I saw it on the news yesterday, again different groups of extremists fighting in the streets. This time it was the English Defence League and those “anti” fascist people (again). It seems to be becoming a regular feature on the news, groups of ideologically opposed (allegedly: really they are just different factions of the same ideology) bully-boys fighting it out in the streets; mainly in the north at the moment but it’s spreading.
This comes at a time of economic depression and global uncertainty, a time when a far-off and unrepresentative government has no mandate from the people and a time when hard-up and apprehensive people are getting angry.
The situation reminds me of the situation in another European country not so long ago. Rival factions of ideologically-aligned groups fought pitched battles in the streets against a background of global instability and hyper-inflation. The battles grew in intensity as the people got angrier and more scared, and mob mentality took over. The memberships of those groups grew and grew as people sought safety in numbers. Eventually, those battles played out, and the boss of the biggest gang won an election promising and end to the violence and offering people certainties and stability. They didn’t get it of course, they merely traded disorganised street battles and chaos for a police state at home and organised military battles abroad, followed by chaos and destruction at home when the tide turned.
As Leg-Iron recently remarked, people at the moment are getting angry. They don’t know quite who with, yet, but they are ripe for someone to tell them who. Those mobs in that not-so-far-off time and place got their scapegoats, they were given their enemies, and off they went. The place is like a tinder-box just waiting for a spark. In the most recent
electoral opinion poll, a party with dodgy, far-left racist views got a bigger slice of the pie than before, after a massive advertising campaign from the BBC and the government. Then the ‘anti-‘ groups started causing trouble, then ‘anti-anti-‘ (i.e. not officially aligned) groups like the EDL start to pop up, all the while getting airtime on the television. The lines are being very publicly drawn, and sooner or later people are going to feel compelled to pick a side, whether they agree or not. They’ve already announced -with very little fuss- that the endarkenment is indeed coming and once the lights start going out people are going to get more angry and more scared. Angry and scared people are capable of many things that they may not normally do.
So who wins? The guys at the top, the people who want control. Whether civil unrest leads to the current collection of stooges invoking the civil contingencies act, whether it leads to a (carefully chosen) strongman taking power, or even -unable to govern ourselves- direct rule from the EU or UN: freedom and choice will be things of the past.
Interesting Times are on the way.