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Is that smoke I smell on your new trainers ??



Got an email from Famous the Nephew.  He's living in the US and just packed in parking cars and pumping gas to go back to college.  The move had put him outa touch with the news and when he turned on tv he saw "incredibly stark images of London burning".     He enquired abt my safety and wtf was going on ??



I replied ......

Thanks for the enquiry.  I'm unscathed.

You're the family first.  Of course I've been fretting abt that but I'm still wondering why they haven't called to find if I survived 7/7.  The "July plot" as I refer to it.

(That was the day when I was on the point of ringing up Heathrow to complain abt the police helicopter being overhead forever, then a friend rang up to ask if I was still alive ??  First I knew abt it.  By the end of the day, everyone I knew in London had got in touch one way or another.  I live in the middle of a triangle made by the bomb sites.)


As far as I know Camden's been relatively quiet.  No smoke in the air down this end.   It's not the most fertile neighbourhood for dissent.  Most of the people I see on the streets are drunk or loonies and a large smattering of that combined.   (Camden is one of London's loonie parkups.)
The main street has more charity shops than I've got fingers on one hand and boasts shops like the 99p Store and Lidl's (who are upmarket only of the 99p Store).  Apart from that it's kebab shops that are too smokey already and pubs, which have no smoke in them whatsoever and are full of people already inclined to fight.


I was surprised when I heard that Croydon had copped it but that was the night it went countrywide.


As for how it kicked off ...... on Thurs 4 Aug,   the Met gun club killed another nigga.       The first reports were heroic, exchange of fire, police radio stopped bullet from killing cop etc etc.   Usual stuff of which we're now so sceptical.  Then there were rumours, nigga didn't have weapon in hand, nigga shot while lying on floor. 
  Family were kept informed by Met and IPCC, neither of whom have a track record of repute, and appear to have got confusing nfo from both.  I don't know what the nfo was but they weren't informed by it.

Family said nigga was a dealer but he wasn't violent, no history.  They wanted truth.  Not getting anything like answers, they took a protest march to (local) Tottenham Police Stn last Saturday afternoon.  Asked for someone to come out and give them a statement abt what was going on.  No one would.      

(OBTW   my limited experience of going to police stations in London is, it's v.hard to get into one.  Doesn't matter if you've gone to report a crime or got a driving "producer", you get in a lot easier if you're carried in by 4 burly policemen. )


Family and friends kick abt for an hour or two and their crowd gets bigger, there's prolly no lack of people in Tottenham who've a beef with the Bill.  Family and friends go home but the crowd stays and swells.  Darkness falls and the crowd kick off, attack police cars then trash Tottenham.

I'm not sure of the timeline.  I think .....   Sunday morning Tottenham sweeps up, rioting condemned etc etc and everyone thinks, that's that. Steam has been blown off.

Sunday night, London in flames.  Amazing, checking my email that night and nxt to it is the news headlines.  Tottenham, Tottenham Hale (where there's a big shopping park) bit of Walthamstow  (they're three abutting neighbourhoods), smashed, looted and torched. 
Wood Green (??)  O.K. it's not so far from Tottenham.  Then it's Clapham, Brixton, Stratford, Enfield, Islington (!!)) and all over the place.

(‘Twas only yesterday I found out what there was to burn in Enfield.¬† Sony.)


So, Monday morning it looked like the Saturday experiment had repeatability.    The Met bought in a load of mercenaries from Kent and somewhere just North of London, just in case.  It wasn't enough plus the whole thing went nationwide.  Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Gloucester (!!) and no doubt elsewhere.

Why ??    My guess is that the ignoble masses saw that you can do it.  Policing, like the prisons, is run by consent and if there aren't enough police, you can rip the place up on the night. 

Tues, the Met was shipping in reinforcements from as far afield as Cleveland. ( I have this nfo from Cleveland, not the Met. )   I was down Tottenham Court Rd Tues afternoon and there were as many police as there were pedestrians, not saying a lot as the West End is recession fucked but .....


Tues night London calm, rest of country ....conflagration.    Police are all up here, getting their overtime sleeping in their vans.


Tonight, who knows ??


OBTW  I had a call from my good friend Ricky Rhythm yesterday (Tues), telling me that the music company where he works, they were boarding up following the torching of Sony. ( I respond that of all things rock'n'roll, panic is not one of them.)  Also that Hammersmith was closing for shopping, so I guess the great unwashed were to be  deprived of the opportunity of looting Primark.  (Primark is the clothing equivalent of Lidl.)
Rick, as an Islington inhabitant was able to fill me in on the trashing of that centre.  I expressed surprise that they concentrated on Sainsbury's as the Camden one is desperately short of stock / variety.  Last time I visited it they didn't have the regular tea I buy !!



As for why it's all happening ??  Who knows or cares.  21st ¬†Century European Society has moved on from that. 
I live in a country where dropping a cigarette end on the pavement is a criminal offence but the Prime Minister assures me that bombing a country that's no threat to us is lawful.    (sometimes I feel something musta got lost in the translation of the Nuremberg Principles.)

Apart from our wild and animal nature which has us as opportunistic, thrill seekers,  people are v.pissed off abt everything.  There's disconnection between the political class and the populace, the people I know feel disenfranchised.   The institutions of authority do nothing to maintain respect, just the opposite.
Financially, everyone's way up shit creek and the prospect is of it worsening for the indefinite future.  ( I dunno how they're hiding the food price inflation figures.  e.g. butter has gone up 40% this year. )
And popular entertainment has lately become based on hate.


When people are wound up they don't need a reason and any reason will do.



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