Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Smith out of touch on the streets

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith says that walking around the streets of Hackney late at night is not ‘a thing that people do’ and that she wouldn’t feel safe. Tory Shadow Home Secretary David Davis says you can walk around the streets of other capital cities but not London.

What planet do these people live on?

Certainly not the same one as most of us. We have to walk around the streets of the cities at night: because we fucking LIVE HERE. And how else are we going to get back from the tube or pop out to the off-licence or grab a late night kebab or experience any other of the many joys of city-living denied to those in small towns and shires ?

Is it more dangerous here than any where else ? I grew up in the suburbs and can remember that walking home around closing time I had the choice of how many fights I could get into - and quite a few where I didn’t have any choice at all.

Is it more dangerous now than at any other time in the past ? Not when we had real Victorian values and the Whitechapel murders, or when we had the ‘spirit of the blitz’ and a crime-spree in the blackout.

Where did the most horrific spate of murders in recent times take place ? Not in Hackney, Brixton, Toxteth or Mosside but in the East Anglian backwater of Ipswich.

Sherlock Holmes actually has a better handle on it than our current politicians:

‘…the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside… The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish. There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard's blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbours, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going, and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel much less safe walking around an empty quiet area at night - and apart from the countryside, that includes `nice' streets in Muswell Hill, where I'm sure residents wouldn't open their doors if they heard shouting/screaming - than I do in Tottenham, where the little shops are open at all hours, and where there are people around in the streets.