In reaction to this article in the "Kensington and Chelsea Today" newspaper, Dave Coull wrote the following response on Facebook. With his kind permission, I reproduce this below.
"Some towns got big because they produced something. For instance, Bradford's textile mills, Stoke-on-Trent's potteries, Birmingham's engineering workshops, Sheffield's fine quality steel products, Glasgow's shipbuilding, and so on. Other towns got big because the king was there. London is a town that got big because the king was there.
By the beginning of modern times London was already big. The formation of the United Kingdom made it even bigger. Precisely BECAUSE it was the centre of government, it became the "centre" of the biggest free trade area in all of Europe, and the capital of the most highly centralised state in all of Europe. The growth of the British Empire made it also the centre of government of the biggest empire on Earth. Even after the Empire became the Commonwealth, London remained the centre of the Sterling area. The centre of the world empire remained a centre of world business out of sheer force of habit, because businessmen for the most part lack the imagination to do things differently.
London remained a centre of world banking, a centre for the offices of multi-national companies, and all of this happened because, to begin with, the king was there. So the government was there. So all the companies who wanted to get contracts from the government were there. This process is continuing to this very day. Many, many billions of pounds of OUR money is being spent on glorifying London still further for the Olympics.
Of course they will try to tell you it is for the benefit of all of us, but the truth is, the Olympics are for the benefit of London. I lived in London for twelve years, working as a bricklayer. That's a useful job, you might think. But what was I building? Sometimes it was office blocks for the millions of pen-pushing bureaucrats. Sometimes it was houses for the millions of pen-pushing bureaucrats. Sometimes it was houses for the people who provided services for the millions of pen-pushing bureaucrats.
Hardly anybody at all in London actually PRODUCES anything at all. They are all there because the government is there. This entire mega city is just one great big pile of bureaucracy. This idiot claims their taxes subsudize us. The truth is, everybody in London is subsidized by the taxes paid by the rest of the UK."
Dave Coull was born in 1941, and left school to start full time work at the age of 15. He worked at many different jobs, always for a weekly wage rather than a salary, and mostly in the building industry, as a bricklayer. Dave has been active in various campaigns but has always avoided joining any political party (unless you count anarchists as a party). While acting as a site steward for building workers in London, Dave was sacked, which led to a (successful) unofficial strike by his fellow workers for his reinstatement. Nowadays Dave has slowed down a bit and tends to feel it’s mostly up to younger folk to carry on the fight.