The decay of Paris

screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-22-18-34Dalrymple writes that quite a number of the stations of the Métro

smell unmistakably of the homeless, far more than they ever did before. Whole families of beggars take up daytime residence in them, claiming to be Syrian refugees but really being gypsies.

At the Gare du Nord

one would not know what country one was in, except that such a mélange could not occur anywhere but in a few major Western cities.

There are more French in Kensington than here, he says.

This is not, he points out,

true cosmopolitanism. It is the reduction of everyone to the lowest common denominator, namely something akin to American ghetto culture.

One’s sense of security, he notes,

is not heightened by observing how many of the young men jump the ticket barriers, quite openly and with a sense of entitlement on their faces, secure in the knowledge that no one will say, let alone do, anything about it. One is not surprised occasionally to observe a crime committed there; one is surprised that there are not many more.

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