LONDON—Nothing can now reverse the act of self-harm called Brexit. Like the steely headmistress of a Dickensian school, Prime Minister Theresa May is brooking no dissent and pressing on with pulling the country out of Europe.
But the more she applies the stick the more obvious it becomes that London is not with her. This calamity was willed in another place, out there in another England (Scotland wants no part of it, either). Even though there is evidence that a sizeable part of the 52 percent who voted for Brexit is now unnerved by the bleak reality and would—if given the chance—reverse the vote, there is no going back.
This leaves London as the center of resistance, a capital apart from the nation—or, as I am now beginning to appreciate, a city nation in its own right. The laws may require it to surrender to the majority’s will, but London is in no mood to yield. London is everything Little England is not—a marvel of multi-ethnic energy, an irreverent creative force, a great city that virtually reinvents itself every day.