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July 24, 2005

Chavs Innit

Bits of the real England from the great Chavworld site:

jus ritin to let yall peeps no dat beein a chav ain’t all dat bad! i meen wen i walk down da street all da rudeboyz n widegirlz move 2 lemme froo, if day try n step up, ill just nok em spark out, innit!

Listen all you chav’s out there. Leighton Buzzard is the Chav capital of this world sittin on the famous market cross swigging 20/20 and wife beaters innit! we r all wearing burberry clothes from bovey market LOVE IT A !

Yes i’m a chav, but it seems that people make out that we’re stupid and illiterate when actually not all of us are. We do pick fights alot but only with people who deserve it, say if someone was staring at us for no reason (i can’t stand being stared at) we would say something like ‘what you lookin’ at?’ and if they started mouthing off then they would get a beating but if they left it at that then we would leave it.

I think chavs are great, coz i is one init! Theres nuffin wrong wiv burberry & S.I Novas are pure class. When i’m cruisin round the precinct all the other birds are well jealous cos they fink my choons are well bangin. My Lee rekons i am the fittest bird in school & none of the older girls can down Smifnoff ice like i can. I can drink 10 bottles & im only 15!

i is from wisbech an it fukin chav centraaaal!! Chavs rule! u is all sayin dat we is fick and all dis but we smash yo head in innit!

Chav jokes:

What do you call a Chav in a box?
What do you call a Chav in a filing cabinet?
What do you call a Chav in a box with a lock on it?
What do you call an Eskimo Chav?
What’s the first question at a Chav quiz night?
“What you lookin’ at?”

All ya peepz in2 dis chav stuf checkout chav forumz, mint innit?

Posted by Iain Stewart at 2:21 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack
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July 14, 2005

Who Stopped?

An hour ago: The 177 bus stopped. A teacher (? white/pony-tail/self-conscious) came out of Addey and Stanhope School, stoppped and bowed his head. The people in the bus queue opposite stopped (talking) and looked at the ground. A van stopped. Some more people coalesced around the teacher and stopped and stared at the ground. I stopped. I stared at the ground. I looked around when no-one else was watching. A blogger at work, checking out his city.

The Pakistani conmen selling long distance telephone cards outside their ripoff supermarket opposite didn’t stop (rather unwisely I thought). Most of the mostly young Caribbean men and old Carribean ladies walking up and down the street didn’t stop. None of the trucks and cars and vans heading through the noonday heat down the A2 towards Dover stopped, or even hooted, or did anything. Whichever way I looked up and down the hectic, culturally-diverse, road, not many people stopped at all. A lot were walking and talking as ever on their mobiles, a lot more as ever staring at their mobiles desperately as they walked along, a few others - mostly Celts and Anglo-Saxons - simply talking to themselves or their cans of Kestrel and Special Brew, also as usual.

For a moment just before, reading the online news, I had imagined something out-of-the-ordinary, truly remarkable might be about to happen - the whole of New Cross frozen and silent, perfectly choreographed for one dramatic freeze-frame moment in the history of the Dover Road: ‘the inner city shares its grief’ - one of those West End or City moments down here at last in SE London. I thought I might encounter urgently creative teams of schoolkids inspired by groundbreaking media teachers undertaking brilliant video and podcasting projects built around these two amazing gut-wrenching minutes in the day and life of inner Deptford. I thought at least that given all the publicity most pople would probably stop walking and talking and possibly driving, more or less on time. But it wasn’t like that at all. The only thing I saw happen couldn’t have been more expected if it had tried. Namely, nothing. Or, even more expectedly, virtually nothing. Nearly nothing. This was probably for the best, seeing how the whole idea had been a little unEnglish in its expectations to start with, trying to make us show feelings, share grief, things we never did and never had done and never wanted to. And from where I was standing just now, a thing we definitely didn’t do this time either, or not in a way that anyone would notice, not around here at least, with just a few exceptions, and praise be for them. That’s not to say no-one else cared. Not to say that they did, either.

Posted by Iain Stewart at 1:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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July 10, 2005

Still Down There

On Thursday, I got to New Cross at about 10.15, en route to Vauxhall to get some very urgent dosh. There was one tube train on the East London Line platform with all its doors closed and I asked the one man leaning against the railings waiting what was happening, but he didn’t speak English and shook his head. So I went through the tunnel over to the British Rail platform for trains to London Bridge and Cannon Street, where quite a crowd was waiting for the next train scheduled for 10.20 or so on the indicators. Over there I asked a rather posh and well-spoken thirtysomething man with a Daily Telegraph what was happening,

and he said they had closed down the whole of the underground because of some explosions at Kings Cross and maybe elsewhere. ‘All of it?’ I asked. ‘So it would seem’, he said, just as the London Bridge and Cannon Street train came in, and everyone including me moved to get on. But then I thought that if there were really no tubes at all, hard though this was to believe, what would become of me when I got to Cannon Street, not having the dosh for a cab and all if it should come to the crunch. So with one foot almost on the train I turned away and walked back home and turned on the radio. They were just reporting the Tavistock Square bus.

Through the rest of the day I wondered what had happened to that well-informed man and all those people who had got on the Cannon Street train, Cannon Street not being a location of choice to get stranded on that long bad day.

On Friday morning, I still didn’t have any dosh, so after checking the Guardian and Transport for London to see what was running I set straight off for the station, if the truth were told not really fancying the snaky bus to Vauxhall after what they’d done to the No. 30 the day before. About 10.30 at New Cross, there weren’t many people around, and while I waited for the East London Line they made an announcement saying please to not feed the pigeons on the concourse as this encouraged what after all were really vermin and caused a lot of damage. I thought this was as cool as it was funny. Then the tube came in and I made my way to Vauxhall via the Jubilee Line from Canada Water then the Victoria Line from Green Park. It was all very quiet but otherwise no big deal, and the tube seemed abnormally efficient and regular. After I got my dosh I went back from Vauxhall to Oxford Circus on the Victoria then to the Gate on the Central and then back to New Cross and the radio and television coverage. During that day I thought the best interviews were with the tall Asian guy with a pony tail who had lost his girl friend at Tavistock Square, the middle aged guy who was shaking after coming up from the tunnel at Kings Cross, I think, who said everyone had been praying and trying to break the window glass with their hands, and a beautiful Indian girl at Edgware Road I think who used her hands very elegantly and sounded extremely brave. I liked Ken Livingstone’s speech about how London made people Londoners and I thought Tony Blair was rather eloquent and Charles Clarke appropriately downbeat and almost humble and George Bush completely off the ball, and I wondered vaguely what had happened to Gordon Brown. I also talked to my friend Franny who said her sister Janet’s boyfriend had been quite seriously burnt at Edgware Road, I think.

Then on Saturday I was back at New Cross this time on my way to see my best friend Georgia in Newington Green, who had been at the Fleet Street Law Courts at 9 am on Thursday, and had walked back through all the action and had heard the bus explode. She had been rather shocked and disgusted at some of the behaviour she had witnessed, especially some tourists fighting viciously over phone boxes and cab drivers switching off their lights, but had also been impressed with some London workmen off a building site carrying on as if nothing was happening, whistling and laughing like always.

To get to Newington Green, I changed at Canada Water for the Jubilee to London Bridge and then changed to the Northern for the Angel, and then a bus. Even when I was at New Cross I had been thinking about the buried carriage on the Piccadilly Line at Kings Cross, and how this was turning into the terrible image of the week, and how it hadn’t helped when that police chief kept going on about the threat of vermin, and how of all jobs, the job I’d definitely want the least in history would be the rescue worker who first cut into that buried carriage, and how the things he would see would really be the ultimate nightmare, a vision worse than hell. By the time I was crossing to the Northern Line at London Bridge, just a few stops down the tunnel from Kings Cross, I was thinking with some urgency that they had to rescue those trapped bodies as soon as in any way possible, because I could already feel them haunting the underground, gradually making a necessary thing harder the longer they were left down there.

Today back in New Cross, the sun has come out at last after what seems a very long time, long before Live 8 and Wimbledon and the Olympic bid. Welcome as it is, though, its not going to do a lot to help the horror of what’s still down in the Piccadilly Line, which has now completely replaced the Tavistock Square bus as the worst thing of all in all of these bad few days, the thing its really best not to think about, if only that were possible.

They really have to rescue those bodies that are still down there before they start to drive everyone mad.

Posted by Iain Stewart at 5:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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