the flight over read about the Bird Flu—of its scary genes—moving in
1997 to 2004 from Hong Kong to South Korea to China, Japan, Thailand,
Guardian (UK) says “at worst it could have a devastating global impact,
greater than a terrorist or nuclear attack” quoting the World Health
Organization that estimates that a mild pandemic ‘could cause between
two million and 7.5 million deaths. With a severe pandemic the death toll
could rise as high as 150 million people.’
not to eat chicken. Ducks are silent carriers. Ducks pass them on but
don’t get it themselves.
jetlagged, dimly observing how the leaves are still green on trees and
gold only on the ground.
browsing in shop when a pretty ‘red’ girl said in a Trini accent ‘Hi
Ira, are you still in the media?’ I didn’t know her but a disc of a
shared feeling over our islands slipped immediately into place as it does
abroad on meeting people from home. They immediately cease to be
strangers. She’d left Trinidad two years ago with her husband to try it
out here. Homesickness was written all over her face. To my ‘how do you
like it here?’ she answered.
different. But I would love to come home. If I could.’ So many people
are in forced exile I thought. They live with longing. Their bodies are
here, safe from kidnapping murder and harm but their hearts ache from
stretching across the continent to their home.
annual crime figures for September were out. Burglary is down 17 per cent,
car theft ten per cent violence down seven per cent. Serious offences like
murder down eight per cent.
British zero tolerance policy is working!
Minister of National Security must give Blair a call in Downing Street and
ask him how he did it. Blair may tell him ‘It’s no secret chappie.
We’ve increased police presence, are paying close attention to neglected
children, closer attention to finding meaningful employment for young men,
and clamping down on drug and alcohol fuelled crime.'
Minister of National Security might reply ‘No talk then? Only action?’
and hang up disappointed.
odd thing is Blair is getting slammed by the media for his handling of
crime. Senior Reporters like Poly Toynbee are criticising Blair for not
taking enough credit for doing so well for leaving the door open for other
parties to come into power!
comments for a Trini, read like some surreal science fiction. The first
thing Tony Blair did when he came back from the election was thunder on
about boys in hoodies, respect and Asbos. He made it his number one
message, to the dismay of many of his ministers. So the public gets the
message that crime must be bad because the prime minister himself keeps
saying so. It’s the first thing he has done again on returning to
parliament: chasing his own tail, demolishing his own success.
in Birmingham between Asian and Afro-Caribbean gangs. Four people stabbed,
one man fatally. A policeman shot in the leg. There are unconfirmed
reports that the rape of a girl was involved but no evidence that the girl
exists or the attack took place.
the mayhem Dr Frank Reeves of Race Equality West Midlands said both
groups, the Asians and the Afro Caribbeans were severely disadvantaged and
in competition with each other for jobs and other opportunities. Amid the
confusions and accusations it’s about anger, discontent and jealousy. It
happens here too. Here it’s an unfortunate incident with minorities. In
our country anger discontent and jealousy is an epidemic with majorities.
Trinis who’d left 20 years ago. Their Trini-ness after all this time
made me want to weep. Joking about the Trini who left a message for them
in London that one Ram called to see them. Or about the Trini who when
asked in London which part of the world he was from replied with
crisply beautifully autumn, the people polite, we wave at visiting royalty
at traffic lights, theatre, cinema, clubs abound but its not home.