Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I'm going to regret writing this. A quick scan of both Twitter and Facebook tells me that my finger is so not on the pulse of public opinion, but I'm a sucker like that. So here goes.

My heart is genuinely bleeding at the vitriol being spread across the networks I view, "they" "them" "scum" "rats" "chavs". How quickly we disassociate through language; our collective responsibility for our society, these misguided youths and people are our people, our youth, they are our creation and our problem. Name calling and Daily Mail headline statements does not help or assist the situation, neither does calling for the return of corporal punishment, national service or hanging. These are knee jerk platitudes, pointless pontificating and as mindless as the rioting.

I don't condone violence of any ilk, the scenes rolling out across London are horrific and senseless, but let's as a generally educated society try to reflect and understand the causes rather than pick over the symptoms. I've walked in the shoes of the disaffected and dispossessed, I see how easy it is to throw everything to the wind because there is no hope, no future, no community. I've also walked in the shoes of the priviledged and had my property vandalised, my person intimidated, my loved ones terrorised. How easy it would have been to dismiss with inflected language, to take a moral high ground. My heart won't let me though.

I know I will be dismissed as a "hug a hoodie" bleeding heart liberal, as stated before, labels mean little to me. I have to believe that we will rise above the brinkmanship of disdain and hatred for one another, that we can find common ground, that we can reclaim community.

Read the insightful words of Camila Batmanghelidjh

Listen to people like Darcus Howe and a brilliantly outspoken local Dalston resident Pauline Pearce

Look at the pattern of riots across London alongside levels of deprivation

I prepare to be shot down, I'll even get my coat and stand out in the cold of public opinion, it's a price worth paying for continued hope in a future for compassion and humanity.