Tuesday, 9 August 2011

09/08/11- Riot update blog

Continuing to collect information on the riot situation. Now that the 'thorties have woken up to the threat, hopefully tonight is going to be a lot quieter. Shops are closed off all over.
As ever, if there is no link , probably hear say, if linked, possibly not.

NOTE: I have effectively taken over this blog. Cassar, the individual who usually runs this blog has been unable get access to it due to riots in progress in Uxbridge. Relax Cassarfans, he'll return once the riots calm down and normal service will resume.

The Ugly
Boris starts off well , ends badly  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14464139
Glasgow teen arrested for inciting violence via facebook. http://t.co/yb0xRvk  Extreme but understandable, considering the riot liverpool facebook group yesterday appeared shortly before the liverpool riots.

Interview with Labour MP Tom Watson. Evertime I see him, all I can think of is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4oNjTuTz-8

Possible that riot hysteria is setting in?
Psychology of the rioters http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14463452
Official government petition to remove all benefits from rioters epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/7337

The Bad
Attitudes of rioters - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424
Shops closing early all over london.
Rumours of riots planned in Oxford
http://www.riotcleanup.com/pages/riot-warning - Warning of locations for riots tonight
15.36- Trouble in sutton with looting happening in supermarkets
15.46- rumoured activity in wolverhampton-but has been resolved.
a lot of similar reports of outbreaks of violence closed down by police.
17000 police on the streets, compared to 1700 yesterday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkWtMNBgf48 Riot fail
On my way from work, noticed Shepherds bush is in lockdown, police protecting west field.
London appears to be more or less under control, with small outbreak of violence. However, outside of London, looters/rioters are causing trouble. My ability to report news outside of london is less good than the BBC. Or even Sky news.
Canning circus police station is firebombed by 30-40 assailants.

Break-ins in houses in Wembley, watch out !

Orange hill road in burnt oak being attacked.http://yfrog.com/z/kl2bnpdj

Flatmate got back. Hammersmith Broadway is now in lockdown. No one gets in or out.  According to him "summat happening in shepherd's bush". Either way, police heading north. update: A police van has stopped a set of people. Reports of vans driving towards Acton.

The Good

The hashtag that changed london-  #riotcleanup 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixel-eight/6024429000/- Londoners in camden Making tea for the police, using riot shield as a tea tray. #operation cup of tea
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/aug/09/insurance-companies-pay-out-riots?CMP=twt_gu Insurers pledge to come through for riot victims.
http://yfrog.com/kkjmhqaj planking occurring during riots, londoners still have sense of humour
As ever, the best coverage can be found at
Jab that donate button, these citizen journos have really earned it.

Monday, 8 August 2011

I cannot write about this properly yet, but I'll publish links and notes as quickly as I can gather them. I'll try to link to original sources where I can, but a lot of stories are coming through friends as rumours, and as a result are unlinked. And many of these news stories may not be fully accurate, as events are moving to fast to get a full and accurate picture.

Guardian commentisfree: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/08/tottenham-riots-not-unexpected

The most up to date news source- an hour ahead of the BBC for most of tonight.

Hooray for Theresa May-


To be fair, she's the only one from the government whose managed to react to this disaster quickly. Boris initially ruled out cutting off his holiday, probably rightly seeing that there was nothing he could do to help the situation. But his lack of facetime with the press will cost him dearly, since Ken Livingstone has been saying all of the right things to all the right people.
The same goes for cameron. Nick Clegg managed to turn in a appearance and meet people, upgrading himself from a incredibly detestable individual to just very detestable.

interactive map, but as with all news coverage, they are out of date as soon as they are reported
another interactive map that is slightly quicker. However, it's stopped updating on 2.00 am on Tuesday, and hasn't taken into account subsequent occurrences. Bad enough we have riots, now we have volcanoes
http://www.cravify.com/ This is the most up to date map, displaying tweets in affected areas as they happen, bu takes a while to load.

http://rachelnorline.tumblr.com/post/8662326939/more-photos-from-the-riots-in-london-what-is woman jumps out of a burning building

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqj1N9qeWXI&feature=share- no bookies is safe (especially in clapham).

Most of the participants seem to be youngsters, and the police have asked parents where their children are. silly policeman, this is London. The streets are our parents.

Trending yesterday was a video that shows a 16 year old girl attacked by police, but I cannot make anything out from the video.  The info is all in the sound Can you -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX9qZVsMQP8
this has been blamed for sparking the riot alongside Mark Duggan's shooting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUn4Hbjdfno- maplins is also in trouble
http://www.twitvid.com/LCABX- JD sports is taken out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plU1_GxW66Y -Bang and Olufsen have strong glass
Bethnal green on fire at this minute, worries it'll get worse.
Clashes in queensway between rioters and residents.
East Ham timber depot on fire.
Cars burning in notting hill, restaurant looted  A blogger was in attendance(http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2011/08/london-riots-comes-to-the-ledbury/)

another place for analysis here http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2011/08/panic-on-streets-of-london.html

Waltham abbey in buckinghamshire has the largest blaze so far- a Sainsbury depot
Cars burning in ealing, and rumours that a shopping centre is now on fire. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaflzE9bZjo&feature=youtu.be
00.41-  Ben schofield's car on fire http://yfrog.com/h75jygfj , therefore, riot in progress. Flatmate has suggested that this may just be a normal night for the scousers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwJvH9Ak7ww&feature=youtu.be- gunshots heard in liverpool.

Coventry is going up apparently, but need confirmation from an eyewitness.
West Yorkshire police confirm skirmishes in leeds 
A mosque may have been burned down. East london mosque attacked by yobs
E6 has experience clashes, in green street. From that movie with elijah wood.
Southall is under attack. But the Sikh community are banding together to protect the gurdwara from looters.

Turkish businessmen chase rioters out of dalston http://100gf.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/turkish-shopkeepers-stand-guard-in-dalston-londonriots/ Bloody immigrants ruining my riot !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIZV4YYQ2P8- definitely not a normal night in liverpool woolwich-  curse you sky news !

http://woodgreenbookshop.blogspot.com/2011/08/north-london-looting.html- Wood green blogpost
They better not touch the best Nandos in London !

Fulham and dawes road currently attacked by rioters. Cars burning outside fulham broadway.

Police station on fire in birmingham.

Bristol has problems as well,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC2CJC4KtS8&sns=em
Leeds has issues.
Romford may be in chaos.
rumours of stuff in huddersfield, but it turns out no worse than a normal night in huddersfield.
Minor breakouts in Manchester, despite police reassurances to the contrary.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/london-riots-firefighters-efforts-attacks firefighters come under attack by rioters.

Stratford on fire?

More pictures, but beware of ad popups, and distressing images http://boston.com/bigpicture/2011/08/london_riots.html

warning- any violence, even garden variety vandalism that happens all the time will be reported as rioting, so many rumours of spread to cities need to be analysed with salt.

Look at this f**king rioter- Man decadently loots tesco value http://twitpic.com/634iax

Good samaritan ? We should be so lucky -http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150333636850851&comments

A brave woman sums up the riot to the looters - http://www.twitvid.com/4JTZH

YOU SHALL NOT PASS http://twitpic.com/63430n

There is always time for planking http://twitpic.com/6347og

Clegg told us this would happen  WE DIDN'T LISTEN ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YItK1izQIwo
Cameron on the other hand has this to say http://twitpic.com/633c2d
Guardian may also get a cassandra award for this http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/29/young-people-gangs-youth-clubs-close?CMP=twt_gu, but probably not.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/egyptian-bloggers-parse-london-riots-in-real-time/?partner=rss&emc=rss- egyptian bloggers have no time for our crap

http://www.bnetau.com.au/blog/aussierules/what-australia-can-learn-from-tottenham/8345?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BnetBlogs+%28BNET+Blogs%29&utm_content=Twitter - Our city is now an object lesson for the rest of the world

Quote of the day- "small group of people at large" in birmingham.

Let's not forget to blame social media and new technology http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/08/08/how-blackberry-not-twitter-fuelled-the-fire-under-londons-riots/
network effects
More on technology http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14442203
so it's a good thing that the SONY depot is on fire... that'll make us safe from all of this technology malarkey.

Notting Hill Carnival may not happen. Awaiting confirmation
Tube closures imminent

*rumours of rampaging tigers, escaped Alpacas and the London eye on fire are clearly fabrications*

BEWARE SCAM E-mails- "help me I've been mugged" give me your credit details etc.

sports fixtures are also being affected http://bbc.in/n4dUcT, and rumours that the next england world cup match is to be cancelled.
People calling for army intervention (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-In-The-Army-To-Deal-With-The-London-Riots/203830589675294) , although these same people will probably start whining when the army start actually shooting people. After seeing some of the things happening, I can sympathise.

Prime minister is convening COBRA command.  Will the JOE's save us ?

And we have not even had an attempt to assess the death toll yet. Hopefully it's low, but there are bound to be a few tragedies. Keep an eye on @metpoliceuk for updates.

A couple of reconstruction groups are popping up
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reclaim-London/191466217583880?sk=info - if you are in london
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Community-Riot-Clean-Up-Woolwich/262102947136351?sk=wall- If you are in woolwich

Volunteers are needed to clean up this mess. We've seen jobs and livelihoods go up in flames. The wounds inflicted today, for some, will never heal. Signing off at ten past 4 am

Needless to say

I hate this fucking city.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


It's been awhile because I've been injured. Well, apart from a large bruise on my shoulder, it's all been injured pride. Last week I got cruelly savaged by first a pot-hole in the middle of a 135° turning and the next morning floored by a car door. Not a great 24 hours on the bike. So after cooling and calming down, here's a blow-by-blow account of what happened.

First up, there's quite a tough turning in Fulmer. There's a steep downhill 60mph road to start on and a left turn off that, going back on yourself 45° and steeply uphill. Difficult at the best of times. I'd not been that way in a few months so the giant pot-hole that took up the entire left side of the road took me a little by surprise. It also would have taken me right across the road and into oncoming traffic if I hadn't dropped to the floor. Needless to say, that hurt. But probably a lot less than an incoming car bonnet.

Then, the bigger incident. The next morning, I'm coming up to a junction and going around a parked car. At pretty much the worst possible moment the woman in the parked car opened her door into me. I hit the door full on and flew, thankfully, onto the pavement.

At this stage, I was ready to fly into a rage. But to her credit the woman that hit me was instantly there checking if I was ok and offering to take me to hospital or buy me a coffee or anything she could do to help. It's bloody difficult to be angry at someone who has already realised they've fucked up and is trying to say sorry.

And why couldn't this have happened when I had time to accept an apology coffee? As it happens, I was already late for work and I had no time, even for hearing her stammer out how sorry she was. So I said I was fine (which I was) and headed into work to milk it and get out of working too hard for most of the day.

I said I was fine then. The next morning, everything ached. I could barely walk let alone cycle and it kept me off my bike for the rest of the week and cost me £20 in tube fares. I so should have taken that free coffee.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A Journey through hell

The situation is thus. The temperature is 30 degrees. I have to get home, you have to get home. We are stuck on a very crowded bus in heavy traffic, due to some vacant roadworks. I agree that this is not a situation necessarily worthy of rage.
But everyone here is sweating buckets. The air is so thick with sweat and heat that we would do better with gills than lungs. There is no air conditioning, save for what air comes in through the windows. and so it happens, there is one right next to you. closed. shut.
YOU can do something to amend this situation. YOU could easily reach up and open the window, and give us all some respite from this heat. But no. 
You just sit there.
So when I reach over you to open the damn window, know that the accidental encroachment of my crotch into your personal space is absolutely justified. Smell it. SMELL IT !

Friday, 24 June 2011

Flatmate Situation

The situation is thus: Your flatmate, drunk after a night out has just taken a massive dump in your loo, and the gas has permeated your flat, congealing the very air you breath. You encounter him on his way out. You know he's the culprit. How do you extract the most humour from the situation?

1. Deeply inhale the stench, and declare "MMM....SPICY !!"
2. "Did you go to an eat-what-you-catch restaurant ? I think you caught the diarrhoea"
3. Feign death by choking.
4. Purloin the nearest air freshener and spray the fucker till he has blisters. Best done whilst chanting  "Unclean..Unclean"
5. If you have a sowing kit , prepare it and advance on him menacingly. "The hellmouth must be sealed".
6. "Did you eat my burnt hair collection?"
7. Hit him over the head with a newspaper "No, NO biological weapons in this house"

any other suggestions?

Ed: I am not his only flatmate. Cassar.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Road Not Taken

Safe to say, since creating an outlet for my rage there has been little to upset me on my journeys. This in itself upsets me. Clearly cyclists were not made to be happy people.
The fun story of today is one of drive-by arguments. I spent a large portion of my way to work this morning inwardly cursing drivers who poke their nose out of a junction into the cycle lane, hoping somebody will let them in. Firstly, you need to consider that other people are just like you. If you are someone who lets others into traffic ahead of you (good on you), you'll almost certainly do it regardless of whether their cars are halfway into the road already. If not, the car isn't far enough into your lane to stop you, so you'll still ignore it. Nobody benefits from your front wheels getting better acquainted with the white lines they are supposed to be behind. But some of us are forced to go around your car. Some of us are forced out of the safety of cycle lanes and into fast moving traffic that still doesn't understand what signalling on a bike means.

I have an hour long journey to work so eventually I ended up with a finished article of fantasy:
A car has it's nose out into the cycle lane. Rather than swerving around it, I park my bike in front of it and stop to yell at the driver: "You see what happens when you don't stop at the junction but carry on into the road?! You do exactly what I'm doing to you now. You block people off. You are in my fucking way. You are making my journey dangerous because now I have to swerve into fucking traffic. Stop fucking doing it!"
( I don't rant very dramatically when cycling fast. Also, monologues are always a better fantasy because in reality I'm nearly always cut off by the car behind me beeping or the driver just screaming FUCK YOU!)

The other great missed opportunity happened on my way home. A woman was waiting to cross a full 10 yards away from a zebra crossing. As I cycled past her, she yelled, "the crossing is meant for you to stop too!" My normally far too slow brain was quick as lightning but still not fast enough for me to quip back before I'd cycled on round the corner, "there's also a red light in half a mile. Would you like me to stop now?"
If she'd been waiting at the crossing, I might have stopped.

I say might because truthfully I probably wouldn't have. I was trying to beat my time and there's actually plenty of room on the crossing for both of us if she starts to cross. I know that's wrong of me but it didn't actually happen and I stand by the concept that I can't be held responsible for the bad actions I don't have the opportunity to carry out. If bad intentions alone are what we are judged on, I'm screwed already. There have been many times when I've felt like picking up my bike and throwing it through someone's windscreen but I can't because inexplicably there's someone sitting on the bike, riding it. How dreadfully unfair!

There have also been times when I've felt like slaughtering kittens but that's a whole different issue between me and my psychiatrist and, frankly, none of the woman at the zebra crossing's business.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Rage Averted

Ok, so as first posts go, this won't set a great precedent. But my journey home was characterised by one moment of extreme stupidity and happily fixed - or at least turned to entertainment. A middle-aged woman started it (it's always them. If they're young, it's being ditzy; if they're old, it's being senile; but if you're middle-aged, you will be despised for your incompetence.) . She pressed the pedestrian crossing and the light turned green so she crossed the road - so far so good. I saw a red light so I stopped - no problems there. But as the light turned to green for me and red to her, she was still in the middle of the road. She wasn't walking slow or had innocently tripped. Instead this moron was talking on her phone and eating a sandwich at the same time and wandering this way and that across the crossing, saying "I can't see you anywhere. Could you wave or something?"

Firstly, it's fucking rude to eat while on the phone. I can't see you're eating and speak accordingly so either there are long gaps in the conversation and I think you're not listening or I can hear your horrible munching noises down the phone, which you are still inexplicably holding next to your mouth. I'm thankful that video calling hasn't caught on yet because otherwise I'd have to see your half-digested food as well. Talk to me then finish your sandwich. Or better yet, eat your food then call me to find out where I am. From now on, if I ever hear food noises down the phone I'm hanging up.

Back to the moment (yes, I managed to get that thought process done before she'd finished being insane). I sat on my bike, too amazed to do anything. But thankfully the taxi driver next to me had the sense, experience and hatred of pedestrians to first beep his horn and then lean out of the window and shout, "Get out of the fucking road, bitch!"

That fixed my mood and, although I got cut up a couple more times before I got home and an old man parked his bike diagonally in front of me at a crossing so I couldn't get past without lifting myself first onto the pavement and off again, it was a decent enough cycle ride home.

So I leave you with this thought of bus travel from an experience last year instead:
 If 2 buses have driven past you, full of people, without stopping and made you late for work, please try not to harangue the bus driver who does stop to let you on for 15 minutes and make the rest of us late for work too. You'll only eventually get thrown off the bus and waste more of your own time.

P.S. This post certainly will set a precedent in sentence length and incoherence. Read carefully.