By Hwaa Irfan
It cannot be easy to be a prime minister amongst leaders who face the minute by minute of descending further into economic collapse. It surely cannot be easy to be one of many leaders struggling to maintain an artificial economic system that has been in place since WWII based on the lower classes keeping the wheels of increased profit margins in motion, and yet turn to the sweat, blood, pockets, and rights of those same lower classes to bailout financial institutions that if were run as small businesses would be forced into foreclosure by the very same banks who have mis-managed the financial affairs of nations.
Such a leader is bound to turn grey overnight at the slightest additional ‘hiccup’ in the miscalculations of overpaid ‘experts’ who are lost in the notion that they have a right to do as they do, and freedom to get away with daylight robbery.
So it should not be so surprising that Britain’s David Cameron reacted to the recent London riots like any other dictator of the Middle East. With a thin line between the two, as NATO’S actions in Libya stirred up civil war that led to the deaths of some 30, 000 people what is the difference between a person who dies at the hands of British police and gets away with it, and those that continue to die in Libya from a NATO bomb? One group are defined as thugs for rioting against police injustice, enforced poverty, lack of proper access to health, employment and education, and the other group as rebels, or revolutionaries. The only difference is that one group is more politically aware of the situation in their own countries, but groups are completely unaware of the situation on the ground in the other group’s country despite what the corporate media would like to have us believe.
Cameron promised to deal with those “thugs” with all his might, for his might is all that he has to fall back on as some basis for an immediate solution, as if London does not have a long history of riots (remember Guy Fawkes), riots much worse than has been witnessed by the world through the media in August 2011.
It is the time in history when the haves, possess a good reason to fear the have nots, and react accordingly, as much commentary about the way people have been arrested, charged and flung into prison makes good fodder for a film pushing the prison population to a record high. The British elite reaction can be typified by such comments by Peter Hitchen:
“People riot because they are wicked, selfish and lawless…we have dismantled every form of authority in society.”
… which differs greatly from observation of the wise:
‘When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty and shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, December, 1963
Yet, which of these comments is more likely to lead to a long term solution instead of a fait a compli? Except in this case, under such circumstances where the pot continues to boil because the ‘heat’ remains the same, can the British elite continue to afford to live in fear of those they have disenfranchised? Police continue to in the same manner as that which led to the riots whereby civilians still die at their hands or in police custody like the 53 year old Philip Humes who was basically tasered to death, and the 27-year-old bodybuilder Dale Burns. As the independent police investigating body, IPCC, look into these deaths, of the 333 people who died between 1999 and 2009 under police custody, not one person in charge has been charged, investigated, suspended, or fired! Will IPCC make a difference?
However, the 2011 riots did bring some results in terms of social justice, in ‘principle’ at least, because as of September 01st the concept of ‘corporate homicide’ has been introduced into the British legal system making the police, prisons, and youth and immigration detention centers responsible and able to face prosecution if someone dies in their custody. However, it still depends on the burden of proof, the evidence of which is with the very same institutions, and if found guilty they get away with a simple fine! Maybe one day accountability will realize that money cannot buy lives just as it cannot profit from consumers who have been disenfranchised or bombed by NATO!
Carter, H. “Man Dies After Taser Arrest Near Bolton.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/24/man-dies-taser-arrest-bolton
Leville, S. “Corporate Homicide Law Extended to Prisons and Police Cells.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/