Monday, July 9, 2012

Nearly a year on from the riots, England has learned nothing

Last August, riots enveloped London and various cities in England, the worst civil unrest for decades.

At the time, the rioters were demonised as the worst of our feral youth, epitomising what was wrong with the lack of morals in our society.
In many ways, the young people who rioted and looted did symbolise a lot about our society: but people read the riots the wrong way. The fact that rioters were looting shamelessly was seized upon by politicians and media commentators as a sign that family values had been destroyed; that the younger generations believed in nothing but what they could get for themselves.
That may well have been true; but the resulting judicial backlash, where many looters were given over-the-top sentences, said as much about the mood of the establishment. Many of the establishment couldn't believe that these hordes of young people, from the lowest rungs of society and intermingled with gangs and petty crime, were capable of causing so much anarchy in just a few days. But they did. And so the response from the establishment was as knee-jerk as possible to nip this mood of anarchic uprising in the bud.

At the time, left-wing apologists like Ken Livingstone and others, blamed the cuts, the moral crisis in banking and government indifference as underlying causes for the riots, only to be shouted down as Marxists. But when we look at what has been discovered about the banks, government and the "establishment" since then, those "Marxists" have, if anything, been shown to be over-cautious in their analysis of moral breakdown in society.
Because moral authority and values, by definition, is supposed to come from the top: a value system functions as a top-down system. In other words, expecting those at the bottom of the social order to follow the rules set down by authority, when the country's supposed "moral authority" ignores the concept entirely, is not only absurd, it is completely abhorrent to any concept of civilisation.

This is the reality of the UK in 2012: Britain's establishment allowed the country to to held hostage by a cartel. Mexico has been terrorised and held hostage by a drug cartel for nearly fifteen years. For the past fifteen years, the UK has been held to ransom by its financial sector. The five leading banks who now control the vast majority of the banking sector of the UK have been extorting the UK government: unless you give us what we want and do as we say, the banks have said, we will leave your country to the dogs and go elsewhere. In other words, the banks have simply modified a Mafia "racket" in order to seem respectable. As a result, they have destroyed the UK economy, then terrified the government into a further "racket" called the "bailout" to pay for the banking sector's economic stupidity - for which everyone else in the country is paying for, in the form of public sector cuts.

Let's be straight here: because the UK government has no effective control of the banking sector, as there are virtually no regulations whatsoever, the government cannot send people to prison: you can't be sent to prison if there is no law to break in the first place. This is the financial anarchy that is the UK banking system. And under such conditions, amorality and recklessness are bound to follow as night follows day.

This "anarchy" goes on. Another major factor that led to the UK economic collapse was the banking sector's inflation of the property market. Again, as there are virtually no government controls in this sector, prices can rise as much as the banks or landlords wish. Houses, compared to average earnings, are nearly twice as expensive as they were forty years ago. So banks have forced many onto the (also uncontrolled) rental sector, further pushing up rental prices. Again, because the government has no appetite to interfere to improve the lot of its own people, everyone suffers.

Then there is price inflation, of essentials like food and fuel. Although inflation is on average low, for essentials prices have been increasing many times above inflation year on year since the financial crisis started. Again, the government does nothing.
Then there is the economy and unemployment situation generally, for which the government does little to improve. As the financial sector is a major political contributor to the governing party, the stink of corruption runs deep. Government incompetence piled upon indifference towards the poor, and an ideological war to destroy employee's rights, educational aspiration and the British sense of "fair play", makes it no surprise that people have such little faith or trust in government or the establishment in general. Why should they?

Given that the government is keen to sell-off public assets like our schools, railways, health service to private (even foreign) companies, while also destroying the military and police service in the name of "cuts" (the same cuts that are deemed necessary because the government surrendered its authority to extortion from the banks), what moral authority does the government have left?

The reality, therefore, is this: that the government and the "establishment" of the banking sector, sections of the amoral media sector, as well as those at the tip of the economic hierarchy in general (meaning those who avoid paying their dues to the state by stashing their money off-shore), do not deserve the respect of average people on the street. They deserve our contempt.

Instead of focussing on "benefit cheats" and the "feral youths" behind the riots, the government should be focussing on bringing the real criminals to justice: those like the bankers, who have destroyed the country, yet still hold the entire country to ransom in an extortion racket; who cheat the public purse of billions each year; whose indifference to the plight of the young family trying to get a house or the small business trying to get a loan should be made criminal.
But the government won't, at least not until it is forced to by the public. The truth about politics is this: that politicians only do things they don't like when they feel it is absolutely necessary.

How do you make them listen? Last August, some people thought they had an answer.

The real tragedy about the riots last year was that the raw anger that those young people felt was directed at the wrong targets, at least in terms of getting their point made. Since this government came to power two years ago, we've had student protests that resulted in Conservative HQ being surrounded and damaged; we've had strikes by a welter of public sector workers; we had the riots by young people who felt they had nothing to lose and everything to gain from opportune looting and destruction; we've had police officers marching in protest against the government.
Last August saw young people looting, while others saw a chance to "get even" with the police. In both these actions, their anger was tragically misdirected. Looting local shops only destroys the local economy, while attacking the police solves nothing.

The real source of the country's damnation is the amoral banking sector, the sector which is most responsible for the vast inequality that has mushroomed in the last thirty years, as well as being responsible for the economic crisis, the property bubble, the government's cuts, not to mention the "me" culture and everything that symbolises. The government's moral emptiness, in selling their soul to the banks, indulging the banks whenever they could, at the expense of everyone else, is the other main culprit.

 Both are morally culpable; it would only be fair, then, for them to be made fully aware of their culpability in this crime against the people of Britain. For too long, people in this country have been meek: meek in their unquestioning respect for "authority" and the "establishment".
Every self-respecting ordinary person in the country has a good reason to despise this government and the banking sector it supports: from young people, students, the poor, the "working poor", the public sector, even the military and the police. All these different sections of society have a legitimate grievance against the situation the government has perpetuated. The government, in the past two years, has succeeded in alienating most sectors of society. Only the rich, the heartless, and the indifferent in society support it.
The Conservative government remains in power due to the spineless acquiescence of the LibDems. If all these aggrieved segments of society united, then an unmistakeable point could be made: it is only the meekness of those segments by failing to unite that the government remains in power, and the banks remain beyond the reach of justice, free to continue their reign of terror.

It's time for British people to find their courage again. Last August, the government succeeded in victimising the rioters and looters through divide and rule, placing those rioters against the ordinary law-abiding people struggling to make ends meet. We should not allow the government to pull the wool over our eyes again.

If they want to talk up the threat of "class war", then the government should be careful not to insult our intelligence. Even a man on his knees knows something about self-respect.

No comments:

Post a Comment