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This Eighties revival is getting out of hand...


What could be more relaxing than sitting with the kids in Kentish Town McDonalds as cop vans screech past on their way to the latest riot? Quite a few things I suppose, but I have a guilty secret: I rather enjoy a good riot. So long as no-one nice gets hurt, obviously. That’s the trouble with riots: nice people getting hurt.

I was once at a demo where some bright spark chucked a cider bottle in the general direction of the police: their aim was out and it landed square in a woman’s face. But then, supposing it had been a cop? Or – a nice cop? These are the things that change as you get older: you begin to see shades of grey.

Saw quite a few riots in the Eighties: at Wapping, at football, at carnival. Moved to Tottenham after Broadwater to be closer to the action. Bad move. One of my greatest disappointments was missing the Poll Tax riots: I was in bed with a hangover and, wistful, watched the smoke rising from Trafalgar Square from my window.

Now, I worry: about my kids, about the poor bloody Poles trying to earn a crust in McDonalds, the families whose businesses and homes went up in smoke, and yes, the police. Is this middle age, or middle class, or some debilitating combo of the two?

My book, “Out of Office” (tasteless plug there), is set one hot summer in a London torn apart by race riots. One positive about this real-life story is that generally-speaking, the gangs and races seem united with one thing in mind: a new Plasma TV.

All this rioting better hit Islington soon. There’s an Aga in Gill Wing I’ve had my eye on for simply ages.

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