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The Empire of Things

CJ Stone is an author, columnist and feature writer. He has written seven books, and columns and articles for many newspapers and magazines.


Riots of 2011: a society in flames

Riots of 2011: a society in flames


They hang the man and flog the woman,

Who steals the goose from off the common,

Yet let the greater villain loose,

That steals the common from the goose."

— Seventeenth Century English protest rhyme

It was Margaret Thatcher who said there was no such thing as society. “There are individual men and women, and there are families… It's our duty to look after ourselves and then… to look after our neighbour,” she said. “People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

She said this in an interview with Women’s Own magazine published in October 1987. Six years before that, in 1981, riots had ripped through Britain’s inner cities. There were riots in Brixton in London, in Toxteth in Liverpool, in Handsworth in Birmingham and Chapeltown in Leeds. There were further riots throughout the 80s, including Broadwater Farm in 1985, and Peckham that same year.

On coming to power in 1979, on the steps of Downing Street, Margaret Thatcher had quoted from St Francis of Assisi: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”

Never have a set of words proved to be less appropriate, or more vain, or less honest, or more ignorant of the truth.

The central idea behind Thatcherite policy was an economic theory known as Monetarism. The aim of Monetarism was to break the post war consensus which had given working people unprecedented wealth - a welfare state, a national health service, free education, participatory democracy - and to redistribute that wealth to where its proponents believed it should go: back to the very rich. It did this by deregulating the banks, by breaking the trade unions, by selling off public assets, and by a form of social engineering in which traditional Labour voters were lured into property ownership by selling their council houses to them at drastically reduced rates, and in this way, getting them into debt. Debt became the driving force of the new economy.

Within one year of this we had the first riot: in St Pauls in Bristol.

The Enemy Within

NUM banner: from darkness into light

NUM banner: from darkness into light

In 1984 Thatcher took on and defeated the Miners. She called the Miners “The Enemy Within”. They were the bastion of working class solidarity in the United Kingdom, fiercely socialist in their outlook. This came directly from their work. Mining is a dangerous job. People who work underground have to watch each other’s backs. This creates a form of solidarity which they then bring back to the surface with them, into the over ground world.

Anyone who doubts this should consider the trapped Chilean Miners in 2010. During their first 17 days underground - before they were contacted, when they were nearly starving, and fearful that the probes might not find them – they had instituted a form of democracy, a form of socialism, which many of them say saved them from a descent into barbarity.

It is out of adversity that socialism arises. It is out of love. Solidarity is another word for love.

The National Union of Mineworkers was an organisation of love. You listen to any old Miner talking about their union, and you will hear it. You will hear it in the tone of their voice and in the words they use. It was their organisation, forged out of their solidarity, out of the bonds created in the terrible conditions they encountered in their work, out of their history of struggle, out of loyalty to their class and their fierce independence. The NUM actively stood against the kind of world that Thatcher was promoting. It had to be destroyed.

We had love, and they had greed, and greed won. The defeat of the Miners lead directly to the kind of world we live in now.

There was an irony here. Thatcher appealed to a form of cod patriotism. She promoted patriotic values, waving her rhetorical flag for the assembled audience. And yet she helped destroy this most British of institutions, the National Union of Mineworkers, and to undermine trade unionism as a whole – a British invention – while encouraging an invasion of international corporations in the service industry, such as McDonalds, in which trade unionism was actively banned.

Waving the patriotic flag while inviting a foreign invasion. There's a word we normally use for this. Under other circumstances we would call it "treason".

If the young are not initiated into the village,

they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."

— African proverb.


Roll on 30 years, to a new Tory government, to a new Monetarism, to a new austerity, a new Thatcherism.

And don’t be in any doubt that this is exactly what it is. When George Osborne told MPs that his deficit-cutting plan had made Britain a "safe haven in the global debt storm", what he meant was that the financial institutions, to which he is obligated, have approved of his policies. They don’t have to loot the British economy, because Osborne is already handing the loot to them.

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It’s a form of protection racket. The world has already seen what a financial mugging looks like. They’ve already broken the backs of governments in Ireland and Portugal and Greece. Give us your wealth, they say, or this is the fate that lies in store for you too. Give us your public property. Privatise, privatise, privatise, and no institution – not even the Health Service – is sacred.

That is what deficit reduction means. It means privatisation: not by the back door, but by the front door. Financial looting. It means taking British capital, currently held by the British state, and handing it over to financial institutions at a reduced rate. “Waving the patriotic flag while inviting a foreign invasion” again.

We are in the midst of an age of unprecedented structural change in our world, a return to feudalism. Feudalism arose out of the collapse of the Roman Empire. It involved a robber class living off the back of a servant class, using rent as its means. The new Feudal Lords use financial rent – indebtedness – in the same way. What we are watching is the collapse of the New Roman Empire into a new Dark Age of institutionalised plunder, a takeover by the banks.

The austerity measures are already being implemented, and it is the young who are being targeted. So tuition fees are going up to £9,000 a year, while the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16-19 year old has been scrapped. Inflation is rampant, while real wages are declining. There is no future for the young. No jobs, no education, no skills, no apprenticeships. These were mostly scrapped by Thatcher 30 years ago. A nation built on skill has been reduced to a service economy, to McJobs and McWages in a McSociety.

You can call it “muck” if you like.

When your most elite, most powerful members of society adopt a strategy of plundering.... they will develop a morality that doesn't simply permit plundering, but valorises it. When that happens the moral structures of a society will inevitably deteriorate. In the upper classes that leads to polite looting. In the underclass it leads to street looting."

— Bill Black on the Keiser Report, 16/08/2008

As Above So Below

The illusion that’s been created is that we are separate beings. We are not. We are social beings. Margaret Thatcher was entirely wrong when she said there was no such thing as society. Society is the very essence of who we are. We are tied together by bonds of language, by bonds of morality, by bonds of loyalty, by bonds of family, by bonds of society, by bonds of love. You break those bonds and the social world begins to fall apart.

Society is the individual writ large. The individual is society in microcosm. As above, so below. The unconscious is not underneath us, it is around us. It is not inside of us, it is outside of us. The unconscious is that part of ourselves that lies in other people. It is in the obligations we owe to the people around us, in our human interactions, only barely recognised, as we negotiate our way around our social world.

In the individual personality, rampant, out-of-control egotism is a form of mental illness. Commonly called psychopathy, it is a mental state in which the individual only concerns himself with his own gratification. So if a psychopath gets pleasure from murder, then he will murder, free from conscience, because personal gratification is his only concern. Not every psychopath is a murderer, though. There are psychopaths all around us, and everyone is capable of psychopathic behaviour. Everyone who seeks personal gratification at the expense of his fellow creatures is a psychopath to some degree.

In the social sphere, the financial sector is a kind of collective psychopath, destroying the health of the economy for its private gratification. We honour the psychopath in our current world. It is the world of private gratification through private power. We give power to the psychopath, while denuding and deriding the common good that arises from our common world.

All private wealth is won at the expense of the commons. What we are witnessing right now are the new enclosure acts, the new clearances. We are beings born of the commons and not only our economic, but also our mental and emotional health, is measured by how much we bring to the common good.

If you don't find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further."

— Gandhi


I saw a BBC reporter interviewing a community activist in one of the riot areas. The activist compared what was happening to the Arab Spring. “But this is a democracy,” the reporter said, in a slightly defensive tone.

Is it though?

There are four pillars to a functioning democracy. We need an effective police force, a free press, rational political institutions and an efficient financial system. All of them must be regulated and free from corruption. What we have instead is a corrupt police force in hock to a corrupt press, with corrupt politicians serving the interests of a corrupt financial elite. Corruption from top to bottom. Corruption in every avenue of our public life. Top policemen taking bribes, politicians on the make, an intrusive and bullying press, distracting us with trivia and gossip, while covering up its own illegal practices, and a City of London which is entirely out of regulatory control, and which is plundering the nation’s resources for its own private gain.

And you wonder why the young riot? The kids are looting the shops. The banks are looting the nation.

Then we have the Labour Party – the Party created by the working class in the early part of the last century to institute socialist policies through democratic means – being seduced by high finance, and taking part in the financial rape of this country. Tony Blair amassing a personal fortune by taking us to war. Gordon Brown bailing out the banks and indebting the nation, borrowing money from the banks to give to the banks, imposing dangerous levels of debt on future generations. Peter Mandelson declaring: “We are all Thatcherites now.” What hope for us when even our own party stands against us?

These people are living in a financial prison, and this is a prison riot."

— Max Keiser on the Keiser Report, 16/08/2008

The Empire of Things

We’ve had over 30 years of rampant individualism, of consumerism, of me-ism and the devil take the hindmost; 30 years of mortgaging our future to pay for our present consumption; 30 years of selling off our birthright for a mess of consumerist pottage; 30 years of corruption and greed, of the worship of Things. It is an Empire of Things. So we have our technology and our consumer durables, our computers and our mobile phones, our technical baubles. Well some of us have. Many of us don’t have these Things. The young in particular, don’t have these Things. The young from the sink estates, the second and third generation underclass.

So we’ve set these Things up in place of our values. We’ve substituted them for the social ties that used to bind us together, and we’ve told the young who can’t afford these Things, that they are the only measure of value, that you don’t count unless you can flaunt these Things in the faces of your peers. That only Things count. And then society starts to break down under the pressure of the new Feudal arrangements, in which we are becoming economic vassals paying homage to debt, and the kids take to the streets in a blind fury of acquisitive excitement. And what do they do? They steal. They loot. They plunder. They obey the rules laid down on them by the Empire of Things. They collect the very Things we told them to, declaring fealty to the Things that are our Lords in the new fiefdom of debt.

They do what we tell them to do and then we punish them for it.

The bankers have plundered the economy, and they have been rewarded. The politicians have plundered their expenses, and they still sit in Parliament. The Murdoch Press has corrupted our values, and yet they are still allowed to own newspapers. The police have taken bribes, and yet they talk brazenly of the criminality of the streets.

Young people are put in gaol for the theft of a bottle of water, while bankers are given bonuses for the plunder of nations. People are losing their homes because their children are suspected of rioting, while politicians, who claimed for multiple homes on their expenses, are allowed to bleat on about rioters and looters from their privileged position in the House of Commons.

It's at this point that I would like to agree with Margaret Thatcher. As she said: "People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

To whom do we owe the obligation? To society, of course.


© 2011 Christopher James Stone


kathryn1000 from London on April 18, 2013:

Thanks for this,Chris...good to get some views from a person who knows their history,Kathryn

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on April 18, 2013:

Alex, they do indeed go right back, to the industrial revolution and beyond, but this latest incarnation goes under the names neo-liberalism, or monetarism and is, in fact, a form of neo-feudalism.

AlexK2009 from Edinburgh, Scotland on April 18, 2013:

I do not want to write a lot more about this "woman" but I do note that her policies are part of a long heritage going back probably to the start of the Industrial Revolution if not earlier

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on April 18, 2013:

Just off to link Chris but first must say nice to read all the comments from the ones who had her well sussed,


Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on April 18, 2013:

Thanks for all of your comments here everyone. This story has acquired a new relevance in the light of recent news. If you want to read my latest thoughts on Thatcher, here is the link:

AlexK2009 from Edinburgh, Scotland on April 18, 2013:

Diogenes. You are being too kind. I am coming to consider her as evil, perhaps even wicked. And the word "nearly" is wrong. She screwed Britain and laid the roots of the 1988 1998 and 20o8 recessions. She died of Alzheimers but the more I read and remember of her time the more I wonder if she had it when in Power.

The people at the funeral with the haughty empty faces did indeed use her till she became a liability.

diogenes on April 17, 2013:

Well, we buried her...a fair return for what she nearly did to the country...only cost 7 million to entertain most of the swine of her generation. Looking at all those haughty faces, full of the vacuity of privilege and you can see how moronic creatures like Thatcher are used to further their ends, and then cast aside.


Martin on April 17, 2013:

Wow. Brilliant piece.

kathryn1000 from London on April 12, 2013:

Plans have begun for Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral.

It’ll be the first time ever the 21 gun salute is fired into the coffin.

From Sabotage Times Twitter Feed

Naughty one!

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on April 12, 2013:

Chris the World is much sweeter now that the venomous one ,the one who said there is no such thing as society,has left this world and all the harm she did to it,and to us all------Jolly Well Good Riddance ,

best from jandee.

(I liked the way you left the sad comment on, to tell everyone how SOPHISTICATED her supporter are,Blueshirt & arsebreath)

Nils Visser from Brighton UK on April 11, 2013:

Actually, quite a few people 'give a shit' about CJ's views. They share them and are grateful somebody is eloquent enough to express them. It'd be great if the antagonists could actually present coherent logical counter-arguments, right now they're just proving Chris' point about blind adherence to systematical propoganda.

Grand article Chris, voted up and shared on FB.

Shoot to kill on April 15, 2012:


Blueshirt on March 10, 2012:

CJ you are labouring under the illusion that anyone gives a shit about your views.

Blueshirt on March 08, 2012:

Jim Callaghan's worker's paradise quietly forgotten then rioting was confined to just picket lines..oh dear. You're not a teacher by any chance or just a prick or maybe both?h

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on January 22, 2012:

Thanks jandee, I'll check that out later.

jandee on January 20, 2012:

Hello chris,

just read your hub again and enjoyed it as much as the first time.

Re. conversation about deputy Norman le Brocq. He was a deputy in 'The States of Jersey' Channel Islands. he was elected by the people Three times , a very wonderful person along with many others such as Stella perkins. They were very active during the occupation in helping prisoners of the nazis escape and in fact giving them shelter at great risk to themselves.

if you just put' Norman le Brocq'in wikipedia I am sure you'll find him,

best from jandee

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 24, 2011:

Sad. I would certainly have liked to have written about them. What do you mean when you say, "Norman went into the states 4 times as a Communist(parliament)". Which states, and which parliament?

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on October 23, 2011:

Very, very sadly !


Both with extra Charismatic personalities. Wish you'd do a write up on them.

Norman went into the states 4 times as a Communist(parliament).

In the early days only the elites could stand ,so, he got the public to give contributions which he collected personally every week- Flabergasted ! It's the only word I can think of to describe the establishments shock at what was happening!

sorry I'm flagging.

p.s they were just 2 of many,many friends who were dragged over in chains from europe to work for the Nazis,( not them ,they were jersey born).

night chris,


Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 23, 2011:

Thanks Jandee. It took me a minute to understand what you were talking about when you said, "Members of the Resistance in the occupation". You were meaning it literally. They were members of the resistance in the occupation of Jersey. How fabulous. Are they still alive?

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on October 23, 2011:

Hello Chris,

Re. the article ! The paper was sent to me years ago by comrades in Jersey,where I used to live. The purpose of the posting of it was that it contained interviews about my Two good comrades Stella Perkins and Deputy Norman le Brocq. Members of the Resistance in the occupation. good night Chris,

in france now and the vin rouge is working !

' If the folks on the other side like thatcher they can have her, eh!' and blair and all the other Blah,blahs,


Jimmy on October 21, 2011:

Margaret's ears must be burning... hated and adored but never ignored.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on October 20, 2011:

"So you put the communist side in all of your hubs do you?"

That was the first time I mentioned it, and then, only because it was relevant

"Greedy, selfish and vain, that's what I would call her...'

Very brave of you, considering she's not here to defend herself.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 20, 2011:

Thanks Bob: aren't you writing for HubPages any more?

diogenes on October 20, 2011:

I don't know why I just got this marvellous expose. You are our best political commentator bar none. Thatcher was just an establishment tool and discarded when she was spent. I wish there was some way of blaring this article from the rooftops. It's terrifying to watch Cameron turn into Mestopholes, more and more every month. The end will come when the power brokers realize they have stretched the people to the limit and there is still not enough for them. Then we hope the rebound will bring the whole pack of cards down. Grear GREAT hub Chris...Bob

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 19, 2011:

Anyway I'm not really a communist. I was just winding you up. I'm just an old-fashioned socialist, which is a perfectly normal thing to be over here. I'm also not the only one to hold these views about Thatcher's legacy. Greedy, selfish and vain, that's what I would call her, like most politicians: she was the one who broke the post-war consensus and started the shift that has led to our current impoverished state.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 19, 2011:

So you put the communist side in all of your hubs do you? Margaret Thatcher had the major press on her side. She doesn't need me to talk for her.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on October 19, 2011:

There seems to be something missing here. Where is Margaret Thacher's side?

This is a one-sided political screed from an avowed communist.

So what?

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 19, 2011:

So where did you find it? In a library, in a cupboard, or lining your socks drawer?

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on October 19, 2011:

In a 1995 'Guardian Weekly'.


Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 19, 2011:

Yes that's me Jandee. Where did you read the article, in an old mag or on-line? C

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on October 19, 2011:

January 14th 1995 and there you are Chris writing in the Guardian weekly I was so pleased to see you. The article was: Housing benefit hill-came across it when reading about Two wonderful people from the Channels islands. Both very personally involved in the occupation Stella Perkins and retired Deputy Norman le Brocq- Sorry about going on to another point, best from jandee

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on October 19, 2011:

She was a traitor to Britain, selling out our British institutions to foreign corporations in order to enrich herself and her own.

Jimmy on October 19, 2011:

Yawn, same old leftie drivel. Margaret Thatcher was by far the greatest ever prime minister. She properly dealt with the vile Scargill and the unions; revived the economy; reinvigorated the UK's foreign policy; reformed outdated institutions; put the murdering IRA in their place; defeated the Argies; made you proud to be English. Her philosophy: work hard and enjoy the rewards... Labour policy: do as little as possible and sponge off the state. Her name is legend. If only she were in power now...

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on September 10, 2011:

Thanks Tania.

Tania Ahsan on September 10, 2011:

Brilliant, Chris - been working like a bastard so only just read this, exactly what needed to be said. Well done.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 29, 2011:

JellyJake: you are right! Of course. The thing I thought was that the police allowed the riots to rumble on for a while before cracking down, in order to elicit the public backlash, in order to bring in more draconian civil disturbance laws. Your posts adds the final touches to that idea. I will explore this later.

JellyJake on August 29, 2011:

What struck me about the recent riots was although many of the rioters were no more than young kids, within about three days Cameron had given police permission to use rubber bullets and water canons for the fist time on English streets, they were never used of course because it all went quiet again. The point is however that permission remains in place now and can be, and probably will be, used next time there is a bit of trouble at a legitimate protest, gangs will come out and shoot at the police, the police will shoot back with real bullets, things will get out of hand and the army will be called in, curfews will be put in place and there we have it, complete control of the population under marshal law.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 29, 2011:

Thanks happychappy. The balloon has been inflated by criminal negligence on a grand scale, wholesale fraud on every level of society. And who is it being defrauded of their security and their future? It is the young. And then we expect them to act like good boys and girls and just lie back and accept their impoverished state. People say these riots weren't political, but there were definitely underlying political causes.

happychappyjb from UK on August 28, 2011:

Great stuff... Like any public menace there are a lot of reasons involved like inflating a balloon which is filled by neglect, and all the reasons you have underlined and at a point it explodes into this fury of emotions and greed etc etc. Any ways it was an interesting read.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 28, 2011:

Marc, I think the Monetarists know perfectly well what the result of their policies are, but they are psychopaths, so they are adept at the art of lying.

Marc Arnold on August 28, 2011:

recently played footage of battle of the beanfield on facebook. i remembered Thatcher's infamous quote & thought how can it be that the hang'em & flog'em brigade don't understand why so much urban disillusionment exists. The best people in this sadly benighted country have always been the ones who refused to just accept working to produce even more crap that nobody wants or needs for the benefit of selfish shareholders. Thanks for the article Chris.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 26, 2011:

Thanks Phil. Nice to hear from you.

Phil on August 26, 2011:

Yes, you're right Chris and its very well spoken. Our society is perverted and inverted, black is white, etc, etc. Keep on writing.......

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 24, 2011:

Sam, it's a world-wide phenomenon and the process is even further developed in the US, I think.

Sam Freestone on August 24, 2011:

This awesome writing frightens me and makes me worry for the future of my two sons.

Never before have I felt compelled to pray that the goodness that can be found in most people will hold future society together so that my children can lead happy safe lives.

What is interesting is that they both have a desire to leave the UK and head for the US after university. My younger son would even like to go to an American university. I'm not sure if this is a case of 'abandoning the sinking ship' or not but either way I wonder if they will fair better across the pond ?

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 23, 2011:

Thanks for your comment Sally.

soumyasrajan: I will check out your hub and leave a comment. Thanks for your very detailed response to mine.

Hello johndean: not panicking at all.

johndean on August 23, 2011:

Aaa here man. Stop panicking!

soumyasrajan from Mumbai India and often in USA on August 23, 2011:

An exceptional article with quite exact assessment of events of past few decades. Your passion is quite visible in the expressions CJ! Its strength makes one go over it with similar passion.

I think in the decades of 40's - 70's a general consensus in USA, UK, Europe had got built that family of any working person has to be provided with a minimal life style. Even Ford who was against unions , initiated quite a few measures towards this idea- for example reducing working time to Eight hours. That was the time when only one person in family essentially worked. It was feeling of this security which was responsible for general peaceful atmosphere. Today when both husband and wife work so even after putting 16 hours of work, a family no longer feels to have that security.

The destruction indeed started during Reagan and Thatcher era as you rightly point out. It was not just with workers. I used to visit UK and USA often as a visiting professor during those years. I have seen in UK how careers of many very exceptional academicians were destroyed with manipulations created during Thatcher era.

You rightly point out that result of this destruction is emergence of feudal management.

Your mentioning of Dark Ages reminded me of my article on potential of Dark ages coming back, which I wrote a few months back.

Let me re-quote some sentences of Robert Frank I mentioned there.

"During the three decades after World War II, for example, incomes in the United States rose rapidly and at about the same rate — almost 3 percent a year — for people at all income levels."

"The share of total income going to the top 1 percent of earners, which stood at 8.9 percent in 1976, rose to 23.5 percent by 2007, but during the same period, the average inflation-adjusted hourly wage declined by more than 7 percent. "

Sally on August 23, 2011:

Well said, CJ ... and phrased in amazingly passionate style!

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 22, 2011:

It depends what you mean by Socialism Alek. The Labour Party haven't practised anything like socialism in over 30 years. What it refers to is the recognition that it is labour that creates wealth, and the removal of the tax burden from off the wealth creators (workers) and onto the wealth extractors (unearned income, ie the banks).

Don't put yourself down Bob. We all have to do our bit, and whatever anyone says it will be ignored, mine as well as yours.

AlexK2009 from Edinburgh, Scotland on August 22, 2011:

I find myself resonating to all you say here, which means I must review my position from the viewpoint of those who disagree.

I dislike Socialism, as it is today, as much as capitalism. Like Christianity both have at best a tenuous relation to the ideas of the founders and neither has been properly tried except as a way to centralise power and wealth: as is the case with the Christian churches. New Labour and the coalition alike differ only in the groups to whom they give money

Every time I hear about the riots and calls to cut benefits I remember the Roman Emperors has to give the plebs Bread and Circuses or the plebs would riot and burn the city down.

diogenes from UK and Mexico on August 22, 2011:

Chris. Every word of your article is like a diamond-headed spear driving into the the morass of lies, executive thievery and political ineptness that is dragging this poor clinker of a country deeper into a place from which it will not recover in any recognizable state.

I wish I had your political knowledge and moral outrage to do more than my amateur effort. To marks...Bob

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 21, 2011:

Thanks for the accolade Denise. I agree there are no simple answers, but working out what the problem is is the beginning of discovering what they might be.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 21, 2011:

Oh my gosh, CJ-you've said it more thoroughly, and eloquently, than I ever could have hoped to. I skimmed over and generalized in my piece and you have nailed specifics. I was saddened as I read it. The sorrow that comes with realizing how deep the issues have affected generations; how complex the problems are with no simple answers; how evil that those who have been in authority have chosen to make economic decisions to meet their own selfish desires, resulting in the hardship of so many. Thanks for visiting my hub and bringing me back to your work. Voted up. Will add the link to your hub in my piece.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 21, 2011:

Thanks AngelTrader: as a friend of mine remarked, saying there's there's no such thing as society is almost as nutty as saying there's no such thing as air. But then it was a political statement. What she meant was, she didn't recognise the obligations she owed to it. Let's hope the world wakes up soon.

AngelTrader from New Zealand on August 21, 2011:

Great article Chris.

I always loathed Thatchers assertion that there was no such thing as society finding it such a divisive and evil comment. It is about time society rose up and broke down this broken monetarist system we are all slaves to.

Here's to a new age of Enlightenment!

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 19, 2011:

Thanks Pam.

pam F on August 19, 2011:

Brilliant, Chris!

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 18, 2011:

Thanks Jandee. I live in Kent so was closely involved with the Kent Miners. Never met Jack Collins, though you paint a vivid picture of him.

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on August 18, 2011:

Hello My friend, come here! I must give you a big hug and kiss.. My friend and comrade was Jack Collins leader of the kent miners. He died too early,still a young and magnificent being who contracted luekemia,no doubt, from many years of working underground to get us cole.I wish you could hear his remarks about the Thatcher creature!

Well written and will wait for more,best from jandee

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 18, 2011:

Thanks MJ, I'll put that article into my reading list at the end of this blog.

M J Higgins from Wirral, UK on August 18, 2011:

Yes, I hope you can pull in plenty of readers for this one, but it all contributes. There are a few voices coming from a similar perspective out there, like Naomi Klein's piece, which I read in the Guardian yesterday ...

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 18, 2011:

Thanks Alan, as you know, I've written some stuff about the travelling community too, and I agree that it is still a vibrant force in the UK and throughout the world. One difference between then as now is that, although we were young and rebellious, we didn't need to riot as there was usually a good party to go to.

Cheers MJ, well I don't know how much difference this will make. It's a very small audience. I've been trying to up the readership on this one, but its still very tiny.

M J Higgins from Wirral, UK on August 18, 2011:

Thanks for that, Chris. Excellent article. Lots of food for thought. Yes, the riots really have polarised the nation. Divide and rule ... though, hopefully, writing like this will help unite, some time, some day.

Alan Dearling on August 17, 2011:

Good to have you back in passionate flow, Chris.

A number of our writer friends have been posting their rants and blogs. Many have had a part in the Traveller communities in the UK and beyond. We also faced the wrath of Thatcher and criminalisation for our lifestyle, yet we are still here and with the road protests, the party people, and a new wave of festies, we have been re-energised. We have some of the elders and braves that still have sense of what justice should be about.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 17, 2011:

Thanks Denise. This has been stirring in my head for over a week now, every since I first saw the news. Have you noticed how it has polarised the nation, with the lock-em-up mob popping up in all sorts of unexpected places?

Cheers Steve. This is another one of those that should have a larger audience.

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on August 17, 2011:

Brilliant, Chris! Voted up and sharing on Facebook!

dc gallin on August 17, 2011:

Thanks Chris I love you and your writing! Just amazing...I totally agree and it's so sad that it's the young who are rioting while the what exactly? Wait for things to go away while counting imaginary digits in the bank? It also makes sense that the dance movement was didn't fit into an empire of things...I call it 'made in china dreams'...keep on posting, you are an inspiration! :)

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