I wasn’t going to write anything on the Lambeth Country Show this year. I did go, however was unsure it was what it was meant to be. So many changes. Confusing layouts and the main stage in a location that was ridiculous because it offered barely anyone a good view of the artists and singers performing. A horrible queue and search system in place. Rules imposed upon visitors that made everyone feel like they were entering a gulag of sorts. There wasn’t even a funfair (not that I wanted to go.) Eventually I decided to write something and make a point or two of contention.
I attended on Sunday. In front of me I had two excited boys, both about eleven, both Black, being told in no uncertain terms by security that they could not get in. They looked very dejected as they turned back. How did that look to the community? Lambeth Country Show turning away Black people? I am sure these boys were not the only ones. What on earth were they hoping to achieve by marginalising people in this way? I know that is not exactly how it looked was but if one had not known the rules or aware of what was going on, the interpretation would have been different and for these boys they clearly didn’t know otherwise they would have not been there on their own, and I am sure deep down they must have felt that it was a case of racism more than anything else.
General view of the Country Show 22 July 2018
There were many complaints, hundreds, even on Twitter, yet the authorities filtered these so only the positive comments displayed on the screens within the show grounds in Brockwell Park. As some say, the Country Show was originally for the poor, for those who cant afford to travel or get out of London – the country – like me. I’m not your usual blogger with loads of cash and an ability to travel anywhere, North of England, Germany, Paris, Malta and so many other places, flaunting wealth as one goes along. Places that one almost needs a passport of money to be able to get to. Thank goodness there was one stall at the show run by a local church that offered teas, coffees and cakes for free. But people should be able to bring their own drinks if they wish, any age should be able to attend, and there should be no exclusions of any sort (unless there is any suspicion of violence, drugs, that sort of thing.) Once these mass exclusions begin it soon becomes one where only the privileged and the select few can have any sort of reasonable expectation of being treated in a way how most would preferably like to be treated. That is, a citizen with full rights and no ounce of suspicion or slight against their selves in any way or any form.
That’s why you’ll never see me at many, many, London events – and its why I never report on these. Besides being select events they too cost and dig a huge hole in one’s limited pockets. The ‘yes I have plenty of money and I can throw away as much of my bank balance as I like’ brigade even go on about it on some blog or even You Tube channels with zillions of likes. Sadly along with the gentrification of London where huge numbers of people are being forced out of their homes and these replaced by flats for – yes the rich of course – isn’t that so very important! Much of London is becoming nothing less than a ‘lets spend money and have fun’ 24/7 festival for the select few.
There are of course more plans in the pipeline to make sure this happens. Further gentrified areas. Yet more expensive unaffordable developments that don’t give any shit about the locals. More restaurants. More cafes. More gyms. More huge, faceless, shopping centres much the same as every other one that’s been built across London, the common defining factor that one must be rich, able to afford the new exponentially expensive fun that is coming on stream, plus they must look clean and without an ounce of thuggery about their face.
The railway bridge in Brixton telling the rich & wannabe yuppies to get lost
Cafes, restaurants shops with eye watering prices that only the select can afford. As I venture through the streets of London I see greedy sloth after greedy sloth sat back in chairs on some cafe or restaurant or some expensive pub on some corner flaunting luxuries, foods, beers, wines, quite a few Londoners could never have, most of the exotic foods I see on the streets of London I’ve never even had. This rich jet set just gorging their mouths with food that will undoubtedly mostly go to waste. They then work off their gains in some expensive ££££’s a month gym whilst the rest of us can only look on in an almost desperate sadness. Its almost like a ‘fuck you, this is our London, not yours.’
‘Clapham that way you 2D flat white tepid colonialist yuppy wankers’
And that is the problem with Lambeth Country Show. Its decided to begin embarking on what could easily be a slippery road to this exciting new future of rich wannabes who don’t even know where Clapham is…. with the huge risks of alienating more poor, ordinary, Londoners of any race, sex, creed, or disability. The numerous complaints that have come about this weekend doubtless show the real feeling being felt out there in the communities.