Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Should the British government resign?
In light of the recent protests that are spreading throughout England, it would appear that the only reasonable choice for the British coalition government, led by David Cameron, is to resign en masse and allow new elections to be held. Failing that, NATO should immediately undertake a military campaign including targeting #10 Downing Street, the complex in which Prime Minister Cameron and his family live.
Admittedly, there will be innocent civilian causalities because of the fact that the bombing is happening in a densely populated area, but such are the costs of a war of freedom.
Anything wrong with that logic?
There didn’t appear to be anything wrong with it when the USA, Canada, France, Italy and other players began bombing Tripoli, Libya and concentrating on the residential complex of Muammar Gaddafi and his family. Different strokes for different folks, perhaps? After all, the justification for the bombing was that the Libyan people had risen up in protest, taken to the streets and were making a very clear statement of their displeasure with the current state of affairs.
It’s even “closer” to the situation in Tunisia where the protestors took to the streets to condemn the death of 26-year old Mohamed Bouazizi, who burned himself to death to protest injustice from the government. In England, the protests began after the police shot and killed 29-year old Mark Duggan, who was travelling in a taxi. Initially, the demonstrations were to focus attention on what the demonstrators felt was clear injustice by the police.
Admittedly, the forms of government are much different in the two or three countries, but aren’t the complaints of those who are doing the protesting much the same? They are dissatisfied with their state in life, feel the government is not serving their needs and want to see massive change. The degree and quality of that change is up for discussion.
There is one significant difference though.
In an “attempt” to “understand” the violence that has devastated several English cities over the last few days, social scientists have been asking us to consider the state of mind of those who are doing the violence. They feel that if we can “understand” the motivation behind the mindless violence, thuggery, thefts, assaults and destruction of public and private property, it will somehow help us to feel less antagonistic towards those responsible for the violence.
What we’re being told is that at base, they are essentially a lot of misunderstood youth and not-so-youth who need to express their frustration with the system which denies them meaningful work and the right to buy and own high-end luxury sneakers and other fancy goods. So, they bust open the store windows and steal the sneakers, TVs, clothing and just about anything else you can imagine.
And you know the most amazing thing? It’s the same technology that has enabled the riots and protests in England, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – smart phones, texting and facebooking. There are widespread distributions of messages telling everyone that a store on such and such a street is being ransacked or that a police car is being torched at a certain intersection. And, like a horde of locusts, the mob moves to the new location and more violence follows.
What really tears the heart out of me is to see hard-working people who built small stores to feed their families, finding that the store has been destroyed and the contents stolen – not all of these stores sell luxury items.
A lot of those people are immigrants who came to England to escape the violence at home. Many of them started out doing jobs that other Brits wouldn’t do – cleaning buildings, toilets, washing dishes in restaurants, collecting garbage – and built themselves up from scratch. Not all of them, granted, but a large number. Same situation in this country. And yet, the people who wouldn’t do those jobs in England are the ones who are doing the violence against those who do.
We know there is a huge difference between what’s going on in England at the moment and what happened in Africa and the Middle East. It’s just sickening to hear these so-called social scientists trying to explain it as some sort of sociological mistake.
So please, don’t try to excuse the thugs with some sort of social science baffle gab. And, please, don’t spare the rod.