I’ve been sidetracked this evening watching rolling coverage of the disturbances across London and Birmingham. To be fair, it made watching the never-progressing, based-on-guesswork, often-repeating nature of 24-hour news a bit more interesting as we got to see a building burn to the ground in real, linear time.
I’m sure the footage will be repeated on a loop for the next few days though.
But as it’s progressed all we’ve seen is the usual bollocks – the voices of authority figures showing how utterly clueless they are, spouting off buzzwords repeatedly to get them into the national psyche and make us know what to think about the whole situation. “Opportunistic criminality”, mainly.
I don’t disagree with that, I just disagree with the notions of these people having to repeatedly tell us, having to beg these people who would never be listening to them in the first place to stop doing what they’re doing, because people like the figures spouting these catchphrases ignored the people in the riots in the first place.
I don’t even know if that makes sense.
And the next person to say “it’s a bad advert for the capital” or “it reflects badly on the country” needs a massive slap in the face. Underlying problems are a thing to be ashamed about. Flash in the pan disturbances are something that will be quelled and forgotten about.
I know the dumber among you will assume this is a defence of looting, violence and general directionless civil disobedience. It is not. It is simply a re-reaction to the endless, idiotic reactions I’ve been seeing and hearing on the news.
Yes, opportunistic smash and grabs are not a direct result of disenfranchisement. But to discount the effects of being brought up in a world where you have nothing to look forward to, where you’re demonised for simply being brought up in a certain area and economic bracket – that’s even more stupid than some fat idiot robbing a TK Maxx.
There is always an underlying cause; all you have to do is follow the trail far enough. The old saying is ‘follow the money’, but in this case it’s ‘follow the lack of money, opportunity or future’.
You can say ‘ask those on the street what they’re “protesting” and they won’t know what to tell you’. I agree. But if these people were brought up in an environment where they had hope, where they had a reason to belong in our big friendly society – do you think they’d be out on the streets now? If they had the upbringing you had – that I had – while we sit here commenting on Twitter and not rioting, do you think we’d be rioting? Ohnowait.
I’m sure I have more, but I’m done for now. I’m angry at the rioters, but I’m managing to be more angry at others.