While Boris tanked up and talking rubbish is, let’s face it, far less offensive than the gay-hating fundamentalists outside, there is a serious side that Homovision reference in their piece on Boris’s speech:
A dishevelled suit, Worzel Gummidge hair, boozed-up, rambling and (often) mis-quoted quotes do make Boris the great entertainer. But, in a year when homophobic attacks in London have been rising and when hate-crimes are getting increasingly ferocious in their character (COME BACK SOON FOR A MORE INFO), a bumbling speech by a clown-like politician is not what we, as a gay community, need right now.
Let’s see what’s going on with Boris’s handy Crime Maps. Oh, they don’t show homophobic crimes, although you can filter by other types now, which is welcome. OK, let’s go with the pre-Boris Crime Maps then, which do.
First the good news (rolling 12 month average):
- Kingston : -65%
- Hillingdon : -28.6%
- Wandsworth : -16.7%
Now the BNP voting areas:
- Bexley : +200%
- Barking & Dagenham : +142.9%
- Havering +25%
Some other shockers:
- Enfield : +100%
- Barnet : +133.3%
- Brent : +153.8%
Clearly something odd is happening here – most crimes don’t see fluctuations like that, although there is a low base to be considered here. There’s something of an inner/outer city split, but not conclusive – Brent is hardly typical outer London yet Hillingdon has nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, the worst borough is Westminster, which I suspect is due to the conjunction of obvious gay bars and boozed up young men looking for a fight. Westminster has nearly 1 in 10 attacks by itself as a result of this.
However, once you look back at recent history it’s not clear that this is anything out of the ordinary – a Mayoral Answer from 2007 gives us:
- 2000-01 : 1223
- 2001-02 : 1231
- 2002-03 : 1057
- 2003-04 : 1202
- 2004-05 : 1301
- 2005-06 : 1231
- 2006-07 : 1184 (from elsewhere)
Plus the two most recent rolling windows:
- May 07 – May 08 : 1005
- May 08 – May 09 : 1149
Particularly given the innate unreliability of crime figures plus the under-reporting, it’s not clear from this whether the trend is up, down or fluctuating. I’d pay more attention to gay groups on this, with due adjustment for bias and anecdote.
However, we can probably safely say that this spiked article from a few years back blaming (who else) Ken Livingstone for pandering to them gays and thus rousing the fury of the mob, is as big a load of bollocks as the rest of their stuff. I look forward to them blaming Boris’s pink stetson for the current rise. Idiots.
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