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Riots, a 80's re-run........?Bet a drama is made over a no crisis

(3 Posts)
Odak Mon 08-Aug-11 11:25:10

During the early 1980's I was running focus groups with 14-19 year olds all over the UK, this was post riots and Ghost Town was in the charts. The view from youth then?; 'its mostly about boredom and riots give you something exciting to do and look forward to seeing ...'

The same may well be true now- its not a deep malaise, its just kickin off. Trouble is there are numerous lobby groups who will politicise and create drama around all this. Media loves it in summer. Politico's can espouse their beliefs about ...well any topic to be exploited. Feel sad for Duggans, loss and extra drama that is not to do with Mark Duggans death.

In case anyone missed two youth workers on Radio 4 Today, today, both Toxteth and Haringey folk talked about 'discourse' and other shibboleths...this language is simply a means of avoid or side step any responsibility..'they made me do this mister' cos they were oppressin' me..

AmongstWomen Mon 08-Aug-11 13:04:30

** don't want to have to preface every post on the current riots/disturbances with 'I don't condone violence, but'...but it seems necessary at the moment on MN, as if you dare to suggest that there may be genuine socio-economic reasons beneath all of this, you are somehow cast as a looting-sympathiser*

But I don't agree with you.

I think there is a 'deep malaise' among certain sections of young people in the UK. Something is wrong when hordes of young people feel the need to loot shops and lob petrol bombs at police #noshitsherlock

Perhaps all the 40 and 50 yr olds who remember Brixton/Toxteth etc in the 80s just dont feel it / aren't affected by it?

This glamourising of the 1980s riots as 'real social action' as opposed to the looting and generally wrecking of the gaff going on now has got to stop. Brixton was wrecked in the 1980s. A police officer was killed in London. Whole streets were burned out.

And this 'times were genuinely hard then, but there is nothing to complain about these days' myth is also bollocks, too. Newsflash: we are in the middle of a world economic crisis!

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Aug-11 13:19:39

I agree with the OP. There is definitely a socio-economic element at the heart of what's happening. But it's the malaise of London gang and drug culture more than poverty or exclusion. The same people that are fighting each other in gangs, leaving so many young, dead, black bodies in their wake, are briefly redirecting the violence at destroying a town centre & terrorising the people who live there. They want those places to become lawless, no-go areas where they rule the roost.... they're not interested in better conditions for residents or better job opportunities.

The guys holding mobile phones in one hand and lobbing bricks at police with the other weren't there to make a political statement against oppression.... they were having a bloody good time and bragging to the mate on the other end of the phone. Times may be hard but it would be insulting to the respectable families on low incomes, terrified witless or burnt out of their homes to say that poverty inevitably leads to this behaviour. It doesn't.

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