Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Worst night of deliberate fires across London since the Blitz #LondonRiots

Croydon! Yes, Croydon last night
If I was still working in retail in London who knows where I may have been sent to this morning to help with the clean up. As I was listening and watching the news last night I knew that three of the shops that I have worked in as temporary cover were affected, or close to an area affected one way or another. The trade I worked in would have been one of those that would have been a favourite of looters.

Also I watched I saw or heard of addresses where friends live or lived. I saw two separate flats where friends used to live burn down as a result of the worse fires across London since the Blitz. The London Fire Service was severely over stretched as was the Metropolitan Police. There is just no way that they could be everywhere in the numbers required to stop another outbreak or to get to another fire on time before it really caught hold. As I watched I couldn't believe it was London rather than Belfast I was watching.

What is all this looting, razing and pillaging of London business and the housing above them is that people will have been watching their jobs disappear on screens. Small shop holders that are getting looted, or having their businesses burnt to the ground may not be able to set up store again, not just soon but ever again. There was wanton vandalism on cars parked in streets all across the City. This 'pure criminality' as it was called last night, is taking the guts out of local businesses. Many of these have been struggling in the economic climate as it is and now find that their premises and stock have gone. This has very little, if anything, to do with the original protest in Tottenham after the shooting of Mark Duggan. This has now become opportunist burglary, vandalism and rioting.

There is the #LondonCleanup hashtag that is telling people where cleanup in going on. Bear in mind that some can not be done until the police and insurance companies have taken their evidence. But if I were in London today I would be seeing where I could be helpful, even if I wasn't working in retail and being sent to one of the chains other stores.

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