‘I’m not being racist, you must believe that, but the crime here is committed by the black foreigners, by Zimbabweans and Mozambicans,’ says N, a tall, black South African policeman.
‘I can’t get ahead here, that’s why I want to leave. They only give jobs to black people, it’s always the same: black empowerment. Before it was the whites, now it’s the blacks. We Asians are always left out, no matter how well qualified we are’ says M, a short South African policewoman of Asian origin.
‘So what’s crime like in London?’
‘Well, it’s not like here. You don’t have to put bars on your windows, or electric fencing around your garden. But there is crime.’
‘For example, a man was stabbed to death on a bus in North East London for asking a guy to stop throwing chips at his girlfriend.’
‘No! That doesn’t happen in London. You’re making it up.’
‘You might get stabbed in London for looking at someone in the wrong way, or for being gay, but you are less likely to be stabbed for your wallet.’
‘I don’t believe you. You’re making it up. And is it blacks and coloureds who do the crime there too, like here?’
‘All sorts carry out crimes in the UK, of all colours. Aren’t there white criminals here?’
‘Not really. Not really. The whites are racist, but they aren’t criminals.’
P.S. But one white man who was once South African (in fact, the self-declared ‘son of Africa’), would, according to some, fall into the category of a crook. He is of course Peter Hain. And what I want to know is how an internal party election could possibly require £10k, let alone £180,000 plus. What is there to spend it on? Can someone please enlighten me? If this isn’t some sort of bribery and corruption, then what is?
P.P.S. And for a little more on thieves, Teju Cole has a book on sale now, here. I’m told it’s very good.