There are a number of worrying headlines doing the rounds across Media land today.
– The incessant need by Tory bloggers to point out that opportunism is at the heart of these riots, is not only hopelessly narrow minded, reflecting their narrow minded approach to economic policy; it is not only a defence mechanism to try to persuade us that their economic violence and public service looting is actually quite wonderful and couldn’t possibly cause social tension; it is also disastrously hypocritical. Diane Abbott, in her article for the Telegraph, said:
As was the case 26 years ago, nothing excuses violence. There is no doubt that all types of mindless thugs latched on to the disturbances. There were also hours of looting at Wood Green and Tottenham Hale, both shopping centres I know well.
Angie Bray, Tory MP, then released a statement in which she said:
For senior Labour politicians to use cuts as an excuse for the kind of criminality we have seen over the last few days is unacceptable, irresponsible, and completely wrong. Londoners who have seen their homes and businesses destroyed expect more from local leaders.
– Another massive bout of ignorance, and refusal to accept that economic shock will always lead to social violence. It is a far more eloquent way to say: “Look, why would you riot? You don’t need Sure Start or any Youth Services……hold on, I just need to finish my Cocktail by the pool in the Caribbean……anyway, yeah, what is your problem? So you can’t afford to live in London any more. Stop your complaining and just fall further into deprivation with a sense of uselessness in silence, peasants, and come and clean my moat.” To this day, I am aghast as to why people think voting Tory is a good idea. They are dangerous. It is that simple.
Bray in her statement refused to print the piece of Abbots article that I just printed above, and only chose to include this part of Abbotts article:
Just as with the original riots, parts of the community seem to have been a tinder box waiting to explode. Haringey Council has lost £41m from its budget and has cut youth services by 75 per cent. The abolition of the education maintenance allowance hit Haringey hard, and thousands of young people at college depended on it. Again none of these things are reasons for rioting and looting. But with these and other cuts in jobs and services, it is difficult to see how areas like Tottenham can become less flammable soon.
– As far as I can see this is a fantastic point and absolutely relevant. Pretty much identical to argument I set out in my blog yesterday. Instead of Bray simply saying it’s “irresponsible and wrong“, she should refute the argument Abbot is making, with reason. Making empty statements as Bray did, simply highlights the weakness of the Tory argument.
The Tories then went on to say that Abbot was trying to have it both ways. That claiming violence is wrong, whilst suggesting cuts provoked violence, is opportunistic in itself. In this, they fail to understand Abbots argument, or the argument I tried to make yesterday. The point is, the deep austerity and the lack of opportunity coupled with fear that one is not secure in a job or a home, and the fact that we’ve had it pelted into our skulls for decades that owning shit that we do not need is the measure of what makes a person “somebody”, all adds to an atmosphere that makes rioting inevitable. The rioters may be opportunistic, and they may have absolutely no idea of the inner political and economic workings that have lead them down that violent and dangerous path, but the atmosphere that they have grown up under and live under every day is very much the underlying political issue, and it has been exaggerated a hundred fold by this current Government. The rioters are years away from the level of destruction forced on the UK by our financial sector. But if the Government’s handling of that can be anything to go by, I expect the rioters will be given massive pay offs and an over inflated bonus for the destructive nature. The Tories failure to comprehend the deeper social context of the rioting, is their downfall, and one of the many many reasons I would rather throw myself in front of a speeding train, than vote Tory. Labour’s refusal to acknowledge a growing discontented and disenfranchised lower class who see no future and are politically unrepresented because their traditional Labour Party is trying to constantly appeal to a Middle Class, caused the lower class to become easy prey for the BNP and EDL. The economic and social climate, lack of opportunity, crap low paid jobs that were never secure, caused a climate in which the Far Right thrived, a Far Right that organised violence rather than the disorganised violence we see with the rioting, but essentially the economic factors are the same. It is absolutely a class issue.
How many times must we have to sit and take the Tory Party line that everyone else is to blame but them. That it’s ludicrous to blame them. That their policies of slash everything could not possibly have a detrimental affect on the social fabric of England. The Miners were to blame. The Unions were to blame. Labour were to blame. Gay people were to blame. Immigrants were to blame. The EU was to blame. Students were to blame. And in the case of Oliver Letwin, anyone from Sheffield who wants a holiday is to blame. Must we wait until the next Tory Government causes the exact same social unrest due to economic violence and public sector looting, as this lot have done? Or like the Thatcher lot before them had done? How many times are we going to accept that it might just all be a coincidence? There has to be a strong resistance to the Right Winged narrative, because it’s becoming so absurd as to almost be laughable now. The are the nasty Party of Eton, that rules for Eton, by Eton, deflecting the blame onto everything and anyone else other than themselves.
Archer’s books are still pretty popular. Over here in Australia, I see them everywhere. Ash and I stayed in a lovely little boat house in Tasmania last year, in the middle of nowhere overlooking a beautiful lake with Mount Wellington rising above the horizon. In the little bookshelf underneath the TV, was an Archer book. Yet I think I speak not just for Londoners, but the entire Country, when I say that London got off lightly with Boris. If things had been a little bit different, Jeffrey Archer could now be Mayor London. That is a scary thought. I doubt he’d win if he ran again, the way Boris has not handled the riots shows his complete disinterest in the plight of those who don’t live and work in Canary Wharf. Today in fact, giving a speech in London, whilst being the victim of constant heckling from people who had to remain in their homes scared to death, whilst the Mayor was on holiday refusing to come home, Boris said that people shouldn’t listen to those claiming there are sociological and economical reasons for these riots. The typical Tory attitude. Employ economic violence on those less fortunate, and then wash your hands of the consequences. One can only imagine how much worse that particular speech would have been had the pathological liar, Jeffrey Archer been giving it.
– Roger Helmer MEP is an idiot. He has been an idiot for a very long time. He is a throw back to the Euro sceptic Tories of the 1980s, who not only dislike the idea of joining a single currency, but want us absolutely out of Europe in every way. People like Helmer has this odd sense of British superiority as nostalgia from the days of Empire, whilst the rest of the World has moved on. With China, Brazil and India growing every second of every day, how he expects a tiny nation like Britain to compete, without being integrated in Europe is something he doesn’t elaborate on.
As well as calling for people to be shot, Helmer has also said that women who are date raped:
“surely shares a part of the responsibility”.
That homophobia is a propaganda tool used by the “militant gay lobby”, that the UK would benefit from American style healthcare, and that clubbing “dumb cub” seals over the head was humane because they were pests for eating too many fish. In short, the man is categorically insane.
“Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and assembly, deteriorated in 2006. The government routinely tortures and mistreats detained dissidents, including through prolonged solitary confinement.”
– has urged caution in the UK. On this issue, I am absolutely speechless.
The Chancellor is appearing ever more insane. Blaming the snow for poor growth was one thing, but his ability to just make shit up is almost an art form now.
– I am not sure incompetency is the word. Charlie Brooker labelled Osborne as an 11 year old novelty Chancellor. I think that’s pretty much spot on. He is refusing to back from Neoliberal Tory doctrine, no matter how dangerous and wrong it is proving to be. It is isolating massive amounts of the UK community, everyone fears for their jobs and their homes.
Never trust a Tory.