Young, Londoner & Progressive: Food for thought

Written by on January 23, 2017

 Young, Londoner & Progressive: Food for thought

Tholani Alli

AUK Radio Correspondent

A growing number of young Londoners (late teens to late-twenties) can be defined as ‘City Progressives’. These groups are becoming increasingly known throughout the country as a bunch of people that often forget that the majority of the UK does not live within the M25. It felt like there was a silent consensus amongst many London based tweeters and social media frenzies that the country would opt to remain during the 2016 Brexit referendum – and they were right – in terms for the decision of the capital city. But the confidence was mistaken. City sighs and pumped fists eventually faded into raised eyebrows, scratched foreheads and even shock as the same group found out the country decided otherwise. This by the way is not a one off.

The same can be said with the general election in 2015; Labor votes dominated London to the ‘I thought as much’ confidences of its inhabitants only to emphatically see that the rest of the country voted otherwise. Now; we all know that the generalization isn’t this simple. There were and are individuals within London that do not fall into this category and are literate and more ‘nationwide’ in their views of their upbringing and social and political issues. We also know that the long-standing unspoken law that ‘ethnic communities will always and only vote left’ is also not true. Money has no ethnicity and the second, or third generation of BMEs, and those who have established themselves are more likely to vote with their immediate economic interests at hand.

This then raises the question: “What does London and rest of Europe have in common that the rest of the UK doesn’t”?

And my only reasonable answer will be that their belief in the assumption that the ‘Best of British’ people and culture can be found in London.

I remember speaking with a group of secondary school teachers in Valencia last year who told me how they thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Britain. They were disappointed with my response: “If you only visited London; you have not visited Britain”. I myself am guilty of assuming that I and my experiences; growing up within the little known urban East London estates of Shadwell are the best and the rest of the UK population who haven’t followed suit should listen and follow my narrative otherwise. As a city progressive; I am constantly reminding myself and feel burdened to remind others that the world doesn’t evolve around me and my experiences of the city.

It is city progressives that blog and write about how wonderful or not so wonderful their life/upbringing in the city was.

It is city progressives that knowingly and/or unknowingly assume that the majority of the UK live inside London.

It is city progressives that like to tell farmers how they are to treat and stroke their cattle whilst having a minimal idea on what it means to live on a farm

Which progressive are you?


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