Monty Python star, John Cleese, has come under fire for saying that London is no longer an English city. As a former Londoner I can vouch for that, and saw how London began to change back in the sixties.
It was in the sixties that Idi Amin threw thousands of people out of Uganda, and England took many of them in. It was said they would have a better way of life. That did not seem to materialize, though, even if they were safer. Yet it wasn’t only Ugandans who came to England but Greeks and Asians, too. We soon began to see shops taken over and used as gambling dens, and the police did nothing about it. I recall walking past one such shop and seeing a group of Greek men sitting around a table, gambling. The window was filthy. What was once a thriving store was now a dirt hole. The Notting Hill district became a black ghetto where police were reluctant to go when festivals were held.
Whole areas, apart from London, became ghettos, and this was broadcast on a local TV station in the Midlands to where I had relocated. Asians literally took over a large section of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and property prices dropped dramatically. I know because I lost a lot of money on my home due to the influx of Asians who were not accepted by local people.
Did the quality of life improve for all the foreigners who made England their home? Or was the collective effect responsible for the demise of the country, and particularly London? Unless you actually lived there, you can only go by whatever the media says. And some play the racist card. It has nothing to do with racism but is a fact of life.
Perhaps Cleese – like many of us – had grown used to the culture in which he was raised, and doesn’t like the new culture especially when many of the people around you don’t speak English. To those who are born into the present culture, London is an English city! To those of us who were born and raised there many years ago, it isn’t an English city! Multiculturalism is here to stay, whether or not we like it.