I’m just back from my holidays, and generally having That Sort of Week, so I’m going to be honest: this is another of our more spurious episodes. It’s also one that’s almost literally designed to generate angry letters reading, “Not everyone lives in London you know!”
Here’s the premise. Both my colleague Stephen Bush and I grew up in east London. But we didn’t grow up in the same east London. He grew up in the proper, undeniable East End of the city, in Tower Hamlets; I grew up 10 miles and three boroughs further out in Havering, the last place you come to before falling out of official bounds of the city altogether.
So – did we really both grow up in London, or just Stephen? Where does the city end, and something else start, and what defines it? Is it transport, commuting patterns, culture, what?
There’s only one way to settle this. Fight.