THERE’S an interesting Internet resource called Numbeo that allows one to make a variety of comparisons between world cities.
One can check out the differences in, for example, costs of living, property prices, quality of life and the like.
I homed in on crime, and compared Spain’s capital with the UK’s – and was far from surprised to learn that Madrid is by far the safer city. It has a safety scale of 67.38 as opposed to London’s 48.08. Madrid’s crime index stands at 32.68, while London’s is 51.92.
What prompted me to research crime statistics was the wide coverage given mainly in UK tabloids to a recent incident in Benidorm in which two doormen were stabbed – thankfully not fatally – at the Beachcomber bar. Two young Brits were arrested in connection with the attack.
After I expressed my fury on Facebook, saying: ‘Brits bringing their knife crime culture to my home town. Disgusting!’ Someone I know well – Andy Mansell – promptly berated me, saying ‘the UK tabloids are engaging in an awful lot of unwarranted “Benidorm bashing” at the moment and you’re helping to fuel it.’
I explained that that was never my intention, and wholly agreed with him that the focus of the gutter press on one very rare instance of violence in Benidorm was utterly unjustified, given the shocking levels of crime in the UK.
While knife crime does receive wide coverage, by and large the tabloids appear to be playing down a dramatic increase of racist and xenophobic attacks that have occurred in the UK since Brexit.
Of course, not all publications are guilty. As far back as July 2017, the Independent wrote: ‘Hate crimes involving racial and religious discrimination have soared at an unprecedented rate since the Brexit vote, prompting warnings that minority groups feel “more vulnerable than ever”.
‘Police figures show incidents surged by 23 per cent in the 11 months after the EU referendum, compared with the same period the previous year, marking an unparalleled rise.’
Since then it’s gotten a whole lot worse, but it’s being left mainly to social media to reveal the extent of the disgusting treatment many people are having to endure.
Take the case of Shin Yalog, a British-born Indian who has chosen to leave the UK. He recently posted a picture of himself on Facebook holding his new Indian residency. He said he was ‘sick to the back teeth of being told to ‘f*** off home Paki’ since the Brexit vote. ‘So, I’m now SUPER PROUD to say I have been granted Indian residency. Or to put it in language the Brexit racists understand – this “Paki” is “f***ing off ‘.
Rather than manufacture horror stories about foreign resorts such as Benidorm, the tabloids should instead be picking up on cases like this, and make clear to their readers that what they most need to fear is the fanaticism, prejudice and intolerance that has taken root like Japanese knotweed on their very own turf.
But this they won’t do because THEY are ones who have done the most to poison public attitudes towards people they’ve cruelly chosen to caricature as interlopers. If Hitler were alive today, he’d be rubbing his hands with glee.