Friday, August 19, 2011

Role models from the riots?

This article is wierd. It seems to be mostly a clumsy vehicle for the handful of links incorporated within it. Of course most young people didn't riot, but then how many came out onto the streets to face-off or protest against the rioters. Not many- perhaps those three young asian men killed in Birmingham were the only ones? does this mean that most were silently approving / disapproving, scared, or just plain complacent.
 There has been a concerted effort to frame the recent events within the realms of "mindless criminality". Is the lack of obvious political context at-all surprising when for the last several decades all effort has been directed at the de-politicisation of the populace-at-large, young people being particularly affected.- Nevertheless the context is there for all who care to see it. Television and all the other banality of what passes for "culture" in the present age and the very tedium and lack of gravitas in modern political process have all contributed to this, not to mention the obvious complicity of the political class in the scandals referred to in the links within the article. The idea is fostered that politics is too "complicated" for ordinary people to be engaged in and is best left to the "experts". Now that ruse has come back to bite them in the backside, but then, how much easier to denounce this unrest than if it had been overtly political?
 I don't like the tone of this article, and the two previous comments with their empty plaudits raise my suspicions. I note that Mike Harris has only been at NEF for two months and that his profile page details put him firmly in the "political elite" camp in my view. I know that NEF is not a radical organisation and tries to bring along as broad a spectrum of followers as possible, but these factors together make me suspect that what I am seeing is an example of "gatekeeping". The board of NEF should be very circumspect about what this means for the credibility of the organisation.

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