Yellow Vest protestors in Paris, France.

Yellow Vest protestors in Paris, France.

By Richard Shrubb

British Facebook armchair warriors are collectively asking why we aren’t out rioting like the Gilet Jaune (Yellow Vest) protestors in France.

The fact is we had our chance in 2011 – the riots then were our response to the early stages of Austerity. Let’s reflect on what’s going on in France and what we too faced – yet didn’t collectively support when we had our chance seven years ago. Unlike 2011 and the options facing the French we have a peaceful option to throw off the chains of repression.

The Observer’s view

This weekend The Observer newspaper ran an editorial on the Gilet Jaune violence that said, “The gilets jaunes (yellow vests), as the demonstrators are known, represent the majority of people, predominantly working and lower middle class, who in countries across Europe feel betrayed by a political elite and an economic system that ignores their needs.”

Here in the UK, in Brexit and Austerity we are split asunder in our political beliefs as the elites have basically been shafting us for too long. Friends and families are at breaking point – I lost a woman, who I once loved so much as a friend I made her one of two Godmothers for my child, as she was misled into hating Muslims.

Brexit? For someone people say is more intelligent than most, I’m clueless – do I support my working-class friends in quitting Europe to kick the Establishment in the bollocks or do I listen to my middle-class friends and support a unified EU? My only lucid thought is like the Observer is that the Establishment across the EU is rotten to the core. My next thought then is why don’t we unite and fight the bastards?

Too late…

The fact is we had our chance on the streets yet today have a far more peaceful, legal answer.

In 2011 a community in London that was at breaking point due to a mixture of oppression of the working class, Austerity and mishandling by the Met Police exploded when one of their numbers were shot dead. The fire took hold of the UK and within days cities were alight as the working and lower middle classes took to the streets to express their opposition to the Tory government. Britain burned. The opportunity was in our hands to get out there, outnumber the government and stop the ruling classes in their tracks. Revolution beckoned! Instead, the bulk of us sat on our fat arses, pontificated on Facebook and didn’t back those who needed us out there. The bastards won. Why? The Mainstream Media (MSM) still held the narrative.

When I speak of the ‘Hoody Riots’ everyone remembers 2011 – not the exact year perhaps or even the chain of events, but they remember the narrative that was given them by the Establishment. That it was ‘feckless, jobless kids out to steal widescreen TVs’. ‘Burning honest people’s homes, shops and workplaces and looting’. Sorry, but collateral damage occurs in war – just look how thousands of children in Yemen have been killed ‘accidentally’ by UK supplied Saudi Arabian bombs and missiles.

Poll Tax riots, London, 1990.

Poll Tax riots in London back in 1990 that ultimately led to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher.

The Poll Tax riots that took down Maggie Thatcher (may her soul burn in Hell) had a similar physical effect only the overarching narrative was that ‘ordinary people were pushed too far and fought back’. We won that one and sent that bitch packing while we were at it.

You can’t arrest me for saying this!

What in my opinion do we do now? As working and underclass we have a serious and peaceful opportunity to upset the applecart. We can register to vote and when the next general election comes – that won’t be long – and vote in our millions for the revolutionary who leads the Labour Party. Unlike virtually any other nation in Europe, we have a peaceful option open to us. Let Europe burn – support the revolutionaries as they revolt! For our part, we have our leader and are causing big brown sticky marks to form in the Establishment’s collective underpants – his name? Jeremy Corbyn.

Richard Shrubb

Richard is a marijuana, water sports and electric vehicles writer based in Dorchester, Dorset. Living in Prince Charles model housing estate, Poundbury, he is an avowed republican, community and Labour Party activist. Visit his website at for more about what he does.

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