Well for me on a personal basis, anger, fear and a little bit of pride were at the top of the list.
Anger because certain sections of society have slipped so far into their own forms of anger and despair, shouting that society has abandoned them, and that they feel that the only way they can react is to revert to the rule of the mob as they move through our cities and towns with bricks and bottles in their hands pillaging and destroying like a horde of Vikings of old. But, was it the state apparatus who they say has abandoned them that they looted and destroyed, No, it was people like themselves who suffered, but, with one small and significant difference between them.
The people who they attacked were the indigenous small business owner, people like them who came from poor backgrounds and even some with as poor an education as they, who were the main targets of these imbeciles. Immigrants, who came to this country with nothing and who also did not want to claim benefits from the state that took them in. Both groups tied together with the desire to make good for themselves and succeed in life. People who grew up whether in this country or from somewhere else in the world but have chosen to make, 'These Green and Pleasant Land's' be just that, somewhere where they can work hard and reap the rewards for their efforts and ingenuity of managing to get out of the poverty trap that the rioters say that they are trapped in. They, unlike the rioters decided to not let society tell them they can't be achievers because they came from a socially deprived neighbourhood or country and that it is their lot in life to suffer.
Fear as we received news from our son on Monday night that the pub he runs successfully in the East End of London had just had bricks thrown through his main bar window. Anger, with a hint of Pride, but mostly anger that he remained in the bar to defend what he has worked so hard to build up for himself from around a £20,000 a year turnover to around a £500,000.00 turnover in the space of 4 years.
But what else have we learned from the last week, well, that has been what every commentator on the tv has been asking of everyone they have been interviewing, with the additional question, what caused it? I think these questions are going to be getting asked for a long time to come and while I have no answers to those questions I do have thoughts about them. My thoughts and suppositions may not be based on quantifiable or even anecdotal evidence and they may not even be presented as eloquently as some have presented theirs, but then I am only a poorly educated granddad who meanders through this life and 'These green and Pleasant Lands' in many ways, just like the rioters, in that I am trying to survive.
I was not gifted into this world from well to do parents living in financial security or comfort. I did not attend a private school where the ratio of teachers to pupils allows the teachers to spend time with each pupil encouraging and cajoling them to do better, to work harder and to learn the basics in grammar, spelling and numeracy. I was not in a single parent family, although my father was pretty much an alcoholic and was either away from home 'working' or he was just gone, more often than not.
I did not have iPods, or iPhones, or game boys, or x-boxes, or fancy trainers and yes these things did not exist when I was a kid, but there was other things that we were just as envious of back then and we were envious when we saw other kids going off on holiday, or had the newest range of clothing, or who could afford to go out for meals and day trips or whose parents had a car, or a colour tv, god yes we were envious but we didn't go on a rampage to destroy our local shops and attempt to murder people who were sitting in their homes above those shops oblivious to the danger they were being put in by these mindless lunatics.
My point is, and this is one of the saddest and dispiriting facts about this whole situation in that not much has changed from when I was a kid in the 60's and nearly 50 years on! So with that fact in mind I suppose one of the above questions can then be simply answered. What caused it? Social injustice and the inability of politicians to recognise that sections of society do feel that they belong to an underclass with no voice, and from the politicians point of view whether it was back in the 60's, 70's, 80's 90's or the noughties as they have been termed, those (me) people don't matter because in the main they don't vote and so we just need to ignore them and they will continue to take the shit heaped upon them!
Told you this wasn't going to be very eloquent. But all of that does not excuse or justify those who did what they did last week. Allegedly it all started over the shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham on the previous Thursday. I don't believe that. Sure, I believe that the Police must be subject to the most rigorous of investigations any time they shoot someone and a large number of people believe that when these investigations take place that they are nothing more than a continued cover up as no police officers have every been charged after shooting anyone and according to the stringent voices out there, that can only mean one thing, that the police have got away with it again. (see) shot dead by police-30, officers convicted-0
I wrote a blog earlier this month and before the riots took place where I asked, Parenting in a modern society, has society lost its way? Now in that blog I wrote:
Let's face it, and no one seems able or prepared to say it outright, because of the absolute stink it will cause, but if we were to look at the problems in almost any society today and I do mean any society not just 'democratic' or westernised societies, who are the biggest burden on the states and who causes the most problem for the states and the middle classes: Bingo, well done if you answered, "it is clearly the NO INCOME or LOW INCOME families the have nots if you will, and their poorly educated children that are bringing every country in the world to its economic knees!"
Why is that (?), well it's simple really, take a look around you, that's if you are not substantially well of that is, and what do you see? You probably see hundreds of people every single day of your lives who are good for nothing layabouts, who live of state benefits, and I accept that there are people who do but who do not want to, but a large proportion of them are feckless b*****ds who will not go out and find a job and they spend their days drinking booze, taking drugs, smoking fags, driving cars and going at it like the proverbial bunny rabbit and who are breeding out of control.Now I really don't know if that is the answer to all our woes but what I do know is that even if the brightest brains on the planet were to look at the problems of society and say, 'yes we have created an underclass and we need to do something about it and one of the ways to give us time to do this is to ensure that we do stop mass procreation' no one will ever be brave enough to implement it. We have, as I believe, created generation after generation of underclass peoples who are born into families who do not have the will or the where with all to even believe that they can ever be anything but worthless objects in a modern society. But there is nothing modern about it. One definition of 'Modern' is " somebody living in the present period, especially somebody whose tastes and attitudes are regarded as nontraditional or strikingly new" These attitudes are not strikingly new they are strikingly old, they are in the past they belong in the past but the dinosaurs old and young, generation after generation who pervade politics of all 'Modern' nations have singularly failed to address these old problems that then become cyclical and 'new'. Why is that?
And who is paying for this? You and I, the people who do go out to work and pay our taxes so that these people can continue to live of the fat of the land that we through hard work are trying to build on to sustain us in our old age, but we can't and wont get any sustenance from the state because it has already been given to these people. And the cycle is self repetitive as their broods of children are brought up in these houses, I will not call them homes, because a home to me is where a family lives, loves, cries and grows together and sometimes they fight, but that is in the the nature of humans, so it should be embraced as part of the whole.
So instead of looking at Lower Income families and getting them to attend Parenting Classes, here is an idea, that I am sure will be truly obnoxious to some, but I think has merit, why don't we go down the road of mass sterilisation, we could introduce it like fluoride, into the water system and every one would be made sterile, one step further than the Chinese with their law of 1 child per family!
In another Blog An Open response to... I say:
From the very first day of the welfare state we have been heading towards these days of social unrest.*Although one, subsequently was, but that was an aberration within an aberration I fear.
We have for the last 40 years been telling a section of society that you do not need to take care of yourself, you do not need a job, you do not need to pay rent. We, the state will do it for you and it will be funded by people in work!
It is a great concept, the welfare state, and there will always be people who do need assistance through life, but what we did, was make it the norm where we have got to the point where lazy feckless gits, like those who are rioting have got to the point where they truly and actually believe that every single thing in life should be given to them for free, and maybe it will one day, whether or not they are actually capable of finding a job and getting paid for it and to be able to go and purchase everything like the rest of us
We have generations of families who have seen their parents and grandparents, sitting at home because they have rolled out one excuse after another as to why they should not work and we have given them handouts to enable them to buy their drugs and their booze and run their cars! This is borne out by the fact that while the papers may keep referring to 'youths' the rest of us are watching the images and seeing that it is not wholly this section of the populace who are out there. I nearly said section of the community, but they are as far removed from being a part of a community as ET. But we do know, fact, that a large number of youths are out there because there feckless parents don't give a shit about them and they were born probably and only as a means to get an additional cash bonus through the child benefit system and the parents, do not give one toss where they are or what they are doing at any time of the day or night!
And in that condition they have learned that they have no need to respect the state or their neighbours. And so when the payouts are reduced, or cut, what do they resort to, mindless thuggery. It is not aimed at authority or the state persay, how many town halls were attacked, how many police stations were attacked. I can't see any reports saying any were.* No it was shops and mostly little shops, one man and one woman enterprises that suffer at the hands of these thugs Including my own son who had bricks thrown through his bar windows last night.
Another thing that is making me angry is the news yesterday that Prime Minister Cameron is calling for those involved in the riots to be punished and punished severely and one of the ways to do this is to throw whole families out onto the street, if one of them was found and caught and charged and convicted of taking part in the riots. Wandsworth Council has already latched on to this and issued proceedings against a mother and her children (and I do not know their circumstances and whether they fall into my feckless category or not) but even if they do is this the right road to go down. first_rioter_given_eviction_notice
We have parents queuing up today who tell us they are afraid of their children because they do not respect them and one of the reasons for this is the possibility that the 'bleeding heart brigade' took away the rights of the parent, the teacher and the local bobby to chastise children. We told children at every opportunity that they have rights, and they do, like the rest of us, but in taking away the ability of a parent to give their child a hard smack on the bottom for disobeying them, or by grounding them, for fear that the child would report them to the local authority with the full weight of the law being brought to bear on them has surely contributed to the lack of respect shown to parents, the neighbourhood, the country and authority in general!
We know from the images and reports also that it was not just the children of 'worthless stay at home' families that were involved in the rioting and looting. No, it was the School teaching assistant, the social worker and the architect and I have no idea what that says about society, but if I were I judge every single one of them would go to prison and Kenneth Clarke and the rest of them can go to hell over that one, and these people who are convicted and are in jobs, should suffer more ate hands of justice, than the 'feckless' ones, but it probably wont happen.
I was sitting on a train shortly after Clarke announced his ridiculous, now curtailed, plans to reduce the numbers in prison and to reduce the numbers being sent to prison. There was a couple of teenagers on the train sitting opposite me and they were brazenly discussing their plans for the day which included being on the train without a ticket, heading off to Southend and "gonna do a bit of robbin and smashin". They all laughed at this and one actually mentioned Clarke's speech from the previous evening commenting, "and it'll be be O.K. cos the Tories wont send us to jail". This is the message we have been sending to these people for years. That it is O.K. to exclude yourself from society, because no matter what you do, the outcome, no matter how bad you have made other people's lives, you will get a short holiday and be let out for good behaviour no matter how 'naughty' you have been.
It is an old cliché, but it is true, politicians do not understand the real world. Whether it is our own or in other countries they have no idea. They all have their fingers in the pie, but that's O.K. Because they are politicians. I think I am correct in stating that if an MP is convicted of a crime, he cannot then sit in Parliament. But that is not the same for a favourite of a Prime Minister or a favourite of a friend of a friend of a Prime Minister or one who has contributed heavily to party funds and is elevated by a Prime Minster to the House of Lords. They can commit a crime and go straight back, after serving their very lenient sentence, into the House and reclaim their attendance allowance and multitude of benefits, what kind of message is in there for the ordinary and downtrodden people who choose, wrongly, to then go on a riot?
Bankers and Politicians, who should have been looking after our interests, plunge us into economic melt down with their underhanded and in some instances, criminal practices, and we are told we must bail them out of this position. We must put up the money, that we haven't got, we must pay higher taxes, that we cannot afford. And it goes on and on day in day out and all of this is played out on 42" TV screens, nicked or otherwise for all to see.
So why is it a surprise when the pressure cooker lid blows off. The pressure has been building for over 40 years and maybe we will not be able to put it back on. And it is just not here. I understand that the city of Philadelphia last night imposed a curfew for everyone under the age of 18 from 9 PM Friday night until Saturday Morning and the same thing will be imposed on Saturday, this because youths REGULARLY initiate Flash Mobs via their smart phones see, Curfew
Well, those are just some of my thoughts, but what do you think? I could go on and on on this subject, but much like a politician, I am getting bored with it and just wish it would all go away, but it won't I fear it will only get worse and of course just to instil even less confidence in us we are now seeing the open hostility between those who govern us and those who mange our police forces as the war of words of who did what, when and why. But of course all of that then pushes the problems above on to the back burners, because the political in fighting is much more
important than the rioting and its causes and solutions............... or so it seems.
Best Wishes and please stay safe