Tuesday, 23 August 2011


  I thought I’d resist until now the temptation of writing about the English riots. Enough has been said by the chattering classes and TV worthies. But I don’t think the recent week of mindless mayhem can pass without a little reflection.
 Have you noted that today no-one will take responsibility as  the result of such actions? Like the mother of a so-called feral-rat nabbed for looting and wholesale damage. She said what he and his hooded mates had done was not their fault but that of the police…!  Wonder what she will say when the council knock on the door with an eviction order. She will be screeching between puffs of fag smoke about her human rights, I can guess. Then we had the case of the two Cheshire fellows who thought it was a joke to call on the street mob in Northwich and Warrington to join the violence via the social media. They got terribly upset to find themselves in the slammer for four years. They said what they did was a joke. But you have to ask what would have happened had their call been heeded?
 Now the blame game is a modern human disease not confined to the low life. It has spread like cancer from across the Atlantic, powered by websites and email. Have a car accident, however small, and you can guarantee that within weeks, nay days, you will be contacted by some seedy individual wanting to front up a claim for “your injuries”. Even if it was your fault and you were not really hurt. The result is that some rat-bag of a commission junky in an anonymous office will get richer by the day if you fall for the spiel. And soaring insurance rates for us poor motorists is the consequence.  
 Such commission chasing even impacts on charities. Some years ago I changed my will on discovery that should I go to that great newsroom-in-the-sky the sum I’d left to a charity would be grabbed from my nearest and dearest almost before I could ask my maker for a pint of bitter ! I am afraid (no happy to say) that charity must begin at home!
 Returning to the riots, common among the complaints of those desperately seeking to lay the blame for the trouble elsewhere was the gangs had nothing to do between collecting their benefit cheques via us working taxpayers. Just wreck the streets instead, then? Most will have noticed that those battering down windows, setting fires and nicking as much as they could to carry off, were not what you would call poor, dressed in their designer gear for the most part! It was bizarre during the same nights of rage that TV managed to squeeze between its endless coverage of the streets the real poverty of Africa and its starving peoples. I didn’t hear many protests about those images.
 However, I think that by and large today’s youngsters are among the best. Too often they are knocked but recent experience has shown me another side of a much criticised generation. Twice during a rail trip to London I was helped by a young man and then a woman as I climbed platform staircases struggling with a heavy suitcase. What more can I say.

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