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I remember walking a couple of months ago down the long, grey length of Whitehall to meet a family member who was going to show me the Churchill War Rooms complex near the Palace of Westminster.

Before I got as far as our arranged meeting spot, I came upon a small demonstration at the side of the road. You can tell a demonstration in London from quite some distance by the fluorescent police jackets that swarm around them like a protective blur of lasers. (Ever since the student riots of a few years back, protest has been disgracefully restricted in the capital).

As I got closer, that familiar, idiotic word ‘Islamophobia’ emerged in bold type on the cardboard placards held by those gathered. The symbology of the Socialist Workers Party was also apparent, with issues of its newspaper stacked for sale on the stalls. Interested by all this, I took a couple of the leaflets being handed out. Slickly designed and rich in detail, they demanded that Britain end the “media persecution of Muslims”, informed us that “Muslims have feelings too”, and suggested that the government “Sanction Burma” (Note: there has been a long-standing confrontation in Burma between the Buddhist majority and the Islamic minority. I don’t know enough about Burmese politics to say who is at fault there. Either way, it’s hard to imagine how we could sanction Burma any more than we do at present.)

Most of the demonstrators were White. Some were Whites in headscarves (and try and think of a more depressing sight than that). All had the skinny, malnourished look Leftists always tend to present as if preparing for a socialist famine.

Not having much time to hang around and scoff at this nonsense, I walked on to meet my Auntie and spent a pleasurable and informative afternoon wandering through the underground bunkers. This complex is a very inspiring one and if your imagination is powerful enough, you can strongly recall the dramatic feel of the period. I thanked my auntie and she returned to rural Kent.

Before I travelled back to Putney, I decided to go and see Piccadilly Circus; not to do anything but just to see it, magnified in neon against the black evening. This little spot in London has been a favourite of mine ever since I came to visit with my dad as a child. I used to like standing in front of the giant TDK corner display and imagining myself in an American city. It seemed like the most modern part of the capital until I discovered Canary Wharf.

Anyway, the most direct route to Piccadilly on foot involved passing through the district of Soho – a much-exaggerated den of vice and sinfulness in West Central London. This area contains many of London’s sex clubs, brothels, drug dens, strip-clubs, Jazz bars and gay establishments. In particular, a narrow parade called Old Compton Street provides the central focus for LGBT life in the capital and England more broadly.

As you can appreciate, it was something of a shock in this environment to hear voices of the urban style, and even more surprising to find those voices to be the emanations of a group of bearded Asians. There were three men, about mid-twenties at a guesstimate; crooked noses and skinny jeans. As soon as I appreciated what they were saying, the mystery of their presence dissipated. They had wandered in the area to make a religious point.

“That’s a gay shop!” one barked in a nasal tone in reference to a store selling fetish underwear. “That means they must be gay! Queers! Fucking Queers!”, to which his fellow hyenas giggled madly.

The long lines of homosexuals arrayed outside the Admiral Duncan pub and other nearby bars stared at the Asians in nervous silence. Some wore expressions of shock, others of anger.

The manner of these chaps suggested alcoholic intoxication. Though it might be a shock to some, this isn’t untypical, I’m afraid. There have been many reported cases of Islamists partaking in that which they forbid others and while we’re near the subject, not just alcohol…

They soon wandered off towards Chinatown, leaving the street to recover its debauched enthusiasm.

I found it odd then and odd now that there is such a disconnect between the Left on issues like this. The Leftists on Whitehall would have embraced the Muslims who went on to harass innocent people in the evening, and even at that later scene would have apologised for them rather than let people draw their rational conclusions.

In this respect, they remind me of nothing so much as the underclass owner of a mad-tempered pit-bull. The pit-bull terrorises the neighbourhood, attacks children and barks all night long, and yet the owner, having no community spirit, assures those concerned that he “isn’t always like this” and warns them away from generalising.

I should add that as regards the politics of homosexuality, I am stubbornly agnostic. I have known gay men and women in my life and have never felt the twitch of homophobia. I appreciate the concerns of the majority on the subject, but I’ll let other people argue those points in detail.

But whatever may be said about homosexuality and the UK gay community in particular, they are part and parcel of the city I live in and I will always stand with them (or any other community for that matter) when they are faced with such a hideous and uncivilised enemy.

D, LDN.

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