London, city of the damned. City of incendiary tower blocks, jihadi mentals trying to slit your throat, yokels from Somerset up for the day to enjoy a spot of ramming Muslims in a white van. City of Thornberry, Abbott and Corbyn. City of Boris. City of anti-Semitic marches to commemorate Al Quds. City of Isis flags and where, in most boroughs, white British people are a largely resentful minority. City of vacuous liberal platitudes — we all stand together, not in my name. Why would you live there? I would rather live in Gaza, just about. If you are not tired of London by now then you are surely tired of life. City of gender-study courses, LGBT action days and poor huddled masses, mainly foreigners, earning fuck all.
City of eateries run by greedy ponces selling you a bowl of cornflakes for five quid, city of middle-class wood-burning stoves and Chelsea tractors choking the entire population. City of the million quid garage, city of the £600-per-month one-room rathole for impecunious losers. City of people who think they’re entitled to everything. City of bankers. City of fury, of rage, of toddler tantrums and bellowed hatred. I never go there unless I can help it. And when I do, I always take a candle, some flowers and a teddy bear, so I’m ready for the next vigil, which is always just around the corner.
I also make sure I’ve got a few words of anodyne cant prepared for when Jon Snow — wearing one of his ties, a white poppy and maybe a tampon to show his solidarity with menstruating women — hoves into view asking his usual facile questions for Channel 4 News. ‘Well, Jon, I think it’s important at a time like this that we all stand together. It’s nothing to do with Islam. We need hope, not hate. Love, not war. Cheese, not chives. Anyway, it’s all Theresa May’s fault. Burning tower blocks, jihadi mentals, racist yokels.’
Which reminds me — yes, city of Channel 4 News, city of the BBC.
The surprising thing is that it did not happen before. What didn’t? Both. The burning tower block and the Cardiff-domiciled Somerset yokel with his wish, comprehensively unrealised, to expunge Muslims from the face of the earth. The population does not swallow the obvious canard that jihadi attacks are nothing to do with Islam — nor yet that it is a perverted form of Islam to which the jihadis adhere. If it is perverted, then it’s perverted across a rather large swath of the Islamic world, no?
And yet the actions of Darren Osborne were pretty much a singularity. The white population does not take out its misgivings, its resentments, on ‘ordinary’ Muslims. We have been uniquely tolerant and pacific. Our sense of injustice is perhaps ratcheted up a notch or two when the police quickly decide that the wretched Osborne’s attack was ‘terrorism’, when it takes them rather longer to reach this conclusion after the Muslims have been out with their knives and vans again, in attack after attack after attack. And when we’re told that this is clear evidence of horrible escalating right-wing violence and Islamophobia when it is nothing of the kind. When we’re told this by the same people who told us the jihadi attacks were nothing to do with Islam. That stuff, I think, rankles a bit with your average Brit — beyond London. Beyond the city of Lily Allen, the city of veri-similitude and hypocrisy.
And the tower block. Grenfell Tower. Done on the cheap, clad with an amalgam of kindling and Zip firelighters, sod the poor. The lefties are absolutely justified in both decrying the inequality that exists in our capital city and insisting that the authorities do not give a monkey’s about the poorest citizens. But to state, as Jeremy Corbyn did, that everyone should have a nice, safe space to live in London is so fabulously stupid as to be certifiable. The residents of that block were almost exclusively African and Asian immigrants, or the children of immigrants, brought into this country to do, at best, menial work for affluent whitey. If they had ‘somewhere nice to live’, you well-off Londoners would be paying at least triple the amount in hourly rates for your nannies, Uber drivers, cleaners, builders, road sweepers, lavatory attendants and so on. Maybe quadruple. And you are not prepared to do that, are you?
Further, if those rates of pay were applicable then white working-class British people would be queuing up for the jobs and the immigrants wouldn’t be here at all —because suddenly the need for them would have evaporated. So you Londoners who delight in the ‘diversity’ of your city and are proud to have Fatimah from Algeria minding your brats and Mohammed from Mogadishu driving you to work and Pawel from Białystok excavating your basement for a new kitchen — where do you think they live, these people? Fatimah lived in Grenfell Tower. Mohammed lives in the tower opposite, just about to go up in smoke. Pawel shares a room with seven other Polish men, living as the lowest navvies did in the 1850s.
And you are living in Dubai or Doha, the only difference being the colder climate and the fact that you pretend your city is a wonderful multicultural melting pot, rather than a slave state run entirely for your own benefit. Hell, at least the Emiratis and the Qataris are honest in their utter disdain for their Gastarbeiter. You dress it all up in the agreeable and becoming cloak of internationalism, as if we were doing these people a favour. City of magnificent delusions.
I can see why the right, then, is in favour of mass immigration. But I cannot for a second understand why the left goes along with it. As Marx said, it is the means by which the rich become richer. I used to like London. But what now is there to like?