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Saturday, 13 August 2011

The One With All The Riots!

So here I am angry.  I am annoyed.  So what should I do?  Shall I go and rob the Bullring shopping centre.  Shall I terrorise the streets near people’s homes?  NO!!!!!  I should deal with my anger in a more productive way.

This is my blog.  And although this may not relate to my travels, my travels have an effect on how I look at situations.

We are back in the UK for our summer holidays.  A time to reunite with our families and have some relaxing time before we move to a new country and start new jobs.  But I, like many others, have been enraged and deeply affected by what has been dominating the news lately.

Now there is a lot of unrest all over the world at the moment, predominantly in the Middle East.  I have witnessed firsthand the fear and upset in the eyes of our friends.  Our friends from Egypt and Syria, worried about their families, devastated at the unrest in their countries.  I am British; I had no way of truly understanding what they were going through.  Until now I had been lucky.  Now I have some idea.  Still not fully, but we have suffered our own unrest here.

So how did it all begin……………….

Well, let’s be fair we shall never fully know.  We are to believe, there was a man, a man with a gun, who the police tried to apprehend, the man was shot, and subsequently died.  The man, Mark Duggan, 29 and before I go any further may I say I am in no position to judge, I did not know this man, I was not there and therefore I do not know.  So may he rest in peace and may his family find some resemblance of peace during this very chaotic and difficult time.  After all, without judgement, He was still a human being, and for that my condolences are sincere.

After this, people began to riot in London, we would imagine out of anger for his death.  Yet his family did not condone this behaviour, therefore if this was the REAL reason for the unrest it should have stopped immediately!  But it wasn’t the real reason was it?  Of course it wasn’t it was an excuse.

The riots began to spread across the country.  It reached Birmingham, not too far from where we are right now.  I was becoming more affected by what was happening.  Of course I was affected before, but the closer to your doorstep it is the more you see the reality of what is happening.  We are lucky, we were never in any danger, nor were we likely to be.  But I was still worried about sending my husband to Tesco’s that evening.  So how must have the people in the flats above shops and streets being attacked have felt.  Holding their children, terrified as to how far this was going to go.  The places that were set on fire.  The people cornered into buildings, shops, alleys, their homes, either scared they will never see their kids again or scared for theirs and their children’s lives!!?  I cannot even begin to comprehend how they must have felt.

Homes, businesses, streets, communities and lives have been destroyed.  Three lives that were lost were three young men from Birmingham; I believe their names to be - Haroon Jahan  Shezad Ali and Abdul Musavir.  Another man to lose his life was named as Richard Mannington Bowes.  I am sorry if I have missed anyone from here, for them and anyone else affected, grieving or injured, you are in my thoughts.

So what is to blame?

We have now moved on from the shooting in London.  Again if this was the REAL cause then that would be what is being shouted from the rooftops, but it’s not.  I saw one woman on the news saying she was claiming her taxes back!  Seriously – I would love to know exactly how much tax she has paid, is she working, and did she loot more or less than the amount of tax she has paid, minus the tax money she has used in resources and now the amount she has stolen – I am pretty sure she now owes the country money!  People have turned this whole situation round to a case of the ‘hard done to people’ in the UK.  Now by no means is this country perfect, yes there are people who are poor, homeless, sick, alone, untreated etc etc etc – however, take a look at other countries where people are suffering all of these things and more with absolutely no level of democracy!

As the British public, we are now supposed to feel sorry for all these people we feared just days ago.  These people are apparently desperate; they are socially and economically deprived.  They need our pity and support!!???! REALLY?  They terrorised our streets for days.  They have just doubled or trebled the tax bill for this country, who is paying for it?  The tax payer will pay for it.  The hard working people will pay for it.

But aside from all of this, these people were not doing it out of economic deprivation, if they were they would have stolen milk, bread and eggs from Tesco’s and baby clothes from Primark.  But they didn’t they stole 100’s of thousands if not millions of pounds worth of merchandise – as in phones, TV’s, top of the range clothes – these are not the things that desperate poor people steal.  These were not the actions of desperate people.

Now the violence, and let’s be honest that is what it is by definition, is beginning to calm, we as a nation are being asked to have an element of sympathy for these people.  Why? To be honest I have no idea why.  They will be caught, they will be sentenced and they will given the punishment deserved and decided by our system.  Some people are claiming these punishments are too harsh.  Like what I ask?  Like prison?  Like losing benefits?  Like having restrictions on their movements?  In my opinion none of these punishments are too harsh.  They terrorised the nation.  They cost the nation money.  They committed unforgivable crimes.  They should and will be punished.  If they lose their council house then so be it – there are plenty of families living in temporary housing who deserve to be able to set up home, these people who have been given a home are biting the hand that more than generously fed them, and we are supposed to think that they still deserve them?  Well I for one don’t!  In this country people should work for what they get, they should earn everything from self respect, to respect from their community, to the house that they live in.  It isn’t difficult.  It is achievable.  This country has many problems, but these things we can achieve, if we are prepared to work for them.  We don’t need to fight for these things; these things are there for the taking, if we are prepared to work at them and work to keep them. 

None of this is to do with upbringing and social circles.  My family became somewhat disjointed after my mom died, when I left home I was surrounded by people who took drugs – and I mean snorted cocaine off a bar and injected heroin in front of my eyes!!!  Did I join in? NO!!!!! I DID NOT!!!!  I could have done – it was easy, I could have had what I wanted at that point.  But I refused.  Yet I was an ‘impressionable’ 16 year old.  But I was a 16 year old with my own mind.  I made a choice.  I have struggled to get where I am now.  I am in debt, I have two kids to look after – although when I say ‘I’ – I actually mean my husband as well – he is the financial strength in our situation.  He has worked in jobs he hates.  Extra hours when exhausted and picked up the pieces when times are tough, where robbing a bank may have maybe seemed easier.  We are not perfect nor are we rich – nowhere near in either case!!!  But we sleep at night with a clear conscience that we have worked hard and worked honestly and worked for us – for ourselves – to make our own future.  We don’t expect anyone to fix our financial situation, that I know many people our age are in, we are in it and we work ourselves out of it.  It is economics.  We will never starve.  I know if we returned to live in the UK tomorrow that our government will make damn sure that me and my children will have a house and food if we ask – it may not be perfect but it would be there.  As British people we are very blessed in that respect, not a lot of governments in the world will look after their people that way.  Wherever in the world I live, I am glad I have that passport.  I am protected.  My children are protected.  We shall always have food and shelter and even education and when you boil it down what more does one REALLY need?  In reality we have no real reason to protest THAT violently.  If there is an issue, at least exhaust every avenue possible, OK it may not be perfect but at least if you have genuinely exhausted every avenue then maybe, just maybe, there is a cause for the masses to protest for.  The lack of an I-Phone, a plasma TV and Addidas track-suit is not just cause, and the actions of these people merely portray that, that is all they were concerned about – I refer you once again to the shops they looted........................

Where were the banners?  Where were the chants?  Where were the marches outside parliament?

Answer – there were none!


There was no REAL cause here.

People used a vague cause.  A vague grievance that they had against the government, that they did not feel passionate enough about to approach them, more of an excuse to cause mayhem.  To profit from.

They have ‘their tax money’ now.  Unfortunately they also have all of yours too!  It is in the plasma TV they are watching, whilst calling their ‘bro’ on their I-Phone and sitting in the designer outfit on the sofa they would have stolen if they could have got it home without being seen!!!!

The bottom line is these people had NO just cause.  IF they did they would have exhausted all other avenues, but none were even attempted!    These people are NOT deprived.  IF they were they would have stolen food and none descript clothes.  These people were violent, greedy and in the modern day description they were terrorists.  They terrorised their country and their own communities.

May God bless all those who have died.  May we support those affected. And may I never become that disillusioned that I would believe that ruining a society is the answer.


  1. Too true! You write so well and I believe that the vast majority of people in this country would back you up on everything you have said! My friend and some of her family are in the police force and they are having to do 12-hour shifts in head to toe heavy gear this week with all leave cancelled. Also just to note, the said friend is a single parent to a 9-yr old daughter, who should be enjoying her summer holiday with her mommy and a 2-yr old son, who came down with chicken pox this week! The lives of many have been affected by these "opportunists" and no punishment could ever fit this crime and make these innocents ever feel safe in their homes (or whats left of them) again...

  2. Samelia - Thank you so much for your kind words of support. Please send my love and support to your friend - it may only be one little voice that she hears, but one little voice may help to give her the courage and support she needs to do her job. I do hope she gets some time with her children at some point as these people have effected enough lives so far. I am really glad you came accross my blog, may i ask how you found it - was it through FB or google etc? I only ask as i am wondering how far my blog is reaching atm, it is just nice to know. And even more lovely to know that I am being read! Thank you so much for reading and lets hope that the communities effected will become complete again some time soon xxx

  3. As I was on holiday in the Southern most point of Africa, the riots in the UK were hardly noticed by me as I tried to switch off. Didn't have a clue what it was all about or how bad it was. Thankyou for this educational/well thought through/balanced piece of writing. It should have been in a newspaper. You could easily become a columnist.