Monday, 25 August 2014


Reading Jonathan Fryer's piece reminded me of the screenplay I, a mute inglorious Milton, conceived many years ago when I was working in London. One incident was a murder on London Bridge. The victim was stabbed in the midst of rush-hour crowds who were no more than annoyed at this impediment to their progress between London Bridge station and the City. When eventually someone who wasn't a wage-slave found an unvandalised phone box (no cell phones in those days, of course) action was delayed while the Met. and the City of London police argued over whose responsibility it was. (The body would have had to be at the Southwark end of the bridge, rather than symbolically in the middle. The bridges are maintained by funds returned by extensive house estates via a body of which the City of London corporation is a trustee.)

The main figure was to be a senior officer in the Met, who had become corrupted by marrying into what turned out to be a South London crime family. His cynicism had been given a kick-start at a state grammar school where he had been forced into a sexual act by the headmaster. I can't claim to have made predictions; I'm pretty sure these themes were about in contemporary literature and films, if not in factual reporting in the press - though the degree to which the Krays had penetrated the loucher end of Westminster was known to several journalists.

Nothing changes, but we are constantly surprised.

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