Britain the Best Country in the World Mr. Cameron? Not this week.

I’ve tried for the past few days not to comment on the rioting in Britain. Although the Scots and Welsh, quite rightly, will be pointing out the rioting is technically in England, not Britain.

The television footage as shown by the BBC (my channel of choice for national celebration and crisis) has sickened and enraged by turn. My heart sank when rioting was reported in my home town of Nottingham.

Unfortunately I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer and have to make some comment from my vantage point in mainland Europe.

Let’s not be under any illusion these riots were sparked by the police incident involving Mark Duggan; that was the excuse not the cause, as Mr Duggan’s family will attest. Let’s not fall for the line it’s the rage and frustration of disadvantaged youth reaching boiling point; many of the looters now in court are employed and have ‘normal’ lives. And please let’s not swallow the line it was because of the current economic climate; everyone’s dealing with that but most don’t feel the need to riot, threaten or intimidate their communities.

Whilst these factors may play a part, the reality is that thugs, bullies and the socially irresponsible found an excuse to throw their weight around, causing mayhem and criminal damage and looting what they wanted while a seemingly impotent police force stood by and watched.

Impotent because any action to crack down on the looters would have been regarded as facist and right wing by the left, despite the desperate pleas of the general public for police protection on the streets. Protection the police were unable to give to the public, business owners and even other emergency services. They were forced to stand by while business and homes burned.

The capital of Britain was brought to a standstill as the world looked on in disbelief. This was not Syria or Egypt or Libyia – this was happening in a western democracy, a country who regards itself as a player on the world stage.

Once again Britain is on the verge of being considered a joke by the international community. Think I’m overreacting? Read some of the international press. I’m not going to quote them here, just google the New York Times, Washington Post, Le Figaro or Die Welt. I’ve already received an email from european friends asking where to send aid and food parcels, and information on aid being sent from Africa. Very funny.

Last night no trains or public transport were operating, businesses closed early, the capital was paralysed. What message is that sending to our global neighbours? Within the past few days Britain has had the glare of international flashbulbs lighting up the reality of social disintegration on so many levels and for so many reasons.

I do not want to apportion blame, or offer a solution for the problem. I’m incredibly sad the sordid, squalid and unsavoury underbelly of Great Britain has been on display for all the world to see; especially now, so close to the Olympics.

Mr. Cameron, you may stand outside number 10 Downing Street and talk about the greatness of Britain, but too many of us know in our hearts, and with a quiet despair, that Britain is living on past glories and the echoes of a once great nation.

I do not envy you the job in hand.

The salvation, the saving grace and what will save the reputation of Britain is not the politics but the people for who vote for the politicians. The British are a tolerant people. Until they are pushed too far.

The law abiding, caring, socially minded and respectful have reached their limit too.

Black, white, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim have been out on the streets cleaning up, standing guard over homes, businesses and places of worship making their voices heard. For every disaffected youth rioting and looting there are those who are helping clean up the aftermath, or serving their country in Afghanistan. Let’s not forget them.

Listen to the people Mr. Cameron. They want what we all want, to raise families in peace, live without fear and intimidation and have a government in power who will ensure that.

It’s not too much to ask is it?

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
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9 Responses to Britain the Best Country in the World Mr. Cameron? Not this week.

  1. Kym Hamer says:

    I read your final question…to raise families in peace, live without fear and intimidation and have a government in power who will ensure that. It’s not too much to ask is it?…and my brain uttered a resounding ‘No, it’s not too much to ask!’

    But then I wondered whether we’ve just been taking this ‘peace’ for granted. Many countries and their residents face this every day. Maybe we all just got complacent?

    • wordgeyser says:

      I hope we’re not complacent anymore. I sincerely hope people have woken up and realised the rights and freedom’s enjoyed in England are a privilege not enjoyed by many of the world’s population. It needs to be protected, nurtured and valued. There are social problems to overcome, lets hope this is the start of a serious change in the mindset of the nation!!

  2. It’s been so sad to see this happen, and scary in its continuance. Very troubling indeed. The US has had its share of riots over the years, so we’re not one to talk. I understood the frustration that drove people to the streets in Tottenham to voice their concern. But once it moved beyond protest to violence, well, you lose me right there. So many innocents caught up in the crossfire, homes and businesses burned. I sincerely hope that in addition to determining what the government and citizens might be able to do to bring communitities together to prevent future violence, I sure hope the guilty parties are dealt with seriously.

    • wordgeyser says:

      Thanks for your insights Linda, it always helps to see how people from other countries view what’s happening in England (seems even the BBC have been told to make it clear this is happening in ENGLAND not Britain!). I hope this is a wake up call for change. I’m so relieved this did not degenerate into racially motivated disorder. I’m so proud communities came together to clean up and speak out, calmly and eloquently against the people who were involved in this. Let’s hope the goodwill that’s come out of this continues.

  3. Jane says:

    It’s alarming to see the power a (relatively) small group can wield over the majority, and how society can so quickly break down. I hope some positive initiatives can come out of all of this.

    • wordgeyser says:

      I’m hopeful this may bring about a tide of change for everyone – we need to give young people hope for the future and a moral compass to guide them to it.I don’t have the answers but truly believe if voices for good are loud enough answers will be given. I hope so!

  4. “I am appalled by some of the remarks on linkedin..amazingly some people are joking about it..others treating it just as news..My blood boils when I see small businesses burnt or looted…really sad…I have to confess I am ashamed of being English at the moment…”

    Neil Wheatley at Linkedin

    • wordgeyser says:

      Totally agree Neil – some of these businesses will just close down, the increased cost of insurance cover enough to push some to bankruptcy. Jobs will be lost and more lives changed forever because of these hooligans. Anyone finding this funny has no moral compass at all. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Sheila says:

    No it’s not too much to ask to live in peace without fear or intimidation – but the politicians and
    police need the support of the people. We may have reached a point now where they will get it.
    Was good to see people coming out to clean up the mess- perhaps some good will come out of this – a new community spirit.

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