Lost in time

I've been following the Occupy London debacle. And it is disaster, a PR mess for the City of London and the Church of England.

One thing about the UK is there are lots of historical things about. The castles, the iron-age hill forts, the straight roads build by the romans, the town names derived from latin. Some retain their grandeur, but have (somewhat) moved on with the times, like here: Oxford, whose curricular has been upgraded for new ideas (calculus), and whose buildings are now tourist attractions as well as a place of learning.
Oxford Colleges

Then there's the City of London. I've cycled through it a few times at the weekend: empty. Boring. Almost nobody lives there. What's interesting is the last fortnight has show how much of a relic of middle ages it is, how much power it has -and, therefore, how much power the business based there have.

The key points are
  • It has special rights w.r.t parliament and "the crown", including lobbying powers in parliament -a parliament which it considers itself mostly exempt from.
  • It's electorate is derived not just from the citizens, but from businesses and organisations based in the City. The citizens have the minority vote.
  • The process for becoming leader of the city is some process that doesn't even pretend to be democratic.
What it means today is this: the part of Britain which contains the headquarters of the most powerful business in the city is effectively self-governed by those business, and independent from the rest of the country.
Night Chill

Which is funny, as the People's Republic of Stokes Croft has taken up that "Passport to Pimlico" theme of an independent state within a city. They just do it as joke. Well, the joke is on them.

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