“Craig Taylor’s book has given new voice to Londoners; the rich and the poor, the native and the immigrant; men and women. It continues an oral tradition that goes back to Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, published in the mid-nineteenth century.
”Taylor gives us the squatter and the teacher; the bicycle mechanic and the registrar; the plumber and the rickshaw rider; the lost property clerk and the Wiccan priestess, who casts the remnants of her spells into the Thames.
“These remarkable snapshots of the city dwellers are moving, funny and informative.
“What makes Londoners as valuable as any sociological treatise is Taylor’s appreciation of the ways in which his subjects are themselves surveying, analysing and theorising the turbulent city in which they live…. At more than 400 pages, the book could easily have been twice as long… But this remains a remarkable volume, from the heaving, contradictory energy of its countless funny, terrifying, epic stories” Sukhdev Sandhu in The Guardian.”
”If corruption means anything, it means buying immunity from the law. The protesters occupying temples of capitalism around the world might be an incoherent bunch – more obviously against the present than in favour of a different future – but there is great solidarity with them in Western democracies, because it increasingly feels like it’s one set of rules for the rich, and another for the rest of us.“
I like Amol Rajan, more and more. This is the guy who started being an unofficial bus conductor (shouting ‘Room at the back!) because he was sick of bus drivers not letting people on because the sheep hadn’t ‘moved down the bus’.
Observe this, unintended systemic consequence fans: one-man* buses not only increased unemployment by sacking conductors, but also made bus travel a nightmare of overloud iPods and misbehaving yoof with no one to police basic human niceness and give and take, but also – PAY ATTENTION BUS COMPANIES – reduced profit!
Capitalism might be the least worst system, as Amol says, but boy** is it dumb sometimes…