Saturday, 13 August 2011


It seems somehow wrong of me to comment on the recent riots in England, I am no longer a UK tax payer and therefore what right do I have to condone the mindless thuggery that has spilled across the daily newspapers for the last week or so. I guess however, as I am still a British passport holder and claim a British identity I am probably more entitled than many of those deciding to bring the worlds view on my home country into embarrassment and disbelief.  When your as old as me, you can remember previous 'disturbances' caused by groups of mindless bafoons - Handsworth, Moss Side, Toxteth, Chapeltown in the 80's,Salford and Briston in the 90's and even Lozells and Oldham in the 00's, . So the sight of shops and cars burning, whilst Kevin and Tracy (more like Tyrone and Chantel these days) kit themselves out in the latest tracksuit for free, isn't as surprising to me as it may be to those seeing it for the first time.

Riots in the past seemed to have had meaning, a cause or at least an excuse. Wholesale closure of an industry, communities ripped apart, segragation, discrimination, religion and separatism. Communities were forced to take sides, and arguments for and against had at least some vaugeness of credibility. Of course violense has no place in a moralistic and modern society, but passion and blind anger drove people to do crazy things compeately out of character. Whilst I am not defending any of the people involved in previous riots, for most they could have at least eloquently explained why they were there and what they were fighting for. This weeks rioting seems to be different.

Firstly, lets clear out all of the hype around the shooting of an unarmed family man in a Taxi. This guy was pond scum, a gangster, a drug dealing low life who would have spoon fed your children crack if he thought it would have made a few bob. Of course the police should never take away the right to trial, and I hope the officers in question are investigated and severly punished if they have without justification acted as vigilantes. But for this act to have caused hundreds of people to rise up and 'fight against the machine' is pure BS. This guy wasn't loved, he wasn't even known by 99% of those rioting. He was an excuse, an excuse for lazy, illiterate, work shy degenerates of a society obsessed by celebrities, easy money, and a belief that they have a right to earn there 15 minutes of fame, whilst taking from honest hard working people who hold their head in shame when seeing what has happened to their country.

I could have understood if they had attacked the financial district of London, the idiots who run the banking, insurance and foreign exchange companies deserve a wake up call. After bringing the world to its financial knees, and then continuing to pay each other grotesque bonus's that are simply not acceptable. We would have all raised a small smile if the Range Rovers, Porsche's and Bentleys had been torched, the wine bars forced to close early and these people were named and shamed in public. But this riot wasn't about that. It wasn't in reaction to the enormous efforts the government has had to put in place to keep the UK's head above water and avoid a financial meltdown. Government buildings, the police and the homes of politicians were not the focus of the rioters attacks. In fact the focus seems to have been their own community? The shops they shop in, the pubs they drink in, the public transport they use, the streets their children play on, all became targets of people reminiscent of those from films as 'Shawn of the Dead', or 'Zombieworld', but with probably a little less intelligence.

I do not see any other reason for these yobs engaging in self destruction apart from a belief that they are 'owed a living'. The desire to work hard at school, spend years in a low paid job, supporting a family whilst saving for the odd luxury (by this I mean a 'take-away', a bottle of wine and maybe even night out occasionally), educating yourself, being respectful to your elders and maybe, just maybe getting a lucky break and moving up through the ranks due to dedication and perseverance, then earning a little bit more and finally being rewarded for all of those years of hard work and honesty and being able to take your family on holiday or save for a car, a house or a TV. There is no shortcut, no quick route or magic door that can be opened for you. Gang membership, Facebook, and the state wont get you there. Neither will breaking into Lidl, Poundstrecher or Greggs the Bakers. I hope those identified are caught and severly punished, however somehow I reckon they will be slapped on the wrist, patted on the head and sent back with and ASBO medal pinned to their forehead.

For me this is the first time of observing such scenes from a distance, watching the rest of the world - watching and reading about the disturbances. In the UK, people are understandably more concerned about how the people, the businesses and the communities have been affected by a few idiots. From the other side of the world the effect is on a much wider scale. Read a number of small disturbances in Tottenham in the UK - the rest of the world reads 'London on Fire'. Read isolated incidences across small pockets of the inner city's in the UK - read "full scale anarchy" in the minds of those outside of Britain. Read Clapham, Birmingham or London in the UK- the rest of the world reads 'Civil War in England' . The UK attracts over 30 million tourist each year, bringing in 115 billion pounds and supporting 3 million jobs. In this time of insecurity around the world, would you invest in travelling to a country you had been told was experiancing serious civil unrest? Can the UK's economy really do without this money? As for the Olympics we will have to wait and see what affect this will have, but I am sure anyone who had doubts over Londons ageing infrastructure, extorionate hotel, taxi and public transport costs didn't bank on having to dodge flying wine bottles and burning police cars as well.

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