For the last couple of days I’ve been getting messages asking about the riots. There’s the opening “omg are you ok?!” followed by the popular “what’s happening?!” and the ever cynical “I thought you were dead!” Well fine. You want to talk about the riots? Let’s talk about the riots! I ended up with a new television set and found myself a whole shipment of I-Pads. Turns out the shop windows were reinforced against bricks but not against stolen construction equipment.
Ok that’s a bad joke. In truth the riots didn’t affect me in the slightest. The nearest action was at least two hours away from me, and since you could drive from one end of our little island to the other in a single day, two hours travel is an eternity on English soil. The news outlets were quick to brand the rioters as a troublemaking minority (like the last one, and the one before that), but I remain skeptical, especially now that they’re blaming social networking sites (the same social networking sites they praised during the protests in Egypt!) and video games. Apparently Grand Theft Auto IV made thousands of kids take to the streets and start looting. I’ve been playing it myself and have yet to develop any alarming feelings aside from an intense hatred of pigeons.
You want the real reason for the riots? People are angry, so angry that they wish to take it out on something - anything. Youth centres are closing down, wages have flatlined as food and gas prices continue to rise, and benefits are being slashed. I’m not saying its ok to fetch your V for Vendetta mask and overturn some cars, but let's not pretend there isn't a problem here. This might even set our imminent invasion of America back a few weeks.