On 5 July the cultural commentator Peter York shared his thoughts on the city’s development with The London Society. Raised, educated and shaped by London, he’s always wanted it to be top dog amongst world cities, but now we’ve obtained that status he finds himself wishing that we hadn’t achieved it in quite this way. Saul Collyns reports.
Peter York needs little introduction: A writer, journalist, management consultant and much more, York is perhaps best known for publications such as The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook
and his recent Authenticity is a Con.
However, York joked with us that he stood before us merely as ‘a terrible person’. This, he explained, is because he pertains to London’s chattering class and media elite, that’s to say the establishment
, making him a ‘capitalist marketing parasite’.
York professed that he has always been a London chauvinist. As a teenager he believed that he had the freedom of the city at his fingertips, with no area too rich or too poor to be out of bounds. London was culturally and historically rich, and led the world with its music scene. However, his expeditions as a young adult to cities such as Paris, Madrid, Rome or New York (which he was especially captivated by) were painful experiences, as he became aware of London’s shortcomings in comparison to the stylish people and restaurants, clean trains, or chic rather than bleak architecture found in other cities.