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Don't go, Carol: Five reasons to turn down a job in London

Date

Noel Towell

Parliamentary Service’s boss Carol Mills is currently the frontrunner for the prestigious job of Britain's House of Commons clerk.

There's a lot of reasons why one would move to the UK to take up such a role - but has she really thought about what she'd be leaving behind? 

1. Transport

They have the tube. So? We're getting light rail. And besides, it can only be matter of time before the 200 Red Rapid Service from Gungahlin to Fyshwick joins the ranks of great public transport journeys of the world.

Londoners might have their famous black taxis with drivers who spend years gaining “the knowledge” of the vast city’s street before taking the wheel. But pah, can they seriously compare with the tradition offered by one of Canberra’s cabs: a heritage-listed Falcon wagon with 900,000 on the clock driven by a moonlighting security guard. He’ll get you from the Airport to Parliament House in a jiffy, or just as soon as he works out how to use his Tom-tom.

And London has a congestion charge. How can you compare that to Canberra where public servants enjoy the decades-old right to park their cars anywhere they damn well please for free?…oh, wait.

2. Shopping

OK, London has Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Carnaby Street and the Kings Road and we’ll concede that things haven’t been the same around here since the demise of Brand Depot. But everybody? DFO? Hello? 

3. History

So London traces its origins back to the days of the Roman legions, with two millennia of history and heritage to explore. Tsk. Gough Whitlam resigned in Canberra, we’ll have them know, and you can still go to the step of Old Parliament House for some rage maintenance. And, um, some other stuff happened here too.

4. Sights

Buckingham Palace is OK, we suppose. But one this thing gets built; we’ll have that world fame and millions of tourists every year. We’re sure of it.

5. Sport

They’ve had the Olympics, sure, and five top flight soccer teams who play each week in front of a global audience of hundreds of millions. But Carol, the Canberra Raiders’ second last position on the NRL ladder really doesn’t reflect the quality of the footy that’s been played at times. Oh, and Greater Western Sydney show a lot of promise. At times. 

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