Shock and Awe? Mr Cameron it’s back-fired on you this time

I got home at 6.00 this morning. I was in a friend’s shop and she closed it early as there were messages that unrest had begun in Birmingham.The news was mainly about London burning but then there were shots of Brum City Centre followed by Liverpool. And then the noise started as we saw a dozen or so hooded youth outside the shop we thought trying to break in. I noticed they were further down with their attention on the chippy. They succeeded in tearing gown the shutter and breaking the windows. Not clear why this was their target though. They then had a go at the cash machine installed next door trying to rip it out of the wall. The police arrived by the van load very quickly. There were more riot police in this part of Handsworth than there appeared to be in Liverpool where rioters were driving the police back. It was a great relief since if the mob had gained entry to the shop, looted and torched it escape would have been difficult. The new owner of the fish shop was not so happy berating the police for not preventing the disorder. One office retorted that he’d been on duty for 17 hours.
The television coverage continued to replay Croydon, then Ealing, Clapham and other parts of London, some places will alight but no sign of a significant police presence or fire brigade. They would not attend without protection.
The “Shock Doctrine” brought into play by the British government unleashing an economic form of “Shock and Awe”, formulated by Naomi Klein’s view of “Disaster Capitalism, on us has back-fired. Members of the community are also capable of “shock and awe” tactics which has backfired seriously against the Cameron/Clegg partnership of barren politics. To further dispossess the already economically and socially dispossessed was a recipe for a backlash, which started with a student protest against exorbitant cost of higher education. To recognise this is not to condone the violence unleashed. Much of this has a disproportionate effect on others struggling to live in adversity while those who unleashed it inhabit ivory towers. There’s hardly a squeak from Labour in opposition about the effects of “cuts’. Cuts was always a euphemism of pulling the rug of public services from under the feet of the poor whose lifeline it was.

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