Even for us at diablog it is a bit hard right now to remain light-hearted. Glynsky is upset and goes a bit overboard here. Luckily we have Pete, who stays sane and reasonable. Let me answer a few of Glynsky's questions.
In theory we all hand over the power to use force to the state and refrain from vigilantism. With that monopoly to use force comes an enormous amount of responsibility. And this is where the London police failed miserably this time.
We had the same in the US, I am sure you remember the Rodney King riots in L.A. 1991 and maybe even the case in Brooklyn, NY, where an unarmed man was shot on his doorsteps by policemen and something like 30 bullets where found in his body, most in his back.
Being a cop is hard and we all know, it aren't always the sharpest knifes in the drawer, who become a policeman. The job isn't paid very well. And it is risky. Would you want to so it? Certainly I would not.
That said, if you or I shoot and subsequently kill a person, we are held without bail. Unless there is clear evidence of self defense.
The least thing people expect, when the cops shoot someone, is that the cop is suspended. I believe, that is standard procedure in NY.
It ain't good enough for the head of police to just say: "We will look into it." Too often people have seen or heard of cover-ups by now. A few bad apples spoiled the reputation of the whole barrel. On a side note, the coppers in this case had claimed, the victim had shot at them. According to the Guardian, that was a lie, the bullet found in the cops phone is a police bullet.
Now let me answer Glynsky's questions:
Of what are you not surprised?
To which accident, or set of circumstances, do you attribute your alleged 'accident'?
Anybody watching the Arab Spring, the uprisings in Spain and Greece isn't surprised. Too many of our young people all over the world are losing hope.
This is how many see it:
Over the past decade they saw an ever increasing divide between the wealthy and the poor. Research what an average CEO makes today and what his workers earn. Look at the distribution of wealth, it is obscene. Formerly well to do professions like doctors go bankrupt. We saw the financial crises brought onto all by greed and, let's be honest, crooked bankers screwing the system. Now banks are foreclosing and not only on poor people, but members of what used to be middle class too. How do you think their kids feel? For years the two wealthiest men alive, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, demand higher taxes on the wealthy. What happens? Nothing.
The legal system fails.
Did you see any banker being charged? Some banks as corporations received a slap on the wrist and paid a ridiculously small fine. But the individuals are not being held responsible. Any court cases against bankers? None.
Except for Bernie Madoff, because he stole from the rich. Of course he got charged and convicted quickly.
The media, our 4th power, fails too.
Do you see them digging into the mess and uncovering the crimes? The financial industry is a big advertiser, thus the media are not reporting about the white collar crimes and the people behind it. The Rolling Stone here, a music magazine of all papers, is the rare exception.
And the recent case with News Corp. and other media bribing the police certainly did not encourage trust in either, Scotland Yard or the media.
Over the last weeks alone, I had asked twice, what is wrong with your Bobbies, remember? In the system of checks and balances, the police and the legal system are supposed to be fair. It is clear to everybody now, they are not.
The media are supposed to hold those in power responsible.
It is equally obvious now, they are not.
To many people the whole system seems flawed. The game seems rigged. They feel that they cannot win.
What chances do the young have? If we let their hope for a better future die, they turn violent. If they see rich people getting away with stealing, why should they refrain from it?
How do I see the near future?
Book publishing disrupted the church monopoly on information.
Newspaper printing disrupted the government monopoly on propaganda.
Now the internet is disrupting the news oligopoly.
The internet is buzzing about above mentioned issues. The youngsters I know on three continents are fully aware of all the above. The following video shows a speech given by a young girl years ago. It went viral and millions saw it:
2010 Wikileaks woke up a lot of people. And it is still uncovering flaws in the system in countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia. All this is making news online.
So far, intelligent people - for instance within Anonymous - are peaceful and are calling for peaceful protests.
Unless the politicians wake up quickly and show, that there is hope for the young, that they have a future, I am afraid we will see violent revolutions soon.
Update Note to politicians, I am not kidding, bestsellers at Amazon.uk.co right now are baseball bats, selling 52,211% more than usual, have a look