Thursday, 11 August 2011

Loot Concerto

Since those carefully-planned impromptu riots broke out the other day, we've been witness to a succession of similar events taking place in various towns within the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. It's been a meticulously crafted repetition of the original theme: gangs of delinquent young acne-carriers and small, mucus-encrusted children armed with sticks and flaming torches, ransacking storehouses and stealing valuable merchandise from the warehouses of market traders. The Costumed Thugs have watched the spectacle from a respectful distance and taken their own sweet time to wade in and apprehend the juveniles responsible, since they've evidently been reluctant to fall foul of the machinery of the feared Fluffy Diversity Commissariat.

Since these disturbances, this Cat has been privileged to hear a continuous stream of (mostly mindless) pontifications about the issue from all kinds of people; Beeby See, Guardy-Ann and Dellimell have been dancing a continual jig, and the excitement is showing no signs of abating. Some of the older people have suggested that the offenders should be sent en masse to Bactria or Cyrene to assist the soldiers fighting there (in the hope that they'll learn to acquire more focused priorities - like survival and discipline). Others are decrying the increasingly indulgent attitude of generations of the political elite and intelligentsia to the issues of crime and punishment, and are complaining that there's no collective will to deal decisively and appropriately with such appalling behaviour. Others are advocating the rope and the sword...

Many others have blamed the parents of the young miscreants for not bothering to take an interest in their progeny's whereabouts and failing to inculcate in them a clear idea of good and evil, right and wrong. Many have referred to the steady breakdown of marriage and domestic stability.

The politicos have been having a field day, and have taken every opportunity to parade their considerable wisdom and understanding of the issues - not to mention their finely-honed principles. The Redistributionists have been particularly eager to lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance administration who - in their characteristically delusional and fly agaric-fuelled perspective - are the Embodiment of the Devil. The Great Cuts is their favourite reason for the riots, but it's significant that most of the children involved in the rioting don't even know what these 'cuts' are. The Trees on the other hand have been diligent in pointing out that the Redistributionists had years to create their fool's paradise - and these feral raiders are the inevitable outcome of their cuddly approach to crime and criminality. The debates have been tedious and pointless, since one side insists on speaking irrational drivel, while the other feigns a Damascus Road conversion to the long-lost Virtues of Law And Order.

To this Cat's limited perspective, it's a matter of moral authority - or rather the lack of it. How can politicos - who've systematically plundered the Treasury of the Kingdom for years by making fraudulent expense claims, given top well-paid positions to their good-buddy cronies, involved themselves in every conceivable quid pro quo arrangement with the unscrupulous for their own financial and political gain, and awarded themselves substantial pay increases while throwing crumbs to the populace - possibly dare to chastise the young rats when they play the same games - on a far bigger scale?

Time to open the Good Book, people. Back to the ancient paths.

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