Friday, 24 June 2016
Well, what a day it was yesterday. The rain! Torrential, verging on biblical in many places, down-south flash flooding resulted in some polling stations being hastily moved and who knows what chaos may have fortuitously affected the collection and subsequent counting of ballots? I fully expect boxes to be found drifting out to sea over the coming days. Anyway, the result is what it is... for now.
But not everybody was fortunate enough to end the day in the dry and warm among friends and family. In Newham, East London, tragedy struck as the flood waters rose and in the early afternoon the fire brigade was called to put out a blaze in a four-storey mansion house. After the blaze was controlled and a brief on-site investigation conducted it emerged that a number of people had lost their lives as electrical supply equipment suffered a catastrophic failure, the sparks igniting a pocket of gas from a ruptured supply pipe.
On the ground floor an extended family of Romanian beggars, eighteen in all, were caught in the initial blast. An exhausted search team reported that all had died. On the first floor, three generations of a muslim household from Pakistan – twelve in all and living on benefits – perished in the subsequent blaze. And on the second floor a flat full of illegal North African immigrants who had recently manged to get into Britain from the Jungle in Calais were overcome by fumes and died from suffocation as they slept. The only people to survive the tragedy were Jeff and Jenny Randall, a childless white English couple who lived on the top floor.
The fire crew’s Station Manager gave a brief statement to reporters on the scene but declined to answer any questions until after a formal inquest had been convened, but the news quickly attracted the attention of prominent community leaders who quickly demanded details. By early this morning it had become national news and the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, appeared on the five a.m. edition of Sky News to cry foul. His appeal was soon reinforced by arch agitator Diane Abbott and in no time Owen Jones, Penny Red and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown all waded in for the kill.
The Brigade Manager was summoned and questioned at a hostile press conference. A heavy police presence was needed to hold back the crowd of social justice warriors baying for blood and furious that of all the people caught up in the tragedy, only the white couple survived. Racists! they screamed, islamophobes! One particularly vocal protester kept insisting that Nigel Farage was somehow to blame. Eventually, order was restored and the question was put directly to the fire brigade’s spokesman. On camera, they demanded to know why blacks, Asians and East Europeans perished in the fire and yet the white couple survived.
Coming soon to the Eurozone...
The cameras clicked and flashed as the Brigade Manager cleared his throat and took out an officially prepared statement. He held up a hand for silence and waited until he got it. In a clear voice he stated to the waiting press, “They were at work.”