No one doubts that the murderers of Stephen Lawrence were vile, racist thugs. But the coverage of the case has focused on the killers' hatred of black people as if this were the only issue of relevance.
The subtext is that London is awash with racist psychopaths. I doubt that is the case. Or, let's put it another way, then the situation is probably balanced by seething anti-white black psychopaths on the other side.
Truth is, Stephen Lawrence could have been Avi Cohen tomorrow or Ali Patel or even – yes – John Smith. Violence is so much a parts of working class British culture that the fact that this degenerate gang stumbled upon Stephen Lawrence – a black person – was probably just a pretext for violence that would have been unleashed somewhere else.
My point is that Stephen's skin colour was an excuse for violence, not necessarily the whole reason. Initiation rites for these vicious losers would have included a show of violence. Speculation it may be, but a mild-mannered white boy standing at the same bus stop – who just happened to exchange a 'wrong' glance with this gang – could very easily have been a victim too.
Through their focus, almost exclusively, on the racial dimensions of the case, the UK press is glossing over an inconvenient truth. British inner cities are nasty, violent places – for EVERYONE. I went to school in South East London, not far from Eltham. It was an independent school – one that supposedly catered to the intellectual elite of the South London area – but while the teachers were better than you would find at a state school, the pupils – I often thought – were a pretty motley crew.
Some were quite gifted – with perhaps the odd Little Lord Fauntleroy thrown in – but also, I suspected, simply the children of those who could AFFORD to send them there. I often wondered where the money came from to send them to such an expensive school. Somehow I had lingering doubts that "car dealers" could earn enough, legitimately, to afford the fees.
I recognise some kids similar to the Dobsons and Acourts from my school. Train compartments were destroyed, teachers' cars adorned with unpleasant substances and even some staff physically threatened. A Jewish boy got thrown out of a window. Some of the kids, it seemed to me, looked like they should have been in a borstal. I was not surprised when I read recently that a former pupil of this supposedly illustrious establishment had become a gangster and had murdered someone in cold blood.
London is a dangerous place and unless you can afford the best for your children it's worth looking elsewhere. The cream always rises to the top but the middle – those not especially gifted in the brains department – will often look elsewhere to prove themselves. That's where the gang culture can prove attractive because kids can earn the "respect" they fail to get anywhere else.
The moral of my little story is really quite simple. It is not – "don't be a black face in Eltham" but rather "don't be ANY face in Eltham" or indeed most parts of South East London if you are a sensitive soul and have any choice in the matter.
The UK tabloids, instead of focusing on race as the "sine qua non" of the whole affair would do well to ask some other, more searching questions. Why are so many young British men violent? Why is London so ghettoised? Why is violence so socially acceptable that this gang of degenerates has been allowed to ponce around Eltham – like lords of the manor – without being ostracised by other members of the community?
Having said all that, the fact that the killers of Stephen Lawrence would seem to have finally received their just punishment – long overdue – is good news. The initial police incompetence in the whole affair is the stuff of a separate article. RIP Stephen Lawrence.