Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

We have failed the black youth of Britain through fear of being labelled racist

So appalled and incensed am I at the killing of gentle, loving family man Mark Duggan last Thursday that I feel only the immediate illegal acquisition of an expensive consumer durable, preferably a top end watch, will assuage my righteous wrath and lessen my grief. A Rolex should do the job, or at least something with a bit of bling about it. If possible, the watch should be liberated by myself and my homeys, my bluds, from an agent of oppression, such as a local watch shop owned by someone who isn’t me and most likely from a different race, maybe white or Asian. Call it, if you like, an explosion of consciousness, much as has been suggested by Stafford Scott in the Guardian this week; the killing of gentle, loving family man Mark Duggan was a tipping point which has served to awaken in me a political sensibility which will achieve its full expression when I’ve thrown stuff at the old bill and nicked a nice watch.

You may recall Stafford Scott from a quarter of a century ago, when he was the voice of the Broadwater Farm young black people who had received a similar political awakening and thus went about their business smashing things up, trying (successfully) to kill police officers and then stealing watches. It is odd that Marx, Marcuse, Gramsci and so on said very little about the political importance of stealing watches, still less Toussaint L’Ouverture; perhaps watches were not so iconic in their day. Anyway, Mr Scott averred that nothing much has changed since the days of the Broadwater Farm riots and the incarceration of that other gentle, loving family man, Winston Silcott — and on this point I suspect he is being unduly optimistic. Things have changed, they have become a lot worse.

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