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Date Wed, 04 Jul 2007 08:24:36 +0300

I had secured a meeting with the General, head of ‘Rioters inc.’, in an attempt to find an explanation for the conformity in my neighbourhood of Ingol in Preston. A shadowy figure, with no more substance than the memory of smoke from a gun powder keg, led me by the nose, teasing my nostrils sulphurously, after dodging several notebook dangling residents, fishing from behind lace curtains with hand and glassy eye like strange five fingered spiders in webs. --- We see the brave leave their homes with ale cans to toast the mid day sun; to melt crouched in their doorways like dropped ice creams, lapped up and too scrutinised by pigs, pandas and other wild life: “Quick, drop down”. --- Then we are at a canal where a mini sub bobs jollily. As the sub bobbed a duck bobbed a hello back. As I watched, my gloom lifted .The wind blew and at that moment the clouds swept off the sun with a whoosh, leaving it static like a big disco light. My phone vibrated in my pocket to a Prodigy tune. The shocked duck danced its yellow feet on sunbeam squares; my phone was tickling my heart. I held it gladly.

“Hello?” I spoke into the phone. “Come in”, the phone crackled. With a second glance at the duck, I crawled down the portal head first, kicking my feet behind me.

The General was an impressive sight. Involuntary expressions sweep across his red face. You can see all past historical battles as he remembers, his frown a rearing horse, that twitch of the moustache a doodle bug. I shine a torch through the hole in the back of his head and his ears twirl like the wheels of his facial projector. His face lights up like a Nazi lampshade and the battles take place, movie like, arranging themselves in the red flushes of his face. His face in mine, between gushes of violet breath he spoke. “You will relate the following facts for me”. His face provided the pictorial evidence ....

.... There is a three-pronged axis of evil at work in my neighbourhood. The forces of capitalism, the state and spies, Stepford men and women and would be macho heroes of the pen. In summary this is who they are and how they work. They are the housing association‘Gateway’, ‘Ingol Community Association’ (a residents against crime group), and a police initiative called PACT, which stands for ‘Police And Community Together’. PACT liaises between Gateway and ICA who publish PACT communications and propaganda, whilst PACT keep a heavy police presence on the estate, for behaviour control not crime prevention. Although much of the housing is not Gateway, they fund the ICA and it acts as a listening post for Gateway whilst at the same time benefiting from pressure by them to evict undesirables.

But to go back a bit. Before I moved to Ingol I lived on a feral estate in Preston called Avenham, where you could say I had a job helping the community, selling very bad grass (and I don’t mean astro-turf). So I knew a lot of people in the area, over 100.You could not imagine a more amoral, sexually liberated, work shy and disrespectful to society bunch of people. So when I found myself in Ingol it was a shock to see this culture downtrodden and victimised. It would be a mistake to assume that because someone is disorderly and disrespectful they are going to be revolutionary. In fact the selfish hedonism that makes them appear so, really seems to contradict the broad consciousness necessary to be revolutionary. But even as such it has better prospects and leaves a better taste than those catholicised by work, trying to force blanket conformity on the estate.

Max Stirner, a German individualist anarchist of the nineteenth century, had as one of his themes, that people in society, or their egos, were prisoners not just of the state but of the custom of society, and were therefore prisoners of themselves as well, and of the restrictions they placed on themselves: “Exertions to ‘form’ all men into moral, rational, pious, human ‘beings’….are wrecked against the indomitable quality of I, against own nature, against egoism.” Max Stirner would have liked the people of Avenham and the minority of Ingol.Those in Avenham were even sometimes faithful to Stirnerite economic principals, that is, theft: ‘What then is my property? Nothing but what is in my power! To what property am I entitled? To every property which I entitle myself.” In fact when you add to this an almost principled contempt for letting the police into their lives you could well describe it as a Stirnerite utopia, making its realisation neither necessary nor desirable.

Starting with Gateway. The association owns most of the housing in Preston that used to belong to the council. Housing associations are capitalist enterprises and it is therefore in their double interest to both keep unruly elements down for the protection of capitalism, and property for that matter, and keep an area desirable, therefore profitable. Avonquest, who took over Avenham estate, tried really hard to make it respectable, with mass evictions, short term tenancies and CCTV. They failed abysmally, the estate recently being the scene of a small, gangster manipulated riot. But Gateway have succeeded, probably due to the co-operation of the residents.

PACT really amounts to community policing and propaganda. They have ingratiated themselves into our community which, judging from their communication, has no victim crime, and anti-social behaviour amounts to nothing more than high spirits. Their purpose seems to be to convince residents of their need for them, because they are such unruly children. They are part of the social beurocratisation that is taking place everywhere in our lives these days, as the state and capitalism tries to make any kind of future resistance impossible. We can see it in the ID scheme, CCTV, anti-terrorism laws, criminal justice act and mental health act. The less resistance they get to their activities the more it encourages them. It is not only oppressive to have them interfere in our neighbourhood, but people start to think they depend on them and the friendly face of the state, which makes independent class action impossible in the community. The following are typical quotes of what PACT do: “Problems with number (X)…and number (Y)…is involved in a tug of love between the two. Panda mediation explained and considered by both parties.” Even worse, “North British Housing were today informed by a resident, the lovely …(X)…of Ingol area is now going to marry the father of her expectant child.” Do they fight any crime at all? “(X)…was given a £50 fine by magistrates for being found in possession of cannabis whilst at school.” How far are we expected to conform? “Residents are beginning to express concerns about the residents of…the Ingol estate for noise nuisance and outside drinking in the front garden.”

By far the worst offenders in all this is the Ingol Community Association.Their nuisance value can be summed up in the following ways. They generate fear through their propaganda which causes people to have less sense of community and rely on them for protection. They have powers way beyond the police since they use their relationship to evict anyone who dos not fit their plans for the area, including a local bunch of squatters, who they threatened to move in on and intimidate if Gateway did not evict them. They divide the community, causing mistrust and anger. For instance a feud developed between two of my neighbours when ICA and a local bobby told her that my other neighbour, a man in his fifties or sixties, was responsible for vandalising her car, and forced us all to take sides.

The ICAs very reason for existing is dubious. They claim it was due to a drug escalation in the area. This is a quote from their quarterly newsletter, “Bearing in mind that all these people had had all the help the system could give them, they then had this estate in turmoil, we had to do something, it may seem harsh to many but we felt if we could pressure the drug fraternity to moderate their intake we would benefit.” Yet they don’t seem to understand or differentiate between different drugs, their different harmful and anti-social effects, because they don’t seem to know, just like they can’t differentiate between shoplifting and burglary. Out of 100 monthly incidents reported by PACT, although references to drunkenness and cannabis possession are common, there is only one mention of class A drugs, referring to paraphernalia. Every thing else is disputes between neighbours, unruly drunks, cannabis and shoplifting.

Much housing in the area is neither Gateway nor North British but privately owned, not just property sold to tenants under the council, but housing structures so grand that no Labour council at any time in history would have considered building for mere proletariats to live in. The ICA cannot hold any influence in this area, nor do they intend to. Their beef is entirely with poorer tenants who rent. Its snobbery is backed by the state and capitalism, one part of the class against the other and the creation of an unchallenged status quo.

In an act of overzealous and over anticipated divide and rule, the state and capitalism has turned the majority in the area, whose minds they own, against the minority in a show of ignorance fear and zero tolerance. They have turned on them because they are Other. They are backed and funded because the modern state and capitalism now wants to squeeze the air out of all resistance to it. The state. The super ego has won; the estate has become the police force. The policeman is in everyone as the spy and condemns, with the exact same judgements and attitudes, greater power and greater numbers than the police.
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