It’d Take A Heart Of Stone…

…not to feel a sense of wry amusement at Amanda Craig’s story:

like the area of north London that I live in – long, leafy roads of semi-detached houses fringed by large estates. My neighbours include artists, minicab drivers, barristers, pensioners and postmen.

But of course, as with many a big city, less-salubrious areas are never more than a short walk or bus ride away.

The couple had been arguing fiercely by my house for about 10 minutes when I came out to water my front garden one Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. Most of the shouting had been coming from the girl, who was violently punching and slapping the boy as he cried out, “No, no, no!” He looked around the same age as my teenage son, and seemed vulnerable. “Stop it!” I said sharply. “Move on, please.”

More experienced people are, I suspect, wincing at where this is likely to be going…

They took no notice, so then I did something stupid. I flicked my hose towards them, spraying them for a couple of seconds, as I might a pair of fighting cats. Instantly, they jumped into my garden. The girl started punching me repeatedly in the face while the boy set about smashing the plant pots. I seized hold of her hair to try to stop her hitting me. Instead, she grabbed mine, too, and carried on punching. The pain was excruciating, but with my other hand I found my mobile in my pocket and dialled 999, yelling that we were being attacked in our home. The operator kept asking me to spell out the name of our street, threatening that if I didn’t stop screaming, he was going to cut me off. Five times I tried, while being continually hit, then in desperation remembered the army code – charlie, alpha, etc. Finally, he got it.

Oh, how little it takes for one to realise how the security one feels is but an illusion…

We released one another, exhausted, but she stayed in my garden, hurling abuse at me and searching for her mobile which she had dropped during the attack. By now a young man who lives opposite had come across. He helped the girl find her phone and with that she left. “Don’t press charges,” he warned. “They’ll trash your house or your car.” He recognised my attackers as neighbours from the estate just down the road.

Still feel the same about your area of London, Amanda?

The police arrived and caught the girl at once. Numb with shock, my left eye horribly swollen, my lip split and bleeding, I asked her why she had attacked the boy, and then me, with such aggression? “He’s my boyfriend, I can hit him if I want to,” she said, with chilling indifference. I told the officers I didn’t want to press charges, but as I had been assaulted, she was going to be charged with GBH anyway. As soon as one of the female officers tried to arrest her, the girl attacked the policewoman, who had to be taken to hospital.

We aren’t told what happened, but I suspect it was a token punishment, of the sort that Amanda and her fellow progressives would no doubt argue is fitting, given the ‘deprivation’ suffered by these poor inner-city youth…

I don’t know whether what I did was stupid, or stupidly brave. I have written about the violence that exists in inner-city London in two of my books, but I never imagined that it would enter my life so explosively. The physical shock has ebbed away, the pain and bruises are almost gone, but I fear it will take far longer for the memories to fade. I worry the assailants live nearby, but I refuse to let that change the way I feel about my home.

You just can’t teach some people anything, can you?

17 comments for “It’d Take A Heart Of Stone…

  1. Sue
    June 2, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Julia, I’ve been going on about this sort of thing for ages. The left wing bleeding heart brigade don’t live in council estates and towns that are virtually filled with the unemployed. If they did, they would see what is happening. I have lived in some horrible places. We’ve never been rich or particularly well off, we’ve worked hard & struggled to move out of those sort of areas for the sake of our children.

    It’s just a shame it takes an incident like this for them to find out what a green and unpleasant land Britain has become. She’s lucky no retribution was inflicted on her house afterwards, perhaps it could still happen. It only takes a few drinks too many, a box of matches and a bad night for thoughts of vengeance to reappear.

    • June 3, 2011 at 5:23 am

      And when they do find out, and if retribution does follow, they can always afford to move. Unlike many others.

  2. June 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

    It’s the impunity now which is the real problem – the feeling that there are no consequences because, of course, there are none. Contrast that with the Middle-East woman who is going to put acid in the eyes of the man who did it to her.

    Somewhere there has to be a happy medium where the crim gets the message but is not maimed for life.

    • June 3, 2011 at 5:24 am

      We used to have that – long prison sentences.

  3. JayBee
    June 2, 2011 at 8:51 am

    It’s not the young womans fault. She is most likely the victim of society etc. etc.

  4. June 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

    The problem is that the ruling class (by which I mean the politicians, judiciary etc) have no longer any concept of morality, i.e. right and wrong, and instead have a kind of marxian view of humanity, whereby people are a product of their environment, and thus in cases like above, they are incapable of judging that the person did wrong and should be punished.

    • June 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Whilst they may have no concept of morality I’m scared of a more real problem. I have never been able to fathom how what should obviously be a common sense conclusion of cause and effect seems to escape so many of the self appointed great and the good. My original view was that these people were just idiots.

      It was only after making myself more familiar with the problem that I came to the conclusion that there was an element of design to it. Only then did I start to come across online documentaries of the work of the Frankfurt School and the viewpoints of Soviet Defector Yuri Bezmenov in links such as this:

  5. Maaarrghk!
    June 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    The obvious lesson for Amanda is that next time she decides to flick a hose at some toe-rag she should first pick up a shovel. Better stil, a garden fork.

    • June 3, 2011 at 5:24 am

      Or a hedge trimmer. 😈

  6. PPS
    June 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I don’t understand why she flicked the hose at people who were providing her with free entertainment.

  7. Voice of Reason
    June 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I watched ‘Harry Brown’ with my son last Summer. Depressing, and descriptive of the kind of things being talked about here.

  8. C H Ingoldby
    June 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Definition of a conservative, a liberal who has been mugged.

    Definition of a retard, a liberal who has been mugged and is still a liberal.

    • June 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      I like the one about most young people being leftist but then most of them grow up.

      • Paul
        June 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

        And then there were those of us that were never leftist to begin with. Liberals, but fused with a good dose of traditionalism and conservatism.

        • June 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm

          On reflection I think that was what I was all along. I just thought I was a leftie. 😉

  9. Dembones
    June 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Remember Gen Smuts was one of the architects of the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations.

  10. Rob
    June 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Blowback. Heh

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