Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Riots in London

Of course by now you've heard about the London Riots. Of my family there, my sister is OK, one of my brothers narrowly escaped the burning in Croyden and my other brother (who I'm sure is fine), is not responding to text messages, though this is not particularly unusual for him. I have other friends there who have not been able to get home, though I don't know of anyone who has been hurt yet. Had I been there, I've noticed that the rioting has been close to three places I've lived. Very unsettling.

Much of the commentary appears to be very much "society has failed us" or "the rioters are all criminal thugs", neatly reducing the entire mess into a useless sound bite serving only to reinforce the opinion of the person uttering it. The only thing I can think of, after having lived in the UK for years, is that I doubt that a happy, healthy society would so spontaneously erupt into violence. It's also worth noting that that this is part of a continuing trend in the UK and I don't think that the underlying problems are as simple as anyone would like to portray.

The UK is not a particularly good place to be right now, but I think the politicians are so far removed from daily life that they're just not seeing it any more. The people in the UK are great and my heart goes out to them, but I wouldn't want to live there right now.
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