Is it Ever Right to Riot?

Posted on April 19, 2016

Apparently, 150,000 people demonstrated against the government at the weekend, which, if the figures are based on facts, is quite a substantial amount.

The problem with a lot of these statistics is that they are often exaggerated, with false information being portrayed over social media which, in my opinion, is self-defeating, a bit like churning out all the tired old phases like ‘Tory Scum’.

I don’t like the modern Conservatives, I think they are self-serving puppets for big business who are easily corrupted and have no qualms in being relaxed about laws and loopholes that suit themselves and filthy rich party donors. New Labour was no different to be fair; the issues of damaging twenty-first century uber-capitalism are entrenched in modern politics.

I believe that being vitriolic for the sake of it, plays into the hands of those who will condemn such behaviour as rabid jealousy of success, as does vandalising statues or old war memorials; this is about moving forward not harking on about Thatcher, who is long dead.

We are where we are, so if we are going to make our country a better place for all, rather than a tiny minority, we need to be forward thinking rather than backward and the place to start is with big business and the perils of decimating the health service.

Does this mean it is time to riot? Well, it will quite possibly be the outcome if we continue down the route where wholesale abuse is undertaken by the wealthy and public service decimation continues at the rate it is. There is only so much people can take and with wages stagnating and austerity failing, we are at a tipping point.

I had a debate with a friend of mine about rioting the other week and it was a shame we had to part ways after a dog walk, because we were at the stage of wondering when rioting is worthwhile to the cause and when it is damaging. He, a professional and self-sufficient man, thought there was a good argument for a riot as a last resort for justice.

In history, riots at Cable Street and Olympia in the 1930’s effectively ended the surge of the British Union of Fascists (the Blackshirts) and the Poll Tax Riots of 1990 arguably slammed the last nail into the coffin of Thatcher, who was becoming increasingly mad and isolated in her own party.

The Battle of Cable Street was the beginning of the end for the Blackshirts

It could also be said that black people are treated far better than they were before the riots of the 70’s and 80’s in Brixton, Tottenham, Bristol, Birmingham and Toxteth, so these events could also be regarded as a success of sorts. As the Clash song went; “Black man got a lot of problems, but they don’t mind throwing a brick.”

What needs to be understood is that people driven to rioting aren’t bad; they are often just at their wits end of not getting their voices heard in any other manner. History demonstrates that is how 20th century terror organisations evolved across the world and on our own doorstep in Northern Ireland. If you treat people badly enough they will turn violent in the end; anyone reading this who watched football in 1980’s knows that.

In my opinion, they key to making Britain a better place sits under the doormat of the southern working classes who are paying taxes to just about keep the whole system of capitalism afloat, but are just about doing okay enough to believe they are some part of Tory culture and are somehow better than their Welsh, Northern and Scottish counterparts who have often taken the brunt of industrial decline and brutal socio-economics.

There is a perception that if you are a southerner and a socialist, you wear tank tops knitted by your mother and potter around in your 2CV in between ‘Save Amnesty’ meetings and scouring the Arts section of the Sunday Observer. These are all hobbies that are pretty harmless in comparison to raping the country of taxes, but they are not exclusive and you don’t have to be that way to want a fairer society; there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, of having socialist values whilst wearing a nice pair of shoes or shirt and running your own small enterprise.

There is a belief in southern working culture that we are paying to prop up the n’er do wells and this is a point that is driven into us by large sections of the media. Of course, there is a valid point that it is us in the south that work and pay taxes to prop up the bottom end of society but it needn’t be solely down to the workers to cough up if there was parity in the distribution of wealth at the top end of the British system.

What we pay out to the feckless is a pin prick on the scrotum of a bluebottle in comparison to lost revenue and corporate tax avoidance at the top of the food chain. In my opinion, that fact alone is worth rioting for, albeit targeted rioting rather than the brainless looting of some poor old bastard’s carpet shop. Blockading blue chip companies that don’t pay corporation tax might be a start.

We also need to educate people that the NHS is at some point, is going to be used by them and their families; no matter how fit they think they are right now. If it becomes a two-tier system and is gradually broken down and sold off, it will affect people just as much in the south, unless of course, they are really, really wealthy. Blockading companies who are hovering around making money from health is another sound idea.

Why would this lead to rioting? Because the government would send the boot boys in and brand the protesters as thugs, just as they did during the miners’ strike in 1984-85. It is a simple tactic that was also seen at football matches during that era. The miners effectively got starved out after a gallant fight but modern society would not tolerate the state police brutality that finished them, so in a way, theirs was a victory of sorts.

Walking around with banners saying ‘Tory Scum’ and ‘The Only Useful Tory is a Lavatory’ might be well-meaning but it is futile and of little interest to the BBC, ITV or even Channel 4. They have seen it all before; it is not a conspiracy that they don’t make it newsworthy, they just can’t be bothered reporting it as they have seen and heard it all before.

It is my opinion that the way to make a change is to make the southern working man realise that but for the grace of geography, they could have been a miner, a docker, a steel worker, or an operative at a components factory.

Why not fight for your fellow man, rather than turning your back and supporting a government that allows corporates to bleed the country dry and then asks you to cop the bill for the bail-out costs? It is time for the southern man to lift his head off his pillow, walk down the stairs of his modest house, open the percolator, and smell the coffee; for it is he paying for the lavish lifestyle of those who evade and avoid from afar and don’t care a jot about Britain.

The second line in the Clash song was “White people go to school, where they teach you how to be thick.”

The song was called ‘White Riot’. Maybe it is time we galvanised ourselves and had one of our own?

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