My early nomination for Person of the Year is the heroic hairdresser of South Ealing; Mo Nabbach.
He’s the man who dared to put a photo of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un up in his window with the strap line “Bad Hair Day? 15% off gent’s cuts through April”.
The observant reader will note that my interest in gent’s hairdressing is somewhat restricted these days and although I am always the first person to know when it’s started to rain I do get a little tired of being asked if I get charged a search fee when I visit Solanki’s Hairdressers on Greenford Avenue.
The great Mo Nabbach swiftly spotted that Kim John-un’s hairstyle of shaved sidewalls, centre parting and bushy top comes close to any definition of a bad hair day and the fact that the long suffering citizens of North Korea are restricted by law to a choice of less than ten styles for men and about eighteen for women prompted a rather original advertising campaign.
What our hero had failed to take into account was the proximity of the Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea which is found on Gunnersbury Avenue.
I’m not sure whether the North Koreans were aware that the most famous residents of Gunnersbury Avenue were Arthur Haynes and the man who has inspired me during three decades of public service and who is still the exemplar of sophisticated inclusive West London metrosexualism – the late Sid James.
Sid was actually a Lieutenant in the South African Army – under his real name of Solomon Joel Cohen – during the 2nd.World War and might have gone on to fight in the Korean War but was thankfully spared to delight those of us who turn to the “Carry On” canon when the days are dark and when nothing but a good guffaw will do.
The cheerful irrelevance of Sid was missing from the two diplomats who called round to Mo’s tonsorial boutique from the North Korean Embassy and who threatened him with legal action if he did not remove the poster which they claimed was disrespectful to the “Dear Leader”.
I am proud to report that Mo the Magnificent sent the two of them on their way without even the need to snip his scissors or strop a razor.
Mo rightly said that this was London – not Pyongyang – and he deserves our respect for this.
It is utterly tragic that the poor people of that secretive dictatorship will almost certainly not know about this blow for freedom and at the risk of becoming a little sombre and serious I would advise people to have a look at the almost unimaginable horrors that are a part of daily life in North Korea.
The UN Commission of Inquiry Report on Human Rights in North Korea has specifically recognised the targeting of Christians and a recent estimate is that there were between two and four hundred thousand Christians in NK of whom fifty to seventy thousand are in prison camps.
I advise anyone to read Shin Dong-hyuk’s “Escape from Camp 14” which tells the true story of a camp in which those born to prisoners spend their entire lives behind the wire. No-one is ever released from these camps and death by starvations seems a blessed relief.
John Sweeney’s new book “North Korea Undercover” is almost too painful to read but anyone who cares for their fellow human beings should be aware of the sickest of contemporary societies and what is being done by the sadistic leadership.
If you want some more information then please turn to the Open Door report “Voices from North Korea’s largest underground movement: the secret church”
It is available from:-
It’s a long way from Gunnersbury Avenue to North Korea but there are human beings at both ends of the line. Unfortunately the tolerance and decency of Ealing is overshadowed by the nightmare of North Korea.
Respect to Mo Nabbach and our prayers for the tragic victims of the murderously evil society that exists at the point of a bayonet and in the shadow of the prison camps.