Below is a sample chapter from L-2011 (Future of London Series #1)
Transcript of a video uploaded to YouTube.com (posted on 11th August 2011)
Chester George is wearing the same black skull hoodie as before, zipped up over his face, with the luminous skull design leering back at the camera. He’s standing in the same room as during the last broadcast, surrounded by punk rock posters and little else.
‘Straight to Hell’ by The Clash, is playing softly in the background.
When Chester George speaks, he does so in that quiet raspy, almost snake-like voice:
“Mr Prime Minister and all the politicians in the Houses of Parliament.
That was a poor pretence of unity yesterday. Yet you said everything that you were expected to say.
Which wasn’t much.
I feel however, that I must add something on behalf of the people you are trying to understand – something you forgot to mention amidst your feeble efforts to put on such a united front.
You ask: why are so many of them quick to steal? It’s criminality you say. It’s the fault of our parents, you say. Or it’s our sick culture.
It’s quite simple to you and all the other MPs – we’re simply rotten from within. Our communities have no morals. This is nothing you cannot comfortably classify as a revolt of the feral underclass – is it Mr Prime Minister?”
But YOU are too humble sir. You forgot to mention yesterday how much the greed and selfishness that we see in the city inspires us to be as rotten as we are.
Our conception of right and wrong comes from more than just our parents. Have you forgotten Mr Prime Minister? Just a few years back, the bankers publicly looted this country’s fortune. When they did that, they showed us that the acquisition of individual wealth is clearly a measure of success. They took millions and destroyed people’s life savings. They were caught red-handed, but very few were punished. And yet you criticise us – the Good and Honest Citizens – for taking a mobile phone or a pair of shoes?”
Chester George moves towards the camera.
“And what about all the MPs who got caught fiddling their expenses? You must remember that one Mr Prime Minister? Or how about the phone-hacking scandals?”
Chester George lets out a throaty laugh.
“If we are devils, then we learned how to be devils from the very best. You – the suits and ties – are the original looters of this country. The original gangsters.
Now of course, I understand your reasoning for trying to label us. If there are no sociological, political or economic causes for the revolution that you call the riots, then no one in authority is to blame.”
He wags a gloved finger from side to side.
“Such irresponsible behaviour from our so-called leaders.
Mr Prime Minister. The worst violence London has seen for decades is happening against the backdrop of a global economic meltdown. It’s never pretty when society wakes up, is it? But society is waking up. That’s what this is. We live in an uneven world of uneven wages and opportunities. Did you know Mr Prime Minister, that last year the combined wealth of the one thousand richest people in Britain went up by thirty per cent to over three hundred billion pounds?
Isn’t that a remarkable number?
London is now one of the most unequal cities in the developed world. You and your kind have turned it into a gigantic shopping mall. And yet you expect our kind to be satisfied with only window-shopping.
Mr Prime Minister. What you see now on the streets of London – and in other cities waking up – is the result of a society that’s been run on greed. For us – the Good and Honest Citizens – there has been little cause for optimism and opportunities have been too few and far between.
Until now that is.
Last but not least – Mr Prime Minister, let me give you a word of advice. You would do well to pay closer attention to the private activities of your MPs and to the moral implications of the bankers involved in ‘casino capitalism’. It was white-collar vandalism that brought the world to its knees – not us. Remember that, the next time you talk about ‘criminality.’
Till next time.