Opinion: Columnists

Crimethink in the London underground

|
Opinion,Diana West,Columnists

A London judge this week sentenced 42-year-old Jacqueline Woodhouse to 41 weeks in jail. Her crime? An expletive-laden rant about immigration, multiculturalism and the disappearance of British civilization. Not in so many words. But that was the  unmistakable gist of Woodhouse’s commentary one January night on the London Underground.

This same week, another London judge ordered two black girls, 18 and 19, to perform community service after a savage physical attack on two white legal secretaries. “I am satisfied what you both did you did that night because you were fueled by alcohol,” Judge Stephen Kramer said, as though tut-tutting a child’s unknowing apple theft.

A few months ago, another London judge freed four Somali Muslim women who set upon a white couple, yelling, “Kill the white slag,” and other racial slurs. The gang beat the woman to the ground and ripped out a patch of her hair. Judge Robert Brown was lenient because, he ruled, as Muslims, the women were not used to being drunk.

Jacqueline Woodhouse was drunk, too, but that was no mitigating factor in her case. She harmed no one, but that was no mitigating factor, either. Judge Michael Snow invoked the “deep sense of shame” Woodhouse’s display elicited, because “our citizens … may, as a consequence, believe that it secretly represents the views of other white people.”

“Thoughtcrime is death,” as Orwell wrote in 1984.

And, thanks to YouTube, it becomes a continuous spectacle. Woodhouse’s court-deemed “victim,” Galbant Singh Juttla, recorded and uploaded her display. After the six-minute clip went viral, Woodhouse turned herself in to police.

But what might she have confessed to? I did it, mates. I said: “I used to live in England. Now I live in the United Nations.”

That’ll be 41 weeks in the clink?

Woodhouse said a lot of other things as she surveyed her fellow passengers, her squawky voice weirdly reminiscent of an Eliza Doolittle grown old without having met her Henry Higgins. “All bleeping foreign bleeping bleeps,” she says. “Where do you come from? Where do you come from? Where do you come from?” She estimated that 30 percent of the train’s passengers were illegal.

Off with her head.

Expletives fly regarding England (“this bleeping country is a bleeping joke”), Pakistanis, illegals, pigs.

“I wouldn’t mind if you loved our country,” she said, lucid, to a Pakistani beside her.

“Long live Pakistan,” he said twice in Urdu, later leading a chorus of the Pakistani national anthem.

Woodhouse then notices her “victim” recording her. “Oh, look, he’s filming,” she says. “Hello, government.” She leans into the camera.

“Why don’t you tell us your name, as well?” Juttla the “victim” says.

“Why don’t you tell me where you’re from?” she says.

“I’m British, I’m British, yeah? I’m British,” he tells her.

“Right. OK,” she says.

“So, what’s your problem?” he says.

“Oh, what’s your problem?” she says.

“Yeah, you should watch what you say.”

“Watch what I say?”

“Yeah.”

Forty-one weeks in jail, folks.

“Why,” Woodhouse quite rationally asks, “am I not allowed to express my opinions?”

“We don’t want to hear your opinions,” Juttla replies.

This tears it. “Why is it all right for you but not all right for me?” She’s shrieking now, her voice cutting the air like a ragged-edged razor.

There is background laughter, but nothing is funny. For a few, farcical minutes, a nation’s tragedy, its unmarked passing, has taken the spotlight, the lead role played by a drunken secretary because there is no one else.

 “Just keep your mouth shut,” Juttla says for the umpteenth time.

 “I’m sorry,” she says. “Not one rule for you and one rule for me.”

Oh yes, Jacqueline. One rule for indigenous islanders.

One rule for everyone else.

View article comments Leave a comment