Friday, 30 March 2012

In this excerpt, the author talks with his old friend, Mick, who is moving out of the now Muslim-colonised area where he has lived all his life.
“Well, it’s been changing for years Danny. Our lot’s moved out, they’ve moved in. But you know me. I made a lot of them welcome. Helped out with jobs and stuff with the neighbours when they needed it. When our new neighbours moved in next door I invited them round a few times. I wasn’t happy with his wife having the face veil on all the time, but there you go.

“One day he’s sitting in our front room and he’s looking around like, admiringly. And he says to me, ‘just you and the woman here yes?’ I said ‘me and my wife, yes’. He nods and says ‘just you and the woman, no children, very big house for two people. If you sell you tell me yes?’

“And that was it Danny. Literally, from that moment on. Aggravation, day and night. A football being bounced against our bedroom wall at two and three in the morning. Constant bother. I tried talking to them, reasoning with them. Nothing. For fifteen months.

“I called the Council’s anti-social unit and they gave me the run-around long enough. I kept calling them and getting shoved from one number to another, before they said it was a police matter. But could I get anyone to come and deal with it?

“Finally one Sunday afternoon I’ve had my Yorkshire puddings and roast and a glass of red and I’m settling down to watch some sport on the telly. The phone goes and it’s the police saying ‘can we come see you’? I said yes.

“They said ‘20 minutes’ and sure enough, 20 minutes later there’s a knock at the door. And its two Asian officers – actually, I tell a lie, one lad was probably half caste. But I hadn’t a prayer. It was all my problem, basically my imagination! I might as well have been talking to the wall.”

Mick, however, had the last laugh.

“Well I wasn’t bloody selling it to this character next door who wanted it for his 18-year-old son and the wife they were planning on bringing in from Pakistan.”

Mick also knew that he hadn’t a chance of selling the house to a white family. He was already one of the last few remaining on the street that in my childhood had been a colony of Irish Catholics.

So he went across the road to some other Asian neighbours and said he would be selling, had a firm idea of the price he wanted, and they had 24 hours to make an offer before he put the house up with agents.

“It was funny. They were straight across in no time – except it wasn’t the bloke across the road but three others. They said they wanted the house, had to have the house, and then of course started playing silly buggers over the price. I told them ‘stop there, leave now, because you’re wasting both our time. Either come back with a serious offer by the next day or that’s that.’

“They left and were back again in no time. My wife couldn’t handle the horse-trading though, she had to leave the house!”

With a twinkle in his eye – he obviously enjoyed getting his pound of flesh – Mick explains how they agreed on a price and then his purchasers started on the ‘we both agree we pay this price and then we give you rest in cash’ routine – but how he eventually got things sorted.

“I managed to keep the news from the bloke next door until a week or two before we were done and dusted,” says Mick. “I was in the back garden and his son was looking over the wall. They’d built a four-and-a-half-foot breeze block wall round it for some reason. I was about 15 feet away, doing a bit of gardening, and this lad looks at me and says ‘you fucking bastard’.”

Mick chuckles.

“We bought a lovely little bungalow up near the golf course,” he adds. “We can sit out of an evening, nice and peaceful. It’s lovely.”

“A bit of peace of mind,” I say. “That’s worth its weight. But you were still forced out of Daw Green, Mick. We’re still on the retreat.”

Mick thinks, smiles ruefully and shakes his head.
“No, not on the retreat. This battle’s lost, lad.”
Source: The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury

2 comments:

Reality Check said...

...But you know me. I made a lot of them welcome....

There you go! A liberal invites the snake in and welcomes it. Maybe he won't be so welcoming when they move next to his new house?

Anonymous said...

After reading the above passage I see that it has always been an immigrant area which he states was a colony of Irish Catholics. So why does it matter if a different set of immigrants move in. Brick lane in London was originally home to French Protestants, then Jews then Asians. The same building has been a church, synagogue and now a mosque

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