This is a very brave, bluntly honest but factual appraisal of the much maligned town of Dewsbury by one of the town's `home boys', Danny Lockwood.
Despite his journalistic career Danny Lockwood has worked in many other jobs, played amateur rugby league and worked on a number of continents.
In the late 1980's and early 1990's Mr. Lockwood was Editor in Chief of the Reporter Group of papers which included our local paper (not in Dewsbury) - the highlight being his weekly `Ed Lines' column. This column was as blunt as it gets - think Richard Littlejohn and Mark Steyn and you have some idea - and I doubt whether his employers, the national publishing group Johnston Press, were enamoured of his digs at everything and everyone in this country that was either plain daft, plain barmy or simply wrong. In his own paper - The Press - I imagined he had a little more flexibility and his Ed Lines column was even more strident and challenged all the conceptions and mis-conceptions perpetrated by everyone from the right wing BNP, to the wooly-minded liberals and the politically correct. Lockwood has always championed the conservative (with a small c) right-minded silent majority of this country - who do not apparently have a say anymore in what goes on in their own country of which they are all deeply proud. In the same vein as the then prime minister Edward Heath lied to the British public about his raison d'etre for Britain entering the `Common Market' as it then was, the silent majority did not ask either to be in a political and monetary union, nor did it ask for multi-culturism. This was foisted on everyone, whether they wanted it or not.
(Indeed, Tony Blair's Labour party took this to extremes in the later years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century.)
In the same manner in which you cannot expect communities from disparate countries in Europe to come together in union, nor can you expect communities with a lack of trust and respect for each other to do the same in Britain. Dewsbury is just one town in this country, but it could be replicated in many others - such as Burnley, Oldham, Bradford, Batley, Birmingham, London - need I go on?
Starting with a riot by Asians in summer 1989, Lockwood shoots straight from the hip here and everybody gets it with both barrels; the former MP, Shahid Malik (Labour) - with whom he fought an expensive libel case - (the `safe' Dewsbury Reporter - equally implicated - wasn't sued for libel incidentally - though they effectively printed the same letter); the `part-time' current MP and barrister, Simon Reevel; not forgetting Baroness Warsi and her 2nd husband, Iftikhar Azam. Both of their poor, unfortunate spouses didn't even seem to realise they'd been divorced, until it was pointed out to them in the media. Local politicians, their political parties and their dirty tricks get many mentions.
Lockwood, quite obviously steeped in the make-up of his local town also gives the reader a lesson in history and the topography of the town and for instance just how the (now) Muslim conclave of Savile Town got its name. He reliably informs the reader too, of the best real ale house in Dewsbury `The West Riding' (the pub on the platform) - he obviously takes refreshment there occasionally - perhaps?
Other than Lockwood himself, the one person in public life who comes out with any credit is (Conservative) Councillor Khizar Iqbal who (Lockwood relates here) stood up in Kirklees council chamber and received a standing ovation for railing again political correctness from which the Asian community and other minority ethnic groups benefited - against the silent majority ethnic group, that is the white British. Councillor Iqbal resigned from the Conservatives and stood against both the aforementioned Messrs. Malik and Reevel, but despite Iqbal being very popular and an excellent, hard-working local councillor, Malik got the majority of the Muslim vote, but was eventually defeated by Reevel. That for me, was a major local tragedy and bizarrely, a 'home goal' by the Muslim community. Khizar Iqbal lives in the community and would have been an excellent, born and bred Member of Parliament for Dewsbury. Mind you (read the book!), so would Danny Lockwood!
I'm minded to recall here that many years ago, John McEnroe said that no sportsman or woman was worth prize money of £1 million - but consequently, no sportsman or woman in their right mind would turn down that sum if it was offered to them.
There are many other unsung `heroes' in this critical homage to his home town and to his credit, Lockwood treats them all with equanimity and whether they are white, Indian or Pakistani, everyone gets a mention. The biggest hero, of course, is Lockwood himself. He has had the `brass neck' to `tell it' just how the right-minded person thinks and that's true - irrespective of your origin. He even expounds on the 'in-breeding' of the Asian community which will eventually have, not only a deleterious, but a devasting impact on NHS budgets in the future.
Interestingly, for all that many Muslims claim to be British, as a general rule, they will not join the armed forces because (as sure as eggs are eggs), they would most certainly have to fight against fellow Muslims. In both world wars it was Great Britain and their allies (including many from the sub-continent) against Germany and their allies - not religion against religion. So much for being British first then eh? The majority of British born Muslims would never pass Norman Tebbit's cricket test would they? Why do we appear to have British born Muslims supporting any team other than their home team of England?
I have always respected Danny Lockwood as a local journalist working on a local newspaper, latterly of The Press, which does indeed, publish REAL news - as it is and not embellished or `toned down' (for the politically correct). I respect him even more now for giving us the unembellished facts about the town he so patently loves and which quite frankly deserves better and particularly from one part of its community and those wooly-minded liberals who build careers out of the `race issue'. Lockwood says the town has been brought to its knees by these same wooly-minded liberals, politicians and especially the local Police force, who have been very keen to abrogate their lawful responsibility in the interests of community harmony. Collectively, they have damaged the town perhaps beyond recovery. I wonder if Lockwood has considered the irony in this comment - when considering the manner in which one part of the Dewsbury community communicates with their maker?
I can only commend this book and suggests that a copy is (sent to, or) purchased by every MP and every Chief Executive in every local authority in this country and specifically those with a sizable, minority ethnic community.
The sad truth however, is that like John McEnroe said, one part of the Dewsbury community have had their `£1 million' and those in authority keep giving them more. Come on, would you refuse it?