|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
9 September 2016
|Partners in Crime
OK. Get a cup of tea and or coffee, sit down, dunk a biscuit assuming you have
a Rich Tea handy and give it a little think. “What the f***!” would be an
appropriate reaction. Why?
Well, it’s only that the abuse of women has increased 10 per cent to 117,568 in
2015-16. Another why? Director of public prosecutions says the use of social
media to threaten and control women has caused the rise. Now isn’t that good
It was estimated that 1.4 million women suffered domestic violence in England
and Wales in 2014. Around 400,000 women are sexually assaulted each year;
approximately 85,000 women are raped. No thinking necessary here. Shock and
outrage would be good.
In London, in fourteen months there were nearly 60,000 offenses. These
involved physical abuse – domestic that is – or a quarter of all violent crime.
6,000 of grievous bodily harm or wounding – wounding? Oh let’s not even go
there. 17,676 assaults with violence, 2,198 sex offences, 1,640 rapes and 25
murders. Did you crumble your biscuit? Even if more of the abused are coming
forward, many are clearly not.
If you are in any dismissive doubt, oh do let me overwhelm you with more facts.
The Met’s new figures: 19,365 common assaults, 53 cases involved “an
offensive weapon” by a violently offensive abuser that includes a gun, knife,
blunt object - or all three? 14,437 crimes of harassment, 558 involving “other
sexual” offenses (we’re not letting our little minds rest on this one area we? Too
ew…too creepy), 2,217 involving “other violence” (not on this one either), 259
kidnappings and god only knows what wasn’t reported.
Two years ago, Commander Christine Jones, leading Scotland Yard’s effort to
tackle the problem of domestic abuse blamed social attitudes: “accepted
violence”, particularly sexual violence towards women was the worst in decades
with the effect of pornography and violent media games. And that was two years
go. So clearly these guys have upped their viewing obsessions.
Insane testosterone-led jealousy and rage, humiliation, control, threatening
revenge porn all result from the obvious ubiquitous misogyny. But here’s where
we stop and think. Why? Why do men think they have the right to act towards
women in this way? Because they can.
On Pain of Death
And now post-Brexit revenge crime is reported daily. What are these people
doing? Brexit hasn’t even begun – except of course for all the individuals,
institutions, corporations that have announced their leaving, but Brexiteers
haven't noticed have they? It’s only the beginning and not the point here is it?
Speak a word in Polish and you’re beaten to death – anywhere. But in
Hammersmith, Camden, south London!? Since June race hate crimes increased
by more than half; 78 incidents daily. Daily! Who are these guys?
Surely they speak Old English. You know, Old English, the West Germanic
language spoken between the 5th and 11th centuries. Not early enough for ‘true
Brits’? Too ‘German’? Well, quelle surprise. Let’s add a few facts. The period
that preceded the Neolithic in the British Isles is known as the Mesolithic. During
this period, Britain was still attached by landmass to the rest of continental
Europe. Mon dieu! Not – Europe!
Moving on to the Late Mesolithic, the British Isles were something of a
"technological backwater" in European terms. It was still a hunter-gatherer
society whilst most of southern Europe had already taken up agriculture and
sedentary living. For over 10,000 years people have been moving into and out of
Britain. Around 4000 BCE migrants began arriving from central Europe. If we
tell these venal, feral jingoistic, anti-European Brits, will they kill us? OK. We
won't tell them. Oh let’s. They need a proper hit of irony. Word choice intended.
Is it tribal like many conflicts where disparate cultures lived together for ever –
intermarrying, living happily in communities and when given free rein? They then
kill each other. Lovely. Presuming they are being true to their roots. Throughout
prehistory there were many petty 'tribal' identities in Britain. You know where this
is leading: conflict, wars, alliances. Are we entering the Dark Ages? Oh oops.
They weren’t really ‘dark’, but 2016 surely is.
People are leaving. People have been threatened and physically abused in their
homes – during the day and – night! Adding insult to injury or is it injury to insult,
two Poles were actually attacked hours after a march to honour the Pole, Arek
Jozwik, who was murdered for merely speaking Polish in the same town of
When Yasmine Alibi-Brown reports ‘normal’ Brits being questioned, including
Yasmine (!), things are getting serious – and disturbing. “When are you going
back home?” “Where are you from?” - in ‘ordinary’ places of employment - not
in the pub or local shop. ‘Normal’ people are genuinely questioning being British.
Again; who are these vile, pathetic racists? Your neighbours? Guys in your
local? I’m thinking let’s gather them up and deport them en masse – possibly in a
dodgy dingy. Just saying.
What? or 什么 – shén me?
Racist comments from China? No! Really? MPs have urged China’s UK
ambassador to intervene in a row over racist comments in inflight Air China’s
monthly Wings of China magazine.
The China airline warned visitors to avoid ethnic minority areas of London. Now
that clearly would be difficult wouldn’t it - unless the tourists stay in Belgravia. Oh
wait. Possibly not. Only three of the thirty residences are actually owned by
Brits. Oh dear. You know those billionaires don’t actually live there…those
billionaires from the Ukraine, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Lebanon, Austria and Russia
naturally, plus China…specifically the son of tycoon, Sir Woo Po Shing who
owns the home of the Duke of Kent, if you were wondering.
Oops. I forgot the literal warning. It advised passengers that “precautions are
needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black
The caveat was tweeted by Beijing-based producer Haze Fan of US channel
CNBC: “We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to
be accompanied by another person when travelling.” The airline is the country’s
flag carrier and has two flights a day from Beijing to Heathrow. It operates a total
of 98 international routes.
Figures from VisitBritain show the number of trips to the UK from China rose by
46% last year to 270,000, spent an estimated £586m and stayed 15 nights.
The state-owned airline now says it has removed all copies of the magazine from
operating flights. The airline also told the Associated Press that it agreed the
language was “inappropriate.” Do you suppose the airlines simply offer print-
outs to its passengers?
So You Say You Want a Revolution
You Say You Want a Revolution is the title of the latest V&A exhibition curated
by German Martin Roth. German? You didn’t know? The curator, who after five
years of brilliant successes is exiting. Under him the V&A was voted The Art
Fund Museum of the Year 2016. The largest in the world, the annual museum
prize recognises the outstanding innovation, imagination and achievements of
one museum throughout the preceding year. Impressed?
Why the exit? Brexit. It was a surprise and not in a good way. “When I came
here I wanted to make the museum one of global importance. I hope I have
managed that. I say this as this exhibition is all about global impact that comes at
a time of nationalism, which we must stand up to. As John Lennon said in
Imagine: ‘Imagine there’s no countries.’” Oh of course the official statement said
he quit to ‘spend more time with his family’. So standard. So not innovative.
Misanthropic? Moi? Mais oui.