By Austen Davies
The 4:30 a.m. spot on the BBC World Service is clearly designed to wind me up (even more), and I do realise that only about 12 people in Britain actually listen to the racist, propagandist nonsense.
However, this morning I was subjected to the plight of second (and third) generation Caribbean immigrants who have rejected mainstream life and retreated into their own insular, Bob Marley-esq (he was half white, by-the-way) drug and reggae fuelled 'culture' - and I use the term with a degree of irony - by reason of the racism their parents / grandparents suffered when the veritable black tide of unskilled, uneducated and - and let's not beat about the bush here - unwashed alien hordes hit the shores of this poor little country in the '50s and '60s.
They were discriminated against (We all suffer discrimination of some sort; we just have to get on with it) bullied, intimidated, assaulted etc. etc.
Doubtless, there were incidences of all these things and more - but it's funny how history has a habit of turning on its' head when required, in order to suit the occasion.
I was born, brought up and schooled in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, which in the 50s and 60s was one of the centre-points of mass black immigration - and, consequently, I consider myself more qualified than most to discuss the subject with a degree of objectivity - not to say 'realism' - denied to those who did not enjoy such a privilege.
Handsworth was a leafy, lower middle-class suburb situated to the north-west of Birmingham proper, and was a pleasant tribute to Victorian building and design skills, bordering the green-belt that separated it from the neighbouring town and folk of West Bromwich - with whom we did not associate.
The Handsworth of my youth comprised, in the main, relatively large, family dwellings, and was demographically much older than the surrounding, more industrial districts. As old 'uns drop off the perch more frequently than the rest of us that meant properties coming onto the market more often - and in batches.
Large houses with lots of rooms were attractive to the West Indian incomers, they were used to a more 'communal' way of life than were we, and several families would combine to buy one house in which to live.
A sizable two-story + attic terraced house could easily accommodate four or more families - and a property previously occupied by one lonely old spinster could quickly morph into a building of multiple occupancy, with a couple of dozen souls coming and going, and that would inevitably include lots - lots and lots - of raggy-arsed, snotty nosed, undisciplined kids.
People naturally gravitate towards their own kind, so once a house in any street 'went black' more were sure to follow - and the property market was boosted by what became know as 'White Flight'; as more houses were occupied by (invariably multiple) black families, many indigenous white residents were panicked into selling-up and moving out - which had the effect of bringing property values down, and which made the area ever more attractive to immigrants.
Now - you are possibly thinking that the responsibility must lie firmly with the white-fliers; and you would be right - but NO-ONE wanted to stay in an area that was getting blacker by the week and ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE would want a black family moving in next to them - and you are now possibly thinking: "How dreadfully racist; what possible difference could the colour of your neighbour's skin make"?
How long have you got?
Living next to a black family was a horrendous experience that hastened the passing of heaven-knows how many elderly people who were forced to suffer it - and blighted the life of many more who had to endure it..
The first thing to 'hit' is the noise associated with 20 or more people in one house. The inevitable rows and arguments - and the equally decibel-charged howls of delight - that occur when so many people are incarcerated together.
These people were used to 'living outside' - which is what you do in the tropics. Cold English winters and wet English summers soon put paid to that.
Then there was the noise of 20 people going up-and-down stairs at all hours of the day and night - and they didn't have carpets to soften the din.
"Oh those poor people; they can't even afford carpets".
Yes they can - but what's the point in having them when they are so difficult to keep clean (with 20 people stomping all over them)? Floorboards are much easier to sweep.
And then there's the social gatherings - the parties; ska / blue-beat / reggae may only be played at full volume. Apparently. And the bass must be turned right-up so as to ensure maximum vibration. Also the doors and windows must be left open because it gets blooming hot in there with all those revellers - because the house now has anything up to 100 bodies 'getting on down' in it.
And the ganga - and the prostitutes - and the lure of the forbidden to the white kids from round about.
Aesthetically the West Indian household was often, shall we say 'different'?
Paint fades / wears / flakes off; so there is no point in painting anything.
If guttering or drain-pipe fails, water pours out when it rains.
When a slate blows off the roof you just put a bowl under the spot - and when the ceiling eventually gives way you sit under bare laths.
When the paper falls / gets pulled off the walls - it comes off the walls - and the walls still work. When sanitary ware malfunctions it . . . best not to dwell on it.
NEVER pity someone living in dilapidated and decaying conditions before you fully understand EXACTLY WHY that property is dilapidated and decaying.
Out of doors, cutting the grass is a pointless chore "de darm ting jes grow back agen" - so they didn't. In fairness the constant stomping of 20-odd pairs of feet tended to have the effect of limiting grass growth anyway - and given the fact that every redundant or unwanted item - old cookers, sofas, mattresses etc. tended to end up being thrown out the back (or the front, given room), their gardens tended to take on the look of an urban wasteland.
Fences were made for kids to climb - and no amount of reasoning that "it isn't strong enough for that" would prevent it from, eventually, collapsing from the continued abuse. You could replace it - they would climb all over that one too, until . . . well, you get the idea.
Gates were made for scrambling over; walls were made for walking on, sitting on, kicking a ball against, throwing stones and brick-end at until that eventually fell down as well.
And of course you get to the stage when you really can't see the point in repairing fences and gates and such - so the waste-land gradually encompasses more and more of what you thought was your garden.
And now that you are 'open-plan' you can play host to every dog in the neighbourhood who use you as a toilet. But you're used to that by now because the feral brats next-door have never been toilet-trained. (If you think that appealing to the parents - always assuming you could work out which belonged to whom - you have clearly never encountered these people).
Morally, generally speaking, the West Indian is as far away from British standards of decency and decorum as it is possible to be.
West Indian couples have children, see if it 'works out' and then consider getting married. Sleeping partners seemed to change with bewildering frequency.
The youngsters were often denied a 'normal' family life simply because he or she was the product of an historical liaison and so alienated away from the new one.
Then the kids get older and gravitate together; they demonstrate their enterprise by inventing productive little pastimes such as 'mugging' and 'steaming', revelling in the anonymity of only ever being described as a youth "wearing a woolly hat".
The gangs were aggressive and violent; much of the area became a 'no-go' area after dark - for whites.
They pushed their drugs with impunity and with no fear of, or respect for, any authority.
They laughed at the police - indeed, they used to actually intimidate them.
Coppers on foot or bicycles had long since disappeared by then, but the Panda squad-cars stopped patrolling as well; their presence was 'inflammatory'.
The woolly hats are still there today - enhanced by the ubiquitous 'hoody'; but mugging and stuff is for kids, innit.
The Brothers have traded-up from knives to guns' and operate all to often under the Police radar; Plod knows they are there - but they also know that if they have the temerity to 'pull' one of them they will end up watching as Croydon gets burned and looted in 'protest'.
So - Mr oppressed and discriminated West Indian man, let us count the blessings we receive at your hand:
You reduced whole districts of our towns and cities to decrepit slums.
You made life a misery for anyone who was forced to live amongst you.
You introduced our children to marijuana, and set them on the road to heroin addiction.
You groomed and prostituted vulnerable white girls.
Your way-of-life infected a whole generation of young Britons ['Briton' - noun; Member of the Celtic / Anglo-Saxon / Anglo Nordic Racial Group] and you instigated the destruction of marriage as an institution, promoting instead your own alley-cat perversion of family life.
You encourage a contempt for authority that has spread through the youth of this land like a cancer. You have contrived to undermine the very basis of law and order.
You brought us knife-crime, you brought us muggings and steamings - and you propagated the Yardie gun culture - growing it from your shanties to our cities.
You brought us inner-city riots and are major-players in the destruction of our civilisation.
SO glad you came . . .
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