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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

All the looters looked like Tony Blair

Look at the faces of what the media has dubbed" England’s rioters", when in fact they are “looters”. Look closely at the permanent smirks on their faces as they head off with those must have flat screens, Carhatt jeans, game consoles and designer gear. They are Tony Blair's Chav alter ego.


It is exactly the same plastered-on grin that faced the media and told us that the risk of mass murder of civilians in return for petro stability was a good, indeed an honourable thing. The Blair mask was the TV Joker to George "Dubya" Bush’s grinning Riddler, setting off on a macabre crusade against anything that smacked of community. Aint no profit in Welfare boy.

Nearly the first act of Blair's government, we now know, was to ease Rupert Murdoch into the nexus of New Labour’s power. Look at this for example:

“A deal had been done, although with nothing in writing. If Murdoch were left to pursue his business interests in peace he would give Labour a fair wind.”

Perfect! So we got in the media exactly the same culture we got in government – not only has the Welfare State, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan been sequestered and pounded it became part of the BREAKING NEWS franchise.
Yo Blair. Way to go!

The joke is on us

The upcoming kids in the Hood watched these machinations and tuned to the mendacities of the elite and grinned as well and said – Guy! .. because those smart bombs and smoking corpses and all that collateral damage were just like their video games and the ideology was on their SMS wavelength - tool up and grab what you can man. These are not Thatcher's offspring, these "Me Generation" bling-wearing predators. They are the spawn of Blair.

New Labour was nothing to do with the dignity of labour but actually about injecting that designer drug called "competition” into every artery of human life. Its dog eat dog out there now boys and any citizen who stands in the way is simply mown down by the new buccaneers of private wealth, or battered and thrown in a bin.

Of course, it should not be forgotten that the initial trouble came after a young black man was shot dead in north London. Criminal or not, the death sentence in England is supposed to have been abolished. There was a protest march and the local community in that part of North London quite understandably vented their anger on the police but then, in the true spirit of Blairite adventure capitalism, children as young as eight, got on their bikes and seized the opportunity to raze their target zone and then sack it of its resources. They have learned quickly.

In my youth, as a Manchester Irish socialist, I rioted (against fascist opposition and police violence) for the right to keep the name of Michael Larkin Manchester Martyr alive in our hearts; to clear Nazi goons from our streets (a thing far more honourable than the bombs that fell on Dresden); for the right of workers to earn a basic wage. I am proud of what we did - rioting for a just cause is sometimes the only way, looting for personal gain or gangsta intimidation is simply the act of cowards.

Blair - Let the great world spin

Ever since Blair came into office and crushed the dreamers and visionaries with his own very real weapons of mass destruction, I feel like I’ve been watching rerun after rerun of Shakespeare's King Lear - “out vile jelly” our leaders says as they gouge out our prying eyes, just as Gloucester’s vision was maimed Why? Because these torturers, hiding behind their blindfolds of extraordinary rendition, cannot bear the shaming gaze of their victims.

So what do you to avoid painful scrutiny? Why you just “embed” the Fourth Estate (journalist, writers, poets) in your crusade for world domination so that they look away at the crucial moments. Mark Duggan gets shot by the police in Tottenham and within hours, before anything can be truly established, the embedded press is telling us that there was a fire fight, which now transpires to be a pure police spin of their own bullets. One of “our” drones hits a public air raid shelter (remember that?) or a wedding ceremony, or one of “our” satellite armies uses phosphorous bombs on refugee camps and a UN hospital whilst our writers compose poems for each other and tell us that social commentary in fiction or poetry is not art - darling.

Most of allegedly serious fiction is nothing but historical mist, scribes pronouncing on their inner crises, dysfunctional families and lengthy speculations about the number of orgasms that might be achieved on a pinhead. There are no more angels or heroes any more and cynicism reigns.

Blair's greatest legacy is to nurture full blown Thatcherism to adulthood. Way to go

@Paul Larkin
Carraic, Gaoth Dobhair
Mí Lúnasa 2011


This came in from a comrade living in the North East of England

"Dear Paul,

My take on the “riots” is not far away from yours.

The hooligan mob were the united colours of Benetton.

Much of the hooligan violence was by whites. It was the drunken slobs of the EDL who were hoying bottles and bricks at the police in Eltham and spitting on the police the night before in Enfield.

These disturbances were not “riots”. Riots are generally attached to a political cause, something conspicuously absent in this case.

This was just mindless hooliganism cretinously copying the rapacious and avaracious example set by the greedy bastards who wholly own and control this society and plunder and pocket its resources.

And, guess what? It’s very nicely helped along their repressive law and order agenda for dealing with workers’ picket lines, trade union marches, unemployed marches, anti-war demonstrations. Thanks kids!

It also more or less relegated the Mark Duggan case to the sidelines. No wonder his family are depressed and dismayed. First the cops, then the idiots.

As far as I can see these disturbances are far more the final unrolling of the Thatcherite carpet than anything else. She allegedly said there is “no such thing as society”. Now, these lumpenised kids are proving it…the consequence of her brutal destruction of industry, jobs, and communities, the shackling of trade unions and the obliteration of the values of collectivism and solidarity.

The “left” here is little better than a set of hand-wringing liberals. The Socialist Workers (?) Party has issued a statement on the riots without saying one single word about the looting and destruction and reduction of working class people to homelessness.

To me there is nothing remotely progressive or left-wing about what is going on here.

The victims of it all are primarily the working class. Just the same as under Thatcher.

The victors are the boss class looters who run the banks and the political right-wing whose only thought is to introduce slash-and-burn cuts. Just the same as under Thatcher.

As long as there is no progressive political movement that is rooted in and able to intervene in these sections of society and develop a common and united socialist perspective – and there isn’t one, sadly – people will take out their disaffection and frustration on their weaker neighbours.

------ends ---

I agree with all the above (and the same process is happening in a much more subtle way here in Ireland) - all I would add is that with New Labour there was a hope that we might go back to community and the idea of a more equal society - that is why Blair - in my view is a bigger culprit than Thatcher.

by: Pol (contact) - 15 Aug '11 - 15:36
Pol, a chara
I amn't certain to truly understand why all came to pass. I scanned through what media interpretation I could find and as has been said all mainstream footage focused upon mindless acts of violence and looting. So why? and what can and must be done?
There were occasions of solidarity amongst communities who had been co-existing with difficulty. There were elders and social workers on the streets trying to calm the folly. There were members of the police who were combining forces with locals to quell the chaos. So there was positive action but it seems it was akin to making mayonnaise that hasn't initially taken; the mixture will be all separated no matter how much you vigorously stir it.
So what are the solutions to redress moral and social balance?
I would no longer ask the politicians and the elite; they hold no moral ground (that said, apart from one or two I could not associate moral integrity to the station of politics).
So, for what it is worth, here are a few suggestions :
Let the youth rebuild what they have broken. Literally, have them sweep, paint, build and then return to a labourer's camp where they will wash, eat well and sleep humanely before returning to the site.
Have evening activities before bed of letter writing to say sorry.
Send groups of youths to some of the poorer nations in the world to aid in famine relief. Help dig wells, till soil, build agricultural infra structure.
Instruct the younger ones in school about moral structure.
For the more 'cocky' looters who are at present beyond being nurtured in social art, well, they can be 'helped' in the penitentiary system.
As for moral structure, surely this must be based on love..As Othello painfully cries, '..when I love thee not, Chaos is come again!' And what was seen on the streets of England was chaos, no-purpose folly, greed and total disregard for self or others. Love of one's own self is paramount in a coherent society. (Pol, you evoked this in your recent article on myth.)
Subsequently one can love one's neighbour.
Media has certainly poisoned our children's minds and like Dr Frankenstein looks on in terrified and morbid curiosity, ever perpetuating insanity in society.
We can stop it in the schools and the religious institutions. We can talk once more of solidarity, service, sacrifice...I suppose as ever I am rambling but I would like to finish with a small anecdote that I lived some three days ago here in St Michel de Double; a quiet and peaceful back water of the french countryside.
My friends from Paris are here on vacation with their elderly mother/mother-in-law. Our children play endlessly during the Summer bringing life to the lanes and square. Francois, my friend's son, ran from the house to play with Liam, my son. The grandmother cried, 'Francois, lay the table before you go.' Francois did not. I went after Francois into my own house, called him and asked him to return to do as his granny had asked. He left and my son said, 'I would not have done it; she didn't say please.' My poor wee Liam proceeded to receive a distinct lesson from his somewhat irate father. I was flabbergasted that a ten year old child might dare question the manner of an eighty six year old woman. Fortunately Liam is 'reined' and should learn...maybe there needs to be new reins made for the youth in our society?
by: Finn Anson (contact) - 17 Aug '11 - 10:41


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Title: All the looters looked like Tony Blair
Date posted: 15 Aug '11 - 11:22
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