From Elsewhere: The destruction of Barking and Dagenham

Ed Milliband with text

I’m familiar with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. I’ve lived there for a while and I also had relatives who have lived there. It used to be a bog standard working class area, mostly white but with some non white people and despite the poverty and the need for the borough to rebuild its economy after the scaling down of the Ford factory, it was a relatively OK place.

Now it is a nightmare.

The excessive levels of immigration in Barking and Dagenham have seen the area transformed and not for the better. English butchers are being closed down and replaced by Halal ones, Muslim councillors are starting to practise communal politics and the influx of people from Eastern Europe has put huge strains on schools, hospitals, doctors and other services. In the space of less than 20 years Barking and Dagenham has been ruined.

This article in yesterday’s Daily Mail will give readers some flavour of the ruination heaped on an ordinary working class area by members of the middle class Left.

The Daily Mail said:

Not so long ago, Pam Dumbleton would have been roasted alive. There’d have been booing and cries of ‘racist!’. There she was in the middle of a particularly combative episode of BBC1’s Question Time the other day, and she was not merely raising the issue of immigration. She was lamenting it.

What’s more, she was sitting in the front row of the Broadway Theatre in Barking, one of Britain’s most ethnically diverse communities.

Isn’t it time the Government listened to the people about the effect immigration is having in changing our communities?’ asked the 69-year-old retired office administrator. ‘We are now the complete minority.’

By ‘we’, she meant members of the British-born white working class who are, indeed, now a minority in this bit of London’s East End, according to the Government’s latest statistics.

And that demographic shift is accelerating. Two-thirds of schoolchildren in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham now are from an ethnic minority; at one primary school near Pam’s council estate, the figure is 94 per cent, while less than a quarter speak English as a first language.

This is one of the poorest parts of the South-East, with serious unemployment and the country’s highest birth rate to boot. Even Poundland is being squeezed here. Several 99p stores have opened up on the main drag, only to be undercut, in turn, by a cheeky new 97p shop. Apparently, an 89p store is imminent.

So, was Pam Dumbleton fanning the flames of racial tension with her remarks on Question Time? Hardly. There were a few liberal groans and applause for a man who complained that the BBC should not be giving airtime to such inappropriate opinions. But, interestingly, none of the politicians on the panel chose to quarrel with Pam.

Because, as I accompany her through Barking, it becomes clear that she represents the concerns of a much wider constituency than simply the old white working class. ‘This place has just changed beyond all recognition and in such a short time,’ says Pam, walking with her friend, Joyce Cracknell, an 80-year-old child of the Blitz.

Between them, they run the residents’ association for their 1,200-home estate. ‘We’ve always had immigration here and we’ve always got on together,’ says Joyce. ‘But then we had this sudden influx from the EU and it’s too much.’ 

Until recently, she was a Labour activist, but has now left the party. Both she and Pam are planning to stand in next month’s council elections as UKIP candidates. ‘Tony Blair opened our borders and they’ve never closed,’ says Pam. ‘Now, we’ve got people around us living in sheds, or cramming ten at a time into a tiny flat.’

One of her two sons, she says, has moved to Cornwall. ‘He doesn’t want to send his children to a school where most children don’t speak English.’

Read more:

Read this piece and weep and realise that it is the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives-in-name-only who have brought Barking and Dagenham to this terrible state, and forced those who can get out, to leave, and those who can’t leave to live both in fear and exist second class citizens in the eyes of the Labour establishment.


4 Comments on "From Elsewhere: The destruction of Barking and Dagenham"

  1. /applause

    One of your best posts ever! I grew up there, and yes, it’s no longer a place I recognise..

    • Fahrenheit211 | April 6, 2014 at 11:38 am |

      Thank you. It greives me to see ordinary working class communities, made up of both black and white, being subjected to this sort of invasion. As an aside, for a government or non governmental group to create the conditions that cause people to leave their homes, as in the case of B and D, is one of the things forbidden by the Genocide Convention.

  2. Dogbreath | April 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm |

    ‘I grew up there, and yes, it’s no longer a place I recognise..’

    Could be applied to most of urban southern England unfortunately.

  3. Totally agree,and it’s not just the two areas you mention here.In my home town,for instance,we have a large supermarket that has an halal counter,a whole section of the freezer part devoted to halal food and shopping in there is like shopping in Saudi but without the dry weather.I am just suprised that the muslims haven’t applied for planning permission for a mosque,but there’s time yet………

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