I started writng this in response to Ana’s post but then felt it warranted a separate entry.
Ana has written an interesting post. However, I can’t help feeling that she has gone against her own advice and that rather than “stand back from such events before forming a definite judgement, simply to allow the facts to settle”, she has reached a conclusion. “It’s no more than hooliganism, based on forms of avarice that would shame even the greediest banker.”
It is of course easy to say that and is probably true. But what it does not reveal is that given the right environment, avarice and hooliganism are present in most human beings. You do not have to be hard up to be greedy. The various financial bubbles, Tulips, Louisiana, South Sea, Dot-Com, Credit etc. have all proved that greed is present even in the most ‘civilized’, affluent and well educated individuals. Just consider some of the high profile divorce cases to see how wives such as Heather Mills or Linda Evangelista try and screw every undeserved penny out of their ‘errant’ husbands. Or those who have sued their employers for sexual harassment stemming from a pat on the bum. Or look at those people from companies such as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco etc to see how with little regard for others, they plundered their companies’ resources and ruined the lives of tens of thousands of employees and shareholders. As for the Credit Bubble, everybody from the unemployedAtlantasingle mother on benefits who took a mortgage she could not begin to afford right up to the likes Fred Goodwin and Alan Greenspan, was guilty of greed and hubris. Read more…
These riots were a disaster waiting to happen. The government knew full well they were taking a gamble on the way they have treated the lowest stratum of society. Through brutal cuts in public spending they have been made to take the brunt of the financial sector’s astoundingly bad performance, yet bankers continue to pay themselves £billions in bonuses.
Meanwhile the relationship between young black people and the police deteriorates. Mark Duggan’s death is yet another in a long line (at least 333) deaths in police custody, yet not a single police officer has been convicted for a death-in-custody incident.
Is it really any wonder these young people feel angry, disenfranchised, have nothing left to lose?
You can put the lid on a boiling pot but unless you deal with the fire underneath, you are going to get an explosion.