David Cameron said yeaterday that some parts of society are “sick”. Well it may have taken riots on the streets for him to finally acknowledge this but many of us have known this for a long time. The trouble is he just doesn’t have a clue which parts of British society are truly sick and which parts are just angry and opportunistic.
Certainly those who looted and started fires over the last few days are in general not sick, rather they are the disaffected, unheard parts of society, victims of the spectacular success of commercialism with a total disregard for their community and values that others hold dear.
Firstly we must define what he means when he uses the word sick. Disturbed, sinister, pre meditated. Maybe appalling is too mild a word. Is he describing the people involved? Or does he mean that society is unhealthy? If he means society then he could claim a genuinely remarkable (for a politician) and timely insight and awakening. For society is profoundly sick. And if he is about to do something about it then lets hail him.
However it is easy to fear that his word sick was directed at the rioters and not society. So instead of showing wisdom and true awareness he just reinforces his own education and training. That of deflective recrimination of an easy target. He leads those who actually listen to him, or follow a word he or any of his team-mates says, along the lethal path of either not being truly aware of societal and human needs or, more sinisterly, knowing about them but being deliberately misleading about them.
He seems to think that these rioters are sick whilst being totally unaware of the true sickness that has enveloped our modern society. Mr Cameron has grown up to be coldened and hardened to the true injustices carried out and inflicted on so many sectors of society both domestic and international. Conditioned to accept the brutality and “sickness” of profit first and everything else somewhere else. Hence he is brainwashed to think that attacks on posessions, material goods, glass and ultimately profit are sick whilst remaining cold to the children fighting wars and working in the diamond mines in many Southern African nations and the scores of people back home for whom neo-liberal capitalist markets create no future or hope.
At worst the riots traumatised local communities, and this is reprehensible. Families trying to sleep whilst in fear of the unknown, what is going to happen next? Strike a familiar note? Like the same feeling inflicted upon countless families in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years. Of course the leader of a people should have as his number one concern his own people. But to do it to someone else and then expect to be able to complain about it happening to your own people puts you on decidedly dodgy moral ground.
And that’s if his primary focus is on the well being of his own people. Which it isn’t, as has been shown by the actions of the current coalition and the past actions of countless governments in their ambivilence and couldn’t care less attitude to many sections of society. Actions speak louder than words. We’ve heard empty spin and rehtoric for years. So if those who terrorised innocent people during the riots this week are sick, are those who sanctioned the terrorising of innocent families in Iraq and Afghanistan sick also? If he means that the people are sick, then surely so.
What about the ongoing privatisation of healthcare and the pension cuts? Bringing uncertainty and anguish to millions of his own people. To take an institution that was designed to care for people and to run it for profit? To put profit before his own peoples welfare. If the rioters, by putting their own profit, in this case looting, before the wellbeing of their community are sick, then what does it say when, on a massive scale, profit from peoples health is made paramount to the health of the nation? The institutions of health and educational security are being looted at the expense of the wellbeing of the majority of society. If we are going to be crtical of looters filling their shopping trolleys and running of down the streets the we must also be critical of the companies rubbing their hands with glee at looting Britain’s world famous and admired welfare system.
If we look at the stores that were targeted by this weeks looting we can see what they were after. The goods that are sure to enhance our lives and make us feel good. So succesful has the marketing been in influencing the vulnerable psyche of people that people are being pitted against each other in a great aggressive struggle of consumerism. Exactly the point capitalism is trying to acheive in creating and encouraging people to be competitive to the extent that they must have this product or that. Preying on the weaknesses of people.
So successful has advertising become that this weeks riots could not have happened without it. Pitting people against people in a race for commercial nirvana. Is this not sick? And if you think not then realise this aggressive consumerism is also targeted at children as young as 4 in the UK. Get them while they’re young, aggressive little consumers will grow into perfect adult consumers. A well known marketing tactic, all too obvious to parents. Advertising to children is illegal in many European countries.
So this generation has grown up with a culture of want want want, the ideal dream of commercialism. If they cant get it through buying they seem to think that they will just steal it. So powerful is the success of the advertising and indoctination that they simply have to have it, whatever the cost.
If this weeks 24 hour news extravaganza was the biggest example of overt looting in a 100 years the what about the grandest theft this land has ever seen? The enclosure acts and clearences when the people of this land were looted of their land and their rights to use its resources. The effects of which created the urban sprawl of landless people that make up modern cities in the first place. Maybe with their committed actions and a bit more focus the rioters could have looted our land and morality back.
On the 13th of September the biggest arms traders in the world, many of them British, will assemble to show off their latest technology of high tech killing equipment, designed to butcher 10′s of 1000′s over the next few years, in London. Armed with the aim of selling them to whoever will buy them and use them to kill whoever they want, all for a good profit, they will be lauded and applauded by Cameron and his mates. If those who steal a T.V. And loot a t-shirt on Peckham high street are sick, are those who, with presicion planning and ruthless premeditation, are stealing and looting the innocence, peace, limbs and futures of countless people around the world also sick?
What about the immorality of British corparate crime? There’s no room for morality in business as the transnational grand looters will gleefully tell you. If we create a society where the dog eat dog world of business is held up as a virtue and caring welfare state is regarded as expendable then we shouldn’t be suprised if society at different levels grows to reflect this. When the destruction of material possessions brings about more headlines than the destruction of peoples bodies and of communities and societies then something really is sick.
And it’s not just David Cameron who seems to have no grasp of the reality of the real world, blinkered by business ideology and blind to the effects of the world that consumerism has created. Clegg can’t do anything but spin. He dosen’t really know what to say. He spins so obviously that it’s cringeworthy, recalling tired edited lines that show complete detatchment from people standing 2 metres away, like he’s not even listening, to busy thinking about which line may gently spin him out of this one. He must be getting dizzy by now. Boris seems to attack the situation with gusto but neither does he really know what to do except criticise. Sentences repeated and rearranged including the words, unacceptable, punished, more police, law, Blatantly unable to grasp what is going on. Tottenham is a different world to what all of them know. And not a world they ever had any intention of wanting to know. So conditioned are they to the business mentality.
If he really cared about society and not profit Cameron would not be using taxpayers money to bail out banks and to bomb people on the other side of the world whilst cutting essential services at home. He would be frogmarching the bankers, international businessmen and warmongers into the overnight magistrates not disaffected kids breaking stuff. But he is from the same stable as those who are truly sick. The same stable that wrote the laws that demonise nicking trainers and eulogise selling guns. And he really doesn’t understand what is genuinely sick. It’s probably not his fault. He’s been brainwashed since a child to think that international arms trading is delightful and noble whilst angry kids must be crushed as a threat to the wonders of silent consumerism.