Monday, February 19, 2007

Back Passages of Rural England

Well, I haven't been lynched by a bunch of yokels yet over my latest masterpiece over at The Sleaze - an everyday tale of rural racism entitled Darkest Devon. Still, it's early days yet. I dare say that I can look forward to anonymous messages on my answerphone saying 'Oooooaaarrr' in a menacing tone. Perhaps the tourist boards of Devon and Cornwall will blacklist me - that could cost me all of two page views a year (I only get those because of the wireless-enabled laptop they have in the mobile library - twice a year it gets close enough to the border with Somerset to get online). Still, I suppose there's plenty of time - I only posted it yesterday. Sooner or later some Devonian or Cornishman who's got a cousin with internet access will receive a carrier pigeon message about it...

Anyway, writing the story made me think again about that recent real business down in Devon when those hordes of scavengers descended on that beach to pillage cargo washed ashore from that grounded freighter. I'm still amazed by the fact that the police just stood by and did nothing for several days. I find their excuse that they simply didn't have enough police officers to control the situation a bit thin. Are they really expecting us to believe that there are only three policemen in the whole of Devon and Cornwall? Perhaps the rest of them were off-duty, plundering stuff from the containers down on the beach? Of course, if these pillagers had been a bunch of working class black youths in an inner-city area robbing a shop during a riot, they'd have been labelled looters. You can guarantee that there would be more than enough police available to beat them up. Indeed, they'd probably have been beaten up long before they'd actually robbed anywhere, before the riot, in fact. However, if you're white, middle class and on a beach in Devon, theft is not only OK, but is apparently approved of by onlooking police officers...

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