Professional Reader

Everyone has an opinion on what is happening in the UK. Watching the riots unfold, the burning homes, and the thugs bullying and stealing from peaceful innocents. Adrenalin pumped, faceless hoodies, following each other in and out of stores looting TV’s because “F*ck It, if he’s getting one why can’t I?”

Who are the rioters? The people coming through the courts are not all degenerates and petty thieves. It’s graphic designers, bank tellers and tradies who made the choice that enough was enough. Caught up in a moment of anarchic freedom. Finally they had a voice, but it seems to me they weren’t quite sure what to do with it once they got it.

The scenes reminded me of George Orwell 1984. The Proles. Unseen, un-educated disengaged from mainstream society. Second or third generations living on housing estates that we avoid, drinking in pubs we wouldn’t dream of entering and crammed into deprived schools.

“Winston carries on writing in his diary with dedicated if apprehensive zeal. He knows that if once the “proles” rose up in rebellion, the Party could not survive. But the “proles” seemed incapable of organizing themselves into any concrete entity. All their immense energy was dissipated in trivial grievances; they had no concern to expend on larger issues. The Party itself did not interfere too much with the “proles”; they were “below suspicion.” So long as they were willing to breed and labor they were left largely to their own devices. According to the Party “Proles and animals are free.”

The Party claimed that it had liberated the “proles” who before the Party’s regime had been hideously oppressed by capitalists. Winston recollected pictures and statistics of these monstrous capitalists in the history textbooks issued by the Party. According to those books, everything had changed since those days and had changed for the better. But when even Party members like himself found life a drudgery, it was hard to believe that things had improved for the “proles.”

In 1984 the Proles never did rebel, but in London for a few days at least the powerless had a little power. We have our “2minute hate” against what we don’t’ understand. Orwell was onto something.

“Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me”