After the Riots: I Heart London

Pictures of the riots and their aftermath were beamed all around the world.

It’s easy to imagine the place as a city under siege, or where the inhabitants are all at each others’ throats day and night, snarling and aggressive.

That’s not the London where I live, the London I know, the London I love. Continue reading

Protest Riots My A**e

Having a slow start to the day and making sure Not Cat gets some needed outdoor activity before we head East later.

The street was clean and quiet. Last night’s noises and running feet could have been a dream.

People were going about their business, carrying shopping, taking dogs for walks, walking beside small children on bicycles. The sun shone.

Then I went to the main road.

The glaziers were hard at work.

Most of shops were ok, but specific ones had been targeted; mobile ‘phone shops, jeweller’s, shoe shops, cash converters.

The Morning After

Metal shutters had been smashed in.

Phone Shop

I joined a local shopkeeper who I know. He was standing on the pavement with his friend. Together we shook our heads. Continue reading

Riots Tonight?

The holiday gifts have come in handy as Not Cat and I stay behind locked doors this evening.

Pause in the Game

I got home from work about half past five and spent half an hour in the garden with Not Cat. Then I remembered something I wanted from M&S.

Leaving Not Cat alone in the garden, which is in itself a fairly new development and quite nervewracking, I headed for the main road.

Strange. Little knots of people I recognised as local shopkeepers stood on the pavement. The Afghani shop was closed and the shutters were down.

Very strange. It’s usually open until late.

I walked up to M&S. The doors were locked.

Puzzled, I checked my watch and the sign showing opening hours.

An assistant mouthed something to me through the door. Continue reading

Yesterday in Westminster

Parliament Square yesterday morning was still being cleaned up. Churchill’s plinth had a dark grey stain; there was a mass of litter and what looked like rags. I started counting broken windows at the Treasury and Middlesex Guildhall, but then gave up. Tourists were taking photographs of the damage.

Outside the Palace of Westminster, the boxy barricades were still in place. They reminded me of cattle pens on market days of my childhood. More trouble is anticipated on Tuesday when the Lords will discuss the university fees, so they are leaving them in place.

Journalistic habits die hard. I spoke to a policeman standing by the entrance to New Place Yard. He’d been inside on Thursday, stationed in Central Lobby with some colleagues as a last line of defence in case anybody rushed in in the style of Otis Ferry at the time of the hunting bill. He said it had been very calm inside the building and some of the students had been there, making their case to their MPs. Continue reading