Anne Gray, Green Party Parliementary Candidate for Tottenham in 2010, has written a thought-provoking blog on the Haringey Green Party blog. LINK
Here is an extract:
In the west of Haringey it is hard for people to grasp the depth of social malaise which grips Tottenham’s council estates. Postcode turf wars between gangs made it dangerous for the youth campaigning against youth club cuts to join protest marches against the cuts last autumn. A project to give free recycled bikes to teenagers found parents saying ‘don’t give one to my kid – the drug dealers look for kids with bikes to run errands for them’. The drug and gang culture which according to some media reports appears to have given rise to coordinated, planned looting here and in other districts has its roots partly in the bad jobs, bad education cycle. But it also may be a response to the fact that white collar criminals generally get away with it. As bonus-seeking bankers and city traders remain unpunished for economic sabotage, as MPS get away with expenses fiddling, as inequality has soared to Victorian proportions in the last 25 years, role models for honesty and hard work are increasingly hard to find.
What is clear is that no solution can wait till the next elections, local or national. The local community needs to be working together on solutions now. Investment in better housing and ‘green’ sector jobs are part of that solution. The campaign against Britain’s ‘feral elite’ launched by Compass and supported by Caroline Lucas, is also a part (see http://www.potteye.co.uk/?p=1956). But Greens and other left forces in Haringey need to come together to develop a local strategy to salvage Tottenham’s economy and community.