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Study finds London has become a city for the elites

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
London has become increasingly colonised by the global super-rich

The British capital, London, is now prohibitively expensive for people from less affluent backgrounds, a charity claims.

The stunning claim is made by the Sutton Trust, an education charity established in 1997. The claims are based on a study – commissioned by the charity – entitled Elites in the UK: Pulling Away?

The study is mostly based on the collation and analysis of data from the Office for Longitudinal Study, and it is focused on the social mobility patterns of Britons born in the 1970s.

Commenting on the study, Sir Peter Lampl, who is the founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said that since the 1980s “London has cemented its position as the epicenrtre of the elites”.

Lampl added that the capital is “essentially off-limits to ambitious people from poorer backgrounds who grow up outside the capital". 

Global city?

One aspect of the London story which the Sutton Trust study hasn’t covered is the long-term impact of consistently trying to brand London as a “global” city, often to the detriment of ordinary Britons.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was the most ardent champion of that policy, during the two terms he served as London mayor from 2008 to 2016.

The practical effect of the “global” branding has been the attraction of the world’s super-wealthy to London. This has had multiple negative effects particularly in the London property sector, where the global super-rich have been accused of having an inflationary impact on the market.

Dirty cash

Another issue of concern is the transformation of London into a global centre for money laundering as the world’s super-rich take advantage of the UK’s relatively lax attitude to ill-gotten gains.

In a hard-hitting opinion piece for the Guardian (October 11, 2018), the veteran British journalist and broadcaster, Simon Jenkins, argued that London is a “safe haven” for the world’s “dirty cash”. 


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