Wake from my painting frenzy to hear that dear old Professor David Starkey has got in troubled by making some comments on News Night. Apparently he said that the riots have been caused by problems in the black community, and he mentioned an "enforced silence on the matter of race."
I watched the special BBC Question Time just after the riots and in the whole programme the words "black community" were not mentioned once. As the problems in that community still cannot be discussed by right thinking people we viewers were left with nothing but a pile of flannel.
When I first came to London, just before the Brixton riots I lived in Lambeth. I was shocked by the level of violence in the streets, the constant mugging and harassment carried out by young black men. I quickly grasped that it wasn't done to mention this, it was just accepted as a fact of life. The first time I was attacked, walking home one night, I wrote a piece about it which appeared in the Guardian. I received a letter telling me that because I had mentioned that my assailant was black, I was being reported to the "Race Today Collective." Later when I was mugged a second time, I was accused by my neighbours of using "racist body-language." After that I gave up on the area and my left-wing friends. Happy Days!