Well I’ve been meaning to write for a while, and have been thinking about this blog a lot, but somehow looming life changes, of which I am too superstitious to publicly declare, have got in the way. I was going to write a post about the new farmers’ market that has opened up in the London Fields school just next to Broadway Market, and how friendly the stallholders were – perhaps not yet realising how mercilessly they can fleece the punters of London food markets, they were selling beautiful food at fair prices, bless their guts (a saying I picked up from a midwife on the brilliant Channel Four documentary One Born Every Minute)
And then today, as I was looking out the window, I saw hovering about London Fields the Virgin Sky Ambulance, which I know from another hospital documentary. We wandered down to have a look and found a festival in full swing, complete with organic food stalls, cookery demonstrations and a children’s playground, and then, on the other side of LF, the ambulance in a cordoned-off area, and the field closest to Broadway Market completely sealed off, abandoned barbecues still smouldering, cops everywhere, and someone telling us that there had been a shooting – this time of a young white man, who had been having a picnic with friends on the most beautiful afternoon of this year and was now fighting for his life.
Whether this confrontation was a result of the recent killing of Agnes Sina-Inakoju in Hoxton Street I could not say, but it is apparent that gang tensions in the area are heightened right now.
Which is why I was shocked and disappointed at what the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, had to say this afternoon to the BBC: “Despite this very worrying incident, hundreds of people were able to enjoy the event in London Fields safely and without interruption.”
It’s not really good enough, Jules Pipe. What is being done about gang crime in Hackney? Apart from building even bigger estates, crammed with more people, which will increase tensions even further? Sit in your 50-million-pound new building and answer that.
I’m not an expert, and I certainly don’t have the all the answers, but this blithe dismissal of a serious situation by someone who does have the power to do something about it is just depressing, in my opinion.