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We will remember them

[This is chapter 3 of "I bow to a higher power", and as my mum liked it I've added it here.  The rest of the document is very personal and not shared.]

Chapter 3: We will remember them  [21-01-2012 Harvey]

We all are creatures, evolved over millions of years, with a very complex make up (particularly women!).  We are amazing. We have inner instincts and desires that have stood the test of time.  These urgings, desires, cravings and motivations, I believe do still influence and cause us to react well in many situations.  Perhaps badly in others.  It is being able to take control of your inner beast when it wants to misbehave itself that is the name of the game.  Self control.

Scenes of destruction last summer broadcast throughout the world of mas rioting were embarrassing for this country and it’s people.  Many people were shocked that behaviour like that even could exist in this country.  It made me think very differently about people for a while.  I had thought everyone thought like me.  I would never behave like that.  I went for a swim, the swimming pool was shut due to riots.  What!  I’d seen them on the telly, but I never for a moment thought they would be in Lougthon. I went for a walk.  My local small town, Loughton, was a ghost town.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I came across four riot horses.  Numerous police men and women.  Police cars.  The word had gone out on the internet that “Loughton was burning”.  Shop keepers were removing their stock to safe locations, some having lost stock from their other shops elsewhere in the country.

This was Loughton, my home town.  I grew up here.  What was going on?

Small groups of young “lads” were hanging about and loitering.  There was a buzz in the air and you could feel the tension.  It was palatable.  I walked along, on the look out for trouble noticing very serious looking police waiting and observing.  The guardians of law and order.

Then out of no-where a bottle was thrown at a passing bus by a group of not more than around 10 lads. At a bus!  The window exploded and shattered.  The lads were walking just behind me and I saw the bottle being thrown and the voices and merriment and over confidence.  I did not see who had thrown it.  Out of no-where cars and police on foot descended.  Not one got away.  They were lined up and you could hear radios and voices communicating about what had transpired.  Shocking.  The bus driver looked worried and scared, his bus was fortunately nearly empty and no one was hurt.

I stood locking around in disbelief, and was approached to be a witness.  I related what I had seen and tried to remember as much as I could.  Could I id anyone?  What a bunch of misfits, a weird group of Essex boys, some only 13 or so possibly other more rugged looking and around 18 or so who knows.  They all looked edgy, fired up and ready of trouble.  It crossed my mind to pick one at random and get one of them back from their actions.  I didn’t.  I so wanted too, they disgusted me.

Then again out of no-where, the funniest thing.  A car pulled up to an abrupt stop and a screaming woman got out.  “Billy is that you”.  “What the…are you doing here….”.  “Get in the car”.  She said, trying to pull her son away from the line-up.  By that time the police had mostly finished processing the scene and allowed the boy to be released.  He entered the vehicle, sheepishly, and his Mum laid into him more.  She started to hit him whilst a policeman tried to calm her down, in defence of the poor lad who sat there defenceless.  It was a nice car too, what behaviour.  The woman was very “Essexey” and was understandably very upset.

Then she noticed another child, a friend’s son. He also eventually got in the car and left the scene, with a similar manner.  It was funny in a way, but I wasn’t laughing.

Crowds of rioters were expected at anytime and they were going to be coming from the tube station.  Madness.  Other counties shut the internet down in situations like these.  But apparently, we need communications for all sorts of other essential services and applications.  What a bunch of idiots. It was an epidemic of bad behaviour.  The police I believe still have their own radio network mind you – I think.

It calmed down.  People didn’t show.  Other, less fortunate, areas of London burnt.  A shameful period in our history. A terrible day.  The gang culture here today.  The police as ever did a fair, proportionate job, prepared for the worst and ready to reallocate the riot horses as and when.  We talked and they had a cup of tea. Chatting to me about their pensions and the hard economic times.  They sounded like teachers, be-moaning about not being paid enough.  The police have always been fair to me, even in America when I “lost the plot” and got arrested in California.  I am actually lucky to be alive as they carry guns.  Very, very scary.

Would the Loughton riots have been different if guns had been more freely available?  I dread to think.

So the nature of the beast is alive and well in us today.  We are able to control these raw emotions with help, with good training, good parenting, and good education.  Thankfully, we have many excellent schools in the country, and many opportunities are available within schools to become all you can be. 

Modern life does indeed make this difficult.  Not always enough funds to pay for good quality schools that all children deserve, and arguably, not enough respect for the people who are in a position where they try to make a difference to how our future society is formed.  I refer to teachers of course.  Have you seen the cars they drive.  Even the head has only got a Mondeo.  He does have a fantastically rewarding, but demanding job though, as do most school staff.  I’m not sure the police fair much better, but some of them even get paid to go to the gym, to work out, keep fit and to be strong to be ready for any other idiots who might need help to stay on the straight and narrow.  Teachers don’t even get a staff shower.

Respect.

Respect yourself. 

Self Control.

Control yourself.

Respect others,

Or they will control you.

I have had the pleasure of spending time in various different controlled environments.  Schools mainly, which believe me are a hard place to be.  The PE teachers are the worst, we went on a cross country run in Buckhurst Hill once, in icy water up to our waists.  The river had flooded and the plains were covered.  One of my tall class mates even took short cut, avoiding the bridge, by going through the river itself.  He had the most amazing intellect and could have been a great loss.  I remember that he said he thought he nearly got swept away and that the water was much deeper than he had expected.

The PE teachers had made us do it.  I have many funny memories of PE lessons and PE, which I am people to say come flooding back to me when my son talks about his PE teachers and their approach to helping children get a decent education.  Slippers.  Playing Pirates with all the gym equipment out . Sport and bulldog - with a England rugby player who none of us were able to stop as he was the dog and we were the bulls. Or is it the other way around.  Anyway, He tried to run through the pack of us, and only 2 of us even tried to stop him.  The first rugby tackle missed, going wide as he side stepped.  The second got him round the waist.  To high, slipped lower and got wacked in the jaw for his troubles.  The semi-pro making it through.  I am very proud to say that I was one of the idiots that thought he could stop him.  I am even prouder to say I had a sore chin and the other idiot was a good friend of mine.  The PE teachers (again) made us do it.

Police cells, Remand centres, Prisons, Mental hospitals and padded cells all serve their purpose.  To help people to come to their senses, to see and make sense.  To regain what they lost that got them in that situation in the first place.  They are of course also staffed by well trained people who care enough to stand up and be counted in the war on disrespect and lost self control.

Like all the Roman Centurians mentioned in the bible they are all very caring and loving people.  They have to be, they are paid to do it.  The strangest thing is that accommodation is free.  Fantastic.  You don’t even need insurance.  No wonder why many people want to come and live here.  I would not recommend any of it though.  Visits to be avoided if at all possible.

Sometimes people do go beyond the call of duty and are commended for this, and rightly so.  There are many examples to be found of commemorations of bravery in London.  Such as in “postmans  park” next to Nomura in the city. We as a nation have a rich and deserved history of involvement with world events, and many memorials exist to the fallen throughout the country, where each year, we remember those that gave their lives for us so that we could live our lives, in freedom, today.

We will remember them.


[21-01-2012 Harvey]

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