There are about seven and a half million fulltime residents of this great big dirty city, and somewhere in the same ballpark of annual visitors - tourist trade and migrant workers. In a human anthill how do you find one ant?
The subject of missing persons has fascinated yours truly since young I first started reading paperback thrillers by Raymond Chandler. Farewell My Lovely and The Big Sleep and - the man wrote loads of stories about a private investigator who often got hired to trace missing persons in Los Angeles. Now London's a big place as I said, and its way older than America and there are thousands of people going missing every year. Here in Big L you wouldn't notice a nervous runaway teenage kid and if you did, you'd think, all those news stories about child abuse? And any grownup who wants to be unnoticed has a simpler job because the big-city coppers are busy man ... I often dreamed about running off and living on a fairground while small, cause i hated schoolday routine and that our parents both working (in the 60s) and raisin 3 kids , often didnt get home till our bedtime. But they loved us so much it was impossible. Love's far stronger than aversion or fear.
The Metropolitan police has databases of thousands of folks every age who disappeared years ago and majority are never tracked down unless they commit a crime. Because there's no law against leaving home above a certain age, and the sheer numbers of teenagers who run off illegally are too big, and there are too few coppers for that - they say - and ... So I wondered if say Osama bin Laden might be living in Canning Town or Wembley?
I mean how would you know? the `genuine' illegal immigrant population, the invisible migrant workers who do the rubbishwork too dirty and underpaid and dangerous for our E-U quality workforce. Cockle-picking, say, or going to work on a building-site by Tube. You and I aren't gonna do those. Let the Chinese and South Americans get drowned , shot by the Terrorism Squad or whatever, their countries are poor and need the foreign-exchange. So all those newspaper writers who acted shocked about terorbombers under our noses are bullshiters arent they? cos the whole al-Q`aeda could sneak through the Chunnel and get a cleaner's job at Heathrow and as long as they'll graft for under the minimum wage the sad Government would turn a blind eye to prop our knackered economy up. And who else would notice?
Still thats a thing about London- the way you can be anonymous. Nobody wants to gossip or snoop the way you get in small towns. And when you've got 7 to 15 million human beans rattlin round a place you can walk across in a day, you need privacy. So here's a challenge for any of the Fab Writing Group who wants a subject for a story. Someone went missing in London and someone gotta find them. How you gonna do that? ? ?