THE Ham and High’s fine photographer Polly Hancock caught a flavour of summer last month with her picture of a two year-old girl having fun with ice cream smeared around her face at the first Kentish Town Carnival. Polly or the newspaper could not have imagined this lovely capture of the carnival would elicit a furious comment on its website. Somebody, somewhere thought the most appropriate response was this:
“Beautiful child, a native Brit. This is what indigenous English look like. Too bad the UK has been innundated with filth from other countries who are destroying the fabric of Britain.”
She’s just a kid. Eating an ice cream at a carnival. It’s not a political poster. Part of the point of the day was to bring people from all our different backgrounds to party as one. Of course, all newspaper comments boards are always open to a touch of the mindless from the faceless. On the New Journal’s website somebody blamed north London’s bolsheviks for ignoring the fact eastern Europeans were eating Hampstead Heath’s goslings. But on this one, it is Ed Berman who rides to the rescue here, the man who helped transform Talacre decades ago and was one of the carnival’s organisers.
His reply: “The parents of the ‘beautiful child’ in the picture are very likely to be either Russian, Polish, Bulgarian, German, Austrian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Norman, Norwegian, Swiss, Swedish, Slovenian, Slovakian, Romanian, Dutch, Lithuanian, Latvian et al whose ancestors have helped make up the fabric of Britain.”
I think that just about covers it.