What remains of East London? The old East-End I mean; the land of sharp-edged accents, Snooker-halls, fruit and veg markets and jolly locals given occasionally to jolly violence – what has happened to all that?
Every week British people outside of London settle down to watch the BBC show EastEnders, a soap-opera about the residents of this cultural locale in which it is strongly intimated that the historic East-End is still in-tact. In the world of EastEnders, the district remains mostly white, working class, and the characters are either secular or Christian (with a few historic islands of Judaism).
EastEnders of course is a Cultural Marxist fraud. The BBC won’t show the reality, because the reality is appalling.
A friend of mine once said that she was fed up of seeing so many Asian characters on the show. “It’s not realistic!” she moaned.. “It’s the East-End not bloody Bangalore”. I didn’t correct her at the time, but I should have pointed out that the number of (let’s correct the ‘Asian’ fallacy) Muslim characters was and is unrepresentively small compared to the actual state of the area.
The old East-End is coterminous with the modern borough of Tower Hamlets. I went there many months ago for a reason since forgotten. As an experience it had a generally menacing quality, the kind which makes you lower your eyes to the paving stones and sink your hands deep into your pockets. But it was also an education, and – in a way I should probably be ashamed of – it left me giddily happy. I was euphoric that, since I live deep in the Western half of the Capital, I could leave after my business there was through.
Unlike those British folks still resident in the area. The poor, down-trodden natives.
Let me tell you what I saw when I strolled down what must be a typical High Street in the borough. This is from memory but, as with most cases of trauma, the images are still crystal clear.
There was a very large (ridiculously large) Halal butcher shop (no doubt accustomed to a roaring trade) immediately outside the tube station, an Asian cloth market (that’s cloth, not clothes), countless Chicken and Ribs outlets, and an Islamic bookshop. The rest of the street was taken up by those awful tourist trinket stores.
There were no cafes, no secular bookshops, no fish & chips shops. Nothing of worth for anyone of social use.
It was a photograph of unhappiness, a print of lowly ambition, and a frank example of undisguised foreign takeover.
This is not part of London anymore.
Why should you care if you live outside of London? Well, perhaps you shouldn’t, but don’t forget that in the eyes of our political elite, what’s good for the capital is fair enough for the country as a whole. If something so iconically English as the old East-End can be disposed of in the space of a few mindless decades, don’t bet against Yorkshire, or Tyneside, or even (dare I say it) my own beloved Bristol being heaped into the fire. British culture means nothing to Labour, the party most likely to return with a majority next time. Cultures and communities are viewed as lumps of coal or puddles of oil, valuable only as fuel for economic progress.