…pour on water
The usual suspects in the media and parliament queue up to condemn the ‘mindless thugs’ on a wrecking mission throughout London and seemingly elsewhere, without so much as a thought as to why we are currently witnessing a situation reminiscent of the early 1980s and, in fact, the early 1900s.
Some of the coverage, particularly from the BBC has been as shocking as we have grown to expect. A report on Sunday on the BBC’s website didn’t even mention the police shooting which sparked the initial wave of rioting until the 19th paragraph. They were too busy slating the people who reacted so angrily to the incident.
That said, let’s not pretend the majority of the rioters were hell bent on some kind of justice. No one can condone the burning of houses and attacks on innocent people and the rest of the unfortunate episodes that have made up the running soap opera of the past few days, but dismissive statements, harsh words and promises to ‘clamp down on the perpetrators’ help no one.
It’s no excuse for the behaviour, but is an explanation, to look at the social situations and economic hardships the people in these communities find themselves. The dates of previous sustained rioting are no accident. They came at times when the ruling establishment was cracking down heavily on the most needy in society, while maintaining the status quo of money flow to the top five per cent.
This current government has cast time back to those dark days that ended in Winston Churchill using the British army to oppose the very people they are meant to serve, as miners and other fellow workers manned picket lines in protest at their pathetic pay and conditions during the general strike of 1926.
Cameron and his moneyed chums haven’t physically resorted to such measures, but they have fired ideological and cripplingly metaphorical bullets at easy targets as they set about taking Britain back to Victorian times, when, as is the case today, a largely un-elected elite ruled over us.
The communities that are currently up in flames contain a large youth population with slim hopes of an honest living. Those who work hard at school and go to college find themselves unable to complete their studies because the Tories took their education maintenance allowance from them. They have no jobs to look forward to because we’re still on the cusp of a recession caused by the people Cameron and Clegg have sought to placate and even encourage.
And instead of bringing those bankers and businessmen to account, those who not only caused the financial trauma engulfing the western world, but also are best placed to pay their way towards solving such a situation, they have gone after the poor and needy, as they always do. How can anyone in their right mind actually even contemplate abolishing the 50p rate of tax in order to further the nests of the country’s richest while the rest of us suffer the harshest cuts of all time? Anyone who thinks that is fair, is in need of a heart and brain transplant.
The Tories gain nothing from helping poor people as they won’t win any elections in Manchester or Liverpool, or Tottenham. But it is also done through ignorance. Maybe, I’m paying them too high a compliment there, but surely no human being could actively go out to punish the least-prepared and least-able to take the burden, while sparing those best placed to help their fellow man?
I’d like to think it was due to the fact that the Tories and their middle class laissez faire Lib Dems cousins have no real life experience of the world those in Tottenham and Birmingham and here, in Manchester, live in. There are no Tory MPs in these areas and most of the cabinet are upper-middle class with no friends or relations in life situations that echo those currently rioting. I wish I was right, but I fear I’m not. Cuts to council budgets in these areas dwarf those in better offer boroughs of London – how is this allowed to happen?
It’s classic divide and rule. It’s classic Tory and they are witnessing the rewards as Britain burns. Those doing the burning could not be further from Marxist crusaders on a mission against capitalism, but they are only behaving in that way because a capitalist society has misguided and abused them.
People are quick to condemn those looting and setting fire to shops (and there is no justification), but they don’t ask why people would behave that way. They see nothing wrong with the capitalist society we live in brazenly encouraging individualistic, selfish, moral-free flaunting of goods. Yet they cry foul when people who can’t afford these goods by legal means, through no fault of their own, go after them in an ‘alternative’ fashion. They really don’t see their own hypocrisy. It’s the greed-ridden society we live in that has resulted in such behaviour.
An old cliche says ‘you reap what you sow’ and as London burns again tonight, it’s clear to see that the Tory capitalist ideology is once again bearing a very bitter fruit.