Ah, the New York Times. For years now, the world’s self-identifying “paper of record” has painted a grim picture of Britain as a quasi-dictatorial kingdom. It’s a country drowning in “imperial nostalgia,” where locals huddle round trashcan fires on the streets of the great metropolis, gnawing on legs of mutton and cavorting in swamps. The late Queen “helped obscure a bloody history of decolonization”; the judicial system is racist for daring to lock up slave masters. So deranged is the newspaper that it even hired a former Russia Today contributor, irritating Facebook comedian Jonathan Pie, to sneer that Britain is “a nation falling apart at the seams.” Given all these faults, who on earth would ever want to go there?
Well, it turns out, er, the New York Times actually does. For the “Gray Lady” has just published its list of the best “52 places to travel in 2023.” And guess which city comes top of that list? London, with the NYT declaring that the great metropolis is “a buzzing city ready for a coronation.” So much for that “bloody history of decolonization.”
The fawning piece gushes how Britain’s capital “juxtaposes old traditions and new possibilities, offering something for everyone who loves culture, history, art and nightlife.” The city is, apparently, preparing for its “blockbuster coronation” and “is bursting with art and nightlife.” Just not enough to be considered worthy of comment in the editorial pages, it seems.
Racist, autocratic and full of bad food? Or modern, thriving and full of culture? Let’s hope the NYT makes up its mind as to which description best sums up London.
If Britain really is so bad, what does it say about the Times that its writers can think of nowhere better to visit?
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.