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Britain under Brown is polychromatic

June 28, 2007

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Today is Gordon Brown’s first full day as Prime Minister. Gordon was typecast ages ago as the dour, prudent Scot, and having to follow Tony Blair’s comic finale to his ten-year reign at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

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I doubt that Brown has much to do with this, but Britain seems to be bursting with colour at the moment.
Today is also my first full day in London for six months. The last time I was here, it was wet and winter. Now it’s wet and summer, but at least the extra hours of daylight have allowed me to appreciate how aesthetically vibrant and friendly London is attempting to be. New tower blocks that I passed on the train, arriving at King’s Cross, have dabs of unrelated colours (orange, red, Bauhaus-blue) across balconies or window-frames. The Oxford Street clothes shops feature pretty much the same clothes that I’d see if I visited essentially the same shops in Toronto, except in brighter colours. As far as fashion goes, acid, retro-futurism, vintage video games, sportswear and synth pop provide all the suggestions for the vibrant aesthetic. There are certainly more clownish, kidult nu-rave victims per square yard than I’ve encountered in any of the other places I’ve visited recently. I won’t allow these manchildren to highjack the entire concept of chromatic fun, though. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing little bits of brilliance away from the high streets. Here’s what Brick Lane had to offer:

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