9 Aug 2011

The saddest day for Britain

This are the saddest days I have ever seen in London. I was in London for the 7/7 terrorists attacks, but that was nothing. That was done by disgruntled people who, thought it was a bloody awful belief, had their reasons. This was done by local residents, by the young. In their own areas, in their own communities. 

I'm shocked and horrified that these ferrel children had taken to the streets, smashing, looting, mugging, setting fire to businesses, homes and cars. Some as young a 11. 

My husband and I watched the news from 7pm to 1am in shock, anger and sadness. We couldn't believe our eyes.

I lived in Peckham for 3 years whist at university, I worked in Camden, I have family in Ealing and Croydon, I go through Clapham every time I go to work. I have stockists and friends in Hackney. All of these places had a undeserved reputation of being dangerous and gang-ridden, undeserved because for every dodgy person or no-go area there are 10 nice, normal individuals and streets. These areas had worked so hard and come so far in shaking off their dodgy reputations. 

But as we watched  these areas get bombarded by violence and thuggery,  we also watched the reputations of these places plummet as the pictures were beamed across the world.

Sky and BBC news kept reporting that these people where doing it because of some druggy 'gangster' from Tottenham. Some reported that it was a reaction to Stop and Search of a teenager in Hackney earlier on in the day. Today the news are saying its because the government has shut down youth clubs, and there no jobs etc.

Its all Bollocks!

These kids are from the musical sub-culture of ' Rude Boy/Girl  Gangster Rappers' . Everyone knows who I'm taking about. They come in many a form. Girl or boy , Black or White or Asian. They are a sub-culture just like rockers, Goths and emo's  are, but these rude boy's idolise the rise from poverty to wealth through violence, breaking the law and gaining 'respect' from their peers . This is rapped about in Gangsta rapper music: a sub-genre of hip-hop.

They are the same kids that hang around in shopping centres and town centres in large groups, They're the ones at the back of the double decker bus playing their music through the speakers on their phones instead of through their headphones, they're the ones that eat food on tube trains and leave their rubbish when they get off. They are the same people that mug people for their phones, they're the same people that don't pay on the bendy buses, They 'happy slap', they're the same people that stole my dads car at knife point. They have 'street' accents and wear hoodies, 'bling' and caps like their idols.They don't give a fuck about anything except gaining respect from their mates, and ultimately respect criminals, drug dealers and  gang culture.

They are also the ones who have got away with this antisocial behaviour for too long. Their parents don't control them, their schools can't control them, the police don't phase them and we, as a community, don't object to some of their disgusting behaviour. Perhaps for fear of getting stabbed or beaten up. Perhaps because its 'not our problem'. How could we let this group of idiots get this far without any reprecutions for their disruptive, antisocial behaviour?  How can this group of people hold so much disregard for authority?

This episode had nothing to poverty, cutting youth groups, or even school holidays. Its down to Bad parenting and lack of social unacceptable within the community. 

The parents need to control their young. They need to sit down and have a meal every night with their kids and actually talk to them. They need to teach them wrong from right, know where they are. They need to Educate them not to aspire to own material objects like Nike trainers and iphones, but aspire to be educated and thoughtful towards others. Educate them to not blame the government for their social status, but learn how to do something about it. Teach them about giving and receiving in the correct ways,  rather than demanding respect by intimidation. 

Our attitude towards anti-social behaviour also needs to change.  We are so quick to just hand over the responsibility for violence and anti-social behaviour to the police without socially, and as a community,  nipping it in the bud.We need to publicly disapprove when a child plays their music on the bus, or hangs around the street when you consider it far too late for them to be out. We need to educate these kids not to idolise gangster rappers for their grimy lyrics and material objects they've acquired but for their musical knowledge, poetic use of the English language and the voice they have gained through their talent.

I'm fed up of feeling intimidated by these people, I'm fed up of being un-phased about stabbings and muggings up and down the country. I'm fed up of the street talk, and the terrible slang grammar, I'm fed up of the excuses these kids are giving that they've learned from someone else.

My parents married young (19), had no money and ended up on a terrible council estate in Kidbrooke, London. (see above) My sister and brother were born and spend the first few years of their life on this council estate in the late 70s early 80s. I have 2 brother and a sister and none of us would think its acceptable to even think about vandalising, looting or setting fire to stuff, let alone actually do it. The difference between those kids/families yesterday and my own family is we didn't demand a better life from the government,  my parents never felt  like they were owed anything, My parents taught us right from wrong, they sat and spoke to us, we had a meal at the table every night- without the telly on, we went to bed at times according to our age, but never past 9pm (even at 16) My mother would phone the parents of the people I hung around with to make sure they were a) real b) would look after me. My father followed jobs around the country, rather than waiting for the 'right one to come along' We were poor as a family, we had no central heating in our freezing house for 10 years. We could never go on school trips, or afford hot school dinners everyday. We just got on with it.  Any inappropriate behaviour was either nipped in the bud or failing that a deep, long winded  conversation about what we were doing was had. 

I was the same age as the kids who killed Jamie Bulger. And the night it hit the news I remember (bearing in mind I was 10) my mum asking me if I would kill anyone. I remember being surprised at her question, of course I hadn't even delved into the emotion of hatred, let alone death.  but ultimately, my mum wasn't checking to see if would kill anyone, but was keen to explore our thoughts around the dinner table about why these young boys did what they did. During those many conversations on varying subjects I learned my parent's and sibling's thoughts, and built on my own thoughts and feelings on situations that effected me, our family and the world around us.

I'm really shocked by what has happened but the lack of action against anti-socialism within communities and an obsession with success measured by material possessions, mixed with a group of people with a similar mindsets in overcrowded, secluded housing estates with several generations people inside.... it was bound to happen sooner or later. 

The above videos where taken by sky reporter Mark Stone, and I think they are brave and a little bit genius.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Thank you for this, someone needed to say it.

I've never felt unsafe or uncomfortable in London until now (not really even when 7/7 was happening, I was more angry than scared). I am truly appalled by what has occurred over the past few days and I can only hope that it stops soon before any more damage is done.

I love this city with all my heart and I just wish that these horrible people would show some respect towards the appropriate things - their families, their communities, their culture and history instead of trying to impress their idiot friends by destroying everything around them, including law-abiding peoples futures not to mention their own and that of their communities.

It's just all so sad.