‘No one likes us’, chant supporters of Millwall Football Club, like a badge of honour. But now their landlord dislikes them too, and wants them out. Apologies for readers with no interest in football, but please bear with me, for here is a much broader theme of our times. If we don’t protect our culture, soon we will have nothing of our heritage but museums for tourists.
Lewisham Council, a Labour-dominated authority in south London, seems hell-bent on destroying the remnants of its white working class and docklands culture. The Den, Millwall’s stadium in grimy Bermondsey, is owned by the local authority, whose plan is to evict the football club for a major property developer to build a complex of shops and high-rise housing.
Regeneration, the council believes, is more important than the fortnightly gathering of the sons and grandsons of dockers. Clean them away to somewhere on the Kentish fringe. Thousands of homes will be provided, but for whom? How sad it is, this unholy alliance between global capitalists and left-wing politicians who support the mass immigration that has pushed the common people out of boroughs where their families have lived for generations. The need for more shops is dubious: the large Surrey Quays centre is just down the road, while people are abandoning the high street for internet shopping.
I had the privilege of watching Millwall win in the FA Cup on Saturday. It was raucous, but the high spirits of fans leaving the ground were tempered by a prominent banner to save their club’s home. Die-hard supporters of this unfashionable team include Danny Baker, who was raised in a council flat near Cold Blow Lane, his bedroom window within the glare of the floodlights. In his autobiography he described his baptism, at the age of 5, on the terracing of the old Den:
“Few moments in my life rival the experience of attending my first game, of being instantly exploded into the screeching Hogarth sketch.”
In anger, Baker injudiciously asked why it was he rather than Lewisham Council who got cancer. Another follower is the fabulously bilious Rod Liddle. But such representatives of working class culture are dismissed by the authorities as part of the problem: they are stuck-in-the-muds, obstructing the path of the multiculturalist money wagon.
We are rapidly losing our cultural assets to the profits of big business and wholesale demographic replacement. Many areas of London are bereft of pubs, partly due to the influx of abstinent or socially repressive ethnic communities, but also the economic reality that there is more money in blocks of flats – both for the builders and the local authority. The grabbing hands grab all they can, unless we make a stand. Uncontrolled immigration is overwhelming our identity, culture and way of life. Ever-higher blocks of flats with no room to swing a cat; multitudes in a transient, rootless existence. Enough of this.
Brexit shocked our leaders, revealing how detached they had become from the ordinary people. The heaviest vote to leave the EU was from the white working class, who are most vulnerable to institutional neglect and to middle-class contempt. In her television interview at the weekend, Theresa May spoke of ‘a quiet revolution by those who feel the system has been stacked against them for too long’. We need a Donald Trump figure, someone in power who can tweet the council and make them see sense. Does anyone in our establishment care?