On this weeks Invisible Walls, I have a rant that starts with stories taking a UK Police Constable’s comments on the English riots and GTA out of context, and then I move onto the riots themselves. The show is here and the rant kicks in around the 33 min mark.
OK, all up to speed? Good. I was expecting a bit of a backlash, but I guess I gave some of our viewers a little more credit on the smarts factor than they actually have.
There have been posts defending the rioters and looters, claiming they are just poor underprivileged people who are downtrodden by capitalism and are fighting back. Some posts also suggested that I have had everything handed to me on a plate and I have never worked for everything. These are the two topics that have really got me going.
So lets get started with the first concept, that these were poor people fighting back.
In a word, bullshit. A 12 yr old looting wine is not fighting back, a 20 yr old mugging a Malaysian tourist is not fighting back, a group of people battering a 60 yr old man who tried to put out fires near his house is not fighting back, burning down someones small business is not fighting back.
These are the acts of cowards, scum and criminals.
The initial, peaceful protest against the shooting of a man in Tottenham was valid, laudable and perfectly justified. Unfortunately the criminals who decided to use that protest as an excuse to wreak havoc totally overshadowed that first protest.
To the people who say ‘the rioters were fighting back against the police and government’ let me help you out a little.
This is the definition of ‘protest’:
The act of objecting or a gesture of disapproval protest ; especially : a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval.
And here is the definition of ‘riot’:
a : public violence, tumult, or disorder.
b : a violent public disorder; specifically : a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent.
And just for fun, let me throw in the definition of ‘looting’:
a : to plunder or sack in war.
b : to rob especially on a large scale and usually by violence or corruption.
Now a show of hands, who can spot the difference between the first word and the last two??? If you can spot the difference, then well done. If not then you probably will be looking at 10 to 15 at the local prison at some point in your life.
Let me make this 100% clear. The rioters and looters were not protesting the death of a man by the police. They were out to steal, hurt and destroy. They are not freedom fighters, they are terrorists and deserve to be taken off the streets. They will not reform nor will they raise their kids to be decent members of society.
Onto point two: My supposedly entitled existence.
I was raised in a working class area and for the first several years of my life, my mum raised me by herself after my deadbeat biological father buggered off. My mum made sure I had clean clothes, food in my belly and a roof over our heads by working long shifts at a factory. We did not have a car, vacations were camping at the local beach and to make sure I had toys at Xmas, she took extra shifts at a toy factory to get discounts. Oh yes, my ‘father’ never paid child support.
When my mum remarried, my stepdad (who is 1000% more of a man than my biological father) also worked long hard shifts in a factory. There was always food, the heating and water was on and we grew veggies in the back yard to save money. Now we had a car and the vacations were upgraded to self catering apartments at the beach, but money was still tight.
I saved up for and bought my first computer at 13. It cost almost two hundred pounds and I had a paper delivery round to pay for it and the games I wanted to get. Nothing was ever easy and we did not have credit cards. I was brought up on the mantra ‘If you can’t afford it then don’t buy it till you have the money.’ I was taught to live within my means. Yes I wanted a big color TV and a huge stereo in my bedroom, to go on vacation to Disneyland etc, but it was not on the cards.
My folks raised me to work hard to get what I want, not to riot and loot or beat up the elderly. I now have a good life, but it has come after years of hard work by both myself and my better half. Everything in our home is bought and paid for.
Neither of us have had anything handed to us on a plate, but if you work hard, you can reap the rewards.
I know that times are tough all over the world, and the horrible government cuts have hammered the working classes at the expense of the mega rich corporations but rioting is not the answer, it just plays into the hands of the people who profit most while hurting those who already have so little. The key is to get smart, get educated and not look for instant gratification. Working hard to improve oneself should be encouraged and rewarded, but we live in the era of Paris Hilton, The Jersey Shore and numerous other dubious role models who would not know a hard days work if it slapped them around the face.
Ok, rant over.