Wot I did in my summer holidays Part 5

September 8th, 2017

Disya jeneration block party @ notting hill carnival 2017

link if you can see screen above: https://youtu.be/89yhHlRt1Nc

This year’s carnival was a magnificent display of humanity at its best. People from all over the capital and the country coming together regardless of origin, race or culture and going absolutely ape shit to big time tunes dancing their rocks off on the streets of West London. It is the ultimate celebration of life and despite the police and the media doing nothing but attempt to discredit it and show it in a negative light it remains a 99% positive vibe festival. There is always a microscopic portion of attendees who might be there for nefarious reasons but they probably wouldn’t even tally to 1% of the million plus population of carnival.

The media only ever seems to report the bad things that happen but they are infinitesimal  compared to the relentless wave of good times from everyone else – there is and will always be a tiny percentage of people in every society at any given moment who want to kick up trouble so why does that always have to be what they shine a spotlight on? Why can’t they just highlight what an incredible unifying uplifting experience it is for those who participate? The truth is that London needs the Carnival. This city is like a pressure cooker and if we don’t all let off some steam in a fun way it will emerge in maybe less fun ways. Its like The Purge (if you have seen any of those films) only you don’t kill people, you party with them instead…

And as for the implied accusation from the police saying their heroin haul in Catford was somehow related to Carnival, I can say with great authority and absolute authority, no-one, not one single person is on heroin at carnival…and well done to Stormzy for calling them out on it. Actually one of the great things about carnival is that you can talk to coppers wasted and there is nowt they can do about it. So I took advantage and grilled a few for their negative portrayal of Carnival. One of them said to me: “well I’m glad you had a good time but its a headache for us”. I appreciate that but that isn’t really a reason to try to shut it down just cos you find it a bit tough to deal with. The carnival probably shouldn’t still exist but it does and its incredible that it has survived  but I hope it continues for ever.

One of the most beautiful and heartbreaking moments this year was when they did a minute’s silence for Grenfell. It was so powerful and moving to see the revellers in the video above all stand utterly silent then break out into spontaneous and rapturous applause after. I felt so many had come to Carnival to pay their respects and that is why it was so important for it to be a positive experience and it was. It was a celebration of life in honour of all those who no longer have it. You will never be forgotten.

My only real gripe with the attendees is that the area was graffitied all over. This neighbourhood invites you in so you can party on the streets and then you deface them. The boards have been erected to protect properties and you can tag the shit out of them but not over people’s homes and businesses. That’s just wrong. There might be some assumption that everyone who lives in Notting hill is loaded but as Grenfell showed, this borough has both rich and poor living side by side.

In some ways it is very important for everyone to understand that the carnival was designed so the local community could earn a bit of dosh and we need to remember  this area was once one of the poorest in the city. This annual event, which a lot of the newer more affluent constituents would like to terminate need to be reminded that they cannot whitewash the history and culture of this neighbourhood. If you don’t like it, don’t live here.

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