This is yet another one of those stories that come with a head-spinning sense of how much Britain has changed, under this government and its predecessor. Rewind 15 years, and imagine the spectacle of hugely profitable private firms pushing for thousands of people to be propelled into borderline destitution: the result would have been acres of coverage, and molten anger.
And now? Even backbench Lib Dems are predictably silent, and Labour restricts its criticisms of a system it invented to technocratic hand-wringing, focused not on any kind of moral outrage, but whether everything's working, and how much it all might cost ("Chaos at DWP is stalling the government's reforms … the welfare bill is going through the roof" was the response to Cameron's welfare proposals of Liam Byrne, a man for whom the adjective "blank" might have been invented).Mmm, yes. Well, unlike CiF inhabitants, they seem to have realised that the money’s run out.
In fact, didn’t the aforementioned Liam Byrne admit something like that? In writing, no less?
Oh, look! He did. It was even reported in your own paper…
Even the trade unions are bizarrely quiet.It’s clearly dawned on even them that we’re in a bind and that there’s no way out of it without pain.
Still you can always hope for an insurrection, can’t you?
Now, incidentally, we hear word that plenty of police officers are of the opinion that last year's riots could easily be repeated. One hesitates, of course, to be alarmist. But as more and more people feel the cruelties of a policy that makes no sense – that people must be kicked into work, even if jobs don't exist – has anyone considered that the two things might be connected?Yes, it was considered.
But no angry mob marched on Parliament to wreak revenge for the ‘monstrous injustice’. No-one attempted to burn down the banks, or even the houses of the bankers.
They were too busy looting Currys and Footlocker and torching the shops that might have employed them, if they weren’t rendered totally unemployable by the progressive movement’s meddling with society and the education system.
They didn’t want ‘social justice’, they wanted free trainers and HD TVs. As Charlie Gilmour's little self-pity party tells you:
The reaction of most inmates was similar to the rest of the country. They could not understand the rioters’ behaviour. They disapproved - but not, perhaps, in the way most of the public did. ‘Why are they bothering with Foot Locker? Why aren’t they looting the jewellery shops and cash machines? Why aren’t they torching the police stations?’ were the opinions echoing around the wing.Maybe thing'll be different next time. You can always hope, John, can't you?