“Travellers are advised to exercise special caution, to immediately pull back if confronted with any signs of disturbance, and to especially follow advice given by security forces,” the German foreign ministry said in its online travel advisory.
In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes… this is advice to German citizens, provided by their own government, for those considering embarkation to our own green and pleasant land. Tuesday’s message from the travel advisory adds:
Which is perhaps not the best advice under the circumstances, given that the local fashion is for looting and arson.
Like many people in England, I am appalled. Appalled by the wanton destruction. Appalled at the copycat dumb-ass materialism and gang culture imported from across the Atlantic. Appalled at the thirty years of neo-liberal economics that has already impoverished us socially, culturally and, dare I say, spiritually, in the lead up to, as well as the cause of, a global economic depression that is now in the process of ruining us materially.
I am also appalled at the lack of a police response. How on earth could a few kids kicking up a commotion create the sheer mayhem we have seen during recent nights? Were the police ordered to stand down and simply observe, as some are claiming? What kind of a police force fails to take action when confronted by acts of mindless vandalism and violence? But now, as a direct consequence of those operational failings, we have calls for the use of baton rounds, CS gas and water cannons.
So to summarise all of this: a marginalised but substantial portion of Thatcher’s grandchildren, possibly in gangs which they have joined because they can’t think of anything better, have thrown a temper tantrum, and the only answer will be more surveillance and the further militarisation of our police force. Words fail me. How has it come to this…?
And then I switch on the news and there is Cameron puffing himself up, and Clegg running away with his tail between his legs, and “Mini-Me” Miliband trying to look like a grown-up, not to mention Boris Johnson, the clown prince of mayors, blathering as only Johnson can, and… and… I am exasperated.
But listen, this is England. The thugs have taken to the streets, quelle surprise. And whereas the Spanish have los indignados, we have only the ignoramuses (or rather, lost ignoramuses); people with no knowledge of anything beyond the corruption they see all around. And yet, the alienation of this growing underclass is real enough, and so these eruptions, mindless as they have been, are nonetheless, an ugly symptom of an entirely cancerous system.
The politicians, who are now politely leaning on one another’s shoulders, speaking platitudes in these times of national need, are just one small part of that system. The media, with its rolling repetition and empty speculation, is yet another part. These are just the products, quite literally, of the free market madness that has invaded every corner of our society and lives. Our whole rotten society has been infected, not to the core, but from the core, which is why there is little in the way of any real and effective opposition.
As a consequence this country has lost all hope and all direction. It is not alone. But the big issue – the colossal elephant in the room – is that we also stand on the verge of being driven into debt slavery because of the criminality of a depraved financial elite. In this we are also not alone. Greece is going the same way, Spain too, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, America, and now even France is beginning to enter into its own death throes. The German travellers were well advised to stay at home, but those who are awake must recognise the near-certain probability that their own country will soon enter into receivership too.
When times are tough, the temptation is always to kick down and to lash out, because this is the easiest and most cowardly way to vent your anger. In the coming months and years, we must unfortunately expect to see still more of what we’ve witnessed already this week. But those with greater understanding and better conscience, and who can see beyond the parochial evils, need to spread the awful message before its too late. This country is going to the dogs, so let’s not get too distracted by the fleas.
Additional: for an alternative perspective on the underlying cause of the riots, I recommend Peter Oborne’s article entitled: “The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom”, published in today’s Daily Telegraph. Click here to read the full article.
“[But] there was also something very phony and hypocritical about all the shock and outrage expressed in parliament. MPs spoke about the week’s dreadful events as if they were nothing to do with them.
“I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.”
Overall, Oborne provides a thoughtful and generally fair analysis of what the riots really show about “Broken Britain”. The only pity being, that he focusses so much on the petty cash scandals of our parliamentarians, whilst failing to mention what amounts to a grand larceny being carried out by a banking elite.
“Something has gone horribly wrong in Britain”, Oborne says, but then why stop at Britain (or rather, England). Something is going horribly wrong across Europe and throughout the developed world, and the underlying cause is rather obvious. The really significant difference being, that in Britain (as in America), the programme for dismantling our society was begun a little earlier, in fact, about two decades earlier.
1 Taken from http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110809-36845.html