Tuesday 9 August 2011

London Riots

People say there aren't any political dimensions to these riots, but it's worth noting that we only have civil unrest in the UK when the Tories are in power. A reaction, I think, from the bottom of society to the Tories more callous and authoritarian approach to government. And if you think that by writing this, that I'm in support of people who burn down local businesses, then you're quite wrong.

The big difference between Labour and the Tories is that the current government are monetarist fundamentalists with no social or moral responsibility. The severe cuts, which have been like nothing in modern times, have thrust the knife deep into the poorest and most vulnerable in society. I work on the front line in health with elderly people, who suffer dementia, where we've had staff cuts beyond the point where it's safe. I see things first hand. So don't tell me the last government was as bad as this one.

I've seen a few calls for the military to get involved in the rioting. How is that supposed to help? Any time soldiers are used in civil disturbances, it usually ends with unarmed civilians being shot. Soldiers aren't trained for this kind of work. This isn't Syria. Is this really what we should be aspiring to? Be careful what you wish for.

How about creating an economy with jobs, and making it easy and cheap to get an education, instead. It worked well enough in the past. Any long-term solution to society's problems that doesn't involve stopping the financial sector sucking the life out of the rest of us, doesn't interest me.


Phil said...

We've had a similar event (though not so violent or destructive) here in Milwaukee where groups of "feral youth," nearly all African-American, attacked passers-by at the Wisconsin State Fair. Once again, it's the "feral youth" part that indicates that a lack of jobs for young people leads to this kind of thing. And you can't create jobs or grow the economy through austerity. It doesn't work. Never has, never will.

Anonymous said...

My father-in-law likes to poke at me about President Obama; he's decidedly against him and, like so many others, think he's a Socialist. Nevertheless, my FIL is also an official Senior Citizen (and veteran) who takes advantage of the social security programs supported by the likes of Obama. I point him towards situations just like the one in London now to prove you cannot neglect social programs and you cannot rely on conservative business people to create jobs enough to permit the people to support themselves. Moreover, those business people also will not spend sufficient money to establish useful health care and pension programs.

Rob said...

You grow a whole generation funded by the welfare state, convince them they have no responsibility an the state will care for them, pay for them, and excuse them for their crimes. Then the money runs out and they have to fend for themselves a little.

With no clue on how to survive in a civilised society (get a job, pay your own way) they decide to riot?

Scum, the lot of them, but a big chunk of the blame can be put directly on Gordon Brown.

Anonymous said...

Looting 'fuelled by social exclusion'

Young looters from poor estates have nothing to lose and no reason to obey social norms, say experts


The me-me-me-religion plays a role.


problem is though rob, that even if you're right, pull the rug of support away from that class overnight and it'll collapse into chaos. meanwhile, are you saying that they are iredeemably scum by nature, or that society has made them that way? and how do you suggest we can transition those people into surviving in "a civilised society"...?

seems a tad unfair to lay the blame at gordon brown's door. for what it's worth i can't help thinking that we live in an overly materialistic consumeristic society, where we fetishise wealth and possessions and the devil takes the hindmost. when our politicians openly fiddle their expenses, newspapers are corrupt, with senior police officers seemingly in their pockets, it's not just the lower levels of society that demonstrate levels of scummy behaviour. there's a lot that's rotten with our society, from the top down.

and also a lot that's very good - eg the spontaneous clean-ups and so much of the great work that goes on unreported in troubled communities up and down the country.