I've been meaning to make some comments about the flood of immigrants into East London for a while but never got round to it - but i have some time now, so here goes.
When i was growing up, we used to have lots of whites living here. And for the most part i only have good memories of that time - particularly of the old fella who lived next door who would bring chocs and crisps for me and my brothers from time to time (this is when we were about 6 or 7).
As the years went by, more and more desis moved in.
Then from around 2000 onwards, East London started to become the home for thousands and thousands of immigrants. Many were were coming from then war-torn parts of Europe, in particular former Yugoslavia. I'm sure Londoners will remember the sudden appearance of the "Bosnian" women (don't know why, but they're always referred to as "Bosnian" even though lots were from Albania) who would be begging on trains with a couple of kids trailing in their wake, standing outside mosques, etc. around that time (though you don't see that as much these days).
They would come to the country and be given housing and benefits, and even back then, i remember some of the resentment that was building up amongst some of the whites. I remember talking to an ex-colleague of mine saying that she'd been waiting for a council flat for years, and then suddenly these asylum seekers turn up out of nowhere and are bumped to the top of the list and were receiving straight away what others had been waiting for for years.
The "white flight" to the suburbs of London, and to Essex was well under way when about 3 years ago there was another immigrant flood, and this time the immigrants were from Sri Lanka.
The last time i checked, the borough i live in was accommodating nearly 180,000 immigrants which was the highest in the country, and twice as much as the next borough with most immigrants.
I don't hold anything against immigrants specifically, but its plain obvious that these past few years, my borough has turned into a dump, and i think a large part of that is due to the immigrants.
I don't know whether its because they don't feel a sense of belonging here and therefore don't show any care for the area, but i've seen some shocking displays of uncleanliness and unhygienic behaviour from these people.
Up till the time i was a teenager, it was an absolute rarity to see someone urinating in the streets. In the past few years, i've seen immigrants urinating in broad daylight (we're talking around 5pm in the middle of summer) on a busy road. On another occasion there was another urinating at midday on a Saturday in view of our High Street.
Other times you see them walking down the road emptying their noses in the middle of the road. And i will never forget walking down my road and seeing some Tamil lean out of the window facing the road and blow his nose out. I thought "you dirty bastard - couldn't you go to your bathroom to do that!?" I mean, how could someone be so filthy? Is this how they behave back home in their own countries?
Now, there are also some great people amongst them. The family who run the local corner shop are hard working and they're pleasant to talk to, and i have no problem with them whatsoever. Perhaps i'll even invite them over for dinner one day. But the overall impression i have of these two immigrant communities the Tamils, and especially those from Eastern Europe is an overwhelmingly negative one.