Why Khan’t you just shut up and do your damn job?

At last, chance to chat about something unrelated to religious rugby players…..

People sometimes ask me why we moved from London to Sydney? Reasons they are correct in assuming played a factor include the weather, the beaches, sailing and the chance to work in the vanguard, nay, the cutting edge of business and industry.

Ok, nobody seriously suggests the latter; if you think Sydney is leading the world in anything commercial, you’ve not been paying attention. It’s not even leading Australia in making good coffee; that’s Melbourne. Sydney sniffily looks down on it’s northern neighbour, Brisbane, as being backward but at least Brisbane has the humility to rarely pretend to be anything other than an oversized country town where everyone is related.

The main reason we moved out of London is that we didn’t fancy burying one or more of our children after they’d bled out on a London street.

Don’t get me wrong, London is absolutely still my favourite city in the world. If you’re earning a decent wedge of cash and enjoy good food, drink, music, arts and great value travel options, London is the place to live. If you’ve got kids of high school age, however, it’s really a holiday destination only.

We could see the trend years ago with a general and pervasive atmosphere of danger increasing over the years. I lived there for most of my adult life and had a great time but this was partly due to the fact that I was, (1) able to afford to live in one of the nicer areas, and (2) physically confident in most conflict situations (thank you Mr. Hamilton, my junior school teacher who introduced me to rugby).

Even with those mitigating factors, there were still a few occasions where the danger crept into our lives. My significant other still berates me for the time when we were travelling home on a bus one afternoon after I’d been playing rugby and I foolishly prevented a young man from attempting to get on through the rear doors (to avoid paying his fare) and he and two mates jumped me. Two factors were in my favour that day; I was in significantly better physical condition relative to the youths and, most importantly, they didn’t have any weapons. Thanks to that second factor and the help from another bloke on the bus, I was unhurt and they left with bruises. It was still stupid of me, however.

One doesn’t just arrive at being financially independent and handy in a fight though, you must survive adolescence and the initial phase of your working life first. High school age children are at a disadvantage, therefore.

Since we left, for reasons unclear to us, Londoners elected (and subsequently re-elected) a mayor who seems uninterested in delivering the most basic of requirements of his job description; i.e. keeping the population alive and physically safe.

Sadiq Khan has overseen the most rapid escalation in knife crime and other forms of serious violence that the capital has experienced since before Robert Peel thought about getting some hairy-arsed blokes together to calm things down a little.

How bad is it? 30 deaths from stabbings since the start of the year.

From that article;

How many stabbings were there in London in 2018?

Figures from London’s Metropolitan police showed that knife crime surged by 16 per cent in the capital year-on-year in 2018, as Britain’s crime epidemic continues.

There were 1,299 stabbings in London up to the end of April, according to official statistics from the Met Police.

In 2017-18, there were 137 knife offences for every 100,000 people in the capital.

2018 was London’s bloodiest year in almost a decade as the murder toll reached 134.

These statistics are appalling but they also tend to obfuscate even worse realisations. For example, how young those 30 murder victims are.

The reason I used The Sun’s article above rather than a more “respectable” mainstream media outlet is because it lists each of this year’s fatalities and gives their ages. Take a moment and scan down the list. Most of those murdered were 25 years old or younger.

When one looks at the probability of being stabbed in London, the “137 in 100,000” is not relevant if you are, say, an 18 year old. Clearly the risk is far greater for you and nearly everything an 18 year old would consider as being fun is likely to contribute to worsening that probability, such as going to a party, drinking in a bar, attending a music festival, walking home from a friend’s house at night, etc.

Bill’s Opinion

Things are likely to get far worse before London improves. The good news is that crime epidemics can be reversed in large global cities like London. New York in the 80s and 90s is the precedent for this.

However, it’s clear that the leadership is where the change starts. If your mayor is more interested at ranting on Twitter about his distaste for the President of the United States than, say, increasing visible policing, targeted stop and search, curfews for school age children, enforcing truancy laws, and generally being bothered about the rule of law, then don’t expect knife crime and other violence to reduce in a hurry.  

Alistair Williams has a good perspective on this;

8 Replies to “Why Khan’t you just shut up and do your damn job?”

  1. I also lived in London as a young lad in Islington, Maida Vale, Kings Cross, Elephant & Castle & Vauxhall and rate London up there in the top three cities of the world, NYC being my fave. Its never good to see spikes in crime or stabbing murders and I haven’t considered it closely enough to know how to fix it. The London of my era was a fairly tough town for the old fisticuffs, second only to Australian towns, never seen any stabbings or knifes but they were no doubt there then as well.

    This was the time of Red Ken, Maggie, Brixton Riots, squatters, skin heads, Miners Strike (Londoners didn’t know that it was going down oop north), Wapping Wall, Hooray Henry’s buying up states assets, loads of money, Live Aid & soccer hooliganism. So if you were looking for a fight, there were plenty of takers and they tended to be capable if they engaged, I seen a lot of teeth loss first hand, was never mugged or attacked undeservedly. On front line policing tactics at the time, the much hated Sus Law was dropped shortly after I got there, and I also found it objectionable, a style of policing that brings its own type of problems along with it, like say the Brixton Riots and a big them and us polarization. London chilled out after the sus laws were removed.

    I was long gone from London and the UK by the time Tony Blair got in.

    I returned to London about eight years ago with the family on holiday and noticed that it was hollowed out and basically multicultural with the high end wealthy slightly tanned Arabs and the like in the central districts that we visited, never went to middle city ring and I am sure that the tanning levels would have been deeper.

    My take on this is, that the rise in stabbing crime is related to multiculturalism and Tony Blair and his Immigration Czar Straw opening up the floodgates and I too doubt that the current mayor is addressing any of the social problems, divides and violent crime that this creates.

    Like I said I dont have a solution, not that a spike in stabbing deaths is anything to be proud of, I dont think that London is a dangerous city. I lived in NYC when it was rotten to the core and before it was cleaned up and have been back since. Its miles safer now and there are no more no-go areas anymore but I wouldn’t rate it as any safer than say London.

    1. “My take on this is, that the rise in stabbing crime is related to multiculturalism and Tony Blair and his Immigration Czar Straw opening up the floodgates and I too doubt that the current mayor is addressing any of the social problems, divides and violent crime that this creates.”

      Perhaps. “Multicultural” is one of those words that means whatever the speaker has in their mind at the time. We could have a good beer and a chinwag with a bunch of Sikhs just off the plane from Delhi, for example, but might struggle to find any common ground with a second generation youth in Bradford.

      What’s obvious is that it’s school kids stabbing school kids. That really should be one of the easiest policing problems to solve if the political will was there to solve it; “hello madam, we just caught your 15 year old walking around in Streatham shopping centre with a Stanley knife in his pocket. He’s going to youth court tomorrow and you’re going to the adult court next week. Oh, and we’ve tracked down his Dad and put a garnishee order on his wages for child support backpay”.

      1. “That really should be one of the easiest policing problems to solve”

        Holding the parents responsible for the child’s rehabilitation and warranting their own going performance in our society, is the one and only answer to fix it.

        But even with all the best intentions the eventual police enforcement style may not be well managed and could end up being the new Sus Laws with all the social unrest that goes along with them.

        London for me was early to mid eighties, left London on 30th Dec 86, one way ticket, Aeroflot to Moscow then KL and Malaysian airlines down to Perth, WA. I was in Freemantle for New Year’s Day and the start of the yachting Australia – America’s Cup Defense

    2. Oh, I was there from the late 80s too and my memory is the same as yours; potentially violent but unlikely to be deadly. Any smacks in the face I got at the time were usually well-deserved.

      If you go to the Wiki page about the New York crime epidemic in the 80s, there’s some amusing ideas about how it was solved. My favourite is “easier access to abortion”. Right… so killing the little fuckers before they grow up to be bad ‘uns is a solution, is it? Good grief.

  2. Our liberal metropolitan elite (sorry to start with a cliche!) don’t think that being stabbed to death over a trivial adolescent episode is the worse thing that can happen. For them, the worse thing that could ever happen is that multiculturalism could be seen to be a failure, and that significant numbers of the indigenous population could hit back hard against people who don’t fit in with their values. Accordingly, Khan is doing a pretty good job. He’s not really there to tackle knife crime, or transport difficulties, or bin collection. He’s there to show that a brown-skinned Muslim, the child of Pakistani immigrants, can get educated, take up a profession, and get voted into high office. And talk in reasonable terms using jargon from middle-management that most of us are familiar with. In short, that he’s “one of us”.

    Don’t expect anything else from the poor bastard, or you’ll end up disappointed.

    1. “Don’t expect anything else from the poor bastard, or you’ll end up disappointed.”

      Yes, he really is a diversity hire. It’ll probably take another half a decade for London to reverse the virtue signalling and hire someone capable.

      Good decision to leave, in hindsight.

  3. Well that and appointing as head of the Met a useless, kicked upstairs until she finds herself ticking two diversity boxes (female and recently announced lesbian) policewoman, who’s only claim to fame was organising the slaying of an innocent Brazilian electrician. She was the best qualified for the job. Honest.

    1. I’ve not formed an informed opinion of Ms Dick; I’ve suspected the Brazilian incident could well have been a wrong split second decision that anyone might have made.

      With all “the first x” appointments these days though, one’s natural reaction is to assume there’s an element of lowering the standards.

      It’s really unfortunate and desperately unfair to anyone who truly gets a job on merit now, to know most people assume you’re benefiting from the bigotry of low expectations.

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