Report from the Stoke Newington Literary Festival, starring Farah Damji, Darcus Howe, Diane Abbott, Suzanne Moore and Gavin James Bower
In rainy Stoke Newington last Saturday, black and white did not make a murky shade of grey. Farah Damji was there to talk about her book Try Me, which Frances Lynn (shortly to be interviewed on Madame Arcati) has described as "gripping, unputdownable and explosive", and the con of multiculturalism with a little help from her mate Darcus Howe.
We didn't really get enough of Farah on the book which earned her the title "London's Most Dangerous Woman". Darcus Howe held forth about that subject most dear to his darkened Black Panther heart, racism and multiculturalism.
There was a standing room only situation at the event which had been heaviliy oversubscribed. Present in the audience were the Mail on Sunday's fragrant Suzanne Moore and the not-so-lovely Labour leader contender Diane Abbott. Political watchers will know that Darcus dissed Suzanne and favoured Diane in the recent by-elections at which Suzanne dared to stand against the rolly incumbent.
There was a fraught moment which made even the novelist and notoriously smooth Gavin James Bower look a little anxious when Suzanne asked why her children, when they were in nursery school, should be made to learn Black History at the expense of other important events. Farah agreed and said she supported a transcultural historical curriculum. But Darcus said that the Black History fight was won after tears, blood and riots in the streets: in one case he was even falsely accused by the London Evening Standard of congratulating rioters for smashing open a policeman's head.
It should be noted that Abbott fought for supplementary schools and Darcus has been a long term supporter of her politics and attacked Suzanne personally before even meeting her. The argument was to study St Patrick as well as Malcolm X. Darcus rolled his eyes and the luvvies of Stoke Newington let out a collective roar, or was it a phwoar, at the scent of blood and the sight of insurrection.
Since we have Black History Month (October in the UK) please can we also have Pink Faggot Month, Asian Hottie of the Month and My Favourite Fascist Month, please? Candidates may self-nominate on the back of a £50 note and send here...
To buy a copy of Farah Damji's Try Me, click here