Anuj Bidve murder: public sector made Kiaran Stapleton do it?
THE Daily Telegraph’s interview with Anuj Bive’s family (full story here) is layered in a political nuance. We do not know why Anuj Bidve was murdered in Salford. The police have said racism was a possible cause without offering a hint as to why race played any part.
The Telegraph, however, is concerned with class:
Nehal Sonawane sits on the bed of the neat little middle-class house in the Indian city of Pune, waiting anxiously for news from England of the investigation into the murder of her little brother Anuj.
They are little Indian-landers.
The anger of a grieving family is understandable, but the temptation to generalise from a single, horrific case should be avoided. Though detectives are treating Anuj’s murder as a racially-motivated “hate crime,” they admit there is “no evidence” that it actually was. The designation appears to have been made as much to protect the police from charges of racism as for any other reason.
As we’ve said, the police did not say it was a racially motivated hate crime. The police said it was hate crime not racially motivated.
The paper’s Andrew Gilligan writes:
It is the randomness, rather than any potential race aspect, which is scariest. In the space of a few minutes, the young students had wandered, without knowing, from the sanitised Costa Coffee-land of Salford Quays – with its Lowry museum, its budget hotels and its huge new BBC studios – into a small patch of streets, which is in the worst 1 per cent of any area in the country for crime.
The Telegraph is no fan of the BBC and somehow manages to shoehorn it into the explanation as to why a man murdered Anuj Bidve. And it’s an explanation that panders to the Telegraph’s prejudices:
For statistical purposes, England is divided into 32,500 “lower level super output areas” – each roughly a third to a fifth of a council ward. In 2010, for crime, Salford 028D, the one where the killing took place, was ranked 167th from bottom.
Why’s that then?
…what the killing does highlight, perhaps, is how sharp are the boundaries between safety and danger, haves and have-nots – and how years of inept “regeneration” has actually increased the divisions within inner-city communities.
Yep. Anuj Bidve was murdered because the unknown killer is a have not.
As readers Mic writes:
I had to groan inwardly at one of the comments on the Torygraph page suggesting that ending benefits was the only obvious way to end violent murders in the UK. Tosser!
Can Gilligan produce some advocacy research to support his theory? Gilligan has decided that poverty is a threat to everyone’s lives, even Indian students walking through Manchester on their way to the Boxing Day sales. Can he find some evidence to confirm his prejudice? can he do as the Guardian did with its laughable Reading The Riot Act in which mainly self-declared rioters who talk with social researchers confirmed the paper’s ideas that the riots were fed by a hatred of the police, poverty and the Tory education policies?
Salford is perhaps Britain’s best example of how shiny new developers’ spaceships can be plonked down in the middle of a very deprived area, swallowing enormous amounts of public money, but without making much difference to the people who live there already.
Got that bit about public money not helping the locals?
Over the past 10 years at Salford Quays, in the western half of Ordsall, thousands of production-line “luxury apartments” have sprung up along the old docks. There is also “MediaCityUK,” the new northern home of the BBC, a structure awarded Building Design magazine’s “Carbuncle Cup” as Britain’s ugliest new development.
That’s a second mention for the BBC in conjunction with the murder of a 23-year-old Indian man.
Although many of the new flats are empty – Ordsall ward has the highest number of vacant properties in the whole city – many are occupied. Thousands of staff will eventually work at MediaCity.
And those staff will all comes from outside the area? (And that’s three mentions for the Beeb. Keep count.)
The trouble, however, is that few of these new jobs or homes have gone, or will go, to anyone from Salford.
No, not a fact. An opinion.
Salford City Council says:
During the last decade, massive investment, more jobs, greater economic prosperity, improved environment quality and lower crime levels are changing the perception and image of the city for the better. More people are now choosing Salford as a place to live, work, invest, visit and study than ever before.
Oh, do go on:
Since May 2006, when LPC Living and Salford City Council signed the Ordsall Development Framework, the regeneration of the area has developed at an astounding rate. Over 580 new homes are already built or under construction. A new primary school has been built and a new supermarket, hotel, retail units and residential properties are under construction at the Radclyffe site. Investment in new and improved open space is also underway.
The Development Framework
Our partnership work in Ordsall is based on a Development Framework, prepared by architects BPTW in consultation with local residents, and endorsed by both Ordsall and Langworthy Community Committee and the council in 2004.
The framework is not intended to be a blueprint for the development of any particular site but proposes a number of environmental and infrastructure improvements that would benefit the estate, identifies sites suitable for redevelopment, sets out key principles to guide development and illustrates possible building footprints.
Impact on council stock
There is no intention to demolish good, existing housing stock as part of the proposals.
The Ordsall neighbourhood itself is also undergoing a period of great change. Construction work is underway on the MediaCityUK Oasis Academy on Trafford Road, a new built for purpose high school within the wider MediaCityUK area. The academy will be host to 900 pupils from the ages 11 to 16, with a 250 place post-16 provision and will begin operation from September 2012. The school’s curriculum programme will capitalise upon its close proximity to MediaCityUK and its presence of world-class expertise in broadcasting and digital media from the BBC, the University of Salford and other key tenants. The academy will feature radio and TV studios, production offices and other facilities in addition to provision for science, technology, sport and the arts alongside all other subjects in the National Curriculum.
So. Things are getting better? Sounds like it. The new school is called – get this – Primrose Hill School, a name to make the newly arrived media types forced to relocate from London to feel that they really are in a place where the magic of celebrity happens. Also, good houses will not be demolished, meaning those living in them have no need for a spanking new flat.
Back to Gilligan who offers a different version of the Salford lansdscape:
Just to the east of the new developments, Salford 028D, the area Anuj and his friends walked through, has benefited little. Some new “affordable” homes, and a new Morrisons supermarket, have been built.
The area’s deprivation levels and employment have improved over the past three years, but only slightly – and even that may well be due to a couple of smaller new private developments. Its overall crime rate has deteriorated significantly.
Crime is down. It’s less deprived. Employment is up. But lest oyu think that public money is doing good things, Gilligan says that any upturn “may” be down to private money. Or it may not be.
Gilligan then looks around for a source to back up his prejudices:
“The regeneration is not helping the area. It’s not solving the social problems,” says Stephen Kingston, editor of the Salford Star, an award-winning local investigative magazine. “The bit by Regent Road [near where Anuj was shot] hasn’t been touched, and they are actually withdrawing services from that area, which people are furious about.”
Blimey! The killers really were very local, weren’t they. We now know that they live on Regent Road, yet to be touched by private money or public money.
What the regeneration has done, in fact, is to create an almost Indian-style patchwork of great affluence alongside great poverty, and to deliver people like Anuj Bidve and his friends into areas they would never previously have entered.
If it were Indian-style, would not Anuj Bidve and his Indian friends have felt at home?
The route they took was the most direct from their Salford Quays hotel to Manchester city centre, but in between lies Salford 028D. Their journey took them across a social boundary.
Yep, There it is again. Anuj Bidve was murdered by class. The little Indian-lander was killed by a working white class, that much-maligned social sub-species, or the non-working white class, the chav routinely rubbished by even the most erudite liberals as “white trash”.
The authorities’ answer may be to intensify a process which Kingston says is already happening – the “sterilising,” or demolition, of the area. “What we pick up from every single person we speak to in Ordsall,” he says, “is that somebody somewhere wants them out of their houses, cleared off the estate. You could stand on Ordsall precinct – it still had two sides at that point – and see the bulldozers approaching from Salford Quays and the bulldozers from Manchester. Eventually they will join up.”
Kapow! It’s social armageddon.
Gilligan goes on, now drawing link between Anuj Bive’s home town of Pune and Salford:
Both Salford and Pune are developing fast, with significant poverty next to conspicuous new wealth. But there are important differences between the two communities. Pune’s growth comes from private industry, IT and car manufacturing, manifestations of India’s increasing economic power.
But Gilligan has already told us:
…there were 35 homicides in the year to April 2010 [in Manchester], about half the rate per person of Anuj’s home town, Pune.
Which means that public money is not the reason Anuj Bidve was murdered? Indeed, private money might be the silent killer?
Salford’s new development has been largely paid for by the state.
MediaCity’s two main tenants – Salford University and the BBC – are publicly funded, and will pay more than £200 million in rent to the scheme’s private landlord, the Peel Group, over the next 20 years.
The development only has one significant private-sector tenant, ITV. Salford council is also chipping in, including an astonishing £20 million to sponsor the BBC’s Philharmonic orchestra.
There are now four theories as to why Anuj Bidve was murdered. If you see any news in the Daily Mail that the killer was a single parent, the Daily Express that he’s a gypsy, the Daily Star that he’s a Muslim, or the Guardian that he’s rich, let us know and we’ll add it to the evidence pool…