Bethnal Green
A couple of days ago I went for a recce in the east end of London. I visited activists dealing with drug abuse in the Bengali community in Tower Hamlets. They help addicts through recovery programmes and provide counselling and advice etc. It was blowy and pelting down hard throughout the day. I walked around the various estates. I don’t want to take away any of the bleakness of it all - and believe me some of these estates are bleak - but one can nevertheless see the positive impact of the local state’s regeneration programme at the superficial level at least. Clearly the built environment and the services are only one part of it because the drugs problem continues to grow. …And not just amongst bengali lads but also bengali girls and women. The prospects are apparently dire. According to local organisations this problem is set to remain and indeed grow in the forseeable future.

I will hopefully be following these chaps around for part of the diaspora project I am engaged in, and I will be pointing you to a separate site if you are interested in knowing more.