Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Memory Banks

I suddenly remembered something tonight. I worked with a London rioter. Finally his first name came to me, Terry. I can't remember his last name now. He was a sweet little thing and we got on well. I knew quite a bit about his present life, except for what should have been glaringly obvious to me. He was gay. I only found out later.

One evening he was telling about when he got caught up in London riots. As the tale went on, it became clear that he was one of the rioters. He was not caught, only because the plod who was pursuing him was fat and could not get over a fence, whereas Terry did and escaped.

I know roughly what year I knew him and I recall the riots were in the south of London. Wikipedia tells me it must have been the Brixton riots.

It was certainly pre the poll tax riots.

Here is a snip from the Wikipedia entry.

On 13 April, Margaret Thatcher dismissed the notion that unemployment and racism lay beneath the Brixton disturbances claiming "Nothing, but nothing, justifies what happened"

Does that sound a bit like PM David Cameron or Mayor Boris Johnston now? And who is now rioting? The children of Maggie's dispossessed?

Then there was the near and dear who got caught up in a riot.


  1. Are u in London ? I hear about that riot from TV...I surprise that could happened in advance country..Here we have seen so many riots

  2. OMG, I read back and I also see something else in common here... "The cause so far as I can work out was a reaction against the deaths of youths joyriding and being pursued by police". Rebellion just as it is now, history repeats itself.
    How bloody scary! And, as I said to my little family, it could very well happen anywhere in the World today the way things are going. Looking out on Grattan Street now from our break room, I see traffic going along nicely, I see trams going through the big old round about there that is having massive reconstructive works, and I think, "Shivers.. it could happen anywhwere!"

  3. Hard to know what causes this - everyone has opinions and causes NOW -

  4. Martin12:29 pm

    Here's an interesting piece of analysis from an Australian economist (and it has a bit of Melbourne history in there, too):

  5. Balimoz, no I am still in Melbourne. There been many riots in England over the years, as there have been in many European countries.

    She has a lot to answer for Jayne. Pity she is gaga and not able to see what has happened.

    Cazzie, I don't think it can go wrong here, but I have no confidence in my thought.

    MC, I really don't have strong thoughts on causes, except those vandalising and stealing do not have a sense of society.

    Martin, what a ripper piece of history about Ashwood. A couple of those Nissan huts are still there I think, now as bottle shops. I will be following this up further, thanks.