Sitting here thinking about the streets of London, wondering if it’s uprising or foolishness. But I didn’t find out about it until this morning when I heard someone at work talk about it, it occurred to me I should make sure my Brother is ok down there.
I shut myself off from the news in general, I used to watch/read morning and night to keep up with it all but it genuinely depresses me to hear all the awful things going on in the world, good news seems rarely to be reported.
MY OH says I should keep up with current affairs, I’m a citizen of planet earth it is my duty to know what’s going on. To a point I agree but it actually started to make me angry and upset in my own home everyday, affecting my psyche. So I stopped reading the papers and websites and I stopped watching the news. Was that irresponsible?
What do you think? Does anyone else feel the same as me?
We are in London. I too, generally don’t watch news for much the same reasons. In fact yesterday I only heard that the riots were on my doorstep through a friends facebook update. It was only then that I watched the news and was up much too late catching up on all the days events. As a mum of too I generally find watching the news too emotional and upsetting so it isn’t some thing I put my time or energy into. But yesterday in ignorance that the riots had moved South, I took the children out for the day to a nearby town centre. I count my blessings that I chose to go west rather than east, because otherwise we would have been in the midst of it, although we were home I think before the trouble started, but still, I feel guilty for putting my children at risk. So when society is broadly safe I can walk around in blissful ignorance of what is going on in the real world, but when my world becomes the war zone I have to start taking notice. It is a wake up call, isn’t it?
I read bbc news sometimes but the constant murder, violence, children being abused, old people mistreated, govts killing their citizens, wars etc so no I don’t keep up to date that much.
It is a bit of a wake up call though, yes. I suppose in a sense I feel as powerless as some tat are rioting and demonstrating - kind of, what’s the opoint of reading about this stuff, can’t do anything about it… and I guess there are some who feel the normal political routes are worthless to them, and the only way anyone takes notice is rioting.
You’d think really, the “establishment” would have learned by now that if you continue to disenfranchise the poorest of communities they will turn to violence and it will spread like wildfire. Doesn’t make ti right to do these things of course, and order needs re-establishing… but gosh, here’s a novel thought…...... perhaps the leaders can learn some real lessons and start working for the people rather than those with the most money and power.
This is not to say I have any sympathy at all with the looters and rioters. Just, I’m not really suprised this has happened.
I don’t tend to listen to the news/watch the news either. I only knew about this one because of a friend who put a message on FB saying she’d got back home ok. So then I looked up the BBC website. It really is awful. I have just text my friend who lives in central London and so far she and her family/friends are safe…but who knows for how long! It just keeps escalating!
It is so worrying (downright terrifying) that SO many people care so little about other people and about themselves that they are prepared to do this! Do they not care what affect it has on their own family/friends? Its very very sad that people care so little about the ones that are close to them to feel this is fine to do this. :(
I will keep up with this…but I won’t go back to regularly listening to the news. My DH listens daily so he would tell me if I NEED to know anything (although having said that, he never told me about these riots knowing full well I had friends in London! So I WILL be having words with him later tonight!)
Mostly, I listen to the radio instead of television (we don’t have one although I happened to catch some of the riots coverage in a cafe this morning). You might find radio is easier to handle as it comes without the sometimes sensationalist images. I’m with Joxy on the riots front. Not condoning what has been done in any way, but why are some people including the prime minister so surprised? Close down around 75 per cent of the youth facilities in London and what do you get? The widening rift between rich and poor and as Joxy says ‘disenfranchised’ and what do you get? I guess the prime minister is younger than me or DH and doesn’t remember what happened in 1981…
I only heard this morning from DH who does keep up with the news. Normally I regularly get the paper and sometimes watch the news on tv, but try to protect myself a bit. It can make me feel quite sombre, and powerless. So I mainly focus on the the world that I can do something a bout, the small area I live in.
I think riots are something of all times. There have always been people in power, and those without, and from time to time the whole thing explodes. At the moment I think the situation was made worse by the fact that lots of people feel entitled to fame and celebrity, without having to do anything for it, which comes with all the consumer goods and fancy lifestyle. We can read all about it in the magazines, and do. And of course real life doesn’t really work like that, if you want something you’ll have to work for it, and for some even though they work their socks off, they still don’t get it. Unfair, but that’s how it is. So I can see where some of the dissatisfaction comes from. And on top of that, the cut backs form a real trigger to set things off at the moment.
Still, I find it really hard to understand where rioting people are coming from. It’s not those police officers opposite them that can change anything, and looting shops doesn’t come into it at all. So i think there may also be a criminal element that is just looking for trouble, and it just found some.
Horrible for the people living and working there though, horrible…
I do think it is important to keep up with the news. I struggle to understand financial news but I try to understand politics. I think it is usefull to understand how decisions are made and how decisions are going to affect lives. I do not want to live in a bubble, but I understand those that do, but how can anyone have opinions on what is best for the country when they dont hear from all points of view? If people want to make positive changes to the way the country is run it is helpfull to understand how the process works. I enjoy watching bits of parliment sometimes, its reassuring to hear MPs bring up local concerns and have them heard in the forum where new laws are made. It is unfortunate that we hear so little international and positive news though and why celebs make headlines is beyond me. Radio 4 seems pretty balanced, but I also read positive news and other bits like the Jakarta Post online as Indonesia is close to my heart. The secondary school I am considering for dd teaches political literacy, philosophy and ethics…something I definately approve of. I also follow very local news, and the transition town groups nearest to me as I do think this is the way forward, but national policy can help the transition.
I don’t follow news much these days and I don’t watch news at all any more usually (the exception is when I know there’s something going on I want to see reaction to - but I try to remember not to do that around the children because reports are usually so sensational and often more violent than the worst stuff they could come across in other ways). I do keep up to date with politics, flick through papers occasionally, read political commentary online, and keep in touch with local politicians and local issues forums. I don’t believe ignorance of day-to-day reports of murder and violence (and inflated celebrity) can be equated with political ignorance.
The only time I really follow what’s going on is when it involves people I know, to be honest. Facebook allows me to do that, as do forums like this, to call my attention to things either I know I can do something about, or at least situations I have a connection to and want to know that people are OK.
As for staying safe, well… I don’t know if more information would increase my chances of making good choices at such a time, or decrease them! Fear, panic, and personal hurt, don’t necessarily make wise decisions. Perhaps I’m simply too trusting, and believe that generally I need not bar my doors and windows just because the world has generally gone crazy… Speaking as another who is not shocked by these riots, just saddened… I think if I heard that my area were affected, I would look for more information, but I don’t know as I could say it would help me make the right choices. Perhaps there *are* no steps we can take to stay safe at such a time, just do what we can to help and support each other, and rebuild communities afterwards. :(
Don’t always agree or even like the Socialist Worker, but I did find these articles valuable on this one, and very clear even if you disagree with this perspective I’m sure you will find these thought-provoking: http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=25645
Oh, by the way, for a feel good programme with politics and criticism too, tune in to ‘Upfront’ on Radio Merseyside Saturdays at 8.00 p.m thought the presenter was really lovely, she is doing a series on extraordinary women and there was a really good ongoing piece on auricular acupuncture. Plus the music is right up my street too
On the riots, I am with Joxy totally. Will they listen this time? My sister lives down there and she can’t get to work today as the street her work is on has been burned and looted :( On wathcing the news, I too only ever read it online and that way I can choose not to open a story I know will be too distressing. I just can’t bear stories about children, old folk and other vulnerable people being treated horribly/murdered etc. I don’t have TV and wouldn’t watch the news if I did, as stories can be flashed up with images without warning.
W.w thanks for the link. Interesting article. I used to work with young people who were labelled disaffected - I think the article sums up why there is so much fear and anger. That fuelled with social media makes it easy for large groups to gather quickly. I just heard some yp haven’t slept for 2 nights - they must feel invincible. I fear the police and government haven’t reacted quick enough and this going to end horribly.
So in complete contrast today I had the news on a lot of the day in my headphones on the computer at work! And it did feel good to find out about what’s happening in my backyard so to speak but it start to feel outraged, familiar anger building inside. How can humans be so thoughtless to one another. And i know the troubles in London are nothing compared to some of the atrosities going on in the world.
Seeing the clean-up operation that started in Clapham was it made me smile - that WAS good news, community spirit, real people power, violence doesn’t get anythig across.