Tuesday, January 25

Too Much of Nothing

My man David Aaronovitch casually rips apart the latest darkly-cloaked racism from Michael Howard - simply by looking at the numbers.

Take it from me: even down here in Strictsville (an area which, if you believed the local press and local people, is being 'overrun with foreign muck') Johnny Foreigner in any shape or form (even Black British!) is thin on the old terra. And it was the same story back when I was shedding my bicycle stabilisers round these parts.

Now I consider myself a bonafide Londoner, I'm used to the wondrous mix therein - and no, the Secular Capital of the World is not being overrun with 'foreigners': there is an argument that it's getting too crowded for its notoriously underinvested and thus crumbling infrastructure, but that's as much to do with the influx of (white, British) Yossers from the North, seeking some soft southern gravy, as any net immigration of 'coloured types' from abroad.

The joke house prices are the most instant manifestation of this increase, which to my now jaded clutch foot, became noticeable (longer journey times) at the height of Britpop (1995) - so blame the Gallagher brothers for it all!*

You know me: I can't blame our yokel friends for wanting a piece of London pie.

The title of the piece? It's a little bit of Dylan, from one of his spats of distaste on the glorious Basement Tapes, which were highly popular around the time of Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech (which I read for the first time recently; he was way off with his predictions, way off). Plus ça C.

Anybody who votes for Howard later this year is clearly somebody who votes with their paw.

* Watched a BBC4 doc on Mark E Smith last week, wherein A H Wilson (yes, that bête noire of mine; he of the same suit for twenty years) dismissed the Gallaghers from the pantheon of Mancunian music legends (Smith, Curtis, Morrissey); in my humble, it's simply because they got the fuck out of Dodge as soon as they could, came to London - and stayed, just like the Beatles, baby (though I hear they've now had enough of the overcrowded roads and are scuttling off to the shires, with new song Part of the Queue expressing their feelings on the matter).

And as we all know, fucking off doesn't mean that you can't look back . . . in anger.

Wilson? He's one of those northerns who really believe that Manchester is the twin of New York. Yeah, yeah, yeah. More likely its twin is Chicago (both being dark, dirty, windy, cold and unromantically dangerous); and Liverpool could play the Boston role. Sort of (the Irish connection). London, of course, is both NYC and LA rolled into one.


posted by DD @ 11:27 


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