Saturday, 13 August 2011

What makes you want to riot?

What is it that makes you want to riot?

Could it be this?

The bizarre case of the pregnant woman sentenced to three years in prison for reporting a violent rape certainly hit a button when I read about it this morning. Police treated her as guilty despite her injuries: gashed knee and back of head, black eye, bleeding vagina. Vital evidence either not collected or destroyed, such as the male public hair lost in the lab. I mean, THREE YEARS?! Sure, that'll encourage us to report sex crime. Stick us in a burqa and tell us to shut up, why don'tcha.

Or could it be the woman about to be evicted from her Conservative-led Wandsworth council flat because her son was charged — and not convicted — in the riots? I've heard of soldiers wiping out a whole village because some of them were insurgents, or all the men of a town being shot because a soldier had been killed, but since when did that warped justice take hold here, a world bastion of decency and democracy? Punishing the innocent due to a mere association with the accused is the mark of an authoritarian regime serving the few, not the many.

I've read that David Cameron is consulting the Chinese government about shutting down the internet social networks. Now that is a riot.

We're going back to a time when children were hanged for stealing a loaf of bread. Remember the opening scene in Pirates Of The Caribbean III where the pirates are being hanged en masse? Including the little boy? We didn't cheer the hangings: they were disturbing. The knowledge that this disproportionate mass punishment was barbaric, from our enlightened modern western perspective, is under attack. People in power now, as then, have as little sense of themselves as the rioters do — how else would you fail to see the damaged humanity in these lost youths? If you can't feel yourself as human, you can't see others as such, and the only thing dividing you from the "scum" is that you have social power and they don't.

Not all these rioters are hardened criminals who killed and torched. Five months prison for accepting a pair of nicked knickers is not setting a good example.

Brecht asked: Who is the bigger criminal? The person who robs a bank? Or the person who founds one. We can now ask who has done the most damage: the RBS, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs bankers who started the recession and are continuing to damage society? Or the spiritually and materially impoverished rioters?

Madam Miaow on Looting & the UK riots: as above, so below.

Madam Miaow's mash-up video to The Bermondsey Joyriders' "Society Is Rapidly Changing".

Rap responds to the riots.


Darren Murphy said...

Some of the points you touched on, suggest you have a growing feeling that the government are not in touch with the people.

I have come to realise a growing divide between the ruling elite and working-class, that didn't visibly exist only 5 years ago. Possibly you only notice these things if you look for them.

Whilst the aspiring middle-class (working-class) supported Blair's vision; allowing capitalism to flourish, but supporting the weakest in society. While Labour thought they were supporting the working-class, they were actually becoming a party for the middle, and simply drifted too far to the right, it's unbelievable.

The gaping void on the left, in the media, as well as politics, has allowed policies to be driven towards long-term monetary prosperity, instead of equality and the happiness of citizens. Not one, but many things have caused this divide to become a river without a bridge. Now we've lost the liberals, the country speaks with one voice.

This gaping void will inevitably be filled, but why who or what I ask... I think we're reaching a tipping point in British politics and society. If only Labour could lead the working-class, and not the middle. The 500,000 workers who protested against the lib-con cuts were yearning for his support, but he agreed with the government.

Madam Miaow said...

HI Darren, every time Ed Miliband looks like representing his constituency, he does another swerve to the right or panders to the lowest common denominator. That void of which you write is indeed an extremely dangerous thing. It's not even as if we don't have history to learn from. Depressing.