— The Erimtan Angle —

Over the past days, London and other cities in England have been burning as a result of apparently random violence and looting. Social media and blackberries played a major part in organising the crowds partaking in these diversions. The 21st century has arrived and the revolution will be put on the internet. And now, across the pond the authorities are taking precautionary measures to deal with unruly youth, as reported by ABC News (12 August 2011).

 In the above clip, the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, put forward a moral argument, basically accusing parents of being unable to control their children or to instil values of decency and civility in their offspring. The Nutter argument was also made in the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron called the London and England ‘riots’ a “deep moral failure”, going on to say: “In too many cases, the parents of these children – if they are still around – don’t care where their children are or who they are with, let alone what they are doing. The potential consequences of neglect and immorality on this scale have been clear for too long, without enough action being taken”.[1]  Parents should control their children after all . . . children don’t know what they are doing most of the time, the Nutter argument goes. These parents and children belong to a certain culture, the Prime Minister suggests: a “culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities”.[2]  Then, Mister Cameron went on to make the all-important PR case, as the perception always outweighs the reality: “We need to show the world, which has looked on frankly appalled, that the perpetrators of the violence we have seen on our streets are not in any way representative of our country – nor of our young people. We need to show them that we will address our broken society,  we will restore a sense of stronger sense of morality and responsibility – in every town, in every street and in every estate”.[3]  Are these youngsters and their actions perhaps symptomatic a wider cultural phenomenon, one might wonder. Over the past weeks, months, and years the news bulletins were filled with items about bailouts, fat cats, bonuses, unpaid taxes, pyramid schemes, stock market speculation, and the Flash Crash. Indeed, the Flash Crash, which might have escaped your attention all together. $800 billion were lost and $600 recovered in the space of half an hour, with a net loss of $200 billion.

The international game known as stock market trading has the potential to affect anybody and everybody’s livelihood on the planet, yet . . . it is nothing but a gambling circuit. The rioters inhabit the same reality, yet lack access to money and are subject to police scrutiny, as was so forcefully pointed out by Darcus Howe.[4]  The BBC explains: ‘Operation Trident was set up in 1998 in response to a string of what are often called “black-on-black” shootings and murders in the Lambeth and Brent areas of London. The killings, mainly of young men, came amid fears of a wave of ‘yardie’-style violence, linked to a growing crack cocaine problem and a spiralling guns culture. Officers were finding the cases hard to investigate as fear of reprisals meant witnesses were afraid to come forward, and there was a general distrust of the police. As the violence continued, the operation was extended to cover the whole of the capital a year later, with a special focus on drug-related gun crime . . . Operation Trident now exists as a dedicated unit within the Metropolitan Police, which helps officers in local police stations investigate shootings and collate intelligence from across the capital on suspected gunmen, firearms suppliers and gun converters. This information is then used to arrest suspects, trying to stop shootings from happening and disrupting the flow of weapons’.[5]  In addition to black kids, white and other multi-coloured youths took part in the rampage, as they are presumably all subject to the same culture, a culture which unashamedly displays the benefits of greed and breeds consumerism into the hearts and minds of even the most disadvantaged members of the underclass. London harbours many hotbeds for anger, dissatisfaction, and sheer multi-layered frustration. These hotbeds are inhabited by the underclass . . . youths with no future to look forward to . . .  they are the future, no future . . .

 


[1] James Kirkup, “David Cameron and the morality of rioting” The Telegraph (11 August 2011). http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jameskirkup/100100639/david-cameron-and-the-morality-of-rioting/.

[2] James Kirkup, “David Cameron and the morality of rioting”.

[3] James Kirkup, “David Cameron and the morality of rioting”.

[4] “Panic in the Street of London, Panic in the Streets of Birmingham . . . Darcus Howe and Richard Seymour Talk” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (11 August 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/panic-in-the-street-of-london-panic-in-the-streets-of -birmingham-darcus-howe-and-richard-seymour-talk/.

[5] “Q&A: Operation Trident” BBC News (14 September 2006). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5342246.stm.

Comments on: "London’s Burning 2011: Social Media, Morality, and Nutter Arguments" (3)

  1. Excellent.

    Anything held down against it’s nature will later rise up. Repressed too long, and it will riot.

    Here’s a related post and a warning to Obama and America:

    http://texshelters.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/let-the-riots-in-britain-be-a-warning-to-america/

    Thanks.

    Peace,
    Tex Shelters

  2. wesmantoddshaw said:

    I feel sort of stupid, not only did I NOT know about what had been happening in Philly – when you said “Nutter” I thought that you were talking about something else. I guess I need to follow the national news more.

    • sitanbul said:

      I used the term Nutter deliberately, as in the UK nutter is a slang word for a mentally ill person or just anybody crazy enough to stand out from the crowd . . .

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