London’s burning

 

            The riots cannot be ignored. It’s not a subject I have a ready answer for. I invite all who are interested in this topic to write in about what you think has caused them, and what the authorities should do about them. Libelling  the police or specified groups in society will not  be welcome. Analysis, facts, argument will be.

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160 Comments

  1. Elliot Kane
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Ultimately, I think it’s about alienation. Anyone who feels they have a stake in the society they live in does not try to tear down large areas of the place they live in. Only someone who does not feel they are in any way damaging themselves or their own community will do that.

    As for the answer: greater integration. A people who see themselves as one people, one community, do not act in this way. Social cohesion is key.

    • Robert K
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      People who feel they not have a stake in the society they live in do not have the right to tear down large areas of the place they live in.

    • APL
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Elliot Kane: “As for the answer: greater integration.[snip] Social cohesion is key.”

      ‘is the key.’ Newspeak pseudo management babble, really gets up my nose.

      Maybe, but social cohesion is not promoted by ranging one ethnic, religious, racial group against another. Doing so promotes divisions and fractures among the population [note – not community]. Such policies have been the staple of the last twenty years especially among the left.

      • Elliot Kane
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        The population needs to BE one community, APL.

        Beyond that, you do seem to grasp my point, however.

  2. Andrew Fuller
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The rioters think that nothing bad will happen to them even if they are caught. What a ghastly violent society we live in.

  3. Alan Dean
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I am unsure what to think beyond an instinctive repudiation of what I see. The behaviour displayed is so very alien to the society I know that I am lost to know what yardstick to employ. I cannot conceive of ever finding myself rioting on the street, burning property and looting under any circumstances, therefore have no source of empathy to relate to the rioters at all. I am bereft of answers beyond the usual clichés.

  4. Quietzaple
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    The initial riot came in the wake of the police shooting of Mark Duggan and failure to respond sensibly to his family and peaceful demonstrators. Sacking Sir Ian Blair was just the first signal of a return to rousting black youths usually to no purpose other than resentment. We have a government seen as having demoralised britons for several years now: reap the whirlwind.

    As the wreck of the Napoli off S Devon’s coast 3 years back showed lots of people will loot if they think they can get sway with it.

    After the demonstration kids and hooligans from all sorts of places joined the Tottenham riots. Young people don’t need Blackberries to spread the word … There are disorders of a significant size most drunken drugged fri/ sats.

    Looked like a cool way of having some aggro and letting local greedy wannabe looters enjoy a bit of free retail therapy on various other communities.

    All these criminals have heard that police numbers will be cut. They know that their life chances are being Cut by HMGovernment’s “rebalancing” in the interests of the rich, of those who hath.

    Those who had no hope or little now arise while their Tory maidtres are just about all on holiday: as Lord Toby Harris put it: “Who would willingly leave Lynn Featherstone on charge for ten minutes?”

    Tottenham is one of the eight worst unemployment blackspots on the country. Flying Lord Heseltine in and planting a garden as Tories did in 1985 or do won’t cut it.

    Reduce VAT to 17.5% would help.

    Thanks for your open invitation John. I trust you aren’t stuck on Wokingham: they didn’t favour you with a relevant government position.

  5. StevenL
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Nick Drew, over at the Capitalists@Work blog has been calling ‘blood on the streets’ since Northern Rock went down as far as I can remember. So I’m not surprised and I’d suggest there is a correlation between economic hardship and this kind of thing.

    Having said that, these people live in one of the worlds employment hotspots (in rather expensive taxpayer funded housing the rest of us can’t aford to rent I’d imagine). It’s a lot harder for youngsters that want to get foot on the career ladder in Newcastle or Middlesborough than it is in London.

    I’d suggest that the difference is the loony left and politcal correctness. You have a strong traditional left consensus in the north east, with a good work ethic, but wo want state provision of good public services. You don’t get many of these ultra-PC loons you get in the south (where let’s face it, Labour are a bit marginalised).

    They’ve spent years couping these people up in ghettos and lecturing them that they are victims of some kind of non-existent oppression. Now they are all coming out of the woodwork to try and gan political capital from it (and completely misreading the mood of the middle england swing voter. Or for that matter the average working class labour voting geordie, who would probably some a lot less PC than I just have.

    • StevenL
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      *say something a lot less PC than I just have.

    • Quietzaple
      Posted August 11, 2011 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Do you imagine these rioters and looters can read even the substandard revolutionary drivel to which you refer? Greed self evidently required little self justification.

  6. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, Much of today’s online press are already rolling out the usual phrases such as our unequal society, high unemployment in Tottenham, social deprevation, government cuts etc. etc. If the criminals carrying out these crimes are so poverty struck why is it they have the car power to move freely around the city and the latest cell phones with which to organise their activities so readily. IMHO it is almost totally unrelated to the shooting a few days ago but more a criminal class seeing an opportunity to vandalise and rob.

  7. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Who does have a ready answer as there seems to be a diversity in rationale. C4 interviewed a ‘hoodie’ who claimed that he was rioting due to the police shooting and inability to follow the matter up in a decent way. These events seem to ingnite feelings which have been rumbling under the surface for sometime and expressions which incorporate damage to others lives and property could reflect how these people feel others have damaged their lives.It may be a sort of pay back reaction.

  8. Steve in Somerset
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Once again a protest which may or may have not been justified is hijacked by those who wish to use it for a cover for mayhem, looting and general antisocial behavior.

    Cause ? Greed.

    Cure?

    For rioters – Watercanon with dye for subsequent recognition and arrest.

    Petrol bombers – they should simply be treated as attempting to murder and shot – with live rounds, not plastic bullets.

    Looters? – Long custodial sentences in prisons with hard living condition and no early release.

    • Alexander Petrov
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:53 am | Permalink

      +1
      I think if the riots continue for more than a week, the army can be called in to help subject to declaring a state of emergency (I am not sure what it is called in the UK)

  9. Tony
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    This has been brewing for months all it needed was a spark. When economic times are bad humanity seems to break down. Of course there will be those who jump on the bandwagon of wanton destruction but for most it’s a way of letting off some of that pent up anger. Is that a too simplistic reason? Probably too simple for many and by the way I am not offering it as a way of excusing what has happened but before all the highly paid academics and social commentators come up with the usual tosh I thought actually tell it as it is. Lastly and not wishing to come across as condescending or superior but when times are hard this is how people from those areas behave. More copycat disorder will follow and it will occur in the usual deprived areas outside of London, in places like Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester. Affluent suburbs need not worry.

    • Robert
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Affluent suburbs need not worry. Ealing/Clapham?

  10. David Wickes
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I hesitate to be the first to post, but I’m sitting in a seventh floor flat in a council estate and I can see something burning outside. Probably unrelated to the topic, but it does focus the mind.

    Where did they come from: they were already here. It’s not as though a group of law abiding young people have suddenly gone on a rampage. I believe that the people rioting and looting were already causing nuisance and stealing before the weekend. What has changed is organization.

    I do not believe that these events are directly related to the killing of Mark Duggan, rather they were ignited by the confrontation with the police that night, and continued when the gangs involved learned exactly what they could get away with (literally in the case of the looting) when organised enough.

    I don’t think we’re dealing with politically motivated youth – although they may attempt to portray themselves as such if asked. I think this is an exercise in power, groups of semi-criminal youths discovering the sheer extent of what they can do when they organise themselves with cheap Blackberrys. It won’t end until it’s no longer worth while for them to continue, which I fear is until enough of them have been arrested or there is nothing left to burn and loot.

  11. alan stoddart
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    The riots can’t be ignored? Cameron seems to be doing a pretty good job of it.

    Front page of the BBC news website and not a word from Cameron never mind any hint that he might get his backside into gear and get back here and start touring Tottenham.

    What we do have a is a story about him going to have a nice chat with a waitress he didn’t tip.

    Cameron is presenting a very unattractive picture to the whole country never mind the inner city inhabitants….arrogance, aloofness, uncaring….seemingly without any political sense that should tell him he ought to be here walking the streets putting things right.

    Johnson has scuttled reluctantly back…he will only save his own political skin if he promises to rebuild the burnt out businesses and homes, and immediately rehome the victims and put them back on their feet.

    Cameron has long displayed an ineptness when it comes to popular politics….he probably ‘lost’ the election because he made the huge mistake of going back on his promise of a referendum on Europe…and I see he intends to block that ad infinitum…and the Equality Act…and the HST…and immigration….and overseas aid….and green taxes.

    Good job Labour are so dire or he wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting re-elected.

  12. Oldrightie
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    (para left out-ed)
    Stop all but essential immigration and leave The EU are simple solutions to begin reversing this chaos. Well simple if the will and intellect was there.

  13. Charles Bell
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Re London’s Burning.

    Although I now live back on Tyneside I lived in London for 31 years including Lambeth and Ponders End in Enfield, both of which have been impacted by riots and criminality over the last two days.

    My views.

    The Communities involved need immediate and effective protection from looters but the police seem hard pressed to provide it. Perhaps it is time to consider tougher measures such as water cannon, plastic bullets and tear gas and maybe a partial curfew for people under a certain age. The availability of such measures would at least provide extra options for police whose mobility is limited by their anti-riot gear making it difficult for them to apprehend fleet-footed youngsters.

    More importantly and with an eye on the long-term we all need to reflect on why we have produced such anti-social elements. I suspect an analysis of those arrested will find that most are young, with few or no educational qualifications and are unemployed. People who have a decent education and reasonable chances of a well-paid job are unlikely to participate in such criminality. Failures in the education system and the ability of the UK to provide worthwhile jobs for so may young people is a recipe for the sort of disasters we are witnessing now, and as I write I see that parts of Croydon, another Borough I have lived in, are ablaze.

    The are no easy answers but we need to provide the forces of law and order the manpower and tools for the job, but more importantly we need to educate our young people well across the social spectrum and to somehow engineer a productive economy to that can employ them

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      I would advise against arming the police because if the youths see the police are armed they will begin arming themselves as well. Trying to defeat violence with more violence is futile.

      A defensive, rather than offensive, strategy is needed. The police need barricades to stop the rioters, not weapons to fight them.

      • Scan
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        “…they will begin arming themselves aswell.”

        Sorry to tell you, mate. But they’re already armed. This lot have been shooting and stabbing eachother for years.

  14. Samuel
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I blame some anarchists who hitch onto the back of any protest. I’m on the side of the police because they were attacked for shooting, in self-defence, somebody who was shooting at them. Who I sympathise for most of all though, are the poor, defenceless, honest, hard-working business men and women, who’s businesses have been destroyed. Lock up the troublemakers!

  15. Bazman
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Many are organised opportunists. We saw them in the Liverpool riots.

  16. outsider
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    You are not the only one who has no answer to the problem of the disaffected underclass. Even Karl Marx despaired. In the most telling passage of their Communist Manifesto, Marx & Engels write:

    “The dangerous class, the social scum that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may here and there be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue”.

    In other words, they can occasionally be exploited as useful cannon fodder by leftist (or Nazi) revolutionaries but are generally beyond the pale.

    The amoral, hopeless semi-criminal underclass has always been with us and its members cannot be defined by race, colour or creed. When our society is most civilised and together in common values, say 1910-1965, they are few in number.
    Today, our society is not civilised, nor does it share common non-material values. So they are many.

    While that is so, the elite just hopes that the periodic outbreaks of lawless rage can be contained and thanks their lucky stars they don’t live anywhere near them. Of course, many fine people break out of this background by their own efforts and sometimes with a little help. They are often the most unsympathetic to those left behind.

    To shrink the underclass as a whole, however, we would have to reconstruct a lost world. We would need zero tolerance policing, a much greater emphasis on education for the less able, the teaching of mutual respect and “love your enemy”, growth of churches and wholesale slum clearance and redevelopment. Not sure social security has much to do with it one way or the other . Anyway, it is not going to happen. because, frankly, we are not up to the task.

    • outsider
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      PS: More jobs would help too, but that is true for everyone.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      Zero tolerance only works if you’re prepared to keep people in prison for 50 years. Restorative justice may help reduce crime though.

      Religion doesn’t stop crime, it just teaches people that if you sin and say sorry you’ll be forgiven to sin again.

      • outsider
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Zero tolerance is not about sending people to gaol. It is about shifting the goalposts of what behaviour is accepted and tolerated and thereby making life better for everyone. The dispossessed suffer most from petty crime.

        Religion is, for better or worse, the only mechanism for creating and transmitting shared NON-material values that I have come across. If you can suggest anything better please do. Socialist humanism did not prove to be a successful long-term alternative.

  17. rose
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I first drew your attention to this problem over the riots in Stokes Croft. I said then that the government was being hubristic in intervening in other countries’ uprisings, and there would be more to follow.

    The chickens are coming home to roost: too much immigration, too little education and training, too much destructive welfare, not enough visible authority in public places, too many women out to work, not enough fathers around, too much politicisation and liberalisation of the police and criminal justice system, not enough religious instruction, not enough healthy food and exercise…in short, too few civilizing influences in our cities which have become unwholesome and unpleasant places in which to grow up.

    In other words I have nothing original or new to offer you. And I don’t want to say I told you so either, any more than I do over the printing of money leading to inflation and instability, when you were more worried about growth; or about the Breivik outrage, which seemed to me a surprisingly long time in coming.

    The only practical thing I can suggest now is to use the water cannon.

    In the long term I would like to see a real regeneration programme for all our cities. Every city centre pedestrianised and cleaned up as Leeds has been, with libraries, museums, and art galleries, properly staffed and maintained, and free of entry; with lots of gardens and parks, also looked after and properly attended; and with a good free public transport system to take the place of the exhausting and polluting traffic. When the traffic is taken away, and the environment cleaned up, made pleasant, and looked after, behaviour improves. Schools need to be reformed and proper training brought back. Attention needs to be paid to diet and exercise.

    As long as our cities look like urban wastelands their young inhabitants will not aspire to much more than trashing them from time to time. The Victorians mad a huge philanthropic and uplifting effort after the riots and degeneration of the 18th century, and we then let it all go, sneering at them for good measure. If we took a leaf out of their book we could provide employment too, which is what is desperately needed. Worst of all in our time has been the feminisation of schools and public services, which has not been good for boys. Respect needs to be brought back for manual work and skills, and for male roles in general.

    • NickM
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Rose, a very thoughtful comment and I agree with it all.

      The only additions I would make is firstly to highlight the functional illiteracy (17%) and innumeracy (22%) of 16 -19 year olds (Sheffield University research 2010). Such academic failure does not necessarily mean “thick” still less a lack of being street-wise. But who would want to employ them? Then at the other end there is the £50k+ debt bequeathed to nearly 50% of our youth by the Coalition.

      On top of all that is the way the police seem to have targeted basically law abiding people (eating an apple in a car at a traffic light) because they are easy to catch, whilst neglecting to do the difficult tasks of sorting out the petty criminals and thugs that make life so difficult in run down areas (a cleaner I knew had to endure the local drug dealer knocking on her door as though he was the milkman – she was too frightened to complain to the police). Then there are the politicians and apparatchiks who fail, yet cream off vast amounts of taxpayers’ money.

      None of this excuses these rioters and vandals. I agree that water cannon (all you need is a small tanker truck with a pump and even a hand held hose) preferably with dyed water, is the best response in the thick of it. I also suggest rubber bullets. When caught foreign rioters should be deported and natives jailed.

    • NickM
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      To add to my previous comment:

      If afterwards there is going to be money splashed about (the universal political answer), – and that should not happen anyway – then the largesse must not go the way of the vandals. Moreover, if we cannot afford proper policing (eg water cannon) then what are we doing in Libya, or in the EU, or subsidising the euro via the IMF?

      • rose
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        All too often when money is given out as reward for riot, it is spent on the wrong things, often making the environment worse, and the destructive bureaucracy bigger and more feminised. So beautiful Georgian streets are burnt down, and hideous out of scale concrete and glass takes their place, always with the assumption that no-one is walking – or no-one of any worth – and that no-one reads books, or looks at art and architecture, or enjoys nature.

  18. Richard Smith
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Parliament has lost the respect of the electorate. The military is engaged in an endless round of unjustified wars based on lies. The leaders of the financial sector are in disgrace and the most influential figure in British media has been revealed to be presiding over mess of criminal activity.

    Which moral code are the rioters supposed to be aspiring to? Why SHOULDN’T they steal trainers and smash a few windows?

    • Simon
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      None of the leaders of the financial sector have been prosecuted .

      As we speak they are shorting the ftse – making a lot of money out of this crisis .

      Bank bailouts II , coming to a town near you . Soon .

  19. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    What caused it ?

    The ruling middle class hated the conservative, aspirant working class that much that it imported more working class at the same time that it debased British values and education.

    This was done in pure spite and our country is now ruined.

    I hate you all.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The last part of that comment was intemperate of me. I appologise.

      These riots have nothing to do with deprivation or ‘inequality’.

      They are proof that the Scarman findings were completely wrong. Political correctness foisted on the police, PACE 84, a whole plethora of procedures and form filling and ways of massaging crime stats and news have done nothing to assuage the almighty chip that rests on certain shoulders. The riots are just another manifestation of the nasty and gratuitous background crime which is a constant in our major cities.

      Our politicians debased themselves before this imported culture rather than try to elevate people out of it. In fact – in the name of equality – they’ve made millions of indiginous youth the same way too by using welfare as a substitute for fathers.

      Right now the Tories should be waging war on the Left – their failed policies, their dangerous judges and lawyers and their twisted press.

      They should stop being embarassed by their natural supporters and start listening to them properly.

      • Amanda
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Absolutely.

        • rose
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          I too think Scarman took a wrong turning, and we have paid for it ever since. That was the time to stop the PC perversion of common sense in its tracks. Instead he ensured the whole country became institutionally PC.

    • MickC
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Your second post is good, your first is total b*****cks.

      The middle class have always been aspirant; why on earth would it not want the same for others? The larger a class, achieved by others joining, and the more widely accepted its values, the greater political power it will have. Therefore the more society will resemble what it wants.

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      An understandable reaction from Kevin and I know just what he means. He is not talking about the aspirant ethic of Samuel Smiles which made our country great, but the destructive PC one which has emasculated the working class and broken up families and neighbourhoods. That cultural revolution was carried through by the middle class. Ferdinand Mount said back in the 80s that comprehensivisation was the nastiest con trick ever played by the middle class on the working class, and this is what Kevin is pointing out about the rest of the con tricks.

  20. rose
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    PS It is absurd for people to say the PM should come back early from holiday. I suppose he will cave in though. This is just the start, and he needs to be really refreshed before getting down to dealing with it all. If Brown had had proper holidays, he might not have made quite such bad decisions.

    • nemesis
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      This is a joke right?

  21. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Do not put another British cop at the head of the Met.

    Get the ex New York Police chief in now.

    Duggan (whatever the story) had an illegal firearm when he was shot.(This is not yet proven-ed) The Trident officers were there because there were two black-on-black murders in London a week.

    Don’t dare anyone blame it on us or the police.

  22. Helen
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    We all heard what started the first riot. The rest followed because the police responded pitifully. No other nation would have tolerated this violence and not responded accordingly. They need to get a grip and act as if they are still chained by the Left. No one feels threatened by the police, unless they are car drivers.

    Had these been country dwellers merely demonstrating about fox hunting, the police would not have hesitated to crack their skulls open with batons and the Left would have remained smilingly silent.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:29 am | Permalink

      The police also wouldn’t have hesitated to crack their skulls open with batons if they were peaceful protesters. It seems that the police only shy away from those who can actually fight back.

  23. Helen
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, that should read, “not act as if they are chained by the left.” Oops.

  24. Stuart Fairney
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Please explain how it is possible to libel a group? I know of no such offence in English law?

    • forthurst
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      I think JR means engaging in ‘thought crime’.

    • StevenL
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      He means breach the more recent ‘hate’ laws I expect.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Well we all know what group he means, but no-one is even allowed to comment on the manifest phenomena in front of our eyes.

        And the truth is never libel. Mainstream politicos refusing to notice this will only help the extremists.

  25. R whitehand
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea what is the root cause to the riots. But I do feel that perhaps the long term tolerance of mob crime in working class areas has been ignored for too long. For instance in Hackney school kids mob throughM&S to shop lift. The local bus station inMare street has been under siege causing services to be withdrawn while kids fight on the buses. Also old people are pushed aside on buses by youngsters with dreadful swear words directed at the old ones. My parents have had young kids from the school across the street trying to kick their front door in.
    All the above are real incidents which my 80 plus year old parents witnessed or were victims of. At no stage was anyone ever brought to book.
    Thus lawlessness is ignored at school and on the street. Is it any wonder that they see little risk in doing what they are doing?

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      And it is all called “anti social behaviour” – in other words not serious or worth stamping out.

  26. R whitehand
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    PS. Perhaps you can add to the list of motives the examples from the rich and famous who have taken more than their fair share of available wealth.
    Murdoch, MPs expenses, police cossying up to dodgy businessmen, corrupt journalists, over paid bankers and civil servants. All are straws on the back of the British Camel. None are excuses though.

    • Robert
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      What do you ‘fair’ share of available – wealth has to earned, it is not a given!!

  27. Alison Granger
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing that politicians never see this sort of thing coming and never know how to respond. I can list half a dozen blogs and newsletters that have been predicting this stuff for years but our leaders are locked into their own little worlds and shut out warnings from those that see the big picture.
    Financial crisis, peak energy, rioting. The classic signs of the end of a stage in civilisation. Every civilisation that falls goes through similar times. Coming soon failures in essential services, bank and government failures, fuel and food shortages. Call me Cassandra as I know few if any will take the slightest notice but I’ll be the one that’s prepared.

    • Winston's Black Dog
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Alison,

      This sort of thing doesn’t happen on the Mean Streets of Witney so politicians ordinarily won’t give a toss.

      It’s only that this lot of riots got so widespread and they’re fed up that they had to come back from their holidays that they’re showing a smidgeon of interest.

  28. Bob
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Libelling the police or specified groups in society will not be welcome.
    Right, well, in that case err, well ummm, I’ll get my coat.

  29. lifelogic
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    The cause is simple: a legal and benefit system that encourages the feckless and the criminal and the break down of family units and general responsibility. People with little to loose and who know they have little to loose. The direct result of Blair and Brown’s policy of buying votes with benefits and the pursuit of equality of outcome regardless of merit and justice.

    Also police and judges who think they are social workers or equality outreach workers rather than a real deterrent to crime. Police who also think that certain, politically incorrect, crimes are somehow more worthy of investigation than other identical evil crimes. Also police who think no real investigation is needed in general and just a leaflet sent to victims of crime is a sufficient police service.

    The “equality and human rights commission” (and similar quangos and local authorities) also do so much to incubate discontent between groups and are therefore much to blame – close them down now.

    People are people and crimes are crimes. Crime needs to be deterred can Ken Clark please note that some deterrent is actually needed to reduce crime (and then prison numbers in the long run.)

    Also the over large parasitic state sector and the over regulation that destroy real jobs and prevent people from becoming self sufficient and feeling they have a role.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:34 am | Permalink

      If you don’t give the poor benefits they’ll have even less to lose and more reason to commit crimes.

      Deterrents don’t work for people who have nothing to lose because they don’t care if they get caught. For many people prison isn’t much worse than being in a council house on benefits.

      The public sector isn’t to blame for the lack of jobs, the private sector is for outsourcing to the cheapest provider to ensure they make the most profit.

      • Robert
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Well that is their right! they have taken the risk, ,put up capital , borrowed money, re-mortgaged their property to build businesses. If our people aren’t willing to work and over the last few years 100/-s of jobs have gone to EU migrants somewhat debunks your statement. They have grown up in the entitlement and its not my fault culture! Sorry nobody has a right to a job.

      • sm
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Why does the private sector seek to outsource? for what private/public benefit and at what social cost. (Ref ICT visa schemes)

        In extremis once everything is outsourced lack of demand and floating currency, will force it to contract, but labour will have lost and capital will be richer. If that is the case then capital will be taxed because of need unless it is hidden offshore or protected.

        With the bubble dynamics in the down phase,no ponzi asset inflation, we now have debt deflation and speculative fiat inflation of essentials. Freedom of ‘feral’ capital without equivalent norms and standards abroad has contributed. Is that fair competition?

        Think about in another way – do you want to live in or will we need to live in a gated divided community.

        No excuse for putting lives or limbs in danger, when non-violent protest is still available.

  30. SJF
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The benefits system makes it too easy for people to become parents without the experience of work and responsibility. Also, the schools aren’t allowed to punish misbehaviour, and the courts don’t impose sufficiently severe punishments either.

  31. James Sutherland
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    It was interesting to note the breakdown of law and order seems to go back well before this obvious extreme situation: according to a TV report earlier, street robberies had more than doubled year-on-year – perhaps fitting with the notions about zero tolerance and “broken window communities”, that crime has a tendency to snowball. I am at least pleased there have been a large number of arrests, which will hopefully turn into a large number of custodial sentences and thus criminals removed from our streets for a long time.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:36 am | Permalink

      The problem with custodial sentences is they take minor criminals into prison and turn them into hardened criminals.

      • APL
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “The problem with custodial sentences is they take minor criminals into prison and turn them into hardened criminals.”

        It’s no problem if the criminal is not let out again. The problem with the justice system is it too is hamstrung with PC.

  32. zorro
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Evening John, pretty sobering news and images on the News. Other internet sources suggest that there are a number of sporadic incidents of violence and arson in other parts of London and further afield.

    This is pure and simple opportunism. There have been sporadic incidents of looting previously in our recent history (just over last hundred or so years). I think that this is now far more serious and I think the fact that we are a less heterogeneous society does not help. There are a lot of communities which barely co-exist and this is the sort of thing that could exacerbate those tensions. There are examples of communities (asian) defending themselves against the rioters. Perfectly acceptable now but not good news in the long term.

    Communication tools are being used effectively by the youth gangs. They seem to be uniting temporarily to fight the police and maximise the potential to thin police lines and gain the most booty.

    The potential numbers of youths who could be involved should not be underestimated. We have succoured these feral youths and they are coming home to roost. Serious issues need to be dealt with, and cannot be kicked further down the road.

    Amongst other things, this will test Cameron’s mettle – no PR – tough effective action will be needed and possibly the military if things do get out of hand. I have the impression that the police are struggling. What do you think?

    zorro

  33. Sean
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me that its what has been coming in London for a while, segregated communities, lack of real integration, and a jobless underclass not satisfied with the benefits of living in such a marvellous city. Visit any area outside the square mile and many London Boroughs are becoming ghettos Without purpose these people are mindless and aggressive, and the only way to reason with such people is to overpower them with force. Whilst there’s no indication as to whether these people have jobs or not one assumes they do not seeing as they have been rioting and destroying most of the work available in said communities, thus long term the problem needs resolving via reforming the social welfare system, which has been broken for a very long time.

  34. zorro
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    The potential for exaggeration is always a danger – however, youths now think that they have safety in numbers and won’t get arrested or identified by CCTV. It is very easy for these thuggish gangs to get out of control.

    So much money has been spent in these areas by government and it is going up in smoke….so sad. The ‘usual suspect’ politicians are blaming the ‘cuts’. It is true that a lot of the youths see no future but that is because they are uneducated and unable to hold jobs because of our debased education system.

    I wonder what Cameron will say now when the police come asking for money…..Oh right on cue policeman on Newsnight says that the government can support the police by forgetting the Winsor review. Typical!!

    zorro

    • Simon
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know how you can say “so much money has been spent on these areas by government” .

      Have you actually been to Tottenham in the last 20 years ?

      The rioters have inadvertently made improvements to it .

      The thing Tottenham was previously World famous for , it’s marvelous football team which originated the push and run style of football , is about the only good thing going on in the borough .

      The Borough of Harringey has been left to rot whilst politicians and officials spend public money on vanity projects in fashionable districts where they spend their time .

      How about spending a bit of the overseas aid budget here ?

  35. zorro
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Reports that there are violent clashes on Kingsland Road, Hackney between many Turkish males (defending businesses?) and rioters/vandals. As I mentioned, shop owners are defending their property as is their right – but in the long term not healthy at all for the UK.

    zorro

  36. zorro
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Some on the button analysis from Melanie Phillips too……http://www.melaniephillips.com/london-descends-into-anarchy

    zorro

  37. Paul H
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure if the following qualifies as “libelling the police” in your book, but it is factual so far as I am concerned.
    I am a white, middle-class, reasonably prosperous, professional male, who has never been in trouble with the police. I am also a Conservative by inclination – indeed Cameron would probably regard me as intolerably right-wing, being a “fruitcake and nutter” who thinks the UK should leave the EU. Yet I do not trust the police. For example, as a jury member I would discount any evidence given by a police officer that was not totally corroborated by other substantive evidence. I would not do so for an ordinary member of the public called as a witness, since my starting point would be that such a person was impartial – unlike the officer.
    This is based upon both incidents in the public domain – and goodness knows what has never seen the light of day – and personal experience. I have seen some very competent and trustworthy policemen in action. However, whenever I have been involved in or witnessed any incident, there has always been at least one officer who behaved intolerably (including, “we are the police and we can do what we like” when someone complained – justifably – of a heavyhanded approach). Far from deserving to be given more powers simply on their say-so as (Tony) Blair apparently believed, the police have demonstrated time-after-time that their supervision and accountability are inadequate.
    I have no idea of the sequence of events leading to the riots or the rights-and-wrongs of the preceding police actions, and I suspect that few commentators or riot participants know much better than I do. I certainly do not condone opportunistic violence exploiting a family’s grief. However if I, the aforesaid white … male, do not trust the police, is it surprising that a black community with all its history with the police and resulting paranoia proves to be a powderkeg?
    The police and much authority is not trusted. When will authority get it? Just when it get it?

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      But how much did Scarman have to do with this? Police didn’t use to be like this. They are now.

  38. Caterpillar
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

    ‘Trivial’ and unnecessary crimes not punished.
    London radio DJs questioned whether Charlie Gilmour sentence was too harsh.
    Get away with it culutre (especially if young, but it is spread through society from shop-lifters, to sporting role models to responsibility for inflation).
    No external controls (teachers cannot say anything, citizens/shop-0wners/home-owners cannot do anything, police cannot do anything)
    No self controls.
    Gen Y have it now attitude. (SMS considered too long.)
    Culture of anti-aspiration, anti-thought, anti-idea, anti-quality but pro-(quick)gratification, pro-putdown
    Benefits have it for free attitude.
    Recent riots (tax avoidance, student fees) given positive coverage.
    Anti-capitalist bloggers have been calling for trouble.
    Politicians support people’s uprisings as ways to overthrow foreign governments.
    Brits will intellectualise excuses for the inexcusable.
    Replacement of real community with virtual community.
    (Overall no decency norms, no enforced consequences and no reasoned consequences)

    IMMEDIATE RESPONSE:

    Curfews in major cities (police and military on street, if necessary recall troops)
    Cut the networks.

    LONGER TERM

    Training by enforced consequences:

    Tough sentences for unnecessary minor crimes.
    Remove alcohol drinking age in PHs, but allow locals to quietly ‘clip around the ear’ for inappropriate behaviour

    Education for reasoned consequneces:

    Teach only English, Maths and argumentation until 11 – give the ability to think.
    Cut school leaving age (if E & M passed) and allow fulltime work at 14.

    Testing for norms:

    (As with driving) introduce a licensing approach to smartphones and social media (is this technically possible?)

    OTHER

    (Cancel Olympics – UK will not have changed by next year)
    (Chess and cricket?)
    How to replace expectation with aspiration?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      And thanks to zorro, I have just read MP’s narrative (www.melaniephillips.com/london-descends-into-anarchy), rather worrying.

      • uanime5
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Good to hear someone is finally standing up to the Capitalist Society. Here’s hoping for an end of the Capitalist plutocracy and the start of Socialist Republic.

        • rose
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Have you no folk memory of 1789, 1917, 1979? Or of Mao and his cultural revolution? Or of the Kmer Rouge? Trade cannot be stamped out, but civilization can.

        • APL
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          uanime5: “Good to hear someone is finally standing up to the Capitalist Society. ”

          We haven’t had a capitalist society in this country since probably 1914. Since then the State has progressively expanded its remit.

          Industrial policy, subsidize this industry discourage that industry.

          The merging of the hollowed out shell of a post capitalist economy with the command economy put in place during World War one and two [ and never dismantled ]have left us in a fascist ( or communist ) society.

          • rose
            Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            AJP Taylor used to say we haven’t had a capitalist system since the 1840s, and then only in one tiny part of the country, in Lancashire.

  39. nemesis
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Blame it on Global warming. Why not – everything else is.

  40. Dan McKean
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately our highly valued ‘young people’ like any excuse to get involved when all hell breaks loose. Almost as frustrating is the hysterical and thoughtless reactions from those condemning the disorder.

    I don’t think it’s quite as simple as saying these riots are a result of deprivation, and the closure of youth centres (how many have actually been closed?). It needs to be acknowledged that there has been a decline in moral standards in our society. Living conditions in Britain were far worse in the first half of the twentieth century, particularly before the days of National Health; nonetheless moral standards were higher. You hear horrific stories of people with dental problems spending most of their earnings on getting their teeth removed without anaesthetic in the 1930s. Yet even when people faced real austerity recorded crime was much lower and rioting less frequent than it is now.

    It would almost be funny if it weren’t wall-headbuttingly frustrating but people are now accusing the police of being too weak and feeble. Usually, they claim that the police are too heavy-handed and oppressive, particularly towards minorities. Now it’s the reverse. No doubt they put this ‘feeble’ policing down the ‘swingeing cuts’ of the government. Yet surely the police are too feeble now because they are afraid of the hysterical reactions and accusations that may arise if they are seen as being tough on these rioters? The problem with the police is that they’ve totally been crippled by red tape and are now largely useless. Last year Cameron and Clegg seemed to win election points on criticising police bureaucracy, but they don’t seem to want to do much about it now. Perhaps Mr Redwood might want to explain why it is that police paperwork has increased massively over the last couple of decades. Most would put it down to meeting the requirements of political correctness. Would they be right?

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Poverty at the start of the 20th century was bearable because it affected most people. Now with the super rich flaunting their wealth and huge pensions its no wonder the poor can’t bear it. The rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer and angrier.

      The police are so feeble because they’re low paid, forced to work long hours, and have no desire to fight to protect a Government composed of millionaires that constantly criticises them.

      Also most police paper work is to ensure that evidence is collected correctly and to prevent the police fabricating evidence. This is to prevent cases collapsing in court and miscarriages of justice, rather than to promote ‘political correctness’.

      • Simon
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Sorry but the police are extremely well paid .

        In countries where they are not bribery is rife and that sort of supplimenting of wages is almost unheard of here .

        A Met Police Constable is on a package of over £60k (including pension) before overtime .

        Are you really arguing that they should be paid more ?

  41. Tommy Atkins
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Poorly managed police. Its a Monday night in the holiday season so no one has arranged extra cover. Just 1400 policemen on duty tonight.

    There was something wrong with our bloody police service tonight.

    BTW. If Tony Blair is reading this, I wonder if he could come along tonight to sort the situation out. And his Bloody Treachery.

  42. REPay
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Regrettable as the shooting of a civilian by the police may be, it seems as this has nothing to do with the opportunistic looting that is taking place, let alone the throwing of petrol bombs which could kill as well as destroy property. There is a large and growing group which is disengaged from education, work and self reliance. No matter what has been tried in recent years this group reproduces itself and its problems it has into another generation. I believe IDS and Graham Allen had some long term early intervention solutions in an excellent paper they produced in 2010…http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk//default.asp?pageRef=38&newsID=233

    I only hope we are not told that is something to do with the cuts…

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Well if cuts prevented these programs from being implemented or caused them to be scaled back …

  43. John Galt
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    John
    You pretty much restrict balanced discussion by setting conditions, I understand your objectives, but hey here goes. Oh and Ed I’ve tried to remain PC.

    The police have definitely had a role to play. The traditional “bobby” disappeared years ago. I was brought up to respect the police and to fear any type of criminality the repercussions of dis-obeying was not only a sin against Christ’s commandments to give unto Caesar etc, but also the the weight of the arm of the law in its public face of the police.

    Both those things have completely disappeared from society as its relentless pursuit of liberal socialist ideals have become the de-facto mode of operation.

    A great dis-service was done by the police themselves during the seventies in the high profile cases looking for results against the IRA bombers, with people being convicted of crimes that where subsequently seen to have been set ups.
    BUT and here we should acknowledge the truth, the police became politicised under Mrs Thatcher during the miners strike. For all that the socialists complained about it, it played right into their hand, it was seized upon and used by the socialist liberal bureaucracy and its successive governments to enforce its political agenda first and foremost.
    The PC agenda of the police alienated many of the old type of beat bobby (I know this from my own dealings with the local police) and starting 30 years ago vast numbers of new recruits joined the police not as a vocation, but as a career which offered great terms of employment, little risk, fantastic early retirement and huge pensions at the age that anyone outside of public service would still be working to pay a mortgage.

    Here in the depths of the countryside you would be hard pushed to find any sympathy for the police. That has been lost by speed cameras, heavy handed enforcement of the fox-hunting issue, heavy handed policing of peaceful countryside alliance protests, consistent protection of unlawful saboteur behaviour, lack of concern about crime in the countryside, lack of police when a crime is reported and the demonisation of gun owners and a general lack of respect. Many of which issues came to the fore in the events surrounding Tony Martin.

    I will now change tack a bit and suggest that there is no longer any deterrence against crime, crime pays, and it does, it never used to but today it does. And until and unless an Englishman can defend himself and his property without fear of prosecution then there will be no deterrent, after all the police can only ever turn up after the event.

    I am now firmly of the belief that the US second amendment is right and correct. The citizen should have the right to bear arms. Further that some of the American States have it exactly right, that you the citizen have the right to use deadly force to defend yourself, your family and your property and in doing so you have the law on your side.

    I suspect far fewer crimes would result. In fact I’d guarantee it.

    Of course you’d need to be a confident politician and political class to enable that. You’d need to return to the premise that the citizen was the boss and you were their servant.

    The first act of tyranny is to implement gun control

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Given that the US has high levels of gun crimes, armed gangs, and it doesn’t prevent riots (LA riots, race riots, etc) more guns will only make a bad situation worse.

      Also hunting is barbaric.

      • rose
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Every adult Swiss male is required by the law to own a gun. That is how their armed neutrality is maintained.

      • John Galt
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 1:10 am | Permalink

        Perhaps you’d like to actually prove that ?

        Oh and that would be per head of population by the way, of course the US has more crime just as it has a higher population. And perhaps just so that you understand (not very likely considering your other posts) I’d like you to break down the statistics you find into States that have a carry / carry conceal and an out right ban on carry.

        Let us know when your through with that and come back to us all with your facts. I’m sure it will be interesting as opposed to your MSM rhetoric

        It might be easier then to refute the point made by Rose.
        You will of course then be able to throw in the statistics for gun crime in Switzerland to back up your claims.

        Hunting barbaric?

        In the right context so is stupidity, but I’ll forgive you that.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      “I suspect far fewer crimes would result. In fact I’d guarantee it”

      No need for guarantees when there is proof available

      http://www.gunfacts.info/pdfs/gun-facts/5.0/GunFacts5-0-screen.pdf

  44. JW
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    The lives and livelihoods of decent people who work, pay taxes and obey the nation’s laws have been severely damaged. This cannot be allowed to carry on.

    Why?

    The family unit has broken down, discipline and personal challenge in education is non-existent and the criminal justice system is too soft – including being beholden to disgusting Euro human rights directives.

    Britain is on the verge of collapse like ancient Rome – if something drastic is not done. Criminals, plebs and agitators will run amok across the whole nation not just London and inner cities.

    The time for ‘understanding’ and ‘compromise’ has past. It’s time for the army to reinforce the police – perhaps even forces in Afghanistan should be withdrawn (a good excuse to get out). Cameron should instigate a state of emergency and (order tough action against-ed) anyone breaking a curfew, anyone looting and anyone setting fire to property.

    The Labour Party and all in the media* – including the execrable BBC and Guardian – need to get with the programme; it’s war between decent people and human detritus.

    It’s war between human detritus and decent people.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Your ideas will make this 10 times worse. If the army is called in the rioters will arm themselves to counter the army. Escalating the use of force will just cause more people to view the state as tyrannical and encourage more people to fight against it.

      The only human detritus are people like you who seek to are happy to condemn others to protect yourself.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:05 am | Permalink

        Er, they are already armed!

        Can you honestly believe that looting JD Sports is fighting against the state?

        If the police can’t protect (since they were swamped), can you blame anyone for wanting to protect themselves?

        Do you not condemn the looters?

  45. uanime5
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    As mentioned above the main causes of the rioting were due to a large number of young people with little education, no jobs, no job prospects, and little money; in an environment that promotes criminality and short-termism. It’s no wonder they act spontaneously and don’t care about the future when their future is so bleak.

    Another contributing factor is the poor levels of democracy in this country. When MPs are elected with 30% of the votes 70% of the population are left wondering why they should bother voting at all. If the underclass don’t feel represented in Parliament or a Local Council or these bodies don’t represent them this will cause them to become disenfranchised, making them more likely to lash out at authority. This leads to high crime rates and riots.

    This problem won’t be fixed by using detergents because these people simply won’t care. They have nothing to lose so spending them to prison won’t have any effect.

    To fix these problems three things must be done.

    1) The youths in these areas must be given something to aspire to. The Government must introduce training schemes and create jobs to encourage young people to do something other than remain on benefits and commit crimes.

    2) An end to Public Sector bullying. Young people who are harassed by the police and forced to attend pointless courses at the Job Centre will grow to resent authority, especially Government authority. These organisations must be perceived as fair if they are to become respected.

    3) Parliament must introduce a fairer voting system to reduce the number of wasted votes and encourage people to feel that their vote actually matters.

    • Amanda
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      I would agree with your analysis, but would put

      1. ‘a sense of worth’ back in the hands of family and social responsibility.
      2. I would put a ‘trade’ back in the hands of a revitalised private sector and an open education system that allows free schools to flourish and a range of schools that encourage a range of talents , not the useless public sector.
      3. It isn’t the voting system that is broken, it is accountability of MP’s to their electorates, rather than the whips. Democracy certainly needs a great deal of work.

      • uanime5
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        I disagree regarding putting trade in the private sector. The private sector cannot be relied upon to create jobs in the most deprived areas (people with little money = little profits). So in many cases it will fall to the public sector to provide jobs.

        Public schools are not useless and free schools are not a silver bullet that will fix all the educational problems.

        • Robert
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Public sector non-jobs have to be paid for by people who either are employed in the private sector or those who own businesses and create wealth – the public sector is only there as a consequence of them being taxed!

          • uanime5
            Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            So what. If you want to reduce unemployment you have to provide jobs. If the private sector refuses to create jobs then it falls to the Government to tax the private sector in order to create them.

          • sm
            Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            How does that work in banking?

          • Caterpillar
            Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            unamime 5: “must be given something” , “have to provide jobs”

  46. Tim Haire
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    One thing and one thing alone as a solution. The police must enforce the law.

  47. Matt
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I am shocked and ashamed that these images of London are being beamed around the world.

    The BBC interviewed Ken Livingston – he said that the outlook for young people in the deprived areas of London was probably worse than it had been for 100 years. Is this guy really serious?

    Workhouses!

    (Well it was just over 100 years ago in 1908 that parliament limited execution to children over 16 years old.)

    This went unchallenged by the interviewer.

    I feel that for all individual police personnel have acquitted themselves well, you do wonder about the overall tactics, strategy of the police.

    It was only a few months ago that a mob attacked the Ritz hotel, while the police stood back and observed, looking to pick up the perpetrator’s by photographic, or phronsic evidence at a later date.

    Similarly this time arsonists, looters, seemed to go about their deeds with little interruption. Maybe the robbery and looting spread because the rioters felt that risk of being caught was slim.

    The police seem to have kept back as rioters set fire to buildings, what if people – and children – were in those buildings?

    The rioters are beneath contempt – the police – need to look at their tactics.

    I see police walking in two’s around shopping malls in the day. In the evening I have ventured into the city to pick up my daughter and saw gangs of youths knocking spots off each other in the street, no police on view.

    • Springingtiger
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      One wonders how many people will be rushing to book up for the Olympics. Still it’s not all bad perhaps event tickets will come back on the market at affordable prices.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      The workhouses were closed because they provided greater benefits for those in the workhouse than those who lived outside the workhouse.

  48. Grupi
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    As many have noted, part of the problem is that there’s no real deterrent to committing these (or, really, most other) crimes. For anything vaguely serious (robbery, rape etc.) we should say that those convicted of the crime should be excluded from claiming dole money or being placed in social housing. That might make them think a little..

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      That’ll make things worse, not better. If people can’t get dole money they’ll turn to crime. Also who is going to pay for social housing?

  49. ed
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Hang on – how can this be? I thought the crime rate was falling on most fronts- theft was down etc. How can we have all these criminals ready and waiting to commit crime when few of them can have committed crime in the past? How do the previously law abiding citizens responsible for falling crime rates suddenly become criminals? Mmmm.

  50. norman
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I’m not saying the two are equal but it’s interesting to draw parallels between the ‘arab spring’ and the ‘summer of heat’ (or whatever). We have a semi-organised (Facebook this, twitter that, etc.) group of mainly young men who feel they are being badly mistreated by society / not receiving their due and are being ignored and persecuted by the ruling elite and so take to the streets.

    In one case we send planes to bomb the authorities, in the other we send armoured cars to contain the ‘protestors’.

    Still, Nick Clegg has his £300k bullet proof car and chaffeur so at least our rulers can still drive around in safety.

    • APL
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Norman: “‘arab spring’ and the ‘summer of heat’”

      Yea, on this very web site, our host has reiterated the common misconception that the Arabs were revolting because of a democratic deficit. So it follows that the Tottenham riots are caused by a ………

      No that can’t be the case?

      We will find ourselves being bombed by Libya next.

  51. Chris Rose
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    These riots are a direct indictment of the one of the basic policies of the last government: build a client state.

    Brown started in 1995 softening us up to the idea that government spending is Good. Of course, he didn’t talk of spending; he called it ‘investment’, but for the next 15 years his aim was clear: to expand the state, to make people dependent on the state, to pour money into public services and into state benefits.

    I now have a bus pass, but does it make any sense for the government (i.e. the working population) to pay for all my bus journeys? Of course not, but the Conservatives would be most unpopular if they were to abolish the old fogey’s bus pass. That ratchet effect was the purpose of Brown’s policy: make life as difficult as possible for a future Conservative government.

    Anyway, the economy expanded. The state sector expanded enormously, although many of the jobs were totally unproductive. The private sector expanded too, but the net increase in private-sector jobs was filled by immigrants. There was a large increase in the number of people on benefits and there developed a cohort of young people, particularly men, who were unskilled and never worked. It is the lives of these people which have been ruined; their prospects are now bleak. They may never be employable and, of course, they lack the skills to be self-employed. Is it surprising that such people, when they come together in a mob, should resort to looting?

    The events we see unfolding are a shattering indictment of a government. To correct this catastrophe will take years, a generation at least. In the meantime we must act in ways that demonstrate the values we believe in: detain and punish wrong-doers, encourage and help those who have businesses and who work voluntarily in our cities and districts, encourage and help those who improve themselves by education, training and practical work experience.

    • Robert
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Well put! Totally agree!

  52. backofanenvelope
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    A Sky news reporter this morning had it right. We are witnessing “recreational rioting”.

    The police are hoping this morning to start bringing people to court. What we need are some exemplary sentences – say two or three years inside. Anybody think that will happen? If you do I have a bridge in Arizona you might like……

  53. Richard Roney
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Too much welfare is a significant part of the problem. Idle hands and all that apart from the natural rebellious nature of youth against authority. The National Citizen Service cannot be introduced fast enough.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      If you reduce welfare the unemployed will turn to crime. Welfare is part of the solution, not part of the problem.

      • Robert
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Wrong the welfare state has entombed several generations – in fact it has helped along with a diminuation of our Education system under both Labour/Tories when they scrapped Grammer schools trap several generations into the povety trap. Governments have reinforced and distorted the wrong values in our society and we are now reaping what tehy have sown.

  54. Javelin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Just to add. What I see on the street was entirely predictable and I’ve been predicting it for years. What is more it has the same underlying problematic mentality at the credit crunch and the sovereign debt crisis.

    The credit crunch was caused by mortgage defaults because the US Acorn Act tried to get poor Americans (black and White) to own housing. It was born of a liberal dogma of equality and misplaced fairness. So when the poor people started defaulting well guess what they weren’t equal.

    The sovereign debt crisis has been caused by socially liberal policians spending more and more money. Used to buy the votes of the poorer members of society in the name of equality and fairness.

    Well guess what politicians have been letting immigrants in the country and they have taken the jobs of the poorest members of society. They do this under the guise of being politically correct and being fair to the immigrants.

    Another area is social media and gansta culture. Which is not criticised or kept legal. I have seen many foul postings on Facebook which fall foul of the 1988 Malicious Communication Act.

    So can you spot the pattern … Left wing Government creates a policy in jobs, housing or spending. They dont look at the downsides of their policies – and every policy has a down side – then they end up with huge mortgage liabilities, huge Government liabilities, huge social liabilities and huge unemployment liabilities.

    So what would I do. First I would not issue or renew as many work visas as possible. If companies wish to operate in our society they can’t just parasite from it they must also give back to it by employing people from the UK.

    Second I would launch a public advertising campaign telling young people about the 1988 Malicious Communication Act and how it is criminal offence to communicate offensive material via social media. That includes Facebook and YouTube. I would force facebook to give access, issue thousands of police warnings, and prosecute a few repeat offenders very publically. The campaign would be like the clunck-click or AIDS campaigns. It would only take literally one or two police to start issuing warnings. They would find thousands of offensive facebook postings. Evidence would be easy to gather and warnings easy to issue. Offenders would be told to change their passwords. Once a few nice middle class boys and girls had been hauled up in the courts then the whole culture would change.

    Trying to use the police to stop the problems is not tackling a huge problem at the root.

    Can you spot

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Turning large number of people into criminals and clamping down on their right to free speech is totalitarian. All it will do is turn the people against the police and the state.

      Also prison doesn’t work. You can’t keep jailing people and expecting that social deprivation will magically be fixed.

      • pipesmoker
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        They turn themselves into criminals by the acts they commit, they only have themselves to blame?

        Prison does work to the extent that it gives the law abiding public a rest from their criminal activities but the problem is because of the indiscipline in our prison’s they learn new tricks!

  55. Amanda
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. I have just listened to to a short piece on the riots from the BBC’s Today programme. In the clip of interviews on the street we heard:

    “the socialist workers party were fuelling the protests”
    “cries of anguish from people whose homes and businesses were being looted”
    “that the police were running away from the rioters”
    “threats against the journalists from people described as hooded”

    After this commentary, we had no further discussion, but were moved straight on to a discussion on another topic (something about Jeremy Hunt and local TV).

    When the BBC were in full cry on their witch hunt of News International, we had little else for hours, with full analysis after every twist and turn. Now real people are really suffering we get cursory coverage and comments from people like Diane Abbott blaming the police, or Ken Livingstone blaming the cuts.

    I would suggest that getting the BBC under control in general must be a priority. The second thing I would suggest is changing your useless leader, who is melting like the chocolate soldier he is. There are, of course a whole host of other actions to take, but to start with a democracy needs truthful information, and a leader.

    • Springingtiger
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Were it not for News International and their ilk the Met would have had a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. You should count yourself lucky the BBC aren’t laying the blame for the lack of leadership in the Police at Rupert Murdoch’s door.

  56. Alex
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    It’s OK John, the BBC has the answer. Early today on the World Service they had a chap on from some social cohesion group, who immediately said that the rioting was inexcusable, unjustified and wrong. Of course this line of argument horrified the presenter who quickly steered him onto blaming deprivation. The irony of blaming poverty only 10 minutes after suggesting that the rioters were coordinating via Blackberry mobile phones was, needless to say, lost on the BBC. I wonder how the police feel about our publicly funded national broadcaster effectively justifying the actions of the rioters?

  57. Susan
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, I wrote to you a while ago, informing you how much British society had changed and how little Britain is respected in the World. This is because of the behaviour of a large section of the British public when they are abroad, who have bad manners and treat others with little respect. There is nothing deep and meaningful behind these riots, though many would like to believe there is. I have lived in fear of anti social behaviour for a very long time, and can tell you that these young people take joy from tormenting decent people. The elderly are a particular target for them, as they have little means of protecting themselves. These children have little conscience about their actions, as they have never been taught right from wrong. The Police can do very little to help, therefore most people deal with the problem by staying in their homes and hoping that they will not be the latest target. The damage done, when you are the target, is just accepted as the Police are no longer an option. Stealing is no longer seen as a sin in Britain by these youths, as they believe they should have what you have without working for it. A sense of entitlement has grown up in young people these days, that Government should provide all their needs, without any effort on their part. Parents of these youths do not care, as long as they are not bothering them. In fact I can tell you from my own experience, that some parents have expressed the thought, that they have lost control of their children and actually live in fear of them. The reasons are simple lack of discipline in the classroom and the home, poor parenting, lack of punishment for crimes, accepting anti social behaviour without any redress, poor role models in society, lack of respect for authority and Governments which consistantly take the power away from decent hard working people and give it to those who represent the feckless in society. What is the point of working hard on low incomes and doing the right thing, when others gain more in our society by being just the opposite.

    There is no real poverty in Britain, not as other Countries would know it, and certainly not as many elderly people in our society knew it, so this is just an excuse. There is a form of poverty which poor Government policy, parenting, education etc have brought about, the poverty of aspiration to do better. Of course the Human Rights Act, in its present form, has exacerbated the problems, as undesirables in our society are protected.

    The truth is very unpalatable to some, because they would like to believe that even more liberal values is the way forward. In fact the heavy hand of Government should now fall on certain sections of the public, in an attempt to pull society back from the brink.

    Even if jobs were available to a lot of these young people that engaged in the riots, they would have neither the skills nor the work ethic to take them up, due to years of poor education and lack of good examples set by parents.

    There are hard economic times ahead, but there are opportunities for Government too, to stop this sense of entitlement in British society that Government should provide, and I want what you have, but are not prepared to work for it culture.

    To solve the immediate problems of the riots, the only answer would be to bring the army in if we have any available. The Police just cannot contain the problem as the army would be able to do.

    I think of the people of Japan who had a real tragedy to deal with, and the simple dignity with which they conducted themselves. Some lost everything, but there were no riots or looting from others. The British youths have no such problems, yet they believe they have the right to steal from others and riot, for no real reason at all, other than the joy that anarchy and hurting others brings them.

  58. lojolondon
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Simples.
    We send our police out to control violent hooligans, and we prevent them from taking any real meaningful action. And the media is ALWAYS on the side of the yob.
    In the USA, the police are armed, and allowed to shoot to defend themselves. And the media is almost always on the side of the police.
    I saw a telling comment – they break into shops and steal trainers and TV’s but no break-in at the job centre!!

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Why would anyone break into the job centre, it doesn’t have any money or anything worth stealing?

      • APL
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: [jobcentre] “doesn’t have any money or anything worth stealing?”

        Yep, not even jobs.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Are the rumours true that ‘they’ haven’t broken into bookshops?

      [I’m hoping that if this is the case it is respect for the written word].

      • APL
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Caterpillar: “Are the rumours true ..”

        If it doesn’t have an on/off switch it is of no interest.

  59. Phoenix One UK
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    I just recently retired from fighting to get the British people an EU in/out referendum, something I had been doing since 1997. Hence, this is not the usual place people will find me making a comment.

    I noted the riots largely involve the younger generation, a lost and forgotten generation by governments past and present. They are angry, and I believe what we are witnessing is one area where they are venting their anger. I, for one, feel sorry for them. After all, it is the younger generation that has been the hardest hit in recent times.

    May I suggest you visit the site “Youth Fight for Jobs” at http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/about

    I do not condone the riots, and I believe most people – including many young peope – share that view. However, in saying that, I believe it will get worst. Curfews are not the answer, as it will only agravate the problem. As it is many young people have had police break up groups of young people, and this has been happenig long before these riots started.

    Our young people are our future. Something the government appears to have forgotten. I really advise you visit the given link.

    Regards

    Phoenix One UK

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      The ‘youth’ live in one of the richest cities in the world at the richest time in human history. Discrimination is now illegal. You cannot seriously say these work-shy bums could not get a job, even today, if they made any effort at all. Looting is simply easier.

      Reply: According to a BBC Report today those facing charges in court for looting were typically in their 20s and in employment, often quite good employment.

      • rose
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        As with football hooligans when they are analysed. The most defining feature of these looters and arsonists is that they are male. After decades of peace and plenty there is too much male energy not being constructively channelled.

  60. APL
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    JR: “I invite all who are interested in this topic to write in about what you think has caused them ..”

    A politician asks for the opinion of his constituents. Really, that must be a first. Well done.

    Now go and persuade David Cameron, Ken Clarke and all the other progressive lefties to do the same.

    The problem? Welfare and Political Correctness and it from the look of the television screens immigration.

    All three have been promoted by the political elite none of whome live in the areas that are being torched, the pols moved out of there PDQ. The politicians are responsible for this crisis.

  61. Richard Roney
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The multiculturalism policy has failed. There must now be a change of policy to full integration. The Government’s schools policy must be pursued as fast as possible – not something that will bring immediate results but something which will bring greater discipline and thus respect for authority. A change in policing is also required and if not Bill Bratton someone like him needs to be appointed Chief.

  62. Sue
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    So saddening.

    Perhaps not the entire cause, but our society has been led and funnelled down an increasingly permissive route this past 20 or 30 years. What happened to the respect for authority that was instilled into young people from a very early age? What happened to the consideration for neighbours and communities?

    We live in a time where from childhood we’re taught all about rights – but not about responsibilities. It’s all about Me, Me, Me. Much less about how I can contribute to the benefit of us.

    I look at the three main political parties and seriously, what’s the difference? There used to be one. Where did it go? There’s no sensible choice to make these days. A small number of very good men and women in all of the parties (like your good self!), but overall???

    And I’ve changed too! For the best part of my life you might have described me as a socialist ( though not politically active). In more recent days, I’d probably be described as a right wing fundamentalist, or something similar! (I’m just a regular person, but I mourn what we’ve lost. ) Last time round, for the first time in my life, I voted Conservative. I’m just not seeing it! I’m sure Mr Cameron is a closet Liberal Democrat or Labour Party supporter!!

    Still. At least I *was* privileged to have the vote. I do appreciate that. (Couldn’t get my neigbour to vote. Not even pleading on the sacrifices of women in earlier generations. She says that they’re all the same and nothing really changes…)

    I’m not sure what the answer is for us. But you know what I’ve observed? The more this nation has moved away from the JudeoChristian principles and values upon which we were founded, the more likely it is that these meaningless riots will occur. We just seem to have lost all sense of community, and personal responsibility.

  63. Martin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Much of inner London has always struck me as a bit of a tinderbox. Add to that even more disaffected youths, school holidays and despair at the present economic mess then stir in drug dealers/street gangs and up it all goes after a spark in Tottenham.

    The right has also been too uncritical of police spending. The surveillance database police state cost billions and was seen as so much scrap metal last night.

    A few years ago I was in Paris at the time the Queen was visiting. On the side streets near the city center the French Riot police were on stand by. They were equipped with evil looking dogs, machine guns etc. The riot police were not needed. Perhaps the Paris riot police could be borrowed under an EU mutual aid pact?

  64. uanime5
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    It’s little wonder there have been more riots; Cameron’s aloof attitude made the situation much worse. When he ignored the rioters they responded by increased their rioting to force him to recognise that there was a problem. The people are angry at the Government for courting the rich with tax breaks, such as removing the 50% tax limit; while punishing those on benefits, such as capping housing benefits which will force large numbers of people out of their homes.

    I noticed that many people are calling for welfare to be reduced for rioters. Don’t do this it will just make them more angry and more prone to riot. It would be far better if welfare was increased for everyone so that those in great poverty are moved to minor poverty, making them less resentful of everyone.

    I’d recommend against using the army as the rioters are looking for a fight and will attack anyone. Even worse if the army were to cause deaths it would result in an escalation in rioting. Instead I’d recommend a listening exercise where the Government tries to understand why people are so upset at the Government, then tries to fix these problems rather than ignoring them.

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Be honest, did you really think the looters and muggers looked upset?

    • Tom
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      And why should housing benefits not be capped at some level? Taxpayers pay for the benefits and are naturally angry when they see excessive rents being subsidised – or paid completely.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      [The 50% tax rate is still in place at the moment, and whilst the personal allowance has been increased the threshold for 40% has been dropped.]

      Whilst you recommed the government listens, do you think the rioters and thieves ought to listen as well?

  65. javelin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I can see a close parallel here between the Paris/French riots in 2005 and the London/UK riots.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_civil_unrest_in_France

    * Tension had been building amongst the juveniles in France in the summer
    * Triggered by the death of two teenagers under police custody committing crime
    * Riots started 27 October
    * Riots spread to other cities

    Then – the predictive stuff

    * 8th November Chirac declared a state of emergency
    * Emergency powers extended for 3 months
    * Rioting continued until the 20th November

    (para left out-ed)

  66. javelin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Just to follow up the paralles to the French riots

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Response_to_the_2005_civil_unrest_in_France

    * Sarkozy was interior minister
    * After 4th night Sarkozy declared a zero tolerance policy
    * 17 companies of riot police and 7 mobile squadrons of police in Paris
    * The left attacked Sarkozy as torching the youth as much as they torched a school
    * Muslim leaders tried to ban the riots but with no effect
    * High Court agrees state of emergeny is legal
    * Sarkozy goes onto become President

    • rose
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering last night if Sarkozy might be able to help us – with some water cannon for instance, as our mainland has apparently not got any.

  67. Mike McNamara
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I wrote to you last night about my total shock at the events unfolding on some of our UK streets.

    They say that ‘we reap what we sow’ and clearly there are many issues to be addressed around Jobs (or lack of them), Social deprivation, Policing policies etc. But, however disenfranchise people feel about ‘their lot’, there just does not seem to be any real justification for these sort of actions & appalling sights on our streets.

    People here are not dying of hunger as in East Africa, people here are not being killed by authoritarian regimes as in Libya or Syria, people here are not being blown up as in Afghanistan/ Iraq.

    I know that many people these days seem to demand ‘Respect’, but how much ‘respect’ did any of these mindless thugs show for other peoples properties?

    I don’t have a single answer to all the issues, but one major thing that struck me while watching the images over the last three days was how the police seemed so unprepared to deal with this. The time for Plastic Shields and Truncheons seems to have passed and more force was clearly called for to at least initially to clear the streets. Of course, the Police are damned if they do and damned in they don’t. But these events seem to me at least, to be exceptional circumstances.

    I don’t blame the police for any of this, sadly they can only do what they can do with the tools that they have and the management that they have ended up with. But as David Green a Director of Civitas said in a Telegraph article yesterday…

    “The present generation of police leaders gained promotion by mastering the art of talking about “issues around” racism or bearing down on hate crime “going forward”. Learning the management buzz words of the last few years has not produced leaders able to command men in a riot. The injuries sustained by officers show that we have plenty of men and women prepared to be brave when needed, but they are lions led by donkeys who listened a bit too intently to the sociology lectures about “hate crime” at Bramshill police college.”

    It’s right and proper that Parliament has been recalled and I would ask you as my MP to demand urgent immediate action to address these shocking events as well as a serious review of the underlying issues that may have contributed to them. You should also carry over my disgust at the lack of leadership shown by all at the top level in this current government. They have failed in my eyes to show any kind of feeling of understanding about how to deal with this and have left the UK looking an embarrassed mess.

  68. Tedgo
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I certainly do not condone violence but I think we will see a lot more of it in the future, and not just by youth. As JR points out the government really hasn’t started making the cuts yet, but from a youths perspective they have.

    The youth education maintenance allowance has been cut, the new arrangements are less generous, more complicated to obtain and will be available to far fewer youngsters.

    To go to University youngsters now need to sign up to a lot more dept.

    Many of the rioters have no intention of going into education, but they will hear about the new arrangements and see it as a grievance.

    Yet we have that pratt of a Mayor wanting to give himself and his friends another £15000+ per year by eliminating the 50% income tax band. We still have outrageous bankers bonuses. One could go on, we really need some leaders who get it.

    And its about time the police stopped shooting people who are not firing back, (once is -ed) too often and get away with it. We really need better selection and training of firearm officers.

  69. adam
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    This is a very serious problem.

    Its been brewing for some time, it doesnt help that politicians fight fake media wars like the war on terror instead of plunging themselves into solving the real difficult social issues.

    The street gangs are leading these revolts, they all own postcodes around london, and normally fight with each other but one thing they can unite against is the police.

    This is a challenge to law enforcement, they are saying we can do whatever we want, we own the city and we want the police out of our business.
    If you dont respond in a serious way, thats conceding defeat.

    The police have been shown up on nationwide broadcasts to be the joke everybody living here knows they are.
    If you want control of london back from organised crime, your going to have to do something

  70. fairweather
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    What about bringing back National Service?

    A friend who is a seventh day adventis says its all predicted in the Bible:
    Earthquakes,tunisamis, floods,drought, to say nothing of hedonism, the debt crisis,riots etc.

    I feel the Western world is bankrupt and it is just a matter of time……………..

    Perhaps this is really the beginning of the END

  71. C Baker
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Ther is more involved in this mayham than mindless violence and looting. To rip a cash machines out of bank walls serious criminal gangs and their equipment.

  72. pipesmoker
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I always suspected that Edward Heath sacked Enoch Powell for his views on this country’s membership of the Common Market rather than for his so called “Rivers of Blood” speech. Powell was the member of parliament for Wolverhampton South West, which had a high ethnic minority population and nearby Dudley had experienced two weeks of race riots in the early 1960’s, his speech was prophetic. They lasted two weeks.

    I was a young police officer there as mutual aid on the first night. Those arrested and convicted all received prison sentences of three or six months for offences nowhere as serious as those in the current riots. They were deterred a repeat performance?

    So today’s riots:

    Why not consider a total news blackout, ban on reporting the riots which only fuels them? I understand those involved are using something called Blackberry or whatever for communication, shut it down, the means has to be there as it would have been had this country been hit by a nuclear strike.

    We are stuck with multi culturalism, it’s not working but we should stop pandering to ethnic minorities and treat them exactly the same as the general population. The police should return to the days when they patrolled on their own and their only protection was a lump of wood in their pockets, talked to the public instead of between themselves, they cannot maintain law and order themselves and rely on the public being onside?

  73. sm
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh where to start?

    Initially we need to prevent arson as that seems most dangerous to me.

    Operationally the Fire Brigade need protection from Police or Military. Lives in immediate danger may need to be saved.

    We need intelligent and massive policing, to nip this in the bud as it seems to take a lot of police to arrest someone ‘Safely’.

    Get out of the EU.

    We need to stop mass immigration ( it has caused strains throughout society and public services) and start apprentices teaching real work skills for those who dont need or want an academic education. Building, maintenance, mechanical,electrical work. Perhaps even compulsory national service with opt outs.

    Outsourcing of work to poorer countries should be licensed to avoid races to the bottom. I’m afraid absent floating exchange rates similar with imports/exports.

    Do our regulators actually work to encourage fair competition?

    We need some direct work programs which are labour intensive and productive.

    We need an elite,leaders, parliament and government we can be proud of and respect… much more work needs to be done.We all have faults but we need much better leads. (Stop the me..me.. at the top.)

    Part of the problem though is parliament being on holiday for so long and not being accountable to the public when it is.

  74. Tom
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone say how many shops were torched or looted in London during the 1930s depression? No, I thought not.

  75. Robin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Of course we all know that nothing effective will be done!

    If the parliament and the socialists, led by the BBC, do not want the Police to enforce the law, what is the point of having laws even though they are accepted by the majority population?

    The question MPs should be discussing is, why should the hard working citizens of England who play be the rules and suffer unconscionable levels of taxation, continue working hard and playing by the rules???

  76. Ralph McHendry
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Criminal behaviour by groups of youths, which portended what’s happened large-scale over the last few nights, has been going on unchallenged and unpunished for so long that it’s hard to understand why so many people claim to be surprised about “the riots”. In the most part, the gangs get away with it, so it’s not difficult to understand why they think they’re above the law. When they do face justice, the retribution is derisory.
    In modern Britain, why take business risks or work hard when you can get by on a life of crime and benefits, with an army of apologists waiting to explain your criminality away?
    In a nutshell that’s the problem. The depressing thing is that it’s been patently obvious for years, and we’re still waiting for politicians with the integrity and courage to confront it.

  77. Iain Gill
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Sitting in one of the big cities involved listening to the sirens wizz past outside my hotel sure makes it all a bit too close to home

    My own view is that democracy has broken down, whatever we put on the ballot paper makes little difference to policies implemented, political candidates are far too similar and are unlikely to speak it like it is spoken in the pubs up and down the land

    There is NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER for much of the policies which get imposed on the people whichever of the main parties is in power

    And the worst 50 % of schools in this country are just turning out folk with no hope whatsoever

    Plus the lack of encouragement for the family unit, the lack of support for decent adult males who intervene to stop street thuggery amongst teenagers who are far too likely to end up getting nicked themselves

    Out of control immigration

    Giving money to the poor of the world in the name of “aid” when frankly our own poor need money desperately

    And out of touch media and political luvvies

    And so on and so on

    • APL
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill: “My own view is that democracy has broken down ..”

      Professional politicians are at the root of the problem.

      What that leads to is a bunch of people – MPs – talking among themselves and largely to themselves saying “What should we do about them!”

  78. DanielD
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but think that being convicted should be considered in the calculation of the universal credit and housing benefits for the household. It should count for all family members registered at an address. That would ensure that the whole family have a stake in the kids behaving. Kids will “earn” something by not being into crime.

  79. Winston's Black Dog
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid the cause is the political class and the police both of whom display arrogance and an intimidatory attitude towards ordinary people, particularly those who are inherently lawabiding and unlikely to turn violent, and fail to address their legitimate concerns.

    Alienated youngsters also see incompetent bankers, Health trust Executives etc cock up bigtime and receive hundreds of thousands of pounds as a reward!

    These youngsters have not been given any sort of moral base or discipline because of the liberal elite’s attack on Christianity and married two parent families over many years so react to Fred the Shred etc coining it for nothing by thinking whose the mug here? I’ll have some of that. However they can only acquire “some of that” by illegal means hence law and order breaks down and the reluctance to punish any criminals other than motorists properly adds another bit of incentive to the mix as far as they are concerned.

    Furthermore Government has given away control of our borders to the EU in order to rub our noses in diversity and those diverse elements gravitate to poor areas already riddled with unemployment.

    All that said people have a choice as to whether or not they break the law of the land.

  80. Quietzapple
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Criminality is an awful “word” presumably standing for “criminal acts” “criminal tendency”.

    With simpler words like “crime” and “criminal” available it is quite unneccessary.

    (unchecked ref deleted)

  81. Christi Ramsy
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Awesome, thanks!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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