Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stood by the bus stop with a felt pen

We have moved. I was very sad to leave the flat, but I am adjusting to our new home pretty quickly and all seems to be well. There is plenty of DIY to be getting on with, none of which I can actually do, so poor old JJ has his work cut out.

In the meantime, London appears to have gone back in time to 1981. I am not very coherent on social and political matters at the best of times (echoing what The Man Who Fell Asleep just said on Twitter: "I am swinging violently between knee-jerk right-wing anger and wet-blanket, liberal empathy. I will probably settle somewhere in the middle"). However, talk of rioters being "feral rats" makes me uncomfortable.

I think we are probably reaping the whirlwind of underfunding youth services for years. A contributing factor is surely the consumer revolution that has taken place in the last fifteen years or so: we are seemingly obsessed with designer goods and gadgetry. Hence, seeing a shop, kicking the windows in and and taking the fancy stuff you want for free seems in some way justifiable.

Having said the above, I am keen not to excuse the actions of the people who have been smashing up our towns and cities (and lest we forget, killing people). Let's not forget that the riots began when a peaceful demonstration about a man's death in Tottenham was highjacked on Saturday. I was furious to see some of our town's finest heading into Kingston on the 371 with empty holdalls on Tuesday night, hoping, I suppose, for a bumper haul. I suspect the only thing they came back from town with was a thick ear, given the heavy police presence. Some of those kids couldn't have even been 13.

Where was it said that we are generally 20 years behind America? It's getting on for 20 years since the LA riots, which at least seemed to be actually about something rather than just wholesale smash and grab.

That's enough of that. Like I said, rarely coherent.



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