[pullquote]This article was written in Autumn 2010.[/pullquote] The leaves are slowly turning golden, the year is far gone. One sure way of keeping track of summer is to wait for the Notting Hill carnival in London. It officially reminds you that the good old summer sunshine has ebbed. Since 1966, this annual celebration has united the West Indian community and attracted millions from all over the world. The atmosphere has always been colourful and vibrant with steel drum bands, calypso, reggae and everything Caribbean. Not to forget the aromatic food as the crowds sing along to Bob Marley’s No woman, no cry.
You can imagine the stark contrast this August as preparations kicked off in a different style and fashion. It has been akin to a SWAT team’s military reconnaissance or rather The Royal SAS Special Forces cracking down on rogue mafia off shoots than preparing for a musical fête:
Raids have taken place throughout August which have led to several weapons being seized, including knives and firearms.
Officers from Operation Razorback also confiscated £64,000 in cash, along with drugs including crack cocaine andand cannabis.
The west London carnival takes place on 29 and 30 August.
Ch Insp Jo Edwards said: “We’ve managed to target a large number of known troublemakers and have taken large quantities of drugs and weapons off the streets.
“Our message is still ‘come to carnival to have fun and enjoy all the wonderful sights and sounds, but don’t even think about coming to cause trouble’.” –BBC News
In 2009, a teenager was stabbed in a mass one-for-all carnival brawl. While 215 young people were arrested by the police in contrast to 270 the previous with seizure of upto 38 cars. What ever happened to the good old multi- ethnic and innocent Carnival celebrations where policemen danced and ate curry , jerk chicken and rice with revellers? Whatever happened to the sweet Autumn innocence of London? Do we have to have carnivals marred by debauchery, cocaine, cannabis, knives and fire arms?
Maybe one day my little immaculate daughters will dress up as angels and walk down Notting Hill in all safety and serenity. For now we live in a morally fractured and broken Britain. And it really breaks my choux pastry heart to answer that question, what happened to the Notting Hill Carnival? The sad answer lies in finding what happened to broken Britain?