England My England
Graveney School ,Tooting is one of the few good secondary schools in that part of multi racial London. It is a single sex school. Tooting was the constituency of Muslim mayor,Pakistani descended Sadiq Khan. My nephew, English descended, by no means a scholar graduated from there and went onto get a good degree in law from Sussex University. It is a large school so there is no reason why he should have known a young lad three years beneath him. While it remains to be seen whether my nephew will achieve either fame or fortune, the younger man has achieved fame.
Zakaria Bulham a Graveney alumni is the 19 year old Norwegian who killed an American and wounded five others last week in central London. Russell Square is near the British Museum and a favourite Curzon,Bloomsbury cinema. The Guardian refer to Zakaria as a Norwegian but he is not the kind who has rosy cheeks ,likes coloured sweaters, choral singing and sailing. For he is of “Somali descent”.
The statistics tell us that Somalis in England of which there are 100,000 are 90% unemployed, most have their rent paid by the council, are twice as likely to be behind on their rent, while 33% of Somali descended children get five GCSEs 78% of Nigerian descended children achieve that minimal standard. Things are not much better for Somalis in Norway. But Somalis throughout Europe have gravitated towards Britain as here there is a community mass and favourable benefits. The allegiances to war lords in Somalia are often repeated in the play grounds of London.
Young Zakaria lived with his Mum 42, sister 24 and younger brother 16 in a three bedroomed council flat. In the various reports no employment is mentioned. They moved to England six years ago but the father reverted to type and left his family to be headed by the mother. Most Somali families in the UK are single parent. It is reported he visits his family “once or twice a year”, how they must look forward. However he hasn’t made his visit this year, well he now knows where his fellow Norwegian son is going to be.
But what of Zakaria? Like most, a man of various parts. To his school mates “he wasn’t a jock, but he didn’t sit at the back of the class sniffing glue. He just flew under the radar.” Another said “He supported Chelsea and he was bullied a bit at first,” others said “he gave as good as he got”, “a teacher’s pet, a devout Muslim,”
Elsewhere it was reported he had mental problems and had tried to commit suicide three times(this of course plays down the Muslim connection in the murder),but a neighbour stated “these problems are a scapegoat, he was impressionable,” crucially one said “he wasn’t working and hung around with the Somali gangs”. As always there was the neighbour who noted “ He was a nice clever kid, quite sporty. The family kept to themselves.”
George 94, once said to me, ”The problem is that no one talks to any one any more and when they do they don’t talk in English.” Only the half of it George, only the half of it. I am Czech descended.