…and sometimes not:
Yes, yes…what the UK really needs is some random Canadian commenting on the riots there. However I thought this interview reinforced the feeling I’ve been having there is more going on here than the primal thrill of “looting”. Now, Darcus Howe isn’t some random grandfather – he’s someone with a point of view and his perceptions might be coloured by that.
French commentator Agnes Poirer told the BBC that the riots reflected badly on British society. Britain, she argued, remained one of the most “unequal societies” in Europe. “Profit, speculation and consumption are Britain’s Holy Trinity,” she said.
“I’m not sure how this will all end,” said Pat Burn, a retired London social worker. “The problem is that in this country we live in extremes of rich and poor. We need to live in the middle, like they do in Scandinavia,” she said.
Every post-industrial society has a large and growing minority of permanently unemployed or under-employed people who would once have grown up into the good working-class jobs that no longer exist. They are present in significant numbers in Britain and in France, in the United States and in Russia, even in Japan. It’s those bored and angry youths who are looting in England now.
UPDATE 2: A friend from Britain writes: Darcus has for many years been a popular media go-to guy to solicit “challenging” opinions on racial issues. Akin to a British Al Sharpton, if you will. Can always be relied upon to fan the flames. BTW, not an ad hominem dismissal of the guy. He can be a powerful debater but has just gone full derp on this.
UPDATE 3: Economist Nouriel Roubini: