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Friday, July 15, 2005

In Praise of the Mayor of London

Posted by on July 15 at 8:00 AM

Between the influence of Merchant-Ivory and Morrissey/Marr, no art-lover of my generationthe “now I know how Joan of Arc felt” generationescaped the 1980s without a mild case of Anglophilia. But last night my love for the Brits blossomed exponentially with the address given yesterday by London Mayor Ken Livingstone at a memorial gathering for the victims of last Thursday’s suicide bombings.

Addressing a crowd in Trafalgar Square, Mayor Livingstone began by acknowledging the ugly fact that the joy of last Wednesday's selection of London as the site of the 2012 Olympics will forever be linked in the minds of the British people with the deadly tragedy of the next day.

"In seven years' time, when the Games begin, sitting at the front of the stadium, and watching the 200 teams that will come from every nation, will be those who were maimed but survived, and the relatives of those who died."

Then he spun it around, gushing over London's stature as "the most tolerant city in the world" and closing with this dazzling bit of stiff upper lipdom:

"Those who came here to kill last Thursday had many goals, but one was that we should turn on each other, like animals trapped in a cage. And they failed, totally and utterly."

All delivered without a trace of cocky cowboy bullshit, just masculine elegance and received pronounciation...