I Wanna Really Really Really Really Zigazig Ha

One of the oddities of spending a few days intensively wrestling with politics, is that you lose touch with what's happening politically. So I've been trying to catch up.

France has had ten days of riots. The newspapers noted the racial element (i.e. that most of rioters were black) and initially concluded that the issues were religious (i.e Muslim).

In fact, these riots followed a familliar pattern. The first generation of immigrants are overwhelmingly poor, and are housed by the government in selected poor areas. They experience the usual attitudes of contempt from police. blame from authority, and a strange combination of vilification and invisibility in the media.

However, these are at a higher temperature because racism is added to the mix (especially in a highly racist culture like France). The result is that many re-emmigrate, but those who don't generally stay where they are first settled, forming a racial ghetto within the poverty ghetto.

Their offspring - the second generation immigants - are the ones who fight back. So, 20-30 years after a racial influx, resentment boils over.

Here, the trigger was seemingly two deaths that were probably genuinely accidental. But the police response - for instance, storming a mosque with CS gas, allegedly investigating a parking violation - has fanned the flames. Perhaps deliberately.

Compare with the parallel (though much smaller) trouble in Birmingham, where an allegation of rape was the trigger. That the girl and the 2 or 3 (or at the last count, 19) men probably don't exist isn't really the issue. You may as well say WW2 wouldn't have happened without a single assassin's bullet.

There's something similar in the (worse) ghettos of Leeds. The sudden appearance of British suicide bombers isn't inexplicable.
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George Galloway isn't flavour of the month on the left at the moment. Blair won an extremely unpopular vote by one - if Gorgeous George had been doing his job instead of on holiday, the motion would have been defeated.

The vote was on whether to give police the right to detain suspects for 90 days without charge instead of the usual 14, if any kind of connection to terrorism is suspected. Apparantly because it takes two weeks to investigate the connections of an ordinary person, but three months for a suicidal fanatic.

There's another vote coming up to give police powers to disperse any gathering of any number of people because it might develop into a disturbance, and arrest anyone to prevent a hypothetical crime from occuring.

Can you prove you'll never break any law in the future? No? Then you're under suspicion and arrest.
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Back in the reassuringly graspable personal sphere...

CW texted me as I was attempting to take a short cut on the London Tube. The short cut eventually involved me going from Euston to Victoria via Hammersmith, so was not an unqualified success. However, CW said it's nearly a year since our 'reunion' and aren't we overdue for another one. And I don't need to worry about having put on weight because...so's he!

I met some interesting people at the philosophical conference, including an unreasonably modest American professor of ecology. He's given me URLs to some of his published work, asking for feedback. I think I'm rather honoured.

I'm recording hours and hours of ITV4. Randall and Hopkirk, Department S, UFO, Alien Nation and Larry Sanders. The irony is, I haven't had time to watch any of it yet.

Oh yes, I have made a somewhat unexpected sale on ebay. "The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawn & Profressor Branestawm Round the Bend" will go to a woman in Fleet Street who advises investment bankers.

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want. Apart from the obvious worldwide death of hatred and bigotry and a future worth living for. I want time to make music. That's all, really (really really). A good boyfriend, a slim svelte figure, and lots of money would be nice. But recording a great album would be more...satisfying.

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