An eery and heart-breaking feeling of emptiness and disappointment; that’s the way the images of my home city are making me feel. Tonight, London (and other parts of the UK) are in absolute turmoil. Riots and looting have made my city world-famous today. These images are probably worse than those of the student protests of a few months ago. They portray a city that is completely out of control and youths lashing out at local businesses. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I would be witness to such scenes of carnage and anarchy. Do these people have consciences? Do they not care about the society we all have to live in? Does image mean nothing?
As I watch the continuous images on various news channels, of some places I know very well, I can’t help but feel sad. I feel sad about the businesses and innocent livelihoods that have been destroyed. I feel sad about the people who clearly condemn such actions but are having to bear the brunt of individuals who are clearly not thinking straight… or perhaps who are seeking to deliver a message. Most of all, I feel sad about a city that’s been attacked by it’s own people; a city whose services are unable to cope with the scale of the problem; a city which, in no uncertain terms, needs to conjure up a punishment that it stands by to punish those who have caused such damage.
I will go to sleep tonight feeling unsafe in my home city and unable to get these images out of my mind. I do not blame the police for their lack of presence in certain areas for they are having to deal with a situation which is unmanageable. I do not blame the fire services because they can only be at a handful of places at any one time. I DO blame society for being too soft, for being unable to control the groups around them from spurring out of control… and mostly, for making the unthinkable acceptable. I retire for the evening hoping everyone stays safe and that the UK becomes a nation to be proud of once again. The night will undoubtedly be a difficult one but the goal should not be thought so.
I leave you with one thought…