Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Camila Batmanghelidjh writes an excellent piece on people adrift from society; she should pen another highlighting the politicians adrift as well

Dear All

Camila Batmanghelidjh has written an excellent article, it is so good that it worth reproducing in full.

At present, the authorities are trying to restore order but later after the flames die down and smoke clears, people will want answers.

Here is her full article.

"Caring costs – but so do riots

These rioters feel they don't actually belong to the community. For years, they’ve felt cut adrift from society

Shops looted, cars and buildings burnt out, young adults in hoods on the rampage.

London has woken up to street violence, and the usual narratives have emerged – punish those responsible for the violence because they are "opportunist criminals" and "disgusting thieves". The slightly more intellectually curious might blame the trouble on poor police relations or lack of policing.

My own view is that the police in this country do an impressive job and unjustly carry the consequences of a much wider social dysfunction. Before you take a breath of sarcasm thinking "here she goes, excusing the criminals with some sob story", I want to begin by stating two things. First, violence and looting can never be justified. Second, for those of us working at street level, we're not surprised by these events.

Twitter and Facebook have kept the perverse momentum going, transmitting invitations such as: "Bare shops are gonna get smashed up. So come, get some (free stuff!!!!) F... the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! Dead the ends and colour war for now. So If you see a brother... SALUTE! If you see a fed... SHOOT!"

If this is a war, the enemy, on the face of it, are the "lawless", the defenders are the law-abiding. An absence of morality can easily be found in the rioters and looters. How, we ask, could they attack their own community with such disregard? But the young people would reply "easily", because they feel they don't actually belong to the community. Community, they would say, has nothing to offer them. Instead, for years they have experienced themselves cut adrift from civil society's legitimate structures. Society relies on collaborative behaviour; individuals are held accountable because belonging brings personal benefit. Fear or shame of being alienated keeps most of us pro-social.

Working at street level in London, over a number of years, many of us have been concerned about large groups of young adults creating their own parallel antisocial communities with different rules. The individual is responsible for their own survival because the established community is perceived to provide nothing. Acquisition of goods through violence is justified in neighbourhoods where the notion of dog eat dog pervades and the top dog survives the best. The drug economy facilitates a parallel subculture with the drug dealer producing more fiscally efficient solutions than the social care agencies who are too under-resourced to compete.

The insidious flourishing of anti-establishment attitudes is paradoxically helped by the establishment. It grows when a child is dragged by their mother to social services screaming for help and security guards remove both; or in the shiny academies which, quietly, rid themselves of the most disturbed kids. Walk into the mental hospitals and there is nothing for the patients to do except peel the wallpaper. Go to the youth centre and you will find the staff have locked themselves up in the office because disturbed young men are dominating the space with their violent dogs. Walk on the estate stairwells with your baby in a buggy manoeuvring past the condoms, the needles, into the lift where the best outcome is that you will survive the urine stench and the worst is that you will be raped. The border police arrive at the neighbour's door to grab an "over-stayer" and his kids are screaming. British children with no legal papers have mothers surviving through prostitution and still there's not enough food on the table.

It's not one occasional attack on dignity, it's a repeated humiliation, being continuously dispossessed in a society rich with possession. Young, intelligent citizens of the ghetto seek an explanation for why they are at the receiving end of bleak Britain, condemned to a darkness where their humanity is not even valued enough to be helped. Savagery is a possibility within us all. Some of us have been lucky enough not to have to call upon it for survival; others, exhausted from failure, can justify resorting to it.

Our leaders still speak about how protecting the community is vital. The trouble is, the deal has gone sour. The community has selected who is worthy of help and who is not. In this false moral economy where the poor are described as dysfunctional, the community fails. One dimension of this failure is being acted out in the riots; the lawlessness is, suddenly, there for all to see. Less visible is the perverse insidious violence delivered through legitimate societal structures. Check out the price of failing to care.

I got a call yesterday morning. The kids gave me a run-down of what had happened in Brixton. A street party had been invaded by a group of young men out to grab. A few years ago, the kids who called me would have joined in, because they had nothing to lose. One had been permanently excluded from six schools. When he first arrived at Kids Company he cared so little that he would smash his head into a pane of glass and bite his own flesh off with rage. He'd think nothing of hurting others. After intensive social care and support he walked away when the riots began because he held more value in his membership of a community that has embraced him than a community that demanded his dark side.

It costs money to care. But it also costs money to clear up riots, savagery and antisocial behaviour. I leave it to you to do the financial and moral sums."

Camila Batmanghelidjh expresses what all politicians should know but rarely do, down at street level, we only see politicians when they want your vote at election time.

And the funny thing is they continually try to promote themselves as ‘community leaders’.

As much as the rioters feel they don't actually belong to the community and are adrift from society so are many politicians.

Out of touch with public opinion, I was listening to Labour MP Diane Abbott give interviews telling people not to destroy their community, but it isn’t their community as they see it.

And less we forget people like Diane Abbott are too busy with their second careers while at Westminster, as telly presenters etc etc.

She is a part time ‘representative’ of the people.

And given the crisis before the riots, we as a country need full time MPs doing a full time job representing the entire communities.

This is as much as wake up call for the people of Britain regarding our lack of representation by politicians, as the anger of the feral underclass.

Both of whom are outside society.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Sorry, no. I have no idea where you got this idea that Diane Abbott is a leader without community or a bad representative of the people- nothing could be further from the truth. Some people who live in Hackney may not be part of the community, but that's not her fault. She's not George Galloway in any way, you've picked completely the wrong example here.

George Laird said...

Dear Anon
Allow me to help you; here are her second career earnings.

I take your point about George Galloway being an opportunist.

Now to her “cottage industry” which she runs on the side while being an MP.

Remunerated employment, office, profession etc

Fees received for co-presenting BBC’s "This Week" TV programme. Address: BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London W12 7RJ.

October 2010, received £839. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 2 November 2010)

November 2010, received £839. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 15 December 2010)

March 2011, received £869. Hours: 3hrs. (Registered 14 March 2011)

28 April 2011, received £839. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 10 May 2011)

26 May 2011, received £839. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 31 May 2011)

July 2011, received £839. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 5 July 2011)

Articles written for The Guardian. Address: Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU.

February 2011, payment of £85. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 7 February 2011)

August 2010, fee of £250 received for participation in Channel 4 "4 Thought" television series. Address: Waddell Media, 7-12 St Helen’s Business Park, Holywood, County Down BT18 9HQ. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 20 September 2010)

August 2010, fee of £400 received for article in the Sunday Express newspaper. Address: Sunday Express, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 20 September 2010)

October 2010, fee of £400 for writing article for the Express Newspaper. Address: Express Newspapers, The Northern & Shell Building, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN. Hours: 1hr 30mins. (Registered 2 November 2010)

October 2010, fee of £250 for appearing on ITV ‘Alan Titchmarsh Show’. Address: Spun Gold TV, 2nd Floor, Tabernacle Court, 16-28 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4DD. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 2 November 2010)

December 2010, fee of £3,000 for participating in Channel 4’s ‘Come Dine with Me’ television programme. Address: ITV Studios Ltd, The London Television Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 9LT. Hours: 36 hrs. (Registered 15 December 2010)

January 2011, fee of £150 for participating in Ipsos MORI survey of MPs. Address: Market & Opinion Research International, 79-81 Borough Road, London SE1 1FY. Hours: 45 mins. (Registered 7 February 2011)

January 2011, fee of £75 for participating in ComRes Parliamentary Panel Survey. Address: Communicate Research Ltd, Four Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 7 February 2011)

January 2011, fee of £80 for participating in YouGov online survey. Address: YouGov, 50 Featherstone St, London EC1Y 8RT. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 7 February 2011)

March 2011, fee of £1,000 for participating in ‘An Audience with Diane Abbott MP’ at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre on 12 March 2011. Address: Clive Conway Celebrity Productions Ltd, 32 Grove Street, Oxford OX2 7JT. (Registered 24 March 2011)

March 2011, fee of £3,000 for participating/speaking at Deloitte’s National Women’s Day Celebrations 2011 on 8 March 2011. Address: Deloitte LLP, The Pinnacle, 150 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 1FD. (Registered 28 March 2011)

June 2011, fee of £1,750 for delivering keynote speech at POLSIS 1st Annual Student Conference, University of Birmingham. Address: School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 5 July 2011)

July 2011, fee of £800 for participating in BBC North East Television feature about former Labour MP for Jarrow, Ellen Wilkinson. Address: BBC North East and Cumbria, Broadcasting Centre, Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 1RN. Hours: 12 hrs. (Registered 5 July 2011)

I highlighedt her because I watched the interviews she gave during the riots, she clearly doesn’t understand the dynamics of the community.

But I concede she isn't the only one.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Anonymous said...

they all help themselfs alex salmon
clamied two salarys said he gave it to a charity fucking liar his charity begins at home we fucking scum bag
Cor jimmy Macgregor