I became aware of the first of the new settlers in the early 1990s. It was an elegant flat in north London; a function where most of the guests were employed in media-related industries. A conversation had moved on to the great injustices of the day - from the global to the local and more pressing. John Major’s premiership featured heavily on the agenda, but not as heavily as the news that a McDonald’s might be opening locally. The son of a circus act was in Number 10, and a clown was making his way to Hampstead High Street.

Very quickly the topic moved from egg McMuffins to egg plants, when a single white female cut in with the news that she had recently bought a home south of the river, in Southwark.

"Walworth, actually… the Elephant & Castle."

One of the key problems with the neighbourhood, she declared, was the lack of choice. Aubergines in particular. She had been unable to find aubergines in the market, and this was indicative of a general fear of diversity on the part of her neighbours. With hindsight, in the moment that followed I saw the urban working-class white population metaphorically booted as far below stairs as it might have been in the 1890s. "The street is very white," she moaned. "Mmmm, some of the
neighbourhood is very white."

Michael Collins, “The Likes of Us: A Biography of the White Working Class”
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/04/quotable-i-became-aware-of-first-of.html|||4/14/2005 10:25:00 am|||||||||