11 August 2011

The British Fall: London (cosmetic) must negotiate with London (real) right now!

There was a Prague Spring and recently an Arab Spring, the terms coined by those who wanted change in the relevant regions that suited particular interests of particular global actors, especially Western capitalist countries.  What should one call the current developments in Britain, then, I wondered. 

The Western media, so ready to use the rag ‘rebel’ on any group, organized or otherwise, rising up against the establishment of unfriendly or less-friendly nations, have opted, understandably for the negative ‘rioters’ in the case of Britain.  The truth is, apart from name and location, the modus operandi, the nature of the violence and the costs are identical.  The summer’s over and ‘spring’ seems too sprightly and flower-filled to use on a landscape marked by fire, broken-class, overturned vehicles and smashed shop interiors.  I know that the British still call it ‘Autumn’, but ‘Fall’ seems to be the appropriate noun. 

As I write Germany, France, Australia and Austria have issued travel advisories to citizens currently in Britain or planning to visit.  David Cameron has issued the all-means-necessary warning.  Plastic bullets will be used to stop the rebels, the authorities have warned.   It’s almost as though London has pinched the political script of dictators around the world it has befriended only to help overthrow after their respective use-by date has passed in favour of a replacement-tyrant. 

Is it wrong to call them ‘rebels’, someone might ask.  Right, because that’s London-speak for those who attack governments, fellow-citizens and shops and in engage in arson and violence if it is all happening in some other country. I am not a British subject.  To me, therefore, following London-speak, they are ‘rebels’.  The second reason is that these rebels are not venting anger without a cause.  There’s chronic unemployment in that country.  There’s been lots of spending cuts.  And it’s not ‘out of the blue’.  There has been sporadic rioting in that country for the past 30 years. 

True, it is not all black and white, but black-white is also part of it.  It can’t be ‘news’ to the BBC that London is a racist city where non-whites have been attacked regularly for decades.  The early eighties saw a ‘high’ of over 5000 attacks on blacks every month on average.  It is also true that certain section of the rebels are targeting facilities owned or run by people they consider to be ‘foreigners’.  There are lots of issues and the BBC and other media outfits operating in that country are glossing over them all. 

BBC might not want us to, but people are taking notes.  Here’s one: ‘Note how they call it 'riots'...maybe it is for regime change?  And where is Channel 4?  Notice that all the footage is from behind the riot polize....the queen's point of view’ .  I know there’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek in it, but the statement issues by the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ramin Mehmanparast might help some self-righteous politicians in London (and in the BBC and cash-strapped Channel 4) look in the mirror and see ‘Sanctimonious Fraud’.  This is what Mehmanparast said:  The British government should exercise restraint and avoid using violence; instead it should talk to protesters and listen to their requests’.

BBC might tell the world a tall tale.  The rebels won’t buy it and not all the directly affected will either.    It is now clear that London (cosmetic) must come to terms with London (real), that London (pretty-face) must negotiate with London (real-face).  If not, this British Fall will drag and hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt.  Burn, burn and burn.   Shouldn’t, shouldn’t, shouldn’t.   It should all be resolved peacefully.  Amicably. Through negotiation.  Cameron would do well to go for power-sharing with the rebels right now.  Later, might be too late. 

[Courtesy Daily News, August 11, 2011]


Rebel of Kandy said...

A nice piece of writing!It is the United Kingdom (real) that we have been seeing last few days. It is the United Kingdom (cosmetic) which is the so called the champion of 'human rights' or the 'minority rights'.

Ruwan, Canada said...

Nice article. These protests must be extended to Canada US and other western countries. In Canada millions of people without jobs and millions work low level jobs with degrees. Tax cuts are high. Gas prices are higher than Sri Lanka, though Canda has oil wells. We need protests here.