Guns don’t kill people, idiots do

There was a shooting outside the (ironically-named) Aristocrats nightclub last night. According to the BBC, three men are being treated. The radio news this morning said that one man is critically ill, and the shooting was provoked by someone letting off fireworks inside the club.

I was going to ask what kind of idiot lets off fireworks inside a club, but I guess that it’s the same kind of idiot who carries a gun.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

144 thoughts on “Guns don’t kill people, idiots do”

  1. Point taken Regeneru and some very good ones. I too am in danger from making assumptions it seems.…I remember Peckham High St when it had department stores and a Marks and Spencers-so agree with what you are saying. And I agree with you completely when you say that we all want the same thing. So what would we have in an ideal, utopian Camberwell? And how can we get it? (Let’s not start knocking the street drinkers again…they have their place-even Lord Henry with his sherry bottle)

  2. In my ideal Camberwell there wouldn’t be any of those evil fried chicken shops (KFC or otherwise) and there’d be a decent bookshop in Butterfly Walk (which of course we had till recently).

  3. Why are we apologising for wanting good shops in Camberwell and wanting to get rid of hoodies and drunks on the street. Bizaare. Camberwell hasnt got any good places to eat all garbage, pizza pomodoro, seymours,tadim please these places dont take pride in their food and use the worst ingredients. I agree camberwell is great for its mixed group of people but lets try and not kid ourselves by saying we have good places to eat because we dont yet, hopefully that will change. Good places are the olive shop jazz at the crypt late night drinking but good restaurants not in a million years. I think more police on the streets would be a help and make the area feel safer. The cctv is never on and the gun youths in my opinion and you may feel shocked should be rounded up and beaten with sticks untill they realise how ignorant and stupid they are. Regular beatings on these youths or men or drugdealers. Fried chicken places should all go for sure and that would be a start.

  4. Sorry but I’d welcome a Starbucks with open arms!!

    In my ideal central Camberwell we’d keep Mozzarella Pomodoro, Tadim, The Castle, The dark Horse, Hoa Viet, Pauls Olive Shop. We’d lose several of the off licences, a coupla chicken shops, one of the kebab shops, and almost everything in Butterfly Walk. I’d love a really nice deli to open up and I’d be happy to have a Pizza Express and a Starbucks, and ecstatic to have an M&S food hall or a Waitrose, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing them any time soon.

  5. …JJ I completely disagree, I’m a regular at Tadim and Mozzarella Pomodoro and they are passionate about the food they offer and the service they provide. Every single meal I’ve taken at Mozz Pom has been superb, and the welcome and service has been wonderful, and I’m not particularly easy to please!! 😉

  6. Ive had food poisoning from Hoa Viet twice. Goodluck with that. M and S and Waitrose. No way thats what we dont want we want individuals opening local personal businesses with good quality food and products. Keep out chains like Subway which is pure garbage and greggs bleached flour bakery. Organic butcher a deli and a good coffee shop. Like the tea house.

  7. When I used to go out, I really enjoyed the restaurant at the back of the Bolu, especially when George the main cook was cooking. The ingredients weren’t the finest, but the methodology was good. That’s what Camberwell’s good at, methodology. [Sings.] “You need — meth-o-dology, good old methodology.”

    Zara’s was the same when Zara was there. A sneak look at the ingredients in their cellar showed it was the same cash & carry ingredients as every other Indian, but it was Zara’s methodology that made it good. All manner of people went there, WMCPs, EBBTs, HSJKs, the lot.

    Bickleigh. Bitter? Yes, you could get a pint of Courage there not that long ago for two quid and meet all manner of people by ten quid.

    How times change. I read in last Friday’s Standard that teenagers could purchase a machine gun from a 14-year-old girl in Colindale, until recently.

  8. JJ…Ermm..Why did you go back to Hoa Viet if they’d already given you food poisoning the first time…?

    In any case I’m not going to apologise for hoping that Camberwell will attract some successful chain stores and restaurants in the future, I don’t see why a decent area can’t consist of both independents and chains. I agree that we can do without a Subway though…

  9. You need to ask yourself why are so many people passonate about this area because its different not a mx of chains. You want chains move to Clapham or Nottinhill. Hoa Viet i went there again because I was desperate.Succesful chains are designed to make as much money as possible from blinded people who dnt mind spending over the odds for crap disguised as quality but hey starbucks you like so much why are the students in san franciscio boycotting and firebombing their stores?

  10. Speaking strictly as a coffee-lover, I wouldn’t welcome Starbucks/other coffee chains.

    However, one phenomenon I have also observed is the devil’s pact between coffee chain clients and the chains themselves, whereby the chain charges exhorbitant prices for chicory flour oops I mean coffee that only certain “people of quality” could pay, i.e. much more than a local independent and far more than the drinks is worth, retail rates or no.

    In this way, the Starbucks shareholders are gladsome, and the clients achieve their aim of entering an atmosphere that has been cleansed of certain riff-raff which might otherwise disturb their repose, in order to read their Telegraph and check their Wi-Fi e‑mails in perfect equanimity.

    Not that I am suggesting all their clients are like that.

    It is also worth noting their eco-policies and how they recently objected to the Ethiopian Government’s attempt to copyright their own coffee bean so they could have a presence on the global trade market and pay a living wage.

    However, we all have fingers in inconscionable pies, and I wouldn’t ask anyone to wear a hair shirt out of their devotion to coffee chains. To each his and her own.

  11. Guns can be eradicated from our streets. I propose a mass march on the streets of camberwell and throught the white houses to the estates of people against guns. Outside the police station. Thats smething we can do protest. If we want to do smething thats a start showing how we dont want this in our area.Organise a protest outside these clubs on the nights where its crowded and lines are forming outside.

  12. Guns can be eradicated from our streets. I propose a mass march on the streets of camberwell and throught the white houses to the estates of people against guns. Outside the police station. Thats smething we can do protest. If we want to do smething thats a start showing how we dont want this in our area.Organise a protest outside these clubs on the nights where its crowded and lines are forming

  13. I find the big chains useful for one major purpose: providing toilets. Being of sound constitution this isn’t something I need in my local area, I can always go home if caught short. However, when I’m traveling abroad I never begrudge Starbucks and McDonalds a place on the highstreet since they (generally) have well maintained loos.

  14. We should organise a protest, demonstration throught the streets of camberwell anti gun and drugs march throught the white houses and estates, to the police station to show on we are not scared and two we will not accept it

  15. We should organise a protest and peaceful march against guncrime and drugs throught the streets of camberwell to the white houses to the estates to the police station and council. To show we are not scared and want change. What do you think?

  16. We should organise a protest and peaceful march against guncrime and drugs throught the streets of camberwell to the white houses to the estates to the police station and council. To show we are not scared and want change. What do you think?

  17. Maybe it’s finally time that we all starting speaking and giving some of the buffoons in charge at Lambeth and Southwark Council a jolt, so that all things Camberwell don’t get swept under the carpet — I don’t want this place to become annonymous, I want it to keep it’s identity — I love the area, I just think that collectively we all need to raise our game to improve many aspects of our criminally neglected neighbourhood — regardless of whatever social class,race or house you live in, we’ve got to start making some noise collectively against the powers that be…for eg: Camberwell Police Station needs to be a full time working police station for starters, because the Met Police do after all make up a hefty chunk of our Council Tax Bills…maybe a cinema and a commitment from the councils to subsidise independent businesses that have a responsible social charter rather than just lowest common denominator chain stores…

  18. Boy oh boy! The number of postings that this item has generated is amazing. However, folks (and you know who you are) — let’s keep it civil, please. What is the point of labelling people “ignorant”, simply because they don’t agree with you? Or, come to that, saying that the crime we experience is down to the Council “giving homes to blacks”. I’m white, and the Council “gave” me one too. It had something to do with my scoring sufficient points on the allocations list as do all home allocations by the Council.
    Can I also raise one further point that comes out of many of the postings above — namely, that fear of young black people in areas like Camberwell is all something to do with what’s going on inside the (collective?) head of Camberwell’s white population. I don’t think that’s the case, personally. My experience is that there are a number of really anti-social teenagers and young adults in Camberwell and whilst white is one of the colours represented in this group, a substantial number are black. They display no sense of empathy for those around them, whether they are elderly, carrying children, pregnant, have mobility problems or just simply slower than them. They move in groups of 5–20 and I think they deliberately intimidate those around them, for kicks. I remain unconvinced that all of this is inside my own head and that if I offerred a cheery “hello”, they would all melt into amenable young people, pull their hoods down, turn their mobile phones off loudspeaker music and invite me down to the Community Centre. But I’m happy to be proved wrong, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  19. I don’t think Camberwell’s problems will be sorted by opening a Waitrose or closing a fried chicken joint. In my view, Camberwell is as Camberwell is — I take the shops and restaurants as I find them, if I don’t want to use them I don’t, but I’m content for them to stay open as long as other people want and use them.

    It seems to me that the real killer is mutual distrust. Followed by mis-management on various levels: local government, police, national government etc etc.

  20. I have lived in Camberwell all of my life and everything that is happening now is nothing new frankly. The area has always been high in crime, it’s just more publicised now.

    The reason that it seems to be spiralling out of control at the moment is because of the ridiculous “politically correct” indoctrine that everybody now subscribes to. Yes police stop more young black men than anybody else, that’s because the majority of crime in Lambeth is commited by young black men, FACT. The police are constantly attacked by the “politically correct” collective for stopping these people but they are trying to stop crime before it happens so if 1 in 4 searches results in an arrest whereby a person is carrying a knife then good that’s one possible murder or fatal wounding that has possibly been stopped.

    When I was 18 I drove a mini and was literally stopped by police everytime I hit the road. Yes it was very, very frustrating but at the end of the day, I had nothing to hide so it was not a problem, merely a inconvenience.

    I also do not subscride to the theory that these kids are getting into trouble because there is nothing for them to do. I grew up on the Gloucester Grove estate as a kid and of course we got bored but we made our own entertainment, this did not involve robbing or beating other people up. The reason for all of these crimes are all based around greed, pure and simple, just as it always has been amongst the criminal fratenity.

    I truly wish that I had all of the answers to stop my beloved Camberwell sliding further into despair but I don’t.

  21. Y’know what frustrates me?

    Everytime someone with right wing political beliefs has a moan, they blame it on political correctness. And they ALWAYS put the phrase ‘political correctness’ in stupid Daily Mail style quotation marks.

  22. Duke — When you were cynical and sniping from the sidelines in a succinct manner you were mysterious. When you let your true feelings flow you opened yourself up for squidder to take a few well-aimed pops at you. Live and learn, my friend, live and learn.

    The police have just shut down Ivory Arch on Walworth Road. They’ve also just shut down the J Bar in Stockwell. Let’s hope Aristocrats is next.

    And to all those people who have suggested that shutting down Aristocrats will just move the problem elsewhere — that’s fine with me, as long as the problem is at the end of your street and not at the end of mine. I don’t want any more people being shot dead at the end of my street. One is enough. His name was Jamail Newton.

    No more chalk marks at the end of my street, thank you. No more corpses. No more blood in the gutter. No more pieces of brain. That’s it. Finished. Shut down Aristocrats.

    Answer that and stay fashionable.

  23. I thought this was an open discussion forum. Duke has voiced an opinion that’ll be shared by many around here, so disagree by all means but don’t knock it.

    Totally agree with Lord H. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Aristocrap. If the Ivory Arch (in the soon-to-be all-new E&C) and the J Bar (in St Ockwell) close and it doesn’t, we’ll know where all those nice people needing a late night battleground are being moved on to…Here.

  24. Agree with Lord Henry — If Aristocrats is closed down and the problem moves elsewhere then so be it (selfish as that may be) — As long as it’s out of Camberwell and I don’t have to see another tragic floral tribute to someone who gets killed for nothing…

  25. Lord H

    You can help shift aristocrats if you want to..

    This from Dorcas Mills, Southwark’s principal licensing officer:

    “I write with regard to your email dated 1November 2006, addressed to Licensing Unit, concerning the recent shooting incident in Camberwell and your more general concerns.

    I would firstly like to assure you that your concerns are shared by this Service and by our many partners. I would also assure you that we will be working closely with the police, in particular, our partners and the Southwark nightclub operators on ways that we can address these concerns.

    With regards to Aristocrats specifically, I can only inform you that the recent incident continues to be investigated by Trident. At this point in time the police do not have grounds in law to either seek a premises closure order or a review of the premises licence. This Service has no ability in law to initiate either course of action.

    I would inform you, however, that the ability to apply for a review of any premises licence exists for any “interested party” (being

    a) A person living in the vicinity of the premises;
    b) A body representing persons who live in that vicinity;
    c) A person involved in a business in that vicinity; or
    d) A body representing persons involved in such businesses).

    An application for a review of a premises licence must relate to one or more of the four licensing objectives which concern

    i) The prevention of crime and disorder;
    ii) The prevention of nuisance;
    iii) Safety; and
    iv) The protection of children from harm.

    If you require further information on the premises licence review process please let me know”

  26. And you know what frustrates me squidder, it’s people like you that call anybody that speaks out about non-British peoples activities as right wing.

    I went to Archbishop Michael Ramsays school and therefore actually have more black friends than white. I regularly do charity work for a sickle cell charity on account of losing a very dear friend to the disease so how dare have the ordacity to call me that.

    I expect that you think the police in this borough are right wing too. I expect they would be the first people that you’d call though should someone assault you for you i‑pod, break into your property or knock the froth off you skinny decaf cappucino.

  27. Dear Duke

    I agree with you that ther’s nothinjg wrong with the police stopping youths and even searching them. Since mt son was stabbed in the chest and groin by a knife carrying youth and nearly killed over nothing of course I think it’s important. (And don’t make the assumption that the police made that he deserved it and must be into something to get stabbed because he isn’t)

    But the police have to follow their own procedures and they don’t. They don’t give reasons often. They don’t do the paperwork. They put people in handcuffs for nothing. And they abuse and provoke the youngsters they stop. That musn’t happen. Which is why I spend many hours filling in police complaint forms. Because that is plain wrong and makes all black youngsters hate the police. Then they don’t talk to them. And so it goes on. It is more than an incovenience to be abused constantly and put in handcuffs. My son’t legitimate moped was left on the side of the Old Kent rd. He bought it with his grandfather’s legacy. He used it to get to work and college. They arrested him for failing to blow into a brethalyser bag properly after he stopped to ask them directions and they decided he had been drinking, took him to the station where the test was negative and then told him he would be “pissed now as your bike will be stolen of taken by the red route patrol” It was. He has lost his prize possession. I don’t think you would have liked it if they did that to your minicab!

    Yes we have to stop crime.. But by proper fair policing. That is just not happening in our experience nowadays.

  28. There is a quote by Jean Renoir that is often referenced, and it goes — “Everybody has their reasons.”

    But nobody ever mentions the second half of the quote — “That’s why the world is such a terrible place.”

    ewookie — I’m a bit dense. Who do I write to or e‑mail then? Dorcas Mills? Or is there a separate dept?

  29. Duke — Great comeback to squidder. Reminds me of the punch Eubank threw as it looked like he was going down against Michael Watson!

  30. Realme: Prejudice. Hmm.

    I am one of the white people in Camberwell who sometimes gets nervous and paranoid about being attacked when in proximity to groups of black men wearing hoodies. That is because I was attacked, pistol-whipped and robbed by a group of black men wearing hoodies on Elmington Road last year.

    The first call I received from the police, just after I had got back from hospital, was to ask me if I was making the whole thing up to claim the insurance.

    Prejudice from anyone, be it the police or people like me, is rarely baseless.

    Postscript: The brother of a very good (black) friend of mine was shot and killed in Hackney this year. My friend says the police have been impeccable in their attitude — supportive and open-minded.

  31. Duke, you said “..the reason that (crime) seems to be spiralling out of control at the moment is because of the ridiculous “politically correct” indoctrine that everybody now subscribes to.” You also say you’re speaking out against “non-British peoples” implying that black people are “non-British” – and that crime in Britain is not the responsibility of British people. These view point as you stated them are right wing, even if ‘some of your best friends are black’, so please don’t act offended.

    Political correctness is a linguistic policy that states that a language’s grammatical categories shape its speakers’ ideas and actions. ‘The objective was and remains to bring peoples’ unconscious biases into awareness, allowing them to make more informed choices about their language and making them aware of things different people might find offensive.’ I don’t understand how a linguistic policy can be responsible for crime in Camberwell, cappuccino or no cappuccino.

    By the way, coming from an ethnic minority is not the same as choosing to drive a mini.

  32. The people we’re talking about are feral youths who appear to hate everyone around them and have no understanding, regard or empathy for anyone outside their immediate circle.

    I was like this for a while when I was very young. My parents were convinced I was a thief and burglar. I wasn’t generally, I just behaved like one. Some hormone surge that made me irrationally want to join the army so I could shoot rapid fire guns or run away and be a Foreign Legionnaire. I seethed. I am lucky. It passed. Yet enough of the feel of it was with me when I was fifteen that I went to Sandhurst for an induction week. Basically I still wanted to kill people. My intellect and empathy had caught up with my sensibilities to some extent by then and what I saw ultimately made me a pacifist because I discovered I had a paradoxical urge to punch the posh officers for being who they were. I reckoned I should just get my act together, forget romantic violence and do something creative instead.

    I recount this just because when I feel threatened by particularly, black youths, who scowl and leer out of their hoods at me (and I’ve been mugged by three of them, had a phone snatched out of my hand by one darting out of a gang, have chased two different such young men out of my home as well as having been burgled anonymously, oh and there was an armed robbery at the pub a long time ago, you know daily London stuff) I find it really irksome because I kind of empathise with them. I know certainly that if given the chance we would know each other differently from just being anonymous passers by on the street and find things to admire and understand about each other. The knowledge of this is very frustrating.

    I’m not being patronising. It’s possible / highly likely their experience is somewhat different to mine but their behaviour strikes me essentially as being the result of phenomenal boredom, deep feelings of alienation from any form of mainstream society, enormous frustration and outrage with their absolutely unjust reality and facing a future that seems blank, formless, without possibility of any kind of long term structural satisfaction. Perhaps all of this mixed and conflicting with inchoate desires for a secure life somewhere in the future, like having a home of their own, some proper status, a car maybe and certainly a woman and perhaps even a family but seeing no possible way of getting there conventionally other than by leading a life of utter drudgery and ennui, maybe working checkout at Tesco or counter at MacDonalds or filling shelves in a warehouse. Alternative approaches to finding life satisfaction and funds – like music or sport, and all the clichés, involve huge hard work and a lot of talent and are a stony path anyway and finally, just doing some soft or hard drugs to fill time and bashing the shit out of someone passing by to get their bag, camera, phone or whatever just seems, well, actually is, just so much easier. At least for a while. Put lots of these guys together (like at school) without good role models all around them, add knives and guns and gangs and dissing each other out then you’ve got low level civil war rumbling along.

    Further towards the top of this extraordinary dialogue I sort of made an open invitation for us – people contributing here — to meet up to discuss these issues and to better give us a chance to know each other as people instead of written opinion. I’m not sure I’ve caught every posting but my impression is that my suggestion fell on deaf ears.

    Any takers?

    Peace and Light

    Let’s use this reality to help make ours better.

    Incidentally my belief is that all clubs and bars that allow violence / anti social behaviour to happen on the premises should be shut down. Irrespective of the ‘it only moves away somewhere else’ thesis. If such behaviour is made completely unacceptable EVERYWHERE the behaviour might begin to peter out.

    Does anyone know the track ‘Ali Baba’ by John Holt? I reckon it’s one of the best songs of all time.

  33. Of course it would be worthwhile meeting up Mark. Talking’s much easier than typing, certainly in my case.

    It would be good to try and find the chap who left the written tribute to Jamail. On reading what he said it became clear that he had the whole thing sussed, from both sides.

  34. Hi,

    I’m making a short film about the death of Jamail Newton for Channel Five, and I am urgently seeking witnesses to potentially contribute.

    Like Lisa at the London Paper I’d particularly like to speak to Ewookie — and I do apologise for this approach, I’m pressed for time and wanted to get in touch as quickly as possible.

    The film is part of Five Films, a 3 minute short film strand which will be broadcast in December, and is being made through DFG Films (

    You can reach me via my email annemullee@​yahoo.​co.​uk, and I can give you a call when it’s convenient!

    Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,



  35. Has that mong-hole Aristocrats been shut yet ?

    I want to start promoting a night at the Redstar but would rather a twat-club like Aristocrats was not right opposite.

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