London

Cressida Dick lands killer job

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The appointment of Cressida Dick as Metropolitan Police Commissioner will have sent shivers down the spines of many Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Londoners. Walk past Stockwell underground station and you will understand why. Immediately to the left of the entrance is a mural with the inscription “INNOCENT Jean Charles de Menezes…Shot dead here 22.07.2005 Sadly missed”.

Frank Crichlow: Standing tall against racism

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Frank Crichlow, a life-long anti-racist from west London, died recently. In a hitherto unseen interview from 1995, he spoke to Hassan Mahamdallie about his life.


Frank Crichlow

I've been in Notting Hill for quite a long time now, since the 1950s. I first came in contact with Notting Hill police station when I opened a cafe called the Rio in Westbourne Park. A lot of people used to go there.

Olympian failure

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When Ken Livingstone lobbied for the 2012 Olympics he argued that the resulting investment was needed desperately by east London, as it had seen none since Victorian times.

Yet the games have received a chorus of damnation in recent weeks. A study by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) thinktank has shown that the regeneration of the East End of London was wishful thinking, at best.

London: capital's capital

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The City of London has become a tax haven for the super-rich, overseen by Gordon Brown with, alarmingly, no complaints from Mayor Ken Livingstone. Patrick Ward looks at the history and humbug that props up the square mile and leaves neighbouring boroughs cash-starved

The reaction from much of the press to government plans for the City of London's non-domicile super-rich might make you think they were about to hand control of the square mile to the RMT. The outrage from non-domicile fat cats was coupled with threats to leave Britain altogether and for a raft of bizarre claims that London-based capitalists were being driven out of the country.

London mayoral elections: Race and class in the city

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Race has been an issue in London all my life.

When I look back now, it is nowhere near the racist city it once was. London is visibly multicultural, much of the fabric of London life draws from ethnic minority culture, and there is not the same overt racism and bigotry which has dogged generations of immigrants who have been refused rooms, meals and jobs because of their racial or national origins.

Good Things Don't Come to Those Who Wait - in Chinatown

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"We don't get paid wages here," said a waiter at Chinatown's Furama Restaurant. "We only have tips of around £200 a week. The service charge goes to the employer. We don't get a penny."

This testimony is not an anomaly. Catering and hotel employers are making their own rules and there is no legal basis from which to challenge them.

The practices of one catering company, Green Events Ltd, provide a useful example. Prior to January waiters were paid £6.25 per hour plus 10 percent service charge. Under the new system, however, they are paid just;£4.25 per hour. Their employer uses the service charge to meet the minimum wage.

Left History: Rising from the East

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Dave Crouch looks at the role of the Communist Party in organising Jewish workers in London's East End from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Respect's electoral success in east London and Birmingham is not the first time the left has reached out to an oppressed minority in political turmoil. Phil Piratin's famous victory in 1945 to become Communist Party MP for the Mile End constituency took place in an area where Jewish immigrants made up between 40 and 50 percent of the population.

New Myths of the East End

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Racial divisions in East London are exacerbated by state welfare provision that benefits Bangladeshi migrants at the expense of the white working class - or so says a new report. Chris Jones uncovers the hidden hand of neo-liberal ideology.

In common with many social science undergraduates in the early 1970s, I read Peter Willmott and Michael Young's Family and Kinship in East London. Published in 1957, it was regarded as one of the classics of British urban sociology. Although I cannot recall in fine detail all of its arguments, the book was one of the few around at that time which gave space to the varied voices of the working class in east London.

Racism: 14 Years Can be a Long Time in Politics

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One of the most striking aspects of The New East End is the picture it paints of virulent racism. The authors note, "of the white respondents, a majority expressed an often bitterly negative attitude towards foreign immigrants, and particularly towards Bangladeshis".

If true, this is a very divided society on the verge of turmoil. But many of the interviews have a dated feel. One example, which immediately stands out, is an interview with a white respondent who complains of allegedly preferential service offered to Asians, "last Saturday at the children's hospital in Hackney Road". This hospital, a few hundred metres from where I live, closed in 1998.

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