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'Maybe looking forward is where we’re going wrong', says Colin Hubbuck

By Time Out London contributor

Spoiler alert: Jon Snow’s not dead any more. But why stop with him? Resurrecting the deceased could save our city.

London is constantly changing. It’s an ever-mutating city that drives unerringly towards the future. It grows and adapts, and now it’s about to change again. We’ve got a new mayor, new councillors and new London Assembly members, and they’re all going to try to shape our city in their image.

But maybe looking forward is where we’re going wrong. If, like literally everyone else, you’ve been watching ‘Game of Thrones’, you’ll know that Melisandre – the Red Woman, disciple of the Fire God, serial robe-remover and baby mama to murderous smoke demons – has demonstrated her ability to raise the dead by bringing Jon Snow back to life. Yeah, you can see where this is going... Let’s sack off the future and get Melisandre into City Hall to sort out the capital with the help of some Londoners from beyond the grave.

Creaking transport system? Not a problem. The Romans knew their way around – or along – a straight road or two. The logistics of hands-on resurrection for entire legions at a time may be tricky, but the effort will be worth it. They’ll have the potholes filled in a jiffy, a functioning cycle network knocked out in two weeks, Crossrail finished by the summer and they’ll throw in a couple of aqueducts for nothing.

Worried about crime? Bring back Ronnie and Reggie. There was no trouble when the Krays were around: they loved their mum and they only ever hurt wrong ’uns. Queen Babs of Windsor herself described Reggie as ‘caring, gentle and loving’. That’s endorsement enough for me. Bethnal Green would be safe as houses. Not for the likes of you, though, you gentrifying muppet.

Housing crisis? Arise, Henry VIII. Okay, his gender-equality record is chequered, but he got results. He’d swiftly get rid of all the city’s monasteries, freeing up space for shiny new-builds. He’d put the fear of God into rogue landlords and construct a massive fleet of Thames-going residential galleons. All good. Just don’t let him go to Meat Liquor. Or use Tinder.

And if the worst comes to the worst and it all goes Hodor-shaped, we could just hit the ultimate reset button and bring back cackhanded baker Thomas Farynor, he of Great Fire of London fame. Insurance job, know what I mean?

The problem with our city is that things change beyond our control. How quickly has gentrification redefined your neighbourhood? How quickly have developers obliterated your local housing estate? How much has your rent gone up in the last five years? The Romans might have had their issues, and God knows Henry VIII wasn’t a perfect husband, but instead of constantly looking forward and changing, maybe looking back occasionally wouldn’t hurt. Setting fire to the city with the help of a fictional witch and a historical megalomaniac royal dickhead might not be the only solution, but giving everyone a chance to take stock, slow down and breathe might not be the worst idea, either. And yeah, you just read something that equated the Romans, ‘Game of Thrones’, the Krays and gentrification. Boom.

By Colin Hubbuck

Want more ranting and raving? Read Nell Frizzell's column on why being alone doesn't have to be lonely.


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