Firstly I want to make a few things absolutely clear. I understand it is frightening for people in their homes witnessing rioting outside on the streets and I understand it is devastating to see your home, car or business go up in flames... But...
People are angry & frustrated, not only at the shooting of Mark Duggan or the treatment of the crowd that gathered outside the Tottenham police station after his death but with society in general. I'm not going to pretend that I think everyone on the streets has a political motive at heart but even those just following the crowd & enjoying the thrill of rioting & looting are mostly doing it because of the shitty state of this country. I'm not prepared to believe that there are that many purely thuggish people out there. There is a reason they are behaving this way.
I am not too far outside London at the moment & have been picking up BBC Radio London. Their reporting has been biased & bigoted. The people ringing in have pretty all been right wing bigots & it is scary to hear everyone talking of bringing the army in, using water canons & plastic bullets. Even David Cameron said yesterday " We will not let any phony concerns like human rights get in the way" Rather than just get angry & slag off these people I'm going to try & look at some of the reasons this has happened & what a pitiful state our country is in.
These points are in no specific order I just think they are all factors in why society is in such a bad state. I also feel really strongly that we will never be able to fix the problems in our society unless we tackle the all the problems as a whole. For instance there is no point giving people decent housing if there are no jobs to pay the rent on those houses. There is no point treating someones heroin addiction unless you are going to find out the cause of that addiction in the first place & treat that. Holistic treatment is badly needed for our society.
- Terrorism laws were brought in here & in the USA after 9/11 & 7/7. Both countries brought in laws that were aimed at terrorists but have been used time & time again on innocent people. In my opinion the whole terrorism thing has been blown out of all proportion. The governments & the media have conspired to make everyday people feel scared & to accept these unjust laws. I'm not saying there are not extremists, we know there are but the fear that has been created in the wake of 9/11 & 7/7 is irrational to say the least. The police in London have been using a stop & search law brought in after 7/7 on all sorts of people but often young black kids. These kids are fed up of being targeted in this way & I can't blame them. My Grandfather fought for this country to be a free country where people could live their lives without being harassed for their skin colour or what they are wearing.
- Policing has gone totally in the wrong direction. The police force are there to help us the public, they are not there to indiscriminately pick on people to harass them. I can't comment on Mark Duggan as I have no idea as to whether he pulled out a gun & threatened police officers but I do know that in the past innocent people have been killed by the police. If you are in doubt look up the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, shot dead by over zealous police officers after 7/7 or look up the death of Ian Tomlinson, unlawfully killed by a police officer using excessive and unreasonable force against him at the G-20 Summit protests even though he was actually not involved in the protests at all. There have been others & there will be more. Of all the police officers I have come into contact with in my life at least 50% of them (and thats being generous) have been power crazy bully boys. The police continue to harass people on the streets for no other reason than what they are wearing or because they 'look dodgy' studies have shown that if you treat people like animals they will be animals (or criminals).
- Whether you believe in a New World Order or not the fact is that studies have shown that the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth. There is a global elite who are getting richer as the rest of us get poorer. Footballers like Wayne Roony are earning £250,000 a WEEK while most nurses earn less than £20,000 a YEAR! Can no-one else see how wrong this is? I despair at this inequality, when did it become so important to pay blokes who kick a ball around? All money should be taken out of sport, sport should be something people do for fun, for free. Money has ruined society & is not even a real commodity anymore it is made out of nothing. A really good film to watch on this is MONEY AS DEBT if you want to find out where money comes from.
- Big corporations are ripping us off daily, the big companies have taken over our towns & pushed out most independent traders. We are forced to buy our groceries at Tesco (or the like) at prices they say are cheap but still announce billions of pounds in profit at the end of the year. We are sheep just accepting this as the way it is. I don't blame people for looting, some of these people could probably never afford a brand new TV unless they bought it through a catalogue company & paid stupid amounts of interest on it. We have a society where we are fed images of everyone with new TVs, stereos, cars, Ipods etc on TV & in magazines, we are made to feel that we are a successful normal member of society if we own these things. Most of the population have to get themselves into debt to afford these things & it seems like the lower the wage you are on including those on benefits get into the most debt.
- There is no pride in working now for a lot of people. We are mostly slaves to big organizations that have taken away as much as they can, paying minimum wage & giving minimum benefits. There are no apprenticeships for the young, there are not many local businesses left to make you feel you are working as part of the local community. Pensions are pretty much a thing of the past for those of us still of working age. We have to work longer hours & retire later in life to get any kind of reward. We need to reassess what we are doing to people. If hours were reduced we could create more jobs, if multi-nationals were forced out we could have local people running small local businesses employing local people & maybe people would feel like they are more part of the community.
- Social housing has become a joke in this country. Margaret Thatcher decided everyone should buy their own home & stopped the building of any more social housing. Not everyone even wants to own their own home, some are happy renting off the council until they pass away & why is this a problem? Why should people be made to think owning your home makes you successful in society? Housing associations have taken over from the council building social housing in some areas but this shouldn't have happened, it should be the local council providing this. The social housing that is old & outdated needs to be ripped down. Inner city areas have appalling blocks of flats that most people would not choose to live in. There have been many psychological studies over the years which proves that the type of housing you live in does make a difference to the way people behave who live there.
- Children today are brought into a country that has no time for them, the UK has always been behind when it comes to how children are seen in society. Other countries have far more child friendly policies in restaurants or at their parents work place. Even though the UK has tried to catch up in this sense there are a lot of parents out there who think sticking their child in front of the TV, computer or Xbox is a good way to bring them up. These parents are the same people that complain about the youth of today & yet they are too busy or tired to take their children out into the world. Too many parents are going back to work after having babies, these youngsters are spending the first few years of their lives with people that don't actually care about them, this has to be wrong. Studies have shown that children who spend the first few years of their lives in childcare rather than with a parent or grandparent do not do as well academically or socially. Even families where both parents are unemployed seem to think that as they want to watch TV all day then it is OK for their children to spend most of their time in front of a screen. Anyone who was a child in the 80s or earlier never had computers or loads of TV channels & are always saying how much better life was then. They seem quick to judge the kids of today but yet we are the parents of those kids, it is us who should have turned the TV off & done something else with our children. On top of that youth clubs have shut down, activities for kids are expensive & so only those with money can provide entertainment for them. Yes a walk in the park to identify the trees is free but you can't do that every day!
- Our governments are corrupt, FACT! We endlessly hear about this or that indiscretion of the politicians that are meant to be running this country. OK no-one is perfect but when you hear that they have been fiddling their taxes, making claims for things that don't exist etc you start to wonder who these power crazy people are & what they are doing. We need to find a better way, we need to find a way where local communities take control to run their communities. We need to see the end of red tape & bureaucracy & we need to see those who have a position of power made accountable for everything they do.
- The media in this country is a joke, haven't we just all witnessed how corrupt they are with the News of the World fiasco? NEWSpapers should report the news, end of story. We all know they lie & twist the truth all the time & yet people still read their daily rag of choice being fed the fascist bullshit a lot of them print. The media are responsible for a lot of the tension in this country. They lie or exaggerate race issues to stir up racial tension. They lie or exaggerate news on wars & terrorism to stir up hatred. They lie or exaggerate stories about benefit cheats to stir up social tensions. We are all the people of the UK, we are all as valid as the next person but while we are fighting between ourselves the government are laughing.
- We need to get back a feeling of community. This means EVERYONE in the community feeling a part of it. All ages, all races, all social backgrounds need to let go of their egos & get together. This needs to happen all over the UK. We need to get away from this feeling that certain members of our community are inferior to us whether it is because of their race or age or social standing. We need to forget these stupid rules like not being allowed in a shop with a hood up, I wear a hoodie & am a 40yr old mother! People should be judged on their behavior not their clothing! We need more public spaces where communities can meet, more community gardens, more community organised events, more youth events.
- The war on drugs is a war that will never be won, a war on a plant is a pretty stupid idea anyway. Most people must see that policies so far have not worked. People will always take recreational drugs, they have been doing so for thousands of years. Do a bit of research if you don't believe me. People who take harder drugs & have problems with addictions need to be treated properly. I sincerely believe that if society wasn't in such a bad state we wouldn't see as many addicts anyway. We need to take the criminality out of drug taking, teach young people the truth about drugs & treat people for addictions in a holistic way.
- I find it so sad that there are still so many racists in the UK. I cannot believe that people are still so stupid. The immigration issue that the media exaggerate all the time has fueled a lot of the racism in the UK over the past few years I think. What is really stupid is that half these racists (& I know some personally) own homes in other countries or want to emigrate themselves. Personally I believe the world should have no borders & we should all be free to travel & settle where we please. I think that will be a long time coming but we need to get a grip on the racism in the UK. The media is definitely partly responsible & we need to put a stop to their biased reporting.
- I started with terrorism & will end with the wars that this country have been involved in since 9/11. Wars that really are about money, power & oil. We need to stop following the USA into whatever they want us to do & realise that the USA are as bad as many of the dictators they are so say tying to stop. We need far more peace keeping type bodies that are in countries because most of the people of that country want us there. The USA have armed most of the countries they then fight against, does no-one see the irony of that. These countries also owe loads of money so are struggling to rebuild after troops have eventually left. I for one am fed up with hearing that our troops are hero's, why? They are fighting a bloody war for profit, a profit they will never see. They are sheep, blindly obeying orders & killing thousands of innocent civilians (not to mention a few of their own now & then). Help for Hero's is the sickest charity I have heard of, even if some of these people have done a fair job then it should be the government that looks after them not a charity. If all the people that raise money for this, display stickers, join Facebook groups etc spent the time lobbying the government for better conditions, pay etc for servicemen & ex-servicemen maybe they'd get somewhere.
I don't pretend to have all the answers & I certainly don't have all the solutions but I know this country is divided, it is angry & frustrated. There is no hope for many people, no hope of getting a decent job, no hope of getting somewhere decent to live & no hope of ever living the life that is pumped into us all from the TV & magazines, you know the sort of life? David Beckham leads it.The media is dividing us & making us fearful.
The only thing we have to FEAR is FEAR itself.
Thanks for reading :) Comments most welcome even if you don't agree with me :) xoxox