Thursday 22 March 2018

This was a case of opportunism at its very worst

The media are tripping over themselves to find a cause, but miss the point that these were thugs, says Christopher Jackson

As soon as the first licks of flame started in Tottenham, the UK media and political elite were alive to explaining the roots of such unrest. Those on the left couched it in terms of the crippling social inequality wrought by Tory cuts, whilst those on the right strongly alluded to a failure by black and Asian parents to impose strict morals on their young.

Not only are both sides wrong, but the fact that they would even jump to such assertions, based primarily on race and society, does little but cause further fractures in Britain's multicultural project. However, we only need to tilt our heads slightly to the north to see clear cases of thuggery being framed in such obvious impertinency.

When the annual violent altercations of a Belfast July come about, the media are always keen to paint these wanton acts of vandalism and social malfeasance in a sectarian or ideological hue; its Catholic nationalists or republican socialists angrily protesting the uncouth practices of an anachronistic organisation; the Orange Order. The reality, though, is that it's not some kind of cathartic release of built-up angst resulting from social deprivation and ideological conflict, but rather opportunism at its most depraved. It's nothing more than hooded thugs looking for a scrap.

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