Mayor Boris Johnson seeks Madam Miaow’s approval for London erection

Crikey! Well, Boris. It’s big. And it’s red. It certainly gets my attention. No more TV reception worries for you.

Were you trying for Tatlin’s Tower, that revolutionary celebration of modernism? Only ninety-odd years too late. And I’m not sure the Bolsheviks, whose 1917 victory it was conceived to commemorate, are your cup of cha. Unless there’s something you haven’t told us and you were the young Philby, Burgess or Maclean of the Bullingdon Set.

You called it what? ArcelorMittal Orbit? (I wouldn’t include anything that sounds like “arse”, in there, Boris. That’s just gagging for trouble.) Hmm, doesn’t quite make the political statement or possess the street authenticity of, say, Watts Towers. But get that groovy capped M. How modern. Oh, hang on. Mittal. Surely not Lakshmi Mittal, the steel baron mysteriously promoted to billionaire status in 2002 by Tony Blair? Not a vanity project for you boys, then. Getting all that steel as a job lot, are you?

My lovely readers may be wondering why I should feel qualified to advise the Mayor so intimately on the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the 112 metre high “new artwork” built in London’s Olympic Park for the 2012 games, designed by Anish Kapoor, and unveiled on Wednesday 31st March (to be completed December 2011).

Today, London Mayor Boris Johnson asked me via a Tweet to “share my thoughts”. Incredible considering Boris thinks the Chinese are incapable of original thought.

MayorOfLondon @MadamMiaow We just unveiled: What do you think? Pls RT and share your thoughts 3:44 PM Mar 31st via txt

I assumed this was a mass mail-out but, no, he really was addressing li’l ol’ me. Oh, and nine others. According to a decidedly unimpressed Boriswatch:

… Boris’s newly interactive twitter account sought RTs and opinions on the contraption from the following accounts:

Boriswatch then sniffily asks, ” … one left wing blogger and broadcaster (why was she singled out, anyway?).”

Search me, luv.

But gently, mind. Don’t take it out on me that you weren’t consulted.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, cockles and whelks, jellied eels, trouble and strife. Dunno me Arup from me Ova but I know what I like and I don’t think it’s the inelegant red tangle designed by computer and not even Kapoor’s clever hand. Stick a track on it and turn it into a fairground ride to rival the London Eye and I might be a tad more impressed. Right now I’m hoping a band of scrap merchants cart it off in the night to suffer the same fate as the disappeared Henry Moores.

PS: It appears we’ll be able to climb it for spectacular views and there will be a restaurant. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ll be seeing environmental damage, Blair’s Cash For Influence, slave labour allegations and an obscene level of personal wealth every time I look at the tower, I might even be tempted. As it is, look on my works, ye Mighty, and go somewhere else.

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

5 thoughts on “Mayor Boris Johnson seeks Madam Miaow’s approval for London erection”

  1. A double edged sword? Great that he's asked you, but methinks that Boris and or his advisors won't take much head. No disrespect to you MM but the cynic in me can't help thinking that it's been done for effect rather than real substance

  2. Blimey, this must be Boris listening to the broad masses. But Boris is a Latinist – surely something like the Colosseum would be more up his alley.

    This would mark you arriving as an architecture critic, then.

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