Our food comes from Tesco

 

           Most of  us get our daily bread and milk from Tesco or Waitrose, Morrison, Asda or the Co-op. Just a few large chains provide most of our daily diet. Few people think of the organisation and activity that lies behind providing such a wide range of goods at competitive prices,  making sure it is all fresh and safe to eat daily.

          Small bunches of anarchists or violent criminals unchecked can break into a store and plunder it, or burn it down. If they do this, they can steal food and drink for a day or two, but that store will not be available to them a few days later. If the community is lucky the company will rebuild or repair, and restock. It will take time.  The local community meanwhile has to look elsewhere for its food supply. The community is damaged, jobs will be lost. Everyone is worse off.          

              Watching the tragic scenes last night in disbelief, it was obvious how fragile free enterprise and democracy are. They only work if the overwhelming majority accept they need to work. They only survive if those invested with authority to keep the peace and enforce the law do so with firmness and commonsense. Good policing, from the Home Secretary downwards, rests on a unique blend of authority and understanding. The authorities have to show that they have the power to prevent violence, to protect property and people, or to catch criminals promptly and deal with them in a way which deters others. To do that they need the goodwill, support and intelligence from the rest of us. Yobs, unruly children, and looting adventurers, can undermine the rest of us if unchecked. They are a problem for us all. The police have special duties and powers. The rest of the adult law abiding  community also has to contribute  by creating an atmosphere against violence, and co-operating with the police to intercept, prevent and deter.

                As I sit writing this in my  Westminster office I feel the need for Parliament to be in session. It is strange that I cannot table a question, hear a Statement from the Home Secretary, table a motion or discuss with colleagues what we should debate next week at such a time. The MPs I would normally want to hear on these huge topics are not around. The Tea Room, the source of so many important conversations,  is closed.

            The Euro crisis is worthy of the recall of Parliament. The lurch of world Stock markets, raising the spectre of slowdown or worse in the world economy is worthy of Parliament meeting.The state of the streets in the UK requires debate and action. If any one of these three needs Parliament, the coincidence of them together surely means Parliament should be back in business?

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109 Comments

  1. Chris
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    These riots were inevitable, with the country being in the state that it is, and it will only escalate. People I know on other Internet forums have been predicting trouble like this for the past two or three years.
    Yes we are very dependent…..far TOO dependent….on a few superstores. Those of us in rural areas are a bit more fortunate in being able to grow our own food, but most of us still can’t “grow” our own meat, cereals or tins of baked beans.

    People will now demand more and more restrictions and heavyweight policing in order to contain the riots and, unfortunately, I fear that the next more draconian steps….curfews and possibly martial law in some areas…..might not be far round the corner.
    These riots are only the start. It is part of the meltdown that has been predicted. Sorry to sound dismal, but I don’t think we’ve seen half of it yet.

  2. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I agree, Parliament should be recalled.

    • Ross J Warren
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Seems that D.C. agrees as well. But it must be more than one MP after another condemning the Rioting. Frankly only a very small minority could possibly think otherwise. In many respects I am more worried about the stock markets. than these Riots, which are mostly the result of opportunistic criminality.

      • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Is the Government going to extend financial help to some of the smaller Businesses – family run Shops etc, by way of a Business Rate Holiday inorder to allow these Businesses to rebuild and return to the High Street?

        Many were left to fend for themselves against these hooligans as the Police were unable to help due to being completely outnumbered.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes it should be recalled and it should discuss the restoration of its powers, self government, the EU referendum and restoration of democracy to the UK andgetting out of the pointless wars so parliament can actually govern and start to sort these problems (financial and criminal looting out).

      I do not think the EU will do it for us.

  3. Javelin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    So why not invite a few MPs down the chamber for a debate?

    • Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      They were probably to busy having one in the bar.

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

        J.R.

        How much is a pint in the H.O.C. bar these days ?

        What range of real ales do they have ?

        Reply: I do not buy pints there so I cannot help you.

  4. Helen
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Riots apart [and they will abate], it just shows how little we actually need the Parliamentarians. If anything, this demonstrates that they should be culled, by at least half. Taking into account the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh and NI Assemblies and the EU MPs, we have far too many of them feeding off the people.

    It would cut our debts massively if they were put out to graze, never to return. In fact, shut down the UK Parliament and give us an EP, so we can elect our own representatives and not have them foisted on us by the neighbours.

    The riots just show useless and ineffective our Parliament really is.

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    JR:”The state of the streets in the UK requires debate and action. ”

    No need for debate just take real action.

  6. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Yours sounds a lone voice in the wilderness, Mr R. You’re right about recalling Parliament.

    “”The rest of the adult law abiding community also has to contribute by creating an atmosphere against violence, and co-operating with the police to intercept, prevent and deter.”

    The truth is that the social class involved has such legal power vested in it that it behaves with virtual impunity for most of the time. The rest of the adult law-abiding community knows that it not only faces reprisals, but the full weight of a police service which operates with worrying neutrality and matey-ness when it comes to criminals over victims. The underclass has no fear of cushy prisons or deceptively short sentencing. In fact it knows full well that there are no prison spaces left and that it can go on rioting uninhibited.

    The authorities and government have totally lost control and the best they can hope for is that it all burns out. The worrying thing is that there seems to be no reason why it should burn out for some time yet. This is what we meant when we asked “What is it all coming to ?” but were pilloried for being too ‘Daily Mail’.

    Many of us moved from cities worried that such things would happen (myself included) but more so worried by the levels of casual violence and intimidation which seemed to get brushed under the carpet. That society has rubbed along in Britain up to this point is almost entirely as a result of the adaptation of the law-abiding citizen and the rank-and-file police – avoidance of confrontation, turning of blind eyes, avoiding eye contact altogether … avoidance of certain areas for fear of ‘being in da wrong place at da wrong time.’ as many a hapless police inspector is wont to state in a TV murder report.

    I rejoice that – despite almost deliberate provocation – our people have been bright enough and decent enough not to vote BNP. Please start crediting us with this. Please start shoving that up the Left and get defending us.

    What is needed, Mr R is strong and gutsy leadership from a proper Tory PM. Stop telling us it’s somehow our fault. Stop tip-toeing around issues because of Political Correctness. Stop being scared of Left wing lawyers and broadcasters – stop giving equal weighting to minority opinion because they happen to threaten violence and the majority don’t.

    Stand up for us for once. Start by repealing the Human Rights Act forthwith and ejecting any foreign nationals involved. That would at least show us you mean it.

    We’re watching. What is unfolding dwarfs the ’80s. This has the potential to become a crisis of massive proportions and many of us have seen it coming for a long while and warned about it.

    Scarman Mk II will be the death knell for the Tories.

  7. Paul H
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    With all due respect, in the face of an over-mighty executive and civil service that regards parliament as – at best – an irritation – and the EU, parliament is irrelevant.

  8. Gary
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    In our just-in-time economy there are only 3 days food supply in the stores. Disruptions in supply will quickly become catastrophic.

    There is no mystery that in times of plenty crime falls and vice-versa. (Some of -ed) Our youth have become an underclass. The credit collapse is only now really exposing the extent of this malaise. Already indebted, disaffected and with few job prospects they are stirring. They are also informed. They have unrestricted access to the raw unedited news. The first time ever that this has happened. A dangerous combination. This was encapsulated earlier in this post on this forum and it may be worth repeating :

    Vigilante teen
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Only a politician could be so complacent. 1 war is a war too many, and yet here you are talking about it like it’s a trip to the shops. We should follow Japan’s lead and turn our ministry of attack into a genuine ministry of defence. The only fight that really needs to happen at the moment is against the American empire that is holding the world hostage economically and militarily. When will we wake up as people and see the enemys of our freedom, values and livelihood are ignorant elite politicians like John redwood. The battle ground is the streets, the Internet and the ballot box, and we the people coul start by fighting for a ‘none of the above’ option on the ballot paper. This is supposed to be a democracy, a choice between to identical parties in all but name and logo colour once every 5 years is just fascism you can vote for. The global economy is collapsing, the worlds resources are being exhausted, over a billion of our fellow human beings go to bed hungry every single day, and the UK has deported all the assets and sectors it needs to be able to sustain itself and it’s people as our currency becomes increasingly worthless. In the midst of all of that this out of touch politician wants to try and spin out some rhetoric about war that he thinks might make him more popular with the sheeple? WAKE UP BRITIAN, BECAUSE MY GENERATION IS NOT TAKING THIS RUBBISH ANY LONGER. EXPECT US…..(edited)

    • R
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      What utter drivel! 6th form debating at its most rabid and ridiculous.
      It’s about time the ‘because we’re worth it’ generation of lazy ignoramuses grew up and took responsibility for their own lives. Empower our emasculated police to teach these scum a lesson. What a shambles!

  9. Javelin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I think it is highly probable that a default event will happen in the next few months. Bar the Germans, Dutch and French having a sudden wish to take on the debts of Southern Europe – a collapse will happen. The question then becomes how should we prepare for a collapse.

    I predict not one but many countries soverign debt will collapse at once. The only way I can see only one country collapsing is if the ECB throws Italy to the wolves and saves the PIGS. That will have an impact on German and French Banks – Mostly likely the ECB will bail out the PIGS and leave Germany and France to take the option on Italian Bonds. That would be in line with their current thinking – but would not be acceptable to German tax payers.

    So the question is whether the UK civil service is ready to negotiate with Europe in the heat of their battle? Presumably there are a large number of laws and regulations that cost us dear. For example the working time directive, Human Rights Act? All those Treaties. Should the civil service list in detail every regulation they wish a veto on or are they able to opt out of any regulation or Treaty of their choosing in an effort to “help” the EU survive?

    • Tedgo
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      There is no need to renegotiate on every individual EU law and regulation. A simple amendment to the appropriate treaty,-

      That from now on the UK Parliament and other like minded State Parliaments will, with regard to existing and future EU legislation, be free to accept it totally, reject it totally or cherry pick and modify to suit our needs.

      Such a change would be easy to sell to Eurosceptics, as Parliament would have the ultimate say over all legislation in this country. I am sure other EU countries would also welcome such a change for the same reason. Such an arrangement allows for a multi speed Europe.

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

    Mr. Redwood, the ordinary law-abiding public is powerless against unruly elements in the public. If they report crime or anti social behaviour to the Police they do very little, especially if the perpetrator is a young offender. If an attempt is made by a householder to protect his property it is more likely they will be arrested than those committing the crime. The law-abiding public know too well they may be stabbed, badly beaten or even killed should they try to interfere in crime that is being committed. We live in fear of these people. Furthermore, if these criminals do not get a long sentence, or get away with the crime altogether, which happens more often than not, they seek retribution against those who reported them. There is, therefore, very little the law-abiding public can do to help to prevent crime, because of the Police and our justice system.

    A recall of Parliament is now necessary, because not only are the riots doing damage to the economy but also to what is left of Britains reputation in the World. Mr. Cameron needs to show strong leadership to contain this crisis.

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Very well said!
      Our police have been let down by their senior officers or the “Politicians in Uniform” as I prefer to call them. Our police are far too constrained by political correctness, especially when dealing with certain groups within our society.
      We have put too much emphasis on rights, without setting out the responsibilities that go with those rights.
      I have heard many people attempting to analyse why these people are rioting, but I feel these so called experts are over analysing the whole situation; the people are rioting
      a) Because they can and
      b) Because they want the goods they see other having.

      I saw people making no attempt to hide their identity whilst walking off with goods and this shows what utter contempt some people have for the law.

      I am also concerned at the quality of the parents of these young people, especially given that one child of eleven was arrested; what are these parents thinking to let their off-spring out whilst there are riots going on? How would a child explain how they suddenly had a new wardrobe full of designer sport’s ware or a new phone or TV to their parents? I am sure that had we had large screen TVs when I was a young boy in my teens and I suddenly appeared with one, my parents, yes plural, would be asking questions as to how I got it.

      Personally, I saw no reason for our PM to break off from his holiday to deal with the rioting, these functions of our society are delegated to specialist bodies such as the Met Police, Mr Cameron will not be out in riot gear on the front line, this was just another example of government by shouty media. Our PM needs to worry less about image and presentation and concentrate on substance, otherwise we will never see a Conservative government again in this rapidly failing country of ours.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        This is an overestimation of the humanity of some of these people.

        We have created pockets where people are virtually uncivilised and unrestrained.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          No where is it being mentioned that lack of personal discipline is the cause of these riots. Lefties witter on about ‘deprivation’ – Conservatives use the ‘mindless thug’ sound bite.

          Mine was probably the last generation to be whacked at school and the first to see teachers being whacked.

          Now we have Lord of the Flies thirty years later.

          Terrifying.

          16000 cops on the streets of London ? It’ll need 160,000 cops on the streets to get this genie back in the bottle.

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

      Not just the ordinary law-abiding public –

      Last nights activities really kicked off when the footage of looting going on unchecked by police activity were broadcast.

      Why no police activity, well they were worried about being prosecuted as well, not to mention the spectre of “institutional racism” floating around.

      Where the bloody hell does that leave society?

      • Liz
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        24 hours live news has a lot to answer for in this situation – Sky and BBC should voluntarily stop as it is just encouraging copy cat “let’s join” in behaviour.It has undoubtedly lead to the escalation of looting and arson in other areas and towns. The other point is that they are not afraid of “the full force of British Justice” as Mr. Cameron has said. In the unlikely event of them being caught and being brought to justice ; what will happen? Many of them will be fined – the fines will not be collected; some will be put on probabtion but no penalty will ensue if this is not completed. A few may go to prison for on the face of a long time but the sentance will in effect be half of what an over liberal judiciary sets down. All 19 year olds and under will be called “children. The public has no confidence in the law of the land being properly enforced and the looters and vandals know it. Youth unemployment has not helped either

  11. Bill
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I’m shocked, saddened and feel shame at the rioting, looting and arson that is taking place and is beamed around the world.
    There’s probably more damage being done to London than to Tripoli.

    I think there is a case for parliament to be recalled.

    If the arsonists are apprehended I hope that they can be charged with offences that, should they be convicted, carry very heavy penalties. Their action could have, or may have caused loss of life.

  12. lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Perhaps events will show how weak parliament now is to do anything now we are largely ruled by EU bureaucrats.

    With this pathetic government in place I rather suspect it will all be used by them and the BBC as an excuse for yet more government “action”. Not the 50% cut in the state sector that is actually needed to allow real, productive and competitive long term jobs be created.

    • Simon
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Riot’s like this are an absolute gift to control structures and a great excuse for awarding themselves emergency powers .

      The police did really well out of the miners strike . Expect a u-turn from Cast-Iron on cuts to the police force .

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      No matter how many times you call for a 50% cut in the state sector it won’t fix anything and will make the problems much worse. Fewer jobs mean more families where no one works and more youth unemployment. This leads to more welfare dependence and a greater chance of rioting.

      Also if the private sector could create longs it would have already done so.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense it is the size of the, largely non productive, state sector and the endless transfers of wealth from the productive to the feckless that render the private sector unable to compete. Set it free and the jobs will come.

        Paying people to do nothing useful (or often rather worse than useless) is not likely to help.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          ‘And the job will come’ Of course only paying the rate the (fixed) market allows. People fighting for crumbs as their health fails and are thrown out of their homes. The job is productive to the person with the job and to society benefiting from his work and money.
          Huge swathes of the population skint and on the dole? Do you seriously think they will just roll over when they have no money for food, accommodation and health as you hope the private sector will fill the gap which all evidence shows is impossible? The London riots would be like a childrens party.
          What makes you so immune anyway? Rich and living abroad? Says it all. Or just a sad teen fantasist waiting for his mum to bring him his computer snack?

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            Yes jobs will come (if the state just gets out of the way) and workers will get the market rate which will rise as more jobs become available and the workers have more choice of which jobs to take.

          • Bazman
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            To simplistic. Even when the economy was in full swing their was areas of high unemployment and the areas of low unemployment were and are to expensive for the workforce required to live or to far to commute. There can only be so many Tesco and cleaning jobs. There maybe enough jobs, but not what people are capable of or needing certain skills.Then what? There will never be to many jobs that everyone can do and to little workforce. Fantasy. Should the workforce just lower their rates to nothing. Not possible and why should they. To survive working in business for nothing? If this is the case the business is not viable. Any business could survive if labour was cheap enough. We have covered why the East Europeans took the jobs in these areas so no need to mention them.

  13. Matt
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I would like an announcement that arsonists, will be stopped – with whatever means that it takes.

    If a hooligan is caught waving a firearm they would be liable to be shot.

    The same hooligan carrying a can of petrol and matches could kill a great number of people.

  14. norman
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    It’ll take more than a few riots to burst the Westminster bubble.

    Can you imagine if MPs had to be recalled from their holidays – unthinkable! And who would pay for the cancellations?

    • Paul H
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Given the approach of some MPs to their expense allowances, we probably paid for the holidays in the first place!

  15. Simon
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The Govt needs to send out a message that the law applies to everyone .

    Locking up a few MP’s for fiddling expenses is a start but what these looters are doing is little different to what corporate terrorists have done on a much larger scale .

    I don’t see any of the perpetrators of the “financial crisis” who have defrauded taxpayers and consigned their children to debt slavery in gaol .

    – relaxing laws to allow TNC ‘s to bring in cheap labour from abroad
    – refusing to set up a universal pension which would operate for the benefit of it’s members in order to force them to hand over their hard earned to the financial services industry
    – allowing the energy suppliers carte blanche to rip people off
    – giving immigrants priority over British Citizens
    – unaffordable housing completely disenfranchising the young
    – acting in the interests of big business rather than the people who elected you
    – committing treason by giving away our sovereignty to the EU

    All these things add up and provide extremists groups with fertile soil to get a foothold .

    We have made our own soup .

    • Simon
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      PS

      Can you name :-

      – one person prosecuted for their part in the financial crisis ?

      – one company prosecuted for abusing the ICT visa scheme (ie using it as it was designed to be used) ?

      My point is that the law needs to be seen to apply and be applied to everyone .

      • zorro
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        ‘one company prosecuted for abusing the ICT visa scheme (ie using it as it was designed to be used) ?’……I am pretty sure that wouldn’t take long to calculate if the question was to be asked….

        zorro

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      By “perpetrators of the “financial crisis” who have defrauded taxpayers” I assume you mean Blair, Brown and the bank regulators.

      • Bazman
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        The banks being not to blame by omission from this post?

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          Some parts of the banks risk management were indeed to blame also – but mainly it is the governments regulation of bank stability, the accounting and liquidity rules and the Blair Brown policy of 3 terms of tax and waste.

          • Bazman
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            You and the likes of you screamed blue murder when any regulation of the banking system was tried to be imposed. Self levelling, market knows best. Just like you say in all of your posts. An all out financial race to the bottom and bust.

    • norman
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree – politicians and the police have lost the respect of vast swathes of the population, from the ‘feral youths’ on display in the riots to ordinary middle class joe’s like me who see a cosy circle of crony capitalists / MPs scratching each others backs and growing fat off my labour whilst my children are being lumbered with tens of thousands of pounds of debt so that these same politicians can create a society that is the antithesis of the civil society that our forebears created here.

      • zorro
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        concise and very much to the point….

        zorro

  16. Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I agree that the combination of riots and financial crises means that Parliament should be recalled but why do you champion Tesco, Waitrose, Morrison, Asda or the Co-op as central to the local community?

    Of all the horrific things that have happened in London the only positive thing I’ve seen to come out of it is that in Holloway last night, as Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose closed the smaller businesses got a massive boost. The independent food shops’ produce is just as safe to eat and fresh and by shopping there people are supporting small, local business, not multi-national corporates.

    Also, hasn’t the Government just hired Mary Portas to do something about the fact that supermarkets are killing our high streets?

    Reply: The main food retailers do a great job supplying our daily food. People do not have to use them, but choose to do so.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      This country couldn’t function without them, in fact.

      Interesting that the great part of their success is due to the provision of parking for personal transport. Totally at odds with what councillors say (and do) about retailers in towns.

      How can the policy of promoting the out-of-town supermarket giants be reconciled with punitive taxation on cars ? Do the politicians want us off the road or not ?

      Yet again – I think it’s the socialist (welfare) state at work here. Reaping taxes where it can to prop up government agencies which supply us with …

      …feral rioters.

  17. Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I fully agree with you.
    If the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mayor of London, Uncle Tom Cobley and all are expected by the public and media to return from their holidays, it is equally important that all MPs return and Parliament sits to discuss both the riots and the European financial situation.

    The only disadvantage of this is that the opposition will not doubt follow Ken Livingstone’s lead, and blame the riots on the “government cuts”, and that there will be no serious discussion of the issues.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Given that the cuts affect the rioters and will make their lives worse is it any wonder that it’s impossible to look at why the riots occurred without mentioning the cuts.

      • Norman Dee
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Stop going on about cuts and trying to blame the present government, they haven’t had time to create this kind of reaction. The rioters have however had 13 years of Labours deviated education regime to practise their demands for “everything for nothing”, and receive no education at all.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          ‘Everything for nothing’ Norm? Hmmm I wonder where the middle class social security system and its role in education fits into your thinking? How about we pull that rug out from under them?
          Can’t deny it is happening under a Tory government which you would no doubt be shouting the point from the rooftops had this happened under a labour one.

          • Norman Dee
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

            Sorry Bazman but you have confused me somewhat, I am shouting about the labour Government this kids were brought up under the labour government, yes it is happening under a conservative government, but they are suffering the hangover from a 13 year piss up at our expense.

  18. peter davies
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think it might be wise to point out to Mr Cameron and Mr Fox that cutting army numbers over the next few years probably isn’t a wise move. Based on events last night if this is going to be a pattern of things to come, the police were totally overwhelmed so you either increase police numbers or retain a credible insurance policy.

    (comment removed-ed)

  19. oldtimer
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The Civil Contingencies Act provides, I believe, every conceivable power that ministers need to deal with the mayhem on the streets. If they decide they need to invoke these powers then I certainly think that they should recall Parliament and, probably, seek the endorsement of the House of Commons. After all they have said they will do so before going to war and they now apparently face war on the streets.

    • Ross J Warren
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      This is not an insurrection, just a well organised outbreak of criminality.

      • oldtimer
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Paragraph 1 of the Act
        1Meaning of “emergency”
        (1)In this Part “emergency” means—.
        (a)an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom,.
        (b)an event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom, or.
        (c)war, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom..
        (2)For the purposes of subsection (1)
        (a) an event or situation threatens damage to human welfare only if it involves, causes or may cause—.
        (a)loss of human life,.
        (b)human illness or injury,.
        (c)homelessness,.
        (d)damage to property,.
        (e)disruption of a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel,.
        (f)disruption of a system of communication,.
        (g)disruption of facilities for transport, or.
        (h)disruption of services relating to health..
        (3)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) an event or situation threatens damage to the environment only if it involves, causes or may cause—.
        (a)contamination of land, water or air with biological, chemical or radio-active matter, or.
        (b)disruption or destruction of plant life or animal life..
        (4)A Minister of the Crown, or, in relation to Scotland, the Scottish Ministers, may by order—.
        (a)provide that a specified event or situation, or class of event or situation, is to be treated as falling, or as not falling, within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1);.
        (b)amend subsection (2) so as to provide that in so far as an event or situation involves or causes disruption of a specified supply, system, facility or service—.
        (i)it is to be treated as threatening damage to human welfare, or.
        (ii)it is no longer to be treated as threatening damage to human welfare..
        (5)The event or situation mentioned in subsection (1) may occur or be inside or outside the United Kingdom.

        Recent events appear, to me at least, to fit the definition of “emergency” as defined by the Act.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      As I recall off the cuff, that Act lays down time limits for emergency powers assumed by ministers without an order being approved by Parliament, and also provisions about recalling Parliament to get approval.

      • oldtimer
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        From the Act:
        27 Parliamentary scrutiny
        (1) Where emergency regulations are made—
        (a) a senior Minister of the Crown shall as soon as is reasonably practicable
        lay the regulations before Parliament, and
        (b) the regulations shall lapse at the end of the period of seven days
        beginning with the date of laying unless during that period each House
        of Parliament passes a resolution approving them.

        Recalling the House of Commons on Thursday leaves open the option of declaring an emergency under the Act if putting 16000 police on the streets of London tonight does not work as hoped.

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree that the main food retailers, and others, have established stunning supply chains (despite planning restrictions) and the country has benefitted enormously from this. Equally efficeint supply chains will remain in an evolutionary battle against systemic risks, and robustness will always be an area of development.

    The concern I would have is that anyone with a SCM/logistics knowledge cannot be anything but impressed and inspired, but this group is in a small minority. I guess the majority are oblivious to the greatness of civilization and in terms of apirational symbols that require a longterm confidence the UK only seems to have HS2 and nuclear build, and many just simply criticise these. In Lord Kenneth Clarks lates 60’s ‘Civilization’ series he identified that civilizations get tired and lose confidence, bringing themselves down. One only has to observe the present and read Gaey’s post on here to this as a real danger. It can be very difficult to see what ‘we’ have though all the poliitcal and pressure group criticisms but we have running water, sewers, education, healthcare … ‘we’ take for granted rather than celebrate that which has been provided by previous greatness and then criticide, lose confidence and potentially lose all.

  21. Bill McCartney
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    In Manchester Moss Side this type of rioting was dealt very quickly and effectively by the then Chief Constable James Anderton announcing that Police would be cruising around the area in police vans and cars and arresting any groups or gatherings of more than 4 people. This actually happened and within 24 hours the problem was contained.

    • Andy
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      There I was thinking that a crime should be comitted before somone is arrested. Will they be arresting the folks leaving the churches / mosques at the end or worship?

      I don’t want to live in a society where groups of people can get arrested just because there are more than four of them.

      I am always astounded about how quickly people want to give up hard won freedoms, a couple of days of “riots” and Bill wants us to have a police state.

      Although I suspect that what Bill actually wants is for “dodgy” looking groups (examples removed -ed) to be arrested.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        Maybe you wouldn’tbe so blase if it was your business being looted and your home burnt to the ground.

      • Andy
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        I do not accept that I am being blasé.

        If people are committing crimes then arrest, detain and charge, convict and punish them harshly.

        A blanket instruction to arrest all groups of more than 4 people is clearly ridiculous and unworkable (Unless, as mentioned in the removed part of my comment above, the commenter actually only wants the proposal to apply certain groups of people)

  22. Damien
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    As a casual observer I noticed that these riots took place in areas where vast amounts of public money had been invested in the local environment, shopping precincts. Peckham and Brixton are unrecognisable from what they were 10 years ago, ditto Birmingham and Croydon. The youths looting and rioting were fit and healthy , no doubt recipients of our generous welfare state enjoying housing benefits and the like. I very much doubt that any hard working person would have the time or energy nor inclination to participate in such wanton thuggery. We not have an underclass who look on the state to finance their work-less lifestyle which they then ‘top-up’ with proceeds of crime.

    We now have a new generation of leaders who believe their holidays abroad are uninterruptible no matter how bad the situation is deteriorating at home. Worse we have a Parliament that remains in recess for months while the country slips back into recession and riots and fear spread throughout major cities. The scenes are being screened live on worldwide networks.

    Do our leaders really think that they can no longer make a difference and so they may as well all stay on holiday or that ‘staying in touch’ by blackberry and phone from abroad is the same as reporting in person to Parliament?

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Then the solution is simple, create more jobs so people can get off benefits and into work.

      • Damien
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        We are told 2.5 million jobs were created by the last government and these were all filled by Polish and other hardworking Europeans while the local long term work-shy remained cosseted in the comfort of the welfare state. Taxpayers now have a insurance and policing bill for this mayhem that will run into the many millions. I would recommend all welfare benefits limited to 5 years claims in a lifetime and 2 years in any one period maximum. All council tenancies should be reviewed yearly and anyone remaining on benefits in council housing for more than two years should be required to move out.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          What would happen to them after this or more importantly their children? Your plan like many people on this site is to cause a race to the bottom and make desperate people more desperate whilst thinking that some good will come out of it. Let the same rules apply to you and circumstances overtake you and it will all look very different.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        London is the largest urban economy in Europe. It has far more opportunities than the rest of the UK. There are no excuses for young people in London.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Government do not create jobs they just destroy them they need to get out of the way and the jobs will come.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          A monkey could get a job in London, so why are there so many unemployed? Not enough jobs? Not true.

  23. Edward.
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    “What we are seeing, in the sluggish and unprepared reaction of the police and political class to these events, compounded by their serial failure to grasp from previous such disturbances just what is going on here, is a catastrophic combination of professional inertia and incompetence, serial eyes off the ball, paralysing political correctness, an apparent reluctance to identify, name and deal with subversive activity, a capital’s police force in systemic disarray, a criminal justice system that has become an insulting joke, a refusal from the top to draw clear lines in the sand and to exercise moral and political leadership, a pandering instead to mob rule, tyro politicians who have never had a grown-up job and couldn’t run the proverbial whelk-stall let alone get a grip on a culture teetering on the edge of the cliff, a third-rate civil service machine that no longer can be relied on to keep the show on the road, a culture of narcissistic selfishness on an epic scale and a general breakdown in education, morality and elementary codes of civilised behaviour, much of it deliberately willed on for the past three decades by a grossly irresponsible and politically motivated intelligentsia that set out to smash the west.”

    http://melaniephillips.com/london-descends-into-anarchy

    Politicians and the Frankfurt school ethos, the media and BBC with it, are all responsible, Phillips is so right.

  24. Viv Evans
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    “The rest of the adult law abiding community also has to contribute by creating an atmosphere against violence, and co-operating with the police to intercept, prevent and deter.”

    Sorry – but the ‘adult, law abiding community’ has been told for some years now that they must not interfere with unruly young thugs, not even defending themselves.
    We’re all aware of law abiding adults being prosecuted for daring to do just that.
    We’re also aware that calling the police to deal with these young thugs has availed nothing – the police doesn’t turn up, because these thugs are ‘just kids’.
    If they actually do turn up, after weeks of misery for the adult community, these little criminals get an asbo, which is a badge of honour for them.

    If you want to change the way bot the police and the society at large deals with these young and older criminals, then change the way the police reacts; change the way adults who would deal with thugs are treated by the courts – and above all change the way youth workers and social workers in those communities address these youths. Telling them repeatedly they are victims and their thuggery isn’t really as bad as what the bankers did is precisely what lead to these crimes across London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool.

  25. Derek Buxton
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Just heard on the 13.00 hrs. news that Parliament has been recalled. Whether that matters only time will tell, it hasn’t done much for the People of late.
    As to the police “service”, service is one thing it ain’t, it is now highly politicised, the rules laid down by Sir Robert Peel have been scrapped just like our Constitution. We shall get more obtrusive laws which will be used, not to stop riots but to criminalise the law abiding, indigenous population. As in a beneficial crisis….EU speak!

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

      No institution has done more to enforce and further Political Correctness than the Met Police.

      Now we’re all scared of standing up to wayward ‘youth’ – not merely because of their physicality and mercilessness towards their victims, but because Met police officers treat them with something approaching reverence.

  26. LJHills
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Please tell the political classes that if individuals and their property are not protected the social contract is broken. The NHS, welfare state, their salaries are add ons to the basic agreement that we will pay taxes if they protect us.

  27. Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The most unintentionally telling remark I heard on the BBC last night was a reporter saying that where she had been there were 200 police, with horses and dogs but at the other end of the street was a mob of 50 looting.

    These are not dense crowds of politically motivated people they are relatively small groups of looters. Total arrests up to last night were 200 but only 36 of them had been charged. Now it is 400 arrests.

    London has 32,000 police. The looters probably number little more than a thousand.

    My estimate is that a platoon of baton and shield wielding police (about 40) could disperse a thousand such rioters if allowed to.

    They are not allowed to. These riots are not the mob showing their power they are the political establishment creating a policing vacuum into which a small group of looters have moved.

    (Unproven generalisation about who the looters are removed-ed)
    Napoleon came to power because the politicians in charge showed they were scared of the Paris mob, a much more fearsome group, precisely because they were civilised and politically motivated. He dispersed them with a whiff of grapeshot and the people, perhaps rightly, chose competent authoritarian rule to that of incompetent politicians.

    The collapse of popular governments into disorder and their replacement with strong authority is one of the repeated cycles of history. If it happens again our political class, whose economic & Luddite incompetence I have repeatedly railed against will have nobody to blame but themselves.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I doubt that 40 police officers could defeat 1,000 looters. You’d need at least 4,000 police officers to do that (superior numbers are a major advantage).

      • Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        This has been done many times. A well armed and armoured & disciplined force can take on odds like that easily. This is roughly the odds Alexander had at Arbela. On top of that it is obvious the looters not only are not as comparitively well armed and disciplined as in that case but have no intention of standing and fighting – they would rather run as fast as is possible while carrying a looted TV set.

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

        uanime5, 4,000 police to disperse 1,000 looters!! You wouldn’t need anywhere near that number. Riot control police with vehicles, horses and dogs trained to work as a unit can easily disperse many multiples of uncoordinated thieves/unruly teenagers/chancers (which is what these people were). The threat of Turks in Dalston was enough to put these thieves off. If they are challenged, they scarper….They weren’t challenged, hence the didn’t scarper….To quote Napoleon, a ‘whiff of grapeshot’ was required (or a suitably updated analogy)

        Neil is correct, the police were not allowed to charge…for whatever reason.

        zorro

  28. uanime5
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s no surprise that the young have responded to the constant attacks by the Government with violence. Youth unemployment, the high cost of higher education, cuts to benefits, and cuts to youth programs; is it any wonder why the young are so angry. Given that MPs can be elected on 30% of the votes and the Government is more interested in giving tax cuts to the rich is it any wonder why the young as so disillusioned.

    All political parties have been failing the young for generations so now the young have stood up and said that enough is enough. If the Government does not start addressing the grievances of the young then future riots will be inevitable.

    Reply: Some of the scenes are of people who own cars and blackberries stealing goods they fancy – not dispossessed politically motivated young people.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      People like you are the problem, with your constant excuses for and provocation of violence and insurrection to further your political and social ideology. You are a tiny minority. However, through stealth you have infested the MSM and politics. Time for the quiet majority to stand up and be counted.

  29. Jeremy Poynton
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The much reviled “Mad” Mel Phillips has it spot on, it seems to me

    What we are seeing, in the sluggish and unprepared reaction of the police
    and political class to these events, compounded by their serial failure to
    grasp from previous such disturbances just what is going on here, is a
    catastrophic combination of professional inertia and incompetence, serial
    eyes off the ball, paralysing political correctness, an apparent
    reluctance to identify, name and deal with subversive activity, a capital’s
    police force in systemic disarray, a criminal justice system that has
    become an insulting joke, a refusal from the top to draw clear lines in
    the sand and to exercise moral and political leadership, a pandering instead
    to mob rule, tyro politicians who have never had a grown-up job and couldn’t
    run the proverbial whelk-stall let alone get a grip on a culture teetering
    on the edge of the cliff, a third-rate civil service machine that no longer
    can be relied on to keep the show on the road, a culture of narcissistic
    selfishness on an epic scale and a general breakdown in education, morality
    and elementary codes of civilised behaviour, much of it deliberately willed
    on for the past three decades by a grossly irresponsible and politically
    motivated intelligentsia that set out to smash the West.

    Discuss.

  30. Javelin
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve posted 2 “realistic” future visions of the Euro. These are political fudges made in moments of crisis – as a reaction to crisis – rather than a planned and controlled rescue – which I dont believe politicians are capable of.

    1) The first based on a suggestion by John where countries default and re-denominate their currencies in bank accounts and rely on tiny images on their Euro currencies until real tender gets published. A comic disintegration.

    2) The second is the ECB and stablity fund bailing out the PIGS and throwing Italy to the wolves – leaving the Franco-German politicians and banks to face collapse or bail out Italy. A heroic failure.

    3) So I have a third scenario. The triple dip recession. The triple dip is based on the consequences of handling of the double dip. Every action has an opposite re-action. This scenario assumes that the Euro commits tax payers to bailing out southern Europe – as they are doing, whether or not they succeed. In this scenario the US and EU Governments will face rising interest rates as the EU and US goes into recession cutting Government spending and lenders see the FED deflating their way out of the crisis. This will push the US and Euro zone into recession and lenders will drive up lending rates by not believing both Governments can fund their debts with taxes. This will have the impact of pushing interest rates up in Europe. French banks, Italian Banks, the Italian Government and UK housing sector hardest. The more this goes on the more I see parallels with the Great Depression with its repeating bear traps.

    • Gary
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I wish the so-called leaders had read the history of the Great Depression.

      They would soon see that Hoover tried the equivalent of many QEs, and as we know they failed. The reason they failed is because they were underwriting the credit bubble, instead of removing it. Credit oversupply caused the problem, and more of the same in the form of QE absolutely CANNOT solve the problem.

      Each subsequent QE had less effect that the previous one. Pushing on a string. When you oversupply credit and drive rates low, outside of the free market, you mask where there are true shortages and economic investment opportunities. Malinvestments are made predominantly ie investments that do not grow GDP. When you have grown the money supply by making loans without growing GDP you are inflating , by definition. This continues until it debt saturation and then the collapse.

      We will get QE3 and it won’t help.It will makes things worse.

    • Simon
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      A bit O/T but regarding your assertion that CD’Swaps are not insurance (at least not synthetic ones) , do you know whether any of the banks which lent to the Pigs/Italy “over-insured” themselves against defaults ?

      If so then the banks would have no incentive to accept revised terms and scheduling of repayment as their primary interest would be in engineering default .

      Would look like a pretty unsophisticated attempt to defraud the taxpayer yet again wouldn’t it ?

  31. RDM
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with JR! There is not excuses!

    This should not be the opportunity we offer our young!

    But can I pose a question;

    Re: “They only work if the overwhelming majority accept they need to work”.

    Isn’t this the same old answer, and aren’t we then going to end up back at the same old problems?

    By restricting the available opportunities, or focusing on one particular opportunity – “the World of Work”, are we not going to end up missing large number of people, including the young? People who are, in some cases, not employable, or don’t want(like) the control placed on them, and will rebel what ever we do. Meaning the only people likely to employ them are themselves!

    Aren’t the real questions;

    – Are they equiped to take what ever opportunity life affords them?
    – Is being in a gang leading in the wrong direction, etc … So it’s also a cultural problem.
    – Etc …

    The point must be to break the cycle. There must be some of these people that could be successful, and so widen the horizons of the others around them. How do they build a life for themselves? The importent question must be how, if not self-employment and an Enterprize culture. Please don’t say Football or celebrity!

    – Where would these people get the collateral and support from?
    – Is the Banking system fit for purpose?

    Any ideas? Or we will end up with other Big Government and more lefties telling us what and when to live life!

  32. Norman Dee
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    The vast bulk of the rioters are of an age that they have been (or supposed to have been)at school over the last 14 years, “Education education education !” hows that going Mr Blair ?

    • wab
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      All UK governments have failed miserably to educate a wide swathe of young people. This started long before Blair and continues with Cameron and Gove and their own version of educational gimmicks. A lot of teenagers should not be educated in the traditional academic way but instead have extensive vocational training, which would make it much more likely for them to get a decent job (and they would not be endlessly bored at school). Unfortunately this alternative never really seems to be considered by the useless Oxford PPE graduates who run the country (although politicians utter Blair-like sound bites about vocational training now and again).

  33. Edward.
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    @Norman Dee,

    “Education education education !” intoned Bliar.

    A new code, may I suggest: Morality, Erudition, Discipline.

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

    What can we get away with and how long can we get away with it? Sound familiar? It should. Now you see the same thinking in many of the population particularity the young and fleet footed against the gangs of the government. (etc)

  35. Trimperley
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    A lot of businesses close to mine closed early today. Folks were shutting up from 1 pm onwards. Normally they close at 5 pm. Lots of rumours around town about what was going to happen. Sadly no briefing from the local council or police on the intelligence they had. I can see Mr Osborne blaming the riots for the next quarter’s poor growth figures.

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

    The Police are going around asking people not to fight back,
    We can see whose side the police are on!!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/london-riots-fighting-neighbourhoods

  37. Voice of the past
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Three words:broken Britain

  38. uanime5
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    One more reason for looting has to do with our increasingly materialistic society. From an early age children are taught to want the latest products (electronics and clothes) and peer pressure reinforced this.

    For many who are poor this means a life of feeling like a failure because you can’t measure up to the life society tells you that you should be living. So when the opportunity to obtain everything you’ve ever wanted for free comes along it is any wonder why some people are stealing everything they’ve always wanted.

    I feel that the Government should examine ways to reduce advertising and the materialistic world view that has permeated our society so that people no longer feel like a failure because of what they don’t have.

  39. forthurst
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    “In other news, Qaddafi has just recognized the London rioters as the legitimate government of Britain!”

    (MR on WRH)

  40. Winston Smith
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    At least the aspiring white working-class and hard-working recent immigrants are making a stand. Large mobs of vigilantes have taken to the streets in Enfield, Eltham, Canning Town, New Addington, Southall, Stoke Newington….. They are protecting their areas from looters and arsonists. Guardian journalist, Paul Lewis, has described the vigilantes as “racist thugs”. This is the warped ideology of the Left that has so infiltrated the State and the Media. No wonder certain sections of society believe they can act with impunity.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Update: the vigilante groups in Enfield and Eltham have been broken up by the Police. Numerous riot vans came into the areas and the locals protecting their area were ‘kettled’ and then dispersed. The Labour MP for Eltham described the vigilantes as a “disgrace” on BBC News. I am not making this up.

      • Simon
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        So the police can still move quickly when they want to .

        Do you think this is in response to vigilantes doing their job for them or because they want to bracket themselves with the BBC and local MP ?

        • Winston Smith
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          No, its easier to bully law abiding citizens and unfashionable groups of people. Plus, State monopolies do not like competirion.

        • zorro
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          The police are a closed shop…They don’t like people stepping on their turf. It might ruin their monopoly.

  41. Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    The vast majority in Hackney, Manchester etc are not rioting.

    It’s scary the amount of damage a tiny monority can inflict.

    I think the government should concentrate on getting the policing right and not go over the top with sweeping policy changes when vast majority were not involved.

  42. Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    John please tell me WHY so much editing/moderating,I as you know call it CENSORSHIP
    I thought we have freedom of speech,what are the sites [not just yours] so scared of,you even edited Javelin

    etc etc

    Reply: I edit out any allegation that the looters belong to a particular group because I have no evidence that is true, and because such an allegation could be against the law. I have seen all sorts of people engaged in looting, which is confirmed by press reports of those being charged.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Are you watching the TV footage with your eyes closed? We all know the particular group that instigated and took part in much of this, we are cajoled into silence by the fascist left. This is why 30 years on from the last wave of looting and arson, we are back to the same position, except it far, far worse and more widespread. I hope its a wake up call for the left-leaning middle-classes who have gentrified many of the inner London areas and now experience the consequences of the policies that they supported , but I doubt it.

      Reply: I do not agree. I have seen a variety of people carrying out the looting – maybe the group they belong to is UK citizens.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Oh please!

        (objects to my removal of allegations about who is doing all this. We will know when enough have been charged and prosecuted and can then comment sensibly on it. ed)

      • forthurst
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        “seen” or have been shown? Have you ever noticed how at an event typically frequented by the English middle classes, the camera careens around the panorama until it finds that face in the crowd that tells the audience, “see, the’re just like us?”.

  43. Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Looks like it’s backed off a bit, but we can’t drop our guard. So far the (for all the talk of water cannons, rubber bullets and men with SA80’s) they haven’t even deployed their truncheons yet.

    Behind the mask a 16 stone copper whacks with his nightstick could be someones 15 yr old kid. The government have dealt with this well so far IMO.

    But, if they EVER start the arson again I’m all in favour of the police fighting back. Those of you who mock the police for inaction and health ans safety etc, better remember, a lot of these guy are 16 stone strongmen that will kill you with one blow of that stick!

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      A school teacher is not allowed to cane a child, so what do you think the chances of a fully kitted up Soldier (just back from Afghanistan) armed with an SA80 Assault Rifle is going to be allowed anyway near a Rioting 15 year old?

      He’ll have to resort to harsh language because his SA80 won’t have any bullets in it.

  44. Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    John you even edited/CENSORED out MOST of my complaint,especially my comment of what I personally saw in Croydon on monday night,and about my friend who is very senior in the police federation,and what the MOOD is inside of it.LOOK AT THE PICTURES IN THE MAIL of yesterday of the looters and make your own conclusions,THE CAMERA CANNOT LIE,YES (etc etc).GEORGE ORWELL was RIGHT in 1984 ,this country has the instinct to censor
    INBUILT maybe we even saw a mirror image in the man with a toothbrush moostache 70
    years ago [I exempt MR CHURCHILL from that]. GOD HELP US !!!!

    reply: I am not a believer in censorship, but I have no wish to spend time dealing with complaints that I am allowing unproven allegations on this site which are hurtful to others, or create tensions in communities.

  45. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    These rioters may have had genuine frustrations concerning the economy, but to attack their fellow citizens and local businesses who potentially could have offered them work, indicates that these people – of children in some cases, are completely out of control. The lack of discipline in our schools and reduction in real investment, instigated by do-gooder liberal idiots has now shown how weak our State Education System is. Bring back the Cane. If we don’t, we will see our own citizens having to be gunned down in the Streets by our own Army.

    The Police should not have to be put under this sort of stress due to mamby-pamby Liberal bleeding hearts saying that School Teachers should not hit children as a means of punishment. Let those same Liberal minded people walk down Croydon High Street at 1:00am with 12 year olds smashing windows and looting everything they can see.

    If I had done that sort of thing when I was 12, I would have got a hiding from the Police, My Parents and the School. Now they just claim GBH and get away with murder.

    “opportunistic criminality” – a phrase that could equally be applied to certain large Investment Banks in the US as well as rioters in the Streets of London.

  46. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I am glad to hear at least one of our MPs is active during this time of crisis.

    It is distressing to realise that a Small Business – when facing such violence, vandalism and theft – can not rely on sufficient Police help when most required.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/29/police-job-losses-budget-cuts
    “Budget cuts hit police with more than 2,000 officers forced to retire”

    Why are we not slashing the War Budget – why are we spending £3 million per day killing Libyans – some of which are innocent bystanders. We need MORE Police and LESS War. Why is Government Policy so destructive? No wonder these rioters are blowing things up and smashing up peoples Businesses as that is what NATO is doing in Libya – the same mindless Yobbish violence which achieves nothing.

    “The rest of the adult law abiding community also has to contribute by creating an atmosphere against violence, and co-operating with the police to intercept, prevent and deter.”

    Yes, absolutely, but how are they meant to do that – and make enough money to pay off their mortgage and other debts.

    House Prices – relative to wages, are now Double what they were in 1963. Wages are now required from both people in a marriage – no account is made of the fact that a Women may have to leave her Job due to Child Birth. Obviously, we have Child Birth as many rioters were Children. While both Parents are struggling to hold down full time employment, who’s looking after the Kids ? Meanwhile – our Teachers are not allowed to even touch a Child as it could be percieved as inappropriate. The Child then grows up thinking that they can get away with anything without punishment.

  47. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    The Police are doing a good Job, they act the way they are ordered to by their Commanders. If a heavy handed – ‘wade in’ ; approach was ordered they would do it, but they have been ordered not to – possibly because numbers are down due to cuts and Holidays or because they do not want to risk killing a small child – so their hands are tied behind their backs.

    Send in a small group of 1970’s style PE Teachers armed with Cricket Bats – they’d break it up in a flash.

    The Police are doing everything they can; but – for those Businesses owners trapped in their Shops, it just ain’t enough.

    It was interesting to hear that Waterstones was virtually untouched – is this because most of the rioters can’t read?

  48. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    In order to pay for additonal Policing I suggest we now prevent Banks from creating Credit Money, and force them to buy Money from the Bank of England – as they do for Paper Notes and Coins. This will generate Billions in revenue and prevent mindless debt ridden inflation generated by the Banks.

    The Billions of pounds in revenue can pay for Police, Student Tuition Fees (which Mr Redwood enjoyed free of charge and I enjoyed free of charge) and help keep House Prices at a sensible level so that at least one parent can remain at home making sure their children aren’t off rioting somewhere. Everyone wins, except the Banks.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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