Home Secretary: She'll Never Walk Alone

By jonathanblack Last edited 124 months ago
Home Secretary: She'll Never Walk Alone

You wouldn’t think Jacqui Smith scares easily. In her time as Home Secretary she’s dealt with car bombs and blazing jeeps, and she’s lately been facing down a bunch of mightily annoyed cops. But in an interview appearing today in the Sunday Times, Jacqui revealed that she wouldn’t dare walk down a London street alone at night.

Would she feel safe walking alone at night in, say, Hackney, east London? She looks alarmed: “No. Why would I do that?”

Perhaps deprived Hackney is an unfair example – what about well-heeled Kensington and Chelsea? “No. But I would never have done, at any point in my life. I just don’t think it’s a thing that people do. I wouldn’t walk around at midnight. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to do so.”

OK, London by night can be intimidating, especially if you’re not so familiar with the area you’re in. But making out that the entire city is a no-go zone after dark seems pretty alarmist, and a little bit out of touch. One of the Home Secretary’s aides seemed to sense this, and apparently rang the newspaper to assure them Jacqui hasn’t completely battened down the hatches – why, just the other day she bought a kebab in Peckham after dark.

Whilst her brief (but hopefully delicious) foray into South London nightlife doesn’t really amount to a show of confidence in the city’s streets, maybe it could be the start of a more useful effort. The Home Secretary could tour the capital after dark, enjoying a takeaway in each location. Chips in Bethnal Green one night, a curry in Kennington the next. That way she’d be more comfortable with London’s neighbourhoods, and – bonus! – unbeatable when her mates want to know where to go after the pub.

Image taken from Image Zen's Flickr photostream.

Last Updated 20 January 2008


Woah! That's crazy. Perhaps she watched 'Escape From New York' and assumed it was a documentary about Hackney.


But it is, isn't it???