London Burning

London Burning
Image: Guardian

London Burning
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.

Gig Review
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.

Book Fest
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!

Post this story to Reddit Post this story to Facebook Post this story to Del.icio.us Stumble It! Post this story to Digg
Advertisements

About Colin Galbraith

Author, poet, music lover, rabbit tamer, fake faller.
This entry was posted in Art, Edinburgh, Editorial Comment, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to London Burning

  1. WS says:

    Further proof, if needed, that there does exist an ‘underclass’, sucking the fat teet of benefit, no interest in work -just living off the state….. and they are expressing themselves in our cities now.

  2. Binny says:

    If the police are struggling to cope with this just now, heaven help them if something happens when the Olympics come next year!

    It’s an absolute disgrace, so sad

  3. If you’ve lost your job and your home and are in despair, and you go after the individual who illegally robo-signed the order to tip you out of your house, I can understand it, even if I don’t always agree. But mindless rampaging, destroying the property of people who are in the same boat as you are and didn’t do anything to you — inexcusable. Do you have the equivalent of a National Guard? Are they being called up? I hope it’s resolved soon.

  4. Debra Young says:

    Good post, Colin! It is indeed a shame and a sorrow. It takes so little for some people to shed the skin of civilization, and governments are so very clueless. It makes me sad.

Got something to say? Do it here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s