The Loneliest Jukebox

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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Like a (flat-) pack of wolves...

It must be the zeitgeist or something. Over a decade ago, part of my journalistic beat was visiting riot zones, the day after the event (or during in one case), to compile reports for the next step office. This allowed the London newsdesk to write up articles with a rich reserve of quotes, 'local colour' and other observations. And so to Whitehawk, Leeds and Bradford I went, gradually getting to grips with the slow decline of class warfare in 1990s Britain.

Late last night, by chance, I was outside the latest trouble-spot: the new Ikea store at Edmonton. Struth, that building went up fast: last time I was there it was just a car wash. Construction may be backward, but it's sometimes very quick these days. Perhaps they were working from a prefabricated flat-pack (but not an Ikea one).

As Jennie Bristow reminds us on Spiked, before "the killjoy days of risk-averse regulation, this kind of exuberant aggression used to get its release at football matches and pop concerts. Now, to see crowds behaving badly you have to go to a glorified warehouse selling cheap flat-pack furniture." Personally, I've had a love-hate relationship with North Circular Eastbound retail parks for several years now: they leave me thirsting for mob violence even without bumper crowds or the lure of £45 sofas.

Maybe Ikea riots will be to 2005 what "creatives" were to 1997. The latter get a mauling on Nathan Barley, the new sitcom from Chris 'Brass Eye' Morris and Charlie 'TV go home' Booker. To someone who did a stint supplying content for a startup, the caricatured characters are nauseatingly recognisable. I don't miss those nitwits one little bit. If only I was getting paid a pound (sterling) a word still...


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