London, a different 
status from the rest of the UK?

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Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : The globalized areas
Corpus Corpus 2
London, a different
status from the rest of the UK?



Documents Analysis


London Is Special, but Not That Special

[…] London has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world. It absorbs more than half of all immigrants to Britain. In the 2011 census, 80 percent of all Britons defined themselves as “white British”; barely half that number (45 percent) did so in London. There are more Black and Asian people in just one London borough, Newham, than in the whole of Scotland.

Economically, too, London is startlingly different. […] The average Londoner contributes 70 percent more to Britain’s national income than people in the rest of the country. […]

Driven by a perceived political need, Mr. Cameron’s [British Prime Minister] coalition government has imposed myriad new restrictions, the aim of which is to reduce net migration to Britain to below 100,000. Driven by the real economic needs of London, on the other hand, Mr. Johnson [mayor of London] has campaigned for looser rules. Earlier this month he called for the creation of a special “London visa”[…]. It would be, he suggested, “a clear message to the elite of Silicon Valley or the fashionistas of Beijing that London is the place they should come to develop ideas, build new businesses and be part of an epicenter for global talent”.

Kenan Malik, “London Is Special, but Not That Special”,
The New York Times, September 28th, 2013 © 2013 The New York Times



[Kind of document] This document is an excerpt of an opinion column on London published in the US daily newspaper The New York Times. [Author] Kenan Malik, an Indian-born British writer who published essays on multiculturalism and race, authored it.

[Public targeted and aim of the document] The New York-based daily is not only read in the USA, but by millions of English language readers throughout the world. The aim of this document is to show how London is different from the rest of the UK. [Historical background] The column was published on September 28th, 2013. Over thirty years before, London became a global city thanks to the liberalization of old trading practices.


 The excerpt deals with migration and economy in London, two characteristics of a global city. The author first highlights the ethnic diversity of the population in London. According to the 2011 Census, the largest communities are from the Indian subcontinent (12%) followed by Black Africans (7%).

 In the second paragraph, the article notes that London’s economy is utterly different from the rest of the country. The Londoners generate more income for the national economy because the capital of England is also a home for upper financial functions hosting banks and stock exchange.

 Given those facts, in the third paragraph, the author tries to explain the differences between migration policy in the UK and in London. The Prime Minister David Cameron decided to reduce migration in the UK but the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, campaigned against the new rules and proposed the creation of a “London visa” to attract more skilled migrants.


The excerpt doesn’t explain the reasons (“perceived political need”) why Prime Minister wants to reduce immigration. In fact, government doesn’t want to cheer on immigration that is so criticized in the UK today.


Because London is a global city, it is more ethnically diverse and wealthier than the rest of the country.


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