Mayor Sadiq Khan ‘saying the right things’ – but there’s a difference between ‘laying low’ and inaction

A white, teenage thug, with no previous convictions, the father of a teenage girl and brothers of school-age children, the de facto leader of his new black mixed race gang, his hands splattered with various kinds of black, yellow and brown mud, shouting “n***ers” in the manor, armed with a bat, wooden batons, glass bottles, metal pipes, home-made petrol bombs, a nine-inch sword, a hunting rifle, machetes, an axe, a knife and a shovel, while “chilling out” in his luxury Mercedes parked outside a nightclub with a fitted black alarm.

Where will the police station be when the next incident happens? Most of those involved in this macabre depravity have not been caught yet. From the police, the usual creepy stuff like not too many visible weapons and CCTV images will only go so far.

Meanwhile in Hornchurch, Essex, the two brothers still on the run: one from the father of one of the victims. Facing murder charges. They have not been in custody for that long or they might not still be out there.

Right now the final law-enforcement response to stop the cycle of these atrocities is mere ‘normalising’ of the incident and appearance of the offender. They say it may be all the little tiffs they’d had that led to the death of one boy and seriously injured the other. Others tell of growing up in a co-dependent home where there are frequent fights and arguments, and all to do with settling scores over different girlfriends or other conflicts, and so can no longer be sorted out – social services and therapists are all they’ve got.

My own thought: there is nothing ‘normal about the death of a two-year-old [Jesse Dyer]; it must not be ‘normalised’ either. The racist violence may no longer kill but it makes us all afraid. It induces suspicion and disgust in the community. The sort of fear that our police and political leaders suffer with, and, perhaps even, find it hard to shake off.

It’s not often you see Mayor Sadiq Khan use that perfectly soundly-stated, ‘Islamophobia is anti-British’ rhetoric; and in May 2009 he declared, “my vision for [London] is a city that belongs to all the people who live here, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or from another minority religion.”

The cities of the world are far from pristine; but one thing is certain. Radicals can inflict genuine damage on the most benign neighbourhoods, as we are seeing now in these racially-motivated attacks.

Imagine doing anything to improve the lot of those appalling bakers in Manchester. In the name of love, to hide your extreme feelings of superiority over your boss, who also happens to be a non-white man, pray they succeed in doing so.

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