Radlett’s bustling highstreet is buzzing with rumours of independence. Young professional jews in smart-casual chic are walking with an extra purpose in their step. Passing SUVs, sporting magen david bumper stickers, drive with even less regard for other road users. There are gatherings of customers in the Tesco Express kosher isle, passing comments, smiles, nods and winks.
Since the 2004 census, Radlett Jews have been wondering how to consolidate their position living in 40% jewish Radlett, aka the most Jewish town in the country. There is a feeling that perhaps a visit to Radlett could provide a more economic alternative to a holiday in Israel ; a pilgrimage to the Temple Mount could happily be substituted with a trip to Radlett and Bushey Reform while the rudeness of staff in the local deli matches anything you might encounter in Tel-Aviv. With two synagogues, three supermarkets and a range of fashionable boutiques, some are suggesting that Radlett is set to become a second Zion .
Concerns have however been raised by local residents at last week’s council meeting where plans were unveiled to construct a roadbridge linking Radlett with nearby (and almost as jewish) Stanmore. Some have suggested that this might form the infrastructure of a north London suburban jewish super-state. The jewish backers of the bridge however insist that it is necessary in order to ‘afford rapid and safe access to our neighbours which current road links simply do not accommodate’.
Jewdas has had access to confidential documents entitled ‘a second zion?’ allegedly found under the dispenser of The Jewish News which goes into further details. These include plans to construct a self-sufficient water supply by diverting Radlett’s local river. Reportedly known as the ‘Radlett Kinneret’, or ‘Raderret’, this reservoir would be situated behind Budgens. When questioned, community leaders have rubbished all suggestions as ‘part of the anti-jewish conspiracy’, but were also heard muttering ‘if you will it, it is no dream’.
rumours gather pace……
Radlett’s struggle to become the second Zionist entity has burst out into the open. At the last parish council meeting, Conservative councillor Goldbergstien made the formal announcement to a shocked audience, both of whom went home visibly shaken.
He stated that “the days when Jews must live as an affluent minority in this village are over” and later proclaimed that “Radlett will be a place where all Jews can live in safety, free from violence, hatred and oppressive Sunday trading laws”. He called on all Jews to make ‘aliyah’ to Radlett, especially those from nearby poorer neighbours Elstree and Borehamwood, before stripping away his shirt to reveal a magen david t-shirt and singing ‘ha-tikvah’ loudly, to which he seemed to know some of the words.
On the street, things have gathered pace. The League of Jewish Women have reorganised themselves into self-styled freedom fighters. So far, their actions have been restricted to strong discussion at a series of coffee mornings and throwing nasty looks at the local vicar out of their BMWs but they have ominously threatened to use any means as part of a legitimate struggle.
Other developments include the beginnings to construction of a security barrier around ‘greater Radlett’. The route of this wall includes Aldenham country park as a ‘buffer zone’ whilst residents of Shenley are complaining that it will divide their community in two. Arguments have also been raging over building materials. Projected costs for the proposed concrete being high, leading members of the community have suggested that a mock-tudor wall would be more tasteful, pointing out that distressed wood always makes for characterful masonry whilst holding its value well.
Finally, the Radlett National Fund (RNF) has been set up, with the stated aim of making Radlett bloom. Although there were early scuffles with the Radlett Horticultural Society who claimed to have the same agenda, the league of jewish women crushed the rebellion by spreading vicious rumours about the poor quality of the society’s rhododendrons. The RNF has also launched an appeal to plant trees in Radlett. An oak sapling planted on church grounds was however uprooted by a small child who is on trial for crimes against the state.