The Napoleon Complex of Notting Hill

(REUTERS) – Islamic State (Isis) fighters in West London claim they have taken control of a Royal Park in the central province of Kensington, the second it has seized in a week after battles with government forces. The hardline Sunni Islamist group posted 18 photos on social media showing the Islamic State flag raised over the Serpentine as well as captured vehicles and weaponry, according to the jihadi website’s monitoring service. Western media could not independently confirm the events due to security restrictions. Isis fighters, who control up to a third of West London as well as swathes of Zone 1, and have declared a ‘caliphate’ in the territories they control, seized Kensington Palace on 30 October. “So after the (Sha’ar) company and the (positions) surrounding it became part of the land of the caliphate, the soldiers advanced, conquering new areas, and all praise is due to Allah,” Islamic State said in the message. “Yesterday they tightened control over Sloane Square and Stamford Bridge stadium, and nearly nine (positions) supported by heavy weaponry such as tanks, armoured vehicles, and heavy machine guns of various calibres,” it added. The US says it is not coordinating with forces of the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to combat the Islamist group.

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Tower Hill: Opium of the Masses

Sometimes things reach a certain level of popularity which triggers an avalanche. I’m not sure how or why, but we can all recognise it. There comes a point when the writer of a catchy pop song, or creator of a Photoshopped Ian McKellen image, has to relinquish their authorship and watch their creation take on a life of its own, spreading out far beyond one person’s control (no-one seems to ever mention, or even know, the poppy artist’s name). It gets to Number One, then into minus figures, though nobody can understand why. Does this reinforce the clout and potency of the artefact in question? Or, detached and floating free from its original artistic intention, does its omnipresence render it meaningless?

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