What are the main arguments/points of the writer in this article based on the London riots?Tarred with same brush A PHOTO or a few words can say a lot more about the riots than pages of learned...

What are the main arguments/points of the writer in this article based on the London riots?

Tarred with same brush

A PHOTO or a few words can say a lot more about the riots than pages of learned scrutiny. Take the young man waltzing off with a 50 inch plasma TV saying, ''this is my banker's bonus''. Or the African woman who said, ''this will teach the police to respect us''. They are speaking an element of truth with that telltale touch of humour.

The young man who rifled through the rucksack of the injured student as he was being helped is more characteristic of the heartless criminal.

Unfortunately, in the chaos they all get tarred with the same brush, as politicians and commentators rush to stereotype them as lazy no-hopers and crooks. Most are not criminals at all, just the downtrodden, and those pushed to the social fringe by a society of which they are an integral part. This is a protest against alienation and rejection by a society still riddled with class distinction. Britain may be half a world away but Australia needs to take note.

Peter Evans, Hawthorn



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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The main argument of this piece can be found in its title "Tarred With Same Brush."  This is a phrase that indicates the idea that innocent people are being lumped together with guilty people with no distinction made between the two.

The author is trying to argue that there are differences between types of looter/rioter.  He is arguing that most of the looters were doing what they did not as simple crimes, but as a form of protest or backlash against a system that is "riddled with class distinction" and which marginalizes them.  To him, these are political protestors.  He says that this sort of protestor is being "tarred with the same brush" as those who are clearly acting as mere criminals.

So, the main point of this piece is that most of the rioters were actually engaged in a form of protest and that people should distinguish between them and regular criminals.  The author adds that Australia should learn a lesson, presumably that society should not alienate a large class of people for fear that they will erupt as those in England have.

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