A Future That Works

A Future That Works
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Monday, 8 August 2011

The Tottenham riot shows just how broken British society has become after thirty years of Thatcherite ideology of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.

‘‘The economic stagnation and cuts being imposed by the Tory government inevitably create social division….As when Margaret Thatcher imposed such policies during her recessions this creates the threat of people losing control, acting in completely unacceptable ways that threaten everyone, and culminating in events of the type we saw in Tottenham.’’

(Ken Livingstone 7th August 2011)


  1. From Tottenham to Enfield, Brixton, Walthamstow and now Hackney and what is the official response, Nick Clegg the Deputy Prime Minister says ‘‘I reject completely this notion that somehow this Government hasn't been functioning very effectively’’. The Prime Minister David Cameron is still on his holiday in Italy, London mayor Boris Johnson is also on his holiday told the BBC on Sunday he would not return early as he had ‘‘complete confidence’’ in the police. Labour's John Prescott said it was ‘‘unbelievable’’ the mayor had not cut short his break.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The Prime Minister David Cameron has also said he will not cut short his holiday but is in touch regularly over events. But the Home Secretary Theresa May has returned to London to meet police chiefs, what will her solution to the riots ‘‘rubber bullets and water cannon’’ maybe?

  4. Riots, Recession, Resistance
    Public meeting
    7pm, Thursday 11 August,
    University of London Union,
    Malet Street, WC1E 7HY

    The government cannot continue with their spending cuts and expect people to sit back and take it.

  5. Prime Minister David Cameron announces recall of parliament on Thursday the 11th of August over riots that have engulfed London and are spreading across Britain.

  6. The Metropolitan Police have said today that it will deploy 16,000 officers and had not ruled out the use of baton rounds on the streets of Britain as London braced itself for yet another night of violence as the riots spread to Nottingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham.

  7. Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who had initially refusing to return from his holiday in the Algarve faced calls for his resignation from members of the public when he arrived at the scene of the riots in Clapham Junction at lunchtime today.

  8. Prime Minister David Cameron says ‘‘whatever resources the police need they will get’’ and "Whatever tactics the police feel they need to employ, they will have legal backing to do so’’ as it’s been disclosed that water cannons are being made available, the ‘‘Police are already authorised to use baton rounds’’ and that ‘‘we now have in place contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours' notice’’.

    As the rioting spread to Manchester and Nottingham the worst cost is the death of Birmingham three young men Haroon, Shazad and Munir Hussein have been killed in the Winson Green district of Birmingham. What’s needed is for Britain’s broken society to be mended. Turning it into a police state may be the neo-conservative response to the crisis of neo-liberal economics, but it’s not a long term answer to the crisis that faces not just Britain but Europe and the rest of the world as we see the social cost as well as economic cost of thirty years of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.

    Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party has to call for calm and for long term policies that can rebuild our broken society. What has happened in Britain is a breeding ground for fascism in the same way as the crisis of capitalism in the 1930’s when Oswald Mosley led the British Union of Fascist. What we don’t need is to see history repeat itself and for battle on the streets like those of 1936 in Cable Street Stepney London between Mosley’s Blackshirts and the people of the East End.

    Maybe now people will see the consequences of the political ideology of Thatcherism and Blairism as we see those who have no hope turn to violence and hatred. Do we want to see Britain become a society where the rich live behind gated communities and there are no go areas and fear ruling our lives? I am sure the right-wing media will be calling for right-wing solutions, but remember the Daily Mail was a supporter of Mosley and sympathetic towards Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930’s with headline’s like ‘‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’’ and for Mosley’s ‘‘sound, common-sense, Conservative doctrine’’,

    Beware the motives of the headlines like ‘‘Fightback’’ in today’s Daily Mail, ‘‘Police were braced to use plastic bullets for the first time on the British mainland’’ and the Daily Star headline ‘‘We’ll shoot the looters’’ followed by ‘‘Police are threatening to shoot rioters with plastic bullets in a crackdown on the anarchy engulfing Britain’’, this is part of their neo-conservative agenda to control genuine protests by the people against the Tory/Liberal coalition government, not about restoring peace on the streets of Britain. This is a time for real leadership on the left, hopefully Ed Miliband doesn’t just follow the neo-liberal/neo-conservative lead of the right-wing press and the Tory/Liberal government.

  9. The Tory Prime Minister of Britain says ‘‘We must mend our broken society’’ but he also says ‘‘This is not about poverty, it's about culture’’, true and he is correct when he says it’s about the ‘‘consequences of neglect and immorality on this scale have been clear for too long’’. Remember the ‘‘greed is good’’ philosophy and ‘‘There is no such thing as society’’. Maybe that’s what’s at the heart of the crisis in Britain today. The theoretical ideology that it’s a ‘‘dog eat dog’’ world and that the strong and powerful have a right to be wealthy and have no moral responsibility to provide for the weak and poor.

    This is the ideology of the neo-liberal market and a neo-conservative state that protects the wealth of the elite in society and says the poor are an underclass that should be hidden away and forgotten about. Then the elite are dismayed that the young turn to street gangs and violence as a solution, why are their homes dysfunctional? Maybe because they are trapped in a cycle of poverty and the only choices are between poverty on the dole, poverty in a low income job or a world of crime and violence. This looks very much like the world of 19th century inner city life; Thatcherism has succeeded after thirty years of recreating Victorian values plus Victorian poverty, crime and violence.

    The social-democratic period after 1945 was probably the most law abiding period in British history. Maybe that was because this was the period when the working classes experienced full employment and a rising standard of living along with the security of the welfare state, access to higher education and free health care and an adequate state pension when reaching retirement, plus access to decent affordable council housing and a sense of community. All of which has been in the process of being destroyed over the last thirty years.

  10. Alienation in our cities: Only a radical response will work

    Doug Nicholls National Officer of Unite Youth and Community workers


  11. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/108190

  12. Labour leader Ed Miliband said on Radio 4's Today programme that the rioters were no different from MPs who fraudulently claimed expenses, bankers who caused the economic crash or journalists who carried out phone hacking adding that the riots were a symptom of a society that has lost its sense of what is right and wrong.

    ‘‘There is an issue which went to all our souls. This is an issue not just about the responsibility and irresponsibility we saw on the streets of Tottenham. It's about irresponsibility, wherever we find it in our society’’

    Ed Miliband admitted that new-Labour had laid some of the foundations for the riots saying that ‘‘I deeply regret that inequality wasn't reduced under the last Labour government…The fact that we are an unequal society is in the background of some of the things which have happened….There's a debate some people are starting, is it culture, is it poverty and lack of opportunity? It's probably both.’’

    Morning Star Editorial Comment - Millionaires aren't bothered

    Ed Miliband's faltering recognition that a ‘‘smaller state solution’’ is not the answer and that serious lack of opportunity and inequality must be tackled has to be welcomed as a first step to challenging the government's dangerous ploy of dismissing riots as "criminality pure and simple."

  13. On Saturday 13th August 2011 about 2,000 people marched from Dalston to Tottenham in north London, protesting at the demonization of the area's youth and against the Tory/Liberal coalition government cuts. Trade unionists, political activists and local residents marched to Tottenham town hall in a show of unity and opposition to government policy.

    Demonstrators raised themes such as community cohesion and highlighted the government's anti-social cuts such as ending the education maintenance allowance, closing youth services, abandoning deprived areas and slashing public-sector jobs.

    The march concluded in a ‘‘people's assembly’’ where anyone who wished to have their say was granted two minutes. Hackney Trades Council president Brian Debus condemned Tory leader David Cameron for branding certain sections of the community ‘‘sick’’ and for condemning the country's youth without taking responsibility for the devastation the coalition was wreaking on poor communities.

    In Birmingham thousands of people also took part in a peace rally following the deaths of three young men last week when they were struck by a car during the disturbances. Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were struck by the car in the Dudley Road area of Winson Green, apparently as they were trying to protect shops from looters. All three were pronounced dead in hospital on Wednesday. Joshua Donald, 26, from Ladywood and a 17 year-old from Winson Green have been charged with murder over the incident and remanded in custody at Birmingham Magistrates' Court. A 16-year old boy arrested on suspicion of murder has been bailed pending further inquiries and that a 32 year old man who was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder had also been bailed.


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