Who are the Criminals? (part 2 of 2)

Mark Stone described in digital journal as a “brave reporter for sky news” was asked by a rioter if he was a journalist “No” he replied while filming the event “I live here. I am just astounded at what you are doing” . No question there then. As she continued to hide her face the girl said “We’re getting our taxes back” . Stone replied with unbiased indignation “You are getting your taxes back? What do you mean by that? She replied “cause we pay taxes innit”.

Digital Journal’s report virtually scoffs at the girl because of her response, her language, her class? But of all the comments this one deserved serious consideration? but apparently it was not a question worth considering by “brave reporter” Mark Stone. There was no excited fervour in his voice like that of reporters on the riots of the Arab spring.

Tell me a revolution that does not include what the state believes to be criminal acts and I will pay you hard cash. The high streets of Britain are the frontline of an economic scorch and burn policy and community is simply disenfranchised collateral. The consumer is consumed by their own powerlessness. Where else would the youth riot but the high street? The high street is the public face of politics to the disaffected, not newsnight. That is where rampant consumerism faces its nemesis, the enemy it created – the public and most of all the youth. Why in this environment would there not be riots.

But for those who articulate in a riot of words ( our press, our poets, our news reporters) as others riot on the streets it is our responsibility to look seriously with wisdom more than draconian condemnation. What questions arise from the unfolding events and why now? In light of news International's manipulation of hearts and minds, in light of the bankers who stole money from the working community, in light of the recent corruption at the heart of policing in the heart of community, in the light of a country in a permanent state of war not in our name, in light of lies and tribulation, in light of unemployment and recession and a lack of accountability, in light of asset stripped high streets, in this light asking questions about why these riots are occuring is to love and care for community. And this is what we need from our politicians, our police, our social services and most of all ourselves.

12 thoughts on “Who are the Criminals? (part 2 of 2)

  1. who said she was unemployed! And please write your name. Views by anonymous people are difficult to take seriously. Lemn

  2. Every revolution involves acts that are considered criminal by the state. However, not every act considered criminal by the state can be revolutionary.
    And yes, where can youth revolt but on high street? But against whom were they revolting against? Consumerism?? No chance..they were revolting against the consumerism of the few.
    Are they consumerism's enemies? Sorry, no. They are too its victims. If your act of revolution involves taking a TV set, back home, well ..
    No one denies the issues here. But surely, we've got to draw some lines?

  3. I agree.
    We should be careful about comparing this to the arab spring.
    The main drive of that revolutionary wave wasn't manifested in destruction, violence and looting. The collective consciousness had turned on a dime, gathering together, their power in numbers was enough of a statement in itself.
    The situation in England in many ways seems to be the opposite. It may have been sparked by righteous indignation, but it appears to have become merely individuals shopping hard. Its easier to relate to looting when the starving steal food, but this is merely the accumulation of more stuff. More goods to entertain, parade around in, or sell for profit.
    Perhaps many of those smashing up british cities couldn't articulate why they're doing what they're doing, they don't need to. There's a long line of people waiting to do that for them, either condemning or condoning.
    In contrast Vox pops from Tahrir square revealed any random there knew exactly what they were doing and why. They risked all they had, whilst people here grab all they can carry.
    Much respect, Sam Sapin.

  4. Lemn you've finally said what I have yet to hear any other “commentator” with a public profile, say, the truth! My god I've felt like rioting long before this happened, who hasn't felt a sense of impotent rage and been sickened by the immorality of our governments, allowing the money markets to run amock and making the poor and disenfranchised pay for the damage, waging war abroad, committing mass murder and occupation on the basis of lying to parliament and the country, our leaders behaviour is criminal it is as though we live under occupation by corporations and the politicians are their protectors, creating a facade of democracy and decency whilst shafting the country.
    It is astounding that the politicians assisted the banks in doing a bank job on the country! How ciminal can you get? And clearly iit is the poor and disenfranchised who are being made to pay, punished for being poor as front line services are demolished and snatched away. Before the immorailtiy of the economic crisis came the degrading Invasion of Iraq, a grotesque act of brutality wreaking havoc there and making a hell on earth of a country that had already suffered ten years of sanctions. At the time I felt it sent a horrific statement to the youth that might wins over right, violence and killing is the way to get things done in the world, lo and behold that year and the next teenagers went out no holds barred stabbing one another and shooting, life is cheap after all as advocated by our leaders, and violence settles scores, gets things done.
    Now the youth are out and doing smash and grabs and venting their fury at inheriting such a debauched and depressed country, there is no respectable rule of law either from the government or the police so why should the youth be expected to behave? It is purile nonsense.
    As for youth targetting shops and stealing all they can, any suprise there? Rampant consumerism is all nowadays, we are bombarded with advertising to the point of toxicity, like addicts with senses numbed, buying power and owning goods carries a potent sense of status, the mark of belonging in a society that has all but lost it's sense of identity and direction, after all, as our “dear”leader Margaret Thatcher leader once said “There is no such thing as society there are only individuals”
    and so it came to pass.

  5. All this is undeniably a major sign that things are not right, but it appears to be mainly driven by greed and not necessarily well directed anger. No profound statement is being made. For example if they were breaking into major high street shops, pulling out consumer goods and destroying them that would be something. By just stealing at will, menacing innocent people and destroying independent businesses they seem to represent an unfortunate sign of the times rather than a conscious movement.

  6. Rioting is rarely part of a larger conscious movment, it is born of disenfranchisement! It's the lava bursting up through the fault lines, base behaviour not well directed anger, the point is not to condemn it but to examine what gives rise to it. Take a look at what happens when people demonstrate legitimately in this country, the people's voices went unehard in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, and thousands were kettled and many beaten by the police when they tried to carry out non violent direct action of blocking roads rather than just marching leadenly from A to B. Recently with the student protests the police were extremely agressive if not thuggish, randomly cracking people over the head and casuing serious injury such as prolonged loss of consciousness and bleads on the brain in some cases, were they charged? Were they hell! Demonstrating has been sorely undermined bypPolice tactics of surrounding peaceful non-threatening protestors and detaining them directly on the streets (without charge for between eight to twelve hours without facilites to either remain hydrated, fed or to urinate) what humilitaion is this? What violence and intimidation, shutting down any decent dissenting voices in society by treating all demonstrators as potential violent criminals. Such tactics are themselves inherently violent and lead to reactionary responses, when legitimate anger has no where to go violence ensues.
    The disconnect here in the U.K between young people and their communities is stark, many see their personal value in terms of what they have materially, (who sends that message day after day)? In a climate that's offering less and less prospects for employment and where gaining a degree carries an obligation of enormous financial debt there is a real sense of deep frustration and disengagement. Society has become so very atomised and lacking in direction and morals, is it any wonder that some young people run amock? The deaths (both those caused by the police and those by the public) are undeniably tragic and signify how bad things are, it's a very depressing picture.
    Look back to the fairly recent history of riots up North, largely carried out by Asian youths and sparked by their anger at being harrassed and intimidated on the streets by far right youths, and look back beyond that to the eighties race riots in London, and the riots of poverty stricken Liverpool. A sign of the times is stating the bleeding obvious, what are the causes and where do we, collectively go from here those are the questions, none of us can afford to just be indignant bystnaders.

  7. I agree with your first point, thats exactly why it shouldn't be compared with the Arab spring. Watching the excellent film project on the 1981 Moss Side Riots this weekend made by a group of young people along with Reel Mcr and co, it was a real eye opener. In 81 the rioters did seem to have a much clearer picture of who they were rising up against. Its a shame that these injustices are now so murky and systematic on every level, that its hard for the youth to know where to begin directing their anger. I think the genius behind British politics is to make it all so mind numbingly boring that no one in their right mind can sustain any level of interest or engagement with any of these cheesy geezers from the same snobby schools and rich families, an army of suited clones slapping each other on the back as they construct a nice playground for them all to have a laugh in.
    ‎”if the children are not initiated into the village they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” – african proverb

  8. Sam in part one here is the mention of Arab Spring quote
    “I am in Adelaide and the images of burning and rioting are the same as the images of The Arab Spring.”
    and in part two I mentionthe Arab Spring
    “There was no excited fervour in his voice like that of reporters on the riots of the Arab spring.”
    The first quote is my experience here in Adelaide and the second questions the impartiality of the reporter.

  9. fair enough lemn! in other news:
    Gerald Kaufman (£43,564 expenses including 4 grapefruit bowls at £540) 'I condemn the naked greed of these criminals and their taking advantageof their pampered and privileged opportunities ..'
    David Wilshire (£160,532 expenses including £100k on a flat 15 milesfrom main home) 'My honourable friend has hit the nail on the head. Thisis not about ideology, it's sheer naked greed…'
    John Healey £84,562 expenses including £6,194 for renovating hiskitchen) 'We should understand a little less and condemn a little more,Mr Speaker; only tough action against these feral youths will …'
    Speaker (£146,780 expenses) 'Order! Order! Members must set an example to young people! '

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