I have my doubts that the guy biffing a brick at a cop, or kicking in a shop window relates his behaviour to austerity cuts, closing down of youth centres, unemployment, or the rich/poor gap. If he acknowledged these things as precursors to his behaviour, then his protest would suddenly have a political, social aspect to it.
There is no political agenda here, because they don’t believe in politics. Politics fails them, all day, every day. Politics is nothing, means nothing. Politics is for a twat in a suit.
This should really, really worry us, that these people have no political agenda. People don’t do stuff without a reason, normally. That they might be doing this without any particular reason should freak us out, big-time. Big. Time.
They don’t give a crap, because they believe that no one gives a crap about them. They have nothing to lose. How scary is that, as a concept? These people have nothing to lose.
Disconnected from their communities, maybe from their families, certainly from the opportunity & engagement this frankly wonderful city offers. They bear no responsibility to their community, because they cannot see the connection, or relevance, that the community in which they live, has to them.
Their community – and here I mean the wider London, and wider UK community – apparently does nothing for them. They are not nurtured, promoted, encouraged. Instead they are hidden away, in tower blocks which foster a sense of seclusion, of segregation. They develop a community of sorts, but it’s a community based on exclusion and of anger, and it very quickly develops an “Us, and Them Out There” mentality.
And “Us” – we’re Special. We’re Special because no one listens to “Us” or looks after “Us” – we stand here, on our piece of ground, and look after Ourselves. We’re the Best Ones. Screw any of “Them Out There” who try to encroach on our piece of ground. Frankly, it’s the British Imperialist attitude, in microcosm.
And once in a generation they kick up a stink, tip over a car or two, set the occasional skip on fire. And yes – it’s really, really annoying. Because they screw with lives, and livelihoods, and the community. Where the hell did they come from?! What the…! Who was that?!
We don’t see ‘em coming, because we don’t even realise they’re there.
Anonymity is one of the great problems of this city. Probably at least 90% of the people you come across in a day are people you won’t have any further contact with, that you’ll never see again. We are disconnected to them, we owe them nothing, they remain the faceless mass, in this morass. I have no responsibility to you – why should I, I’m never going to see you again.
It is so easy to connect to people – we do it every day, fleetingly or in more meaningful relationships; but we so often fall into the trap of connecting via inclusion in a group, whilst also excluding the “Other”. This country is particularly good, I think, at engendering a sense of exclusion.
I certainly don’t want to be seen as an apologist for this sort of carry on. My initial reactions were all about “Lawlessness!”; “Mindless violence” etcetera and anon. But I think – for the sake of – what? Community? Society? Whatever… - for the sake of whatever noun you choose, for our sake and theirs, we need to pick all of this to pieces.
As I said in an earlier post (read it 'ere)“Polite society, civilised society neglects them, excludes them. It’s really a wonder they don’t kick its arse.“
They’ve just given us a kick up the arse, a shot across the bows, a warning perhaps.
Or we could just assume they're a bunch of yobs looking to nick some quality stuff from your local Bang & Olufson store.