People say there aren't any political dimensions to these riots, but it's worth noting that we only have civil unrest in the UK when the Tories are in power. A reaction, I think, from the bottom of society to the Tories more callous and authoritarian approach to government. And if you think that by writing this, that I'm in support of people who burn down local businesses, then you're quite wrong.
The big difference between Labour and the Tories is that the current government are monetarist fundamentalists with no social or moral responsibility. The severe cuts, which have been like nothing in modern times, have thrust the knife deep into the poorest and most vulnerable in society. I work on the front line in health with elderly people, who suffer dementia, where we've had staff cuts beyond the point where it's safe. I see things first hand. So don't tell me the last government was as bad as this one.
I've seen a few calls for the military to get involved in the rioting. How is that supposed to help? Any time soldiers are used in civil disturbances, it usually ends with unarmed civilians being shot. Soldiers aren't trained for this kind of work. This isn't Syria. Is this really what we should be aspiring to? Be careful what you wish for.
How about creating an economy with jobs, and making it easy and cheap to get an education, instead. It worked well enough in the past. Any long-term solution to society's problems that doesn't involve stopping the financial sector sucking the life out of the rest of us, doesn't interest me.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
A Local's Take on the London Riots