So a runaway tweet that summarised some feelings I’ve had for a while, concentrated perfectly by the riots:
“OK, a thesis: boomers stole prospects from this generation, bankers stole cash, govt stole chance to succeed. What the fuck do you expect?”
To expand: I’m at the top end of a generation who have watched as, for at least the last 10 years explicitly, a majority of an older generation, especially in a country over the sea, decide they would cling to their privilege, the next generation be damned. The tea partyis the most obvious example of this, but the whole damn neo-con movement and economic protectionism covers this; there is either a vocal minority or, shudder, a majority, who believe it’s ok to incur debt and not pay it back.
The bankers, too, seem to have the most public gall. Rabidly clawing in bailouts because of their bad decisions, and abusing the power ‘the market’ has been given to keep enriching themselves. £14 billion in bonuses. You know what:
£14 billion in bonuses. THIS YEAR.
The pressure of an older generation to support and the bare faced cheek of the banks and markets are supported entirely by a government that really wasn’t ‘elected’ to power. I voted for labour in my first election, lib dem everyone since, and I used to be so angry when people didn’t vote. Now, or at least next time, probably not. It hurts me to say it, but I can’t vote for anyone in this system.
So why are we surprised that a single, small event has catalyised this incredible explosion of frustration across London?
These kids (and they mainly are kids, of both genders, and of all races), united by age and socioeconomics, watch as even people my age seem to be doing, well, OK, and they have no idea how they will have a future, let alone the one we have promised them on TV, in films and in music.
So yes, they are on the streets, frustrated, angry, looking for the trappings of the life they were promised. And it’s so, so, so sad that they are attacking their own communities, and ruining whatever prospects they had. But we must not allow the media or government to demonise them for this; it’s all of our fault, and we knew it was coming, and we did nothing to stop it.