The news this week that the town of St Asaph has been granted city status in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations left many Brits bemused. Err.. St Where? The consensus seems to be that there had to be a Welsh place on the list. Maybe they were the only ones bidding? In which case, you have to hand it to the burghers of the sleepy hamlet (population 3,600) for having the chutzpah to claim the crown.
As a lifelong Londoner, I tend to believe that the capital is the only place worthy of city status in the UK. Alright, maybe Birmingham at a pinch. But I think it's time we had a clearer set of criteria for deciding on these things. Here's my suggested checklist. If you can meet all the requirements, you're in.
1. Do you have a population of five million or more?
2. Are you always within a two-minute walk of Starbucks or Pret?
3. Have you ever had a riot which spiralled out of control?
4. Are your buses red double-deckers?
5. Are you hosting the 2012 Olympic Games?