Because once I’ve popped, I can’t stop…
I am amused, as well as sicky-sick with disgust, to discover that Tory GLA member Brian Coleman has run up an £8,000 taxi bill over the year to March 2008. For why, because it was precisely halfway through that period that he penned this rather telling objectionable-old-Tory-plonker diatribe against my former home, the good old LB of Haringey:
The pre-1965 Borough of Hornsey, once a centre of suburban middle class respectability which was subsumed into ghastly Haringey is an area where decent folk lock their car doors as they drive through and has returned no Conservative Councillors whatsoever since 1998.
So that’s why he takes taxis everywhere. He’s scared. He continues to dissect his reasoning thus:
The combination of allowing huge Edwardian family houses to be converted into bed sits and the ‘white flight’ in the face of rising crime has meant that areas such as Streatham, Wembley and Willesden have changed beyond all recognition.
Yes, how very dare young professionals rent rat-holes at stratospheric rates from semi-legal landlords in order to keep their daily commute into their chosen slave-pit below the two-hour mark. It shouldn’t be allowed, I tell you. And how dare people be black, a demographic categorisation which is known to be associated with higher crime rates. Have they no shame?
When Sir John Betjeman made his famous documentary on ‘Metro-land’ no self-respecting Suburb was without a flourishing Rotary Club, Townswomen’s Guild, Cricket, Bowls and sundry other Sports Club.
They boasted a selection of Churches, a Tory MP and an active Local Amenity Society. Now with most women working, intense career pressures on the whole workforce, vast mortgages to pay and the changes in family life, most of the voluntary sector in Suburban London is in meltdown with endless organisations unable to get anyone to serve on their Committees.
This is a man with his finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary London, as all concerned whist-drive-goers will agree. I’d go so far as to say that this is the kind of big picture overview one could only derive from travelling everywhere in a taxi for a year.