With now just less than a year to go until London hosts the Olympics it is time for panic stations, and sadly it is for all the wrong reasons. For now forget the fear-mongering that 2012 will attract an international terror threat, put aside the criticism of the much scrutinised ticketing system and focus on the more present and dangerous threat to our games and to our lives.
Since Londoner Mark Duggan was reportedly shot dead by the police last week there has been a sense of societal unrest brewing slowly across Britain, but now the host city for the 2012 games has become a scene of widespread rioting and mindless thuggery.
Protests which began in more sedate and peaceful fashion in the immediate wake of Duggan’s death have escalated since Last Thursday’s revelations. Now, in areas in and outside of the capital, events of a far more malicious and infectious nature have begun to take place. The death of Duggan is being cited as the motivation for such criminal acts, but it is not unreasonable to suspect that many are not acting in the interests of the deceased. In the same breath it would be unfair to presume that the majority aren’t acting in protestation, but the agendas seem to be more personal.
There will be those acting on behalf of the deceased, there will be those pursuing their own acts of protestation, but most unfortunately of all there will be those that are using this as an excuse to perform evil deeds. The actions of these individuals are beyond unacceptable, they are stupid, outrageous, moronic and venomous.
People’s homes, possessions, livelihoods and lives are being ruined and for what reason? What cause is worth inflicting intentional and directed criminal acts upon innocent human beings? There is simply no justification for such inhumanity.
This whole ongoing episode reeks of something stretching beyond the realms of a direct response to the loss of a life, and an air of disillusionment seems a more likely motivation. The progress of the active unrest in London and areas such as Birmingham over the last couple of evenings is terrifying and fear is rife that the trouble could stretch further still.
Beyond the physical damage that has already been done there are other huge considerations for our nation and for our government. Though the immediate concern must of course be to preserve the safety and well-being of the British population there are other huge issues that the rioting could cause.
Unsurprisingly the glare of the world is presently directed upon Britain in preparation for next year’s Olympic games, and this week’s panic in London will have done nothing to aid preparations. This may seem a minor problem amidst the more urgent concerns caused, but our hosting of the games are of immense political, economic and societal significance.
There has been an enormous amount of money invested into the games which will generate astronomical levels of revenue, thousands of jobs have been created and our country has been granted the privilege of working towards a major event. This global gathering that is to be so proudly hosted next year is a chance to showcase everything that is great about Britain, but some members of our population are causing huge levels of upset and are diminishing the hard work and efforts of others.
It is sickening to think that members of our society are so unappreciative of what this country has to offer them. If such selfish and frankly disgusting behaviour continues then lives will be lost and our nation will be disgraced. Thus far there has been little movement from Olympic officials in public response to the rioting, but we can be sure that the violence and unrest will have scarred public and global perceptions of our ability to play host to the world’s most prestigious sporting spectacle.