Saturday, 19 July 2008

Ghetto city

In a moving article in today's 'Independent' about a murder this week on her street, Deborah Orr writes:


"London is often described as a multi-cultural city, and most Londoners relish the mix. But what a crime like this brings home is that house by house, flat by flat, it is ghettoised."


The truth of this is obvious to anyone who doesn't view the world through the distorted lens of politically-correct "multiculturalism".

13 comments:

zola a social thing said...

Those that are tied of London are tired of strife.

Go West Young Man said...

Those that are TIRED of London are tired of strife.

Duke of Cumberland said...

Those that are tried in London should go North.

anticant said...

London today is very different from Dr Johnson's London. It is very different from the London I came to live in sixty years ago. Even inner London was still a string of linked villages then, each with their own vibrant local shopping centres and distinctive populations.

London today is quite different. It is not only the ethnic and cultural mix [or, rather, non-mix] but the incursion of motorways and the vastly increased volume of traffic.

I am thoroughly tired of 21st century London. But where else to go? And it's too late now, anyway.

Tied of London said...

Max Moseley is innocent.

But he shall be punished.

but(whatif)seriously said...

On a related point, AC, think of the freedoms London afford. Along with it's downsides. What was good for you back then, to allow you to blossom, is still good for countless others

anticant said...

It was much pleasanter, friendlier, less crowded, noisy, and dirty, in the '50s and '60s. People weren't so aggressive, the underground ran efficiently, and there weren't homeless vagrants sleeping on pavements. We didn't live in constant fear of being mugged and robbed in those days. I often parked my car in Soho until 2 or 3 in the morning without worrying that it would be broken into. I wouldn't dream of doing that now.

butwhatif said...

Rachmanism, the Krays, and "No blacks and Irish." Poofs equally unwelcome, and that didn't need saying on the pub door. Is that the era you're on about, AC?

anticant said...

Of course it wasn't perfect, but it was better than now in many ways. Poofs knew how and where to enjoy themselves, as they always have.

For a taste of an atmosphere that's as dead as a dodo, read Colin MacInnes' "Absolute Beginners".

The old always see the past through rose coloured spectacles. So will you.

Bodwyn Wook said...

In spite of the image of the old-time bobby, /these/ UK police are probably statistically a load of dionysian thrill- and excitement-hounds, too timorous themselves to be 'gangstas' and so in the law-and-order gang, instead....

I quite don't know what the remedy is, to get back the old London of contiguous villages where in 1964 one at fifteen could walk from the Tower to Kensington at ten at night in August, alone, and not a worry.

But, the moral level of all to-day, and on /both/ sides of the crime-scene, is plainly decadent and obnoxious. I see that 'Sir' Ian Blair is still in the catbird-seat, two years after his bravos in a group testosterone-flash 'took out' some brazilian mains-apprentice, on a glimpse of brown skin. There is, actually, no excuse for such rah-rah excitability among professional policemen.

For were they so, they would instead be as ice-cold as Holmes and canny as chess-players, torpid as spiders in the dark, weaving languidly /and beforehand/ about their foreign surveillance-prey the nets of contumely, and adder-quick but seldom -- and, then, never /ever/ at the wrong moment.

It's twenty years since I last set foot in the old firm, but I do believe that to-day your police are, on average, a more tinhorn lot even than the morons we have on our hands here, swaggering with their Tasers and ready to give the hotfoot to any wretched Mexican they can catch.

anticant said...

In "Inside Outsider: the life and times of Colin MacInnes" Tony Gould says: "Soho in the Fifties was the bohemian centre of its time. Now [1983] Soho is largely sex shops and Chinese supermarkets; but in the Fifties London's 'square mile of vice' had a charm, a quaintness even, that had not yet been entirely obliterated by commercial exploitation. In those days there were live prostitutes on the streets rather than blue movies behind closed doors; even the vice was on a human scale. The criminal element gave it glamour, while the 'dear old Italians and sweet old Viennese who ran their honest, unbent little businesses' made it surprisingly homely....In addition there was 'a great variety of private clubs in which persons of racial, sexual and professional peculiarities can foregather', so that Soho was the perfect place for the misfit. There NOBODY fitted - that was the point."

That is the Soho I knew when I first came to London, and its decay into something much more impersonal and indeed menacing is a great pity.

Jose said...

I remember London in the 1950s, when I was young and one thing that amazed me was that when I had to cash my weekly cheque at the Bank - Barclays it was - I wasn't even asked for my ID or passport. That tells lots about matters then.

On successive visits this was changing along with the changes the street also underwent. To the worse of course!

I've been considering coming back again once more, but these pieces of news make me abandon the idea, much that London has at all times been for me lke a humane and comfortable place.

Merkin said...

Well, Anti, do you welcome a return to Hogarth's London?