While a love of the capital is at the very core of Londonist, we must also acknowledge that this sentiment is not universal. Some people think that London is one big, smelly arse, and find much more eloquent words to say so. Here, then, is a compendium of invective directed at London.
"Ah! my poor dear child, the truth is, that in London it is always a sickly season. Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be." - Jane Austen, Emma, 1816
"Hell is a city much like London— A populous and a smoky city; There are all sorts of people undone, And there is little or no fun done; Small justice shown, and still less pity." - Percy Shelley, 1819
"Gentility of speech is at an end - [London] stinks; and whoso once inhales the stink can never forget it and can count himself lucky if he lives to remember it." - Anon, The City Press, 1858
"London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained." - Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, 1887
"You can stroll with pleasure in Paris; in London you cannot, unless you are a philosopher or a fool; you can only go from one piece of business to another. There is, indeed... something soul-deadening and discouraging in the ugliness of London; other ugly cities may be rougher and more savage in their brutality, but none are so desperately shabby, so irredeemably vulgar as London." - William Morris, 1888
"There is a saying that God made the country and the Devil made the towns. When I walk in London and see the buildings they are erecting I can quite believe they are not the work of the Almighty." - Sir Thomas Comyn-Platt, 1930
"Yes, London. You know: fish, chips, cup 'o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins... LONDON." Cousin Avi, in the film Snatch, 2000
“Go to London! I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Catch the train to London, stopping at Rejection, Disappointment, Backstabbing Central and Shattered Dreams Parkway.” - Alan Partridge (AKA Steve Coogan), 2002
“I walk to Oxford Street and climb on the number 8. It's freezing and it starts to rain and it's the ugliest bus I've ever seen, rattling down the ugliest streets, in the ugliest city, in the ugliest country, in the ugliest of all possible worlds.” -David Thewlis in The Late Hector Kipling, 2007
"Milton thought Hell was a city, you know. I think maybe he had it half-right. Perhaps London is just Hell's entrance, and we are the damned souls refusing to pass through, fearing that what we will find on the other side will be worse than the horror we already know.” - Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel, 2011
"The game is up for Zone 1; soon it will exist only as a nucleus of tourist hell, the city will become defined by its sprawl and the heart of it will be like Centre Parcs, but with less wholesome family bike rides and more pay-per-hour Gumtree day brothels." - Sample moany quote from pretty much any article about London to ever appear in Vice Magazine, 2012
“The perfect representation of the rest of London: awfully expensive, too cluttered and cramped, the atmosphere is solemn, and the audio guide keeps politely telling the plebs to keep moving along. Save £18 and find a photo online.” - Sample TripAdvisor comment about Westminster Abbey, drawn from an article on one-star reviews.
And then, of course, there's this utterly vile/brilliant song about London Underground.