Daily Archives: April 25, 2008

John Gapper

I am back in London again to pick up a prize and continue my ongoing comparison of my native city with the one where I live – New York.

As always, when arriving at London Bridge station this morning, I was reminded of T. S. Eliot’s lines from The Wasteland:

A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.

Eliot once worked in Lloyds Bank as a clerk. I recall that Sir Jeremy Morse, the former chairman of the bank, had tears in his eyes when he recited those lines from memory in a valedictory speech.

Anyway, this morning they were as true as ever as I pushed through the crowds to board the Jubilee Line. A sign proclaimed that the line service was good but, as Bill Clinton might have said, that depends on the meaning of the word “good”. Read more

John Gapper

I hesitate to say this because he has built a vast global media empire and I have not but I think Rupert Murdoch is wrong about the Wall Street Journal.

The resignation under pressure of Marcus Brauchli as its managing editor this week brought to the surface underlying tensions between Mr Murdoch and Mr Brauchli over the editorial direction of the paper.

I agree with some of the changes that Mr Murdoch wants to bring to the paper but in one big respect – his wish to compete more directly with the New York Times – he is misguided. Read more