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The Guardian and The LSE have released a report this week stating that the riots in the Summer were largely caused by an anti-police sentiment. However I didn’t realise burning a random stranger’s car was revenge on the police!
And finally - something I really don’t understand. For me it is about as far fetched as expecting me to believe that Jesus died to save mankind - I cannot really see the link. How did it save mankind? And how did the destruction of communities and businesses and homes get revenge on the police? Surely, it create more jobs for more police? And perhaps gave them an anecdote or three to share with their grandchildren in years to come about how they were heroic?
Apparently of the 270 rioters interviewed, 85% agreed that the anti-police feeling was “important” because they were treated unequally and felt hassled and bullied by the police. But I would say that it isn’t really unfair when was they are just trying to get them to give the 50 inch plasma TV back.
To be fair, everyone should be treated equally - but if they are committing criminal offences, like being involved in gang culture, stealing, drugs and vandalism a certain amount of hassle should be expected. What did they expect? Did they think the police would comment on the artistic quality of their graffiti - your misspelled scribbled scratchings have given me an epiphany - I’ve never realised that the “Poliss should go to heal”. Now I know I shall take my truncheon and retreat to a quiet corner while you loot this shop and cause the owner to consider bankruptcy and suicide! Banksy has nothing on you.
Apparently the resentment over the policy to stop and search also incited some of the unrest. However I would say it is a strange reaction to actually give the police something to find when they stopped and searched! And let’s face it - running off with large and valuable electronic goods would mean the police wouldn’t have to search very hard. It’s not like it’s possible to hide a 42 inch TV and an X-Box in your jeans, no matter how baggy or low they are worn. Doesn’t this just reinforce the idea these people still need to be treated with suspicion and a clear stop and search policy? Although, it might explain why these lads keep showing their arses - the weight of their loot is obviously pulling their jeans down.
Other interviewees sited unemployment and how they were treated socially as a motivation to riot. Now, maybe I’m a little unfair...but I would be reluctant to even share a cup of tea with someone I knew was happy to steal and burn an innocent person’s belongings to apparently get revenge on the police - let alone employ them. Imagine their CV: Well, I started at entry level and got good at pick-pocketing, and then I was promoted to car crimes, followed by rioting. I don’t back down in difficult situations: I f**king fight! I am good with authority as I scare the Kevlar vests off of them!
And finally - over 80% think there will be more riots, and that poverty is another massive factor - which is apparently the reason for all of the stealing. This is backed up by the fact that most of the trouble happened in deprived areas. Some people even argue that there is prejudice against people living in these areas. I think it is more prejudice against people who want to attack livelihoods and homes - after all, this kind of anger and hatred is not easy to charm. Could you imagine inviting some of these people around for dinner? While everyone calmly discusses the current recession and their struggle to make ends meet and get a mortgage, this guest would be sat there ranting, at least you have a mortgage! Do you know what it’s like living in a high-rise flat? I can barely get my TV in the sitting room and as we’re unemployed we just keep making babies! Plus, we’re so close to our neighbours, you can’t grow any weed without them knowing!
Don’t get me wrong: I believe everyone deserves a chance - but we have free education and class mobility - proven in the celebrity world by Cheryl Cole and others, as well as in our hospitals with all the different cultures and classes of doctors. The only real poverty here is in the mind. Let’s face it - nobody during the riots stole a balanced dinner, a bike for exercise and books for learning.
I’m all for a meaningful revolution - but random rioting doesn’t count no matter how they try to dress it up.
As ‘Matt’ (Editor’s choice) says on the BBC website:
Rubbish. The people in Tahir Square and in Benghazi were angry and distrustful towards the police, so they either protested peacefully and/or attacked the police. They didn't go around stealing widescreen televisions.
And it's not about poverty either, if they really were wanting of the basics of life then they'd have been stealing chickens, bedding, baby food and light bulbs, not X-Boxes.