Tuesday, 9 August 2011

There Is No Reason

The reaction from certain folk, let's describe them with the inadequate term 'the Right' puts themselves in a bind. Virtually everyone can see that the rich misbehaved and caused an economic crisis. That consensus lasted about five minutes and with no one actually disproving it, it disappeared; the blame somehow got shifted to 'profligate spending' by government. The solution presented was austerity and the poor were taunted with the empty slogan "We Are All In This Together" sometimes accompanied by "There Is No Alternative". Translations:

We Are All In This Together - "There will be no exceptions, especially since the poorest will pay virtually everything."

There Is No Alternative - "It is not up for discussion. When we ask for your alternative we don't mean it and we're not listening, we're just being rhetorical and no matter how many times you state an alternative it doesn't matter. It just isn't up for discussion".

The poorest are paying and no meaningful discussion is accepted. There is no reason under this premise to not riot. You can not be criticised for not having debated, not having exhausted all options and gone for direct actions as a last resort when the opponent in this matter has already made it clear: it is not ever going to be up for discussion. The only reasonable conclusion is that there is a deliberate attack on the poor, that they are paying disproportionately for a solution designed by rich men to a problem caused by rich men who do not want to pay a fair share themselves. The only reason not to riot is that this conclusion is wrong, so we have been bombarded with mountains of horseshit from the trash tabloids, a compliant BBC, a tiny timid Centre-Left media (or just Centrist) and think tanks trying to shape it into reasons to believe that conclusion is wrong.

The reaction to the riots from every politician, every publicity-hungry 'community leader', school pupils scared of adults if they go off-message and talking-head pundits indicate otherwise. Given the scale and spread of the riots, it's become impossible for them to use the token excuse of 'a violent minority' or 'a small number of thugs', so they're saying what they otherwise know they shouldn't say. They say what they think of the young, poor, disturbed and desperate: 'criminal underclass', 'feral youths', 'rich anarchists', 'welfare dependent scum' etc. Community figures have reduced themselves to politicians, politicians reduced themselves to tabloid columnists, columnists reduced themselves to comment posters and the comment posters are a translation of what all those above them but share their political bent are thinking.

They are in essence, proof that the conclusion about the attack on the poorest is not only true but has extensive support from those who are pretty sure austerity won't hit them or too stupid to realise how much it does.

It's not so much that austerity has anything to do with the riots (it might, it might not); it's that the reaction of the Right to any Liberal-Left interpretation of them is so hysterical that it reveals real hatred, real contempt for 'the underclass' and makes it hard to believe that the planned solution to the economic crisis is anything other than those instincts being acted on. That seems to be the case and if it is so; there is no reason not to riot.

1 comment:

  1. I'm old enough to remember the strikes under Harold Wilson a labour leader now seen as great by labour, but not the working class, we now talk of Thatcher killing coal mines, yet Wilson closed more.

    Wislon when we had the death at the school in Aberfan an area I know well in the Welsh Valleys, Wilson took the charity money given by people from all over the world to clean up the mess, while the NCB National coal board got away without paying anything, Lucky Blair did one good thing he repaid that money.

    But over my life time the one thing I did learn it will always be the poorest who repays the most