When the Tories won the election I predicted riots.
I didn't want riots. Who does? They are ugly and messy and the wrong people get hurt badly but you could see them coming a mile off.
The chickens came home to roost a lot faster than the so called leaders- like the prime minister and the mayor of London who tried to sit it out on their holidays.
We live in an uptight and violent country and meltdown is inevitable.
There are so many factors all mixed together that it's hopeless to give a direct reason for the riots.
It's certainly not directly political, there are no protest songs, this is not in a placard carrying demonstration kind of way. Not in a demand for rights, a demand for work, a demand for social rights.
It's about the nihilistic buzz of rioting, the buzz of looting. The buzz of empowerment of briefly owning the streets. Not that different from the antics of the Bullingdon boys in the eighties...
Bored youth get a buzz from trashing stuff. It's the law of the jungle. It always has been. It's the tension of the inner city spilling out onto the streets- the London streets where the gentrification and wealth sits right next to the poverty. The right wing press will turn it into a race issue but they will be wrong and trying to create an agenda.
You could say it is political because of the cuts and hopelessness of these meltdown times. It's political as the rich get richer and the bankers take the piss with their bonuses which are another type of looting but in expensive suits and on a far bigger scale. It's political that you have a culture were you are encouraged to have designer clothes, aspire to celebrity, have the latest trainers but you can't afford them, will never afford them, then you will get a breakdown and this is a breakdown. It's political in a country were violence is part of the culture.
But for the Blackberry carrying youth on nicked bikes on the rampage there is no thought of ”Ëreasons' or ”Ëmotives', it's pure ”Ëfuck you'. It's like an en masse mugging of mainstream Britain. A mass version of the sort of muggings that go on every day in real time UK that are endlessly ignored.
Bored youth see the Arab Spring riots on TV and learn how to have a riot, you want a piece of the action, it looks like a top buzz. You don't even have to fight for freedom or for rights or any of that ”Ëboring' stuff.
The smashing of the glass and the trashing of scared family's flats is the sound of capitalism melting down on the frontline. The UK is tense and uptight and the meltdown is inevitable.
There is no fear of the police and if there was it wouldn't make any difference as the cops lost control- far better at kettling students than taking on the real wild youth. I suppose by the time the rioters get to Primrose Hill it might be a different story...
For the rioters there is nothing to lose, there is no agenda- just nihilism and random destruction. This dark undertow has been growing for years, you can feel it. It's part of British culture. Has been for years. Only now it's about grabbing TVs and trainers