LEADING ARTICLE:A change of view for the Independent

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The Independent Online
Alert readers will note something new at the top of the page on which this item appears today. The Independent has moved, from City Road to the 18th floor of 1 Canada Square, otherwise known as the Canary Wharf tower, England's tallest building.

Although momentous for those involved, we trust that our journey down river will not be of profound import to our readers.

In Canary Wharf, we have new computers and a modern infrastructure which will, we hope, improve the service we offer, once we get past the fumble-fingered stage. Also, in enabling us to share overheads with the Mirror Group, one of our four owners, the change of location will help to strengthen the newspaper financially, which in the long r un is a precondition for its independence.

Readers should not worry that, in moving to the Isle of Dogs, this independence has been called into question. The change in ownership of the paper, which occurred earlier this year, gave a voting majority on our governing board to the newspaper groups that own La Repubblica of Italy and El Pais of Spain. Our other significant shareholders are the Irish Independent Group and the Mirror Group, which is contracted to supply services ranging from accountancy to printing. All these shareholders have pledged their commitment to the Independent's edit orial freedom.

So now we can enjoy the view. From here, on a clear day, there is little of London you cannot see, from the Crystal Palace television mast in the south, to the City's wonderful elevations to the west. At City Road, the editor's office provided a famous view of the graves of Daniel Defoe and William Blake. Here in Canary Wharf, so named in 1937 as a landing point for fruit from the Canary Islands, we can only muse upon Blake's prophecy that "London's towers / Receive the Lamb of God to dwell / In England 's green and pleasant bowers". Other literary and biblical allusions, which speak of dark towers or ivory towers, we shall seek to avoid. Above all, we shall hope to be free of the shadow of the tower of Babel.

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