Ken Comment Brags Best For Bric

By Hazel Last edited 151 months ago
Ken Comment Brags Best For Bric

Mayor Ken has not been known to keep quiet when he really should press his lips together and just walk away in dignified silence.

Last week, he managed to get some comment space in The Guardian, the paper that loves to love itself for being as open-minded and diverse as a multiracial, multicultural, multifaith inner-London junior school non-denominational not-Christmas show. Of course they would invite Ken to say something on the eve of a trip to China; he's so wonderfully inclusive in all his dealings with the public. He took the opprtunity to cite this city as the best equipped place to meet the new economic and social challenges of the Bric era and managed to introduce a new word as well as a new sensation to the world - a sensation of warmth and pride and affection that doesn't always immediately spring forth when confronted with words from Ken.

What is Bric and why should we care? Bric is the acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China that are rising fast and rising high in global commerce, consumerism and consequently, culture. As these countries continue to increase and develop international trade, cultural exchange will also increase and develop - and according to Ken, London will be the best place for this to happen.

"London's multicultural character is its own trump card. The approach in some parts of Europe is: "Your money is welcome, but please leave your culture behind you." However, London's unique multicultural openness says: "Your business is very welcome, and we assume you will bring your culture with you - adding to our city's creativity." I know, for example, that this approach was decisive in London beating Paris to the Olympics. Of all Europe's cities, it is the best equipped to rise to the challenge of Bric."

We reckon it's not much of a challenge - multicultural openness is just part of London life, after all. Is he stating the obvious? Perhaps - but he clearly enjoys saying it, and we like hearing it, so carry on Ken. We always knew that if he just kept on talking, he'd eventually say something that everyone could like.

Ken Livingstone's full comment is available on The Guardian website here.

Last Updated 11 April 2006