Three months after the London disturbances, another gang came to have fun in London last night intending to create some headlines. They consumed large quantities of alcohol and appear to have had a good time. These were not the rioters of August many of whom are still in prison. The people involved in last nights ‘disturbances’ did include some of the same characters. Boris Johnson was there (no need to cancel his holiday this time) and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was involved (albeit a different commissioner to the one who was resigning in August). They and around 1000 other gang members were taking part in an annual event when Londoners (well a select group of said Metropolis dwellers) get together to celebrate the achievements and wealth of those who have managed to make it into the Evening Standard’s 1000 magazine.
It is of course totally reasonable in a society that claims to have a meritocratic element for publications to promote the works of the great and the good. For the publishers to throw a small party to mark the publication is also quite reasonable. However in a society where 12 weeks ago 3000 people took part in disturbances that in part were an act of frustration due to the inequalities in our society one wonders if last nights party was a responsible act. This is the same city where today there has been demonstrations on the Streets and overnight several dozen people were sleeping outside an iconic Cathedral and where even despite the Mayors attempt to cleanse the Streets, many others were sleeping on pavements they have come to call home.
Now that the Champagne has been drunk and the posh frocks returned to the shop, perhaps it would be good for these 1000 rich and famous people to reflect on the society that they are deemed to have influence in. Maybe they could consider if the next year could be spent with one eye and ear cocked to consider if they with all of their influence and wealth could commit to redressing the inequalities that set them apart from the people who took to the city’s streets just 3 months ago.