So—I doubt we will be hearing the much voiced stereotypical line: “isn’t Scotland such a violent place” from any English people in the near future.
I am this morning utterly enraged and saddened at the devastation caused to the communities affected by the substantial rioting in London since Saturday. Gangs of youths have gone on the rampage setting fire to buildings and cars, destroying property, looting, and ripping the heart out of their communities with little regard to human life, only what they can lay their hands on or destroy.
The original reason muted for this wanton destruction was the shooting of a man last Thursday in Tottenham, but with the violence spreading to various other parts of London, including Brixton, Croydon, Ealing and my beloved Camden, and not to mention other cities including Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol, it’s clear that copy-cat rioters are using the shooting and the depleted police resources as an excuse to smash up and burn homes, cars and business, and attack anyone and anything they decide.
It’s truly disgusting and it is a national (and by that I mean British) disgrace. I’ve heard some absolute cracking excuses from some of those involved using phrases like “disenfranchised”, “the forgotten generation”, “growing anger towards the police” and “no opportunities for us”. These reasons are of course utter bollocks; you don’t burn down your neighbour’s home because you can’t get a job.
An ex-Met commissioner on the BBC last night said most of these people are “jobless and don’t want jobs, are unemployable anyway and usually in these cases they are involved in some form of organised crime.” Watching the pictures late into the night, I struggled to disagree.
These people are cowards and are most definitely NOT protesters—some were too young to even know what a protest is and most couldn’t even spell the word.
What is extremely worrying about the situation is that the rioters seem to be able to go and do what they wish unchallenged. The police are struggling to reach all affected parts and where fires break out, have to protect the fire crews. But who is protecting the public?
Lesson number one to the government: stop cutting spending on the police and invest like you have always been told. In the short term, bring in the army and at the first hint of trouble, water cannon them out the street.
A big question people are asking themselves is why this has happened. I can’t answer that one but I know it has gone well past any form of protest. One thing I do know is that these people know that by and large they will get away with it. The prisons are full and we live in a nanny state.
Lesson number two for the government: the public need to feel safe, so stop being soft on offenders and hit them hard—really hard.
If it were up to me, every one of those scumbags arrested would be made to do community orders, i.e., clean up the shit they’ve caused. They would be made to face the people whose lives, homes and livelihoods they have ruined, and if they refused, a healthy jail sentence would be handed out. They would also have to sign up to two years in the military. They shouldn’t have a problem with that—it’s got loads of opportunities!
Trees for Life
I’ve left it late but I finally got around to preparing the materials needed for the framed haiku for Trees for Life charity exhibition. I nipped into Stockbridge over my lunch period yesterday and bought some quality paper, then “borrowed” a small frame from my wife’s photography studio (www.gailgalbraith.co.uk). I’ll prepare the documents for printing tomorrow, then I’ll sign, frame, photograph, and get them into Trevor Jones, the artist in charge of the project.
It wasn’t an official gig but I decided to do a write up of Aidan Moffat’s artistic expression and fusion of sound and space on Sunday. You can read it over at the Man in the East.
With only four days left until the start of the Edinburgh Book Festival, my workload is cranking up a gear. Not only does the book fest signify the creative break in my working year, but it also means that when Saturday comes, I’ll start the process of reviewing what I’ve achieved this past year. The ability to make a lot of ticks is going to be very important over the next few days.
Ciao for now!