I am a Londoner born and bred. Over the years, regardless of where I have ended up living both in the UK and abroad, I have always regarded the capital as my true North.
As a young teen I would catch the No 5 bus into the centre of “town” where I would make a pit-stop at Flip, hang around in Covent Garden and try to make out I was old enough to buy a cocktail at Peppermint Park.
I would blow all my Saturday job earnings down the Roman Road, and Ida’s in Plaistow, where you could pick up unique garments, many labelled as seconds from the Paris catwalks, for the price of a packet of Monster Munch.
Before I was old enough to go out on a Saturday night with friends I’d tag along with my family to the The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch (before it became the hipster hang out it is today) to hear the East End legend Bette Hannah belt out classics such as I am What I Am, MacArthur Park and She Works Hard For The Money. I still have a cassette tape of her recordings.
Then when I had the keys to my own life, my gorgeous black Mini, a converted left-hand-to-right-hand drive owned by a former Bunny Girl with a sign that read “Ne fumez pas” my friends and I would hit the Milk Bar in Soho, Bagley’s at Kings Cross or The Fridge in Brixton.
London was – and is – my kinda town. My playground. And, more importantly, my home. I don’t want anyone to take that away from me. Whatever their creed, race or colour, no-one has a right, a divine purpose, to do that.
Enough is enough. We can no longer tolerate those among us who wish to destroy us. We have allowed a cancer to grow, burying our head in the sand to avoid the signs, hoping against hope that it would simply disappear, go of its own accord, waiting for a miracle cure.
It’s time to face the truth: We are at war.
And we need someone to step in and save us. So help us God.
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