Thursday, 18 November 2010

I can't defend violence, but...

Very odd Guardian article here by Grace Dent.

Firstly, I love the title:
The government's cuts might drive me into the streets.
This is exactly the sort of thing my year 8s say to me: It wasn't my fault, he made me do it!  I didn't want to hit him over the head 17 times with dog-eared maths textbook, he made me do it! If you ask me to pick up a pen, I might have to use the pen to stab the kid sitting next to me! You asking me to work might make me hit someone!

And from that promising start, the resemblances between Ms Dent and a stroppy teenager just get more pronounced.  There is this:
Obviously, I can't condone chucking fire extinguishers off buildings, although I do feel growingly, stinkingly cross these days.
Then this:
Obviously I can't condone picking up a rock and throwing it at Millbank over legal aid, but what boils my innards is that there will not be a single member of the cabinet or the royal family who doesn't have the number of a "family lawyer" in their address book.
It seems to me that someone whose innards boil at the contents of other people's address books is perhaps not the most stable. Then:
Obviously I can't condone violence, you'll never find me in the path of galloping police horses holding a pipebomb – in fact the closest I get to a scuffle is the Topshop post-Christmas sale. But come summer 2011, with the royal wedding hoopla and council cuts in full glorious swing, will I have crossed the line?
I don't know. I would suggest that Grace Dent would be the one to answer that, although given her complete lack of belief in personal agency, maybe even she doesn't.  She is a mere machine, reacting only to what the government do. And then just in case we haven't got the message threat: 
Say police and officials come to remove a poor family from my street for non-payment of rent and disperse them somewhere less expensive? What will I do?... Obviously, I can't condone how a riot might break out in these circumstances, but I can see how it might occur.
Well that's all all right then.  Let's all go and squat in a nice Islington mansion tomorrow, safe in the knowledge that when we get evicted, Grace Dent will be there 'not condoning' violence, but not doing very much at all to stop it either.

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