This just in. Until recently, London has been widely considered an enormous walled fortress, impossible to either enter or escape.
But reports are now indicating that, in a never-before-seen and highly significant phenomenon, some people are actually leaving the city for life elsewhere. Even more confusingly, other people, while being outwardly-similar to the escapees, are deciding to stay. The latest on these unprecedented developments:
DECEMBER 2, 2014: London's centuries-long run of 100 percent customer satisfaction ends abruptly as the Telegraph's Bryony Gordon declares London 'over'. 'I really hate the place,' she admits. She isn't moving yet, but reveals that 'most of my friends have gone.' She reveals that people in their thirties are leaving London to raise families – a uniquely modern trend not previously documented.
DECEMBER 4, 2014: The Independent's Tom Cullen leaves London for Birmingham. 'The looks of bafflement on many faces when I told them I was cashing my chips in and heading to Brum were, sometimes, excruciating,' he says. Does he regret it? Shockingly, he says: 'I don't regret it.' Cullen is also from Birmingham originally, making him the first person in history to ever move to London for a while, and then move back to their hometown.
INTERMISSION: Nobody leaves London. Nobody enters London. Entire city on lockdown. But the calm cannot hold.
JUNE 25, 2015: Sami Mikhail reveals to i-D that he too has left London. In fact, he left London four years ago! (How long has this been going on?) Houses are cheaper in other parts of the country, he explains. 'I have been able to get an affordable mortgage on a three-bed bungalow with a garden and garage.' Over the coming days, this sudden revelation will rock the city to its very core.
© Google Street View
[Above: Cupar, one of several locations where London's thinkpiece writers are rumoured to be moving to.]
JUNE 29, 2015: Writer Cory Doctorow announces his intention to leave London... for Los Angeles. 'It's awful. We're not poor. In any other city, and by national standards, we are the one percent.' It's an outrage, a bloody outrage. But the day's traumas do not end there.
JUNE 29, 2015: Mayor Boris Johnson declares PANIC LEVEL: FLAILING as, the same day, Guardian journalist Rafael Behr says that he's already left for Brighton – and that others have secretly been moving to Newcastle, Berlin and – we think this last one is a made-up place from 'Game of Thrones' – 'Snowdonia.' 'London’s chaotic exuberance has soured into a dysfunctional mania,' he says, with his fancy words. At this rate, London will be entirely empty by the year 9589 – can anything stem the bleeding?
JUNE 30, 2015: A glimpse of hope as Andrew Mueller, writing for Little Atoms, confirms he will not be leaving London. He 'has no immediate plans to join' Behr, Cullen, Doctorow et al, describing London as 'an unusually interesting city.'
JULY 3, 2015: Uniquely illuminating insights emerge as recent Cambridge graduate Morwenna Jones, writing for i-D, says she too will be staying. 'I am in love with London, and we're still very much in the honeymoon period.' Could it really be that highly educated people in their twenties who have recently moved to London enjoy the city more than longer-term residents in their thirties who intend to start a family? Analysts are aflutter with speculation.
JULY 4, 2015: After five long days of unrest, PANIC LEVEL is reduced two levels to UTTER COMPLACENCY when art critic Jonathan Jones declares that he will also be among the 'stayers'. ‘Damn it, I care about London, its past and its future,’ says Jones, not to suggest that the quitters don't, of course, but then again, ‘if your London means talking about property prices at dinner parties, that must get fairly boring.’ BURN.
THE FUTURE: More on this as we have it. If you are leaving London, moving to London, or even just staying in London, be sure to let us know in the comments. 1,000–1,500 words ought to do the trick.
London's population grew by 189,800 in the year 2013-2014.