The Price of One – Short Story on Scarlet Leaf Review

The Price of One – my ghost story / lyrical tour around London’s South Bank is in this month’s online edition of Scarlet Leaf Review.

The narrator is dead, and still very much in love. When a street vendor offers him a potion that brings him temporarily to life he and his heartbroken paramour grasp it with both hands.

Please head over there, give it a read, show it some love.

http://www.scarletleafreview.com/short-stories1/category/ali-abbas

 

Independence Plan for London

It has happened. A coalition of Little England hobbits and post industrial flotsam has led us over the edge and into an abyss of isolationism.

The time has come for London to assert its independence. We are different from the cultural Neanderthals still vainly defending a vanished image of Britain towering over the world. They have been unable or unwilling to wake up to the hard reality that London is the greatest city on earth and they live largely on our largesse and at our sufferance.

It’s time to take back our democracy from these small minds and bigots. It’s time to take back our tax revenues that prop up their failed and inefficient industries and unemployment benefits. It’s time to unshackle ourselves from this dead weight that keeps trying to hold us back.

Borders and Immigration

We have a natural border. It’s called the M25. We don’t need it. London welcomes everyone, always has, always will. Even if you voted Out. London takes the different, and the outcast, and chews them up. It spits out street wise, tube map savvy, productive people. London doesn’t care if you are the riff-raff or covered in spots. It just wants you to take part.

Politics

It’s time for a new kind of politics in London. The Tories have to go. It is their in fighting that got us into this mess. Labour are no better, because no one can know what they are voting for. New Labour and Corbyn’s Old Labour are toxic for each other and no one wants to be part of their mess. The Liberal democrats are an anachronism and irrelevance, like codpieces.

If we are to unshackle ourselves from Little England then let’s jettison the old politics too. Sadiq Khan can stay to oversee the  changing of the guard, but then we have another election for the president of the Independent Republic of London.

Finance

England will need a transition plan, to wean them off our wealth. We’ll fund it from our change from a monarchy to an independent republic. We can sell Buckingham Palace and Clarence House to oligarchs and oil sheikhs who will never live there. We may need to do the basement conversions first though.

Trade

This is London, we don’t need a trade policy. In the Del Boy city we’ll sell anything to anyone. The only conditions: no money back, no guarantee.

 

The Age of Political Unions has ended. Cameron has tolled the death knell for Europe, and in doing so put Scotland onto a path to eventual secession. In five years there will be no Great Britain. The question for London is whether we want to be saddled with what is left, or forge our own destiny as in independent city state, and take our place as the cultural and financial capital of the world.

Sight Lines and Angles

IMG_1304edited

The Shard dominates the south bank between Tower Bridge and Southwark Bridge. Whatever other feelings it may inspire it is also useful if, like me, you like to learn an area by getting thoroughly lost in it, and then need to find your way back.

In it shadows you can find odd moments like this where any number of interpretations of angular shapes collide. This is in the little cut through from the north end of Borough Market to Hays Galleria. The Shard is of course ever present.

With this handy reference point I have started to learn my way around Bermondsey. Perhaps not something a Finchley boy should admit to.IMG_1343_edited-1

Back on the civilised side of the river and looking back at the Mayoral Folly, More London Place, and it.