Monday, August 8, 2011

More on the London Riots

Overnight, the unrest spread affecting Enfield, Walthamstow and Waltham Forest in north London and Brixton in the south of the city.

Yesterday, I was more focused on the reaction among the good white burghers of Britain, and how very race-based so much of the commentary was as a relatively small but significant portion of Tottenham was left in ruins by the mischief and uncivilized behavio[u]r of the "Africans" who inhabit the place.

At that time, it wasn't all that difficult to see why the peaceful protest over the incendiary police shooting of a well-known and apparently well-liked member of the community would turn ugly. A police shooting of a citizen is very rare in Britain -- unlike the case in the United States -- and according to reports, and the complaints of the citizens of Tottenham, the police chose to turn their backs on the people most directly affected and simply clammed up about what happened and why. They offered no explanation, no consideration for the community, and when asked to be more forthcoming, they refused to speak to the people protesting their high-handedness.

Then, when the people protested what they regarded as an official insult, the police formed a cordon around the police station in Tottenham, and at least according to reports, either shoved or beat a 16 year old girl who refused to be pushed around by Authority.

All that is what it is, but Ian Welsh puts an Austerity context to the civil unrest in Britain that should have some resonance in the United States.

The Conservative austerity measures are destroying the possibility of a future for a generation of young people. There is this weird idea amongst English elites, which I encountered in person during my London visit, that the problem in England is their welfare culture. In other words,after a financial crisis virtually entirely caused by the rich, the response has been to slash spending on the poor and middle class to pay for bailouts for the rich, who, by any sane reading of the crisis, caused the disaster.

Yes. Well. That should be obvious, but for some reason it is not, and it has to be repeated over and over and over again just to be heard at all. The response to the economic crisis throughout the West is almost universally to further exacerbate the problem by slashing programs and services for the least fortunate, while simultaneously providing greater and greater amounts of money and benefits to the already hyper-rich the very people who caused the financial collapse in the first place.

Meanwhile in England, the Cameron government’s massive slashes to education hit virtually all at once, making an entire cohort of young people know exactly who just did their level best to destroy their lives. This is important, to put it bluntly, young males who don’t have enough money to settle down with a young female are extraordinarily dangerous to the state.


The question will be -- as it already has been in so much of the world -- what mix of repression and accommodation will be necessary to staunch the riots and rebellions and smooth the path for ever greater looting by the Overclass.

That's what's being tested in London even as we speak...

Welcome to Our Brave New World.

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