Located in the south of London, Brixton is an area that’s rather… now what’s the acceptable word for it? I don’t wish to get in trouble for using an unacceptable one, PC propriety being one of my chief concerns.
Exotic? Diverse? Multicultural? Anyway, you get the gist. However, in spite of being all those things, Brixton isn’t usually as violent as the similar areas of New York I remember.
Once, for example, I found myself driving through Bedford-Stuyvesant as a result of misreading the road map. One look at the burnt-out shells of buildings with no window frames, doors replaced with holes cut in steel sheets, the people crawling out of the holes, and I prayed my car wouldn’t break down.
Brixton isn’t like that. It used to be a middle-class neighbourhood, which past has left much architectural legacy. And these days its diversity and multiculturalism are hardly ever expressed through riots and general mayhem.
Yet hardly ever is a far cry from never, which semantic point was made emphatically the other day. The fun started when two groups, the Montagues and the Capulets of Brixton, hundreds of them, fell out.
Before long, knives saw the light of day, blood flowed, and only the arrival of the cavalry could have saved the day. The cavalry, otherwise known as the Metropolitan Police, duly arrived, lights flashing, sirens blaring, tyres screeching.
The subsequent events vindicated the truth of the Russian proverb loosely translated as “Two square off, you f*** off” [Двое в драку, третий в сраку, for the Russophones among you]. For the warring parties abandoned their hostilities and joined forces in a coordinated counterattack against the blue-clad intruders.
The police were pelted with projectiles ranging from bottles and stones to bits and pieces of furniture, punched and clubbed. Both the Montagues and the Capulets jumped on police car bonnets, kicking the windscreens in.
The police suffered 22 wounded, walking or otherwise, and fled, with the multicultural crowd in hot pursuit, screaming “Run them out!” and other things I shan’t cite out of decorum.
The Battle of Brixton was lost. And, like the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD, this defeat has far-reaching implications. In that debacle, the real casualties went beyond the two Roman legions shredded by the ancestors of today’s Germans. In Brixton too, it was a civilisation that suffered yet another blow.
For the battle wasn’t lost in Brixton. It was lost earlier this year, when the police refused to arrest the ring leaders of the Extinction Rebellion horde. Or when they failed to save the statue of Churchill being defaced. Or, in the most emetic spectacle of all, when police officers ‘took the knee’ in front of the marauding BLM mob.
Or even earlier, when the aptonymic Cressida Dicks was appointed the Met Commissioner. Being a woman and a lesbian, she possesses two vital qualifications for the post, but hardly any other. Or when Sadiq Khan was elected mayor, bringing to the job his commitment to enforce only the laws of multi-culti political correctness.
Or even earlier than that, when the police were turned into an extension of social services rather than the staunch guardian of law and order. Or… well, I could backtrack to a more distant past, but there is really no need.
Let’s just say that protecting Her Majesty’s subjects from external and home-grown evildoers is the most – perhaps the only – indisputably legitimate function of the state. A state remiss in that area loses any claim to loyalty.
Anarchy, mob rule, war of all against all are a direct and inevitable result of this failure. In that sense the Battle of Brixton is the present-day Battle of Britain – and this time we are losing.
The PM delivered his usual violin-like performance: nice sounds, empty inside. “These were appalling scenes,” he said. “Violence against the police [as opposed to violence against civilians?] will not be tolerated. We have been clear that anyone who assaults the police or any members of the emergency services should face the full force of the law.”
That’s the whole problem, Mr Johnson: the full force of the law is puny, practically nonexistent. No politician, no police chief can instantly issue the order to fire tear gas at a riotous crowd, never mind firearms.
The sight of our self-righteously unarmed police officers running away from a feral mob serves a reminder of the hole into which we’ve sunk. How can the cops protect the public if they can’t even protect themselves? Law and ordure indeed.