Stephen Fry can’t deny the gulf between comfort and pain

As the riots began in and around London, one of the UK’s favourite sons, Stephen Fry, tweeted from the film set of The Hobbit in New Zealand:

 “If I’m honest 12,000 miles away in NZ, I’m not further from Brixton or Tottenham than when I’m at home in London. But my homeland is unhappy”.
Despite nearly 3 million followers on Twitter and having lived in England all his life presumably, Fry is acknowledging the gulf that exists between himself and the millions of disadvantaged, disaffected countrymen and women on his doorstep.
And this from a man who is apparently worldly-wise, intelligent and savvy to the point that his views (and his tweets) are highly prized.
On this occasion what is prized is his honesty. While lamenting what was happening in his country and city, he admitted that he had been removed from the reality of his lowly neighbours. He is no different to many millions of members of the comfortable classes, whether they be in Europe, North America or Australia.
My own experience in the past 10 years has been God’s determined dismantling of my own ivory tower . It was not so much that I didn’t care – I did – it was more that I just didn’t know. I couldn’t have called a poor man my friend, because I didn’t know him.
Now I could do so, by the grace of God, and many of the barriers of arrogance, ignorance and apathy have been challenged. Perhaps these riots are a wake up call to the Stephen Frys and Peter Halletts of the world that we can be far too immersed in our own comfort zones to notice generation upon generation of brokenness reaping an ugly harvest, just around the corner, let alone across the world.
Wake up now, there’s a riot a comin’…

2 thoughts on “Stephen Fry can’t deny the gulf between comfort and pain

  1. This is fatuous nonsense, a vast majority of Londoners of all classes had no truck with the riots whose success was wholly due to the inadequate response of the authorities. If authority behaves as if it is shocked and surprised, then rioters need no more encouragement. A lot of crap will have fallen on the ordinary police because they were hamstrung by their leaders from giving a swift, tough and hard reaction to the streets full of kids running amok. Special training required? My backside. Crowd control is mandatory as is hostile crowd control in all police training. For goodness sake if three whole years cannot train them they should not be in public service. I was brought up in abject poverty in east London. I was still proud to be honest. Thats the problem today. Nothing is honest particularly politicians who encourage mayhem on the streets of many capitals and are surprised when their own moronic class take them up on this at home.

  2. There is definitely a gulf between people who only know a world where there is money in the bank, their own roof over their head, food for every meal, a car or other transport to get them where they want when they want and every gadget they might desire. People like that, can’t even begin to imagine what the world is like when you can’t count on these things. When you live in the government’s house, when you don’t have a job or a decent one and your money doesn’t last the week and everyone you know drinks and smokes etc and believes the world owes them something. When you are entrenched in this life, when you don’t feel comfortable walking into the nice cafes and restaurant because you don’t belong and never leave the ugly suburb in which you live because you wouldn’t know what to do if you did… these are all real examples I’m giving… then maybe one day you make the wrong choice and say to hell with them all. Might be a minority or a majority I don’t know, but either way that gulf between comfort and disadvantage deserves to be removed… and so when Stephen Fry acknowledged its existence, it was worth noting. So I believe..

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