25 March, 2011


Tales from the Multiculture: Let the passengers off first, please

You'd think it would be obvious and not even require an announcement, wouldn't you? Allow space for alighting passengers not only to get off the train but to clear from the immediate vicinity of the doors and, lo and behold, there's this big empty space for you all to flood into like water whooshing down a freshly unblocked plughole.

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Among stations I use regularly, the worst place for this sort of thing is the northbound platform at Cutty Sark on the Docklands Light Railway. Groups of young people are the usual culprits. There's something about the dynamics of large groups that seems to reduce their collective IQ; I reckon empirically to about 50% of the IQ of the thickest individual present. At Cutty Sark, large groups of school children, students and tourists are common, trying to board a Canary Wharf-bound train on the restricted-length platform. They crowd round the door in a dense scrum, waiting for it open, and seem immensely surprised when faced by people wanting to get off. Surely this train was a special journey, reserved especially for their group? Who are these inconvenient interlopers?

I find large groups of young French tourists are the worst offenders. My late mother had the theory that it was a side-effect of "let off the leash syndrome"; that French kids were subject to relatively strict standards of discipline at home and tended to overreact to the relative freedom of the UK. Myself, I just think they're arrogant monkeys who should all bugger off where they came from and concentrate their energies on their national pastimes of eating cheese and surrendering.

These days I tend to adopt the tactic of facing the buggers down. When the train door opens, I step forward far enough to hinder the potential closing of the door and then, if faced by a wall of passengers intent on boarding, I wait quietly and without gesture, speech or movement. This confuses them mightily, for it puts the ball in their court. I suspect many of these kids grew up on computer games, the sort of point-of-view driving or shoot-em-up game where "neutral" oncoming objects that don't either collide with you or attack you conveniently slide off the side of the screen and "pop" out of existence. I'm convinced that's what they're expecting me to do. This used to be a common experience when I worked in the City of London. The pavements of the maze of streets and lanes which thread the City come, as you might expect, in various widths. Whatever the width, walking out at lunchtime you would regularly encounter groups of office girls walking 2, 3 or 4 abreast, however many were required to fill the width of the footpath completely. As they approached an oncoming person they clearly expected them to magically disappear. If you stood your ground rather than squeezing flat against the wall or stepping into the carriageway, a brief period of confusion ensued, followed by much harumphing and complicated rearrangement of their "formation" to allow them to pass.

Occasionally, with the thicker passengers these days, it is necessary to bare the teeth and growl, but that is rather an inelegant last resort and does rather spoil the fun.

Since this blog is largely devoted to whingeing about the hordes of, what's the phrase again, uninvited wogs who have flooded into the country to do all those jobs that don't need doing*, I feel duty-bound to offer the following countervailing anecdote in the interests of fairness.

On one occasion, as the train pulled in to Cutty Sark, the doors opened to reveal what I can only assume was a madrassa group on a day out. The kids were about 8 or 9 years old and were strictly segregated into two groups by gender. The boys were in the charge of an adult male in the full whack of salwar kameez and skull cap. The little girls were supervised by a woman in jilbab and niqab. The kids were dressed identically in miniature versions of the adult clothing, although thankfully the girls wore hijab rather than being subjected at that early age to the full niqab. They looked for all the world like a couple of dozen cartoon characters who had escaped from an episode of South Park and were trying to find their way back.

The two groups, separated so that they should enter different sections of the train, stood neatly and quietly a clear 2 metres back from the platform edge, allowing passengers to alight in comfort before they attempted to board. It was a lesson in courtesy those French teenagers could benefit from.

* The jobs that don't need doing.

Well what do all these third-world immigrants actually do? Some are on the dole. Some are in the religion industry. Some work in the race industry, in all those equality and diversity quangos, local and national. Since HMG has run out of moolah, these last will also be on the dole soon enough.

As for the rest, they seem to be employed in small shops and takeaways. Just how many convenience stores and chicken, pizza and kebab outlets do we need? I recall walking past a group of about 20 shops in Tufnell Park — it hardly qualified for the posh moniker of "shopping parade" — and every last one of 'em was an "effnick" takeaway of some stripe. Are they seriously suggesting that these places, which can surely only be sustained by a combination of tax evasion, barely paid illegal employees, dubiously sourced stock or ingredients, and in all probability some kind of minor criminality, are contributing usefully, never mind "essentially", to our society and our economy? Sweep 'em all away and repatriate all the illegals and the only noticeable impact would be a reduction in the load on the sewers.

Multiculture or no, the things you adroitly describe (poor train and pavement etiquette) are two of my most deeply hated things. And I mean hated as in 'if I had an uzi right now I would empty the bastard into the fucking lot of you and not bat an eyelid'.

Trains (and buses) were the sole reason I saved up and bought a car. Decrepit, overpriced, overcrowded, unreliable lumps of communist shit. Should any public transport execs happen to be reading, I have a snappy advertising slogan that you may use free of charge: "An impossibly miserable, soul-destroying experience, guaranteed every fucking time."

And people being cunts on pavements. ARGHHH. There is no surer sign of the pitiful pass to which our culture has been brought than this. Happens every time I venture half a mile down the sodding street. Mr & Mrs Fucking Fat, Ignorant and Proud of It, Labour-Voting, Benefit-Scamming Scum, ploughing aggressively and/or blindly towards me, not making the tiniest hint of a sliver of a concession for my approach, silently yelling "FUCK YOU" with their disregard as I step into the road for the nth time in my thoughtful, considerate, I've-got-sucker-written-all-over-me life.

This fucks me off so very, very much.

Apologies if the fruity language in the above contravenes your comment policy. Please zap if it does.

" They crowd round the door in a dense scrum, waiting for it open, and seem immensely surprised when faced by people wanting to get off."

Same things happen in large buildings with lifts. Those on the ground floor always seem comically surprised that when the doors open, there are people coming down...

" Mr & Mrs Fucking Fat, Ignorant and Proud of It, Labour-Voting, Benefit-Scamming Scum..."

Don't leave out my personal pet hate, Benefit Culture Mum with Ginormous Double Buggy, walking abreast with second BCMwGDB...

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