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Thread: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

  1. #1
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    'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    These days, many people, especially of my age group, seem to look back on the decade of the 90s with the fondest of memories. And whilst I agree wholeheartedly that times were generally simpler for the most part of said decade, especially due to the absence of social media, 24/7 rolling news channels, etc, there were still many dire social problems during said decade, in particular during 1990-93, that most of which now seem mostly forgotten about.

    I'm sure many of you remember the car crime epidemic of that period and 'joyriding' in particular, which was partly responsible for fuelling riots in certain areas back in 1991-92, many of which seem mostly forgotten about now. ASB was also a significant factor.

    The vast majority of those disturbances during that period occurred in large council estate areas, and there seemed to be high levels of animosity against the police in many of those areas concerned.

    Even in our town back then, there was at least one estate (whose name I shall not mention on here) that the police seemed reluctant to enter for a time, due to fear of being attacked by marauding teenage mobs, especially late one night back in the summer of 1991 where those baying mobs went on the rampage through said estate during a power failure, smashed all the windows of the area's local shops and daubed the word 'pigs' on the side of a police patrol van. Taxi drivers also refused to venture there for a time to pick up passengers but demanded full up-front fare payments from passengers if dropping off in said area.

    Though not quite a full-on 'riot' as such, it seemed to be a sign of things to come on large estates in other towns and cities with far worse problems over the following weeks/months.

    Anyone else recall those 'tensions' in the air during that particular era?
    Last edited by Lencoboy; 24-04-21 at 11:19.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pain View Post
    Lencoboy… May I ask politely why you want to keep raking up examples of past civil unrest, anti-social behaviour and general unpleasantness?

    Tamworth is well-connected with pigs: the same-named ginger-coloured and now scarce porker much prized for its bacon; the much derided Reliant Robin 'plastic pig'; and disgracefully and insultingly, Sir Robert Peel, founder of the police force (the daubing you mention).
    The reason why I 'rake up' examples of past problems is because I get concerned about many people's 'rosy retrospection', and the widespread beliefs that this country is increasingly a hotbed of mass anarchy, chaos and intense lawlessness, of which I personally believe modern-day media exacerbates our fears and makes things seem far more intense than they really are, which kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. All in all, the past wasn't always the idyllic 'utopia' it's often cracked up to be, and I often believe that this penchant many people seem to have for nostalgia these days is stealing our future!

    And whilst I can see the irony of my town of residence being famous for pigs (both the animals and the origins of our modern police force), it is far from being a full-on 'problem' town. Even the problems on the estate I mentioned in my OP some 30 years ago have mostly lessened over recent times, plus I think they were mostly blown out of proportion by our local rag at the time, who seemed to revel in doing down our Borough for many years, though it appears to have changed tack and toned down its blatant sensationalism over the past 10-15 years or so, thank God!

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pain View Post
    Why not occupy your thoughts with the brighter future you’d like to live in as an antidote to your occasionally dystopian perspective of the past? Or better still – to use a hippy, New Age phrase – live in the now and appreciate it for what it is… warts and all? No one can steal the future – it’ll come to pass. But it might not be the future you want.

    Rose-tinted hindsight, or nostalgia now not being what it was…? I know which I prefer.
    As horrible as things generally are right now, in particular due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, I do try my hardest to make the best of things in the present, but sadly there are a lot of people who aren't convinced that things might get better in the future, in fact there are a lot of people who don't even seem willing to help themselves nor to try and make a positive difference to society at large but continue to play the 'blame game'!

    As far as I'm concerned, the 90s was (and still is IMO) a greatly overrated decade in general, though on the upside, people were still more willing to give new things a chance without getting all cynical and self-righteous, unlike the two decades that followed.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    The 80s was a simpler time for me simply because I was a teenager and all I had to worry about was hair gel and running out of condoms.

    I'm sure the 80s was really crappy for a lot of people. Retrospective despair is the road to nowhere bro. The only reality is now, and the only now is your now.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Quote Originally Posted by ankietyjoe View Post
    The 80s was a simpler time for me simply because I was a teenager and all I had to worry about was hair gel and running out of condoms.

    I'm sure the 80s was really crappy for a lot of people. Retrospective despair is the road to nowhere bro. The only reality is now, and the only now is your now.
    The 80s wasn't a particularly easy time for me either, but apart from me having to attend a residential school between January 1986 and early 1988 which had its problems in its own right, I felt a greater sense of innocence with virtually zero responsibilities which seemed like they were mostly gone by about 1989-90 onwards when I suddenly had to start 'growing up' and face the 'real world' as an adolescent.

    Also most people seem to associate riots and civil unrest more with the 80s, in which they're not wrong by any means, but such problems actually persisted well into the 90s and even beyond, which apart from August 2011 hardly ever seem to get mentioned nowadays.

    I think we should all be trying to learn from the problems and mistakes of the past in order to try to lessen the likelihood of them being repeated again in the future, but unfortunately many people still seem to remain as complacent as ever.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    I think Lencoboy could do with some support at the moment, Pain. It's not easy for him to "lose" the past but I agree that it adds to his distress.

    https://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showth...less-right-now

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lencoboy View Post
    T

    Also most people seem to associate riots and civil unrest more with the 80s
    Do they? I don't know a single person that does.

    Most people I know associate the 80s with cocaine and casual sex.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    I think Lencoboy could do with some support at the moment, Pain. It's not easy for him to "lose" the past but I agree that it adds to his distress.

    https://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showth...less-right-now
    Thanks Pulisa.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Quote Originally Posted by ankietyjoe View Post
    Do they? I don't know a single person that does.

    Most people I know associate the 80s with cocaine and casual sex.
    I thought cocaine and casual sex were more in the 90s and early 2000s like raves, lad culture, underage binge drinking and smoking, more widespread ASB, etc.

    I suppose many of those things are still happening now to a certain extent, albeit with greater restrictions due to the pandemic.

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    Re: 'Forgotten' disturbances in 1990s Britain.

    Why castigate Lencoboy for looking back at the social and political mayhem of earlier decades? The 1970s were lousy - poor government, industrial unrest, union militancy gone rampant, glam rock - ugh! and just a depressing time in a country fabled as the sick man of Europe. The 1980s - my decade - were much better in all senses with the country getting up of its knees, great music soundtrack to live life by, opportunities unheard of if you had the will to succeed. Don't remember much of the 1990s after my breakdown ... and I don't quite know what to make of the 2000s

    However, what can can and should be learnt from the experience of past decades in comparison to what is going on today (nothing to do with this pandemic) is that without the internet, social media and all associated paraphernalia. intellectual and moral life was more sharply defined - polarised even - around people's local environment and life experience. You were somewhat shielded from the toxic underbelly of national political and social life by the fact that it rarely encroached on your own sphere other than highlights reported on the national news. Nowadays, it is splashed like a butchered carcass over the media 24/7 to the point that you (i rather) have stopped watching the news and disengaged for the most part from the national situation. I do wake up though sometimes and wonder if I am living through a re-run of the early years of the French First Republic.

    Yesterday's disturbances (if you were around in those times) seem like an innocent walk in the park compared to today's Orwellian nightmare existence. As E M Forster said ' The past is another country ... they did things differently there...'

    By the way Lencoboy - nothing wrong with Tamworth the last resting place of Aethelflaed and site of an impressive castle.... and Tamworth pigs are the most delightful and attractive creatures. Best bacon for an egg and bacon sandwich!
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