I’m referring to the state of chaos and confusion that is the country of Greece this week, two before Christmas. It seems that the ignition for this spate of rioting was the shooting of a fifteen year old boy by Police, but I think that the real momentum is probably rooted in more wide ranging issues. The Greeks have had enough, they’re fed up and pissed off and they’re releasing their anger by rioting in the streets and generally smashing things up. And good luck to them too.
I’ve always said that one of the defining moments for the British people, within my lifetime, was the manner in which we stood up to the Poll Tax (notice I use the word ‘we’ with a sense of pride). The widow learnt her lesson that day, humiliated by a mass disobedience that would end in tears of self pity. The politicians lined up with the usual rhetoric, but by then it’s too late because the damage had been done. Not by thugs or hooligans, but by people who were pushed too far. The reoccurring theme of a smaller group who consider the interests of an even smaller group to be of more importance.
We have to ask ourselves why and when civil disorder became uncivilised, frowned upon by middle aged men in suits and rebranded as thuggish, when the reality is that civil disorder results from people being badly treated. Also, if it is our wish to smash the place up then why shouldn’t we? After all it does belong to us, we shouldn’t be made to feel as though our habitat has been provided for our use by graceful politicians, only to be handed a good helping of disappointment after we misbehave.
The right wing press poured scorn on protesters who gave a statue of Winston Churchill a green Mohican a few years ago. What happened to our sense of humour? That was a truly funny moment. Besides that, Churchill was a politician which means we have the right to lampoon him in life and death. Further still, it was he that played such a vital part in securing freedom during the Second World War, but he didn’t win the war on his own and even if he did, we still have the right to use that freedom how we choose.
Sometimes I think that peoples idea of democracy is just having things how they want it, or am I missing something?
Civil disorder keeps a country on its toes, it reminds the establishment that they can only have their way most of the time, and it reminds us that we still have some fighting spirit left.
The only problem the world has with civil disorder is there’s not enough of it.