Monday, August 08, 2011
Reactionary birdsong posted by Richard SeymourWhile we await a pronunciamento from Cameron (ie not from his butler), there is a seam of political reaction already in the post in response to the riots. The right-wing is going stir crazy over these events. You need only follow the Tweets relating to each new hotspot and the Twitterers who express, far more concisely than the 'vox pops' on the news, the instapundits, the right-wing blogs, and those politicians who have so far been dragged out their hangovers by the media, where this is all going. Here's a brief songsheet.
Bestiary: The people who did this are "animals", exhibiting a "pack mentality". (Cf, "plague of locusts") They should be "put down".
Mindless: These people have no issues. They're not protesting. It's just mindless violence for the sake of mindless violence. They should be shot.
Opportunists: These people are social lurkers, awaiting the opportunity for a bit of mayhem and looting. It's just "needless opportunistic theft and violence" (dixit the tea boy). They should be sent back.
Leftists: The rioters are leftists, and clearly express the criminal urges of the left. They are like UK Uncut. They should have their benefits taken away.
Violence: There is no excuse for violence. Unless it's police violence (which is 'mindful' violence). Bring back the water cannon, the rubber bullets, and internment. They should be sent to Afghanistan.
Multiculturalism: These rioters are black and Jewish. Multiculturalism has failed. This isn't Basra or Baghdad. This is Tottenham, South London [sic]. This is Enfield, Wood Green, Hackney, Brixton, Lewisham, New Cross, Waltham Cross, Croydon, East Ham, Islington, Peckham and now Birmingham. These people should be forcibly integrated, then sent back.
You may think this brief, sarcastic itinerary of reaction is exaggerated. But, if anything, I have understated the violence, panic and seige mentality of the right, for reasons of taste apart from anything else. If you doubt me, spend an hour or so scanning tweets about the riots. There's a genuinely nasty, resentful, frightened seam of opinion that seems to become more bunkered with every new challenge to the sense of relative security and prosperity they had enjoyed just five years ago.