First the riots. Last Saturday, 6th August, riots erupted in Tottenham following a peaceful protest relating to the police shooting of a young man a couple of days before. Police were slow to give information on this shooting and as a result local hatred toward them was ramped up, with social networks being used to bring in "protesters" from outside the area.
Now Tottenham is not new to rioting. On 6th October 1985 PC Keith Blakelock was killed in race riots centred around the Broadwater Estate. After the initial horror at this event we entered a period of Political Correctness and appeasement. In an effort to avoid similar tragedies the Broadwater Estate became a "no-go" area where any form of police presence was "discouraged". When will we ever learn.
Watching the news reports on Saturday night you could see this PC crap being acted out right before our very eyes. The police were timid, the rioters bold. Shops were burnt and looted while police stood and watched, giving out entirely the wrong message to youngsters pumped up with adrenalin, with no war to go to.
The following night social networks were again buzzing with new locations to target. Bingo. In the blink of an eye things had got out of control. If the police had been more forthright in explaining why the young man had been shot TWICE, once in the heart, this might have been avoided. And when it became too late for explanations and the riots ensued the police should have robustly protected the local population. It is my belief that had this happend things would not have deteriorated in the way they did.
So what now. The danger is that social deprivation, Government cuts or racism will be blamed. For God's sake let's learn lessons here. Many of the young people going through the magistrates courts are employed, some are high achieving students and they are not all black. This type of social stereotyping has held us back from treating the core of the matter which is, and always has been, allowing the lunatics to run the asylem.
This morning it is being reported that Bill Bratton is being invited over to advise. Bill Bratton is an ex-NYC Police Commissioner and the LAPD Chief credited with restoring law and order and drastically reducing crime in Los Angeles immediately after the riots of 1992 .
Recently I read a report in the LA Times that he is interested in heading up Scotland Yard having said "
From my perspective, I have been interested in looking at that position if it was open to people outside of Great Britain. I've had a long, almost 20-year affiliation with England, with the Met, and their role in democratic policing. I don’t know that there's a major police chief in America or Canada, or for that matter in the British Commonwealth, who, given the opportunity, would not consider it. I never want to go and just maintain something. I want to be able to fix something.". Bring him on!
I can imagine that there will be huge political opposition and backlash to this but let's put our sensitivities to one side and restore this country's pride, whatever it takes, and if it takes buying in expertise from the USA, so be it.
My next rant is about the banks. We all know the history, but let me tell you what they are doing now. Today they are going to tell us all that they are meeting the lending criteria the Government imposed on them.
That's all bullshit. Let me tell you what they are actually doing. I pay my Credit Card in full each month and never go anywhere near the limit. Last month they increased my limit, enabling them to record this as "increased debt exposure".
They will also include in their figures the fact that our company in the "small to medium sized" group that they have been instructed to lend to has been offered, at our request, an increase in our Credit Card facility. What they will not tell the government is that we have secured a large contract which requires us to pay for hotel accommodation on behalf of our contracted client by the hotels preferred method - Credit Card!
We have, as any prudent business would, taken out insurance to cover this exposure but the bank wants us to give them additional security i.e. re-valuation of our office building which was valued a couple of years ago at a cost to us of approximately £1000 and additional personal guarantees from directors.
Luckily we weren't relying on this because there are more ways of skinning a rabbit and, if necessary, I will take up any temporary shortfall by using my own increased Credit Card facilities! So I can tell them, in the nicest possible way, to go screw themselves.
So you can see where I'm going with this one can't you? They gave me additional facilities that I didn't want, and offered the business additional facilities that, because of their ridiculous demands, knew we wouldn't take up. I can just see what they are going to report now. We are making personal and commercial loans to small/medium sized businesses but unfortunately they are not being taken up because everyone is worried about the current financial situation and does not wish to over expose themselves. Boom! boom!
Unfortunately, we are living in times of "smoke and mirrors". No-one trusts the authorities or the banks to tell the truth any more. Or, to quote Gorge Orwell, "during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act"!