Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The day that was (and still is) 9th August 2011

Today I meet an Irishman who played for Munster in a match they didn't win against the All Blacks. "They were are bunch of bruts" he said in a thick Irish accent shortly after telling us how he'd broken his collar bone after a few drinks the night before.

Meanwhile in London, there are some angry people doing a lot of damage. The Police seem unable to cope, it is interesting to read this article written nearly eleven months ago, where:
The home secretary, Theresa May, has dismissed fears that deep spending cuts could undermine the ability of the police to tackle possible civil unrest, and insisted the British did not respond to austerity by rioting on the streets.

The politicians have all called off their holidays, although at first the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, did not think it necessary to return for initially, but then he did. And now he's not so popular.

I'm going to tread a tricky line here. While I do not in any way condone violence, and violent actions should have consequence, there are some points I would like to note. Firstly, from my limited knowledge of English history, the last time riots broke out were in the 1980s with similar economic conditions and a similar government. Secondly, young people at present are faced with the prospect of high unemployment, almost impossible university costs and cuts to almost every service that has been set up to help them (with perhaps the exception of prison services). They seem unable to articulate themselves, with media reporting what seem like wild and stupid rationale for violence. Perhaps it's opportunism, but perhaps it's also a feeling of rage and unfairness.


  1. I agree with the background to (some of) this but do not believe that the riots are being driven by people with true beliefs and values. There are, in democratic countries unlike Syria, Egypt and Libya, alternatives to chucking rocks and firebombs to be heard. Also, the chuckers of these things are in almost the entirety, idiots who get a thrill out of it or are basically criminals (murderers, burglars, robbers, violent thugs - take your pick). I refuse to give credibility to their motives like describing them as anarchists or advocates of social change. I spoke tonight with a good friend whose son is in Brixton. John (the son) described the rioters as 'feral'.

  2. Scary stuff. Time to come home Nicola.

  3. C- I agree with you that there certainly isn't true motives and social causes behind the actions of the rioters, I really was just trying to suggest that perhaps the riots are a tragic result of the social and political processes of recent times.

    Valley Girl- thanks (although I am unsure who you are!), but I am not quite ready to come home yet.

  4. Used to teach with you at Wainui. KL my initials. Bet you dont remember me but RBB and TSB do. TSB was one of my HOFs. I am now a roving reliever but still in the Hutt.

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  6. Is it Kian? But then why call yourself 'Valley Girl'? Perhaps it's Karen? Are either of those guesses right?