Reason 85742258 why I love London

Unless you've been living in a cave, you have probably seen images of the London riots by now.

I've been absolutely horrified, shocked, angry and frightened by what I've seen on TV and read on Twitter. These people are criminals. Anti-social, lower than low, chavvy thugs.

I won't get in to the politics of whether these "disenfranchised youth" need hugs or jail time. I have my beliefs. You have yours. I will tell you they need to work, and not just claim benefits, and they need to pay the consequences for their actions, not be "reprimanded" with an asbo. Enough is enough.

Seriously. Who does this to their own community? I don't love this about London.

Croydon, Hackney, Peckham - those are places I wouldn't hang out in at night anyways, despite an evening of rioting. Clapham Junction though?

We spent many a good night at the pub in CJ (and early mornings at the Clapham Grand - oh dear) so to see the scenes of violence, looting and destruction was heartbreaking. And worrying. It's 2.2 miles from our house. Our neighbo(u)rhood saw very mild looting. A few shop fronts busted up but nothing like the others. Thank goodness. 

What I do love about London?
The British resilience. These people have it in their DNA. The "stiff upper lip" doesn't just come from nowhere. I've experienced it for myself in several forms, but perhaps none more striking than after the 7/7 bombings and the Cumbria train crash. Mr. B isn't the only "English Optimist" it seems.

Cups of tea on a riot shield? It's *soooooo* English and civilized. But I gotta hand it to them - it's the right thing to do.


00:38 9/8/2011: Camden Town, London (by pixel.eight)
As looters and rioters smashed up shops, looted and fought with police in Camden Town, Philippa Morgan-Walker, 25 and her husband, Jonny Walker, 31, made tea for the police who were protecting their street. Some of the officers had been on duty for more than 30 hours.

(Disclaimer: I had a bad experience with a woman incessantly offering me cups of tea after a very traumatic incident, so I get partly annoyed at the attitude that a cup of tea can "fix" it. But putting my personal biases aside, I really love cups of tea too. Just not in times of crisis.)

So when the Twitter hashtag #riotcleanup started late last night, I was proud of the locals for making a peaceful, nonviolent statement. We will pick up the pieces and move on because this is our home and you can't destroy it.

Hundreds of people showed up this morning at Clapham Junction with brooms, gloves, dustpans and trash bags ready to help. They waited hours and hours for the police to finish their crime scene investigation. And then they cleaned. They took the day off work to clean their community. And raised their brooms in solidarity. Because good always overcomes evil.

Props to you London.


  1. As you know, I have been in a total funk lately. But this post and what the British people are doing to overcome the chaos is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing with us!

  2. Thank you for enlightening me on what was happening after the chaotic and distructive riots by the new "leisure class". It was nice to see that the comradery among the sane.