Wednesday 10 August 2011

It's Too Quiet, Sarge - I Don't Like It...

All was eerily calm last night as I made my way home - far fewer people than usual on the Tube, at Victoria, on the train... And then I got off at Carshalton - that suburban demi-paradise - and the place was in lockdown. The park locked, the shops closed and shuttered, the streets all but deserted - I could scarcely believe my eyes. But I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised - it's the classic pattern: massive overreaction when it's too late. Pile 16,000 cops onto the streets to fulfil their time-honoured role of standing around, close down shops and businesses and, hey presto, things quieten down. The stable door is most effectively locked, barred and triple-bolted - but, as Roy Campbell put it in another context, where's the bloody horse? Fled, in this case to return when the coast is clear.
In the meantime, though, there are at least hopeful signs that people - having had it so graphically demonstrated to them that they can't count on the police - are making their own ad-hoc security arrangements. They will surely be more effective than anything les flics currently have to offer.


  1. I'm away from blighted Blighty at the moment Nige, but it was heartening to see on telly that the British Bulldog spirit is still extant, with those images of householders brandishing pots, pans and carving-knives at their garden gates. Moments earlier I had been Skyped by one of my daughters, cowering in her bedroom in my house, adding that the house 'four doors down' was on fire. Where did we go wrong?

  2. That would have been a sight to show the grandchildren Nige, it did used to be barricaded thoroughly late Saturday nights, as the revelers of the time returned from a night out at the Orchid ballroom, over on Purley way. The drunken wretches throwing dustbins into the sacred ponds, now they were the days.

  3. God I hope that ended well with your daughter, Mahlerman...
    And yes Malty, there were some pretty wild Saturday nights in Carshalton back in the day. I remember some epic street fights (not involving me, I hasten to add) - dozens of youths pitching in, but only fists and feet.