I can remember the 1981 riots which also coincided with the arrival of a new Conservative government and new stringent financial strictures. I can remember Thatcher claiming that it was alright to be greedy but even she didn’t go so far as to hug a hoodie as Cameron once said we should do. Not that he’d say that now after having to cut short his Tuscan holiday to sort out 3 days of rioting in London and elsewhere. But he did. And he said: “Because the fact is that the hoodie is a response to a problem, not a problem in itself.” I wonder if he’ll act upon his admonition?
I had Esme with me all day yesterday and we went up the High Road looking for lunch to find everything shuttered up and people in a panic. Loughton was to be one of the next “hit” spots. Can’t think why. Nowadays it is all nightclubs, restaurants and tanning shops, nail bars and hair-dressers. The discerning youth call it “Fake Valley”. But, by evening, the heavy police presence in London, and their declared determination not to stand and watch, seemed to have calmed things down. We heard the clatter of mounted police riding through the town later in the night and someone caught the image for Twitter.
We were all checking the news on twitter and getting more immediate information than the radio or tv could provide. But so were the rioters. Events move so quickly nowadays.
There were incidents of banks and shops being smashed and burnt around where Danae and Nathan, Louisa and Julian and Thom live and work. Thom, particularly, is shocked about the Sony depot at Enfield being torched (we could see the plume of black smoke from Loughton and soot and ash fell all day) as that was the main depository of DVDs in the UK and marketing films is his business.
It was fun reading the overseas reactions to our problems. I specially liked Iran’s press urging restraint and dialogue rather than force and a need to respect the civil liberties and human rights of the ‘demonstrators’. Schadenfreude. But, hopefully, the belated reaction of the government and police will now prevail, though I fear the country still has a deeper malaise to work through.
I know the scum pillaging and looting are just parasites but they are a manifestation of society’s unhappiness at the way that bankers have dumped us in a horrendous financial mess that our corrupt politicians, corrupt police and corrupt press are too gutless to tackle. Cameron now says the hoodies are “sick” but what made them ill? Perhaps its their mums and dads whose apathy has allowed the bankers, politicians, police and press to continue their rapacious exploitation.
Postscript: There is a good article on this subject in the Guardian by Russell Brand.
There is also a good clue by Paul in the same paper: 23d “Banker’s daily crime?” (5)