Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: London's Burning

445 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 14 15 16 17 18 Newer→ Last

  • Rich Lock,

    It appears that in the UK you no longer have to actually commit a crime, let alone be convicted of one, in order to lose your council-provided home.

    With the support of David Cameron, Conservative Wandsworth council was the first to attempt to evict tenants who had been caught up in the rioting.

    Wandsworth announced on Friday that the first eviction notice had been served – to the mother of an 18-year-old boy accused of violent disorder and attempted theft. The teenager has not yet been convicted but has appeared in court in connection with disturbances on Monday at Clapham Junction.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Owen Hatherley on urban regeneration and the riots:

    We've long congratulated ourselves, in London, of the fact that we have no banlieue. We applauded ourselves especially smugly when zoned, segregated Paris rioted a few years ago. It's not like it's untrue—give or take the odd exception (a Thamesmead, a Chelmlsey Wood) our poverty is not concentrated in peripheral housing estates. Edinburgh might wall off its poor in Muirhouse or Leith, and Oxford might try not to think about Blackbird Leys, but in London, Manchester/Salford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham—the cities that erupted on Monday 8th August—the rich live, by and large, next to the poor: £1,000,000 Georgian terraces next to estates with some of the deepest poverty in the EU. We're so pleased with this that we've even extended the principle to how we plan the trickledown dribble of social housing built over the last two decades, those Housing Association schemes where the deserving poor are 'pepper-potted' with stockbrokers. We've learnt about 'spatial segregation', so we do things differently now.

    ...

    All of us, all along—if we're honest for a microsecond—knew this was a ludicrous way to build a city, to live in a city. I, like most of the people now waving brooms in the air and representing the 'real London', was not born in London, and I know only two or three people who were. Occasionally, during the 12 years I've lived in the city, I'd often idly wonder when the riots would come: when the situation of organic delis next to pound shops, of crumbling maisonettes next to furiously speculated-on Victoriana, of artists shipped into architect-designed Brutalist towers to make them safe for Regeneration, of endless boosterist self-congratulation, would finally collapse in on itself.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    I did not say anywhere that the red short movement was swiftly or violently put down or that the Thai government acted oppressively.

    The info I got immediately after the election was in early July that there was a "refusal" by the Electoral Commission to acknowledge the Prime Minister and others and that further protests were likely in relation to the swearing in or recognition ceremony. I got this from a World News (WIN) article. I didn't follow it past this Mid July to see how it was resolved – but noted at the time out of 500 seats the commission only initially acknowledged only 350ish and this did not include the incoming Prime Minister. I did read somewhere that there were further red shirt protests were planed/likely as a result.

    I am happy to stand corrected and note the delay to the swearing in/acknowledgement is now regarded as a Royal Snub to the incoming administration but had the potential to spiral out of hand. The election took place on the 3rd July and it took until the 27th July for the electoral commission to acknowledge the result and the initial refusal was made formal on the 12th of July. I understand the opposition are challenging several marginal results and further by elections are likely.

    The swearing in did not take place until 9 Aug.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    I did not say the red short movement was swiftly or violently put down or that the Thai government acted oppressively.

    The info I got immediately after the election was in early July that there was a "refusal" by the Electoral Commission to acknowledge the Prime Minister and others and that further protests were likely in relation to the swearing in or recognition ceremony. I got this from a World News (WN) article.

    I didn't follow it past this Mid July to see how it was resolved – but noted at the time out of 500 seats the commission only initially acknowledged only 350 of the results and this from memory did not include the incoming Prime Minister. I did also read somewhere that there were further red shirt protests were planed/likely as a result.

    I am happy to stand corrected and note the delay to the swearing in/acknowledgement is now regarded as a Royal Snub to the incoming administration via the electroal commsision; there was potential fro matters to spiral out of hand.

    The election took place on the 3rd July and it took until the 27th July for the electoral commission to acknowledge the result. The initial refusal was made formal on the 12th of July. I understand presently the opposition are challenging several marginal results and further by elections are likely.

    The swearing in of Yingluck Shinawatra as Prime Minister did not take place until 9 Aug.

    Looking at the process in Tgailand to actually form a govt requires 475 of the 500 seats to be certified by the electoral commision and I am not sure where the electroal commission are with this, if they have not reached that threshold then there is still potential for the result 3 July 2011 to be overturned.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    but in London, Manchester/Salford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham—the cities that erupted on Monday 8th August—the rich live, by and large, next to the poor: £1,000,000 Georgian terraces next to estates with some of the deepest poverty in the EU.

    I’m not quite clear on what his point is, but this is an accurate description of where I used to live. Fentiman Road in South Lambeth has long been a chi-chi place for up-and-coming Tory MPs to settle. Here’s a Victorian terrace on the market for £1.35 million.

    It runs past the “good” side of the council estate I lived on, and is only about 500 metres from the “bad” side, across Dorset Road – a place I actively avoided walking, because it was subject to the oversight of a couple of pretty nasty gangs and simply wasn’t safe. Heroin was sold on street corners. Go figure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The juxtaposition of rich with poor stems from deliberate policy by the old LCC from the 1930's to “build the Tories out of London” (1) by building social housing in every ward.

    Westminster council later notoriously attempted the reverse policy in attempting to privatise and demolish council estates. This was done in such a corrupt manner that the council leader wound up fleeing to Israel and later paying GBP12mln to settle the case.

    1. This phrase is disputedly attributed to Herbert Morrison.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Similar here, until the National government sold off state housing last time they were in.
    In Remuera we had streets of State housing off streets of "slightly bigger places, that have now become private. As Point Chev has, as Grey Lynn, Kingsland etc. etc

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6261 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    but in London, Manchester/Salford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham—the cities that erupted on Monday 8th August—the rich live, by and large, next to the poor: £1,000,000 Georgian terraces next to estates with some of the deepest poverty in the EU.

    I’m not quite clear on what his point is

    I suppose to point out that the have and have-nots in London live, almost literally, as next-door neighbours.

    The Paris riots in 2005 were largely confined to the Banlieus. Those rioters would have had to have travelled a considerable distance to get to a gentrified/shopping area. In England, it was a short stroll down the road.

    One of the news items last week pointed out that Boris Johnson and Theresa May were heavily heckled in the slightly downmarket Clapham Junction, but were then able to beat a hasty retreat up the road (on foot) to upmarket Clapham itself, for a photo op with the far more pliant broom army.

    Much harder to police that sort of disorder. Smash, grab, melt away into your own home sidestreets.

    Much easier to resent what is right under your nose that you'll never have, too. Brixton has been slowly gentrify-ing over the last 10-15 years as middle-class professionals get priced out of the other, 'nicer' suburbs around them. Not difficult to imagine that that has led to quite a bit of friction between newcomers and those who are slowly being squeezed out of their own area.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to DexterX,

    You obviously have a far more nuanced and informed understanding of the Thai electoral process than the Thai media and many / all Thai political observers. A few seats have been challenged, there is a court case or two - gosh that's unusual in a democratic process.

    The delay in royal assent was, aside from some speculative stories offshore, not seen as a royal snub. All Thais are aware the that the king is very unwell - it's a matter of concern both politically and simply because this nation is devoted to the guy in a way we can't imagine - and that a delay was always inevitable.

    She was sworn in exactly pursuant to the constitution, after the first subsequence (and scheduled) parliamentary session.

    The ease of it all has caused a national sigh of relief.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    it's a matter of concern both politically and simply because this nation is devoted to the guy in a way we can't imagine - and that a delay was always inevitable

    Also, his likely successor sounds like a right tool. The big problem with monarchy, always has been.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8586 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to BenWilson,

    Unfortunately, sitting where I am, I'm not allowed to agree with that observance.

    The succession, though, will cause a fairly profound change in the way folks here see their king. The extreme devotion is to the guy, not the title.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    All of us, all along—if we’re honest for a microsecond—knew this was a ludicrous way to build a city, to live in a city.

    Now that could open a can of worms. The life of a city and its inhabitants are symbiotic but in the end it is the people. If the people aren't working then the City isn't working.
    In Darabi, an Indian Slum area, which is the worlds largest and most thorough plastics recycling centre, there is no unemployment and the people are happy, if not sick. You have to wonder what would happen if they bulldozed this place.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to DexterX,

    Just to close this off. The cabinet that doesn't exist, from today's Bangkok Post (one of the two English language dailies).

    The guy in the chair in the top photo is the King - snubbing them I guess.

    My favourite is this dude:

    Education Minister:
    Worawat Ua-apinyakul

    Mr Worawut is a Pheu Thai MP for Phrae province.

    He served as culture minister and had come up with ideas of black magic amulets, including phallus and buffalo-shaped ones, as souvenirs for tourists.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Yes my opinion is not a royalist POV and comes in opart from family who are Thai and red shirt supporters and were in Thailand when the shit hit the fan last year - some 20 people got shot or were killed in one incident.

    Looking into it further as I said initially the electoral commision only approved 350 seats leaving 150 up in the air which included the seat of the then Prime Minister elect - this was IMHO and in that of others a royalist snub.

    From an article dated 28th July 2011 - at
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jul2011/thai-j29.shtml

    Of immediate concern for Yingluck, her pro-Thaksin Puea Thai party and its four coalition allies had been whether the EC would endorse the minimum quorum of 95 percent of the 500 parliamentarians by the August 2 deadline set out in the country’s constitution. Puea Thai won an absolute majority with 265 seats and with its allies will control at least 299, if all those elected are endorsed.

    Only yesterday did the EC endorse a final group of 94 poll winners, bringing the total to 496. If a quorum had not been confirmed, parliament could not have met and a constitutional and political crisis would have ensued.

    Also recent travel advice is as follows

    Following the national elections on 3 July the Thai Electoral Commission has until 2 August 2011 to confirm the election result. Although the elections took place without serious incident there remains some risk that political developments could lead to instability in the medium term.

    Thailand has a history of military coups, (which seem to have royalist backing IMO) and the Nation is only just beginning to break away from that environment with this recent election. It is a country where each day they publicly play the National Anthem in the central parks in Bangkok and people have to stop what they are doing and be reverent otherwise they may be arrested. This is quite a subtle control of the people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Also from the AIT News this:

    BANGKOK, 14 July 2011 (NNT) – The Pheu Thai Party has asked the Election Commission (EC) to certify MP status for all elected candidates urgently after the endorsement for many of its key members is pending.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to DexterX,

    some 20 people got shot or were killed in one incident.

    92 people died in the troubles - horrible - and the first major incident was the one in Khao San Rd in April, which may be the one you are referring to. In that incident there seems to be some agreement that the Black Shirts (the pretty hardcore armed wing of the Red Shirt movement - mostly former special forces guys - there are a few photos I took of these guys on my blog) fired first. Soldiers died as a result. They fired back but did not use anything like the firepower they had at their disposal (that was a feature of the whole two months).

    There were a series of other fairly minor incidents over the next few months but some serious ones, including RPGs being fired by Black Shirts at soldiers, who mostly didn't react.

    When it all turned to shite in May and the government was really forced to do something to bring the situation to an end - the country was losing millions and some 30,000 jobs were at risk just in the CBD - it got pretty bloody but both sides were targets. It was a lose-lose for the government. It had to be cleared but the Red Shirts simply refused to either go or make movements to resolve the impasse. It was their intention simply to stay until their ever changing demands were met. That could not be allowed to happen in the centre of one of the world's largest cities and a major commercial hub for Asia.

    One wonders too, how most governments would react to multi-million dollar malls (Central World was the world's 3rd largest at the time) being burned and looted.

    It is a country where each day they publicly play the National Anthem in the central parks in Bangkok and people have to stop what they are doing and be reverent otherwise they may be arrested. This is quite a subtle control of the people.

    I like the way that people stop at the bottom of escalators when the National Anthem plays. Do they do it because there is a cop watching? Uh, no - they do it because the national reverence to the monarch is extreme and almost unanimous. I spent several days walking amongst the redshirts, photographing, talking and just watching - images of the king were everywhere, as they are elsewhere in Thailand. Ask your Thai friends and family - who, likely, like some 99% of the nation, also hold a 'royalist POV'. I imagine most Thai folk would get pretty tetchy if a Farang told them it was about 'subtle control'.

    From an article dated 28th July 2011

    and

    Also from the AIT News this:

    That pesky constitution, eh? Still, that procedure sounds less messy than the last UK election, and several in the US and NZ in recent years.

    Also recent travel advice is as follows

    Tell me you are not seriously touting NZ travel advice pages as evidence of anything.....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    The travel advice was actually British – the irony.

    Yes, both factions revere the King, and this is partly built on the basis the monarchy, King No 5, I think, abolished slavery and at the same time as setting the people free initiated land reforms.

    When I refer to the royalist snub – I am not saying the King himself - I am referring to those that using the positions “behind the throne” or as “part of the political and army power elite”.

    The present reluctant (Thai) opposition party – the former govt installed by a coup - had the constitution changed, adopted a lot of the The Pheu Thai Party polcies and still couldn’t retain power.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Rich Lock,

    'K, try three.

    Does anyone else find this photo...odd?

    ETA: Oh, FFS.

    Describe it to us.

    Stumbled across the photo online, if anyone is still interested.

    Here.

    Not only the chap in the foregound who looks like he's doing the traditional "well-I'll-try-them-on-but-I'm-not-sure-they'll-suit-me", but the guy off to the right who looks like an off-duty school prefect, just casually standing there with his arms behind his back.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Just reading through the interesting discussion on this thread, it seems that Plan B has marked the six month "anniversary" of the London Riots by releasing this single.

    I think it's scatter-shot and occasionally clumsy, but sonically it's brilliantly evocative, and kudos to him releasing such a highly charged record. And if this fascinating interview is any indication, there's a genuine intent and sincerity behind it. This might be a take-home quote from it:

    When you attack someone because of the way they talk, the way they dress, the music they listen to, or their lack of education, and you do it publicly and it's acceptable to do that, you make them feel alienated. They don't feel like a part of society … For every person who uses the word chav there is a less educated person ready to embrace it. They say, well, look, I'm never going to change the way you think of me so actually I'm going to play up to it and fuel the fire. In essence that's what Ill Manors is about

    I don't know whether the song stands up to the sheer weight of that context, but it holds up a lot better than many would. And I love the fact it sounds like a bloody parent-baiting racket

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    I think it’s scatter-shot and occasionally clumsy, but sonically it’s brilliantly evocative, and kudos to him releasing such a highly charged record.

    It certainly doesn’t feel staged, the only things missing are the live video cameras.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 14 15 16 17 18 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.