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Monday, 8 August 2011

London's Burning.

If we make peaceful change impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable. -John F Kennedy.

So London is burning as I type.
Lots of people seem to be chucking their opinions forth so I think I'll join in.
Firstly this has nothing to do with the shooting that occurred.
Whether it was justified (increasingly looking as if it wasn't) or not, isn't really relevant. That was just a spark. An excuse.
The problem as I see it is that the young men and women feel completely disenfranchised.
They have nothing to lose any more.
The job market is shrinking and no new employment opportunities are being created.
The future has been whipped from under their feet and no one is listening to them.
Current economic woes and the policies that the coalition have introduced have done little more than push the already desperate into a corner, and in nature what happens when you push any animal into a corner leaving them with no room to escape?
They lash out, attack.
I sincerely believe that this is what we are seeing here.
I'm not even claiming that it is thought out. Just a primal need to reacte to perceived injustices.
Of course people can point to the ones who are enjoying themselves, or the chancers hot footing it down the street with a widescreen television, but that's not everyone involved.
Most are risking their liberty because.....well why the hell not.
What's the alternative?
A life time of living hand to mouth with no prospects of improvement. Losing themselves in drug and alcohol abuse. Easing in and out of dysfunctional relationships.
I've read often enough that they should have more respect, but I was raised to believe that respect was something that had to be earned and I don't see anyone in power doing anything to engender any respect at all.
The police certainly aren't doing anything to encourage a degree of mutual respect.
Battle lines were drawn long ago on estates.
To the police the kids are the enemy and to the kids the police are.
There's not even that many people in local communities doing much to gain respect either.
Everyone has become so insular and mistrustful that we are a nation of strangers to each other.
It's not a healthy existence.
We can't expect people who are treated like shit to just continue to accept it.
That's the bottom line.
History shows us what happened in the past, and the news is showing us it happening in the present.
I would love it if people could consider the bigger picture, but instead I'm seeing a great deal of comments on places like Facebook along the lines of 'shoot the fuckers' and 'hang the little bastards'.
We live in a country that can give a murderer six years after a trial, but we are advocating that teenagers should be shot by troops acting as judge, jury and executioner for stealing training shoes out of a sports shop.
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?

Added (9/8/11)
Just a thought, but in the aftermath of this I'm sure there will be a mention of how many people have been made homeless and how many small businesses have closed, and indeed it will be a horrible situation and I empathize with those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, but - yes there is always a but - maybe we could also factor in how many people have become homeless, or face being made homeless, due to the economic downturn paired with less than helpful coalition policies being introduced, and just maybe someone somewhere will release the figures of how many businesses have went to the wall due to our current economic woes and poor policy decisions to.
The results may be slightly surprising, and if they far outstrip the cost to us all from the rioting then maybe we should be asking who the real enemy is.
The kids on our streets, or those steering the ship.


  1. Fair enough there aren't many jobs about it's the government who should be doing something about the situation ...spend a bit if money in this country rather than hand it out over half of asia.But people torching other properties and livleyhoods is not on someones gonna get killed soon at this rate!!! When they're brought to justice it'll be the same old cop ou t excuse i ain't got a job your honour same as the saturday night drunks "I had one too many your honour" a lot of people don't have a job and go out and get pissed but they don't all go torching and looting and fighting etc because they've had one too may...piss poor excuse.Some of them have never or don't wanna work live a life of crime and blame everything else because they are too bone idle to get out of bed and look for a job.

  2. Very easy to say that. Straight from the Daily Mail and lacks any sort of empathy or balance.
    It's not a case of there aren't many jobs. There is virtually none, and more cuts in the future will see even less.
    This will create an employers market with increasingly more and more people all fighting for the same job.
    The result will be lower hourly rates and less workers rights.
    (There's already been talk about scrapping the minimum wage)
    The future is bleak. very bleak and people are wakening up to that.
    I've said that I don't consider that the trouble is planned out, but instead it is more about frightened and uncertain people lashing out in anger. Even if they don't know that this is what they are doing.
    You said the government should be doing something about it.
    They should, but are they?
    Are they fuck.
    You point out that a lot of people don't have jobs and they don't act in the way of the rioters.
    Well the rioters didn't act ion this way last week, last month or last year.
    This country has reached a tipping point.
    Funny how it always does when the Conservatives are steering the ship.
    You also say that 'some of them have never or don't wanna work live a life of crime and blame everything else because they are too bone idle to get out of bed and look for a job.
    Of course that's true, but not all of them, but as long as people want to focus on that angle the real questions aren't being asked.


  4. I'd concur with that statement "...funny how it always does when the Conservatives are steering...." I grew up in the West Of Scotland when Thatcher Thatcher Milk Snatcher was closing pits left right and centre and continuing the rape of Scotland, I went to school with kids who fathers never worked again and a couple who even took their own lives. Everytime the Tories have been elected in I am (naiively perhaps) astonished at peoples short term memory.. every time they firmly put their governmental policied foot on the heads of already drowning folk - is it any wonder people react in this way when that final shove pushes their heads under. I'm not in anyway condoning the violence, looting or arson but you have to ask yourself how much more people can take. Gandhi said "I believe that no government can exist for a single moment without the cooperation of the people and if people suddenly withdraw their cooperation in every detail, the government will come to a standstill." rightly or wrongly the people will be heard, they react this way because no-one (in power) so far has listened. D

  5. Watch yourself D. You will be accused of being an apologist for the rioters as I have been....incessantly, but not in the calm and reasoned style of using the term apologist.

  6. Accuse and be damned lol! it's harder to be the voice of calm reason amidst the dervish faction than to take the easy road and just follow the mass. I don't excuse, but I do understand why. D.

  7. The hang 'em high mob are becoming increasingly strident, and as usual the voice of reason is being drowned out.
    On the plus side I've just been told from a friend that an Australian buddy linked him to my blog and called it a voice of reason. So we aren't entirely alone.

  8. Legends in our lunch times! ha!. D

  9. This reminds me of the Los Angeles riots twenty years ago, when the police that were video taped beating Rodney King were not punished for their deeds. The anger that the lower classes had for the police brutality erupted, opening the doors for all the other socio-economic problems they were burdened with.

    Now with the global bankster cabals driving entire nation's governments into submission, I wonder if this is going to be common place. Here in the U.S. I keep wondering when the kind of protesting seen in the late sixties will rise again. But sadly what I think will happen is that the media zombie public will turn on each other before they turn on the ruling "corportocracy".

    Or maybe this is what happens when there are too many people on the planet. We get to a point where we hate each other if famine and disease aren't working to maintain a population balance.

    Anyway I wish these things didn't have to involve violence and death, although that seems to be something humans are good at with one another.

  10. In my opinion the young men and women rioting and looting are ill equipped to express themselves. So what we are seeing from them is a primal scream of frustration. The lashing out at the perceived and real injustices that they deal with daily. I'm not condoning it in anyway, but to lay 100% of the blame at their feet, as so many are want to do, is an act of cowardice in itself. We as a society have to accept our part in this. Through neglect from family to government we have created a generation of misguided monsters in certain areas. If you take one child and mistreat it, abuse it, neglect and belittle it, use it as a scapegoat for all the worlds ills and never introduce any positivity into its life then that child will grow up to be a dysfunctional mess. Multiply that by the thousands and we are know seeing the results. To varying degrees we are all to blame, but how many want to shoulder some responsibility when instead they can spout irresponsibly about shooting them, hanging them etc, etc.

  11. The funny thing is I wouldn't mind betting the people doing this are totally apolitical... It's a shame they don't seem to have the wherewithall to channel this anger in the right places. Instead of trashing and burning down your own community, turn it on Downing Street and let's have a proper revolution... Ooh... Is that a bit radical?

  12. A agree. Sadly they aren't clued up enough to articulate what this is about. That's why I've said it is more primal. Cameron will be glad of this though, as if they had a charasmatic leader then these kids would be a real danger to the status quo.

  13. Imagine the the primal feral rioters we've seen over the last few days, united with the anarchists. Now that would be fun.

  14. If they did become politicized then the government and the big businesses would shit themselves.
    It would be war. Real war on the streets.

  15. "Just around the corner....The English Civil War!"

  16. One of the main things I think this has highlighted is that in general the majority don't want to think about anything. It's not that they lack intelligence, but more so they are lazy thinkers and more than willing to live their lives with opinions formed from headlines and skewed news reports rather than ask themselves why something has happened.
    Teenager loots a store. Solution....shoot to kill.
    Mob burns down the stores that serve their community.......get the troops on the streets.
    Never once ask why.

  17. Just some more things to think about.
    A break down of the solutions being put forward by the general public.
    National Service - We are cutting back on the armed forces, but can find the money to draft all these idiots in. Never mind that, but we want to train them in how to fight and use weapons far more effectively to.
    Shoot them/Hang them – No trial. Just open fire on people. Always a good idea, until it's someone's kid who was caught by a stray bullet. That can be factored in as an acceptable loss though. So no real worries there. As for hanging them. Why not go the whole way and make it public. Put it on the television even. Kicking the shit out of someone is okay, fiddling expenses to the tune of thousands is fine, but don't steal a pair of trainers or it's the noose for you.
    Evictions from council homes - So those in a private lets get away with it while the partners and kids of rioters become homeless. I can see how that has been thought through.
    Let the police do what they want without being restrained by the law – Well that is until they start abusing the power they are given and it has a direct impact on us all.
    Limit social networking during periods of unrest – Who decides what constitutes unrest? Or can we word that as limiting communication between people when it suits them.

  18. To all the hang 'em and shoot 'em mob, beware, for you are just as guilty as the rioters and looters. Your complicit, selfish greed and your complacent, self satisfaction at the expense of all others have led directly to this. The party that you have voted for, have created this in your name, just as they have every other war, left right and center.Your dumb ignorance and blind obedience coupled with your point blank refusal to recognise or empathise with the plight of others, be it your neighbour or some unknown unfortunate on the other side of the world have damned you to be the selfish undeserving parasite that you have become. How did you fall so far, when did you loose your humanity, why do YOU not care? And does this not make you just as bad if not worse than those you seek to condemn, when YOU take the moral high ground, issue judgement and pass sentence?

    Well friends, I've got a little something for you, this is just the start, your own personal nightmare ain't far off, all those who you,ve put your faith in have dropped the ball, Babylon is about to burn and all you have and know will be lost, you have five to ten years and then it's over, it's the economy stupid. And when it all crashes down and your ivory towers are in flames, we will see just what kind of person you really are, just what you'll do and who you'll sacrifice to survive. So when that time comes in the not so distant future just remember the judgements you have passed and the condemnation you have so freely given because they'll be no revolution, just war!