Rioting in Dublin on Thursday 23rd November

The Stirrer

This was my previous post where I discussed the way underlying tensions and conflicts are exploited by a variety of actors, state and others, for their own, nefarious purposes: ‘Problem, reaction, solution’ scenarios – don’t get played! 26.11.23. The application of a range of divide and rule tactics is one way these tensions are exploited in a bid to keep us at each others throats and deflect our anger away from those who presume to rule over us. This is part of what I had to say about the disorder that broke out in Dublin on Thursday 23rd November:

The disorder that broke out in Dublin is a case of a combination of real problems and provocative rhetoric leading to an angry and violent reaction that took many commentators by surprise. We’re talking about commentators that obviously don’t have their ears to the ground in the poorer, marginalised, disenfranchised and forgotten areas of our towns and cities. However, those with a closer connection to what’s going on in these areas will not be at all surprised. What has to be born in mind is that this is not a situation specific to Dublin – it could happen anywhere here in the UK.

For the record, this is a fairly typical example of how the mainstream media covered the clashes in Dublin: What led to the Dublin riots and what does it mean for Ireland? – itvNEWS | 25.11.23. For a more streetwise take, there’s this from Martin Lux a.k.a. the Whitechapel Anarchist: DUBLIN RIOT – Martin Lux | YouTube | 26.11.23.

A burnt out house in the small Scottish town of Auchinleck after the crowd anger aimed at a county lines drug gang operating in the town

Following pretty soon after the disorder in Dublin, on Saturday 25th November, there were reports of riot police being called in to disperse crowds in Auchinleck which is in the county of Ayrshire in Scotland. This is an example of one of the reports that appeared in the mainstream media:

Riot police pelted with fireworks in chaotic night of shame in Ayrshire village – Ross Dunn | Daily Record | 26.11.23

Riot police were pelted with fireworks as chaotic scenes played out on the streets of Ayrshire last night.

Shameful scenes saw specialist cops with shields form a human barrier to restore order to Auchinleck.

Shock video footage shows multiple police vans and officers on what’s understood to be Sorn Road and a firework is sent arrowing towards the group of cops, eventually sparking off a force vehicle, leading to cheers from a crowd.

In separate footage, riot police can be seen charging down the street with their shields creating a wall.

Members of the public also took to the street to watch the harrowing scenes unfold.

It’s not known what sparked the disorder in the village.

Auchinleck is a small, former coal mining town. As with many former mining towns across the UK, it suffers from more than its fair share of problems. That would be a factor in creating an undercurrent of resentment and anger that could blow up if the fuse was lit. The thing is, reading through pretty much all of the mainstream media reports, there was no mention of the cause of the disorder. People don’t just come out onto the streets to have a go at the cops without good reason. To out why they were out on the streets required a little bit of digging. This is what was found:

Ayrshire riots were against English drug gang terror but media avoid anything that harms the reputation of the Union – Talking-Up Scotland | 27.11.23

For years now, I have commented on the reluctance of Scottish media to recognise the appalling impact on communities right across Scotland of brutal English ‘County Lines’ drug gangs arriving with a level of violent intent way beyond that of local dealers.

You can read several accounts here:

It turns out it was a case of locals pissed off with the abusive behaviour of a county lines drug gang that was operating in Auchinleck. The kind of behaviour no community should have to put up with. It’s worth reading the reader comments after the post on Talking-Up Scotland to get a sense of the anger being expressed by the locals at the impact of these county lines gangs. Anger that’s exacerbated by the deprivation and lack of resources that comes as part and parcel of life in a forgotten, former mining town. With the perception that the concerns about the impact of this particular county lines drug gang on the community seems to be getting downplayed because of the ethnicity of some of the gang members, you have a toxic brew that doesn’t need much of a spark to set things off.

I’m well aware that I’m on sensitive ground here. The two incidents looked at above, as well as having a common ground of a build up of anger by people feeling they’ve been left behind, also share concerns and fears about the impact of what some perceive as out of control immigration and of the failed assimilation of some groups. It’s difficult to have an honest, rational and balanced discussion about immigration and the number of refugees coming into the country without tribal positions being very swiftly adopted. When those already feeling left behind by society find that their concerns and fears about migration are blithely dismissed as ‘racism’, please don’t be surprised when people with questionable agendas step in to exploit that anger.

Both of these incidents took place in the last days of autumn in weather conditions that were pretty wintery. It most definitely wasn’t the supposedly normal summer ‘rioting’ weather! When people take to the streets in wintery weather conditions, rest assured, there are good reasons why that’s the case, albeit I recognise that some of my former comrades may well recoil in horror at those reasons.

There are those people who will look at the these two incidents and casually dismiss them as nihilistic violence while making little or no effort to understand the underlying causes of the tensions that led to the explosions of anger. To do that will simply lead to even more problems in the future. There’s a need to distinguish between outbreaks of disorder that have complex roots in social and political issues and simpler expressions of purely nihilistic malice.

A bus in the Bristol suburb of Stockwood that was deliberately set alight

This is a clear example of nihilistic malice: Double decker bus goes up in flames – Martin Booth | B24/7 | 27.11.23. This particular incident happened on Sunday 26th November in Stockwood, a suburb on the outer fringes of Bristol. This is not a one off incident of a bus being intentionally set on fire, there have been others: Bus fire outside Temple Meads was started deliberately – Rachel Sutherland | B24/7 | 18.1.23. Torching and trashing community assets such as buses has no rational explanation. These are incoherent acts of malice that won’t achieve anything other than increase the likelihood of bus services to the more troubled areas of our towns and cities being withdrawn, thus deepening marginalisation and deprivation. This is down to kids who for a variety of reasons, feel that society has rejected them and that they owe society absolutely nothing back in return.

There have always been ‘difficult’ kids. I came of age in the 1970s and I can recall a few who were destined to go off the rails. This was back in the days when the discipline regime in schools was pretty unforgiving. However, looking around at what’s going on now, it’s clear there are some qualitative and quantitative differences. One being the impact of the Covid ‘crisis’ lockdowns, school closures and so called ‘home learning’. Back in 2020 and 2021, I did express my concerns at what would happen to the cohort of already troubled and disaffected youths who, because of the restrictions, missed out on the intensive face to face interventions that would stop them going off the rails.

The impact of all of this is now being belatedly acknowledged as it moves towards the point of being a crisis: Hostility between parents and schools has grown since Covid, says Ofsted head – Richard Adams | Guardian | 23.11.23 and: Disruptive behaviour in English schools worse since Covid, says outgoing Ofsted head – Sally Weale | Guardian | 6.10.23. It would appear that the problem goes a fair bit beyond the cohort of already disaffected youths. The irony of it being the pro-lockdown Guardian reporting on this isn’t lost on me.

A combination of a cohort of disaffected youth, communities that feel they have been left behind and a social and political culture where certain issues can’t be openly discussed because of so called ‘sensitivities’ is a potent recipe for trouble. The blindness of the Left and a number of anarchists when it comes to the need for an open and honest discussion about certain community issues, plus their denial of the adverse impact of the Covid ‘crisis’ lockdowns and restrictions, is a real problem when it comes to finding a solution. We’re talking about an attitude which will not only prolong, but will also serve to exacerbate the situation we find ourselves in. An attitude that only helps the divide and rule merchants who want us at each others throats. It’s high time that we stopped letting certain ‘sensitivities’ prevent the discussions that need to take place. Failure to grasp this does not bode well for the future.