Alright, yes, the riots have already happened, but I didn't have the internet to get this up, so oh well, you'll have to deal with it. In case you've been living in a rock this past week, then there have been a fair few riots, and I'm writing this after the third day of rioting, there could be a lot worse things happening before I get this up, I'll edit as necessary if I can.
At first I wasn't really going to write about this, I try to bring smiles to peoples faces and show the not so bad side of the world, but hey, the world can be a very bad place, very bad indeed. Plus some good things did happen that I wanted to talk about, so it's better to talk about everything.
First off, the riots themselves. They've mostly been centric to London, but they have stretched to other places as well, inlucding Liverpool and Birmingham, and, trying not to sound like a pretencious asshole, was mostly done by the working class scum known as "chavs". Not every working class person is a chav, the only reason I don't consider myself working class is because I don't have a job, and people would say I'm pretty well educated and could easily get above the so called "poverty line" if needed. But it is warm down here. It's typically warmer under something. My brother who is in pretty much the same circumstances as these people, he has no job, and it doesn't seem too likely he'll get one one, he's been let down time and time again by the government and has problems with them, much like I do, has said he wouldn't riot at all. When he wanted a PS3, he saved up for it, and bought it, when I wanted an Xbox 360, I saved up for it and bought it, my brother even has a pretty good TV, the kind that was stolen, did he steal it? Nah, he saved up for it, and bought it. Sure, there are a lot of things we want, but we're willing to save up for them. I have 3 outfits, I have very few clothes, I'm not about to go out and steal some.
There are several "reasons" behind this stuff. The main one is that it kicked off first of all over a mam being shot by a policeman, and people wanting answers. They staged peaceful protests that turned into riots like the one over students tuition fees, and people thought that could be it, but then the next day it went down again, and then last night (as I said I'm writing after the third night) it seriously kicked off with the violence reaching to other parts of the country.
There was a lot of fires and a lot of looting, and some people are saying it's a bunch of pissed off anarchists, people are saying it's just a bunch of looting scum doing it simply because they can, and they want money and goods they wouldn't normally be able to have. Other people are also saying that it is a disaffected youth, the youth have nothing to look forward to, EMA is being cut, tuition fees are rising meaning less people can go to university and there's a lot of stuff happening that really damages the youth.
All of these are factors involved, and it's more than likely a mix of all of these groups, but the main focus is on the anarchists setting fire to things, and the thugs looting and attacking the cops.
I hope that by the time this does go out, that the police have been armed, or the army have been brought in, they've mentioned that the police might get rubber bullets tonight, which would be a good start. I've seen the videos and mostly the kids throw things at the cops, then run off when the cops come towards them, let the cops get them from a distance and it will help. I've also seen the police being really soft with them, don't be soft, hit them and THEN threaten to hit them. No mercy or quarter has been shown to them, they should show none. Although I will admit that it is good of them, to not lower themselves to that level, and to remain higher than the thugs could ever be. Although really after I wrote that, everything calmed down, there was no more really serious stuff, and over 1600 people have now been arrested. I think this was the major factor that stopped stuff going down, no matter what anyone says.
I wanted the Government to be afraid sure, I wanted things to change, but this doesn't bring about the right level of change, and I don't want to be fearing for my own life, and especially for Jesse and her girlfriend, who live near Birmingham, but she insists that there's nothing worth stealing where she is so no one will bother. Stay classy! (The riots did eventually reach her and though I was worried for ages, she did stay safe, and classy)
There's more than enough out there about all the bad things that went down, and everyones opinions on the people that did it, so I'll just cut to the good stuff now. That would be the masses of people who still went to work in case they were still needed there, trying to get on with life as it was, but most of all, the people who took to the streets with brushes. Who went there to clean up the mess, and get things looking nice again. And to Boris Johnson, one of the only politicians I like. He went out there, and the people chanted at him "Where's your broom?!", and you know what he did? He took out a broom, and then he made a speech, saying thank you to all the people who went out to clean up, saying that they were the true face of London, of England, and not the rioters. He was sure as Hell right, and he deserved the huge cheer he got for that. I'm not sure if he did actually or will actually stick around to clean up, but he has done some good things, he's even prevented a theft. Sure, he's done some things we don't agree with, but he's a pretty good guy, and most of all, he's honest.
The people who cleaned up, the people who wanted to help, not destroy, those are the people we should focus on, not these assholes that have been ruining everything for everyone. All of England is NOT your target, you aren't trying to bring about change, you aren't trying to do what's right, you're trying to be an asshole, so I guess you succeeded.
Thank you to everyone who did clean up, who pitched in, and who was awesome, and legen-wait for it-DARY!
A slight thing to add on on this, the 11th August. I didn't get to watch all of it, but I did see most of what "call me Dave" Cameron said in the houses of commons about it. Well, I heard all of what he said, but not all the questions. Anyway, the point that I was going to talk about. Davey boy said that he had considered banning social media if people are going to use it to organise riots or whatever. This is A) Pointless, B) Stupid and C) Mornonic. You couldn't do this even if you wanted to, and if by some chance you could, well they would just use other means to organise and get together, even if you take the internet off of them, word of mouth will come back. I think the main reason China gets away with censoring the internet is that all the people who really care about not having it have bypassed it. The internet cannot be cenosred, once something is on there, it does not go, there are a lot of people who've learnt this the hard way.
Don't ban the social media, don't ban facebook, or Twitter (I even heard that he wants to ban the sale of Blackberrys), moniter them if you have to. That way you can find out what they are up to and not oppress anyone. Consider it Online CCTV. I'd like to see people riot after turning around a corner and seeing 16000 coppers waiting for them because they've been monitored so people know where they are going to be and at what time. If you continue to push people down, continue to oppress them, then they will hit back, and hit back harder because there will be more of them.
I'm not a fan of internet censorship at all, or any censorship really for that matter, but that would be an issue for a different day.
Like I said, I wrote this over the course of several days, and I did a quick re-read before posting it, so it could still be slightly out of date really, so bear with me on that one.