I have spent the last 24 hours watching the new on a loop. I grew up in Clapham (around the corner from Lavander Hill) then moved to Surrey, not a million miles away from Croydon and certainly close enough to spend many a drunken night at the local haunts with friends. Every Saturday as a teenage I used to go to Syliva Young Theatre School and part of my journey was spent waiting for a bus at Reeves Corner. Indeed, many a night was spent waiting outside the taxi rank at Reeves Corner waiting to go home. We socialise in the many bars and restaurants on Lavander Hill and I have had my hair cut in Headmasters. BoBo's godmother lives in Lavander Sweep at the top of the Hill. The rioting that was going on last night was local to me, It was in "my" part of London and as the drama unfolded, so to did my anger and disgust.
Who are these people? Why are they attacking their own communities?
This is the underbelly of society, the "Jeremy Kyle" generation raised on a diet of junk and "Grand Theft Auto". The youngest arrest so far is 10 years old. 10 YEARS OLD- that is 2 years older than my Beansy. What I have seen has shocked me - A shopkeeper in Hackney weeping as he laid wet towels around his shopfront, A mother jumping from her burning house in Croydon not to mention 5 generations worth of pure hard graft for the Reeves family whose furniture store so tragically burnt down in Croydon. I have seen footage of a bleeding youth, helped to his feet by a "kindly" youth who then goes on to MUG HIM in broad daylight. I have seen numerous cars and vans on fire, I have seen policemen attacked and cars overturned.
The majority of the people I see acting like this are young, this is no organised "gang" crime, this is young people who are trying their luck for a bit of "fun". An opportunity to blag some new trainers or mobile phone. This is their ENTERTAINMENT. They don't care about what they are doing, who they are hurting. There are no consequences for their actions.
I am appalled. I am angry and I am sad.
My children for the first time are aware that "something" is going on. They have seen news reports and newspapers and they are asking questions.
Why are they doing that mummy?
I thought the police were goodies?
What happened to that lady?
Why are they stealing?
Why aren't the police stopping them?
What will happen to the things they are stealing?
What will their parents say when they bring the things home?
Why doesn't their mummy tell them off?
Why do they want to hurt people?
When will it stop?
I am no politician or sociologist. I have my views and opinions but to be quite frank, I am not going to air them to my children. So, the answer is, I can't answer my children's questions.