What do Amsterdam and San Francisco have in common? They are both liberal bastions that many on the Left cite as examples of utopia we should aspire to. Both have Spanish heritage: Philip II of Spain ruled the territory now known as the Netherlands and San Francisco was explored and settled by the Spanish. It is named after the Catholic saint, St Francis. But all is not well in these modern liberal paradises.
I recently read a report that Amsterdam turns into a ‘lawless jungle’ after dark, with the police powerless to intervene against crime and violence.
Around 18million tourists visit each year – more than the population of the Netherlands – and authorities have been introducing strict penalties for ‘public disturbance’. Much of this is caused by stag parties, with men from the UK and other parts of the Netherlands cutting loose in the red light district.
The city’s ombudsman Arre Zuurmond told the Dutch paper Trouw that problems including illegal car and bike racing and open drug trading have increased. He said: ‘The city centre becomes an urban jungle at night. Criminal money flourishes, there is no authority and the police can no longer handle the situation.
‘The atmosphere is grim and there is an air of lawlessness. Scooters race through the pedestrian areas. There is a lot of shouting. Drugs are being bought. There is stealing. People pee and even poop on the streets. There is violence but no action. You can even pee on the van of a mobile police unit and the driver won’t say anything.’ So things not so utopian in Amsterdam.
I never understand this claim that the police can no longer handle the situation. They are the police and it is their job to handle situations such as this: low-level but repeated criminal acts that make life for the law-abiding an absolute misery. It is also entirely predictable that once you legalise the selling of drugs and sex, your city becomes a mecca for those who seek to buy drugs and sex, and lawlessness will follow. Vice begets vice.
This is the kind of misery that Leftists seek to impose on towns in Britain with grand plans to legalise the selling of cannabis or indeed sex. They promise us that they will be able to set up some fantastic regulatory scheme that keeps everything nice, legal and clean, but it hardly ever works that way.
What you also must remember is that those who propose these schemes never live with the consequences, as they can buy themselves and their families out of the chaos that other families must now live with. It is other people’s kids who have to wade through the sh*t on their way to school, not theirs.
So the next time you hear someone proposing the legalisation of drugs, check quickly whether they will live with the mess that follows. William Hague certainly will not – he has no kids and lives out of London, I believe – likewise Matthew Parris. No, these schemes are never proposed for the manor in Yorkshire or the village in the Cotswolds. Instead they will flourish in East London and Enfield creating huge damage for the families who live there.
There are similar problems halfway round the world in San Francisco. This local news report explained how a medical association cancelled its annual convention in San Fran because it could no longer guarantee the safety of its members.
There is a homelessness crisis and drug epidemic in the city. As a result thousands of needles (handed out by the authorities) are left in the streets, and ‘human waste is everywhere in San Francisco’. (You may prefer not to read this link over breakfast). Here is the testimony of one visitor: ‘Every time I visit San Francisco, I am increasingly shocked at how the city is getting dirtier and more disturbing. Recently, while staying at an Airbnb in the Castro (a “nice” part of town), two nights in a row I discovered human sh*t on the front steps. The second time it was all over the wall of the house too. Whenever friends tell me they’re visiting San Francisco for the first time I always advise them not to pack their open-toed shoes. The sidewalks are full of hazards like human sh*t and used syringes.’
The human waste problem has been caused by the increase in homelessness which is in due large part to the astronomical price of housing in the great one-party Democrat city. Like so many other Leftist cities there is a huge divide between rich and poor – the rich literally live behind gates away from the crap, and poor are left in it. The middle class get out while they can. In fact, the situation is so bad that public health researcher Dr Lee Riley of the University of California, Berkeley, concluded that the contamination is much greater than communities in Brazil, Kenya or India. The health hazard caused by all of this is huge.
All in all, this is a lot of human misery and I doubt if it will improve under the new Democrat Mayor. I highlight this to illustrate how the lived environment can deteriorate very quickly once the Leftists are in charge. It is their Leftist schemes that will turn a once great city into a ‘sh*thole’.
People believe clean streets and syringe-free playgrounds just appear out of nowhere. They don’t. Safety and sanitation are the result of hundreds and thousands of small but critical acts every day, often provided by low-paid workers doing unpopular jobs. Indeed, who runs your council is far more important than who runs your government.
So, beware of the madcap Leftists armed with their latest madcap proposals liberalising vice. Drug-taking, drug-dealing, the buying and selling of women’s bodies – it is all appalling, and it generates more appalling behaviour from those who do it. These are not victimless crimes – their side-effects often trash the local community and the families that live there, who can’t buy their way out of the chaos. Public figures who campaign for such chaos should be ashamed of themselves.