Belfast Telegraph

White collar looters must be named and shamed as well

By Nuala McKeever

By now I’m sure you’ve read and seen enough of those greedy, thoughtless, self-serving individuals who’ve been making headlines and misery for the past week.

So I’m not going |to talk too much about stock market speculators today. Just a pity some of them can’t be rounded up and put out of business as swiftly as the so-called ‘rioters’ in England.

As David Cameron rushes through a shed load of laws to close the stable door after the horse has bolted, perhaps he might consider putting in place a law allowing police to name and shame the individuals behind the dangerous speculation on world markets.

I mean, if a hoody isn’t allowed to hide behind a scarf anymore, why should those who dash in and lift all round them without regard to others, in economic cyberspace, as opposed to Dixons, be allowed to hide behind anonymity?

The markets are really not a God-appointed consortium of super-intelligent, objective, uber-robots carrying out orders in a moral vacuum. They are people. Individuals. Same as the would-be ballerina, the music student and the Olympic ambassador, all arrested and charged with stealing or criminal damage in England.

One of the most depressing things about the smash and grab marathon in the English cities is the sheer lack of common sense |of the people involved. They |must have realised they were being filmed. They must |have known that they’d be identified and arrested. Particularly |the ones dressed distinctively, like the girl in a short dress, with |a white handbag over her shoulder and white high heeled sandals!

She didn’t look like she was dressed for pre-meditated looting (but what do I know, maybe a handbag and matching shoes is considered ‘looter chic’ round those parts) but wouldn’t the fact of being so darned obvious at least have given her some pause for thought?

Obviously not.

So greedy, opportunistic, selfish AND not too bright. Yeah, it’s a dangerous combination.

But maybe for some people the lure of a free TV or a pile of designer clothes that won’t actually fit them anyway, is just too much to resist.

Funny to think that on any given day or night, a smallish group of people could cause absolute mayhem just by going into town and kicking off. I could get my mates, head into Belfast city centre and go wild in Victoria Square or CastleCourt.

But the problem with that picture is that once there, I wouldn’t know what to take. I’m not that keen on big TVs — my room’s not large enough to be able to sit far enough away for the picture to be in focus and most clothes are a bit on the small side for me at the moment — the only thing that’s fitting me comfortably in most high street chains is the changing room curtain. And anyway — are those things dresses or tops? I just can’t decide.

I’d be caught easily, standing dithering in front of a display of bed linen debating whether to go for the neutrals and have my bedroom redecorated to go with the duvet.

Useless.

What I’d really like to do, if all laws were lifted for the afternoon, is break into a high end spa and steal a couple of massages and a bit of quiet time in the Calm Room.

So mother, you can relax. I don’t think you’ll be spotting me on the news anytime soon ...

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