|Image: Glasgow City Council|
A short entry today as I have been caught between needing to do things and life things getting in the way. So now I must fly like the wind, people, fly like the wind.
How heartening was it to see all those London communities coming out in force yesterday to clean up the mess left behind by the rioters? I have to admit it restored a lot of faith I’ve lost lately over the human psyche, to see everyone pulling together to claim back their streets back and express their outrage at the rioters.
Thankfully, there were no further incidents of note last night but then there were 16,000 police officers on duty, five times the normal amount. They didn’t have that in Manchester, which had to contend with so called copy cat rioters for the best part of the evening. More homes and business destroyed; more heartache of law abiding citizens.
Jim Devine was on the television talking about why the riots would never spread to Scotland. “In 250 years,” he said, “only England has seen bouts of widespread rioting that spread through the cities. The Scots don’t have it in them.”
It’s a strange and enlightening concept, that we Scots, with one of the most violent pasts and occasionally violent presents, don’t have it in our nature to riot in our own streets. Maybe we just don’t like taking things out on our own and prefer to give out justice to those that bully us. Maybe, because we are so parochial to begin with, it’s that mentality that enshrouds us with a protective quality, to be there for each other when the shit goes down.
Take for example the wee twat that opened a Facebook page yesterday called “Let’s Start a Riot in Glasgow.” Within minutes it had been flooded by people posting messages demanding it be taken down and berating the idiot that put it there. A mirrored site was then raised called “Let’s NOT Start a Riot in Glasgow.”
Devine’s point would also back up the theory that those wee neds who end up in the papers every weekend, are only stabbing themselves with knives (generally speaking) and out with these communities, Scotland is, generally speaking, a pretty safe place to live.
Trees for Life
I totally mucked up the printing of the framed haiku for the Trees for Life charity exhibition. By the time I’d figured out the correct size and printing requirements, I’d run out of the special paper I’d bought! It wasn’t cheap either and now I have to buy more. Total. Pain. In. The. Arse.
If you’re a music fan you can still read my latest gig review of Aidan Moffat’s performance at Sierra Metro on Sunday, as art of the Edinburgh Arts Festival. Guide your browsers over to the Man in the East. Make the best of it because my next scheduled music review won’t be here until September: Toots and the Maytals at the Glasgow Academy. Sweet.
Three days left! The Edinburgh Book Festival is almost upon us and I’m hopefully going to have the second of my podcasts out before it begins. I can hardly wait for Saturday now. That first walk from Princes Street, up and along George Street towards the entrance where the white tents beckon me in, is one I enjoy immensely. Then it’s three weeks of fun and meeting people and learning and socialising (and work). Ah, yes!
Ciao for now!
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I think part of it is that the Scots are more capable of independent thought. There’s less mob mentality, in general. Even sitting around talking in the bars (outside of Festival, when everyone’s talking about life, the universe, and everything), sitting in a pub in Scotland, you hear individual opinions. Sitting in a bar in other places, you hear people parrot whatever they’ve heard on the news (and you can tell if they’re watching real news or something owned by Murdoch).
I’m curious: How exactly were they expressing outrage? From the U.S. side of the pond, it is clear that even the police were behaving in a way that perpetuates this thuggishness, not prevents it. They “might” use rubber “bullets” and water cannons? Get real!
The police were in no way to blame for any of it. They showed great restraint in not resorting to use water cannons or rubber bullets, when they were legally entitled to do so. The only charge that can be placed at the foot of the police was not getting enough support from their leadership and government, which prevented them from being able to take more action in greater numbers. The police have suffered more cutbacks than almost all of the public services and still have to do the same job.
They should be congratulated and applauded – every single one.
I suspect the coverage received in the States was beefed up and blown out of proportion by certain media networks, using it to their advantage to deflect recent criticisms and media coverage recently received that were not to their preference.
Colin, thanks for responding. I have relatives in the UK and get my news from British outlets. My point was that if the police had quashed the violence with water cannons and — dare I say it — the threat of real bullets from the first hour, then the situation would have been prevented. Police strength is especially important in a society where individual citizens are not allowed to arm themselves. As Glenn Reynolds noted at Instapundit.com, “Unlike L.A., there are no Korean shopkeepers with AR-15s to help contain the looting.”
Unfortunately the police were unable to react immediately because of a fear of inciting the riots to worsen, and also because the UK as a whole has a stand-off approach to policing (and parenting). It’s a problem that was started back in the 80s if you ask me, and now we’re seeing the result. 😦
The reason I mentioned the US media, is because one of the BBC crews (standing in shirts and trousers) could be seen reporting on the incident next to a Fox News reporter with a hard hat and bullet proof vest. You can imagine the jokes that flew around after that went out on air 😉