Double Standards: Government fuel disorder and the riots…

Remember those riots? The demonisation of certain groups of people, as right-wing underclass, depraved, racist and social Darwnistic arguments rose to prominence as politicians and public alike took part in a disturbing attack against those involved. As I discussed in a previous blog post:

[The government] advanced a crack down on gangs and social media – two things that The Guardian and LSE study into the riots, Reading the Riots, have found were rather trivial in terms of the cause of the riots…The Reading the Riots report managed to interview 270 people involved in the riots and talk to them about their reasons, experiences – as their voice has been consistently shut out by mainstream channels. With the use of methodological triangulation (qualitative and quantitative methods), the research offers initial data on understanding, not stigmatising, the rioters. For instance, the conference highlighted that despite David Cameron’s assertions that poverty had nothing to do with the riots, the data showed substantial evidence for a casual, not correlative, relationship.

However, these sociopolitical factors were ignored by a government hell-bent on using whatever they can find to promote their privatise everything, protect the 1% and demonise the rest of society agenda. Sadly, the public fell for the media, political elite divide and rule policy – with petitions calling for the removal of rioters’ benefits.

This brings me onto my main point. There was a notable backlash by the law and order system, with the court dis-proportionally punishing rioters in comparison to sentences non-rioters who commit the same crime receive – apparently, to deter others (again, a complete ignorance towards political economy).

One notable example is the case of two boys who were jailed for four years for apparently inciting disorder through Facebook encouraging people to riot, despite there being no evidence that this caused any rioting in itself:

Jordan Blackshaw, 20, set up an “event” called Smash Down in Northwich Town for the night of 8 August on the social networking site but no one apart from the police, who were monitoring the page, turned up at the pre-arranged meeting point outside a McDonalds restaurant.

Now, let’s look at the judge’s rational for this ludicrous sentencing:

 It caused a very real panic.

Sound familiar?

This week, the government has sparked its own panic encouraging people to stock pile petrol, even arguing that lives are at risk, despite the strike having no confirmed date and the fact that Acas are likely to try to negotiate a deal, not to mention a seven-day warning from Unite if they do go on strike!

The judge who sentenced the boys above also added that their actions had:

Put a very considerable strain on police resources in Warrington.

Now again, compare this to what has happened because of the government’s overblown comments:

As queues snaked out of petrol stations around Britain, prompting police in one county to ask for the temporary closure of forecourts, recriminations started flying after Maude’s warning earlier this week that lives were being placed at risk by the planned strike by fuel tanker drivers, and that motorists should stockpile petrol…Dorset police confirmed that five garages were asked to close for a period, because lines of cars were causing congestion in Bournemouth and Weymouth, and there were reports of forecourt closures and petrol shortages across the UK.

The government have in fact, incited disorder. Who will hold them to account? No, they wont have to spend four years of their life in prison, despite them actually causing real problems and real disorder unlike the two boys above mentioned.

In fact, Maude’s comments about filling jerry cans full of petrol actually potentially breaches health and safety laws. Yes, he encouraged action which could be contra to the law – but again, unlike the two boys who have been jailed for four years for inciting nothing, Maude and this government will get away with prison. The FBU have put their own warning up regarding the comments, expressing:

The union warns it will massively increase fire and explosion risk and the public should be discouraged from doing so.

How is this fair? Just because you don’t have an ‘elite’ position in society and just because you don’t happen to have a million or so in the bank, the system of law is unevenly applied? This is just another example of the endemic unfairness and double standards existent in society. Essentially, the difference in response relates to economics, as always. It is a symptom of a world economy based on petroleum.  As someone joked on Twitter yesterday, maybe this panic buy in petrol is the government’s economic growth strategy.


11 thoughts on “Double Standards: Government fuel disorder and the riots…

  1. The Condems did this this for two reasons. Firstly they wanted it to be their ‘Miners’ strike, ie away of destroying the Unions, and B to keep the them away from their own problems, eg pasties tax, granny tax etc; & of course have a dig at Labour!

    So they create panic buying and hoarding, which is completely illegal & has resulted in a women incinerating herself. Capping it off they have enforced a change in the hours for the drivers, which is what the argument is about in the 1st place

    It hasn’t worked as you said, UNITE and the distribution companies are going to ACAS, and everyone is queuing up to condemn the policy & if Charles Moore & the Torygrapgh criticise you, you are in trouble!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Michael.

      I agree with your comments, totally – thanks for adding the extra information. There are obviously underlying political reasons for why the ConDems choose this line of attack. It’s disgraceful, but they won’t be held to account as usual. One rule for the elite, hey?!

  2. Hello Jane, Great view point post, explained to an excellent degree.

    Scameron The Unelected and his b!tches – aka The Fascist littleTurd and flies – having done this diliberately to cause community in fighting.

    They want riots, they want excessive stress building up amongst the people, why?, to enforce more laws against the peoples rights to free speech.

    In turn police privatisation will be able to attack with further brutal ‘law keeping’, that Scameron will be not held accountable for, albeit the having got away with ‘this’ already, as also, brutalising the disabled and excessively sick, even murder when the death toll of suicides is now 18, as a result of the fear and panic of benefit loss.

    What a guy eh?….

    1. Thanks so much for the encouraging comment/feedback, Ann – I really appreciate it.

      Well said, I totally agree with you. It’s as Thatcher did in the 80s – which Michael above mentions – it’s an attempt to try to fuel (excuse the pun) the disagreement into something so much more worse to then use this as an excuse to clamp down on union rights etc even further. Unite have dealt with the situation well, but what annoys me is how the government can just get away with their actions because they’re the law makers. Two boys who say something that leads to no disorder get four years in prison, whilst idiotic comments that resulted in a woman receiving 40% burns go unpunished. It’s disgusting.

      Totally agree with your points regarding the attack on disabled people too. It’s all related, and shows how fascist and right wing this elitist millionaire led, out of touch social Darwinist government is.

  3. They’re little elitist parasitic scum arent they!
    Yes! The two lads you speak of, unjustly serving time for a ludicrously scapegoated, ‘potentiated’ crime, whilst the actual in motion, continuing crimes that the silver spoon born are freely able to inflict.

    The entirety of this government is without any legal standing that reasons the suposed, ‘Demos Kratos’ we are, as a country.

    What a joke, these scum enforcing fitness to work, so must work laws, when the damn f*ck did any of them work with their hands?, they are parasitic scum whom brutally inflict laws of no reasoning, brutally demand you slave till your death for a pittance, while they sit in big mansions drinking whisky that costs more than an average hard workers weekly wage.

    The truth is, the lads whom were imprisoned for potentiation to commit crime are sadly sacrificial pawns of todays non justice system. I feel for them, to say life can be cruel is an understatement.

    To have done this to them, is an expression of the now potentiated (man made) law enforcing of, the anything ‘law’ decides to accuse you of.

    The Judge? What does a Judge know about reality of society?, what does a Judge know about truth of the population in a general public sense?.
    Its all bollox and the entire actuality of democracy in England, Uk… Anywhere! Is as is, its bull.
    We are led to believe we choose, we vote, we decide.. Ha!, we have a limited choice do we not?, each party is out to be a leader, each is hungry for power and control.
    The people are so blinded by the ‘choice’ factor, believe their voting of any party is important, history alone proves the failure of it all.

    But then history expresses the people tire of failure and do finally realize who is really to blame for everything going wrong…. They turn on the culprits. This will be soon i hope, i’ll be on the front line. Lol

    1. Sorry for my late response.

      Thanks again for your reply.

      Totally agree with you. I hate abuse of power, it makes me angry and this is a perfect example of it. Society is based on endemic unfairness where those with the power and money rule the roost.

      I feel your anger regarding the ATOS ‘assessments’. Pretty much everyone in the cabinet are millionaires and David Cameron has no idea what real life is about. He has his money to fall back on. Forcing people to work, through an ICT profit driven private company through social darwnisit assessment criteria alongside a government that focuses on the few people at the bottom who fraud the system because of desperation whilst ignoring those greedy corrupt rich twats who fraud us for billions because of their desperation for more, more and more. It’s so wrong.

      Democracy for me, in it’s more substantial sense exists nowhere in the world because of the dominance of a global capitalist system that subjects millions to poverty and inequality.

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