So much for the British stiff-upper-lip, gentlemanly behavior and London’s ‘wartime spirit’, that pulled this once Great Britain through the darkest of times. One of the stereotypical traits of the Englishman, which some found endearing, others darn frustrating, was their reserve. Indeed, ‘The Equalizer’ could force a New York street gang to give up with just the sound of his well-formed syllables.
The scenes of violence and destruction at the heart of London yesterday would have been unthought of not so many years ago. There have been protests aplenty… union pickets sometimes stepping over the line between law and disorder, or students ‘squatting’ in high rise office buildings…. even prisoners perching on the roof of their cell blocks. This, however, is something quite new.
Historically, most of the protests that turned nasty were due to the fact that anti-protesters arrived on the scene. No surprise that this sort of face-to-face confrontation would become explosive, with the poor police officers taking a beating as they try to hold the two parties from each other’s throats.
There was no second protest yesterday, the violence that ensued was aimed at the police and the establishment, in the form of the governing Conservative Party’s headquarters. Why this uncontrollable anger towards the government? An even better question… who was behind it?
Europe is not a happy place these days, including Britain which can be included as part of the continent… or not, depending on which Brits you ask. Neither is America happy. A worldwide recession, high unemployment, a drop in living standards, uncertainty of the future… they all fuel unrest and discontent.
Greece was the first to fall victim to riots, in response to the government’s cuts in spending and tax increases. More recently, France had its share of violent protests as the country was outraged by having to work until the ripe old age of 62! Yesterday, students in London (although I believe some were ‘plants’ by ultra-left organizations unknown… what was Glenn Beck saying last night about a certain gentleman instigating revolts?) reacting to increased tuition fees.
The ironic thing about this whole situation in Europe is that the ‘austerity measures’ being imposed are the result of the collapsing socialist welfare society, the nanny-state that these leftist protesters, and their predecessors, created. If you build a wall that is unsound, should you not thank the person that demolishes it before permanent, irreversible damage is done? These people are holding that person responsible for trying to avert calamity. Rather than admit their mistakes and come to the realization that socialism cannot work, they react like young children, throwing a tantrum when they find that the cookie jar is not bottomless.
Something that sticks in my mind that Skip said a while ago (although there are many!) was regarding the mind set of Europeans. He explained that Europeans had always had an authority figure to watch over them and make decisions for them, whether a monarch, squire or government. This has evolved into a system where the individual has become so dependent on the state that any sign of a reversal, whereby the drone has to start thinking and doing for himself, throws him into a panic.
‘Austerity measures’… Conjures up pictures of starving people lining up for a crust of bread, or kids with no shoes on their feet. The ones who will be impacted the most by these measures, in Britain anyway, will be the ones that have been draining the life out of the hard-working people… those that have been ‘playing the system’ for possibly their entire lives, with no intention of ever working while their abundant benefits keep rolling in. On the subject of the student fees, who ever said that higher education was a right that should be paid for by every taxpayer?
There are no starving people and the work-shy still manage to frequent the bars, strangely far more often than the hard-working, hard-taxed members of society. Sure, everyone is feeling the pinch, but given the options available under the circumstances, that is to be expected.
Compare the reactions of the Europeans to those of Americans over the last year or so. Think back to the Tea Party protests across the country. Some of those folks had lost their jobs, their homes, their savings… and possibly lost the money they had to put their children through university. Were they angry? Darned right they were! But, they were never violent.
This epitomizes the difference between socialists protesting at the collapse of their Utopian, unworkable system and conservatives speaking out at the attempted introduction of this vile philosophy.
The new Congress will have to make some tough decisions to put the country back on track… and some will be painful. Just remember, as you flinch when you get that shot in the arm… don’t blame the Doctor, blame the virus that caused you to have it.
(Editor Dee is in for Skip today)