|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
8 August 2011
|1. England Burning
“Let’s go shopping...after the shops close.”
“Cool. I need another pair of trainers.”
“Yeah. And me. I only have nine.”
“Then we can burn the shop down.
“And a few houses.”
“With our neighbours still in them.”
“I’ll video it. It’ll be a laugh.”
43,000 calls to the police in 24 hours. And the burning question: where the hell
There on TV were 10-12 in riot gear standing in a row – standing, simply
standing...at a standstill at the stand off.
“Look. They’re about to do Debenham’s next.”
“Their trollies are already filled up.”
“They’ll have to wear the rest of the gear.”
“I don’t know. Those fires are proper hot.”
No plan A let alone B. Last riot they over reacted, this riot they didn’t react.
It was medieval; people trying to protect their homes with pots and pans from
hooded looters/rioters/feral yoots/yobs. The police looked on. Kitchen staff
used rolling pins and deep frying baskets to deter thugs at a Michelin-starred
restaurant in Notting Hill. In Croyden, Clapham Junction, Hackney, Lewisham,
Peckham, Endfield, Ealing, crowds casually strolling in the very middle of
mayhem and chaos as if they were watching a film being made. Strange.
Rioters were organised. The police weren't. Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester,
Liverpool, Leeds. London burning. England burning.
All instruction came from Met head office so there couldn’t be any initiative or
appropriate response or intervention to any wall-tilt-bracket-widescreen-42” –
HD/DVD ready TV or two being tossed onto the street.
More than 500 arrested, 100 charged so far, jail cells full. Drastic Tory cuts in
police, social and community services, youth centres (they continue to blame
Labour – yawn): no aspiration, no further education, no plans, no jobs, no
future, no proper family structure, pathologically unempathetic, no moral
compass, an us vs them mentality, angry, disaffected, disenfranchised, gangs,
powerlessness, a materialistic greedy celebrity driven self-serving vacuous
culture (thank you America) for a start. A failed economy due to billionaire tax
evaders [such as odious toad Top Shop (etc) owner Philip Green], another
increase in bankers' obscene bonuses, corporate control, privatisation, selling
off Britain to the US and Europe.... Perhaps these corporate tax-avoiders
should be made to tithe 10% of their massive incomes to help suffering
communities. Just a thought.
Via twitter, the coordinator for #riotcleanup, Dan Thompson, has put his
organisation into full operation: “If we can mobilise people to help these
communities and small businesses just when they need it, that would be great, it
would be the modern-day Blitz spirit. It's easy, it's simple and no huge
commitment need from anyone, just a bit from everybody.” And they did:
brooms, shovels, wheelbarrows, positive post-it notes.
‘We're all in this together’, CallMeDave, aren’t we....
The Silly Season
2. Holiday or Hiding. The Tip Off
PM CallMeDave and wife Samcam were clearly confused. They mistook a cafe
in Italy for one in France. The former adds the bill of the next table onto yours
while the latter spits in your escargot.
CMD sat with SC at an outdoor cafe in Tuscany for the obvious holiday
photoshoot. A gratuitous, unconvincing smile and worse – black leather work
shoes sans socks – the equivalent of white sports socks and sandals, shorts
and bare chest. Ew. Perhaps CMD was afraid that the Italian waitress wouldn’t
recognise his highness if he appeared too casual or too local. No fear there.
More London news and gossip about Dave and Sam Cameron
3. Tis the Season
Oh dear. I was just about to put my wintery items away for the summer in
deluded optimism – with 4 days of summer promised this last week - hot, hot,
hot - temperatures of 27-30c. Apparently it’s time to don those woolly gloves,
hats and scarves. Tis the season: It’s Christmas of course.
Harrods and Selfridges have decided to break with their yuletide tradition by
moving the opening of their Christmas shops from the first week of August to
the last week of July to capture the Asian open purse. Going on a Holiday has
been replaced by I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. Bells, baubles, beads,
trees and teddies. Shopping bag shoppers up by 40%, tourists by 45%. The
increased interest in Christmas merriment has been attributed to the burka ban
in France and holiday-makers from the East. Ch ching: the sound of tills, not
4. Let the Sun Shine In
To be honest, I have never for a moment thought that men were ‘logical’ –
because clearly they aren’t. No forward thinking, no planning, no future
orientation, no a + b = c – or the world wouldn’t be such a continuing mess –
historically or otherwise. And Steve Hilton is surely vying for the top bonkers
SH is the PM’s strategy adviser, chief, priest, guru, god. SH’s suggestions are
termed his ‘blue sky thinking’ as he roams around No10 bare footed and T
Flying without a parachute – or plane, Steve’s latest blue-sky vision includes
ignoring European labour work laws (to lower British workers’ wages),
abolishing maternity leave (to improve profits), closing jobcentres (to keep the
unemployed jobless) and suspending consumer rights legislation for nine
months to ‘see what would happen’. No red tape, independent regulatory
authority, government interference; sell off and privatise everything.
More London news and gossip about Steve Hilton