London Myths No.2 – London Is A War Zone
Do we really need to go here? Yes, because when a corrupt dictator tries to turn the USA into a banana republic everyone else suffers, and the offensive, ignorant nonsense he spouted about London was parroted by Fox News, stoking the flames of racism.
So, some facts. Terrorist attacks; London is a multicultural democracy of almost nine million with over 300 languages currently spoken in schools, including Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien. It has always been a terrorist target of some sort, being a port because of its river, and a financial centre because it straddles the world’s main time zones, allowing for 24 hour trading.
MI5 currently assesses the threat level of international terrorism as Severe. This is one below the highest threat level, and means an attack is ‘highly likely’. The threat is the same for most major European cities. Although attacks are devastating, statistically it is highly unlikely visitors will be hurt in a terrorist incident. The number of fatal traffic accidents is higher by multiples of many hundreds.
Knife crime is higher compared to early decades, and remains localised within ethnic communities in the 16-24 group. Gun crime, until recently almost unknown, climbed this year, again primarily affecting the same demographic.
There is minimal racial tension between Caucasians and Muslims in London. We have a Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Kahn, elected because he was the best man for the job and his religion and ethnicity are irrelevant. Unlike his public school predecessors he is in touch with real working Londoners, and is greatly admired.
I live in London’s highest risk zone for terror attacks, in an area that suffered three devastating bombs on the same day. In each case I was one or two streets away, walking. A large proportion of the tube’s daily 5 million passengers pass through King’s Cross, plus there are 3 national/international overland stations. That’s a lot of people. I have lived here or nearby, on and off, for most of my life. How many serious incidents have I personally witnessed?
London crime is largely about nicked phones and antisocial behaviour, but it badly needs to counter attacks by the ill-informed. An army of public sector workers are helping to build bridges in the new communities that have appeared at London’s edges. The new Crossrail system, carrying workers from the outskirts to the centre, will dramatically change the city once more.
More importantly, London feels safe. Don’t take my word for it; ask anyone who comes here.