Can’t I leave you alone for just a couple of months without everything falling apart?

What on earth have you been up to while I’ve been away? Can’t I leave you alone for just a couple of months without riots, the collapse of a media empire, and further financial crises? And I hear rumours that a Green councillor has reported a Tory to the Standards Committee – tradition has it that it should be Tories referring Greens?

The riots were as predictable as they were tragic, and there will be more. Super-cops from New York are unlikely to understand what is happening in our inner cities, where second and third generations of unemployed, poorly educated, and alienated youths have little at stake in society, nothing to lose and some immediate gains to be made. “It’s our ‘pay day'” as one looter described it.

Much of the rioting was negative destruction and much of the looting was purely criminal. But to dismiss it as only that is wrong. It was also a political statement, with thousands of young and older people expressing their detachment from the norms that govern. How is it that after years of a Labour government, there are large numbers of young people so disillusioned that they are willing to destroy their own communities?

What surprised me was how quickly the rioting began under the Conservative-led coalition. I thought that it would be next year, in the run up to the Olympics, once many of the cuts had begun to bite and the ‘undesirables’ had begun to be moved off the streets, that anger would boil over.  I think tthat remains a possibility.

The saddest part of the rioting and the appalling arson attacks, attacks that I condemn without equivocation, is the unlikelihood of investment going into these areas which will become more deprived and greater restrictions placed on the movement of youths around our capital and other cities.

As for riots in Brighton and Hove, I did hear a report on Twitter that there had been a tense standoff and a near riot in Brunswick Square when Waitrose ran out of organic peaches.

As for the Murdoch’s and News International, I did feel ever so sorry for them.  Afterall, who hasn’t gone in for a bit of phone hacking?  How do you think I get some of my not-so-exciting scoops?  But I realise I must apologise for my past excesses, for revealing the Sugar Puffs breakfast habits of Warren Morgan, exposing Lady Everton’s secret identity, exploiting the torments of the Estate Agent, and splashing scoops on the party life of Momma Grizzly.  I do apologise to each and every one of you. This is the most humble day of my life.

And who has been picking on poor Dawn Barnett? I thought that her initiative to provide travellers with directions to Green wards was a great political stunt.  Of course it will not deal with the challenges posed by travellers in the city, but it is not worthy of a referral to the Standards Committee.  I have always opposed the Standards system.  It was wrong when Jason Kitcat was referred to it, and it ill-becomes other councillors, particularly a Green councillor (if the rumours are to be believed) for making such a complaint.

So what else has happened while I’ve been away?  Not much news reached Tuscany this year.  Our neighbours, the Cameron family, packed up and left in a hurry.  Dave C (who was seen walking around in t-shirt, sandals and messy facial hair – I initially mistook him for Luke Walter, the best councillor Brighton doesn’t have) was heard muttering something along the lines “I will kill Boris …”.

I hope you have had a good summer.  I have had a relaxing time.  Now back to business …

15 Responses

  1. Welcome back, Bappers. You have been missed!

    • Thanks, Grizzly. And I have missed you, too. Have you defected to the SWP yet? Just a matter of time …..

  2. Surely it was a lack of tofu at Taj causing the disturbances on Western Road?
    I was planning to do a video skit of this, but the sun was shining so I went to the beach instead.

  3. Hi blogger, welcome back.

    Do you think it is ever acceptable to report a councillor to the standards committee? Not even when they are inciting trespass to make a political point? What other form of redress would you suggest? I think this one has gone beyond the ‘have a quiet word’ stage.

    More on this story in the Southampton Argus today. I’m not going to give the useless rag the oxygen of publicity by giving a link – I’ll just say, why no name for the man involved in this ‘protest’, and I wonder who tipped the said useless rag off?

    • I don’t think the is any place for the Standards Committee at all. I undermines democracy. If a councillor is sexist, racist, homophobic, etc., then it’s up to his or her group to deal with them and for the voters to pass judgement if the offenders party puts them up for re-election. It would say a great deal about Andy party putting forward candidates with racist, sexist or homophobic views.

      • Sounds fine in principle, but the problem comes in cases like this, when a councillor is (arguably) standing up for the interests of their own ward residents, but dumping all over the interests of other city residents in the process. These residents’ only crime is to live in a ward that has voted for a party other than the one this councillor belongs to.

        On your wider point, the problem is that there is a sizeable minority of the electorate who are racist, sexist or homophobic, or even all three. Minority parties pander to this; so, on occasion, do rogue candidates from mainstream parties. The general consensus, however, is that this kind of discourse is unacceptable – so how do you police this, if not by some kind of standards committee arrangement?

        I agree that the present arrangement has unfortunately been brought into disrepute by its use for party political reasons, and by its use as a first resort rather than a last. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when it can be a means of recourse when someone has crossed a line.

  4. With the Albion doing so well there is likely to be a bread and circuses effect in Brighton so further rioting is unlikely. I also think the educated cosmopolitanism to be found localy , the fact that political outsiders(Greens) already hold power and there is an apathetic underclass- together means anything other than periodic protest marches are unlikely.

    Let us thank the Albion for the best football for 30 years and the prospect of even better to come-who needs politics anymore!

    • I understand that the Albion refers to an Association Football club …? Not my thing, I’m afraid!

  5. Welcome back, BPB. If ever in doubt, look at the sandals…I normally wear mine with socks!

  6. I am so sorry for starting the rumour concerning the organic pears. it was in fact black olives…

  7. Wellcome back!…BPB any predictions for the Boundary changes?

    • Boundary changes nothing but speculation at present. Most ridiculous suggestion is Hove with parts of mid-Sussex. Simon Kirby may benefit, Caroline Lucas neutral impact unless Regency goes into Hove which will then hugely weaken Mike Weatherley. Will look into it.

  8. Incidently, young Mr Walter and I are of to watch our beloved Harlequins play London Irish on the opening day of the rugby season in a few hours. Lots of colours- green, two different shades of red..and grey.. but there certainly isn’t any blue on display…

  9. Oh, and I am most sorry for suggesting that a lack organic pears at Waitrose a few weeks back was subject of a near riot. I was stirring. It was in fact black olives….

  10. Putting Hove into parts of Mid-Sussex would be gerrymandering of the highest order….so with this lot in charge, don’t bet against it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: