Monday, 6 December 2010

We are London


With students set to take to the streets in protest again this week, the sports manufacturer, Adidas, is offering a glimmer of hope for the future of London’s youth, and providing them with the support needed in such troubled times as ours. ‘We are London’ is the title of the brand’s new campaign, an effort to recognise the efforts of a generation that is “going places and making its own luck”, qualities that will be of increasing use in a generation widely perceived to be going nowhere and in need of an awful lot of luck just to get a half-decent job.

As university education and graduate jobs recede into the realm of pipe dreams, Adidas have proposed that youths instead stand-around on London’s railway bridges and benches, stuffing their hands into the pockets of any garment of Adidas clothing they can come by. Pastimes once vilified by the mainstream media and criminalised by a decade of anti-social behaviour orders, Adidas propose that sitting about with seemingly nothing to do might henceforth be regarded instead as an act of empowerment and urban belonging.

Whether or not the ruse works remains to be seen, and indeed statistics show no strong correlations between Adidas and social success. Wider society might also feel concerned at what will happen when the next generation of Londoners are not all of them able to make a success of themselves as hip-hop acts, and are forced to take-up jobs at Tesco. Tesco have recently threatened to create 10,000 new jobs in 2011… a proposition that begs the question of just who the unlucky 10,000 will be.

Regardless of all this, “We are London” certainly seems to have struck a chord with its target audience. The campaign’s Facebook group is already “liked” by approximately 6,300,000 people, a figure rising at a rate of about seven every three seconds and soon to eclipse the 6,800,000 “likes” that the Liberal Democrats polled at the last election. It being safe to assume that the Liberal Democrats are now considerably less popular than they were on election day, we can anticipate “We are London” superseding Clegg et al. in popularity come the end of the week, and taking the mantle of third-party should a snap-election be called imminently.

Meanwhile in Westminster, where the average MP remains fifty-years-old, our 650 elected representatives are angry at having spent only £3.1million of taxpayers money in the four months following the election. The figure compares unfavourably with £96million in the entirety of last year, and breaks-down to only £5,000 of expenses each during the four month period, on top of a £65,000p/a minimum salary. MPs have set-about bemoaning the complexity of the new scheme to monitor expenses spending, with some claiming to have been left “out of pocket”. Never prepared to stand idly by as the nation is threatened by inefficiencies of any sort, MPs have given a four month notice period to the independent body responsible for overseeing expenses, demanding that it become "more effective and more efficient”.

We await news of whether four months will become the statutory waiting period for ills effecting the remainder of the population to be put-right.

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