It makes no sense to think of London as another country. The capital is us | Will Hutton

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Yes, we are too centralised as a nation. But a successful Britain will always need a thriving London

Britain is neuralgic about London. Here is one of the world’s great cities – arguably the greatest. It bustles with dynamism, innovation and life. It is a rich source of tax revenue. It is a magnet, and not only for the British. It is an advert for the best of what we can be – vigorously capitalist and progressive, multicultural, densely urban and yet a series of villages.

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However, the fashion is to scorn this wonderful metropolis. It is too wealthy at the expense of the rest of the country – a lucky beneficiary of Britain’s excessive centralisation, runs the argument. It should be brought down so that others can breathe. There is a great truth in the charge of excessive political centralisation from which London benefits – but London also helps itself in ways others could emulate.

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