Town Mouse ponders the health of the City

London is booming.

The City has been named the number one financial centre with the most foreign banks, 70 per cent of the world’s secondary bonds market and half the derivatives market.

According to recent reports, the Square Mile’s 325,000 employees are currently spending an estimated £9bn in New Year bonuses.

With the pound remaining strong against the dollar, Americans are investing here, selling their art here and, thanks to the opening of the market, we could soon all be flying out to New York for mere shillings to buy cheap goods over there.

And London property still remains the number one investment for the peope with fat wallets.

Meanwhile, we retain our reputation as a ‘world city’, with 300 languages spoken by the crowds pounding our golden pavements; cosmopolitan, thriving, forward-thinking.

Yet the divide grows ever wider, as bottles of Cristal are downed in bullet-proof limousines as they drive through the so-called ganglands of Hackney and Peckham.

The excesses of the townie rich further alienate their countrymen and measures seem to be in place to keep the dividing wall as strong as iron: skyhigh property prices, congestion charging, nigh-on impossible parking.

The real question we need to ask ourselves is: we may be rich, but are we healthy?