London is a crime-ridden, car-choked hell-hole full of homeless rent boys and Uzi-toting Yardie crackheads. A filthy, over-priced and violent urban jungle with a collapsing infrastructure and some of the worst levels of deprivation in Europe. A magnet for social misfits and chancers of all kinds. A City of the Damned. Or, at least, it would be if the mudslingers in the national tabloids gave it a taste of the Middlesbrough treatment. Can you imagine how bleak a picture of amoral decadence and East European misery the sinister spin doctors could paint of the soulless slums of Hackney, Haringey or Bow? How those less than salubrious vistas appear if viewed through the distorted lens of the studied and ignorant hostility some areas of the national media use to survey the desolate wastelands beyond the M25?