Saturday, July 11, 1981

Cause and effect

It was a lot cooler than yesterday, and the eighth successive night of rioting has seen the trouble spread to twelve cities and ten districts of London. There was even trouble in Purswell.

At one I went into Easterby with Dad with £12 from my birthday plus a fiver of pocket money and proceeded to wander half heartedly around town, looking for things to buy. Clothes? Records? Books? I wandered all over for hours; to Praxis, to Smiths, to HMV, etc. Whether it was my imagination or not I don’t know, but I thought I saw more policemen than usual, and more security men conferring over their walkie talkies at Eastgate and at Holdsworth Sq. Station. Loutish youths hanging about also. I bought a Horace Silver LP and a Gore Vidal novel, Messiah, and got back at five with £11 left feeling dissatisfied.

I played my album all evening, and when Dad came home at ten he was in a stinking mood and really bitter. He says the tension at work is unbearable, and he nearly wasn’t allowed home it’s so bad. They had riot shields and truncheons at the ready and tonight, steel-helmeted police are patrolling parts of Easterby where, according to Dad, gangs of a hundred or more roam the streets. He’s frightened and worried he says, and carped on about “black yobbos” and how it’s "all tied up with ‘do your own thing.’” But the rioting has to have a reason behind it; instead of laying into the products of a sick society we should be striving to remove that society, or cure it, and get rid of the cause, not the effect.

I listened to the police on VHF once more.

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