09 August 2011

London's burning - remember 2010?

In London (the city that is to host the 2012 Olympics) groups of young people rampaged for the third straight night.

It is difficult to resist the temptation to schadenfreude when one recalls the way the Brit media behaved over the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010, where every petty crime that occurred in South Africa was gleefully and prominently reported with the reminder that South Africa was to hold the World Cup in 2010.

So when I read stories like this, I recall those days.

Market Inline - British riots spread through more cities on the third night of violence:
In London, groups of young people rampaged for a third straight night, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks. The spreading disorder was an unwelcome view of London’s volatility for leaders organizing the 2012 Summer Olympics in less than a year.

In 2010, the Daily Mail was particularly bad in this respect. See, for example Notes from underground: Legends from a small country: 'Kill a Tourist Day'. But other papers joined in, sometimes even making up completely bogus stories and headlines for the purpose.

So as London (the city that is to host the 2012 Olympic Games) burns, many South Africans might be tempted to think "serves them right."

We'll probably resist the temptation, but watch the South African tabloids to see if you can catch a glimmer of Schadenfreude. You never know.

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