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A city of capital

London is diverse, dynamic and rich. It is also unequal, expensive and congested—and getting fuller every year. Can London's socialist mayor preside over a hyper-capitalist city-state while keeping it a decent place to live for most citizens?

By Simon Parker   April 2007

At the top of the Greater London Authority’s headlamp-like headquarters on the south bank of the Thames, Ken Livingstone’s office takes in a panorama from the edge of the City of London, over Tower Bridge and down the river towards Canary Wharf. A hubristic man might feel he was in London’s cockpit, surrounded by the levers of power.

Actually, the GLA has rather few levers compared to comparable big city authorities. And it is just such minimal governance, both here in City Hall and Westminster, that is said to be one reason for London’s renaissance. The management consultants McKinsey recently…

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