So what should Parliament do tomorrow?


              I am glad Parliament will meet again tomorrow, if only for a day. When I called for it to meet yesterday, I also sought assurances that we could discuss the economic situation as well as the wave of criminality. I am glad we will have a statement both on law and order and on the economy.

             I am hoping the Prime Minister and Home Secretary will be able to report that with much larger numbers the police now can control  the streets. I hope they will also tell us if changes to the law are needed to act more decisively  to prevent breaking and entering and damage to property when police see it about to happen. Can with the extra police the force now arrest more at the scene of the crime, often with the proof of their crimes in their hands? Can threatening gangs be broken up or detained before they do damage to people and property? What is the appropriate level of force to use against violent looters? How can you distinguish readily between violent gangs of looters, and people just out on the streets for peaceful purposes? What is the appropriate sentence for those who destroy homes and businesses, and help themselves to other people’s goods? What did the PM mean when he said if you are old enough to commit a crime you are old enough to take the consequences? Is he thinking of changing the age of criminal responsibility?

                The Chancellor needs to tell us about the Euro crisis and the fear that has gripped markets about slowing growth or worse. He now has an opportunity to flesh out his recent press article about bringing in more measures to stimulate growth. He can tell us what the UK wants in return for allowing the Euro member states to press on with greater union, as he proposes. He can say what the Euroland members are wanting to do to control wayward deficits and to inject confidence in what they are doing.


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  1. Duyfken
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Regarding the EU, the government should send a message of UK intent by withdrawing the UKREP officials, returning most of their function to London and providing local representation in Brussels only by way of a small section within the British embassy.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I am so glad that Parliament is meeting to discuss the two crises which you mention. If only the Police could be brought back to where they were – on the streets patrolling, listening, and preventing crime before it happens in smart uniforms – not suddenly descending out of nowhere dressed as Darth Veder.

    If only Mrs May would let the Prime Minister allow the American chappie in to reform them!

    If only Mr Osborne had been reading what you wrote in the Telegraph yesterday and taking it to heart…..

    If only………

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Patrolling how been shown to be totally ineffective as a police officer only comes across a crime in progress once every seven years.

      • zorro
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        How much crime is deterred by visible patrolling? What effect does that have on crime levels?


        • Bazman
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Where is police violence when you need it? It’s no good just using it against some old geezer that won’t get out of his car or Big Vern the bank robber.

        • uanime5
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          None because people commit crimes where the police don’t go or when they aren’t present.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Please tell me where and when patrolling was shown to be ineffective.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    What did the PM mean when he said if you are old enough to commit a crime you are old enough to take the consequences?

    He just thought is was a good sound bite he rarely thinks further than superficial temporary sound bites like “Cast Iron Guarantee”.

    Jobs and growth are what is needed to address the problems on the UK. A much smaller state, less regulation and a better EU relationship, and a no gimmick Bling energy policy will provide these – if only he lets them.

    But well over a year has been wasted already.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      The governor of the bank of England say today said that secured bank lending is at about 50% of normal levels – so where is this growth going to come from I wonder.

      He also blamed inflation on imported commodity prices, over which, he seemed to think he had no control (prices as measured in the sterling he is actively devaluing I assume he means).

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        I saw the statement open mouthed. I find it hard know how you can say on the one hand you cheerfully expect official inflation to top 5% then leave interest rates unchanged and expect bank lending to pick up. Where will they get the capital from?

        Oh yes, the presses are warming up. This may explain why gold is $1764 per troy ounce.

        A more abject abdication of responsibility to hit the supposed 2% inflation target I cannot imagine.

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

          And I thought the Bank’s sole remit was to keep inflation down and keep the economy running! Seems I was wrong – they only do things to help themselves as bankers and do not care a damn about people running businesses and trying to keep one’s head above water. They used to control inflation with interest rates and not keep telling us it will go up, but don’t worry it will come down at some point- in the future! Do they think we already belong to the euro and lost control of interest rates like the rest of europe?

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Smaller state = less jobs. The private sector won’t take over anything that isn’t profitable.

      Any specific regulations you want removed? Minimum wage laws? The prohibition on firing women for being pregnant? Not being able to arbitrarily fire people? The right to sick pay?

      • Bazman
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Consumer rights, any health and safety that reduces profits, the right to sue any employer for injury, all child labour laws, all pollution laws, all immigration laws preventing the import of cheap labour, all state funded medical treatment, laws against private armies etc etc. This will then provide utopia for those who believe enough and Lifelogic will be on his spaceship.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          I never said “all” just most -we need far less but good efficient regulation (that is not a job creation scheme for parasites as often now) and actually helps genuine health and safety and available employment rather than the reverse now pertains.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        You say “Smaller state = less jobs. The private sector won’t take over anything that isn’t profitable.”

        Quite wrong smaller state means more jobs – not fewer – the fact that the private sector only do profitable thinks is much of the reason why. Paying people to do unprofitable or pointless things means profitable business is taxed to pay for this and if too much it goes out of business.

        Otherwise we could all work for the state chucking rocks back into the sea perhaps and live off money food and drink from the Magic money food and drink tree.

        You also ask “Any specific regulations you want removed? Minimum wage laws? The prohibition on firing women for being pregnant? Not being able to arbitrarily fire people? The right to sick pay?” yes scrap the lot and all would benefit as more jobs would thus become available and people would be able to take people on without risk and not need to vet them for likely claims that might arise.

        • uanime5
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Your own arguments means that if the private sector takes over there will be fewer jobs. Unprofitable does not mean unnecessary.

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            You say:

            “Your own arguments means that if the private sector takes over there will be fewer jobs.”

            No it does not at all it means far more will come available.

            “Unprofitable does not mean unnecessary.”

            No it does always mean this but often it is unprofitable because either no one wants or is willing to pay for it so they do not want it enough to be prepared to pay for it.

    • rose
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I inferred from what the PM said that if you are old enough to be part of a riot, you must expect what comes to you, including any harm that may befall you. If you get caught up in it, it is your fault for being part of it in the first place. Parents cannot expect to take action against the authorities if their children come to grief through rioting. In other words, stay at home; and keep them at home. This was as clear a signal as any that the gloves are now coming off – where appropriate.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Yes but when the first policeman is filmed hitting a 13 year old with a truncheon and the boy get a very serious injury what will happen then to the policeman?

        • rose
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

          I suppose it depends on how fickle the public is – usually all too susceptible to kneejerk media reaction. That is why we need politicians – and policemen – who don’t just seek the approval of the commentariate. That sort of popularity is a chimaera. The commentariate will always attack them in the end, so they might as well do the right thing to begin with, take the flak, and get on with the next thing.

  4. lojolondon
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Parliament should do what the conservatives promised to do 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 year ago. You should vote to leave the EU!! With the £15Billion pa. you save you can spend it on whatever you like, police, armoured cars, real sharp copper-jacket bullets, etc. Please do not waste it on ‘benefits’ or assisted immigration, because that is what got us where we are.

    Reply: The Conservatives did not promise to leave the EU. They did promise a vote on Lisbon, which we then voted for in the Commons. Lib Dems and Labour voted us down. The Coalition has made no such promise, though some of us have urged them to hold a referendum.

    • lojolondon
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Well, John, in opposition Cameron many times offered us WHAT WE THOUGHT was a referendum. Turns out every time carefully selected wording left a get-out clause. (Remember his great speech where he accused Gordon Brown of flip-flopping on a referendum?). So he did offer one, many times, but now that he has the power to give us one he has either changed his mind, or lied all along.

      Reply: No, he did not lie. He told us before the election that Lisbon was ratified so there was no longer any point to a referendum on it. Some of asked for another referendum on EU matters, but he delcined. This was all clear to electors and candidates well before the election.

      • Scottspeig
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink


        As you said, it wasn’t a lie, and yes, technically it was all true. However, let us not think it wasn’t a carefully planned event and excellent spin.

        David Cameron has repeatedly made eurosceptic noises yet refuses to do that which the true eurosceptics in the party do. Vote for the UK as opposed to Brussels!

        Reply: No, it was not a lie. Conservative MPs like me were very unhappy when he announced No referendum as our policy for the election, which gained plenty of coverage at the time. Some of us said we would continue to press for one.

        • zorro
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          I suspect that it was a careful construction which he calculated that he wouldn’t have to enact. But was he secretly lusting for something else in his mind at the time, and perhaps being a little economical with the actualite?

          It is clear that the PM has no intention of ever giving a referendum on anything about Europe to the electorate. We had our chance 36 years ago apparently…..


          • lifelogic
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

            If you are under 53 you have never had a chance to vote at all. Even then it was a referendum conducted on the basis of “the common market” lies.

        • APL
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          JR: “No, it was not a lie.”

          There you have it. The reason the political process in the UK is dead.

          A political leader gets up and says something in a form of words calculated to give a particular impression.

          When the impression is taken seriously and that leader tries to back track from that position, his so called right wing start to dissemble and kick over the traces.

          Meanwhile it’s all to disguise the fact that those supposedly in positions to represent the people are actually representing themselves to their owners in Brussels.

          Reply: For heaven’s sake, look at the facts. DC made a promsie to vote for a referendum on Lisbon and he and we kept it. He then said he would not renew the promise for the election. Some of us said we disagreed. I understand you do not like what Mr Cameron did, but he did not lie. Everyone knew before the Election there would be no referendum from the official Conservatives. UKIP offered one and lost.

          • Winston Smith
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            UKIP gained enough votes to deny many Conservatives their seats and consequently an overall majority.

            reply: In other words, they let the federalists have a majority. Well done! Most new Conservative MPs are good Eurosceptics.

          • MickC
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            This is in fact a reply to JR’s reply.

            Cameron knew or most certainly should have known that not holding a referendum which many Tory supporters wanted would cause many to vote for a party which WAS promising a referendum.

            It is somewhat odd that you now attach blame to those who voted for what they wanted. That is the way our system works.

            The blame lies entirely with Cameron who obviously believed that many potential supporters could be treated with such contempt. That is the reaon he did not win outright.

            He will not win the next election because, although he will seek to say the Lib Dems had to be placated, in reality he fully agrees with the Lib Dem policies. Whatever he says will not be believed-seeking to argue he did not lie will not work-he is seen as a liar. Many Tory supporters will not vote- what would be the point.

            Milliband is no fool-he will pitch his manifesto to take back the Left wing liberals whilst keeping his own supporters.

            Sorry, the (Tory) party’s over.

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            JR you say “Most new Conservative MPs are good Eurosceptics”.

            I hope so but I rather doubt it – most do not even seem to believe in a smaller state – if Cameron has much say in the process it is highly unlikely. Anyway it is too late we are stuck with pro EU big state Cameron & Libdem ball and chain to be followed by pro EU labour perhaps until perhaps 2030.

      • David Price
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        But why is it a referendum on the union between Scotland and the rest of the UK can be actively amd seriously considered but the one between the UK and Europe cannot be?

        • lojolondon
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          Because Scotland won’t give these career politicians a low-responsibility, highly paid career for life with generous pension, but the EU will do, that is why!

          • davidb
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Actually the careerism of Labour politicians in Scotland has much to do with the rise of the SNP in Scotland. As to the SNP referendum, the unionist parties in the last Scottish Parliament refused the then minority SNP administration’s demand to call such a vote, only to clamour for its instant holding now the SNP has a majority.

            Politicians eh? When the wind blows the grass bends..

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Perhaps not quite a direct lie but Cast Iron certainly did very, very deliberately mislead people for electoral advantage and for his election as leader.

        Knowing fully what he was doing and the effect it would have. He is doing it yet again now by pretending to be pro-business, pro growth yet his actions are nearly all very anti both.

        Rather similar, for example, to an airline advertising “no booking fees” then just charging a “reservation administration commission” instead. Or an insurance company advertising cover for “all risks” but then in the small print saying the insured has to pay the first £500 of any claim and the maximum insured item value is limited to £500 and any claim need to be made while standing on ones head and within 10 seconds the the loss being made.

        He cannot expect to be believed again with such slight of hand. His honesty is far too soiled to have much chance of being trusted or ever winning again.

        The position now is far worst than under Brown at lease then we had hope of a sensible government to follow now we just have the prospect of this socialist pro EU shower then Labour again.

        Confidence is needed and he inspires none – even before the riots started.

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

          David “Cast Iron” Cameron said (with no caveats) “If I become PM, a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations”

          Is he not PM then or are we getting a referendum or did he lie?

          Reply: Yes, and that changed in his statements before the election.

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            Yes he did go back on his word before the election.

            But, never the less, go back on his word he did.

            He also misled MPs , in pretending to be euro sceptic, when he was elected leader I would contend.

      • rose
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        I agree, it couldn’t have been clearer. No lie, no deception, just disappointing.

      • Vanessa
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        In 1975 we had a referendum. We had been a member of the EEC since 1972. Why was it OK then, retrospectively, and not now?

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Because they do not want to hear the answer that they know they would get in a referendum.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        He told us before the election that Lisbon was ratified so there was no longer any point to a referendum on it. But this was pure nonsense – of course their was a point in a referendum on it indeed once ratified there was even more need for one.

        He just did not want one himself.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        Pardon me for the history lesson, but in the 2005 election the Labour party manifesto a referendum was promised on the EU Constitution – ‘We will put it to the British people in a referendum and campaign whole-heartedly for a ‘Yes’ vote to keep Britain a leading nation in Europe.’

        Goldon Gordon shamefully reneged on this promise by pre tending that the Lisbon Treaty was somehow fundamentally different from the EU Constitution (that the French and Dutch rejected….in a referendum).

        This is part of what Cameron said in the Sun in Sept 2007 -‘ Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations. No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum.’

        As we all know, the Lisbon treaty was ratified in November 2009 while Labour were still in power. So technically, Cameron was not bound by his guarantee because he was not in power when the treaty was ratified.

        So Labour reneged on their election promise and Cameron offered a referendum that would only be triggered in circumstances that were unlikely to happen (if he was Prime Minister at the time of ratification).

        I would argue that neither party covered themselves in glory, but the Labour position was by far the most deceitful.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Blair/Cameron – two sides of the same coin.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        OK so politics is a very dirty game.
        And the Pope is a firmly convinced Catholic and her Majesty the Queen is an unelected Head of State.
        What is important is not whether or not you read the small print, it is this:
        how do we get out of the fine mess that the EU has landed us in?
        If you take the Telegraph – that paper so invisible to BBC pundits – you will have read of the fiendishly clever plan which our host put forward.
        It not only would have taken care of our EU membership, it would also have allowed all our politicians at every level to be treated with the respect they deserve among their peers at the G57 variety club too.
        But as Lily Allen so happily puts it:
        “It ain’t going to happen – not in a million years!”

  5. foundavoice
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    “Can threatening gangs be broken up or detained before they do damage to people and property?”

    I don’t like the idea of the police being given powers to arrest us for things that we MIGHT do.

    And free association is a fundamental right (note that I didn’t call it a Human Right) that forms one of the pillars of keeping us free people.

    Other than that I agree.

    I would also ask you, John, if the police are not protecting people or property – which must be their core purpose – what is their use? Are these riots going to finally expose what we have made our police become? I would be interested in your thoughts, if you can manage to find the time in what I’m sure will be a very busy and important day for you.

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

      The Police already have widespread powers to detain and break up gatherings perceived to be intent on criminality. The Football Disorder Act 2000 gives them plenty of scope. Banning orders have been issued to some 5,000 people, many of whom have not been convicted of any offence. Magistrates issue banning orders on Police advice to prevent individuals attending specific events, going into certain areas or going abroad. They have to report to Police stations when specified. The Police have been using kettling tactics against football supporters for 20 years. They have a large unit (my friend works there) with huge resources which monitors crowds, cctv and police filming. This is because of the historical problem with football related violence (now rare) and also because the perpetrators are mostly from the denigrated white working-class. Trustafarian protesters and ethnic dominated criminal gangs have the support of the Left establishment.

      The Police have the resources and the means to protect the public and property. They just do not possess the political will to use them effectively.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        You can delete my use of the word “ethnic” to satisfy the pc moderation. I believe my post makes a contribution to the debate. Additionally, from my source within the Met. They are now using a facial recognition scheme, to identify known or suspected offenders at football matches. They use software to link images of such people with real time filming, so they can stop them when they arrive at stations. The Police certainly do have the means to prevent the looting and burning of recent days. They admit many of those caught will be known to them. Why are they not using these resources?

  6. Peter Campbell
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    What is surprising is the level of helplessness of victims in this country. If someone comes to loot and burn my home or business I guarantee they will get a baseball bat around the head. I wouldn’t need a politician to identify a violent rioter, my fist will do that. All politicians want is for the population to be entirely reliant on the police for protection but where does that get you- homeless and helpless. The government is useless except for stealing taxes from law abiding people, it doesn’t even stand up for us against the EU let alone a rioting mob. Parliament wonders why people don’t vote, look further than the Westminster village and maybe they’d find out.

    • norman
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Back in the day your view might have held water but if you were to carry out your threat you’d quickly find yourself in handcuffs.

      One of the main complaints heard against the police is that they are quite happy to target ‘soft criminals’ like the mortgage paying homeowner protecting his property rights, or the speeding motorist doing 80 mph on a sunny day on the motorway, or someone throwing a newspaper in a litter bin (I did actually read about this was an old age pensioner who got done for it, probably breaking some recycling law), tourists taking photos being harrassed by police under anti-terrorist laws or a million other examples we could all find via our friend google but when it comes to tackling gangs of thugs, crack houses, illegal squatters, travellers camps, etc. there are suddenly all sorts of human rights legislation in the way that ties their hands and so group 1 is getting it from both ends – petty laws being enforced with vigour (crime statistics?) and seeing their communities destroyed by the thug element being allowed to rule by force.

      • Andy
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink


      • uanime5
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        So Human Rights laws only stop the police clamping down on those who are capable of fighting back. Could it be that there’s another reason why the police don’t want to get into a fight with them?

        • norman
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          That was my point. Like you I don’t believe it’s anything to do with human rights laws, if the police want to act, they’ll act but when they don’t want to act there are so many laws on our books and we are lorded over by so many different courts and legal systems that an excuse not to act can always be found.

        • zorro
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          Scared, incompetent, want an easy life, focus on easy targets…Take your pick. The police in the UK have the most repressive laws in Europe available to them to target offenders…SOCPA, all the Police Acts, Section 60 orders (off with the balaclavas)

          Put simply, they don’t need any more powers….just the will to use them. They are not allowed to do so because of supposed worries over risk assessments, claims from the public, claims from officers and other such things.

          Where there’s a will there’s a way…and the will does not exist.


      • lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Indeed petty laws are so much more profitable and pleasant to enforce than dealing with any serious crimes. Also helps the crime solved figures.

      • Sokdraw
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        If you are defending your property and use violence or a weapon, you must always insist that you were in fear of your life, and just keep saying that.
        (Take a look at Gadget’s blog for the low down)

        Reply: I also recollect that you can only use reasonable force in the light of the seriousness of the threat. THis as we know is a difficult area of the law, where many householders fell they need more protection if they take action to protect themselves and their property.

    • rose
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      The Turks, Sikhs, and Poles aren’ helpless – because their family and national identity has remained strong.

    • Tedgo
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I was told by a police inspector that if you take action to defend yourself then you must take the following defense and no other,

      You did so because you feared for your and or your families life.

      You must never say to anyone who could be a witness against you, “that they deserved it”.

      Essentially if someone breaks in you have no knowledge whether they have a hidden knife or gun or intend to burn the property down.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Hey – wait a minute! I thought that by surrendering our weapons and our rights of incurring GBH, we were protected, through our taxes, by the State (Police and Army).
        This discussion should never be taking place.
        Otherwise we are in Sierra Leone, Rhodesia/Zim, Syria, Miami, Libya, Bahrein…..

  7. lojolondon
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I have a suggestion, I would like you to table a vote of no confidence in the PM, because :
    In the last year he has achieved almost nothing, and certainly none of the big wins – like his commitment to an EU referendum, bonfire of the quangos, repeal of the ‘uman rights act and other bad laws, his muddle-headed ring fencing of the three parts of spend that are really wasted, and not least, his holidaying while London burned. He is not a leader, he has carried on with 99% of Labour policies, afraid to change anything.

    I would like him to get a clear message – if he continues to do what he wants and not what the people want, we will want to get him out of there, it is like being represented by a marshmellow.

    • rose
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      You really would be dancing to the tune of the left then. That is what they want. Disarray on the bridge.

  8. Martin
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Perhaps all MPs should visit our inner city schools and ask real teachers who work in the so called “bad schools” (forget the photo calls at posh kids schools in West Brompton) how to handle these kids and what is really needed given a blank sheet of paper.

    Incidentally I doubt if diverting funds to posh schools at the expense of schools in poor areas is a solution. (Would Eton be a better school if say it was forced to cut its fees 20%?)

    As for the police (classic heroes to zeroes (press scandal and the looting) syndrome) they clearly need role definition and reform.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Do the police still have to fill in forms every time they stop and search people and classify crimes a racially or other motivated will then need to print more of their silly victims of crime leaflets this month? Could they not just catch, prosecute and deter the criminals for a change.

      I wonder how the crime figure are being handled this week (for political reasons will a few hundred thousand crimes be added the the theft, criminal damage and arson figures or will it just go down as one or two riot crimes) and who decides?

    • Javelin
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      As I understand it the way grants work (at A-level) is that the school gets given more money for pupils doing A-Levels than vocational subjects. This means that the school encourages A-Levels because they get more money. Equally schools do not wish to expell pupils because they get less money – even though the expulsion procedures takes up to a year and costs money too. If the child gets seriously disciplined then the next school will be told about it – and wnot take them. As a result disruptive children are not removed from school or disciplined.

  9. lojolondon
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    If you REALLY want to stop the riots TODAY, the answer is simple.

    1. Sharp point ammo for the police and the instruction to shoot if attacked.
    2. Mandatory 10 year sentence for anyone rioting in the next week, no time off, no ‘open’ prisions, no parole, 10 solid years.

    I will bet you my pension that the rioters would go straight to bed tonight, because it is no longer worth it.

    PS. I am not saying that most of these people are migrants, but there is certainly an element. When obtaining British citizenship, the point is made that it can be removed in certain circumstances, and criminality is specifically mentioned. So exercise that. And to hell with human rights.

    Sorry I rant to you, John, I know you are one of the good guys, but I appreciate you do listen, I hope I say something useful from time to time!

    • MickC
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Oh, sharp point bullets-yes that should kill quite a few people as well the actual “target”.
      The police use expanding bullets so the energy of the bullet is dispersed in the target, and the bullet does not go through to cause God knows what mayhem beyond.
      The police use of firearms is not like the movies where people just blast away and the bullets “evaporate” into thin air.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      All that will do is cause a blood bath. If the UK is showing massacring and imprisoning anyone who riots then Libya, Syria, and every other dictatorship will demand the right to do this to their citizens as well.

    • Tim
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink


  10. Amanda
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    It appears to me that these worrying times also bring opportunities . One has had a feeling that the Conservative part of the Government and particularly Mr Cameron has been cowering in a corner, frightened to act because of the power of a left-wing establishment. Well, now, we have seen the result of the policies of that left wing establishment – from the debt, to the democracy free euro zone, to riots against honest citizens. Even more people are on the side of ‘right’ than before – the Government has been given a god given chance to act for good – for God’s sake take it.

    Do something to take back control of our country from the EU. Do something to get rid of race relations, human rights acts, and all the other quango led rope that forces us to pander to criminals and racists. Get police chiefs elected by local people – here is your reason. Tackle the problems in schools that the teaching unions try and stop. Let Mr Duncan-Smith get on with his welfare reforms. Go for a growth strategy by reducing relevant taxes on small businesses, and wealth creators.

    Your Government will never have a better time to act, with the people behind you and the forces of left-wing evil on the run. You have been given the means to stop socialism in its tracks. Do you have men and women who can take this chance? Because I’m pretty sure Cameron and his sidekick Clegg are not up to it? Cometh the hour, cometh the man – so where is he??? (And, by the look of it, for all the chatter, it’s not Boris Johnson!!)

    • Javelin
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree – now is the time to change strategy .

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        I am utterly in favour of this remark – it is actually what is bouying me up in this dreadfully humiliating and decadent time.

      • JimF
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        or even to have a strategy.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      UK Debt: caused by capitalist banks.

      The EU is made up of a Parliament where people are elected using proportional representation, a Committee made up of national leaders, and a Commission made up of people appointed by each country. It’s more democratic than the UK.

      Riots: caused by high levels of poverty and joblessness, and made worse by our materialistic culture. All of which are a result of right wing policies and pandering to big business.

      The Race Relations Act and Humans Rights Act aren’t related to the EU. The Race Relations Act was made in 1965, 8 years before the UK joined the EU.

      Teaching Unions aren’t the problem, constant Government reforms are. Low salaries and pension cuts also discourage the brightest from entering teaching.

      Reducing taxes on wealth creators won’t encourage them to hire more people. Though tax cuts for small businesses may help.

      If the Government attacks socialism they have to deal with civil disobedience on par with Pole Tax riots.

      Reply We have just had 13 years of Labour government – don’t they have anything to do with the current problems?

      • zorro
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Apparently not John, it must be all the fault of the Tories….oh yes particularly Mrs Thatcher and her milk snatching. Doubtless all the rioters are related to people who had their milk snatched. Imagine the justifiable anger and rage which has been bred into these people faced with collecting benefits for which they have contributed nothing and their justifiable need for ‘Footlocker’ trainers……We obviously need more benefits and socialism. Do you not understand how awful it must be for these youths who can no longer afford their Blackberries with unlimited internet? Perhaps we should recruit more youth workers to comfort them…..


        • uanime5
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          I agree that we need more youth workers. If the rioters had roles models that weren’t the heads of criminal gangs they wouldn’t riot and commit crimes.

      • Amanda
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink


        Methinks you delude yourself – it is a good thing that we are not all so afflicted, or we would never get out of this mess. It is small wonder you defend rioting and don’t understand democracy when your modus operandi is ‘civil disobedience’. But you do make my case for me – socialist views like yours, that hurt so many people, maintain poverty to fuel the lust for power, and turn lives into wastelands, need defeating. And, there is no better time to start than now – the tide has turned.

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

        What is the biggest factor effecting the environment in cities over the last 15 yrs? Population growth and as a component uncontrolled gross (not net) immigration. All this take massive social capital. How many languages are spoken in schools? etc.

        You can add in to that a sub-culture possibly which has moved away from hardworking class ethics. The HRA act with its unbalanced rights forced on the majority to favour the minority of one? Not being able to deny residency to undesirable aliens.

        Look at more homogenous cultures and consider?

    • Tim
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Spot on, Amanda!
      John, I hope you can help on this.
      Cameron has to get a grip and start DRIVING IMPLEMENTATION of many of the policies and changes mentioned here. I am extremely disappointed by year 1 of this government, and am desperate to see some real change. We must support business to drive growth-real private sector business, and reduce some of the silly taxes- 50%/stamp duty to name but two! It feels like England is a crumbling nation on the brink of permanent and swift social and economic decline, and the next four years are our only hope to prevent this.
      DC has a golden opportunity to fix things and he must take it now.
      Plus – can we please have a considerably more robust approach to law and order in this country – from prevention right through to sanction. I watch the pictures on tv and cannot believe this is England!!
      PS – currently waiting to see if I need to board up my business tonight-again, can’t believe it is now coming to this!

      Please help, John!!

  11. oldtimer
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The looting/arson/riots and the economy are indeed linked because of the reputational damage these events must have caused the UK. It will undoubtedly put off some tourists and indeed some UK residents thinking of visiting London for a day or night out – my duaghter and two grandchildren, to name but one family, have cancelled their planned trip to London tomorrow evening to see a show.

    Among recent comments here and elsewhere I have been struck how several have pointed out that the police have, in recent years, been described as a police “service” and not as a police “force”. The police were originally established to enforce the law and protect citizens from those that broke the law. In London, for three nights the police failed to do that. No wonder people in a number of London boroughs have believed it necessary to establish their own vigilante groups. It is reported that the three deaths to the occupants of a car rammed at speed in the Birmingham area last night were of people seeking to protect their shops. The politicians must get a grip and fast.

    On the economy and the sovereign debt crisis I fear that ministers are crowing too loud about how they have got it right and others (ie USA and Euroland) have got it wrong. It sounds to me like the pride that cometh before the fall. On the issues of spending and growth the politicians must get a grip and fast.

  12. Colin D.
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Looting completely destabilises society. It is such a serious crime that many countries regard it as perfectly acceptable strategy to shoot looters. Parliament needs to specify mandatory harsh and minimum sentences for looters.
    The Met’s initial ‘softly softly’ approach to the looters was unwarranted, sent quite the wrong message, and will leave a legacy of trouble that will last for many years.
    Anyone turning up at a disturbance with their face covered must be presumed to be up to no good. It should be an offence.

    • zorro
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      The powers to deal with it exist already. It appears that the police lack the will to use it, or more correctly their senior managers…..


  13. JimF
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Questions which need asking:
    1 Why only 6000 police available to deal with this across London? Have they studied mobility in from the suburbs of police to potential flashpoints-how quickly they can get x police to location y?
    2 What impediments are there to the police doing their job? Why are they standing back against hooded youths with weapons? They have to be able to distinguish in their actions between these people and the Ian Tomlinsons of this world.
    3 Are the police up to scratch on their command and control systems?
    4 Are the police up to date on their knowledge and interception capability of these twitter accounts?

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      1) The UK has a low number of police because they’ve been cutting their number and making existing officers work a lot of overtime to save money. They’ve also used cheaper but less well trained community officers, rather than trained police officers.

      Riot gear makes it hard to get from one place to another, it’s too dangerous for the police to use narrow passages (vulnerable to attack), burning vehicles make driving to other areas difficult, and when the police arrive the initial rioters have often left.

      2) The police are standing back because they are outnumbered. 40 riot police cannot win against 500 rioters.

      4) There isn’t one Twitter account all the rioters use, each person has their own account which they share with their group. They also change these accounts and use slang to make it harder to find them.

      reply: I think there is currently a record number of police – the last Conservative governments usually increased police numbers, and so did the last Labour government.

      • JimF
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        What you’re saying is, whether or not there are enough police, they can’t do this job.

        They’re fine gathering 200 at a time on a sunny Saturday at Reading FC to stop the occasional verbal or pitch-runner, and running up and down the M40 at 100mph to trap the occasional speeding motorist, but when it comes to the difficult stuff like this their politically correct training course leaves them adrift. On TV a rioter outran a policeman, easily. Clearly riot training isn’t working.

        • zorro
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          From the look of some of the police, they didn’t look physically fit. Some had clearly eaten too many pies, and some of the female police did not seem to be chomping at the bit…..It sometimes looked like a promotional video for the ‘Police Academy’ films….


      • uanime5
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        John was the increase in police officers, community support officers, or both? Community support officers have fewer powers than police officers (such as police powers of arrest), have received less training, and cannot join the Police Federation so an increase in community support officers isn’t the same as an increase in police officers.

        It may be worthwhile for the Government to examine the ratio of police officers to community support officers to determine if the levels of both are adequate.

        Reply: Both, I believe.

    • rose
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know how intelligent the police and home office people are, but standing back on this occasion was a good tactic because it led to the country uniting and clamouring for strong policing. Just as standing back when the Prince of Wales’s car was attacked enabled really strong preventive measures to be taken before the wedding.

      Without these frightening reminders of what we are up against, the people who have disabled the police will continue to prevail.

  14. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    “We’ve got no jobs. We’ve got no opportunity, We’ve got no stake in society”

    Whose fault is it that you’re unemployable.

    We gave you the free education but you wasted it and threw it back in our face.

    We gave you the jobs but we had to fill them with immigrants.

    We gave you free food, health care, housing … where else in the world would a criminal like you get all that ?

    Whatever happens tomorrow please don’t let them get away with claiming that this is about deprivation.

    • foundavoice
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      That is the nub of it.

      Great post.

      • SJF
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink


        • zorro
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


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

      We didn’t give them the jobs though . Instead we gave big business carte-blanche to bring in cheap labour from abroad . Do you think that was a good idea ?

      In I.T. the jobs are not even advertised in the UK anymore .

      They are filled by Indian’s who are brought over on ICT visa schemes .

      Fortunately most (not all) are rubbish and I look forward to the day when a big multi-national goes bust or has it’s shares suspended (like Fidelity did) because they tried to cheap-skate the management or maintenance of their data .

      The local communities have given up on the police .

      The Turks and Asians in Tottenham will not stand by while their livelyhoods are destroyed .

      The Millwall firm have mobilised and are chanting “No one loots us and we don’t care” .

      They won’t neccessarily wait for the looters to hit the streets . etc

      Reply: The possibility of violence by others does not justify or allow pre-emptive violence.

      • Simon
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your reply John in this case though on occasion it can be a dilema .

        At the time I thought Tony Blair genuinely believed that a preemptive strike against Iraq was justified because Saddam would soon have the weapons to hit us and the intention of using them .

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Simon – “We didn’t give them the jobs though . Instead we gave big business carte-blanche to bring in cheap labour from abroad . Do you think that was a good idea ?”

        One journalist lists 2000 apprenticeships advertised and unfilled in London this week.

        I’ve always disagreed with bringing cheap labour from abroad.

        The disasterous policies of both Labour and Tory governments have enabled an underclass unemployables who know nothing but how to eat, drink, steal, take drugs, fight, play computer games and breed.

        No-one’s taken ‘their’ jobs. They are totally unfit for employment because of welfarism.

      • Robert
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink


    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      “Whose fault is it that you’re unemployable.”

      The employers for not being willing to train people.

      “We gave you the jobs but we had to fill them with immigrants.”

      So it’s your fault that they’re unemployed because you wanted a trained worker so you didn’t have to be bothered to train someone.

      “We gave you free food, health care, housing … where else in the world would a criminal like you get all that ?”

      The welfare in this country is a pittance and the Government is trying to reduce it.

      Also any other country with a welfare system would give them welfare. If you don’t want people to leave prison and return to crime you have to either give them a job or benefits.

      • rose
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        You have left out the part the inadequate schools and women’s lib have played in making them unemployable.

        • rose
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          And it wasn’t “cuts” that made the schools inadequate.

      • electro-kevin
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 – Employers are willing to train people. The immigrants are taking unskilled jobs, often without speaking English. Welfare includes housing and utilities. Council tax is paid for.

        A single unemployed teenage mum can live far better than a hard working couple. In my own family this is certainly the case.

        Now is not the time for debate or ideological divisions. On many things (though not all) you’ve had your way and they have been shown to have been disasterous.

    • Tim
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Spot on!!

    • Susan
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink


      I would like to believe that if you deal with the these youths that are involved in the riots, you begin to solve the social problems that Britain has. However, I would just be kidding myself if I believed that was true. There are real problems developing in British society which reach far beyond the underclass. Poor parenting and education are not confined just to the working class underclass. Yes, at the moment it is most obvious amongst those living on poor estates throughout Britain, but there has been a deterioration in both values and education levels generally, amongst young people. Anti social behaviour is also a problem throughout Britain, not just in less affluent areas. Liberal parenting and lack of discipline in the classroom, are leading to young people in society not acquiring the skills necessary to equip them with the discipline needed for a successful working life. The average student from China or India is well in advance of most British students, both in work ethic and knowledge of their subject. Therefore, I would suggest the Government has many more problems to solve with regard to society than just the underclass.

      Furthermore, I do believe these young people who have rioted are deprived, but not in money terms. They have been deprived of living in a society where good parents and role models have equipped them with the necessary skills to aspire to do better through their own achievements. Where they see uneducated celebrities respected more than the educated and skilled. A media and political system which fills their uneducated heads with grievances against the more successful in society. A justice system which does not show them the consequences of their criminal actions. Unless Britain becomes a more responsible society, these problems will continue and expand far beyond the so called underclass.

      Even if the Government solves its immediate problems of those who decided to riot and loot, it is not a long term solution. These young people are still part of British society and their attitude will remain the same. They in turn will go on to have children of their own, which the state no doubt will have to keep. Therefore, some means has to be found to take them out of society for some time. Perhaps some enforced National Service should be introduced, to give them a sense of purpose and discipline. Otherwise the never ending cycle of entitlement and dependency on the State will continue.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        I agree entirely.

        That’s why I think a deep recession could be a good thing. Only rich countries can afford to think and behave like ours does.

        Slobs won’t be able to drop McDonald’s wrappers everywhere if they can’t afford McDonald’s.

        Egotistical Prime Ministers won’t be able to start needless wars if they can’t afford soldiers.

  15. Caterpillar
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    In terms of police resources, the case for cutting police budgets has been clearly STRENGTHENED, they have continued to demonstrate an inability to direct their resources at thugs rather than direct it against individuals and businesses wishing to defend themselves and their property. Communites with a few bats do better than police with many alternative assets – who can use resources more efficiently and effectively?

    With respect to the criminality discusions in general if there is any party-politics tomorrow then the electorate will know just how useless politicians have become. It is one thing for BBC-style journalists not to have been aware of the growth of feral kids and feral young adults over the past decade or so, but for politicians to continue to ignore boundaryless yobs would demonstrate the politicians’ complete irrelevance.

    Yes the PM is correct in implying that the age of criminal responsibilty should be reduced if not removed. When there is zero reason for undertaking a crime (that is not starving, not legitimate protest etc) then any level of punishment is legitimate, even though I am socially liberal, it is rather obvious that with zero consequences you can not TRAIN all kids (Learning through training occurs at a much younger age than training through education, there has been too much twaddle about discussion. One valid point that comes from educational research is the role of IMMEDIATE feedback …a clip around the ear is immediate, unfortunately a protracted, if any, prosectution is not.

    What needs to be done?

    (o) The current looters need to be severely punished. The numbers also need to be made public so that ‘we’ can see appropriate action has been taken.
    (1) Littering, dog-defecating, looting, vandalism, shoplifting to have heavy penalties irrespecitve of age (unless there is an extremely clear reason why – rational explanation of political behaviour or desparate need). If there are no prison places then multiple years of elctronic tagging / leg restraints to control behaviour.
    (2) No face covers in certain situations?
    (3) Exclusion from secondary school classes if misbahaving. The misbehaved can still be ‘stored’ whilst parents work. (An ending to edutainmnet).
    (4) Police taking the correct side. If a member of the public has acted to try to do the right thing then this should be celebrated not prosecuted. The wrong people are scared of the police. [All MPs should try walking into some areas and tell yobs who have littered to pick it up … see if you survive, see if the police help … but take care this experiment could reduce the number of MPs)
    (5) All dogs should be muzzled.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Typo correction:

      “Learning through training occurs at a much younger age than training through education”

      should read

      “Learning through training occurs at a much younger age than learning through education”

    • Simon
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I have certain sympathies with your expressed view point but still feel a little uncomfortable for the following reason .

      During Hurricane Katrina there was next to no action taken to assist the victims until looting started .

      Some of this was due to the army being constitutionally bound from helping and an emergency session took place in Washington to override the law .

      Nevertheless , their Govt was seen to care more about protecting private property than saving human life .

      I still maintain that the law has to be seen to apply to everyone and be applied to everyone in order for it to be respected .

      Nobody from the ratings agencies has been prosecuted for intentionally misrating sub-prime mortgages which people very closely connected to them proceeded to short .

      There are thousands of examples of this crony capitalism and an entire financial services industry which serves only to transfer wealth from those people who make things to those who do not .

      Our capital city is the world headquarters for money laudering and a safe haven for foreigners with diabolical human rights records .

      Money is the only passport you need , whether it comes from drugs , arms or legitimate business is unimportant .

      It’s easy to blame duffers like Gordon Brown who have clearly so little first hand experience that they didn’t even know that it was a bad idea to announce your intention to sell off your gold .

      It is people who actually know how finance works and how to benefit from it who are responsible for the financial crisis . How many of them have been prosecuted for frauds relating to derivatives ?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I partially agree with you that there is a shortage of responsibility taking throughout society, whether US institutional creation of a need for subprime, crony capitalism or Brown-King-Osborn propped up house prices. But if people are prepared to seek reasons for loutish behaviour on the streets they should also seek explanation for market behaviour to politically induced risk and artificial liquidity requirements.

        Still if some of tomorrow’s recall pointed out the Bank of England’s effective looting of savers and compared this with street looting, it might focus minds a little.

        {I don’t know how to discuss loss of lives against loss of livelihoods, both are hugely personal to families and communities, this is certanly one area that I am glad it is the politicians having the discussion. I think many of us couldn’t have such a discussion with dry eyes.}

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Vigilantes are only effective during riots. They completely useless when you need to collect evidence to catch criminals.

      Sky also seemed unaware of the growth of feral kids.

      You want the age of criminal responsibility to be below 10 years old (the current level)?

      A clip around the ear only teaches people to use violence rather than reason.

      Putting someone in prison is more expensive than keeping them in a luxury hotel; so heavy penalties will be a massive drain on the tax payer and do little to discourage people from committing crimes.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        Disagree on the clip round the ear statement. You’re being too simplistic about adults asserting their authority over youth who are genetically predisposed to pushing boundaries to the limit.

        Set the boundaries way back – delineate them with a clip (a mock punishment) It beats what we’ve got which is violent confrontation with the police and gun crime.

  16. Caterpillar
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    With respect to the economy?

    (i)Why does the Chancellor allow the BoE to fail its inflation target? The Chancellor should explain the effect of inflation on growth.
    (ii) Is the reliance on a weakened GBP and exports a good strategy?
    (iii) What is the effect of a weekened GBP on net migration?
    (iv) Does the Chancellor still see savers as ‘virtuous’?
    (v) What is the justification for house prices to have been allowed to rise as much as real terms GDP, and they still have not fallen? Why is this misallocation of resources still propped and encouraged by low interest rates?
    (vi) Have all the business that were only marginal in a cheap creidt boom now been cleared out?

  17. Richard
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    The Police should be given the powers to arrest anyone on the streets covering their heads and faces with hoodies and masks as this is the main thing which gives them the anonymity and drives their bravado to loot and set fires.
    I walked round Birmingham city centre yesterday and I was shocked at the level of damage which the London obsessed media seem to have only touched on.
    It just remains for Magistrates and Judges to hand down some serious sentences which get some of these criminals looking shocked in the dock, rather than smirking as they have been doing for years now.
    But I have my doubts if this will happen.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    From what we have seen on TV, the police have not taken a robust enough approach. This started with their response in Tottenham which showed the hooligans what they could get away with whilst the police stood by and watched and has spread throughout the country. Unless the police start really to crack down and the courts issue really stringent custodial sentences for this looting and destruction, it won’t end. Your primary responsibility is to protect the decent majority and ensure law and order is enforced.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      The police cannot crack down because there are not enough of them to deal with people who are capable of fighting back. 40 riot police cannot do anything against 500 rioters.

      • zorro
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Yes the police can deal with it (Section 60 orders). Smaller numbers of police can disperse far larger numbers of protesters if they want to/are allowed to do so.

        What is not acceptable is for the police to stand back and do relatively little to protect property/keep the peace whilst being paid handsomely for it on overtime…..


        • uanime5
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          The police can’t expect to win when they’re so heavily outnumbered. They could defend one shop with that many officers but they can’t defeat an entire street full of rioters. Only in Hollywood movies can the ‘good guys’ defeat vast armies without a scratch.

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

    First, on the matter of EU.

    I would wish to see assurances that the UK is fully prepared to negotiate in the event of a sudden need for other European countries to move to closer fiscal integration. I would like to see a very general opt out clause because it cannot be forseen the direction and speed the Eurozone countries wish to move in a crisis.

    I also would want to ensure that opting out does not mean opting from one set of rules to another. I would also want to ensure not only are there opt outs of regulations but there are also opt outs of other related obligations – such as memebership fees. Thus, if as the EU has been claiming, all these directives are beneficial and we are now not receiving these benefits then we should now not pay such high membership fees. We are after all doing the Eurozone a favour by stepping back and we need to be rewarded for the costs this is affording us.

    Finally, I would like this document to be circulated, not necessarily publically, so that Ministers and senior MPs have a chance to review it.

  20. Romford Boy
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    Can you please become Home Secretary? As a true blue Tory, I’m disapointed to say that Theresa May has been utterly useless. She’s completely out of her depth & shows no empathy with how people are feeling.

    The country is demanding “right wing” policing, even from some lefties; yet all she is saying is policing will continue under the usual “community policing” system we have. These riots call for hard right wing action, & I think its only from someone like yourself that we’d get it.

    Let her go off & be the Minister of knitting or something.

    • Jer
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I appreciate that you put “Right wing” in speech marks, but guns and baton rounds are hardly the preserve of the right wing.

      Syria has a notionally left-wing government for example, China is… well, not right wing as it is normally understood, North Korea is notionally communist.

      These riots do call for a rethink of policing, but the previous government was pretty shameless in politicising the police, so there is a lot of damage to undo.
      I confess to being generally impressed by Mrs May thus far, she and Eric Pickles have exceeded my expectations.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted August 12, 2011 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      If nothing else at least Johnny will bring a sober dress-sense to the role, unlike ‘DisMay’ !

  21. Barry Sheridan
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, It is telling that you think that Mr Cameron should go cap in hand to our EU masters and horse trade. What they should do is up to them, what we should do, what we need to do, should be up to us.

    This government was elected to represent our interests. Is it not about time you got on with it instead of artfully crafting words that appear to imply you are going to do something but in actual fact have no intention of doing so.

    • Robert
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear – I do feel John has been very circumspect on not only the EU but also the reality of us meeting our so-called budget reduction plans. The plain facts are we need to actually to cut not just reduce the planned growth in government expenditure. Growth is going to disappoint and the tax yield consequently will not be as high as forecast. Taxes are already too high, if you save you are hit – the squeezed middle has had enough, mark my words we have had too much wishy-washy politics as the Conservative party for teh last decade or so lost its nerve with regard to proper policies. The political class is reaping what it sowed as it lacked leadership and conviction in both moral and political values.

      • norman
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Speaking for myself if it wasn’t for John Redwood and this site my understanding of the planned budget, and the chances of it’s successful fruition, would be very limited.

        You can hardly expect JR to start making predictions of doom against the government he is part of when they are at the start of the programme. All that can be reasonably expected is to put forward what he thinks is a better plan and then if it all turns out as we all expect it to the Chancellor can have the pleasure of telling JR (again) that ‘I told you so’ isn’t a policy.

        • zorro
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          He is not part of the government….


        • Robert
          Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Norman – I read this site every day- and have contributed regularly on this subject. I have maintained a view right from the outset that the proposed budget deficit plan was too dependent on tax revenues in a de-leveraging world! It does not take the brain of Britain to woork out where the risk lies . Politicians do have a responsibility to be truthful and to identify where the risks lie in any strategy. John has a superior intellect to me and I am sure he ‘in private’ would totally agree with my conclusions. George and his acolytes have never worked in business and have about as much experience of markets as a nat. In the end I was always taught that you should control what you can control. Costs you can, revenues less so. So I am sorry that you seem unable to understand the budget deficit programme of the coalition from all the data in the public domain and work out where the main risks lie. My basic point is that John has taken a more circumspect view than he might have done 15 years ago. Though consistent, with much clarity he seems to have softened his view on a number of issues. As I concluded the lack of leadership, conviction on many issues by the political has been a large contributing factor to why we arer where we arer today.

  22. a-tracy
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I hope that you set you realistic boundaries for these young people with punishments that you can and will follow through on. Perhaps instead of a six week holiday next year those caught stealing and causing criminal damage or setting fires get six weeks in unused army camps or a tent camp in the Outer Hebrides, no phones, no computers, split them up and get them taking physical exercise every day to burn off this energy. When I heard them saying “what are they going to do with us the prisons are full” I thought well done the tv news that is what they were told at the beginning of this trouble.

    I watch programs on the tv where 18 year olds drive without a licence, no insurance, nearly kill their friends and write off vehicles (that you never hear who owns) and receive a £250 fine they’re not working to pay and 6 points on a licence they never took.

    When you took away school discipline then tied parents hands without teaching them how to discipline in the manner the liberal brigade wanted what did you expect, if I hear one more “when we get home you’ll go on the naughty step” I’ll scream “get a grip, tell him or her you’ll not let them watch tv for a week and follow through, tell them they won’t be allowed to play with x for a week and stick by it, tell them you won’t take them to football practice for a fortnight” – something they enjoy and if they have nothing they enjoy doing then look at yourself as a parent – playing football in the park is free, or frisbee, board games are inexpensive from charity shops, a pack of playing cards are good low cost entertainment for your children, you can go the the library and take out two books each week, cook tea with them from scratch, teach them to help out around the house.

    These are all the activities they should do at these retraining camps – teach them how to be good if their parents can’t do it with rewards at the end of each week, a movie, a disco. The expense! well how expensive was it to close down Manchester and London last night – how much extra will we all be paying in insurance premiums this year.

    I hope you discuss how you can pull people covering their faces off the streets immediately at times of declared town emergencies and protest marches and decide where you can put them for twelve hours.

    DC shouldn’t threaten without being able to follow through, these rampagers need to know the consequences of their actions. I saw a chap on tv the other night excusing them because they have no hope – this group of youngsters have had improved schools – millions spent on their free education, the labour party have spent years telling us how much they have done with our taxes for this group of teens and this is our reward an expect something for nothing generation of troublemakers, whom I hasten to add are a minority of the whole cohort because there are plenty of teens in this generation taking on part-time work, studying hard even during their school holidays, volunteering, and helping their parents at home.

  23. Julian
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    On Newsnight it was hinted that the core rioters are gang members. Far too little has been done in London to tackle these organised gangs who control their little “manors”. They are not sophisticated criminals with North Cyprus links, Rusian servers, offshore accounts or semi-legit businesses to launder money. They are street criminals with smart phones. They need serious police resources, the will to do something and political support to remove them.

  24. David Price
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    1. Starting with the ministers from the last Labour government, apologise to the law abiding majority that parliament and the civil services have failed in a fundemental responsibility
    2. Allow the police to do what they need to do to deal effectively with the law breakers, before they get tired carrying all their loot, provide the necessary support and tools they need
    3. Focus on helping the real victims of this mess, not the criminals. Clearly spending lots of the majority’s taxes on specific, so-called disadvantaged, minorities does not work
    4. Address the needs and wishes of the majority of this country not the minority’s demands at the expense of the majority.

    I will be very surprised if anything useful or substantial for the non-media and non-political, law abiding majority comes out of Thursday’s parliament. There will likely be statements of outrage and promises that won’t be fulfilled, unless they are to spend more of our money on the minorities that hold us in contempt and break our laws.

    On both issues I want to see government going out of their way to put the needs of the majority in this country before themselves and those in other countries. I have seen no benefit whatsoever to our being in a political European union, I still have to carry my passport, we have to pay yet more in taxes and our business are drowing under increasing bureacracy.

    Subtle arguments and vacuous promises don’t cut it anymore. Government needs to do something meaningful right quick as there are only 4 more years before the regular review by the law abiding and some events will never be forgotten.

  25. Sue
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Philadelphia have had the same trouble as us with ….. youths rioting They’re doing several sensible things which I think we should consider : (unchecked site ref left out-ed)

    Citizens are encouraged to monitor the streets (we discourage, political correctness gone mad again), not only are there insufficient police, but they are so bogged down with left wing, socialist “touchy feely” rubbish, that they’ve forgotten how to police.

    Citizens coming together to protect their streets is essentially Cameron’s “Big Society”, it will bring communities together, neighbours will get to know in each in a common goal. Why on earth would you want to discourage that?

    Curfews for young people.

    Fines for parents whose children break the curfew.

    and my favourite paragraph :

    “Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer,” said Nutter. “Pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”

    Read it, it’s refreshing.

    • Sue
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      So my comment is still awaiting moderation because I date to mention ethnicity? This is why our country is such a mess. The Americans have learnt to address the issue. As long as we deny we have problems with certain groups, we won’t solve them.

      • Winston's Black Dog
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Criticising the NHS doesn’t make it past the censor either in my experience.

      • forthurst
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        The US Constitution incorporates a First Amendment; our unwritten constitution has been moderated by laws which specify the English as potential ‘thought’ criminals if they would deign to notice the perceived ethnicity of those engaged in behaviours they might find rebarbative. The US Constitution also has a Second Amendment which as with the First, the sponsors of our ‘thought’ crime laws are trying to ‘attenuate’. My hope would be that true Americans will fight to protect their hereditary freedoms and rights by all means necessary.

  26. backofanenvelope
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    We are about to make thousands of servicemen redundant. Why not make the most of the situation and invite them to join a new national paramilitary police force? Just imagine if such a force existed; these weekend a couple of thousand of them could have been deployed to the streets of London, allowing the police to do their job properly. Of course, you have to have a government with the balls to let them get on with things. Not likely these days.

    • JimF
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Good idea.
      As I post above, the police do not appear fit and ready to respond. We either need your solution or to allow private accredited security folk to displace the police in this job, and local businesses and taxpayers receiving a tax credit to fund them.

      • zorro
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        A lot of them do not appear to be fit…..


  27. william
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Measures to stimulate growth.Reduce the expenditure on social welfare payments(the entitlement culture)and build some decent by passes in the south east(Chichester,Arundel,Worthing etc),ie a proper dual carriageway from Dover to Honiton.Abolish the 3 year degree for all(student debt for worthless courses)and replace them with 1 year industrial training programmes.Build some new nuclear power stations,stop wasting money on ‘wind farms’.Exempt small companies from as much tax and employment law as possible.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      I prefer the (I think German research) that classified some degrees as investment and some as consumption. Those that lead to higher expected lifetime earnings are investement, those that don’t are consumption. In themselves consumption degrees are not a problem, afterall people consume fooball season tickets, gallery memeberships etc.

      What I believe is wrong is that the taxpayer underwrites student loans hence creating a situation of moral hazard (haven’t we learned?) I am happy with the Govt to provide liquidity in the short term to universities, but in the longer term the universities themselves should be responsible for unpaid loans. This would soon focus the surviving universities on which programmes to offer at which fees and whether loans could be given against them. At the moment tax payer loses, student loses, universities gain.

      • uanime5
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        If Government’s don’t wan the risks associated with loans they shouldn’t force students to take out such massive loans in order to go to university. The Government should reduce tuition fees to £1,000 per year and pay the rest.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Reduced welfare = the poor have less money = more crime to make up the difference. Benefits reduce crime, not encourage it.

      Industrial training programs are a poor substitute for a real education. There’s a reason why most other Western countries value those who have a university education.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 – So you’re suggesting that the government tax us to bribe these thugs not to rob us ???

        Your also suggesting that people don’t have different aptitudes and require different training.

        Well your thoughts are the prevailing policy and have been for the past four decades.


        Now please emigrate and offer your wisdom elsewhere.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Having read some of your other comments, Uanime5, perhaps I was being a bit harsh with you. Sorry.

          I hope that you do see that I have a point here.

          There is a fine line between supporting genuine hardship cases and creating a lifestyle choice. It alarms me that the incapable are breeding rapidy while the capable have neither the time nor the funds to do so.

          You get exactly what you pay for so feral yobs is what we’ve got.

          • uanime5
            Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            Don’t worry about it. I have thick skin.

            While you are correct that some people do become dependent on benefits it’s very difficult to get them off benefits. If you a poor education the best you can hope for is a minimum wage job, which is a poor incentive to work. Also there isn’t much training offered to the unemployed so even if you want to make something of yourself you face an uphill struggle. Of course even if you do have a good education there isn’t an training to give you the skills employers want (the Work Programme is useless).

            The poor often have lots of children because they get more money for each child they have, they get a larger house as they need more space, and mothers don’t have to look for work if their youngest child is under 5. Capping the number of children the state will pay for and the size of a house the Government will provide should reduce this in some cases.

            Another reason some women have a lot of children is because they aren’t fit to look after them, so the state takes these children into foster care. The women respond to this by having more children and the cycle continues. Capping benefits won’t help in this case and may make things worse.

  28. sm
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Acknowledge they are collectively a failure! (past lot and proving so the current lot)

    Start representing the public… we need direct democracy, referism, recall of MP’s.

    Do that and the major problems will dissipate over time.

    They all seem to have bought into always voting the party line. Being kind..its a self delusion and bubble think or possibly nothing in it for my career in ‘clone zyx party’.

    If parliament were paid by results they would all have P45’s- no redundancy and if paid hourly, there services would be hardly ever called for.

  29. Javelin
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Listening to Ed Milliband on TV he was saying that the problem of rioting “is complex” and that the problems had developed over “many years”. Basically that was an implicit admission that high spending, multiculturalism and human rights does not contribute to eliminating an underclass of ferral youths.

    Before I say what I want to I would like to say that I think the police have acted very well given the CONTEXT by not antagonising the protestors. However I think the CONTEXT is a warped, sloppy, appeasing, and broken.

    What I would like to see is the Conservatives saying they will change direction in social policy. Possibly by beefing up the idea of the Big Society. I would like to see the Human Rights Act, multiculturalism, social media, discipline in education and social responsibility all brought to the top of the agenda.

    • javelin
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I think the blame for this falls in two places.

      First lack of focus on Jobs for people in the UK. It has been too easy for large corporates not to act responsibly to the UK society by either outsourcing jobs or employing non UK residents. If the law says you must offer jobs to both inexperienced locals and experienced immigrants at the same rate at the same time then the locals are going to loose out on jobs. The term “immigrants work harder” is pure racism, I’m sure you will agree.

      Second I think the issue is about the failure of socially “progressive” policies. Fatherless families (and not single Mums) are a large part of this failure. This failure has been predicted for years by psychotherpists. Take for example the classic text “The Art of Love” by Eric Fromm – which I’m sure you have read. In the book he distinguishes between Motherly Unconditional Love and Fatherly Conditional Love. Motherly Uncondtional Love is needed to create a stable individual who loves themselves for who they are. Fatherly Conditional love is need to create individuals who are “shaped” by the fathers conditional love (e.g. I wil love you if you do well at school). So in Tottenham where there are 80% fatherless families these kids have been given Motherly Unconditional Love and this has created children who believe they will be loved no matter what their behaviour and are not shaped to fit into society. The failure needs to put down to the failure of the family courts and the success of female lobby groups favouring mothers as the outcome of divorces and separations.

      The lack of CONDITIONAL LOVE by absent FATHERS is a PRIMARY CAUSE of this problem. The family courts needs to recognise the cost they have laid on society by making the assumption that mothers are more important than fathers.

      Finally, I’ll give you something to think about. This was posted in Reuters – and I tend to agree with the rioter. Your MP friends set the example buy stealing from the tax payer. You need to answer the question what is the difference from a thieving MP and a chav?

      “Everyone’s heard about the police taking bribes, the members of parliament stealing thousands with their expenses. They set the example. It’s time to loot,” the youth said.

      Reply: The answer is simple. MPs stealing money was quite unacceptable, and resulted in prosecution and imprisonment. Their wrong conduct does not validate wrong conduct by others. It is an absurd argument. It would be as sensible to argue that because one highly placed terrorist killed a lot of people, terrorist attacks by others must be fine. One crime does not justify another.

      • JimF
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        “One crime does not justify another.”
        Indeed, yet the Bank of England and FED in the US continue to steal from savers by printing money. Some of our good Lords and Baronesses continue to take expenses without contributing to debates, or working, in one case a Labour Baroness of some 30 years standing who hasn’t yet made her maiden speech, yet continues to take expenses and has done so for more than 30 years.
        The point I am making is that when honest money and honest dealings aren’t perceived to be happening at the top, people take action of their own accord to counter what they perceive is being taken from them. These riots are wrong, but so are those at the top who carry on deliberately debauching our currency and taking from the system in a twisted and selfish way.

      • sm
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        An MP/Peer/MEP etc could arrange their housing and associated loans and expenses and extract the maximum possible.
        As opposed to the necessary amounts which are wholly, exclusively and necessarily in accordance with duties.

        It may legally correct, but some may frown morally if you were for example a man of independent means – with trust fund etc attached.

        Meanwhile reduce to zero any benefits that allow people to live honestly and retain some earned taxed savings. Indeed tax those without an income , indirectly via inflation,zirp,council tax/and penal means testing and then talk about Laffer curves in the next breath.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Given that this riot has been far less destructive than the 1980’s riots it seems that Labour did actually reduce the number of feral young people.

  30. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Max Hastings in today’s DM says it all.

  31. javelin
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The causes of recession set out by J K Galbraith in his book, The Great Crash 1929, were as follows: bad income distribution, a business sector engaged in “corporate larceny”, a weak banking structure and an import/export imbalance. “

  32. David John Wilson
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    It is clear from the interviews with young people who have admitted looting that they need to be subjected to sentences which hurt. At a minimum if it is proven that they commited criminal damage then they or their parents if they are under sixteen should be made to pay for the damage. If they have no previous record they should be given appropriate community service. For example cleaning up the streets in their local city centres starting every Sunday morning at 6.00am for six months, with two extra Sundays added for any one that they fail to report for on time.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      They can’t pay because they don’t have any money.

      Also if forced to do community work they may refuse or steal anything that isn’t nailed down as ‘payment’ for being forced to work for free.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 – Does ‘punishment’ not feature in your vocabulary ?

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

          It’s more to do with the fact that studies have show that punishment doesn’t deter criminals, which is why reoffending rates are so high. Prison, community service, fines seem to have little effect on criminals.

          Though I prefer preventing people from becoming criminals and rehabilitation I do recognise that some people need to be locked up for their own good.

          • electro-kevin
            Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            But we don’t get real punishment in Britain.

            Sentencing is a deliberate deception and prisons are cushy.

            We get recidivism because there is no deterrent.

        • uanime5
          Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

          I feel I should explain what I mean.

          First I do believe that community sentences are a much better alternative than prison, especially when dealing with young people and short term sentences. What I object to is the belief that if you take a criminal, and send them to prison or give them a community sentence they will transform into a law abiding citizen. Punishment does not reform people.

          If someone with little education, no training, has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, from a broken home is sent to prison or made to do community service they will remain a person with little education, no training, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, with the scars from living in a broken home. Without help from social workers and adult education these people will continue drifting into crime because its the only thing they can do.

          In my opinion if the Government waits until people become criminals before they offer any help they’re acting too late. The Government needs to do more to prevent people becoming criminals in the first place.

          • electro-kevin
            Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            Drug taking and drunkenness are crimes.

            Treat them as such rather than illnesses.

            Besides not working your methods cost a lot of money … which we don’t have.

      • zorro
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you could personally supply their ‘Danegeld’ then….from your own resources.


  33. Anne Palmer
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Fact: What has recently happened regarding the ‘Bail Outs’ for the Euro Area is-without doubt- contrary- to the recently ratified Treaty of Lisbon. This of course is a breach of that Treaty and such a breach should be lodged and noted with the Vienna Convention of the law of Treaties. Has this been done?

    Secondly, what is also now proposed for the Euro Area –is a further change to the Treaty of Lisbon and should be put before all the people of the 27 separate Countries -most certainly in this Country because, according to the Treaty, “The currency of the Union shall be the Euro. And although we have an “opt out” on the matter of the Euro” we also recall this is a Government that “opts in” without asking the people as they did with the EIO which, having read about the European Investigating Order, I think perhaps the people should have had a say. (unchecked ref deleted)

  34. Neil Craig
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I would lower the age of criminal responsibility. We clearly have a serious social problem with thuggey by those who know they cannot be hepd accountable. Ity also does no good to youngesters to find, in their formative years, that crime not only pays but goes unpunished.

    I would also allow police to break heads in a riot combat situation. There is much to be said for reinstating the Riot Act with its some modern version of its “reading” being a public warning. So long as looting is fun and safe there are many people who will do it. Currently it is both fun & safe.

    The prime duty of the state is to prevent the more violent sorts of crime. Without that it has no justification.

    I would remove citizenship from any rioter (or major criminal generally) who has dual citizenship derived from theur parents and deport them, as well as non-citizens. Society should have no duties to those who choose not to be part of it.

    I am quite certain it is possible to drastically reduce the cost of imprisoning people.

    All this is basic – fixing the economy, while also vital is less vital (& anyway I have repeatedly said how it can easily be done).

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      The age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old. How much lower do you want it?

      The Riot Act is totally worthless. If people aren’t going to stop looting because riot police turn up they won’t stop because the riot police start reading to them. If you want to stop looting you need more riot police.

      Why are you calling for deportation? Judging by their accents most rioters are British citizens who are local to the area. The claims that immigrants are causing these problems have no basis.

      • Neil Craig
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        I should have said age of full criminal responsibility. Up to 18 they get sent to a “Youth Court” which will not inflict any involuntary punishement, voluntary punishment being rather a contradiction.

        I said a “modern version” of the Riot Act.

        Someone whose parents have foreign nationality will usually, depending on local laws, have derived citizenship. It is also possible to have been born abroad but learned English in England, with an English accent.

        I do not believe we ned more police standing around whose sole job is to handle riots. Nor do I believe that the 32,000 London police are seriously outnumbered by 1-2,000 rioters.

  35. outsider
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    On looting and the causes of looting, I expect nothing but fine words: condemning the indefensible, cool heads, don’t act in haste, broken society, damaging cuts, big society, social responsibility, the family etc.

    The EU side is more interesting. Logically, this is not the moment not to think just in UK terms but about the practical structure. We should aim to allow the eurozone countries to federalise if they want to. In return, ALL non-euro countries should have a general opt-out from all EU directives other than those made under the Single European Act (ie connected with internal trade). Of course, Brussels and Strassbourg are very inventive about classifying new regulations and rulings but it would still be a big help. And we should relieve ALL non-euro members and all new members of their obligation to join the euro.

    Nothing substantive will be achieved here either. Sad.

    • outsider
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      And there will a rise in public spending.

  36. Bernard Otway
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    This time John you edited out WITH NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT my ENTIRE comment made at about 11 am,and you probably will edit this out.But I want you to know I cut pasted and emailed it to David Bullard,telling him to make a point of looking at your diary page from now on, I also have let PETER Hitchens know ,Melanie Pillips,Guido ,Leo Mckinstry and Richard Littlejohn,I suggested to them all to invite commenters who have been Edited/Mod/
    Censored to write and let them know What about. (etc etc)

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    The Civil Contingencies Act 2004:

    provides the government with the ample scope to make emergency regulations to deal with this situation, especially now that Parliament has been recalled, and I would suggest that for a start such temporary regulations should create two new criminal offences:

    a) For any person to be in a public place wearing any kind of face covering.

    b) For members of a group of more than three persons gathered in a public place to fail to disperse within 30 minutes of being ordered to do so.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      What use will these new crimes be? Given that many rioters are already committing arson, theft, criminal damage, and various forms of assault these new offences won’t deter anyone.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        If being forced to remove face coverings, on pain of arrest, would have no effect, why are so many of the youths wearing them?

        If groups being forced to disperse, on pain of arrest, would have no effect, why are youths choosing to hang around in groups?

        These would be preventative measures, ensuring that the faces of would-be rioters were exposed to the CCTV cameras and forcing them to disperse BEFORE it turned into a riot.

        Although in law 12 or more persons must be involved for the offence of “riot”, while my 3 or more persons is actually the required number for the lesser offence of “violent disorder”.

        • uanime5
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          Youths cover their faces so it’s harder to recognise them. A jury may not convict someone if they can be sure its the defendant.

          Besides if you tell youths to undercover their faces or disperse they’ll recover their faces and join up once the police have gone. If they’re in a large gang they may ignore the police because they feel that in a fight they can beat up the police officers.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 11, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            Of course youths cover their faces so it’s harder to recognise them – that’s precisely why it should be an offence to do so.

            If ordered to disperse then that means, as in the old Riot Act, go to their homes – not just move round the corner.

            Of course a large gang they may think they can beat up the police officers – that’s precisely why any groups which appear to be gathering for trouble should be broken up before they get too large.

            My impression is that you’re on the wrong side of this debate, the side of the lawbreakers.

  38. Alan Wheatley
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Good post.

    As to the age of criminal responsibility, I have always been of the opinion that their should be no act by anyone of any age without their being someone (or organisation) responsible for that action.

    If the person carrying out an act is deemed to be too young to be responsible then the responsibility must lie with that person’s parents (or legal guardian). However, parents have progressively been put in a more and more difficult position to be able to fulfil that responsibility as a consequence of children being given rights independent of their parents and parents being restricted as to what they are allowed to do.

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    “He can tell us what the UK wants in return for allowing the Euro member states to press on with greater union, as he proposes.”

    We already know the answer to that: the UK government wants nothing in return, which is why Cameron asked for no quid pro quo when he agreed to this far-reaching treaty amendment on March 25th:

    I don’t know how many times it has to be said that this is not something which might happen at some point in the future: Cameron has ALREADY agreed to it, over four months ago, and it cannot be stopped now unless enough MPs (or Lords) decide to vote against the Bill to approve it.

    Which seems unlikely, because both Houses pre-authorised Cameron to agree to it before he went to the March 24/25 meeting of the European Council.

    • norman
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Sssshhh, can’t we at least pretend for a while longer?

  40. Cricket John
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


    It would appear that the Metropolitan Police has 33258 sworn officers 4226 Special constables and 4520 police community support officers.

    The question I would like to ask is why after a weekend of riots they could only find 6000 offices to deal with the problems of Monday. It may seem a simple question but what was the other 36002 doing.

    Even if you take a 3 shift system it would mean 14000 officers would be available.

    If you moved to 12 hour shifts while the problems continue it would mean 24000 available

    No doubt holidays and sickness would account for a percentage but how big is this number.

    On top of this they are supported by over 14000 civilian workers who seem to man the police stations and answer the phone.

    This is not a dig at the Police as I think they do a job which is almost impossible tied down with human rights and what is and what is not politically correct.

    I am sure what most people want is a Police force not a Police service, as law and order is too important to be treated as a social experiment.

    A refocus, maybe a bit more “Protect and Serve”, rather than “working together for a safer community”

    • JimF
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      -6-7 weeks leave a year plus extra for no or low sickness, so say average 7 weeks a year. Takes numbers down by 7/52s, add maybe 50% for schhol holiday leave, leaves numbers down in August say 10/52s
      -so 42/52ths are on a 3 shift system leaving 14/52ths in any 8 hour period
      -say 30% of these either “at base” or doing other things leaves 10/52ths
      -that’s about 6000

      Of course in a more flexible world they could have called on officers in the home counties but that didn t seem to happen.

  41. Anne Palmer
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I suggest what Denis Cooper state re The Civil Contingencies Act 2004: about ‘Face Coverings’ becomes law-and quickly. Yes, I am aware of certain groups of femail dress covering the face except for the eyes, but anyone could be wearing such dress-mail or femail these days.

  42. Javelin
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    You may be bolting the stable door to late – I’m watching the Italian banks Unicredit is now below 1 Euro – down 8% onthe day. Its fallen steadily all year and is now tanking. The bail out clearly didn’t work. You my be debating as Europe burns tomorrow.

    Make sure you have a good look at the markets before you go into the chamber, so you get the past/present tense correct in your speech.

    reply: Im am glad I helped persuade them to let us talk about the Euro and the economy as well – it is still a hugely important issue.

  43. uanime5
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    “Can with the extra police the force now arrest more at the scene of the crime, often with the proof of their crimes in their hands?”

    That depends on the police to rioter ratio. 40 riot police won’t be able to arrest 500 rioters. 500 police officers won’t be able to arrest 500 rioters if the rioters decide to run away.

    “Can threatening gangs be broken up or detained before they do damage to people and property?”

    Not without the foresight of a Hebrew prophet. It’s impossible to know where the gangs are, or which groups of people are planning to do damage until they actually do damage.

    “What is the appropriate level of force to use against violent looters?”

    The current level is fine. If you escalate the levels of police force expect the rioters to become more violent as well. The rioter may also respond to more violence by using more lighting raids to steal and be gone before the police arrive, or by starting fires to distract the police while they loot.

    “How can you distinguish readily between violent gangs of looters, and people just out on the streets for peaceful purposes?”

    Very difficult to determine as they tend to act and dress the same. Unless they’re carrying stolen property or weapons it can be difficult to identify them.

    “What is the appropriate sentence for those who destroy homes and businesses, and help themselves to other people’s goods?”

    The current levels are fine, though more restorative justice would help educate the criminals regarding how their actions affect those whose homes and businesses have been damaged.

    “What did the PM mean when he said if you are old enough to commit a crime you are old enough to take the consequences? Is he thinking of changing the age of criminal responsibility?”

    Given that the current age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old, one of the lowest in Europe, it would be perverse to lower it further simple to increase the number of prosecutions.

  44. Winston Smith
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    The scale of the criminality is not being covered by the MSM media, as they concentrate where their camera crews are located. Local news websites are a better indication. For example, there were 28 arrests in Barnet and Colindale Police Station was attacked by rioters. 26 arrests in Hillingdon as shops and retail parks were targeted. I can list many, many more. We are told by the left-leaning and left-influenced political elite that we are harsh on criminals, which is why we have the highest prison population in Europe. What they deliberately hide is the fact that we have the highest level of criminality in Europe, even after State manipulation of statistics. We imprison the least number of people per crime than the whole of Europe, bar Sweden. Vast numbers of criminals and the criminally minded have seen the past 4 days as an opportunity. The scale of it is frightening. We have a serious crime problem. What are the political elite going to do about it?

  45. Bernard Otway
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    As SUE said above,even my complaint was edited WHY do you consider it SEDITIOUS to
    write about SAMIDZDAT from the USSR,we have that NOW it is called the INTERNET/BLOGOSPHERE,you can’t stop it and you will be found out and QUESTIONED
    and WORSE for you john DOUBTED in your other work.For goodness sake the Ayatollah Komenei orchestrated the Iranian revolution and the overthrow of the SHAH in 1979
    from a cottage in the suburbs of Paris,and there was NO internet then.

  46. Bernard Otway
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Long comment wishing to repeat allegations about people undertaking the violence. The reason I delete them is that there is an attempt to blame a large group of people, which includes a large majority who dislike violence as much as you and I do.

  47. a-tracy
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Winston, Sue and Bernard I often get my comments moderated on this website but I always think its because I’m making such good comments John wants to keep them to himself to work on for a spell 😉

    reply: I am a cautious moderator because I do not have time to spend defending you and the site from people upset by comments. There is usually a polite way of making your point.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I’ve re-read my comments and I’m surprised you found them impolite. If you tell me what it was that you didn’t like I’ll take more care with my postings.

      reply: I am trying to avoid blanket blame and denunciations of groups, and possible libels

  48. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what the Government can do about this except immediately disempower Human Rights lawyers forthwith so that the police can react unhindered. Also give the IPCC and internal investigators a month off while the rank-and-file cops do their bit.

    After that tackle welfarism, leftism, lenient sentencing, the Human Rights Act, Human Rights Lawyers and the BBC.

    (Comments about ways usually law abiding may break the law deleted, as breaking the law is never recommended by this site)

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      PS, Kenneth Clarke has to go.

  49. Iain Gill
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    more politicians with public school accents who have never spent a night in a bed on a council estate telling us all their opinions on events just doesnt look good

    where oh where are the politicians who have a clue and the background to understand

  50. uanime5
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    As many of the rioters come from broken homes and don’t have a father figure I recommend that the Government:

    1) Changes the benefits system so that those who get married are financially better of than those who don’t. At present the benefit system give more money to single people with children than couples with children, so it actively discourages people from getting married.

    2) Changes the divorce laws so that father’s have more rights to see their children and prevent mothers from refusing visiting rights. At present fathers are punished for not paying maintenance but mothers are not punished if they prevent fathers see their children.

    Though I recognise that families can be chaotic or have feckless children if there are two parents these families are generally much rarer.

    I also recommend that the Coalition brings in several welfare reforms sooner. They are as follows:

    1) At present anyone who gets a minimum wage loses almost all their benefits so there is a strong disincentive to work. However the Government has plans to change this so that for every pound a person earns they lose 66p of their benefits. This means that people on benefits who work will always be better off in work.

    2) Change the system so that people who lose their job don’t have to wait several weeks before they get their benefits. People won’t take short term jobs if it means they will be unable to quickly reclaim their benefits.

    While these welfare changes won’t make those who don’t want to work get a full time job they will encourage people to take up part time work if they want extra money.

  51. rose
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I would like this debate to be the start of the real fightback: against all the wrong-headedness since 1968. On one side common sense, and on the other, the weasel words of the Ken Livingstone tendency, exposed more than ever in recent days as the evil opportunistic distraction it is.

    The PM has it in him to throw off the shackles and lead the country forward to a more sensible way of managing its affairs and rediscovering its former character. Beginning with reasserting our national sovereignty, followed by reducing tax rates, raising interest rates, stopping printing money, and freeing us from Bureaucracy and Political Correctness. Reforming the police and criminal justice system after the destructive influences of the post-Scarman era will be an Augean task, but must be undertaken.

    All of this depends on the public playing their part, as they are at the moment, uncowed by the previous PC tyranny. If the people of Eastern Europe could do it, then so can we. But we need our PM to show conviction and courage, and really go for it. It must be now, or the moment may not come again. The country’s mood might never be more propitious, or the lumpenintelligentsia less respected.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      The people of Eastern Europe live in crony capitalism and gangster states. Just saying.

      • rose
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

        Traditional Christian morality, self discipline, and individual responsibility aren’t going to recover overnight after decades of communist dictatorship. It will be the same here, after what we’ve had corroding our original values, a long hard slog to get back to a healthy and well-functioning state.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Before that they lived as Serfs under a Tsar. Just saying.

          • rose
            Posted August 12, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

            I said Eastern Europe, not Russia. Anyway, life in Russia under Tsar Alexander II was far more hopeful than under Lenin and Stalin. 30,000,000 people may have died of famine and cruelty under Russian communism, which was unprecedented then, and hasn’t been matched since. One day proper attention may be paid to this.

    • zorro
      Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      We need to tell Mr Cameron that we only have one life. He should go for it in accordance with his (supposed proclaimed) convictions….(a bit of a ‘Braveheart’ moment) or will he grow old in his bed regretting his term in office…..


      • zorro
        Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        a bit like Ted Heath did….

  52. Bazman
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    We haven’t just sleep walked into this criminality.The public know whats what and so do the criminals.
    On top of this the polarisation of people who are unemployable with no work ethic wanting expensive goods and the right wing fantasists who want unemployable people with no work ethic to have nothing and be happy with it living five to a room travelling into expensive areas for survival wages whilst themselves using the countries infrastructure, resources and their own social standing. Blaming immigrants as the cause of poverty or an example of why there should be no poverty.
    This started in London where there are a lot of jobs, but not for ****wits as they are always out of work wherever they are.
    When that drunken idiot is being wrestled to the floor by three policeman and took to the cells. What punishment does he get for tying up the police and the system? Mostly a £80 fine or nothing. You get more for a speeding/parking fine. The police are like electricity always taking the easiest route. If someone scratched your car and you just walked up to them stone cold sober and punched them in the face who would the police be interested in the most? If the drunk punched you in the face how interested would the police be? Both cases having no witnesses. The finger prints on the car would not be taken unless it was to convict the car owner. The police are only interested when there is property involved and fines can be pressed against this property, or their own glory as in very serious murder cases. Bear in mind that both cases have resulted in injury so the human life argument is not valid. The business people defending a shop or the thugs attacking the shop. It’s a no brainier. When the little thug is attacking you he is an adult when you are fighting back in the eyes of the law you are fighting a child. Just wait until the first teenager is hit by a plastic bullet or a group of middle aged Russian guys just go and beat a gang of teen rioters for damaging or being near their property without saying anything and then their parents for allowing this, as would happen in Russia.
    Add to all of this the bored opportunists, the opportunists and the fun of a riot. Yes fun. Like drugs riots can be fun. You may deny this fact but it will still remain
    The of all of this t is what you see on TV.
    How long before the BBC is to blame for the riots but not SKY? Go on we’re waiting.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      There’s a lot here that I agree with Baz, riots being fun for the participants, for example and the attitude of the police.

      But 50 years ago, there were no riots. So what has changed since then?

      More able bodied people are unemployed/living on benefits/being paid by taxpayers not to work – than 50 years ago. Those able bodied people receiving long term benefits generally resent this help (because they want to be able to fend for themselves) but like an addict, continue to expect it and need it. They are (understandably) unable to wean themselves off of welfare because to take a job will usually mean a fall in income. So they are better off on benefits and tax payers are paying for people who could work not to work – that’s the madness of what the welfare state has become.

      More children are being brought up without a traditional 2 parent family structure than 50 years ago. Despite sex education at ever younger ages, freely available contraception and abortion, Britain tops the league in teenage pregnacies. I would argue that this sitaution is encouraged by the State, as teenage mothers can gain advantages over others when it comes to social housing and benefits. This is certainly different to 50 years ago where pregnacies rarely occurred outside of marriage, and there was certainly no state aid if there was. Familes either rallied round or the only other answer was adoption.

      Education is much, much worse than it was 50 years ago. The comprehensive revolution has been an absolute failure and it fails the poor the worst of all. Bright children from poor families have little to no chance of a good education, so the temptation for them to turn to crime is going to be much more difficult to resist. So there are a lot of people with little or no hope of getting a decent job, and a ready pool of talent for the enterprising criminal gang.

      The Police have surrendered the streets to gangs. 50 years ago there were still regular foot patrols in all areas of the country and crime was prevented by them because the police were ever present, knew their patch and had the respect of the public. Low level petty crime was forcefully stamped on.

      This barely scratches the surface of what has changed in Britain in the last couple of generations, but the force behind the change has been the policies of the left in conjunction with the abject failure of the Conservatives to effectively fight those policies and reverse them when the opportunities were there to do so. These two things have created this mess that we’re in and I see no-one offering any hope of making things any better.

      reply: I am not sure I remember the golden age. The 1960s saw the battle of the mods against the rockers: they used I seem to remember arrive in seaside towns at bank holidays to cause trouble to each other and to anyone in the way.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted August 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Are you saying that nothing has changed, then, in that time? It was always this bad, I just view the past with rose tinted spectacles?

        There have always been groups of young men who want to fight with each other, I don’t disagree with you on that point, but it’s the scale of things now that is concerning. The thing that worries me most is the way the police stood by and let looting happen in front of them – unthinkable 10 years ago, not 50.

    • rose
      Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      A lot of good and depressing points here, Bazman.

      I don’t think anyone is blaming immigrants for our ills. Much of the recent over-immigration has been a symptom, not a cause, and many, many of the individuals themselves have been exemplary. But the sum of it all has been corrosive, especially the huge influx encouraged by the last government for base political reasons, and on several counts:
      1) businesses and governments have not bothered to train and educate people already here, so an underclass has developed
      2)the country was too small and already far too crowded
      3)the so-called public services can’t cope and were already not coping
      4)national identity and sense of worth has been lost
      5)there have already been conflicts and these may increase
      6)not all immigrants have prospered; and some descendants have become an increasingly worrying problem.
      For all of this, it is politicians, not immigrants, who are to blame, and most immigrants themselves are well aware of all these points.

  53. Kenneth
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I really do not understand why so many people are scratching their heads about this one.

    We have been here before. With previous riots the narrative was hijacked by the BBC/Labour Party which influenced the government of the day to build more youth clubs etc and, in Labour’s case, to add to our debt by paying the disastrous EMA and increasing other benefits.

    We end up with the state taking more of the responsibility and families taking less. Worse of all, just as we park our elderly into homes, we park our teenagers into youth clubs and even pay them pocket money (dole) if they do not have a job.

    In short we do not value them. We give them hand outs and find ways to keep them off the street. In my view teenagers should be working from the age of 12 upwards, whether part-time or full time, they should have a job.

    We also stupidly value academic education and qualifications above other types of education and force kids to stay at school (an open prison if you do not care for Shakespeare or chemistry) but that is another sorry story that has fed this problem.

    There is a boy near me who is (illegally) pulled out of school to mind the family shop for a few hours occasionally. Many will tut tut at this. However, this child will NOT be looting anything: he earns a small wage: he is contributing: he is valued.

    If we had no min wage there would be more part time jobs for kids.

    At least this time the Labour Party can tell which way opinion is swinging and will not join the BBC/Guardian chorus. Perhaps this time some brave soul will stand up in Parliament, risking their career, and say: we should be allowing youngsters to work and we should scrap automatic dole money entitlement and scrap the min wage. We need to value our kids instead of treating them as lepers.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      If we had no minimum wage we’d have more adult unemployment.

      Also the hourly minimum wage is much lower for those between 16-17 (£3.64) and 18-20 (£4.92). For those over 21 its £5.93.

      • Kenneth
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        “If we had no minimum wage we’d have more adult unemployment.”


    • lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      I agree that part time jobs for children are often a very good thing but they have been regulated almost out of existence.

  54. Andrew
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    It is a real shame that your thought processes are so clear, as it means that the now dominant spoken media are not your forte. Your writing is irrefutable. All of it. The problem is that when you speak on the TV, you cut right through to the truth, which makes everyone uncomfortable.

    I’ve seen it several times. The public do not like to hear nine words that speak the truth; they like warm fluffy rolling sentences with plenty of time to think, littered with mindless fillers like ‘and let me be clear’ and ‘if I can just say this’ and ‘of course this is something that we will need to consider in the days and weeks ahead’. They like lots of smiling and matey chat too.

    You would say something sensible on TV like ‘clearly, welfarism is destroying our cities’. This approach even makes me uncomfortable, because I don’t have time to examine the statement from all angles before some idiot from BBC-Labour trots out the Islington consensus and I lose my train of thought.

    You need to speak like you write! Walk people through the arguments and resist the urge to go for the knockout punch all the time. If you have ever watched the film Gladiator, it contains something that you could learn from. Win the crowd, Prospero says, and you will win your freedom..

    This is why you are not running the country right now. A shame, really, as the dwindling hard-working majority (?) increasingly have no-one to stand up for their freedoms. DanHan has promise, but I think his ego will finish him before his time comes.

    Cameron has just come on the radio and is trying to convince us that courts are sitting all night, in order to send all these people to jail for rioting. They clearly are not going to be sent to jail for a length of time that would constitute a deterrent, if at all.

    Parliament should be voting through an emergency, retrospectively applied, law of ‘joining and sustaining a riot situation’ with a minimum sentence of 2 years served. The public will support building the extra prisons and this is a once in a generation approach to clear the streets of vermin and re-establish the rule of law. It would have the support of everyone except Harperson and RedKen – whose opposition represents the very definition of good law.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. Never posted before and probably never will again. Keep up the good writing!



  55. Bernard Otway
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink


  56. Susan
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I think the euro crisis could be solved much more quickly if effective leadership was in place, the same is true of America, as Obama seems unable to provide direction to the American economy. Markets do not like uncertainty and at present that is exactly what they have with the EU. I don’t believe either greater integration or Countries dropping out of the euro is necessary, if someone would take the lead in the EU and come up with a long term plan for the way forward.

    As to the UK, I would like to see the Government come up with real policies to deal with Britains social problems. When economies fail, problems of this nature are always exposed, as those who have a life of State dependency and entitlement think some of this will be withdrawn. The UK must move towards policies which reward hard work, family values and improvement in both discipline and education in school, if the problems in society are to be solved.

    Economically I would like to see the Government bring in growth policies, which lower the burden of taxation to encourage entrepreneurs, cut red tape and begin to make proper spending cuts.

    Quite a wish list, that will never happen.

  57. Javelin
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    A while ago I posted the thought – what if the ECB went bust? John also asked the question so much better than I did.

    … but people are now begining to seriously question whether the European Stablity Fund will loose it AAA rating – which I suppose is a weaker form of the same question – but John got alot closer.

    • sm
      Posted August 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Is sterling tied to the euro via the ECB and another implicit guarantee?

      You have got to admire how some can exploit an opportunity and pull strings.

      Reply: No sterling is not tied to the Euro

  • 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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