The Home Secretary has decided I’m not a person

Slightly disquieting to start a Sunday discovering the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has decided I’m no longer (or perhaps never was?) a person, but there you go. The reason? I’ve been know to be out after midnight in Hackney and – shock, horror – to be walking along the street. Apparently, no real people actually do this, as she explains to today’s Sunday Times:

In the interview, Smith, the first woman home secretary, was asked whether she would feel safe walking on her own around Hackney at midnight. She replied: “Well, no, but I don’t think I’d ever have done. You know, I would never have done that, at any point during my life.” Asked why not, she answered: “Well, I just don’t think that’s a thing that people do, is it, really?”

Slightly more worrying than discovering that I am therefore not a person, I also realise I must be seriously ill – because I could have sworn I’ve seen quite a few other people walking around too. Anyone know a good cure of large-scale, life-like hallucinations?

Bad luck too if you’ve got a job that finishes after midnight; I guess you can’t be a real person either unless you have a car on the doorstep to leap straight into without a trace of walking.

P.S. It is perhaps no surprise that the Sunday Times also reports, “After the interview, a worried aide called The Sunday Times saying the wording had not come out as the home secretary had intended.”

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  • I wonder what she thinks people on the Night bus are doing after they get off?

    Flying home? Hailing a cab? Or does Hackney have night bus stops outside every door.

    Bizarre – she must have seen all the people at Trafalgar Square after midnight – maybe she thinks they’re demonstrating?!

  • I think she’s completely wrong. I think London feels far safer than a lot of provincial cities at night. At least we tend not to have teenage yobs vomiting everywhere and getting into fights over taxis home. Enough of the anti-London bias already.

  • It’s worth remembering the thousands of Hackney’s citizens who have to work in jobs which require them to go to and/or leave work in the middle of the night. They have no choice in the matter.

    Most of the area is passable at night – I am walk back from the night bus stop (opposite my house) normally, but there are places (Clapton Park, New North Road, the whole of Hackney Wick etc) that are just too bloody scary to contemplate at night. Admittedly, I am saying this as 16 stone of 6′ tall bloke.

    The root of this problem is the Labour council’s utter disinterest in giving the youth of the borough anything legitimate to do – if you leave kids in a crime ridden area with nothing to do but hang around on street corners, they are going to continue the cycle of falling into crime.

    We proposed increasing funding enormously for youth clubs, schemes etc., and for schemes to break the cycle of gangs, drug related crime and prostitution. And do you know what? Every Labour councillor voted against it.

  • Perhaps we should ask Londons Mayorial candidates to comment….

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