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The London Riots – Rebels without a cause

By Dark Politricks

I just watched a BBC 3 young persons questions time dedicated to questions surrounding the recent UK Riots that started off when a young man, Mark Duggan, was shot dead by the police in Tottenham and then spread like wildfire across the country.

One of the biggest criticisms levelled against our hypocritical politicians regarding the riots is that there is no limit to the level they are prepared to lecture the rest of us about the causes of the riots attributing them all to greed, gang culture and pure criminality whilst ignoring serious underlying social problems.

This young persons question time was a breath of fresh air as it not only revealed the wide range of opinions around the causes of the riots but also how the youth of this country are intelligent enough to understand that not only were the physical acts of vandalism and criminal damage wrong but that they could see beyond the buzzwords and catchphrases that spews out of politicians mouths. In fact some of the panel members had a good range of views regarding the causes of the criminal onslaught and they didn’t all try and pin the blame as many politicians have on pure greed and thuggery.

Before I get slammed on the blogosphere as a rioter apologist let’s get one thing straight. Burning down your community and attacking your own people is both wrong and stupid. There are so many reasons to get angry about today’s society at the moment that using the death of a supposed drug dealer as an excuse to riot across the country is a waste to the say the least.

Let’s get another thing straight. The police could have stopped the riots if they really wanted to. We have been inundated with stories about small groups of policemen holding off large gangs of rioters who ran away like scared kids as soon as they were charged at by the old bill.

The fact that the police chose to stand by and watch for the first nights suggests other motives behind their planned response. People have suggested existing criminal charges against police brutality from previous demonstrations as the prime cause but this stand down  order could have been the perfect opportunity to allow the new ConLib government to water down their pro-civil liberty agenda.

When the papers are full of CCTV pictures of rioters and the cameras are claimed to be the saviour in catching these people then anyone claiming the reduction of this plight of surveillance would cause the end of the world is going to have a lot of support from people stupid enough to believe more surveillance is the answer to all our criminal problems.

In most Middle Class, Daily Mail readers minds the rioters were just a bunch of greedy criminals who saw an opportunity to gather free stuff and jumped at it.

In many cases they are right. The stupidity of some of the rioters knows no bounds. Do they not realise we live in a surveillance society in which CCTV cameras watch our every move and every phone call, text message and Facebook wall is analysed by GCHQ, ECHELON and any other number of high tech computer driven intelligence gatherers.

Putting pictures of yourself along with all your stolen loot up on Facebook is not going to lead to any kind of kudos it’s only only going to lead to a jail sentence.

When the Police post messages on Twitter and Facebooks groups dedicated to starting riots saying they are going to arrest you and you then post pictures of yourself kicking in shop windows or showing off your new pair of trainers then what do expect to get from society apart from a big kick up your arse.  However the magistrate courts running day and night currently sentencing all the people arrested so far to 6 week terms in prison are not going to solve anything.

We have already seen the first family being kicked out their council house due to their 18 year old son Daniel Sartain-Clarke being charged for violent disorder related to his allegend involvement in the riots. Not only has this person not been convicted of any crime yet but how is throwing out a family from their house going to better society as a whole.

We seem to be stuck in a topsy turvy world in which our government over the years has removed the ability from parents and schools to discipline children properly and then they wonder why these kids grow up with no respect to authority of any kind. I don’t know Daniel Sartain-Clarke but I doubt if his single mother had tried to prevent him from leaving the house during the riots he would have listened. How is punishing her for the mistakes of her son going to help anyone?

We have some of the highest rates of teenage and single parent families in the world.

We have families where grandparents are in their 30’s.

And we have children who’s only male role models are the gangsters and drug dealers who control the tower blocks they live in.

We have areas of London in which youth unemployment is above 20% and for black people over 50%.

We have had broken promises that the London 2012 Olympics would bring a multitude of jobs, apprenticeships and a wealth of opportunity to one of the most deprived parts of London. This has proved yet again to be lies told by politicians to get something they wanted and once again the only people who benefited were big international companies who employed the cheapest and often foreign labour they could find to help build the Olympic complex.

We have a government who is cutting back funding for youth services and expecting the “Big Society” to just fill the gap but hopefully this last week will serve as a warning to them how vital services that cater for young men in deprived areas like Hackney and the East End are.

With no jobs, benefits being cut, little hope of  employment in the future and only boredom to fill the day it is no wonder that many people saw the riots as a “bit of fun” to break up the monotony as well as obtain some of the consumer items they are constantly bombarded with adverts for in all directions from billboards to TV’s to their computer and phones.

When young men look around and see Banksters break the law and get billions in handouts and then continue to make huge bonues and take home million pound salaries and then get lectured by politicians who have just lived through their own period of greed. In which many including the Prime Minister abused the expenses system
for thousands of pounds and escaped any serious punishment – is it any wonder that they believe they are living in a time in which everybody is out for themselves.

Knowing that the best job many can expect to have is to serve fries behind a McDonalds counter it is no wonder that many turn to drug dealing and other criminal behaviour to obtain the types of goods they are constantly told they must own to fit into society.

Whilst individually all these problems are not excuses in anyway for pillaging your local shop added together they build a picture of the broken Britain David Cameron was going to help fix by “hugging a hoody” back when he was trying to change the image of the nasty party into an electable one.

Is it hypocritical that he was happy to give Andy Caulson a second chance but not the 23-year-old student with no previous convictions who was jailed for six months (the maximum permitted at a magistrates court) after pleading guilty to stealing bottles of water worth £3.50 from a Lidl in Brixton.

It was also shameful to see calls by politicans from all sides to shut down Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites because they believed they were being used to help plan the riots. This comes only months after our own government and Prime Minister crticised countries like Egypt and Iran for similar behaviour but on Wednesday during PM question time he was offering the same solutions he had previously criticized those countries for as being despotic.

I have no doubt the authorities in Middle Eastern countries believed the Arab Spring protests were in a similar vein to those just witnessed in the UK. And whilst we have been happy to meddle in other countries affairs because of their own violent uprisings and protests I would be interested to watch Cameron, Milliband and the Poodle Clegg respond to calls from those same countries to stop cracking down on “legitimate” protests in the same way we have been doing whenever the Iranian or Tunisian police kill someone.

You can argue about comparing the death of Mark Duggan to those killed in Egypt, Iran, Yemen or Tunisia but I have no doubt we wouldn’t accept any form of criticism for cracking down on our rioters from other countries in the same way we have responded to their own troubles.

Even Col Gaddafi believes the uprising in his country is just a band of armed thugs out to cause civil strife in the same way we see our own rioters as criminals rioting for the hell of it. Imagine if the Middle Eastern block started arming the youths on Tottenham and Hackney council estates or implemented a “no fly zone” over London flying sorties bombing Police lines to “protect” the people demonstrating their “legitimate” right to protest.

You might think this sounds far fetched and it probably is but from a far the riots have been seen as protests against the massive austerity measures and cuts in public spending implemented by the government and there have been calls to bring the Army onto the street to quell the protests as well as shutting down parts of the internet which all fit quite neatly with the worldwide pattern of civil uprisings and disobedience.

It is just a shame that our “protesters” were not protesting at all but instead releasing all their pent up anger about their social situation, police brutality, cuts in benefits, lack of job opportunities, rising food and petrol prices, higher taxes and lying politicians by ransacking electrical stores to steal the latest pair of Nike trainers and wide screen HD TV’s.

These people have so much to be angry about it is just a shame they decided to vent their anger in the wrong way and possibly at the wrong time and definitely at the wrong people.

The cuts haven’t even really hit most of society yet but when they do more and more people will be fitting the wide variety of characters and backgrounds that are currently filling up the 24 hour magistrate courts in Westminster.

The riots have been roundly criticised by most people but as of yet no real discussion about the underlying causes of the pent up anger that caused the rioters to act the way they did has been attempted.

Tonight’s Young Persons Question time was an attempt to do so and was warmly welcomed.

Our Politicians can sound tough and send thousands of people to jail for a few weeks turning the majority into even worse criminals when they come out. But until they actually look a bit deeper into the root causes of the reasons instead of branding every rioter with the same broad brush as pure greed incarnate they will be storing up trouble for the future.

If our cities can be turned into war zones over the desire for  a new pair trainers whilst at the same time hitting back at the police who are widely hated by a large section of society then just imagine what will happen if our rebels discovered a real cause worth fighting for?

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Posted in Analysis & Review, blog, Dark Politricks Articles, Protests & Civil Disobedience.

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