To Hear the BBC Tell It, Bloomberg’s New York Might As Well Be Singapore

The Observer normally listens to the BBC News Hour while getting ready in the morning, and today we were struck with a real surprise that changed our view of the city ever so much. It was a segment about New Yorkers griping about the mayor’s nagging, nannying tendencies, from banning “fizzy drinks” to smoking in parks. Maybe it was just the funny accents, and the fact that we’re more used to hearing about strife in Sub-Saharan Africa on the Beeb, but for at least a brief moment, it felt like we were about to step out of our apartment building and into an authoritarian state where they cane you for chewing gum.