Monday, 15 August 2011
To speak or not to speak?
So many words have been spoken, so many pictures taken. So many depressing images of buildings burning, young and old being injured and murdered. I think I will never forget seeing the images of a young man, obviously injured and traumatised being mugged for what little he possessed in his back pack. So many young people (and now being seen through arrests the not so young!) displaying such violence and disregard for the property and lives of others.
Of course the Police were criticised - too slow to react, too few, not tough enough........... yet how many remember the awful death of PC Keith Blakelock on the 6th October 1985, when he was practically de-capitated and knifed to death as he entered a part of the riot with little or no back-up. A not too dissimilar story of violent riots on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham following the death of a black woman who had a heart attack after Police raided her home.
However, they were riots of a quintisenntially racial nature - these riots that started in London and spread out to other major cities like a virulent cancer growth were not. But then, what were they?? Were they dissaffected youth protesting at injustice? Were they poor people with no other means of showing anger at there impoverished lives? Were they true anarchists intent of destroying the very fabric of our lives?
Following the arrests and subsequent trials it would appear that very little of the above can be applied to these people as we see 'normal' people being charged and tried. Nursery nurses, teaching assistant and even a millionaires daughter amongst them...............
I have said loud & often, I am not from a rich or middle class background, I am working class and lived all my formative years on a Council Estate. We had very, very little and my Dad was a coal miner, then in the 2nd world war and lastly a postman. My Mum worked 'in service' (cleaner) and did any job possible to get food on the table. But I never recall being angry about it (apart from the school trips that Mum just couldn't afford!). I may well have had a cry and a sulk but I don't recall feeling the urge to go and smash windows and reek havoc.
So why is this happening as it is? Is it to do with expectation? Have we all become so wrapped up in our lives and a culture of 'I want it and I want it now'..................??? Is it about a lack of regard for 'normal' behaviours and values? Is it because we are no longer a predominantly Christian society with the values that go with believing and trying to be a 'good' person??? Is it simply that the moral values I believe I grew up with are no longer given to our young people??
I wish someone could give me answers as I sit here puzzled and anxious for the future of my once wonderful country, my own future as I get older and my childrens children in this emerging lawless and violent society that seems to know no boundaries.......