Archive for August, 2011

2011

Posted in Writing, Year diary on August 13th, 2011

Mid August and not a word for this year so far. A sign of busy times writing a book and tending children.

Last week while I was in London, parts of the city went into free fall. It started in Tottenham and spread to Enfield, Brixton, Peckham and then England: Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and Salford, and even sleepy old Leicester.
I went to the Proms and a play called ‘Betrayal’ by Harold Pinter that I had last seen in the late 1970s, and a marvellous Joan Miro exhibition at the Tate Modern. All in between the rioting each night. The streets we walked were clear and clean- the rioting had the effect of making London a pleasant place to be instead of the overcrowded pushing and shoving that is normal. The West End was glossy and gleaming with blazing windows of opportunity for conspicuous consumption. No police and no rioting that we could discern..

Apparently The PM David Cameron is bringing in an American cop from Boston to tell the police here how to sort out the gangs. He might do well to start in the City with the bankers and move on to Parliament where ex members of the Bullingdon club still meet to conspire to loot and pillage the poor. There is a nice letter going around addressed to Cameron’s parents berating them for bringing up such a destructive boy… All the usual cliches are running wild right now and the rest of the world must be wondering what it is like in England. Well there are ordinary people making the best of the situation and pulling together with the usual British style. However there is so much anger amongst all parties it is leading to heavy sentencing - six months gaol for looting bottles of water worth 3.50 for someone with no criminal record who committed a wrong doing in a moment of opportunistic madness. The most powerful comment came this morning from the father of a young man mown down on the street in Birmingham who said: “there is too much anger- we must not give in to that” He is proving to be a man of real influence on hotheads who want to go out and bash Afro-Caribbeans. He is a Muslim.

It all seems a world away from the city suburbia of Sydney where not much happens except the occasional drive by shooting. Even so Mosman made the headlines in Britain with a story of a girl held to ransom with an explosive collar around her neck which the police took ten hours to remove.