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"If" by Rudyard Kipling


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Thought provoking. Thanks Mike.

I was in Stockwell in London the night of the Brixton riots. I had taken my aunt home before the riots started and my return route took me through Camberwell where the rioting had begun and which I knew nothing about until I was in the middle of it. Then it was a crawl through Peckham. Within a few minutes of my passing that road became a scene of overturned and burning cars; the shops were wrecked and also set on fire. Many of the cars that were overturned and fired were not simply parked but people like me trying to pass through at walking pace because the road was blocked by groups of drunken, shouting yobs.

Why it started I cannot remember, if I ever knew, but it was a nightmare and the most frightening experience of my life. I did get home safely but instead of a 20 minute drive it took nearer 2 hours. I only managed it because of the policemen and women who were out there doing everything possible to restore some sort of order. Sadly that night they failed for the mob is a nasty animal.

I have heard someone stopped for speeding moaning "don't they have better things to do?" I am sure the Boys and Girls in Blue would prefer to stop speeding motorists that face an angry mob. Wouldn't you? But they do face the mob when the need arises and I am more than grateful for that. I feel that our police force is totally undervalued.

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