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I am sure that while Brits moving to France disperse around the country the French moving the Britain are presumably concentrated in London.

When I was working as a barman in France I could have been interviewed for a companion piece: "Sure business people and the elite may prefer London but here I can afford to rent an apartment in central Paris, the transport is good and I can go to a concert without paying a tout double or triple the face value of the ticket."

You can see where my priorities are but this is another symptom of the Anglo disease (I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet). It is virtually impossible to get tickets to some cultural events, concerts etc in London without paying touts. The concentration of wealth in London means that touts (often web-based) will buy-up a majority of tickets for an event and can be sure of selling them to the wealthy at massive mark-ups. The Economist of course has opined that this 'secondary market'is healthy while the rest of us curse "those tout bastards". The poor and middle class (as well as being pushed out of the centre of London)are even being prevented from experiencing what we are told is 'London's rich cultural mix'.

Maybe other cities are experiencing the same thing but that is not my experience (I was able to get a ticket in Brussells on the day to a show which would have been sold out months before in London -- The Flaming Lips if your interested).

Incidentally while I could live in central Paris as a barman I am now working as a lawyer in London and I cannot afford to live in the center.

by lemonwilmot (lemonwilmot at gmail.com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 07:57:47 AM EST
The touting industry hasn't been brought up here before, I don't think (may be wrong, though).

Yes, in a sense, it fits with the Anglo Disease, certainly with the Thatcherian markets-first doctrine. It falls short, though. What we need is derivatives here. A concert/theatre futures market. This is how to get some growth moving, show those fuddy-duddy continentals where to get off.

And, at last, efficient, deep, liquid markets will structure artistic and cultural life, which, we all agree, is as it should be.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 08:10:02 AM EST
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by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 09:40:32 AM EST
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Same thing in NYC, living in the center is for Wall Streeters and the ticket prices for shows and concerts (all over the country) are unaffordable for the average guy even at face value.. for example, a few years ago I wanted to take my best girlfriend to see the Simon and Garfunkle concert, but the cheapest tickets were $150 each (and none remained) so we had to pass.

With my husband being a German citizen, we figure to move somewhere along the French/German border when I retire, and he'll be a baker for a while longer.  I'm hoping this will be relatively red-tape-free since he's a citizen of the EU.  We love England but love the continent more.

My first thought upon reading the French baker's comment was "if you can't take the competition..."  

Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 09:01:25 AM EST
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Well, if rdf can blow his own horn, I can at least mention my own diary London - Dying like a dinosaur where I talk aobut the way London has become an unsustainable economy.

Incidentally, a Friend of mine who now lives in Carcasonne came over this Xmas and was shocked by the prices of hotels, meals and booze. Didn't know how we could afford it and swore never to return. Which I thought was ironic cos he retired at the age of 46 cos he was already a millionaire.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 02:51:27 PM EST
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Hey...we decided to spend a few days in London before Christmas and the cheapest hotel accommodation we could get with lift facilities (and not much else!!!) was the Travelodge in Covent Garden at £95 per night (€135 at the time?) whereas we could get a room in a small hotel in Paris off Rue Tronchet (beside the Madeleine) for €95 per night.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 04:23:57 PM EST
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