Passport to Pimlico - Part Two.
Bring out your dead...
Blackheath was our first own 'home' - a studio flat bought for £9,000 in 1972 and now worth (if the on-line estate agents are anything to go by) about £170,000 which is a near 2000% increase in 37 years, or put another way 8.25% compound interest over the period.
Property was obviously a sound investment in those days.
Blackheath was a smart suburb of London where up and coming actors, artists and other liberal trendies lived, but it was not always that way.
During the Black Death plague victims were rumoured to be buried beneath the heath.
It's denied today of course, but then looking at property prices I can see why the local realtors might try to sanitize the areas image
Later Wat Tyler, who was the leader of the English Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led 50,000 men to London with the intention of starting the destruction of the hierarchical feudal system, which was not popular with the Aristo's running the country then.... nor now for that matter!
Wat stopped at Blackheath with his men, no doubt because it was large enough to accomodate 50,000 peasants after a few days marching. Wat was obviously brave, but not too wise, because he agreed to a private meeting with the 14 year old King Richard II, probably assuming that teenagers were relatively safe to parlay with.
The then Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Walworth cut him down with a sword, and other chums of the King finished the job by stabbing him to death. So not that much changes in South London!
The whole thing resembled a Mafia hit rather than nobility exercising it's authority, but then again “Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason” and I guess that's the way all these Kings gained power originally, by the sword and force, not reason and intellect.
In 1972 I drove a small Austin Healey Sprite open top sports car, which I could fill up with gasoline for £1/10 shillings (about $4).
We had started a small boutique selling fashion clothing opposite Goldsmiths College in New Cross, South London, which was selling 'cabbage' (see the link if you don't know what this is) from famous London store names, bought at 30 shillings a piece and sold for a fiver.
It prospered until one Monday I walked in to see an empty shop.
Some bright and enterprising lads from the area had entered through the empty shop next door, gone down into their basement, then up into my shop, via my basement.
It was probably the most physically hard work they had ever done.
There was a large hole in the middle of the shop which the local policeman sent to 'investigate' almost stepped into in his incompetence.
Obviously the local police were not intending to do anything, so in my anger at being robbed (yeah, despite spending years ripping people off, I still got offended when it happened to me) I phoned my old youth club leader, Rose, who had mentored me from 13-18 years of age, but who had also taken a young tearaway under her wing earlier, which tearaway was now a mature villian running most of Soho.
She made the call, and I guess he made another call, and 30 minutes later two C.I.D. officers turned up apologising for their earlier collegues laxity, and promised results.
The next day they told me that the stolen goods had been already sold on, but kindly gave me the address of the local lads who had broken in.
The cops smiled whilst they did that, probably contemplating the fate that awaited them if I passed those lads addreses back up the line to 'Curly'..... Rose's gangster friend in Soho.
I took the loss and walked away, to have gotten my revenge would have left me with a debt owed to people who called their debts in at some time.
It's the same all over the world, and as Robert Hienlien was fond of mentioning TANSTAAFL (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch).
- Enoch Powell\'s \'Rivers of Blood\' speech - Telegraph
This is the full text of Enoch Powell's so-called 'Rivers of Blood' speech, which was delivered to a Conservative association meeting in Birmingham on April 20 1968.
This whole episode was taking place at the same time as the miners were on strike; and Britain was experiencing the 'three day week' that brought down Heaths government giving the new Labour government the opportunity to cripple the country.
My losses in the clothing trade had left me both broke and angry, a bad combination, so it was back into direct selling and running a sales office in Leicester (not pronounced LIE SESS TER, but LESTER for our American readers) with about 30 salesmen who rampaged the surrounding countryside like Vikings on their holidays.
I specified to my door knockers that I ONLY wanted to be given 'enquiries' made with black potential purchasers (gotta be a bit PC here as we are mentioning colour) and this was because the lads that had taken my clothing stock had been identified as West Indians; my mind in those days wanted revenge of a personal kind; hence all blacks were fair game to my twisted mind.
This was racism pure and simple, and I admit it, and I've repented for it, so put the fingers away.
I remember asking one West Indian who had arrived in the UK alongside thousands of others recruited to drive London Buses, why he had come;
"Wel mon, me frend rote me an e'say de streets es paved wid gold, den when I got ere, it was wetun miserable so I aked him "why du say dat" an he tol me "I was LONELY MAN"
OK it' difficult ot write a West Indian accent, so if any of you have a problem understanding that, drop by and I'll do it in accent! In those days we were dealing with first generation immigrants, and they did speak like 'dat, so please no PC remarks in the comments!
Enoch Powell, the man who was wildly misquoted over his immigration speech, was the government Minister in charge who came up with the recruitment drive in the West Indies, that started immigration into the UK.
They set up employment offices in Jamaica to attract would be bus driving immigrants and many decided to come.
There were no such jobs on offer to their children, or maybe they, like me, had no desire to drive a bus.
So I can now see why, when I was out there conning people, they were out there stealing anything not screwed down. Unfortunately neither our parents or the government had any idea what to do to get us to setlle down and take 'respectable' jobs, just like their parents had.
Satan was stirring things up, just like always.
Now the consequences are becoming obvious as each week young men, mainly black, are killed in knife attacks, and the BNP are gaining ground with white working class people.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The bible tells us that we are all equal in Christ, and that's a truth that is often not understood, maybe because not all people will accept what the bible tells them when it conflicts with their bigotry.
But whether your prejudice is against 'blacks' or Jews, women or men, you need to lay them aside IF you want to 'put on Christ'.
Indeed we have to put ALL of our preconceptions aside when we seek to enter the kingdom of Heaven, for most everything we learn in the world is error in the kingdom.
I spent the first two years examining every thought and action as I reassessed what to take with me into the kingdom, there was very little needed for the journey. Most things were able to be left behind and many HAD to be left behind, to ensure a smooth transition from citizen of the world to heir of the kingdom.
Shrouds have no pockets, and as we die when we 'put on Christ' all we can carry will be held in our hearts, especially as our hands will be open and lifted high towards Christ when we head home.
So what's next?
This hub has not taken me where I thought it was going to, but then life has the same habit of taking us where we least expect. I hope it has brought you to the same place as I reside, or at least pointed you in the direction that must be travelled.
From Blackheath life took a different turn again, one which found us homeless and then squatting in a Central London house in Marylebone, an action that had far reaching consequences.
I hope you'll join me on the next section of the journey.