Posted: August 11, 2011 in England

I do not believe that this drift into anarchy can only be prevented by a collapse into totalitarianism.

Time and time again in history ordinary people have risen up to remove far worse menaces than these pathetic gangs of feral bullies.

During the last couple of days we have seen a small glimmer of hope amid the destruction of property, and the tragic loss of life. Not from the politicians blustering on about things that in reality will never be done, but ordinary people rising above the chaos to show concern for their fellow human beings and their cities.

The roll of honour includes Tariq Jahan, whose son Haroon, was killed during the disturbances in Birmingham, managing to calm the situation and begging his community not to exact revenge for his tragic loss. The armies of volunteers, of all ages, cleaning up the damage with brooms, and rubbish bags,  showing their devotion to their areas. The exhausted policemen and women who along with the fire service, and ambulance service, have been working in harms way over the past few days. And the hundreds of thousands of people struggling to go to work, and back home, in very difficult circumstances. Let us hope we can turn our society around, and make it clear that we the people, that silent and ignored majority, have had enough.  

We are not interested in fighting in Libya and Afghanistan, or the phone hacking of ‘celebrities’ phones, or even Ruritanian style Royal Weddings, all we want is our society repaired, and right now. 

  1. Maxine says:

    Indeed, but we should also bear in mind that there is lots of stupid media hype going on about all this. The vast majority of England is untouched by these hooligans, and in the areas of London at least where there are riots it seems the numbers are not great and there is evidence that these criminals are the same ones moving from area to area. I hope they do not enjoy any oxygen of publicity.
    These thugs should be put in prisons with no TVs (but books) and any who are under 18, their parents should be held liable. What sort of upbringing are some of these kids getting? There are plenty of people without much money who bring up children decently, that is no excuse. Also there are plenty of people who had hard childhoods themselves who bring their children up decently, so no excuse there either.

  2. Norman says:

    Maxine, I totally agree.
    It makes my blood boil……Most of the crew managing this crisis don’t give me any confidence. Apart from possibly the Chief Constable of Manchester they seem totally out of their depth.

  3. kathy d. says:

    Not living there, but from afar and reading Reuters and AP dispatches, the Guardian online and the New York Times, the economic and unemployment situations have been brought up as underlying problems of this situation, that many young people have no jobs, no purpose, no funds and absolutely no future. And that there is enormous frustration due to all of that. Reuters had quite an illuminating press statement on this a few days ago.

    From afar I agree with your last paragraph, but I would think that the economic problems have to be remedied or else this will just keep festering, the jobs and education issues and needs. Many have no hope and see no future for themselves. If education and jobs are taken away, what are they to do with their lives?

    These situations have happened in the States but there have always been real reasons that triggered them — economic, political or social.

    Political repression doesn’t solve anything in the long run and it also starts encroaching on a much wider swatch of people, so that, for instance in my city young people are stopped-and-frisked by the tens of thousands, followed, arrested for no reasons. Many have never been arrested nor committed a crime. I’ve seen this on my block with people I have known being followed, questioned; they’re coming home from work. This all keeps the civil liberties groups quite busy.

    Tariq Jahan seems like a very good and caring person and so, too, those who pitched in and cleaned up. Maybe Jahan and a lot of cooler and caring minds can come together and try to figure out what to do — and not repression — but some solutions. Of course the economic situation does not help at all.

  4. Maxine says:

    Kathy, it turns out that many of the young people arrested are not poor or underprivileged, one girl had a private school education and lives in big house with a plasma TV in her bedroom and in her parents’ living room – she stole a TV. One 11 year old boy stole a £50 waste paper bin from Debenhams. A school assitant, someone working on the 2012 Olympics, a trainee social worker – these are examples of the people arrested and charged. Today I heard from a friend whose friend lives in a leafy street in croydon. All the neighbours are away on hol so lots of car parkign spaces. The other day the road filled up with cars, she coudl not understand why. Then, later, person after person appeared, laden with stolen goods, loaded up into cars and drove off with it. (She took photos of reg nos and faces when hoods came off, and sent to police).

    I don’t care how rich or poor you are, you can have a good moral sense even at primary school age. Do not blame society for the actions of these stupid hooligan looters. And please note that there are far, far more people clearing up and helping those affected, compared with the no of looters in the first place. And 99.9 per cent of the country is totally unaffected by this.

  5. Norman says:

    Well said, Maxine.

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