Monday, 8 August 2011

I was one of those who ram-raided Comet Tottenham on saturday evening and got some free loot. 

Yes, I'm talking about the Comet in this picture which was totally looted and gutted on saturday night. I'm gutted to see this, because on saturday at 5.10pm I crashed in there  on my own little retail ram raid. I bought a camera and got a great free deal. I used up the very last scrapings of my savings (no treats for ages)  but the old one had broken and my little girl is a bridesmaid next weekend, so I just went mad for a mad moment that I'll regret when the bank statement appears.   

I hate buying gadgets and loathe places like this but the sales staff at Comet were a perfectly synchronised, smooth and pleasing operation. They quickly identified my issue,  helped me find a solution- a camera I wouldn't have chosen without their help- and gave me the most incredible aftercare package that guarantees they'll replace the camera for up to three years, whatever the mishap. They tried to sell me a card and case package and, when I  balked, swiftly came up with a better offer and threw in an extra card for free. Totally modern, slick service, cleverly pared, efficiently marketed, diligently executed by well educated and well mannered staff, clearly efficiently managed, with everyone clearly going above and beyond and overtime in an effort to run a business in a recession that delivers a good service to their customers.  

Later on saturday that very same shop was looted by idiots who don't realise the power of cctv, tv and other bits of digital kit to snap their pics, capture their activities and shop them to the courts. At least the thieves won't get the 3 years aftersales service, or at least only at her majesties pleasure. If only the police and government was even half as efficient as Comet there would not be riots on the streets. 

The press coverage of the looters stupidity, funny though it is to see them strutting around parading their trainers on national tv as if it is a fashion show, seems to be allowing shoddy management of our city to go unnoticed. We live in an 'on demand' world, where we expect results there and then. The media give us tv news on demand, the police have on demand 'stop and search' rights, my own job demands ever shortening deadlines, greater productivity. Yet there appears to have been a total inability from the police to deal effectively with the calm demands of a family simply wanting to know how their son was killed. To leave peaceful protestors on the streets outside the police station hour after hour in the simmering heat of apparent injustice was a disgrace.

Apparently no statement could be made to the family because the senior policeman from Tottenham on saturday was off cooling his heels on holiday. Where is David Cameron? On holiday. Where is Boris? On holiday. London has a demanding problem that needs sorting and where are out leaders? All on holiday. I'm a single parent. I used to have a highly paid job but since the recession, I've had to work doubly hard for less than half my previous earnings. I can't afford to take my little one on a summer holiday, so little local treats mean a lot. The carnival we were so looking forward to this sunday was cancelled because of the riots. My friends wanted to see the venue where they are going to get married next saturday but it was shut because of the riots. No doubt the riots will end up costing inner city tax payers even more later this year. But what were the police doing to diffuse the situation? It appeared to be nothing. It also appears they are doing nothing to prevent the looting. They appear to be merely helping journalists take snaps to show on tv and in court. Big brothers working 'remotely' at the call of their own selfish demands while sunning themselves in foreign climes. 

Back in grim North East London it's hard to concentrate on the grind of daily work when the news feeds playing on computer terminals show live footage of looting in areas where my daughter is daycare and the windows show helicopters and smoke. The media and police choppers keep us awake at night, as they hang in the air, taking shots to play on tv and possibly use in court. The police seem to be in hand with the media, watching and recording, rather than preventing. Big Brothers, working remotely, probably on also blackberries just like the gang-leaders. 

Sack 'em all and get the management of Comet in to run the police and the country. The service will be more efficient, they can probably handle the digital media better and no doubt the pensions and holiday entitlement will be way less.

and then there is David Cameron, in Tuscany and Boris on vacation all dealing with the situation 'remotely', whilst un willing to break their summer holidays. 

Today at work in a digital agency in Shoreditch I gave up on the massive backload of work that was swamping me when the chuntering of the helicopters over Hakney togethe a group gathered around the screen of my 

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