I hate the word ‘community!’
Everywhere you look the word arises, police and government officials, media personnel, advertisers and so many others use this word and it means absolutely nothing! Since the 1980’s when it came to the fore during the Brixton and other riots the word ‘community’ has become one of the ‘in words’ used by people who should know better. At that time the greasy Conservative Home Secretary Kenneth Baker was never off the telly telling us of his discussions with ‘Black Community Leaders.’ What community leaders? Who elected them? I recall when I was around 10 or 11 years of age listening to a discussion amongst some locals round the corner from where I lived. One remarked that she was the ‘Tenants Association Chairwoman,’ this surprised me as I had never heard of this and I winder if my parents had also? That women has pushed herself to the front was my limited understanding and black community leaders, Bernie Grant and Diane Abbott proved to me that such people still existed. What community did they represent? The black one? The mixed (diverse we must say today) population? No, they represented themselves and Abbott has done so ever since.
There is NO community! Certainly not in London where I resided for twenty years or more. There are groups of people, sometimes organised sometimes just for a project, who work together, but there is no community. It is a word that since the 80’s has drifted into media speak and is repeated automatically by those who do not have time to think. It ought to be banned and people forced to use appropriate words such as Town, city, village, hamlet, dump! Area is an acceptable word, as is district, locale or some such, just don’t go implying there is a ‘community’ a word that suggest togetherness where there is none. And to be fair usually there is no keen community anywhere. In some places neighbours do get along well, caring for one another in times of trouble, lending a hand, keeping the streets secure and such but these are in small areas only, anything beyond a few houses and the darkness descends. Let us drop the words used wrongly and say what we really mean by communicating with words that truly mean something concerning the district in which we live.
Oh yes, later I will discuss the use of the Americanised phrase ‘growing’ as in ‘Grwoing the church,’ or ‘Growing the business.’ No, you ‘build’ a church, you ‘build’ a business, and if you cannot speak correctly don’t say anything!