Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know the London Riots were something that happened in the summer of 2011. Mark Duggan got shot in Tottenham and the people erupted. From memory, it lasted for about 3 or 4 consecutive nights and ended when the government finally got around to raising our policing levels from ‘abysmally substandard’ to ‘normal’.
While I don’t condone what happened, I do think there were some important messages in those three days that, at least on the surface, our Dear Leader completely missed.
Indeed, all I remember David Cameron doing was using the words “criminality” and “robust” a lot. Boris Johnson wasn’t far behind on that front. That’s my memory of their reactions. I’d have been more impressed if one of them had said something more along the lines of “oh bugger, maybe we’ve done something seriously wrong here”.
Seriously wrong? I’ll bet.
I can’t speak for the entire younger generation, but I voted for this government and now I’m starting to question the wisdom of having done so. I voted for them because I was getting tired of the mess being made by the Labour Party (to elaborate on in a future post) and actually thought they’d start to reverse some of it. I swear that’s the last time I’ll ever be so naïve.
Don’t get me wrong. I know as well as the next guy that life in the UK was no rose garden for anyone in 2011. But when the State shoots a member of a public that’s being bled dry economically and emotionally and then make up less-than-watertight excuses to justify and gloss over their true agenda, they can’t be surprised to find they’ve thrown a spark into a tinderbox.
When we were promised a classless society, in which everyone was equal, we didn’t have in mind that the reality would be everyone oppressed to the same level of poverty. Because that’s the way things seem to be going. What we had in mind was improving our collective living standards to something comfortable. Instead, none of us have money to really live any more (unless you’re part of the top 1%). The young can’t get jobs unless they offer to work for free in unpaid internships (aka slavery). Those starting work now know their state pensions are worthless before they even go to their first interviews.
What kind of a future is this? I’m surprised the people didn’t crack sooner.
As far as I can see, the government has been very lucky. Either they quelled the riots with a high police presence, or the rioters had had enough. But either way, very little has been done to change the fundamental conditions under which the riots started. Therefore, there is just as much chance of something kicking off now, at this time of writing, as there was in 2011.
David Cameron clearly didn’t want to listen. The next voting generation had shown their wrath in the form of a dress rehearsal revolution and his response was “robust”. That’s just about all he said. But he’d better listen. As I write this, he’s got 18 months before the next general election. If he wants even a slim chance, he’d better do something to convince the people he’s on their side.