The foot of our stairs can be a crowded place to be these days; it seems that there’s always someone, usually me, standing at it and holding on to the newel post as if it was the little that’s left of sanity in the world.
Today’s news – the one that pushed me towards the naughty step – was the po-faced statement that the closure of Tottenham’s library was to blame for the riots. ‘The kids got no place else to go, man.’ These people are insulting our intelligence. The Job Centre was ransacked and the shops looted included those with the latest trainers, the latest mobile phones, the latest electronics and the latest clothing. Now, tell me if that sounds like a community feeling hard done by because its local Library has closed.
I’ve heard it all: inequality, poverty, lack of ‘investment’, yet we’ve done nothing but ‘invest’ in these areas since the government first learned the words Brixton and Toxteth. It isn’t working. Someone’s being taken for a ride.
I hope somebody, somewhere will learn from this. It seems the police were undermanned and so reluctant to ‘engage’ with the looters. Apparently some were as young as ten and therefore posed a particular threat under the Human Rights Act. At ten, the law says you’ve only just learned right from wrong and so are on the cusp of culpability – perhaps that was why it wasn’t worth putting more police on the job. Perhaps they thought the CPS wouldn’t prosecute.
There are too many perhapses, too many what ifs and too many loopholes in our legislation. Cameron should sort it out but he won’t. It’s much easier if we all just blame Maggie Thatcher, the whore of Babylon, and promise to sort it out in some unspecified way at some unspecified time in the future after an Inquiry or a Report; perhaps the government could even offer a referendum or e-petition on the subject.
Muppets. The fact is an armed drug-dealer was confronted by armed police: he ended up dead and eight police officers ended up in hospital. There’s always an IPCC investigation under these circumstances and it would have been much better if the family, instead of announcing they were to hold a vigil outside Tottenham Police Station and demand justice “NOW”, had retained their dignity and waited, like the rest of us, instead of inciting a riot.
I am old enough to remember a time when English justice & laws weren’t arbitrary. I also remember a time when we were told that there were just as many rioters, murderers, paedophiles back in ‘the good old days’ but the press were simply more free to report now. That’s tosh, and lefty tosh at that. We’ve just had a ‘celebration’, ‘commemoration’, ‘memorial’, call it what you will, of the ’81 Brixton Riots. Monkey see, monkey do, monkey is glamorised in thirty years’ time. As I said, muppets.