Covered to death? Smothered to death by the riots?
Sick of seeing joe public flobbing his gob off on youtube?
Those good-fer-nuthin’s swaggering down the streets with tins of canned gooseberries from lidl?
Sick of the aftershock coverage?
Cameron announcing that we shall cut ‘their’ benefits, throw ‘them’ out of their homes, and throw ‘them’ in the slammer for six months for stealing a bottle of water.
Yes, yes, that MUST be the answer!
An apathetic mob
Political apathy and mob mentality may well be to blame for this shocking mess, and I plan to be well away from this country when the tax bill comes in and insurance premiums soar. Though where to I don’t know. Eight euros for a Greek coffee….
I’ve worked in the social housing sector for eight years, and actually there are a lot of good parents and children out there, no matter how much they struggle to mae ends meet.
But the mac-daddy, the ‘highest’ member of a community, (and this is a social and material hierarchy), is probably going to be someone connected with crime, and may well be someone forcing other social pressures onto others.
Is respecting our elders the way forward?
I’m not sure. Older and wiser can become bitter and tainted when you can’t afford the bus fare to the old kent road.
And Darkus Howe’s ‘argument’ came across to me like a ten-year-old Mandela throwing out statements that he’d been stewing for a firey day.
I am not sure either, that the race debate is a healthy vehicle on which to search for meaning behind why thousands of kids ransacked our dishevelled streets in these doomed days of august.
And please don’t think for a minute that I condone the shooting of Mark Duggan. I am all for protest.
But the widespread looting of blameless stores and people’s homes, the misdirected anger and the terror tactics, all point to a bigger socio-economic disaster.
We don’t need no edjucation
At school, I remember being sixteen and only just getting a grasp of basic political terminologies. ‘parliament’, ‘government’. And in 1997, at 19, when we voted for Blair, it was only in the name of a glossy ego-trip. No student likes a righty.
In Australia, the voting system enforces compulsory turnout, which means a fine for those who don’t turn up to vote.
But ‘we’ are an older entity, and have had too much time to make a mess of our political system. We have diluted and diluted it, declared PR war at the cost of hard-line business, and spend wasted energy pretending to forge coalitions between parties.
So why does our vote matter?
Well, you’ve got to be in it to win it, and extremists love to vote. Those with unimaginative purpose-built bungalows in the eighties countryside, who gladly boast UKIP and BNP placards outside their gravel pits, as do the Joneses.
Women may be more inclined to vote, understanding the oppressive context which those good old suffragettes had to fight.
So – vote and we’re sorted?
But does it end when we have all turned up at the polling station, sitting back on our laurels and watching passively as the government alienates the less privileged people: turfing them out of their high-rise concrete jungles and introducing them to the genteel prison community?
No. We need to get out there.
Not hide in our overpriced townhouses – change our attitude. Open up our consciousness. Help to bridge the gap.
Educate the young, create ‘wooden spoon’ gangs who meet after school and learn how to debate and the importance of having their own opinions, that may deter them from the anarchy of sprawling riots.
And not just the kids with less life chances – more importantly, the future Etonians who will be force-fed foie gras whilst they battle with dyslexia.
We cannot pass off our have and have-not society as a recurring case of acid indigestion any more.
We’ve got to figure out how to promote a shared understanding.
And as my head rolls off its rafters as another question time exposes squeaky middle class teachers talking about gcse citizenship, I pray for television, the mass communicator, to serve up more inspirational fodder.
And the continuity announcer comes on and saves my life:
“And now for a classic film from the 1970s…..
one flew over the cuckoo’s nest”.
That’s more like it.
For if there is any smashing of windows to be done, let us all take a leaf out of chief’s book, and do it his way.
Rioters and townsfolk alike, take the initiative, and break free from the social, historical and politically limited mindsets that you have been given.
We must allow our minds to learn how to think independently, and collectively, on this green earth we’ve been given.
Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom to change.
Some of us have, some of us have not, but all of us have a conscience that we should be encouraged to express.
Let us not express this through frustrated anger and violent behaviour, or through condemning an entire race or class of people.
Let us move on ideologically.
Let us learn to learn each other, and find the answers together.