08 December, 2010
2066 my arse
I dodge round the compacted snow on the station platform, working my way round the plump Nigerians, the arguing pair of Russians and the little crowd of underfed and slightly nervous-looking South Indians — there seems to have been an influx of rather down-trodden single young Indian males into South East London just recently.
I can't fault Southeastern's 10-minute interval train service on the Greenwich line — though I do wonder where all the passengers have come from to keep it so well filled all the time. Boarding the train I try to ignore the geezer holding a noisy and clearly bad-tempered phone call in Yoruba and pick up a discarded Guardian lying on the seat, only to be confronted with the print version of this article and a very, very large copy of this picture of renowned fashion icon Camila Batmanghelidjh surrounded by a selection of her protégés.
White Britons a minority by 2066?
And, for the benefit of your English readers, what is the strange thing that this batty old woman is doing with her fingers supposed to signify ?
Perhaps they are 'students' attending one of the many private 'colleges' in London ?(as Sher Singh did, the recently convicted murderer in the severed arm 'honour killing' case). There is a dodgy college on the Woolwich Road in Charlton, and a couple of others in Thamesmead (although the latter seem to specialise in 'teaching' West Africans).
We used to have something that looked a bit like her sat on top of a toilet roll back in the sixties.
That's something which friends have suggested and which I have been giving active thought to. Although it begs the question of where that somewhere might be.
My birth town of Moston, for example, was 100% English and Irish when I was a child there in the 1950s. The community fault lines were between Protestant and Catholic rather than between Black and White.
I've not been back for a while, but I am told that it has been using by Manchester corporation as a dumping ground for dispersed asylum seekers for years and is also now a major hub of Manchester's vibrant Nigerian community. When our local boozer, the Ben Brierley is slated for conversion into a "Nigerian restaurant", you know the game's well and truly up.