Yesterday was a mixed bag then. The atmosphere inside The Lane was a marketing man’s dream. Smiling families, Mexican waves, fans cheering players and singing songs, and Spurs a’ winning. That’s what I like.
Sometime after the atmosphere outside The Lane resembled a bad night night in Belfast. So what happened? What happened to the vehicles that were torched, shops that were looted, the windows that were smashed, the houses destroyed is pretty well documented. I’ve included a short gallery from images I picked up from Twitter.
But what happened to precipitate this? There are actually three paths that took us to this civil disorder.The most obvious, at first glance appears to be some upside down gangster revenge for a policeman shooting dead one Mark Duggan. Duggan – street name ‘Starrish Mark’ – was supposedly a gangsta member of Tottenham Man Dem Gang, a street mob believed to be involved with the infamous Jamaica Yardies.
Apparently Starrish Mark was under observation by the fuzz as it was believed he was all set to take revenge for the killing of his cousin Kevin Easton a rapper – street name ‘Smegz’ – who was fatally stabbed outside a Mile End nightclub back in March.
Anyway, legend has it that Starrish Mark was in a taxi when he spotted an armed officer and it alleged took a pot shot at him from the back of the cab. The officer’s life was saved by his radio which took the bullet. The officer then returned fire and Duggan and was shot dead.
A march of people from Broadwater Farm to a local police station then took place last night in protest over Starrish Mark’s death. The march resulted in numerous acts of arson, criminal damage and looting.
The social back drop to this simply reveals how politicians using the phrase ‘Broken Britain’ is a joke. Not a very funny one. It was them that broke it.
You don’t need any GCSE’s in Neurology to work out that society needs looking after or it goes wrong. Haringey’s youth clubs were shut after the Youth Services budget was slashed by 75% after a cut of £41m to the council’s overall budget.
Now I’m not going to try and kid you that because there’s nowhere for teenagers to play ping pong Curry’s got robbed. But it’s all part of the bigger picture whereby people who are vulnerable are effectively abandoned by society.
Environments where these gang cultures are allowed to blossom need to be attacked. You break the cycle with education and tackling the abysmal places these disaffected people were sent to live.
I have no political affiliations. I think that they’re all bent. But the if you want to point a finger, point it at the last Labour government. In power for years and all they did was become as fat and corrupt as their so called old enemies the Tories. What was their legacy for the going nowhere people of Broadwater Farm? Policies so inept that the weak and the futureless are the first to get bitten as the inevitable cuts are implemented.
That said, whatever insane agenda of revenge the mob had, their social and economic plight doesn’t excuse trying to disguise a looting and vandalism trip as a protest. It’s highly unlikely there will be many arrests, but let’s hope there are. This lot aren’t freedom fighters they’re criminals.
When people are burning cars on their own streets the problem is bigger than looking for a youth in a hoody carrying matches.
Click on the image below to launch the gallery…