I'm just watching the BBC 24 news report on the Tottenham riots, the local MP David Lammy describing the perpetrators as 'mindless criminal thugs'.
Obviously it is impossible to condone looting and the destruction of innocent peoples homes but it's more criminal to ignore the conditions that cause these sorts of things. There is an issue of social responsibility here and a contract that when broken makes rioting not permissable, but inevitable. Remember the words of Martin Luther King; 'Riots are the language of the unheard'?
These arent mindless people, they are politically marginalised young black men who have had all their lifelines removed by public spending cuts. It's easier to close youth centres and discontinue inter-postcode community work in Tottenham than it is to cut arts council funding for media savvy middle class kids living it up in Hackney Wick. David Lammy is at best wrong and at worst abandoning the constituents who voted for him as their spokes-person. In fact, with such a politically obsequious representative, is it any wonder the kids of Tottenham have to resort to violence to make themselves heard. They have no future and no one gives a shit.
To paraphrase Marx, when the ruling class is allowed to persue it's own ends unfettered and fails to take care of the basic needs of the proletariat the social contract has been broken and there are the conditions for unrest.
How is it permissable that 2 miles away in Canary Wharf billions are siphoned off from the exchanges betweeen giant pan global corporations, lining the pockets what is effectively a global elite? When such a privalaged 2% of the world's popultion account for more than half it's wealth, why should we expect anything different? In fact, Mr Lammy, Shouldn't we expect more?