From Babylon to Wimboldon

From Babylon to Wimboldon

How openness, multiculturalism and tolerance made London the most influential city in the world.

The clock is already 11 am, and Rashid is still basking in bed. “What a happy life this migrant!” – could think of his 63-year-old neighbor Clara, a native of London. When the Rashid family moved from Istanbul to a neighboring apartment in the eastern Hakni district, Clara was at first alert: what to expect from these Turks? But soon she respected them: Clara knows that Rashid gets up closer to noon, because he lies down with the first cocks. From Thursday to Sunday, Rashid switches to night mode: from evening to morning he spins several thousand cakes with chopped meat, yogurt and onions for the villagers and guests of the British capital. After parties in clubs, gatherings in pubs and bars, the streams of hungry night owls rush to the main sources of night food – Turkish kebab shops, which in this city are perhaps more than the McDonald’s.

This is not a joke: over the past year, Turkish kebab shops have replenished the British treasury by 2.2 billion pounds, wrote the branch magazine “British Kebab.” According to unofficial estimates, one kebab point brings the owner at least ten thousand pounds a month.

And three years ago the public organization “Research Center of Turkey” established the annual award “British Kebab Euords”. At a solemn ceremony in a prestigious hotel near Big Ben, MPs, members of the House of Lords and heads of the London districts gather. “The kebab industry has made a significant contribution to the British economy and demonstrated the high efficiency of this small business model,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a message to the ceremony participants in 2015. “Kebabs have become as much a part of our gastronomic culture as fish and chips and curry.”

Rashid grins: the British government took more than a year to recognize the Turks as ambassadors of good gastronomic will. A couple of decades ago, in the “Turkish” areas of eastern London – Dalston, Hackney and Stoke-Newington – parents did not let children in the evenings. And now there are fashion shops and design studios.

Rashid is echoed by Ferhat Dirik, the owner of the most popular Turkish restaurant “Mangal 2”. A native of London and holder of a British passport, he speaks English without a hint of accent, not embarrassed by provocations in the spirit of Stephen Fry.

Ferhat recently launched the channel of his institution in Twitter, where he mixes professional and personal without a twinge of conscience: notes on the benefits of chili sauce over garlic are interspersed with gunpowder comments on migration and Islamic terrorists. For example: “This city was not bad until all these damned migrants came here. Now it’s not just good here-it’s about here “(stunning, great-Ed. Ed.).

the Turkic-speaking Turk and others like him in London are called “mipsters” (“hipster Muslims”). Their distinctive feature is not only the search for an alternative culture of leisure and consumption, but subtle over-religious sarcasm. “Mipsters” not only laugh at British hysteria about wearing or not wearing hijabs, but also between the lines explain why it is important for Islamic culture. Mocking stereotypes, they urge everyone who is “brewed” in the London pot of cultures and religions, to mutual understanding.

All are equal, Poka Honestly earn and pay taxes to the Kingdom – such is the “social contract” of the London coexistence of cultures. In modern sociology, there are at least three basic models of integration of migrants: French, German and British. As explained by the Californian sociologist Roger Brubaker, the French model places the emphasis on nationality – if you moved to the country of “freedom, equality and brotherhood,” then be kind enough to become a Frenchman first, and then you will be a Kurd, a Hungarian or an Indian. Speak French, sing the “Marseillaise” and celebrate national holidays.

The German model, according to sociology professor John Solomos from the City University of London, requires economic justification for moving to a new country and helps migrants adapt: ​​they are taught the language, attached to a religious and ethnic community and provided with social benefits along with indigenous people. But they do not give a passport, leaving the right to change their policy at any time.

The British model is the most democratic – it allows the “newcomer” to maintain its national identity, and then swear allegiance to the values ​​and rules of English society. The main postulate is the primacy of laws over individual and group ideas about good and evil.

The government reacts sensitively to any manifestations of discrimination or imbalance between diasporas and directs the society by laws and “recommendations.” For example, in 2002, the “Education Act” came out, which obliged schools to teach “fundamental British values ​​- democracy, the rule of law, individual freedom, mutual respect and tolerance for different beliefs.” That is, celebrate at least Hanukkah, at least Uraza-Bayram, wear at least a hijab, even a kosovorotku, but respect the rights and personal boundaries of others.

Equilibrium coexistence and tolerance is the oxygen of English multiculturalism. After all, in multi-colored London, this “city of a thousand villages,” a fire can burn out from any spark, in which social well-being will burn. In 2011, the British capital was frightened by pogroms in not the most prosperous northern district of Tottenham. It all started with police trying to arrest 29-year-old dark-skinned Mark Duggan, an alleged member of a criminal group that ended in the death of a suspect.

His death disturbed the commune: two hundred people went out to protest against police arbitrariness and accused the authorities of racism – they say that the “colored” English police check documents five times more often than the fair-skinned ones. Disorders turned into fires and robberies. The press reacted surprisingly sensitively: even the tabloid newspapers did not emphasize the ethnic origin of the protesters (they say, the Jamaicans and the Pakistanis are some!) And wrote about them as British subjects.

The authorities and journalists together argued that the main cause of the pogroms – the social unhappiness of the inhabitants of northern London, the desire of the rioters to rob the store, no one associated with their nationality or religion.

British openness and multiculturalism are rooted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the Reformation movement in Western Europe accused the Vatican of abuse of luxury and power. The King of England Henry VII broke with the Vatican and proclaimed himself the head of the Anglican Church. In the following decades, the English Puritans, who decided to “purge” the Anglican doctrine from Catholic mysteries and dogmas, further blurred the unity of the church and contributed to the prosperity of the different shades of Protestantism.

However, the basis of British tolerance at that time was prepared by the blood-washed “intolerance”. The royal dynasty of the Stuarts cruelly pursued various confessions until the second half of the 17th century. Only in 1689 the “Act of Tolerance” was adopted, which elevated the law over religion. Imperfect and contradictory, he still obliged the Quakers and Baptists to recognize the king as head of the Church and to give up some of the postulates of their faiths, but in return allowed representatives of different faiths to conduct their services in the permitted places.

The idol of the current apologists for equality is the philosopher John Locke wrote in 1689: “Neither the pagan, nor the Mohammedan, nor the Jew should be divorced from civil liberties and public goods because of their religion … The Bible does not require anything like this, and the state, which includes themselves of all people, that they are honest, peaceful and hardworking, does not require that either. “

Actually, the concept of “tolerance” originally meant just tolerance for the religion.

More than three centuries later, in 2004, the then Minister of Finance Gordon Brown noted that it was precisely the numerous laws and postulates of British history that weaved together the single single thread leading to the main thing – protecting the individual from the arbitrariness of any authority.

“Turn off the music of slaves, behave like a monkey!” – A group of Jamaican schoolgirls once scolded an impatient, fair-haired lady of middle age in an electric train between Manchester and London. How did the car react? Despite the fact that reggae from the mobile phone for half an hour rumbled on all the power (girls with pigtails-dreadlocks turned on the music through the speaker), and a lot of passengers discontentedly pursed their lips, all together condemned … it was the racist. At first, one gentleman stood up for the schoolgirls, then he was supported by a pair of Asian appearance, after which the man with a French accent recalled: “You have no right to humiliate anyone on racial grounds. Apologize to the girls. ” The guilty lady chuckled – and left at the next station. And the Caribbean music fans turned off the music.

Such sketches are a typical manifestation of British multiculturalism. “We are so frightened by the horrors of the Nazism of the Second World that we never decided to divide people on religious or racial grounds,” the Guardian journalist Steven told me over a pint of beer. – Tolerance is sewn into our education, culture of debate and public decency “.

Cinderellas are different. The Prime Minister’s office at Downing Street then spurs anti-immigrant sentiments, then supports the visiting “Cinderella”.

According to opinion polls, half of the British are seriously concerned that migrants are encroaching on their jobs and are in the queues for social benefits from morning till night. A visitor from the EU can claim unemployment benefits (72 pounds per week), child allowance (all families, regardless of income, are paid 20 pounds for the elder and 13 for each subsequent), child support for low-income families (about 65 pounds per week for a child), a disability allowance (from 21 to 82 pounds a week), tax relief, a free health care system and the opportunity to receive social housing.

Under British law, each family member has his own room, so large families can apply for multi-room apartments. And the authorities must provide them in the area of ​​the city where the family lived the last few years, whether it be fashionable Knightsbridge or Notting Hill in London.

The refusal to provide these social benefits to visitors is one of the main points in the negotiations between Britain and the EU. The Cameron government is not going to close the borders, but wants to substantially cut benefits for EU citizens.

According to the new plan, for which the country’s population will vote in a referendum on June 23, migrants from the European Union get the right to benefits only seven years after the move. Moreover, according to the annual reports of the Office of Budgetary Responsibility of the UK – an independent bureau analyzing the prospects for the financial market – migrants need the country to finance government social projects for the coming decades.

The most tasty foreigner for the English Crown is an energetic educated entrepreneur who will break into London in a whirlwind, generate a considerable profit in a dozen years, and then go on an early retirement to the coast of his native Sicily or to the orange groves of Valencia.

A positive approach is shared by the professor at University College London Christian Dustmann, who published two years ago a large-scale study on the topic of migrants. Economists have calculated that migrants from the EU countries from 2004 to 2011 have replenished the British budget by five billion pounds.

However, not every “Cinderella” is equally welcome at the court. If the gold-bearing Turks with their kebab shops and Pakistanis with night stalls, parliamentarians are in their hands, as well as Italian financiers or Hungarian programmers, then, for example, poor and not very enterprising Romanians are increasingly trying to expel from the country.

“I first came here to work in the 1990s,” says the 40-year-old Romanian Alex. – After a wave of terribly negative attitude towards my fellow citizens, who rose in the early 2000s, I left and returned only in 2007. And what – the agency from which I rent an apartment, requires a British guarantor, they whispered to me at the polyclinic that they do not accept Romanian patients, and the bank said: “We do not work with Romanian clients.” I paid tens of thousands of pounds of taxes and did not ask for a penny from the treasury. I have English friends, but for the first time I thought about my own security in this country – only because I was “not of the same” nationality. “

Natives of the Eastern European countries serve as “beacons” for anti-migrant hysteria in the yellow press. The tabloids now and then publish on the front pages of an article on how jobs “swim” to migrants from Sofia and Bucharest, portraying them as almost a horde of golodrans.

In fact, the migratory stream from Eastern Europe, according to the share of masters and polyglots, will give odds to the population of some industrial city in Wales, but the collective psyche of the metropolis obviously requires catchy “scapegoats”.

“Migrants” or “expats”? Professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam Gain de Gus recalls that the “migrant issue” has at least two cornerstones: “migrant” and “expat”. Barely distinguishable in fact, they carry a completely different emotional load.

“EU citizens who moved outside the country where they were born, like to call themselves expats, although they are, of course, migrants. “Expat” is used as a class definition, which privileged migrants from rich countries separate themselves from poor uneducated and sort of as not deserving of respect “migrants” – performers of dirty and poorly paid work “. Says Gain de Gus.

This year in the United Kingdom came into force a law that did not affect the holders of passports of the EU countries, but terrified all other visitors, including immigrants from the USSR. The law says that if a person in five years of life in the UK can not receive a salary of 35 thousand pounds a year (before taxes), he will be asked to leave the country.

Previously, the system for issuing work permits, and then for a residence permit, was built differently: for each special skill, step in education or a rare experience, the candidate was credited with “points” and decided to issue documents on the total number of these “points”.

The more educated, talented and unique was a foreigner, the more love Britain got to him. The scientific degree and recognition in artistic circles gave almost the same reasons for obtaining a British passport, as well as a heavy bank account. Now, only the “golden calves” are acceptable to the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, identifying yourself through “London” citizenship is one of the most fashionable povetry of the 21st century. Moscow is not Russia, and London is not Great Britain, anyone who has visited outside the big capitals of big powers will say. That is why this new Babylon is such an inviting place.

“Even in the 10th century, London was inhabited by the Tzmirian Britons and Belgians, fragments of Galician legions, East Saxons and Merzians, Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, Franks, Jutes and Angles, who mixed up and established a new tribe of” Londoners, “writes economist historian Peter Aykroyd .

This constant exchange of talents, ideas and different national approaches to business and communication bear a direct economic benefit to the budget. Even British parliamentarians agree with this in the official reports of the House of Lords. “Fried fish brought to the island by the Jews, French fries – French Huguenots, and Britain collected from them its classic dish” fish-end chips “… And in the cricket the British athletes succeeded due to the use of the Pakistani” reverse swing “, filing with a spin, – confirm the researchers of the respected public organization “Joseph Rowntree Foundation”, which explored the manifestations and causes of British multiculturalism.

Britain in general and London in particular have always been open to “cross pollination” of cultures and, unlike Paris or Rome, have historically been deprived of an arrogant attitude towards strangers. Two thousand years ago, here trampled sandals grass Romans (in the vicinity of London still preserved their baths with columns and statues of Minerva), and then erected Stonehenge Celts. The history of London is a common and a draw, and there are no longer any borders where the influence of one ethnic group ends and another starts.

Today this mixture of accents and habits (to whom a thimble of espresso, and to whom – a bowl of coconut milk with cinnamon) in the space of a single “negotiating” does not irritate the participants, but launches innovations and updates approaches to business. Liliana Tamberi, mistress of the popular Tuscan trattoria in London’s Islington area, began her career at Jamie Oliver’s restaurants and the prosperous Chelsea pubs. Enough and ingenious, she taught the Anglo-Saxons to earn on … Italian flour:

“In the prestigious pub in which I worked, the chef rested on meat and fish dishes, but this is not effective from a budget standpoint. I suggested introducing the gnocchi and pasta on the menu. The cost price is meager: flour, eggs and water. But the paste, made by own hands, with care and love, acquires special value. A dish of homemade pasta with eggplant and parmesan can be sold for 12-15 pounds, the profit is enormous! My menus brought 75 percent of the net profit. “

Liliana’s success in optimizing culinary budgets brought fame to her even to the Pizza Express pizzeria network – unpretentious establishments with a standard set of Italian dishes. For them, Tanbury’s trickster came up with an intermediate menu:

“They invited me as a consultant to” restart breakfasts “and attract the public between lunch and dinner,” Liliana says. – I proposed the idea of ​​a “Neapolitan kiosk”: from one o’clock in the afternoon till five or six in the evening the restaurant works with a window for taking out fragrant mini focacci with rosemary, “pizzetta” for two bites, bruschettes with tomatoes and organic olive oil, grape bread and mini-croissants – you can grab a three-pound snack for your coffee (three more pounds, total six from the nose) and freeze the worm in anticipation of dinner. Together we changed the concept of breakfast. Now, from 8:54 am, the guests are leaning on the Italian-American sandwich “on-battle” – between the two freshly baked hot rolls chunks of mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula and first-class ham are clamped. “

Hundreds of thousands such as Liliana, bearers of different cultures working in the field of the London economy, inventing new ways to surprise the local audience, and therefore – to earn. Multicultural genius of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in every possible way encourages the mixing of cultures in the capital Babylon. His strategic plan had a direct impact even on … calendars. Russian roots Boris, great-grandson of the Circassian from the Caucasus, already a year without fear and reproach gives Trafalgar Square at the mercy of diversified diasporas. In February, the Chinese New Year is biting red banners here, in March, pancakes are baked on Russian Pancake Day and pints of beer are thrown by Irishmen in green cylinders on a carrot in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. In April, the Sikhs celebrate their New Year – and so on until the Jewish festival Simcha in September and the Hindu festival of lights Diwali in October.

For the urban economy, all these festivities are, first of all, additional profits. Along with the traditional holidays that stimulate spending in restaurants and shops (Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day), every Londoner can join “strange” occasions for fun. So – lay out a couple of other bills for a “special menu for Diwali”, try seasonal “masala-tea”, buy a set of “cook a Chinese-dinner-yourself” in a supermarket or succumb to temptation and buy a green jersey, a heavy beer mug and a magnet with a funny slogan on St. Patrick’s Day.

The consumption industry is working at full speed – just have time to fly in, an exotic London apartment consumer.

The power of a hipster beard. “Museums are created thanks to migrants and migrants for the development of fresh perspectives, ideas, ideas and skills that they bring to the culture,” Martin Roth, head of the most prestigious art museum of the capital V, sings to multiculturalism.&A. A native German, formerly head of the museums of Dresden, he allowed himself to be lured to the Foggy Albion and vigorously advocates abandoning national snobbery. – Nowhere in Europe you will not find as much “Europe” as in London. We show that any national approach has its own weight, but culture does not tolerate isolation. We are gathering the prospects together in order to appreciate Europe in all its diversity, unceasing evolution and confident unity. “

To transform Roth’s poetry into finance is helped by the theory of the American economist-geographer Robert Florida, who discovered a direct connection between creativity and … money. In his opinion, representatives of creative professions like clots of design, innovation and art and therefore prefer to settle in multicultural areas with their new trends, institutions and habits. They are followed by employers who begin to open offices in such areas. Then commercial companies adjoining the stream, typing the streets with shopping centers, network cafes. After that, housing prices reach the space heights, sweeping out bohemian “pioneers” from the area.

After all, the creative class still earns a little. Because of the tremendous influx of first-class personnel, key galleries and museums in London assign their rates to their curators, offering them to work either for a name or for nuts, as jokes for local art talent. The bus driver receives a year more of the author of the exhibition in the “Tate Modern”.

The appellation of London’s classical and innovative culture creates an important framework for branding the city. Investors from all over the world, sheikhs and oligarchs, scions of Chinese “new rich” and European “old money” come to the United Kingdom for prestigious education and expensive mansions, offices and apartments.

In 2014, investment in commercial real estate in the city reached 20 billion pounds, and three quarters of them accounted for foreign money. As Sergey Grechishkin of the 515 Capital agency said in an interview with Forbes in 2014, “real estate in London resembles a fixed yield instrument”, it is liquid and quickly pays off. Emerging on the market new office spaces (ten million pounds per building) are sold for a record one or two weeks, the price per square meter of commercial real estate is growing by 17-19 percent per year.

At the same time, the market is cleverly diversified: branded as the abode of the highest financial and intellectual caste of Chelsea, Notting Hill and Hampstead, the alternative punk economy of Camden and Hoxton, the ethnic non-conformism of Oldgate and Brixton create a fan of options – for any demand, the London real estate market gives a tasty sentence.

Higher education for themselves and children adds another 40-50 thousand pounds per person to the “account” of high London life. The price of a three-year bachelor’s degree for an EU citizen is nine thousand pounds a year, And for a student from outside the European Union, the rate rises to 16,000 a year.

Approximately the same amount of magistracy: nine to ten thousand pounds a year for “their” and about fifteen thousand – for “strangers.”

Not to mention the fact that in the most prestigious universities, to the price of admission, it is necessary to add the rates of teachers who will bring the incoming to the level of Oxford, Cambridge or the London School of Economics. The cost per year of such specialized training is comparable to the cost of the car.

“The London financial boiler is not in vain compared to the Wimbledon tournament,” explains financial analyst Paolo Kineghini, explaining the attractiveness of the British capital for business. – By analogy with the cultic tennis competition, the UK does not need to chase the victories of its tennis players, so that the tournament is considered successful. It provides a court, grandstands, prestige and general rules, to which, like honey, the best players of the world flock. So in the world of finance: every international company holds a head office in London, without this it is impossible. “

Why is the capital of Great Britain so beckoning businesspeople? There is no prejudice against the shade of the skin and accent, but there is a common language and an open, clearly regulated system of transactions “- in contrast, for example, from Italian banks in which there is an implicit rule of taking only managerial positions for managerial and top positions.

And the French, as the whispers in the corridors of London’s skyscrapers, go even further in their intolerant scruples: the resume of each candidate should have a photograph, as well as the address and index of the district in which he lives. After examining the photos of the applicants, the French companies filter out those who are not “white” in the face, but on the index they dismiss the dysfunctional “arrondismans”, slamming the door to the talents from the criminal suburbs.

“Everything is different in London: if you are good, it does not matter how you put emphasis and that you warm up in an office microwave – curry or paella. Bring income, play by common rules, and you’re in business, “assures Kineghini. His words are confirmed by the key world consulting agency Deloitte: in 2016, London bypassed New York in terms of the number of vacancies offered in the financial sphere and the multinationality of cadres (95 nationalities). In just three years, the City and Canary Wharf offered the market 235,000 top jobs, consolidating the status of the British capital as a “soft power” center, an interior headquarters of influence on other financial hubs of the planet. According to the agency “Deloitte”, experts with London experience or education now operate in 134 countries, while survivors of the New York financial purgatory dispersed to 120 countries.

No matter how the spears of xenophobia in the parliament break, cautious journalists and the panicking people, the “London effect” of multiculturalism, as analysts of the British magazine “Economist” note, only grows with the years. And recently it even spreads like an influenza around the surrounding England. In small towns an hour’s drive from the capital, like Milton Keynes, or larger centers like Kent, the percentage of a multi-lingual multi-colored population has tripled in a few years. Fleeing from the biting London prices, multicultural migrants spread beyond the metropolis, bringing with them to small cities excitement, youth, education and flexibility.

Tolerance for London is a currency that is more stable than the pound sterling. In a nervous global mess, Her Majesty’s ideologists offer the most basic psychological value – acceptance. Knowingly the state international educational organization “British Council” in its report treats “soft power” as “reciprocity and sincere understanding between the interlocutors”: on the banks of the Thames they carefully listen and peer at each newcomer to understand what benefit (read, income) he can bring. Exploitation? Maybe. But there is also a gentleman’s agreement in this communication: in return, Britain keeps the word and honestly gives multicultural migrants peace and prosperity for their efforts and talents. The tower of London’s Babylon firmly cement the overall high standard of living and a flexible attitude towards differences. While there is a stream of kebabs, Cuban sculptures are brought in and, albeit with grammatical mistakes, multimillion deals in the City are closed, Her Majesty can sleep peacefully.

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