08 December, 2010


2066 my arse

So I nod a polite Good Morning to my Iranian neighbour on one side and my Nigerian neighbour on the other and walk down towards the train station, taking a detour round a couple of Sikhs manhandling something or other out of the back of a transit van and join the throng of assorted Black and White chavs milling around in the local Greggs emporium. Clutching my prize of two sawdust and mechanically recovered meat sausage rolls, I walk on past the kebab shop, the Chinese chippy and the Turkish barbers, threading my way through the crowd of Africans and pinch-faced malnourished-looking Chinamen lounging and smoking outside the local turf accountancy office.

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?

Sounds like time to move somewhere less, er, joyously vibrant and diverse.

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 ?

'there seems to have been a recent influx of rather down-trodden single young Indian males into South East London just recently'

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).

She is showing her gang affilation, brub. she is Peckham MASSIVE MASSIVE.

Ah, thank you for the enlightenment.

We used to have something that looked a bit like her sat on top of a toilet roll back in the sixties.

Yes, she's certainly on the portly side, but 'massive' is a bit cruel, no? She's no Dawn French! ;)

"Sounds like time to move somewhere less, er, joyously vibrant and diverse."

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.

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