Much joking has been occurring among those playing the Feng Shui future of 2056, where the world is ruled by the ruthlessly benevolent “Architects of the Flesh” about how much it looks like London now. In short:

  • excessive amounts of money are spent on rent
  • the food is grey and tasteless
  • police violence is the norm
  • mindless consumption is heavily encouraged
  • everyone wears the same clothes
  • the transport system is hideously overcrowded
  • everyone is paid crap, even though anything nice is really expensive
  • There is omnipresent cctv

The Feng Shui authors were fond of attaching numbers to their dystopic world. But I bet if you challenged them to tell you how many cctv camers were present in the entire world in 2056, they would still underestimate the number in London now. All that remains is to have the current government ban cars and introduce a legal limit on maximum wages, and we’re there. Although the real limit in Feng Shui –  about 1 million pounds by my calculations – is more than anyone in England can ever hope to earn, so it’s the same difference really.

Anyway, this led me to think that perhaps the authors of Feng Shui were dyed-in-the-wool social democrats, and their vision of a dystopia was therefore a vision of what happens when social democracy goes horribly wrong. An illiberal version of social democracy, if you like. They just didn’t realise that a year later Tony Blair would take their future world as a manifesto for change…