Watching 4Music on Sunday morning the presenter announced “We’re heading over to Tottenham now”… My initial reaction was, how did they get in? when SkyNews and the BBC have both withdrawn camera crews after getting caught up in a night of rioting following the police shooting a local man in the week. Whilst rioting is never justified, the subject of the initial peaceful protest it stemmed from was. Cherry Groce, Cynthia Jarett, Jean-Charles De Menezes not to mention Blair Peach and Iain Tomlinson… the list of people who have gone the same way is too long. I saw a pal on Facebook put “Why do riots always follow Tory Government?” as his status update. Not quite the case as Bradford/Burnley/Oldham (and the Tomlinson and De Menezes deaths) were during Labour’s 14 year tenure but the whole thing could spark a strange sense of deja vu.
Anyway it turns out that the 4Music announcer (no doubt pre-recorded) was introducing this video the insanely catchy track “Unorothodox” sampling the Stone Roses from Tottenham-based Wretch 32 featuring vocals from rapper Example. Yes the Smiths did warble on about “Panic on the Streets of London” but here is Wretch 32 showing the creative talent that can come from the mean streets with some interesting footage of the Broadwater Farm estate, one time stomping ground of the late Bernie Grant. The prevalence of this type of housing is what maybe prevents people from considering Tottenham to be suburban. The then-history lecturer and now-MP Tristam Hunt has written in a column “From the beginning, suburbia was more a state of mind than geographical location (as it remains today: Tottenham and Ealing are equidistant from central London, but one is “inner city” and the other “suburban”).”
Anyway, enjoy. There is a short advert before the main event: