London Riots – Heroine of Hackney: Pauline Pearce

In the middle of the London riots Pauline Pearce stood tall with her powerful raw speech in Hackney. See below clip.

Pauline’s speech was captured and circulated on you tube  generated some positive feedback and interest from locals, the public and the media.

Last week Pauline gave an interview to Matthew Bannister on the BBC World Service brilliant programme Outlook where she discussed her life and her views on the riots and possible solutions.

Pauline is a jazz singer and local radio community talk show host known as Lady P. She has done time for drugs smuggling unknowingly (which as a former customs officer I can believe). Pauline admitted never been afraid to speak her mind.  Her talk show  ” The More Love Show” regular discusses issues such as knife crime and parenting.

How did Pauline end up in Hackney?  She explained jokingly “love swept me off my feet” was the reason she came to live in Hackney. But she ended up a “single mother in Hackney”.

Pauline explained to Bannister that she has always felt safe living in Hackney. She thinks that Hackney as a community is misunderstood and only the negative “crackney” side is regularly portrayed in the media.

If central and local government do not get serious (“get real”)  Pauline feel  the situation in communities could get worse. She is concerned that a number of rioters being first time offenders maybe punished beyond repair especially for first time offenders ” Aren’t people not to allowed to make mistakes?”

Pauline suggested that community service should be used as an effective punishment penalty and get the offender to develop a skill such as bricklaying carpentering.  So that the rioters can learn a skills instead of incarceration.

My favourite line from Pauline’s interview  was ” when we find the love then we find the compassion, when we find the compassion then we care and then when we care we will do something to solve the problem. This was the best interview I have heard  in a long time.

Pauline is definitely one of the Londoners of 2011. I hope Hackney Council, Theresa May (Home Secretary) or David Cameron will make use of Pauline’s passion, community engagement knowledge and drive to feed into our youth and wider society. She has definitely got something unique to share.  But will Pauline’s face fit and be allowed to be herself? Can the powers that handle her opinionated style. We must not allow the likes of Lady P to have her 15 minutes of fame and then become an after thought.

Respect Lady P


About africanherbsman1967

Spent 3 decades in working in Whitehall mainly for Customs and Excise, Cabinet Office and Home Office. Worked for hundreds of public sector bodies in the UK, EU, US etc. Ex-London tour guide. Love photography, reading, arts, music, sports and farming.
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