The ‘Oldham grooming outrage’ is about poverty not race. But poverty is the subject that remains the big unmentionable in 2012, for the simple reason that the system has got no solutions to offer. Corrosive poverty over generations, whole suburbs and districts in the UK where human life means virtually nothing; where no-one takes any interest in you, except for what you are worth as a human commodity, how much you can earn per hour. And this is a society that can no longer create jobs.
But some children are born into families where choices aren’t even an aspiration; the flotsam of society no-one gives a shit about. Instead, many families are treated as a social disease, a pestilence. Beyond the cordon sanitaire of respectability. They are left to fester, on no-go estates. Whole swathes of Britain are still stuck in the grinding poverty of Dickens’s England. The constant refrain from commentators and trade unions is to ‘create jobs!’ What a joke. But every now and again, when this social crisis erupts into the primetime news alerts, we have to listen to politicians who suddenly start ‘caring’ about those people who live beyond the modern day version of ‘the Pale.’
As a response to the utter boredom, depression and desperation of living life at the very bottom, some kids from the dregs of society rioted last summer. These are kids who have had to put up with parents and family members who have suffered clinical depression for decades, over generations. These kids, the offspring of Thatcher’s experiment, went a bit mad; they lost the plot. They raided a few shops. It was a bit of a carnival out there for a lot of them for a day or so. The shit soon hit the fan when the state got it’s act together. Sure, some nasty people were involved, and in the mania, some innocent people got hurt. But the horrible truth is, the poverty of commodity society creates desperation and depression, and this desperation and hopelessness is dialectical, it isn’t stuck in a vacuum. Everyone knows this too. A distinct segment of those with power and prestige want to bury this simple truth – and everyone knows that the mainstream political commentators condemned the summer riots because of their fear of the poor.
But the ugly truth about poverty reared its head again in Oldham this week.
The care most politicians show for the poor never lasts long – rather, it is all about making sure that everything retour a la normale as soon as possible.