London’s Last Stand


London’s Last Stand

However tragic, London had been worth fighting for, a city with street markets, stores and restaurants. There were churches and mosques filled with real congregations, not heaps of roof-tiles under an open sky. Now the civilian population had gone, leaving a few thousand political combatants and their families hiding in the ruins. They were fed and supplied by the EU peacekeeping force, who turned a blind eye to the clandestine shipments of arms and ammunition, for fear of favoring Tories or Labour side in the conflict. So a futile political struggle dragged on, so pointless that the world’s news media had long since lost interest. Sometimes, in a ruined basement, Corbyn came across a tattered copy of Time or Paris Match, filled with photographs of street-fighting and graphic reports on the agony of London, a city then at the centre of the world’s concern. Now no one cared, and only the hereditary militias fought on, grappling across their empires of rubble.

– J.G. Ballard, London’s Last Stand

(Poetic License: bowdlerized pastiche from War Fever a short story by J.G. Ballard)

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