Another day, another blog.
I am torn about the topic of this missive. I could present a carefully considered, analysed and argued discussion on the current disturbances in English cities. But I realize there have been miles of newsprint columns already devoted to this, and probably many times that of blog/tweet/other social networking space. There have already been hours of radio/TV time devoted to following the phenomenon, and this will probably be a constant over the coming months, as there follow discussion about causes, consequences and costs.
So. It seems unlikely that my tupenny worth would add anything much to the sum total of human understanding or even contribute anything particularly sensible to the local discussion. Although it would certainly give me opportunity to rant about something or other.
What intrigues me is the very strong connection now being recognized between the looting etc and social networking. Of course it was noted that this was a feature of the insurrections in Tunisia and Egypt, although it was never anticipated it would be used in the West to co-ordinate ‘anarchy’ (almost a contradiction in terms – ‘co-ordinated’ and ‘anarchy’!)
On the other hand – there have been occasional reports from our very own little island of equally challenging mob violence. Which have not raised the spectre of community breakdown or apocalypse style annihilation!
But whatever one’s perspective on what has been happening, It is clear that this is a particularly difficult and dangerous time for those in these cities, now bewildered by recent events. And especially difficult for all those who have lost their livelihood or family members, for whom there will be no comfort or ease in public expressions of support.
But tonight, my thoughts are with those whose family members were cravenly run down by hit and run drivers as they tried to protect that which they had built up. And with those whose family member was the nominal trigger for these disturbances. Whatever changes these disturbances bring to London, our life-style, our methods of policing, these families will never be the same again. No words will change their future. For now, only acknowledgement of their pain can be offered.