London’s a dangerous place

BBC’s Luther has now ended. It was a great series and, having just watched The Wire, good to see Idris Elba on British TV again. It is also disturbing – twins involved in a real life version of a fantasy strategy game compete with each other to kill as many people to increase their game score.

Whilst pensioners do seem to die frequently in Midsomer (although no ethnic minories,only whites), it is Luther and Spooks that make London look like a terrifying place to live. The idea that somebody would go on a rampage in Kings Cross station on the roll of a dice is terrifying. Mind you, Sweden looked idyllic until Wallander came along.

I lived in Hackney for a bit, and not the nice part. When we moved into our flat we discovered that a baby had been shot on that street two days before. Despite that I never felt uncomfortable there. The lovely West Indies man in the house next door, with his extensive weed factory, was pleasant and helpful – showing me his new (well old) Mercedes.

Because we were British and “local” we were never involved in any of the gang issues in the area – and there were many. Going into the wrong pub could get you killed. Because I never saw that side of Hackney, just the reputation, I wasn’t scared. It was also an area that young professionals could afford to live in so the community was very mixed.

Luther was great because it was tense, exciting and had some nice sub-plots – although a senior police officer living in squalid conditions is unlikely. There aren’t that many positive depictions of life in London. Eastenders is depressing as always and most other programmes concentrate on the struggles of life – which makes great TV.

I no longer live in London but I did enjoy my time there. I have no desire to go back but like to be able to dip in and out. The quality of life there is so varied – from unbelievable poverty to extreme wealth. London has great open spaces and many different communities. Just whenever another teenager gets stabbed or somebody mugged or beaten up, it doesn’t sell such a wonderful city

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