your own kind? "Meshing" has its drawbacks as we can see. Do people really get along? It appears that they actually dont many times. I knwo that doesnt jive with the Kumbaya bleeding hearts but its the truth.
I've never actually been.
I think I understand his feelings. Hopefully our U.K. Will correct me as needed. No one wants to see immigration to an extent where your city is turned into a foreign location. I assume this is what London, Paris, and other major European cities are experiencing or at least people like Mr. Cleese are feeling when a shift is felt from exclusively English (or native populations) to seeing foreigners on your streets? In other words, a natural process when transforming from a homogenous to a mixed racial/cultural society?
However, we in the U.S. (Can only speak for the U.S.) are used to major cities having locations such as China Town and Little Italy and overall it seems to benefit us. However, I might be concerned if Little Baghdad's started popping up all over, primarily for the same reason everyone is concerned about importing terrorist mindsets and concentrations where subversive groups, not here to find a better life, but to cause mayhem could develop and use as a base of operations. But I've also read that integration of Muslims into the U.S. has gone better, for whatever the reason, but I don't know the details. Possibly a better welcome mat, i.e. less racism? *
*Less is a relative term. Not bragging or patting the U.S. on the back.
What I don't support is the broad brush Mr. FantAstic uses to inflame our native xenophobes. My impression is the vast number of immigrants just want a better life, not to rip apart their new country. Pointing at Islam as the problem is so ****ed up on all levels, from the millions of peaceful Muslims living in the U.S. to our Muslim allies.
Interesting enough where I lived for decades, Minneapolis/St.Paul has a substantial Somoli presence and I've not felt threatened seeing large numbers of these foreigners working at the airport. I don't know if there is a corresponding Little Mogadishu there.
Yes people actually get along.
You tend to find that people who live in the cities in the UK have a love for their city because of its multiculturalism. I love the fact I can go to London, visit Afro Caribbean, Chinese, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish (and plenty others) areas all in one day, I can get street food from around the world, buy fruit and veg I've never seen before, got to Carnival, go and look at beautiful Indian gold and a plethora of other multi national ideas.
From experience as someone who didn't have a particularly middle of the road teenage years, its actually quite obvious that whilst most of the violent crime in London is attributed to young Afro Caribbean men (descent, many of them are English by birth) and that actually with lots of gangs etc, race isn't the common denominator, more often then not, its age, poverty and lack of male role models, or male role models who are themselves involved in violent crime. There are some very tough parts of UK cities to grow up in regardless of your race, and to not have your head kicked in you have to be tough, to thrive in those areas you have to be horribly uncompassionate. Its a lack of opportunity mixed with demonisation that drives violence in UK cities, and often it seems that the places where these issues are really being tackled effectively are those with heavily driven community projects, with little or no local government, or national government funding.
Over here the places you tend to find most vehemently against multiculturalism are those that are predominantly white, or places that are relatively new to people with different cultures in them. John Cleese, as someone who grew up, and was educated in the South West and at Cambridge and now lives in Bath (after a spell in Monaco for tax reasons), its hardly surprising he'd take this view over areas he's probably not spent any real wealth of time in.
I would much rather live in a Country where there is no single defining nationality. Its causes more problems then it does solutions.
I know people like you are scared of anything that is different from them (e.g. brown people) but I like to be connected to all parts of the world and experience all types of different cultures because I like meeting new people and discovering new things.
Most people don't get along because their scared of immigrants (not even talking refugees, I mean actual legal immigrants). I agree, however that immigrants should assimilate to the culture of wherever they immigrate too. They should keep aspects of their own culture and share it if they like, but not force it on other people
London has been a cosmopolitan city at least since Roman times with wave after wave of immigration.Most of us like it like that, see results of London's vote on Brexit for instance or our Muslim mayor.
Nope you need rednecks from another country complaining about how London isn't English anymore.
Yup. It's the same over here. Most people who complain about "multiculturalism" in metropolitan areas don't actually live among the people. Their views have been formed by living in isolated communities with people vey much like themselves.
I feel like in that case, those people would be even more apt to want to explore the world and different cultures and view points. Guess not.
Truth. For huge parts of the US, multiculturalism is having a footlong Italian sub at the Subway inside their Walmart.
I'll have to inform you that John Cleese is an Englishman from England. I'm surprised you never heard of him. You, the guy with the Lennon/McCartney avatar.
He may or may not have been talking about you. And your comrades over at Stormfront.
I certainly wasn't talking to you.
I wasn't referring to john Cleese. I was referring more generally to people who live in rural areas of the US who haven't even been to major cities in the US, let alone abroad, complaining that France is being overrun by immigrants or London is too.
Also I just like the Beatles. Doesn't mean I'm familiar with all of British pop culture.
Don't pay attention to him, he's from Spain!
Coincidentally, I was listening to Radio 4 this morning as they were discussing the discovery of two burials in Roman London of people of Chinese descent.
Is radio 4 the one which has mark kermode film reviews? I find him interesting to listen to but I usually just YouTube him.