Sunday, August 14, 2011

Who's "we", Paleface ?

Henry Porter in the Guardian :

'We will wear the great shame of these riots for a very long time. A great shock has been delivered to England's sense of identity blah blah blah wibble ...'

It was interesting to see how quickly the BBC responded to Alex Salmond's taunting and changed the "UK Riots" heading into "English Riots".

I'm not sure the BBC will want to take that laudable principle of localisation too far, though - are you ?

I just get a feeling from today's Guardian and BBC that it's back to normal as far as our rulers are concerned.They're all going to try and understand a little more and condemn a little less, having used up about five years worth of condemnation over the last week. Business As Usual ? We shall see.

UPDATE - a comment :

I am a teacher of English and taught in England for 15 years before emigrating to Australia in 1987.

In 2000, 2006 and 2009, I returned to the U.K. and did Supply Teaching at five secondary schools, two in London, three in towns a few miles outside.

All five had many moments redolent of 'Lord Of The Flies' , but the saddest and most revealing experience occurred at a school in Essex in 2000, as I'd taught at that school for 8 years when I still lived in England, leaving there in 1983. Thus I had not set foot in that school for 17 years and, amazingly, two teachers were still there. Both, so sadly, and independently of each other, while over-joyed to see me, said don't let what you see spoil your happy and positive memories of the school.

I'm not being alarmist - it hadn't just declined, it had plummeted.

I still vividly remember voicing my first concern with a Deputy as when we approached the entrance, which I'd so many times gone through, it was now necessary to enter a code in order to get in. When I said that was worrying, the Deputy disagreed, saying you couldn't have parents just being allowed to enter the school and assault staff. I looked sharply at him when he said this but he didn't notice. It is so obviously nothing more than a short-term, band-aid solution that clearly reveals far more worrying, serious, disturbing and underlying issues, concerns and realities that long-term just simply have to be addressed.

To be honest here, while looking at the scenes with incredulity, especially those from Tottenham and Enfield because these areas are where I was born, raised and still stay in when over over there, I just could not separate what was happening with what I'd experienced and witnessed in those five schools.

In a way, as unbelievable as it all seemed, none were that surprising.


Ross said...

The lack of any riots in Scotland, even in Glasgow is interesting.

If riots are caused by poverty and joblessness you'd expect Glasgow to be ablaze.

The sectarian divide should also make riots more likely according to traditional theories.

Anonymous said...

Having just spent a few days in some Scottish cities, I was under the impressions the riots had already happened there, and then moved South....

Foxy Brown said...

@ Ross,

Celtic homogeneity, perhaps? Notwithstanding the religious factional feuds that have beset Glasgow historically, Scotland isn't as dynamic and colourful as England - or at least not yet.

Anonymous said...

The comments of the teacher are spot on. I have further experience having also taught in prisons which is just a bit further down the pipeline. You get whites with simailar savage attitudes but there is a certain preponderance amongst some blacks. You cant really reach out - the distance is too great. Tragic. Memories ...

1. After the bnp successes in Euro elections I asked a group of blacks if they thought bnp hated all non-whites. One lad said no. I was asked who I voted for and I declined to say, quite properly and professionally(UKip!). I expect some teachers would have no qualms about the thorougly wrong practice of actually saying - influencing young people politically. I was approached quite a few times and asked again - maybe to see if I would 'throw one' and suicidally shout out 'Yea, up the BNP!'

2. Black lad asking me theoretically whether I would come to his aid if he was being attacked by a load of whites. The thing that annoyed me was the glint in his eye. A sort of glee that he thought he was making me squirm. The very posing of the question was an insult to me and me forbears as if we were subhuman scum with no human sympathy. A feeling of moral superiority. And a superiourity of 'feeling' and 'soul'. Ignorant, arrogant, racist little shit. But what do you expect whenm all they have heard from 'whites' is apologies.

Bandit 1 said...

"Who's "we", Paleface ?"

Exactly the sentiment I feel whenever a member of the chattering classes makes with the royal 'we'. Fairly boils my piss, so it does.

I'm just an ordinary Joe. I have a full-time job and a rented house and a student loan. Neither my family nor my wife's family has ever had any money. We just work, and earn, and save, and live honest lives within our modest means.

Am I an MP, an MEP, a local councillor or a European Commissioner? No.
Am I an influential member of the teaching profession? No. The police? No.
Am I on a progressive/liberal/Fabian think-tank? No.
Am I the controller of a TV channel, or the editor of a TV news programme? No.
Am I paid to write opinion pieces for a national newspaper? No.

I am the silent majority. None of the super-smart professional bullshit artists/cultural vandals who have destroyed this country with insane policy after insane policy ever ask me what I think about anything.

Yet now I'm supposed to feel as if the wholly predictable outcome of those policies is somehow my fault?

Fuck that.

P.S. Anyone seen one column from a progressive yet that hints at being a mea culpa? Any hint of a recognition that maybe, just maybe, they might have been wrong about, well, everything?

Quaggy Duck said...

There were virtually no riots in Scotland in 1981 either, apart from one on the Ferguslie Park estate in Paisley.

On the other hand, Scotland has a higher murder rate than England and Wales at 21.4/million versus 13.5/million.

Bevvying and a hard-man culture cause murders but don't necessarily cause riots. There is virtually no tradition in Scotland of rioters fighting the police. Plenty of doomed individual attempts on Saturday night of course, but no anti-police riots to kick things off.

Everyone knows what the principal reason for the difference is, despite humorous smokescreen stuff about lousy weather.