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The polarisation between the claim that ‘the riots are a response to unemployment and wasted lives’ and the insistence ‘the violence constitutes mere criminality’ makes little sense. There is clearly more to the riots than simple random hooliganism. But that does not mean that the riots, as many have claimed, are protests against disenfranchisement, social exclusion and wasted lives. In fact, it’s precisely because of disenfranchisement, social exclusion and wasted lives that these are not ‘protests’ in any meaningful sense, but a mixture of incoherent rage, gang thuggery and teenage mayhem. Disengaged not just from the political process (largely because politicians, especially those on the left, have disengaged from them), but also from a sense of the community or the collective, there is a generation (in fact more than a generation) with no focus for their anger and resentment, no sense that they can change society and no reason to feel responsible for the consequences of their actions. That is very different from suggesting that the riots were caused by, a response to, or a protest against, unemployment, austerity and the cuts.
It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. So have the feral rich of Chelsea and Kensington
... And on that, let me just say...well, I don't want to say much more about it now, but it will become clear that I do not think that this is a simple issue, and I do not think we can simply ascribe it to wanton criminality or simply ascribe it to 'Tory cuts,' or whatever, you know ...
... I want to be more considered about this so please take this as a sort of first, you know. I think London is a wonderful city, and it works brilliantly and it brings people together in the most amazing way. [But] there are huge gaps, inequalities, there are problems of aspiration, of achievement, all sorts of [things] that lead people to behave in absolutely despicable ways. And, you know, I don't want to get into the whole background field of causation, cos it is very, very various...
... But what it has exposed is things to do with society over a long time. I don't want try to sum it up in a groping way with you now, but what I certainly think is true is that it has exposed issues, and what I really want this to do is to allow us to tackle gang crime, to get a grip on it.
how ludicrous I find the idea of a post-scarcity world. Even more so, the idea that we can, or should (!), pay out salaries to people who are literally doing nothing
The resources to clothe, feed and house the human race already exist and are already being consumed.
Perhaps you've noticed hunger does not occur in democracies?
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