Same as it ever was. Riots unknowingly reflect government policy.

Riots and looting continue in the UK - Picture from The Guardian newspaper.

David Cameron, British PM, talking about either politicians or rioters. His description could be equally applied to both groups:

“Its all too clear that we have a big problem with gangs in our country. For too long there has been a lack of focus and a complete lack of respect shown by these groups of thugs.

I am clear that they are in no way representative of the vast majority of young people in our country who despise them frankly as much as the rest of us do.

But there are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but frankly sick.”

Unfortunately, the seeds of the current problems were sown when his own blue gang, the Tories, destroyed the communities that stood up to chief thug Margaret Thatcher’s union-busting policies. When she destroyed whole communities and her henchman Norman Tebbit told people that people should then get on their bikes to go find work, the social fabric was torn and it has never been repaired.

That’s not to excuse the rioters in any way. Let’s be honest about this, they’re nothing more than opportunist sociopaths with a sense of entitlement who have so far killed 4 innocent people and beaten and injured many more. They have caused millions of pounds worth of damage, terrorized neighbourhoods, and destroyed the livelihoods of many by burning out the businesses that have kept the communities somewhat functioning. They’re not thinking about social inequities and years of government policy. They’re not opposing economic policy. They’re not protesting inner-city conditions and the ongoing corruption of the nation’s political and economic leaders. They’re just scum.

Unfortunately, from here on in, valid political protest will be treated as nothing more than self-centered gangs of looters and rioters intent on nothing more than filling their pockets with whatever they can get away with. What they are doing is invalidating and debasing any form of popular protest that should, and needs to be, a continued right. In their own way, they have made freedom of expression and freedom to protest yet another victim of their actions.

But while we think about what punishment should be meted out to socially destructive gangs that have, hopefully, finally been brought under control after 4 days of riots, let’s think about how we re-instill a sense of responsibility and community, a joint social conscience if you will. While police analyze pictures and CCTV footage and arrest the culprits on the streets, let’s think about how to arrest the decades-long decline in social values started when Thatcher’s gang led the charge by declaring a return to austerity and “Victorian values.” And let’s not forget that after 14 years of Tory corruption, union busting, community-razing and entitled self-indulgence at the expense of the working poor, Labour, the champions of the working man, failed to rectify any Tory policies and became as bad, No, WORSE, than those who they were created to fight.

We can, and should, decry the gangs on the streets all we want but nothing will change until the gangs in Whitehall and the gangs in Parliament are brought to order and made accountable for their 3-decade long looting spree that has torn the heart and soul out of Britain and created this generation of sociopathic hoodies. The idiots in the streets aren’t rioting for social change. They’re rioting for kicks and for consumer goods and because they can. They feel no conscience or responsibility towards their own society. And in that, they are simply an inverted reflection of the sociopathic hoodies in government who have also been given free reign to express their own greed, egomania, personal interests and vices with absolutely no sense of responsibility or accountability.

In a perfect example of self-fulfilling prophecy, Nick Clegg, Liberal Party leader, last year warned that there could be riots this summer if the Conservatives were given power without a clear mandate. The Conservatives didn’t win a clear majority in the elections but, thanks to Nick Clegg and the Liberals, they formed a coalition government to force through austerity measures after years of bloated budgets from Labour governments that ultimately looked more Tory than the Tories ever were. But Nick Clegg and David Cameron are not the ones reaping what they’ve sown. They’re not the ones being beaten to death or run down outside their places of worship. It’s the communities that are once again bearing the brunt.

Same as it ever was.