London (and several other towns) Burning

Scenes that only recently were safely at the other end of Europe in Greece are now on our doorstep and I'm fed up with the Media and politicians apportioning blame here and there like a horror version of 'pin the tail on the donkey blindfold'.

There's a really good post on the Live Journal by an ex teacher who gives a brilliant account of the kids who are out on the streets.  I knew that a large number of kids left education barely literate, but I didn't know how large the number was.  It is shocking for any supposedly 1st world country to have  almost 20% of it's young people leaving school totally unemployable.

Romicula says:   "I know the stats for the last thirteen years only because I've been a teacher for the last thirteen years. These kids often have virtually no social skills. By that I mean they literally cannot sit in a room and hold a conversation with someone other than those in their peer group. That doesn't matter. They don't have the skills to fill in a job application form, they have nothing to put on it if they did, so no one is going to sit them in a room and give them an interview, unless that someone is in a blue uniform, and they are recording the interview."

Another blog makes a satirical poetic parallel between the bankers and the looters - one legal, the other not. 

Children of Albion, you can take off that hood,
The world is your oyster, you’re out of the wood,
Directors and bankers have run off with more,
They’ve been there before you, they’ve cleaned out the store,
They’ve lit their own fires on the trading room floor,
Children of Albion
Sleep easy.

Children of Albion, sleep well in your beds,
There’s nothing to fear, no price on your heads,
No price and no buyer, you’ve romped and you’ve played,
And there in your hands is the loot you can trade,
Let none be deceived, let none be afraid,
Children of Albion
Sleep easy.

You can read the whole thing here.  

The diversity of the blogs shows the complexity of the problem.  One interesting fact - apparently Waterstone's in Clapham was the only shop not looted!   Either there's no market for books, or the looters are all illiterate - both explanations utterly depressing.

I have my grandchildren here for the holidays at the moment, going stir crazy with the rain, and wonder what kind of future they've got.   We need to educate and treasure them, because we're going to be relying on them to get us out of this mess.


  1. It is so tragically heartbreaking.
    Decades of Thatcherism have had a terrible effect.
    Her words about community not existing are looking prophetic. But unfortunately it is a result of decades of no motive but the profit motive counting for anything in politics and economics.


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