Hopefully, the worst is now firmly behind us and London is almost back to its former self –cleaning operations are still in progress. In the press, the words “senseless” and “meaningless” seem to be everywhere.
The rioters are being brought to justice and apparently a petition asking to remove their benefits has gained more than 80 000 signatures in a couple of days.
But all rioters are not on benefits. Far from it, in fact. Some are indeed reasonably wealthy. Some even had good jobs (primary school teaching assistant, chef…) but somehow decided to participate. In the spur of the moment, as shop windows glasses were being smashed, they just entered and stole what they could. Afterwards, they boasted about it on Twitter and other social networks. In short, they were just looting for pleasure, helping themselves to get stuff they wouldn’t normally get or stealing just for the excitement. This year the Ramadan falls in August, which means that the riots cannot be used to stigmatise the Muslim community. The rioters come indeed from all ethnical backgrounds
To me, this reinforces the point that we are all free to decide what it is we want to do with our lives. At the end of the day, it is an individual choice: whatever your family, your background and your beliefs, at some point you have to decide what to do with yourself. When we are free, we are also free to make mistakes. Maybe, to an extent, we are never as free as when we make a mistake (I know, I am deep today!). Maybe such riots prove that we have indeed a free society. But freedom is also fragile and too many mistakes might jeopardise it. Maybe it is time to start appreciating more what we have.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London