London’s world-famous cockneys—once an iconic symbol of Britain—have been exterminated by the flood of nonwhite immigration into the UK, a new documentary by the BBC has admitted.
The documentary, titled Last Whites of the East End, will be broadcast by the BBC on May 24—and will show that the traditional cockney East London home now “looks like Baghdad.”
The documentary focuses on the borough of Newham, which is now less than 30 percent white. More than half the white population has fled Newham in the last 15 years, the documentary reveals.
A cockney—and the accent known by the same name—was traditionally a native of East London, born within hearing of Bow Bells, the bells of St Mary-le-Bow in the Cheapside district of the City of London.
Once almost all white working class, the area which surrounds London’s Olympic Park now has the lowest percentage of white British residents of anywhere in London.
According to Last Whites of the East End, 73 percent of the local population is now made up of nonwhites.
Some cockneys were interviewed for the documentary. One of them, Leanne Oakham, is a sixth generation cockney, and currently lives on the same street in Newham as her mother and sister Amy.
She told the filmmakers she is planning to move out of the area, as is the rest of her family.
“It’s not like the old East End where everyone knew everyone and we all left our doors open. It’s just scary now,” she said.
“Years ago people would have a fight with their fists and that would be it. Not anymore. Now people will bring in knives.”
Peter Bell runs the East Ham Working Men’s Club which has become the last bastion of cockney culture, and is just a few feet from West Ham’s Upton Park ground.
He said: “People who haven’t been for many years come out of Upton Park Station and say: ‘I can’t believe what’s happened here, it could be Baghdad.’”
One man at the club says in the documentary: “It’s hard to find somebody who speaks English in Newham. We’ve always been a country where immigration plays a part, but not on the scale you find now.
“You go from Aldgate to Barking and there are very few English people left.”
Darren Lovejoy, 29, has moved out of Newham. Recalling his days at college in the area, he says: “I remember hearing, ‘White Boy! Drop your phone and walk off’ shouted by three boys. No disrespect, but I was probably the only white kid in the college.”
Currently, there are 147 languages spoken in Newham, with one local primary school having pupils speaking 43 different languages and a new non-English speaking child arriving every week.
There are 66 primary schools in the area and 20 years ago more than half the pupils were white British. One local school, Drew Primary in the Docklands, now only has three per class.