The 4 ‘R’s : Respect, Responsibility, Rioting and Rupert.
Britain is a deeply depressing place to wake up in. The morning news is dominated again by more tales of youngsters, some reported to be as young as 9, 10 or 11, being out on the streets in the small hours looting and burning. This is invariably followed by a spokesbod who waffles on about ‘supporting the police’ (Theresa May) or ‘the need for respect’ (Boris Johnson.
How has it come to this?
Some clues could be found in the behaviour and actions of our so-called betters. As role models they are singularly awful. Take Bankers and Financiers. Please. Having brought the financial systems of the world to near meltdown they have continued on their merry way paying each other huge bonuses. They exemplify the ‘greed is good’ approach first spouted by Gordon Gecko in the film ‘Wall Street.’
How have they got away with this? Simple. Each major political party relies on huge cash handouts from such as these. Many of our senior politicians are deeply tarnished by an association with high finance and speculation which borders on corruption.
Our MPs showed their own greed gene was alive and well with the Expenses Scandal. Apart from a few scapegoats, the vast majority walked away scot free. Doesn’t stop them having the brass neck to lecture the rest of us on how to behave.
The extent of the abuse and cover up in the Catholic church removed any moral authority from that institution. Wrangles about homosexuality and women priests have affected other faiths.
The recent revelations about the Murdoch press (and others) paying police officers for juicy information coincided with reports of their senior officers enjoying dinners and close contact with Murdoch management - at the same time they were investigating them! Not to mention all the cosy little chats off the record with our politicians. "Anything else we can do for you Rupert?"
We have the super rich taking out super injunctions because they can. We have a society which in great swathes is beholden to the daily doings of the Premier League. This is another institution whose values reflect the malignancy of Murdoch. One of the saddest aspects of this is the way that the young in Britain are encouraged to watch but not participate. Big football is associated with big drinking and laddish behaviour. Blood and circuses.
London has one of the biggest differentials between the poor and the ultra rich anywhere on earth. The UK is not far behind. In such an unequal society crime thrives. Stir the pot with a good dose of 'cuts' and expect trouble.
Respect? For what? For corrupt and venal institutions?
Responsibility? Why? Why should we take responsibility when our leaders do not?
To paraphrase ‘The Life of Brian’ - “what have the bankers/financiers/speculators/premiershit/politicians ever done for us?”
And those 9, 10 and 11 year olds? They are the children of Thatcher’s children.