Friday, 12th Aug 2011

Riot Reads II

Following on from Wednesday’s roundup of sensible things I’d read about the rioting, here’s some more. (The first two are the essential ones.)

The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom by Peter Osbourne (Telegraph)

Big Brother isn’t watching you by Russell Brand (Guardian)

Pick Up The Pieces by Daz Wright

London riots: the intelligence taboo by Dave Hill (Guardian)

UK riots: political classes see what they want to see by Aditya Chakrabortty (Guardian)

And in the idiocy department:

First rioter given eviction notice by Wandsworth council.


2 Responses to Riot Reads II

  1. John says:

    Stupid. The rioters should be punished but not by evicting the entire family. I don’t care whether it’s within the law to evict them. It’s morally wrong.

  2. Paul Ashton says:

    Today I drove 126 miles across “Middle England”. I drove at or under the speed limit the entire time. Only once was I held up by another driver – a farm tractor – but I was continually harassed and several time overtaken by drivers in expensive cars on blind corners who clearly thought nothing of breaking the law. I see little distinction between the driver of the black Mercedes or BMW limo and the rioters depicted in these films. Some may disagree, but the danger I was placed in on a winding country A road was much the same as if I had been walking down New Street the other evening.

    So what is my point? As Peter Obourne says, there is no difference between an MP cheating on expenses than a looter carrying off a flat panel TV. Laws, they say, are made to be broken, but perhaps that is because there are too many bad laws and those laws that are good are not being implemented.

    As I spend most of my life outside the UK, working mainly in Africa, it behoves me to share this observation. In Britain almost everyone under the age of 30 will not, cannot look you in the face, preferring to stare at the pavement. This isn’t right. You don’t see this elsewhere, whether it is France, Canada or Western Africa. I have no idea where this came from but it seems to me to be symptomatic of the many divides between “class”, “generation” and so on in England. In the States, teenagers have the innate ability to respect their seniors – Yes Sir, No Ma’am – while in Asia the respect goes much deeper. I am a loss as to what to suggest, but there is clearly something wrong with society and it has nothing to do with “cuts” and other excuses.