Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London riots - the reason why...

Like Columbo after asking "one more thing' or Sherlock Holmes standing up after his third pipe Richie Littlejohn has cut through the smoke of burning furniture and the fog of looting to nail down the root cause of the madness that's engulfed the country over the last few days.

Unfortunately he's hidden this pearl of wisdom in an enigma of random thoughts each purporting to have some vague link to the last one. It's like reading the notes from a nutjob's word association test.

It seems to all stem back to an Ikea opening that went wrong in 2005. This is obvious because it's just down the road from where the fighting kicked off and therefore there must be people who got a bit pushy for a cheap occasional table involved in trying to burn down Tottenham. This angry shopper theory is much more likely than there being a link to the riots that actually occurred in Tottenham in 1985. The riots that were probably attended by the parents of today's looters who told stories about their night of notoriety - their one big night where they mattered and people sat up and paid attention to them.

Or maybe not. Dick explains how it might actually be down to racism - not the BNP type that he hates so much but the Turkish or Albanian on Black racism - brown on black - which shows they're as bad as the BNP themselves. Then he goes on to explain how it's down to unemployment, or really it's benefit scroungers who don't want to work like the upstanding Polish who come over here willing to work and in no way stealing our, erm, shops.

Or it could be flooding deprived areas with money instead of razing them to the ground, or a culture of greed or spiritual poverty or magic for all he knows. He doesn't care what the cause is really, in fact it's an exciting time for him. This is the day he's been waiting for to show the people he's right, we really are going to hell in a handcart.

Sniff these...
What's obvious to most people is that the violence has nothing to do with the shooting of drug dealer Mark Duggan. This incident was the catalyst that many bored and greedy kids were searching for in order to add a little excitement into their empty lives. Lives that normally revolve around getting caned and finding excuses to have beef with other no-marks. People who want to be rich but don't want to start by cooking fries in McDonalds. People who've realised you don't need to? The first night of violence showed that if you took a bit of a risk you could get away with plasma TVs and crap trainers for free; the coppers couldn't keep up with it all. Isn't that what life's about? Taking risks to make cash, everybody has the right to be rich, take what you want - not what you need. Just because you didn't know or care what was happening when you were at school that's no reason you shouldn't be successful. Setting up a small business giving local people what they want - crack or hookers - gets you the cars and cash and you never have to go near a name badge or mop.

The Broadwater farm riots of the 80s were provoked by social inequality, poverty and racism, they were an expression of anger and a desire for revenge against sleights both real and imagined. The riots of 2011 haven't been provoked by anything political or social they're an expression of a desire to have a laugh, be a big man and get whatever you want.

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