What a week!


          I have never had so many responses to stories as the numbers that came in concerning the looting, arson and violent attacks on our streets. I have done my best to keep up with the flow. I understand that some of you wish to discuss race and immigration issues. I have edited these for two main reasons. Firstly I do not think we have just witnessed race riots. Secondly, my understanding of the UK – and of England – is that we are a country made up of many migrants from many places who came at various times in our history.  There is no simple tale to tell, and I do not wish to help divide communities or libel groups who have their share of  criminals, their share of hard working and responsible people and their share of  saints like all the rest.

England was settled by Angles and Saxons, by Celts and by Picts, by Jutes and by Jews, by Hugenots and other Protestant refugees from the continent, by Indians and Pakistanis, by West Indians and by Africans, by Poles and Czechs, by all manner of people from many parts of the world. I have no idea where my ancestors came from or when they came, nor will many of you, but we too ultimately  are the sons and daughters of migrants.


               We should not seek to divide all those legally settled here by reference to race or creed. We should be working towards common goals and creating a common life which draws on our great island story. We have democratic institutions founded on fine principles. All are equal beneath the law. The law applies to all, however powerful or rich. Everyone is innocent until proved guilty, and all charged with a crime have the right to prove their innocence in  court. There is  trial with  a  jury for the more serious offences. The state does not make windows into men’s souls, and permits all religions and beliefs, unless they preach hatred, violence and intolerance to others.

The one thing which defined and united those who broke windows, threw bricks, stole goods and torched other people’s property is that they are all criminals. Most if  not all of them were UK citizens, legally settled here, many born here. The issue is what should the government and the wider community do to prevent such misconduct in the future. The elephant in the room is too many criminals. The problem is the spirit which took so many into crazy behaviour, which if unchecked would have made normal commercial life, jobs and incomes impossible to maintain.


The government recognises it needs an agenda to improve its response to any possible break down in authority. In recent days  the police have changed their response to such an outbreak of criminality, with the support of the government.

The government has stated that the police can insist on people revealing their faces, to make them more relucant to commit offences.

It has stated there will be enough prison places available to put those who committed serious crimes into jail.

The police moved to putting more  officers on the streets, and to arresting more at the time of the crimes being committed.

The government confirmed that the faces of those believed to have committed offences  can be posted on the web to locate them for questioning.

The courts met continuously through day and night to handle the rush of cases expeditiously. Some magistrates and judges have handed out exemplary sentences. Others have been criticised for alleged lenience.

The government says it intends there to be enough police available in future for front line duties. There is an argument between the polticial parties over whether future budgets are sufficient. The government  claims there is plenty of scope to divert resources from back office and paperwork to more active policing.

There does seem to be a move towards more active policing at the time of the event, and less reliance on CCTV images and subsequent arrests.

My first question is what else would you like the authorities and the police to do? Does the law need strengthening? Are the new police tactics correct?

Several of you have written in to say that you think the behaviour of thieves and yobs is similar in nature to the bahaviour of bankers and politicians who have taken large bonuses or generous expenses. Some of the yobs, far from beign campaigners for higher public spending on youth clubs, were saying taxes were too high leaving them insufficient cash to buy what they wanted, as if that excused taking it for nothing.

I fundamentally disagree with this way of thinking. Where MPs stole public money they should be condemnded as roundly as the looters, and sent to jail – which indeed is what has happened. An MP who is found guilty of theft loses job, reputation, and liberty. An MP who claimed sums under a generous scheme for expenses which was legal at the time was guilty of misjudgement in the court of hindsight, but was no thief. The subsequent row led to a tighter scheme as befits the mood of the times. The fact that MPs are allowed to charge for secretrial support, other office expenses and overnight accommodation when they are working late is no justification for others to steal. Most people in executive style jobs can claim overnight and subsistence costs when working  away from home. Most have secretaries and office supplies provided to do their jobs without having to submit claims for audit.


A banker who earns a very large bonus because he and his bank have made large profits of course attracts jealousy, but again is no good reason why others should go looting. The profitability of the banks should have produced more competitive challenge, and may now do so to compete away high profits. If the bank has risked private capital and chooses to reward it employees or its shareholders well, that is no more unacceptable than the wages very good footballers earn because many people want to see them play. The rest of us benefit from the high taxes they pay, assuming they are onshore.

I agree that the state should not  subsidise the banks to pay such bonuses or to bail out their losses. I was the one MP who disagreed with the nationalisation of the banks. I proposed breaking them up,  only protecting the depositors, handling them through a controlled administration.  I think it was a huge mistake that the government  did not make it a conditon of support for nationalised banks that they had to  cut high salaries and ban bonuses until the banks are profitable and back in the private sector.

The fact that Messrs Brown and Darling confirmed many generous contracts and signed up some more of their own still does not justify others going looting.

We also need to continue the substantial work going on to get more young people into work, and to teach and train more to see the value and virtue of abiding by the law and taking responsibility for your own life.


  1. Quietzaple
    August 13, 2011

    Heartwarming to read your account of the derivations of we Britons! Thank you.

    CCTV records are being used to track criminals and quite right too.

    Were ID cards to be in use sus style checks even on Yardies and EDL members would occasion less friction/angst. Reasonable assumption that the (police-ed) are looking for hated illegal immigrants or some other persons despised by whomever was being checked.

    Would the original killing which brought the peaceful demonstration the police ignored and the first riot and looting have happened?

    There is a need for a carefull and comprehensive Inquiry for which I called ahead of Ed Mili btw: Mr Cameron and the largely foreign owned and led media are ensuring a circus in it’s place. As ever avoidance is more comfortable than putting the truly significant questions.

  2. lifelogic
    August 13, 2011

    “We should be working towards common goals and creating a common life which draws on our great island story.”

    Indeed and to this end we should get rid of the state subsidised religious schools many of which incubate problems for the future as we have seen in northern Ireland and elsewhere. We should also stop encouraging, through benefits, an underclass who live for generations off the labours of others. 600,000 adults under 25 who have never done a days work in their lives.

    “We have democratic institutions founded on fine principles.
    All are equal beneath the law.”

    Well perhaps but the EU has virtually destroyed UK democracy such as existed and it was far from a real democracy even before this destruction. If parties fail to keep promises made, say one thing while actually doing another and spend vast amount of tax on propaganda intentionally misleading voters then what value does the vote every five years actually have. Also if MP feal UK democracy is theirs to give/sell away to the EU without proper reference to the people.

    MP’s should set a good example and have largely not done so. They also have special laws and arrangements in tax, pensions, control of parliament, libel and other areas so all are not really quite equal under the law.

    Clearly it was not solely a race riot but the politically correct BBC type attitude that makes people feel like dependent victims and incubated such feelings of discontent. Organisations such as the equalities commission have much to feel guilty for – get rid of them all now they do far more harm than good.

    Reply: MPs have no special tax or pensions arrangements. We pay the same taxes under the same rules as everyone else, and have a contributory pension fund like many in the public sector, with the highest rates of contribution of the public schemes. We do have a right to say things about people under Parliamentary privilege which might not be permissible outside, but it is a right which should only be used in extreme circumstances where we think the public good may be served by taking a risk.It is correctly rarely used.

    1. lifelogic
      August 13, 2011

      Also I suspect that MPs have the advantage that when they write to the state sector they can expect a considered reply. The state sectors is now often so dis-functional (local authorities, HMRC the Police, the court system, ombudsmen and many other areas ) that many letters, from mortals, do not even get any reply and even more rarely a prompt reply, in good English that actually addresses the issues raised and shows that the person writing has actually read the letter sent.

    2. lifelogic
      August 13, 2011

      If you search HMRC web site for “members of parliament” there are a great deal of revenue concessions specifically for MPs and some specific proposed legal variations for MPs and their pensions. These allow tax relief for certain expenses that would certainly not be allowable to mere tax payers and would be taxed as benefits in kind. Also for EU jobs pensions and expenses.

      Not that this for one moment excuses or explains any of the appalling riot and looting.

      I see that Osbourne is talking again about “reviews” looking at the 50% rate I assume this will be reduced just before they loose the next election. It should go now back dated even together with a reduction in CGT and IHT if it is to encourage growth.

      If he really likes it it should just retain it for the relatively over paid state sector and BBC “workers” to redress the imbalance of Gordon’s private sector pension mugging tax.

      Does Osbourne want growth or not it is really very, very simple. The formula is:

      Cheap non green energy/much smaller state/fewer and better regulation/fewer pointless wars/lower tax rates/less payments to the feckless/less money to PIGIS/fewer employment regulation = growth, jobs more tax receipts and inward investment.

      The reverse gives economic collapse – it take some time so please do not waste yet another year.

      It is clearly absurd to evict a family for the offences of one member it is against natural justice and pointless I hope the court will throw it out.

      But anyway in fairness to all tenants private and state all should pay the market rate for any housing they occupy – they get help if needed anyway after all.

      reply: Name a special tax exemption for MPs – I know of none.

      1. lifelogic
        August 13, 2011
    3. matthu
      August 13, 2011

      John –
      You say that MPs have no special tax or pensions arrangements.

      Can you then perhaps explain the intention of the exclusion mentioned in Section 554E(8) of the Finance Bill which reads as follows:

      “Chapter 2 does not apply by reason of a relevant step taken by the
      Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in relation to a
      member of the House of Commons.”

      My understanding is that this exclusion relates to legislation that is only there to stop ‘tax avoidance’. However, Section 554E(8) specifically exempts members of the House of Commons and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority from the new legislation in situations where they are actually caught by it.

      reply: Not with a view to stopping MPs paying tax everyone else has to pay

    4. uanime5
      August 13, 2011

      “We should also stop encouraging, through benefits, an underclass who live for generations off the labours of others. 600,000 adults under 25 who have never done a days work in their lives.”

      So are you going to create 600,000 new jobs for them or do you want 600,000 new criminals?

      1. lifelogic
        August 14, 2011

        Businesses and individuals will create the jobs themselves if the government lets them by leaving businesses alone and letting them keep more or their money to reinvest, getting the banks to lend, reducing regulation and stopping silly market distortions like the green Bling house nonsense.

        The last thing we want is for the government to try to create jobs.

        1. Kenneth
          August 14, 2011

          Well said.

          …I would add the distortion caused to the employment market by the diastrous minimum wage.

  3. Charles Bell
    August 13, 2011

    Peter Oborne of the Daily Telegraph wrote an apposite analysis of what’s gone wrong

    “The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom” …

    “..The culture of greed and impunity we are witnessing on our TV screens stretches right up into corporate boardrooms and the Cabinet. It embraces the police and large parts of our media. It is not just its damaged youth, but Britain itself that needs a moral reformation.”

    It was interesting to note your comment about tax revenue if paid onshore. Tackling tax evaders and avoiders effectively should help reduce the deficit significantly. If your business is in the UK , even if technically as an owner you don’t reside here you should pay taxes in full just like most of us who PAYE. If a business owner does reside in the UK they should pay tax here and not be able to avoid tax liabilities which most citizens pay. It’s a scandal and an affront to ordinary tax-payers when very rich people get away with paying taxes in in the UK whilst still benefitting from all the public services and protection the st of us pay for

    Reply: the government is tackling evasion – it needs to be done internationally as rich people and businesses are footloose.

    1. Tedgo
      August 13, 2011

      I smiled when I read “rich people and businesses are footloose”. I can hardly imagine Philip Green and wife loading all their stores on the back of a lorry to move them to foreign parts. Nor would they walk away and abandon those stores.

      We need to do away with Non Dom statues. Irrespective of where you live in the world, all income derived in Britain should be taxed at source here. Income includes business profits, capital gains and dividends etc. I would go one stage further and tax transfers of money out of the country by businesses, I am thinking in terms of royalty and licence fee payments etc as these are major vehicles for repatriating profits.

      Those measures would help prevent vast amounts of money escaping to tax havens.

      On the other hand what income people have in foreign countries, including UK citizens, is not the business of HMRC, it is up to the tax authorities in those countries to tax appropriately as they see fit. Neither is the AFTER TAX foreign income and savings of UK citizens transferred to the UK any business of the HMRC.

      If we wait for international agreement we will wait for ever.

      Reply: Entrepreneurs can sell shares in their business and take the money abroad. They can change the residence of the main Group etc

      1. Geoff not Hoon
        August 13, 2011

        When each of the major accountancy firms have complete departments just advising on how to not pay tax will always make it difficult for the revenue collecting tax. In the 80’s I was a shareholder/director in a company about to float on the LSE. In the months up to the SE launch I met more ****people in Jersey than I knew existed. All intent on taking my bucks on creating a Trust and the various routes to not pay 40% CGT and then to ensure proper logs were kept of days in the UK to again not appear on my company’s PAYE. Instead I drank a lot, met a few wrong ladies, gambled and even wasted some of it so now I dont need such expensive advice any more.

        1. rose
          August 13, 2011

          The flat and simple answer to this is to have flat and simple taxes, at a low rate. Then the cash will flow into HM’s treasury coffers instead of the accountants’.

          1. uanime5
            August 13, 2011

            Low taxes = less money for the Government. Also just because taxes are low doesn’t mean people will pay them. Why pay 20% or 10% tax when you can pay 0% tax?

          2. rose
            August 13, 2011

            It has been shown again and again, not least by our cybertutor, that lowering the rate increases the take. People find it simpler to pay than to avoid, and they make more as well, because it is worth their while, so they pay tax on that too. A very few self-employed little people may still evade, but they will have been already doing that so it won’t hinder the overall increase.

          3. rose
            August 13, 2011

            And they make employment for others, who in their turn pay tax and work harder because it is worth their while.

            I know this is anathema for socialists who like taxation for its own sake, not for the benefit of the exchequer. They enjoy taxing other people and spending other people’s money, but they don’t really want to enrich the country as a whole, just impoverish the rich, and feel good about spending other people’s money on the poor, whom they most definitely want to remain poor, and thus dependent on them. Sorry Mr R if this is a sweeping generalisation. There are good and idealistic socialists too, who aren’t spiteful and confiscatory.

          4. lifelogic
            August 14, 2011

            Low tax rates do not mean lower tax receipts – there is an optimum level for maximum (long term) tax receipts that is well below current absurd levels of rates.

            If you bleed the cow too much you just end up with a dead cow and people unlike cows can just go (taking their money with them) or simply stop working.

      2. Tedgo
        August 13, 2011

        JR a predictable reply so lets do nothing about it.

        If Philip Green sold his shares they would be snapped up by Entrepreneurs who would be willing to work under the new tax regime I have proposed. How much do we have to pander to these peoples greed.

        Even if you move the headquarter of the Group, you still have to have subsidiaries in each country of operation. These are business entities within themselves and subject to the full scope of taxation.

        1. Geoff not Hoon
          August 13, 2011

          Tedgo: not sure if you are suggesting mine was the predicatable reply. If the schemes the big accountancy firms peddle are legal etc. why should folk not take advantage? Are you suggesting a society where we perhaps compete with one another to see who has paid the most tax? Someone will tell me who said it is every mans duty (legitamately) to pay as little tax as possible etc. etc. If none said it I am saying it.

        2. Tedgo
          August 13, 2011

          No, I was referring to Johns reply to my first entry.

        3. lifelogic
          August 14, 2011

          If you start confiscating people wealth (any more than is done already) as you seem to be proposing, they will leave in droves and rightly so. Then use their money and talents to benefit other countries no doubt.

      3. sm
        August 13, 2011

        Yes and with competition would be replaced internally if they are not the government would reduce its size and people would have clear economic choices – manage the dislocation with fx controls if economically significant.

        Any entrepreneurs who leave with substantial funds should deposit a bond with the government to cover any social costs should they return broke.

      4. lifelogic
        August 13, 2011

        Capital and good people are now very mobile and will go if the government they are fiscally pushed away. 50% tax rates and 40% IHT will take nearly all your capital off you in 20 years!

        At 10% PA return £1M grows to £6.7M in 20 years if untaxed. With 50% and IHT at 40% grows only to £1.59M probably a loss in real terms.

        Non Doms already pay tax on UK income just not world wide income and they also pay the £30,000 -£50,000 in non dom tax. The more people paying tax of 50K PA the better for both the deficit and the country.

        In fact the £50K is already rather too high for maximum benefit and discourages them too much already.

        Better still have a top tax cap of say £150,000 PA per person for all and no IHT at all. The more such people come to the UK, invest/live and work here the better for all and the better for tax receipts too.

        Also (as the government need money to pay off Browns tax and waste excesses) they should also do deals with individuals who want to come on maximum tax due as the Swiss do and should let people pay IHT liabilities with an up front payment to settle all future liabilities. So they can know where they stand.

        What happened to the £1M IHT promise anyway?

        1. lifelogic
          August 13, 2011

          |If a nondom pays the £50K nondom tax plus tax on his UK income they are probably paying about 15 times as much tax as an average wage worker does. They are probably rather less likely to use any state services too.

          The UK needs far more of them not fewer.

          1. David Price
            August 14, 2011

            I believe the average income is around £25K which resolves to around £6K income tax assuming no benefits.

            So the factor is closer to 9 rather than 15, but still significant since the non-dom is paying this on top of UK income.

          2. lifelogic
            August 14, 2011

            No but they pay tax/NI on a (usually high) UK income in addition to the 50K and also on any funds remitted to the UK.

            Often they have a wife/husband who pays the same 50K too.

        2. uanime5
          August 13, 2011

          I fail to see how high taxes will cause problems. Only the very rich will leave, while the rest of their lower paid employees remain and contribute taxes.

          1. lifelogic
            August 14, 2011

            “While the rest of their lower paid employees remain” Yes but perhaps become unemployed as a result and thus contribute no taxes and become a cost.

  4. Antisthenes
    August 13, 2011

    It is not immigration that is the problem here as mostly immigration is a good thing for the country if the right type of immigrant is encouraged and wrong type is discouraged . What is wrong is that the left have held sway in the UK and other Western nations for many decades now. The left being in the ascendancy has led to a welfare system that makes the “poor” to rich to work and an education system that after the dismantling of the Grammar school system so appalling that has made too many too dumb to work. Left wing policies has led to lowing standards and values in society and has discouraged family values and personal responsibility.

    1. Leif Bergstrom
      August 13, 2011

      I agree, but sadly there seems to be very little political will or ability to deal with this problem among other political parties.

      Traditionally more “liberal” or “conservative” policies are all very well, but the best policies, views, and opinions won’t change anything unless there is strong leadership willing and able to take the policies further and implement change the judicial, welfare and education system.

      We ignored and left one generation to grow out-of-control, and out of reach of a civilized and law-abiding society. What we now are witnessing is their children running wild and out-of-control on the streets on London, Birminghan, Manchester, Bristol …

      I just hope that there are enough warning bells ringing now, to wake up even the most complacent of MPs and decisions makers to act – before we have a third generation of professional criminals, supported and funded by the state (=us)!

    2. Nick
      August 13, 2011

      Some migration is good, but to say its mostly good is wrong.

      The government spends 11K per person per year.

      How many of the migrants are on over 40K a year per migrant? [120K for 1 working, 2 dependents] Not many.

      As such the tax payer is subsidising them to come here.

      Next you need to look at the two ends. High tax paying migrants don’t necessarily take jobs from others. In most cases coming here makes the UK a more attractive place to invest. Other top end tax payer’s win because of that.

      Low end migration is another issue. Here they are competing against people on benefits and a lot of the people on benefits are taking the decision not to work, because they have stiff competition. The end result is that tax payer’s lose out.

      Those on benefits lose out, because if lots of them worked, taxes would be lowered and they would be better off.

      In the interim, people on minimum wages are being taxed to pay those benefits, and that is wrong

    3. David Price
      August 13, 2011

      Agree. I have recently been wondering about the relevance and importance of Michael Gove’s drive for Free schools. I have gone from thinking it of secondary importance to probably being the single key action after getting rid of the deficit and reducing debt, provided the statists are not allowed to constrain and dictate the teaching policies and content.

    4. uanime5
      August 13, 2011

      Given that benefits are cut if you have over £6,000 in saving and you don’t get any benefits if you have over £16,000 no one has ever become rich via benefits.

      1. rose
        August 13, 2011

        As you have pointed out, people don’t always declare their wealth.

  5. Mike Stallard
    August 13, 2011

    A large part of the problem is that for far too long we have been turning a blind eye both to immigration and also to our lamentable family structure and plummeting birth rate. We must always put these two together: birth control and family decline as against immigration. Without new people to man it, our English tradition is dying and being replaced by something else.

    We live in a rapidly changing society. Lots leaving, even more pouring in. Very few traditionals being born.

    Just because he buys an air ticket to England, a Somali, a Pole, a Russian, a Japanese does not suddenly turn into an Englishman does he? And when he brings his family over to fill all the vacant housing, you get a brand new society which can well be Muslim, or Sikh, or semi-Communist.
    People who will always look different – Muslims, black skinned people and Sikhs, for example, will never look like traditional English people, however hard they try, and they will always have to fight for their rights (etc etc) because they (may-ed) feel like a very visible minority in their own country.
    What they – and we – need is understanding and acceptance for who we – they are.

    OK soppy rubbish? Facing up to this challenge is EXACTLY what we are doing at our Church where, until a year ago our Priest was a Sikh convert, where there are lots of Irish and Poles – all integral – and where we roll out the red carpet out for anyone, black white or Muslim because we are commanded to serve them and, yes, to love them.

    One thing that this crisis has done is to make us talk sense. I do hope you will allow me to do that. I am not in any way a racist. But, in 72 years living all over the world, I have learned that everyone is not English, everyone does not share my own values (thank heavens) and everyone wants a freebie over here because they think the old traditional British of Empire days are still dominant in this rapidly changing over generous country.

    Reply: Today I have reminded people that we need to live in our society as it is. I want to live in a tolerant society, and do not think a person’s race or colour should be relevant to how we consider them and treat them. We should condemn criminals whatever their background and treat them as criminals.
    I and my colleagues opposed Labour’s rapid immigration policies, and are now supporting a government which says it is going to curb immigration numbers. This is a popular policy with many.

    1. Mike Stallard
      August 13, 2011

      Thank you for initiating this debate – one of the very few places on the web where you can have a sensible conversation on immigration without swearing!

    2. Andrew Smith
      August 13, 2011

      I think your summary in the first half of your posting was spot on; what a pity more of the political, press and media classes cannot make the same points without a big “BUT” at the end. There is no “BUT”.

      Many have commented on the breakdown of responsibility and decent behaviour which has accelerated over the past (say) 20 years. Such breakdown may be a normal condition of the human animal but, if so, what stops it is the internal positive pressures of a stable interconnected society.

      Whether that is based in a village or suburb or through religious, business or other roots does not matter – actually all these matter and interrelate.

      The size of the immigration we have seen over the past decade has tended to undermine the stability I mention. The numbers and range of the immigrants has made integration impossible and instead they have developed their own internal support groups so integration with “outsiders” may appear irrelevant.

      Throw into this the unemployment among ill-educated and socially disfunctional youth, and you have a problem. These people have not learned at school because schools are too often crowd control situations. They cannot get jobs because better educated, better motivated immigrants from (say) Poland, take them instead.

      John excuses his own party by referring to the promises of future limits on immigration but in the past anyone drawing attention to this was abused by former leaders of his party. The issue is “space not race” but staying silent for so long makes the Conservative Party an accessory to the error.

      As to the future, our hands are tied; we cannot prevent unlimited numbers coming here from the EU; soon to include Turkey and other nations not obviously part of “Europe” – at least if the current leadership has its way.

      1. rose
        August 13, 2011

        Whenever conservatives, from Margaret Thatcher to Michael Howard, gave voice to our concerns, the spectre of Enoch Powell was raised by the left wing media, and they ran for cover, apologising, and then changed the subject. The last tentative attempt to raise the issue was made by Michael Howard, but a concerted response by the whole media then made sure he lost that election. The electorate should answer for that. It should not have been so supine.

        The lesson was learned by the politicians, and no conservative has raised it since. We are in a collective straight jacket. But it is we who should speak up, as our politicians daren’t.

        The change of mood over policing has come about, not because of the politicians, but because the public, often led by immigrants, over-whelmingly demanded it. It will be the same with over-immigration, and the EU.

        Reply: Conservatives always said they wanted tighter controls on immigration, including Mr Cameron prior to the last election. Mrs May and Mr Green now have the task of making this work.

        1. rose
          August 13, 2011

          True, but it wasn’t said with the vigour and conviction that the seriousness of the subject and the concern of the public demanded. “Tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands” every year when we have the problems we have, is still a lot more than Mr Whitelaw or Mr Waddington would have countenanced. I don’t blame Mr Cameron for his sotto voce stance before the election. He took a huge risk in even mentioning it.

          The main point on which we agree is that the public let in the socialists – until now, and even now there is not an overall conservative majority. So the public is responsible for 13 years of irresponsibility, and the public is responsible for a pro-immigration liberal presence in the government now. And the public includes all those people who voted UKIP.

        2. lifelogic
          August 13, 2011

          They are clearly not in a position to do anything unless they leave the EU.

          I do not object to immigration – so long as they are needed, can pay their taxes and support themselves fully and can be sent back should they break the laws or become a drain the the public purse.

          Alas the EU prevents all this.

          1. rose
            August 13, 2011

            Wouldn’t it be easier to leave if there were not this pro-EU liberal presence in the government? And didn’t UKIP contribute to that result?

          2. APL
            August 14, 2011

            Rose: “Wouldn’t it be easier to leave if there were not this pro-EU liberal presence in the government?”

            That would be Ken Clarke, Francis Maude, Theresa May, David Cameron you must be referring to?

            And the UKIP, may have taken votes from the official (nominally) Tory party, but that’s democracy.

            Cameron could probably take all UKIPs vote away should he want to by setting out a proposal to withdraw in an orderly fashion from the EU.

            Instead, he would prefer to cosy up to the liberals.

          3. lifelogic
            August 14, 2011

            It would be easier to leave without the Mad Libdems but I suspect from his actions Cameron would not leave anyway. The libdems are a useful fig leave. He has them due entirely to his failure to put a proper Tory agenda to the people at the last sitting duck election.

            I have only ever voted UKIP at MEP level where all are powerless anyway.

  6. Peter Campbell
    August 13, 2011

    You are absolutely right that bad behaviour by politicians and bankers doesn’t excuse rioting and looting and that all should feel the force of the law. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen. How many bankers have been prosecuted for financial misconduct? What percentage of expense fiddling MP’s have been prosecuted? 2%? 5%?
    Now we have Dave displaying his ignorance of the workings of the internet and phone networks by threatening to censor them. Is freedom from censorship only acceptable for people in other countries? It seems so. Amazing how alleged supports of freedom turn authoritarian as soon as they are embarrassed or inconvenienced by the results of people having any.

  7. Nick
    August 13, 2011

    I fundamentally disagree with this way of thinking. Where MPs stole public money they should be condemnded as roundly as the looters, and sent to jail – which indeed is what has happened

    Now as a fact not a single MP, even those who have been jailed has paid any interest on the money. If they have the FOI department in the commons has lied.

    The Code of Conduct for MPs is very clear. No MP shall give the appearance of a personal benefit.

    An interest free loan, when the public has to pay for the borrowing in the form of higher taxes is a valuable personal benefit.

    Even David Laws hasn’t paid back all the money he took.

    What is needed is the same approach to MPs as to the rioters.

    MPs signed a paper to say that the money was wholly and necessary for their job as a MP. They paid some of the money back. 52% of MPs. That is fraud. Pure and simple.

    The police reacted in the same way as they did initially with the rioters. They laid off. They didn’t go in heavy.

    Meanwhile the commons decided that they would through MPs that did the odd frauds to the wolves. The rest were protected because so many were doing it.

    So Eric Isley, who paid “Larrissa” for cleaning once a month (words left out-ed) on expenses goes.

    Laws gets protected, even though he handed over tens of thousands to his boyfriend.

    So its relevant to the riots.

    They have seen the way MPs behave and they are just behaving in the same way.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      August 13, 2011

      “They have seen the way MPs behave and they are just behaving in the same way.”

      I don’t remember seeing any MPs rioting in the streets, burning and destroying property, physically attacking the police and fire service or causing the deaths of at least four people.

      1. Nick
        August 13, 2011

        No. They have seen MPs say they are ‘entitled to their expenses’, and MPs just taking the money.

        They view that they are ‘entitled’ to a 42 inch plasma, nice clothes etc, so they followed the MPs example and just took it.

    2. APL
      August 13, 2011

      Nick: “So its relevant to the riots. ”


      Set the example and don’t be surprised if others follow.

    3. Andy
      August 13, 2011

      Exactly the point that needs to be made. They should all have been deselected.

      I am not sure it was the direct cause of riots, but the greed and sense of entitlement is the same.

      Fortunately my local MP (our host) is not part of this. This on its own should qualify him for a position in the government.

  8. Nick
    August 13, 2011


    The point to realise about immigration is that for the UK, as with other countries, is that apart from asylum, its optional. The UK doesn’t have to accept migrants. Even for asylum, we don’t need to accept that many. Asylum seeks have to seek sanctuary in the first safe country.

    So given migration is optional, why should we me accepting migrants who don’t pay their way? The answer is we shouldn’t.

    So we look at how much the government spends on each person in the UK. It’s 11K per annum. So we need each migrant (including dependants) to earn at least 40K on average in order for them not to be subsidised by other people. So a family of 3, with one wage earner, needs to be on 120K a year.

    Now people who earn over 40K a year tend not to go rioting.

    It doesn’t matter what colour they are. People will know that they aren’t subsidising them, and in fact its the other way round.

    Add on a non recourse to public funds (On 40K they are unlikely to get it), and there are no complaints there.

    Simple check, once a year. Look at their tax forms and if over or under the threshold, a letter is sent. Please top up the tax or thank you, please leave. That threshold is tax revenue in the uk / population.

    Its very hard to earn over 40K a year if you don’t speak English. No need for tests.

    1. Mike Stallard
      August 13, 2011

      The Japanese have always kept themselves to themselves. They therefore excluded Gaijin, both socially and using their (non EU!) law.
      When my son entered a Japenses restaurant and was shown upstairs (a great honour: he was guest of a Japanese on business), the other Japenese in the room politely got up and walked out.
      Because of this, their birth rate went down – just like ours – as people got richer and richer and then older and older.
      Now the very few remaining working Japanese rattle round in an empty country getting progressively poorer and poorer.

      1. rose
        August 13, 2011

        It is not an empty country and they are not rattling around in it. There are 35 million in their capital city and the reason they don’t riot and loot in Tokyo is that they are a monoculture, with family as the foundation. Anyone in trouble with the law incurs shame and costs for his family; foreign criminals are deported, even if resident, and not allowed back for ten years.

        They have looked at multiculturalism in the USA and Europe – or what Enoch warned us against, communalism, and decided wisely not to import it. There will be an uncomfortable time with too many old and not enough young, as we would have faced here had we left well alone, but that will pass, and a smaller more sustainable population ensue. Communalism, as Enoch called it – and he had seen the tragedy of it at first hand in his beloved India – will not. We saw the sparks of it beginning to fly in Birmingham, and then the national news management that was swiftly undertaken to prevent it flaring, which it was not felt necessary to do in the case of the looting.

        1. APL
          August 13, 2011

          Rose: ” but that will pass, and a smaller more sustainable population ensue. ”


          Now as far as we are concerned, don’t forget that (many-ed) infants have been ‘destroyed’ since the introduction of legal abortion in ’67.

          That act alone has had a profound impact on UK demographics.

          1. rose
            August 13, 2011

            Yes, indeed. And how many young married women have put off having babies too long, so they could make a career first? The responsible, educated ones, who should have been bringing up the next responsible, educated generation.

          2. APL
            August 13, 2011

            JR: “that (many-ed) infants”

            Your editing is peculiar, the figures are freely available from the Dept of Health. (or whatever it is called now)

            reply: Fine – the figure you gave looked too high and I had no source to confirm it. I would need a source as this is a highly charged issue on both sides.

          3. APL
            August 13, 2011

            Indeed according to the DH own website


            the decade to 2008 the total is 2,020,653 so you would expect the grand total to be much higher if you include the thirty years prior to that.

          4. lifelogic
            August 13, 2011

            Indeed how many families put off having children because they feel they do not have enough money – as they are paying through their high taxes to support other unemployed parents with far more children than they have.

        2. Caterpillar
          August 13, 2011

          The elements from Japan that I have found most striking are;

          (i) A culture of service, responsibility and honour.
          (ii) Discipline is strictly developed in school. Japanese children can be absolute monsters until the first day at school. Many parents accept this, but since they expect schools to discipline, they support schools from day one in doing this. There is a step change.
          (iii) Uniformed door(wo)men in many premises. Roles are signalled.
          (iv) The thirteen month pay system (if it can afford to pay the thirteenth month an organization will, if not there is essentially an automatic route to reduce costs in that year).
          (v) An appreciaition and willingness to mix the most traditional with the most modern.
          (vi) Uma sashimi! But I don’t think that is a cause.

          1. uanime5
            August 13, 2011

            Don’t forget.

            1) Students have to help clean the schools.

            2) Schools have a variety of clubs that students can go to after school. Unlike this country where when school ends everyone leaves.

            3) Entrance exams are required to enter middle school, high school, and university.

            4) Schools are little more than giant daycare centres and parents who want their children to achieve send them to cram school, which is run after school.

            5) Bullying is usually the whole class/school against one person.

          2. rose
            August 13, 2011

            Not so sure about the uma, but the high concentration of fish and fresh vegetables, with very little sugar and refined carbohydrates, must contribute to their good behaviour, fitness, and intelligence. As must the emphasis on walking and bicycling, as having a car in their very crowded cities is an impractical liability. Neuro-Psychologists are at last suggesting some of our riotous young people may be brain damaged, through bad diet, and over exposure to pollution, not just under-developed socially.

        3. norman
          August 13, 2011

          Reply to rose @ 12.34 but comments only nest 4 deep.

          I’m always reminded of the film ‘Idiocracy’. The film itself isn’t much to write home about but the basic premise is interesting. At the start of the film you see a middle class couple talking to the camera and discussing whether they can afford children now, maybe should wait a few years, etc. and then see them in their 40’s alone and too old to have kids.

          On the other side of the coin you see what is commonly called a ‘trailer trash’ family where they are knocking kids out one after the other and letting them run wild.

          The film then extrapolates this trend a couple of hundred years into the future and everyone is pretty much drooling idiots apart from one guy, who we would think of as a drooling idiot, who somehow got frozen or some such from our time and woke up in the future to find himself treated as a genius.

          Reply: Don’t write off children born into modest circumstances.

          1. rose
            August 13, 2011

            Modest circumstances do indeed produce responsible and educated children, as you have shown yourself. Especially if the mother puts her children before her career, and other mothers around her do the same, so that the neighbourhood is safe. Good schools and universities help though, and that is why Mr Gove’s work is as vital as Mr Duncan Smith’s.

          2. Johnnydub
            August 13, 2011

            John – It would be nice if the Tory’s would stop pussyfooting about on Education. Give those children born into modest circumstances a fighting chance of actually getting a decent education. Why are the tories against grammar schools?

            Reply: I’m not

          3. lifelogic
            August 13, 2011

            Modest circumstances are fine but not a culture of intergenerational dependence on the state and criminality as has been incubated by the UK’s big state socialism for many many years.

      2. Nick
        August 13, 2011

        The traditional solution is lots of sex. 🙂

  9. Ralph Musgrave
    August 13, 2011

    JR says in his first paragraph that he does not want to “libel” particular ethnic groups. Fair enough. The libel ANYONE or ANY group is wrong.

    At the same time, if there is reasonable evidence that a particular ethic group is over-represented amongst rioters, then it is perfectly legitimate to point to such evidence.

    But of course political correctness takes precedence over the truth or empirical evidence. That is, it is pretty well illegal to express particular political views in this country in 2011, just as it was in Stalin’s Russia, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Nazi Germany.

    Personally I’m vastly more broad minded than the political left or the politically correct: if anyone wants to call me that hick headed, usless, ugly so and so (and I’ve been called worse), they are welcome to do so.

  10. Anthony Harrison
    August 13, 2011

    Mr Redwood, your second para is, I fear, untypically disingenuous: normally you call a spade a spade, but to conflate the massive waves of North European invasion that created the English with the State-sponsored immigration from Afro-Asian countries in the very recent past is wholly improbable. Anyone would think you were evading the issue – which is not your image or your record at all.
    The English and their culture are North West European: the imposition of large numbers of peoples from far distant places and (different-ed) cultural backgrounds has proved (word left out-ed) disruptive. This is a given: no-one can credibly argue the contrary.
    By all means treat all citizens the same before the law, but don’t pretend that we (long term settlers-ed) ever at any time invited large numbers of (new settlers-ed) here; that there has been any sort of rational, strict, far sighted approach by successive British governments to an admissions policy for immigrants (language, qualifications, ability to fund themselves, demonstrable desire to integrate, etc etc); or that particular ethnic groups have not featured disproportionately highly in the recent criminality.
    A major contributory factor has been the corrupt, cynical desire by governments to create a dependent client constituency, coupled with criminal levity/irresponsibility in permitting the ingress of large numbers of people (who the blogger thinks do not contribute to society as he wishes-ed) We don’t have to start shipping these people out (words left out-ed), but we do need to stop subsidising them and kow-towing to the affected guilt of the Guardian-reading classes. I am not responsible in the slightest degree for these criminal outbreaks, and neither is anyone I know. But I have a damn good idea of the sort of people who are responsible, and they tend to spend a lot of time around Westminster.

    Reply: The Conservative party has always stood for controlled immigration, and camapaigned for much lower levels of new entrants in the last election. It is also important to welcome all those who are legally admitted and to work together as one society, enforcing one law and set of standards.

    1. lifelogic
      August 13, 2011

      “The Conservative party has always stood for controlled immigration”

      Well claimed to at elections at least – but it agreed to the EU free movement of people and has done very little on other areas in practise.

      Reply: The previous Conservative government got us an opt out from the common borders of Schengen so we could continue with controlled immigration. Labour gave away powers later.

      1. lifelogic
        August 14, 2011

        So take the powers back.

  11. oldtimer
    August 13, 2011

    Q:”Does the law need strengthening?”
    A: It certainly needs to be re-examined and, if necessary, rebalanced in favour of the victim. At present the received wisdom appears to be that the rights of the offender receive greater attention than the rights of the victim of crime. I do not know if this actually is true and, if it is, why this should be so. Perhaps the offenders benefit from a legal aid funded cadre of lawyers who specialise in this aspect of the criminal law. If so the balance must be redressed either by limiting the scope of legal aid and/or changes in the law which explicitly give primacy to the interests of the victim over the offender

    Q: ” Are the new police tactics correct?”
    A: It is clear that the police were very slow off the mark on the first two nights. It is an unfortunate fact of life that mob violence needs to be met with even greater violence if peoples lives and property are to be protected. I have no idea if police intelligence is up to the mark in detecting, anticipating, preventing and controlling attempts at riot, looting and arson. I am clear that they have to up their game and be prepared to get stuck into such mobs very quickly indeed before they get out of control. The alternative will be the rise of the vigilante group as communities seek to defend themselves in the absence of action by the police.

    1. uanime5
      August 13, 2011

      To reduce legal aid is reduce justice. Just because someone is accused of a crime is no reason to deny them fair representation.

  12. Leif Bergstrom
    August 13, 2011

    In response to your question “… what else would you like the authorities and the police to do? Does the law need strengthening? Are the new police tactics correct?

    In my view the police is doing a very good job (in extremely difficult circumstances), but I have serious doubts about our judicial system, its (limited)powers and ability to hand out sentences that are seen as a deterrent or punishment. I’m shocked to read in the papers this morning that underage offenders without parents or guardians attending their court hearings, are just relaesed – with no effort made to contact the parent. Parents/Guardians need to be prosecuted and fined.

  13. electro-kevin
    August 13, 2011

    I’m not talking about race either – it is a little more complex than that.

    I’m talking about Rap Culture which seems to be at the root of Britain’s sub-culture.

    The hoodies and baseball caps – the uniform of the Rap fan.

    This was not a ‘riot’ – there was no political motivation. Just a convulsion from the sub-culture which had found a new way of co-ordinating itself. These ‘riots’ go on in mini versions all the time – just ask any cop in a dodgy area or a poor, innocent, unfortunate abandoned by society on some horrible sink estate.

    Civilisation has ended in Britain. The police can be overwhelmed effortlessly by a few delinquents. The only change is that now a lot more people are aware of it.

    1. sm
      August 13, 2011

      These ‘riots’ go on in mini versions all the time.

      The only change is that now a lot more people are aware of it.

      Agreed… but that’s bubbleworld. (etc etc)

  14. James Sutherland
    August 13, 2011

    “Most have secretaries and office supplies provided to do their jobs without having to submit claims for audit.”

    They get provided without submitting claims at all – but the payments will be subject to audit in the same way as any other business transaction. In the (small) company I work for, we do purchase all the office supplies through our expenses system – and every single claim does have to be fully receipted – apart from anything else, otherwise the company loses out on the VAT. I was alarmed to see a figure for how many MPs were still objecting to the idea of having to receipt their expenses like the rest of us, as if entirely oblivious to their colleagues being jailed for the criminal offence of submitting fraudulent claims under the lax previous system!

    I can see at least part of a point in the explanation posited: having seen politicians committing quite similar crimes and getting very light sentences for it will no doubt have encouraged looters to expect light sentences if caught themselves. I don’t see a parallel with bankers, unless you go as far as the likes of Madoff, but I do see reminders of the “broken window” policing idea: as lesser crimes like graffiti and vandalism go unpunished, criminals feel safer and their crimes will escalate.

    It is a welcome surprise to hear promises of provision of prison space, though: for far too long we’ve been seeing prisoners getting off lightly because of a “shortage”, as if prison cells are a scarce natural resource which can’t be created. I’m hoping the new cells will be more Spartan and economical than the current crime clubs, too.

  15. Deborah
    August 13, 2011

    Your attempt to justify the activities of MPs and banker behaviour does not ring true.
    “Where MPs stole public money they should be condemnded as roundly as the looters, and sent to jail – which indeed is what has happened.”
    No it hasn’t. The official expenses system was not particularly generous, it just relied on MP’s integrity. The public believes that MPs who claimed things that were not wholly, exclusively and necessarily for their work are thieves. Most have not been sent to jail.
    “A banker who earns a very large bonus because he and his bank have made large profits of course attracts jealousy, but again is no good reason why others should go looting. ”
    Bankers and politicians (many of whom have lucrative directorships in banking institutions, or hope to have them in the future) have worked together, and used taxpayers money to stop the banks going bust and then to pay generous – and unwarranted- bonuses..again using taxpayers money.

    Marie Antoinette words “let them eat cake” were not an excuse to riot either, but they showed a similar lack of understanding of the real situation.

    1. rose
      August 13, 2011

      She didn’t say it.

      1. Deborah
        August 14, 2011

        Pedantic and irrelevant to my point.
        It was enough that the masses believed she might have said it.

        Incidentally, how do you know? – were you there?

  16. Brigham
    August 13, 2011

    I notice that Wandsworth Council has issued an eviction notice to a family in their council housing, for rioting. On closer inspection, it seems that there are many steps to be taken before they can be evicted. Knowing local government, as I do, I would bet that nothing further is done. I hope I am wrong!

    1. rose
      August 13, 2011

      But just contemplating it has been good for the BBC et al.

      1. rose
        August 13, 2011

        In Japan, the family must pay the legal costs if a child gets into trouble with the law. Here it is assumed the family have no real sway at any point. No overall control in the first place, not necessarily all present in the child’s life, and certainly not liable if anything goes wrong.

    2. lifelogic
      August 13, 2011

      I hope you are right no one should be evicted for an action of one of the family it is against natural justice.

      Anyway they would get rehoused in some other way no doubt. All tenants should pay market rates for housing anyway – why should some get cheaper tax free housing and others have to pay for it out of taxed income?

  17. JimF
    August 13, 2011

    Don’t you see any moral equivalence between banks in which employees are

    -taking taxpayers’ money on a plate
    -lending it back to the same taxpayers in a less than competitive system adding rampant margins and charges
    -paying themselves large salaries and bonuses by adding those margins to the taxpayers’ help

    and rioters which
    -take taxpayers’ benefits on a plate
    -unilaterally steal and vandalise those same taxpayers’ goods and premises?

    Whilst you could argue that people or businesses choose which bank to use, and that they are operating legally, this is irrelevant when the system is in its’ current non-competitive state. It is also arguable whether the banks would be operating legally were we to have a truly democratic system here.

    1. Nick
      August 13, 2011

      There is a common theme and villain to the piece isn’t there?

      Who gives tax payer’s money to the banks? Politicians

      Who gives tax payer’s money to rioters on benefits? Politicians.

      As for the banks receiving the money, its very simple. Don’t use them. Leave if you are a customer, and tell them you are leaving because of what the government is doing.

      Having said that, there is a difference. The bank bailout has cost about 60-70 billion. This is made up of two parts. First the share loses. Brown bought the shares at a high price and now they are lower. Secondly on the guarantees there is an expected loss. Total at around the 60-70 bn mark.

      Meanwhile, the government has hidden nearly 6,000 billion of debts off the books. It only admits to 800 bn.

      It’s back to the real criminals – politicians.

      1. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        August 14, 2011

        Not all Politicians are Criminals. Only some are, some are naive, some are ignorant and some are – for the benefit of their own families; thinking about their careers after they leave office. Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly spring to mind. Although they are not (word left out-ed) criminals; they have a bias in favour of the Banking community.

        It is not surprising – given this Political bias towards Banks; that the 1844 Bank Charter Act has not been updated to restrict Bank Deposits created by Banks – which also influences price inflation. Young people rioting in the streets , stealing, vadalising and attacking hard working people – from and against all races and religions; can never be justified.

  18. Iain
    August 13, 2011

    You make a disingenuous equivalence between peoples and culture that created our country England and immigrants. The Northern European peoples who migrated to the part of our island and created England, were NOT immigrants for there was no functioning state to be an immigrant to. The common culture and values they created gave the people collective security, (etc etc)
    (points out that other countries were also settled over many years – I agree)

    Reply: I have made it clear I do not wish to promote anti recent migrant feelings on this site. I strongly believe we need to solve the social and political problems we have with the people who are legally resident here. It does not help to go on about who should have come and who should not.

    1. Iain
      August 14, 2011

      Why has my post not been moderated?

    2. Iain
      August 14, 2011

      Well thank you for posting a bit of my post, I am sorry you didn’t see fit to post it all.

      I wasn’t promoting anti recent migration feelings, but was challenging the lazy comments frequently trotted out by representatives of British establishment that ‘we are all immigrants’ which seems to be an attempt to disposes the indigenous peoples of their rights. It comes to something when saying ‘I exist’ is deemed to be promoting anti migrant feelings!

      I then went on to examine why the British establishment are so keen to do down an English identity, suggesting that as it is the last place the British establishment now rule, they seek to continue this rule by playing the old British game of divide and rule under the guise of multiculturalism which can be better described as tribalism, and pointed out that places that have been subject to this strategy has been proven to be a disaster.

      If there was any ‘anti’ feelings I wanted to engender, it was anti British feelings due to their misrule of England.

      But if you still feel my comments were ‘anti migrant’ then you must take issue with the United Nations, for they have come up with some rights for indigenous peoples, which as far as I can see the British state has contravened where England and English people are concerned.

      The United Nations Declaration on the rights of the indigenous people:

      Article 5 – Every indigenous individual has a right to a Nationality

      Article 7 – Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual right not to be subjected to ethnocide and cultural genocide, including prevention of and redress for:
      (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
      (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
      (c) Any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
      (d) Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;
      (e) Any form of propaganda directed against them

  19. alan jutson
    August 13, 2011

    Having just returned from a short holiday break (in the UK) and having seen some TV footage and interviews, and read many of the blog comments to the postings on your site.

    I firstly thank you for being an MP in contact, for initiating and encouraging discussion to take place, and for your foresight with a view to listening to outside (of the Westminster bubble) comments.

    Clearly during the riots, law and order broke down, my surprise is that it took so long to happen.

    For decades now the State and the government have got bigger and bigger, introducing more and more laws, more and more regulation, and have been collecting more and more personal information from its citizens.

    The State has at the same time taken more and more money (taxes of all kinds) from those who are working, has introduced more and more guilty until proven innocent type fines for minor time lapsed type errors, or form filling mitakes.

    The State as also introduced more and more checks (form filling) for education, the police, on firemen, on the NHS, on Social workers, on prison staff and the like (all State workers) that it now restricts their ability to do the job properly.

    At the same time the state has been spending huge amounts of taxpayer money on expensive socialist no one should be needy or without type schemes, that encourage the recipients to always ask for more and more, in exchange for their votes, which in any other world would be called selling your soul to the devil, or offering bribery to remain in power.
    Sorry if you feel these words are too strong John, but that is in effect what has been happening now for decades.

    The surprise is that in general it has not been the hard hit, hard working, overregulated taxpayer who for years has been paying into the system, and funding this socialist experiment that has rebelled, it seems to have been the recipients of the state handouts which seem to have been in the majority.

    The present system is simply busted, you simply cannot solve problems by throwing more and more money at a lost cause.

    We have sort of democracy (more like an elected dictatorship) in this country, where education and health treatment are free, a State pension is paid (partly based on contributions) a country where if you are unable to earn a living due to disability, illness or some other form of problem, you will be housed and given money to live (perhaps not at a high level) but to exists in reasonable comfort, and that quite honestly is where it should stop.

    Our system for decades now has gone completely over the top in trying to elliminate failure, in trying to aviod poverty, in trying to round everyone up by fixing positive discrimination against the able.

    The result:
    It has dragged a lot of people down, where getting a job, and trying to do the right thing leaves you worse off than those who simply do not bother to try any more, where having multiple kids can get you a house, where skipping of school brings no penalty, where money is paid out for no reason for years, to people who have to do absolutely nothing for themselves, for their families, for the state or their community in return.

    Let us appeal the human rights act, let us regain fully our own (not the EU) immigration policy, let us free our policemen of paperwork to let them get boots back on the streets, let us have fewer but clearer laws and transparent sentencing, let us turn back the claim, and whats in it for me blame culture, and get the Great back into Britain where we had in years past, a pride in being able to look after ourselves, and pay our own way.

    1. JimF
      August 13, 2011

      There needs to be some sort of deal.

      For kids who are poor but want to learn, there needs to be the opportunity to gain either an academic qualification or trade which gives them a stake in life. A mix of Grammar and Technical colleges for 11-17s could do this, coupled with taxpayer funded paid-for mentoring or University from 17-20 yrs. After that, you’re on your own.

      For folk in the 21-30 bracket, there needs to be access to owned housing, affordable near to their place of work. A collapse in the property market would be the first step towards achieving this, although it might take 3 years or so to wash through. This is the reverse of current government policy. It would also break the banks in their current state and send tax revenues plummeting. Tough. Protect depositors and break the Banks.

      For middle aged folk, there needs to be security for them and their kids. Security of employment, housing and welfare, based around their input to society. No input = no support. Everybody can do someting, even voluntary.

      For middle and third age, there needs to be security of their pension and accrued savings, and finally care in old age. This comes full circle with younger folk who need security and a job. It is crazy that under the present system we are paying people to do nothing and leaving our old folk in poor care. The dishonesty of having an inflation target then ignoring it, of trashing the Pound without admitting it or why it is being done must all go out of the window.

      For the population as a whole, this needs to start as a new direct democracy.

      We cannot have top politicians in awe of media moguls, bankers or celebs. It is crazy. They should be in awe of the electorate. Period. Without that at the top of the pyramid, we will continue on this same path.

      Reply: Breaking the banks is not a great idea – we need them to settle our bills, issue credit and support business.

      1. JimF
        August 13, 2011

        Yes we need them to do all these things, which they aren’t doing.
        Equally we do not need them to 1/ act in a quasi-monopolistic manner in charging margins and charges to customers and taxpayers which wouldn’t be sustainable in a more compettitve environment 2/pay their employees out of line with their true profitability and 3/require the backstop of the State i.e. taxpayers as guarantor for their liabilities
        If not the banks themselves, we need to break the recipe they work to.

    2. electro-kevin
      August 13, 2011

      Hear hear on JR listening to us. This is much appreciated.

      I fear that money will be found for the undeserving. Extra cuts will be made elsewhere and, yet again, the law-abiding will pay.

      The Left have been able to bring the discussion back to ‘deprivation’ through the broadcast media.

      I’m also fearful that university places will be found for children without the proper grades at the expense of those who do have them.

  20. Bob
    August 13, 2011

    Nice try John, but no cigar.
    You’re obfuscating the issue by implying that the accusation is that these were “race riots” whereas the issue is about criminality in a particular “community”. Take a look at the CCTV footage and tell me that all races were proportionally represented. Explain why “Operation Trident” is necessary.
    The reason that you and other high profile individuals in the media etc. cannot openly discuss this issue is that you and they would be jobless and unemployable within ten nanoseconds.
    We are in the grip of political correctness, and until and unless we can shake off the paralysis that it creates the nation will continue to decline.

    1. APL
      August 13, 2011

      Bob: “cannot openly discuss this issue is that you and they would be jobless and unemployable within ten nanoseconds.”

      Yes, in actual fact scared witless.

      reply: I am not scared witless about losing my job. I write as I do because after a week like last week we need voices of moderation, not voices that could increase anger and tensions, with glib statements of cause and easy soundbites to fix a complex problem.

      1. backofanenvelope
        August 13, 2011

        OK, how about following the maxim – if you are in a hole stop digging.

        Since 1997 we have imported some 3 million 3rd-world migrants. We (the English), didn’t didn’t invite them. We would like them to leave, but being English we can see that would be intemperate.

        So, lets stop importing them. We all know the problem isn’t American bankers or Polish plumbers or even Indian IT workers. It is unskilled people from (various-ed)countries. Don’t lets curb the numbers – lets just stop it

        Reply: But the British people did invite them in. Collectively we elected a Labour government which decided to relax our migration rules substantially, and increased the numbers coming in fivefold from the controlled level of the previous Conservative government. The British public kept that government for 13 years.

        1. Anthony Harrison
          August 13, 2011

          Neither I nor anyone I know invited mass immigration from Afro-Asian countries. “We” did not vote collectively for a Labour government, or most of the preceding ones: our curious electoral system ensures that a minority of those voting, and a considerably smaller minority of the population, permits a particular Party to form a government. All three major Parties have connived at the imposition of very large immigrant populations from the 3rd world, Labour admittedly being the worst offender, but it would be disingenuous to claim that the Conservatives do not share the blame in large degree. The foundations for the takeover of large swathes of our cities by non-European ethnic groups were laid by Conservative governments as well as Labour ones: the latter simply accelerated the process. None of the Parties offered a choice in the matter: none of them permits frank discussion of the problem. Some might consider this democratic – I don’t.

          reply : I disagree for the reasons I have set out elsewhere with the argument and sentiment of this post.

        2. APL
          August 13, 2011

          JR: “But the British people did invite them in.”

          I think not.

          The charge is that MPs and the political class in general are utterly divorced from the public. Indeed this blog is a laudable attempt to correct that condition.

          This is not only my personal opinion, it has been frequently echoed by many politicians themselves over the years and is reflected in election turnouts.

          Now you say that one of the most contentious policies of the last administration had the support of the British people?

          It certainly had the support of 650 very well off (in the top 10% by income) . But have you any evidence that mass immigration is supported across the general population?

          Reply: How wrong you are. The relaxed immigration policy did not have the support of Copnservative MPs, who campaigned in successive elecitons for controlled immigration, and who lost each of those elections.

          1. electro-kevin
            August 13, 2011

            The Tories signed Maastricht (against the will of the people) and this was what opened the floodgates.

            There was no vote on this. What party – in its manifesto – said “We are going to allow many more immigrants” ? None. They wouldn’t have dared.

            New Labour got in with low voter turn-outs because your party abandoned its voters because your useless party caved under the power of Political Correctness and the power of the BBC and politically engaged ‘Luvvy’ celebrity culture.

            Instead of crediting us with having the decency not to vote BNP (and it was sorely tempting at times) you now accuse us of ‘voting for mass immigration’

            I do hope – for your sake and mine as I think highly of you – that this ill considered statement doesn’t hit the press.

            Reply:I am merely pointing out that the Uk wanted a Labour governmetn three times running, and that government clearly changed our immigration rules to encourage more inward migration.

        3. Bernie in Pipewell
          August 13, 2011

          Typical politician, blame the electorate. There was no one else to vote for, the Tory party disappeared.

        4. forthurst
          August 13, 2011

          “How wrong you are. The relaxed immigration policy did not have the support of Copnservative MPs, who campaigned in successive elecitons for controlled immigration, and who lost each of those elections.”

          Neither the Conservative Party nor the electorate knew that the Labour Party had intended to import three million third worlders; that policy was never put to the electorate, was never discussed in parliament, was conducted entirely in secret and only revealed after the last election. Furthermore, it has been deliberately ignored by the BBC and by the Conservative Party. What a disgrace.

          Reply: It was highlighted b y Migration Watch and the Opposition.

          1. rose
            August 13, 2011

            “It was highlighted by Migration Watch and the Opposition.”

            One ex ambassador with experience of the complexities of the Near East and its many “Communities” put his head over the parapet. He had a devil of a job to get through the censorship and establish himself in the public domain. Luckily a lot of the public inundated the BBC with complaints every time they prefaced his name and organisation with their usual odious health warning. He got no help at all from the opposition until he was safely established. Unless you know otherwise?

            Reply: The Opposition used his figures, and continuously supported lower levels of immigration. Peter Lilley also did his own work highlighting it. In 2005 one of the 5 slogans used all the time for the year before the election was “Controlled immigration”. In 2010 Mr Cameron offered cutting immigration to tens of thousands from much higher levels.

          2. APL
            August 14, 2011

            Rose: “Luckily a lot of the public inundated the BBC ..”

            Ah! The BBC, the organization that so pollutes political dialogue in this country yet Cameron’s administration has been in office for over a year and done nothing about it!

            Wonder why that might be?

        5. sm
          August 14, 2011

          Ah we are back to our fig-leaf democracy again- this policy was imho forcefed -that and unemployment have ended the Labour party and our pretense of representative democracy.

          If you had referism you would not have this scenario. e.g Switzerland.

          1. backofanenvelope
            August 14, 2011

            OK Mr Redwood; is your government in favour of admitting Turkey to the EU?

        6. Simon
          August 14, 2011

          Backofanenvelope ,

          Indian I.T. developers are a symptom of the problem of our politicians being allied to big business .

          They are the ones who were not satisfied with offshoring everything they could and demanded that the Govt allow them to bring cheaper labour into the UK .

          Hence the abs0lute sham which is the ICT visa scheme – designed to let as many in as possible without any of the checks that the term “visa” would imply .

          Your taxes are being used to subsidise these multi-nationals access to cheap labour . They don’t pay any N.I. you know , are not required to purchase private health insurance to cover the burdon on the Inter-NHS or contribute to the schooling of their kids in our state schools .

          The Universities themselves claim that the unemployment rate amongst Computer Science graduates is the highest of any main stream course .

  21. rose
    August 13, 2011

    I urge everyone with a serious interest in this subject to read again Enoch Powell’s “Like the Roman of old, I seem to see the Tiber…” speech of 1968 again. To read it through, as Margaret Thatcher urged the wrong-headed Heath to do at the time, and see the logic of it.

    It is not race that is the problem, as people of different races can (though for some it is more difficult) become assimilated over time, as Mr R’s swift history lesson has shown, but communalism. The authorities, particularly in local government, have deliberately taken to speaking of us all as “Communities”, not as people, subjects, or citizens. Even Mr R does it. Boris, thank goodness, doesn’t. He speaks unequivocally of “Londoners.”

    Assimilation, by the way, was not painless in the past, and should not be lightly dismissed as something to rejoice in. It was often bloody and fearful, and not to be sought voluntarily when we are talking about large numbers of incomers.

    Assimilation takes place peacefully when the numbers are very small, so small that the newcomers must integrate in order to survive. Where a provincial city such as Bristol has up to 30,000 Somalis alone, as well as all its other “communities”, how will the newcomers ever become “Bristolians”?

    Only by the authorities treating them as such, and not pandering to the idea that they must all stay separate and competing against each other to get resources allocated. Every time you fill in a ghastly form saying which “community” you belong to, you are contributing to this dangerous process of separate development.

    So just say you are a native of your city, or, as my husband always does, “mixed race” – which, as Mr R says, most of us are.

    1. Amanda
      August 14, 2011

      Yes, I agree with this post. And, I have been saying, that these riots showed up dangerous multi-cultural issues. Not, that they were race riots. I do not know from experience, but I have heard it said that teachers are afraid to tackle the ‘west indian’ gang culture, because of multi-culturalism. I do know from experience the tensions that exist between some of new ‘cultures’ that have set up in this country over the last 50 years.

      It is not people of different races becoming British that frightens me, it is the ‘tower of Babel’ multi-culturalism that makes me feel a stranger in my own country – and worse. Also the general PC stranglehold on life that in now so dangerous that ‘ethnic’ related crimes are allowed to happen because the police are afraid to tackle them eg sex grooming gangs. I will say I also greatly resent the anti-British racism that is allowed to flourish in this country. Yes, let us evolve our country together, but that means one society, one predominant culture.

      And, just for your information John, I do know my ancestry quite well because I take a pride in it. I know how my family history is woven into the fabric of British history, from the Viking who founded my male line,to the bowman who appears on Henry V’s muster list for Agincourt, to the ancestor who fought against 16th century enclosure, to the highlander who was luck to escape Cromwell at Worcester, to my Grandfather who led the local Home Guard unit. Migrants we may well have been at some point in the very distant past, but this is our country, I am the current holder of the flame, and I want to pass on our heritage to my descendent with the same pride that it was given to me !!! I don’t want to leave them a multi-cultural time bomb.

      1. David Price
        August 14, 2011

        Well said both of you.

  22. Caterpillar
    August 13, 2011

    I do not wish to compare bankers and ‘good’ politicians with looters, I agree that this is unfair and inappropriate. (There is a chance under Speaker Bercow to build a stonger House of Commons!). The only issue on MPs I would say is that they need to take a long look at themselves w.r.t. confrontational party politics, largely Thursday stood apart with more maturity shown, but by Friday we were back to opportunistic party politics (rather than reasoned) and opportunistic police-Govt argument. Many MPs need to grow-up and debate with clear, well articulated reason (as largely typiied by JR).

    Having recognised that bankers and politicians should not be compared with looters I will still restate my view that the want-it-now attitude underwritten by Govt is in the majority not minority in the country. Many people refused to save and prepare for house purchases, but are now rewarded by the Bank of England with low interest rates. The ‘middle-classes’ (-sorry about generalisation) are essentially receiving benefits in the form of low interest rates but are not demanding a cut to their benefits (i.e. rates to rise). Meanwhile the ‘virtuous savers’ (as described by George Osborne) have lost billions in real terms due to low interest rates and high inflation. Savers have been looted for the benefit of the want-it-now majority. Whether a looting bubble or a housing bubble, its a bubble based on a similar attitude and for Govt to essentially support one but punish the other could be considered dubious.

  23. rose
    August 13, 2011

    You ask what we would like authority to do. I welcome the guidelines which permit publication of photographs and the requirement to reveal the face.

    Most of all I would like a return of visible authority in public places. Park keepers once again in parks and public gardens. Plenty of Police in the streets. Lift attendants and carpark attendants. Bus conductors. Guards on trains. People in smart well cut uniforms and with good manners, making sure public behaviour is civilized. And no more hideous high visibility luminous yellow shapeless garb. No more plastic street clutter left lying around. Everything tidied up, and high standards of civic behaviour restored all round, starting with the standards, behaviour, and garb of officialdom.

    1. Richard
      August 13, 2011

      Absolutely right, I agrree with every word you have written.

    2. Fiona Maddock
      August 13, 2011

      I agree with this too. Many of our important institutions and agencies are understaffed, and far too many people are unemployed. Our society worked much better when we had people to fill these roles.

      1. rose
        August 13, 2011

        And this is yet another way in which the Japanese excel. European people sneer at their “non-jobs” and say they have far too many of them. But it is all those old ladies and gentlemen in attendance around the place, some gently sweeping up the non-existent litter, and all those bowing white-gloved policemen and guards, who help to keep the country civilized and safe. Quite frankly, one cannot have enough of them, and it must be better for them too, to be feeling they are doing a useful job, whatever the barbarians may think.

  24. sm
    August 13, 2011

    We need strategic,honest- mean what you say- leadership, and representative (referism) democracy where power is balanced between a responsive legal system, parliament and the people. We have an overly powerful exec and a system which is easier to influence as a result. This we do not. Most MP’s are nodding donkeys.

    Strategic leadership for democracy
    1) EU referendum
    2) Re-constituting debt creating ponzi banks so they cant control politics and the economy via the money creation mechanism.
    3) Proper look at UK constitutional/devolution issues
    4) then economic and debt imbalances associated with the developing world and management of the outsourcing industry.
    5) Review of where real economic revenue is generated and real cost incurred and a minimum tax applied. Leverage should be discouraged by tax and ultimately disregarded as a tax expense except on small business, (who cant cheaply access capital markets)

    We may be equal under the law?
    The laws apply differently to different people in different circumstances, for example tax domicile? compare with ‘full’ paye domiciled. The effective tax on low income far exceeds higher income if you consider all taxes/withdrawals.

    Can you afford the law? Wealth can? Wealth can avoid the law as well?
    Lets have an economic substance test with an anti avoidance rule.

    I bought my house via an overseas company in ‘ secrecy jurisdiction xyz’ ? Why would one consider that?

    One could arrange ones affairs to take advantages of allowances and expenses, whether specifically intended by the rules or not. One could arrange leverage to gain allowances where leverage may not have existed before?

    I think special schemes for ‘xyx’ parliamentary pensions are part of the problem- we should all have access to the same scheme on the same terms. The Green book rules should be given legally enforceable backing.

    I am relaxed about people becoming wealthy, i do expect them to pay tax where the economic profits of the transaction have occured (finance/leverage tricks aside). Compare a small business with an MNC.

    Finally we need more than words – action needs to follow the words.

    Rioting is a sign of real social failure.. you must see this..and looking at society as a whole is not condoning or excusing violence. Who has created this society?

    A number of articles even in the telegragh are noting this.

    1. Nick
      August 13, 2011

      We may be equal under the law?


      Start with politicians. They have exempted their expenses from scrutiny by HMRC. Want to guess why?

      Reply: Not so. MPs have to declare their expenses to the Revenue.

      1. sm
        August 13, 2011

        Yes – but special rules apply – not available to anyone else – unless they have been revoked. See telegraph link -How MP’s enjoy generous tax breaks.

        Most people in executive style jobs can claim overnight and subsistence costs when working away from home. Most have secretaries and office supplies provided to do their jobs without having to submit claims for audit.


        reply: What nonsense. The main item in MPs’ expenses is pay for their staff. No-one in business has to declare their staff salaries as part of their own remuneration and pay tax on it.

        1. sm
          August 14, 2011

          We may be at cross purposes on the general thrust – please note the comments from the top tax experts in the article.

  25. John B
    August 13, 2011

    Indeed Mr Redwood complex causes but there is one thing at the root. Socialism and the fascism which is its bedfellow.

    (As an aside: whilst it is the case that racism per se, (all races seem to have been represented among the looters), was not the cause of the riots and looting, it was the chant of ‘racism’ over the last few decades that has reduced the police into their cringing, supine position, eager to please by being submissive, and unwilling to intervene at the start to avoid being called ‘racist’. So it is not right to dismiss the topic as playing no part.)

    Socialism is the soft approach to Communism so as not to frighten the Masses before it is too late for them to do anything about it.

    One of the stated aims of Socialists is the destruction of existing society by wrecking its institutions and order, fragmenting and spreading fear among the citizenry so they can be lead to safety and a new order constructed by and according to the Socialist ideology.

    The mistake is to imagine Socialism is confined to the obvious cast of characters on the Left, rather than understanding it has perfused the political class as a whole and those who aspire to and obtain positions of authority, influence and power.

    Like anyone who carries a disease they do not suffer from it, but spread it nonetheless, and clearly we have a de facto Socialist Government in the UK whichever Party wins the election – the lack of political choice is reflected in low voter turnout. Democracy does not exist if there is no choice.

    Are the riots then clear proof that Socialism is well on course to meet its aims?

    Power has virtually all been removed from the people into the hands of a Brussels Politburo lead by its Maoist President and the oscillating Luxembourg-Strasbourg Duma who seek to rule, and control the minutiae of our lives from what we eat and drink to what we carry our shopping home in from the supermarket, and take every increasing amounts of what we earn to spend on themselves until we have no money of our own and become entirely reliant on them?

  26. Elliot Kane
    August 13, 2011

    Very well put, Mr Redwood. SO well put, in fact, that I’m not sure I have a lot to add.

    One thing I probably should say, though, is that water cannon need to be available ‘at need’ to the police, not the incredibly useless ‘at 24 hours notice’. That needs changing.

    I’d like to see Bill Brattan installed as head of the Met, too. I think he could make a very real and positive difference, as he has in every similar job he has undertaken. I think a fresh view from outside the current system is what we truly need to sweep away the PC PC culture that has been allowed to strangle the Met and prevents good policemen from doing their jobs.

    Obliterating the vast reams of unnecessary paperwork the police must deal with is absolutely vital, I think. It’s beyond ludicrous and a total waste of valuable police time.

    I think we need to recall why Robert Peel started the police in the first place: for the maintenance of civil order. Get back to that basic idea, and things should work out.

    We also need Home and Justice Secretaries that can take a firm but fair line based in reality, not wishful thinking. I leave it to others to decide who may need replacing, there…

    1. uanime5
      August 13, 2011

      The 24 hour notice is to get the water cannon ready as it would be extremely expensive to keep a water cannon ready to go out immediately.

      Paper work is needed to successfully prosecute criminals. Only an officer from the scene of a crime can write a report explaining the crime scene, witness statements, and where the evidence has been stored.

  27. Chris Rose
    August 13, 2011

    I totally agree with you that poor behaviour by politicians and bankers, and bad decisions by ministers are no excuse for looting and are not the cause of the rioting.

    We have experienced a tremendous debt-fuelled boom; now we are living through the inevitable, painful bust. During such a boom, when credit is easy, moral standards slip; it always happens. Now, it is not just the criminals who have to rethink their ways; we all do, particularly those who made such enormous gains in the good times.

  28. Acorn
    August 13, 2011

    As a numbers guy, I was wondering what the average number of metro cops on duty at any moment. Mr Clegg says 12%; so, 3,000 – out of 34,000 – that were said to be active on the first night of the riots in London, comes up a bit short. Assuming they work a shift pattern that gets them near to a thirty eight hour week; would simplistically imply circa 7,700. So a lot of them must be day workers, detectives; senior ranks or “shifties on days” at a guess. It also appears that every six officers need four civilian staff backing them up, on average.

    It would be nice to know the real numbers on the night and who was backing up whom and how. Also, who exactly is running the show and calling the shots. The Met; ACPO; County Chief Constables or someone at the Home Office. The continentals do it differently, you can tell the local cops from the national cops and the riot squads easily in France and Italy. And you know which ones will definitely cover in bruises and always take prisoners.

  29. adam
    August 13, 2011

    Please dont feel responsible for these people. Nobody blames the government really
    Thats the wrong way around
    Its not a political issue.

    1. Nick
      August 13, 2011

      I think it has everything to do with politics.

      Not that the rioters were ‘politically motivated’. No, politics has set up the game such that rioters thought it was a rational decision.

  30. Martin
    August 13, 2011

    Might I suggest that character could be imroved by having Test Match cricket on free TV to help your suggestions of civility etc made a day or so ago.

  31. Andy
    August 13, 2011


    I hate to have to make this point, but I think it is true. Where were the 24 hour courts and punishments for the following people?

    (Lists MPs where he alleges they took money they should not have taken-ed)
    If you want to start dealing with a culture of entitlement, perhaps you can explain why these people still have their jobs and seats etc.?

    1. Nick
      August 13, 2011

      You and I know. Those in power were also on the take, and that’s why only the unusual were done.

  32. MickC
    August 13, 2011

    As you will see from the replies, you’ve called this one wrong.

    People are not inclined to accept lectures in morality from what they see as a Parliament of thieves and liars.

    Obornes article has hit a resonating chord. The fact that the politicians and the police are blaming each other speaks volumes; the only advantage that the politicians have is that they are elected and we can therefore get rid of them.

    The police seem to be unaccountable (and want to be more so) -possibly the politicians may wake up and understand that ACPO is an insidious organisation which should be dissolved at best, or made accountable .

  33. Andrew
    August 13, 2011

    JR– I agree with and applaud much of what you say. This may be bad news for both of us . I would never vote Conservative. You would never vote for my maybe somewhat old -fashioned “Labourism “.

    Moving to the more currently relevant and interesting, all the proven law breakers of the last week should be dealt with vigorously, and maybe new laws inacted

    As you indicate this not a matter of race, creed. nationality, birthplace, etc but of of morality (“right or wrong “) , equity , and the preservation of lawful democratic governance.

    The future ? The so-called “New Politics ” (of all Parties, as it indeed is ) must do a lot more to both engender hope of a better future (economically, socially , financially) and encourage all, — ourselves/themselves, — to work harder, better, faster, to build a better future for our (by which I mean all of us ) still great country.

    I opposed (and still criticise some of the actions of ) the Government of which you were a member, -but you did at least have some ideas for the future (privatisation , public service Charters . better public service management, etc.) and there were apolitical factors in play anyway , —“Silicon Chips “. the IT revolution , etc

    The current political narrative is largely barren with respect to hope and tangible ideas for future prosperity . It is all about the deficit ; cut it that way ;cut it this way ; all Labour’s fault anyway (–er, perhaps not) , ” a rocky road “, “challenging times “.etc. , etc.

    You have rigthtly stated in past posts that moving forward will be hard work . Yes , the deficit must indeed be tackled , but with sophistication and in a way that gives incentive and encouragement . This is really hard work for most “New” politicians .

    Where are the new industries that can challenge China and the emerging economies ?

    How can services still be run with less money, less waste .but without cutting what is needed “frontline”

    All this is “do-able” , –but the “”New Politics is not leading or inspiring.

    I am probably the last person to recommend it, —but your return to the Cabinet is long overdue.

  34. Richard
    August 13, 2011

    Thank you for another excellent article.

    Here in Birmingham, where I have lived and worked for over 40 years, there is, for the most part, a very good friendly mixing of all the different races, nationallities and religions, even after the huge influx of new arrivals during the last ten years which has put big strains on housing, education, health and jobs.

    My friend who works in the courts system says that over 75% of all the crime he deals with has drugs involved in it somewhere, as the driving element.
    And this drugs scene is in turn the main factor in developing and sustaining the worrying gang culture which is developing fast in Birmingham.
    These gangs can have 50 or 100 loyal members and they can be called up quickly by text or mobile phone and can appear anywhere in a few minutes.
    The gangs were behind the looting in Birminham even creating diversions which drew in Police to one place whilst other gang members did the looting unchallenged in another.

    It is noticeable that cities which have most gangs were the worst hit ones, whereas cities like Cardiff and Norwich and Leeds for example had very little trouble.

    Its drugs and gangs not social inequalities that created these riots.

    1. Caterpillar
      August 13, 2011

      Should the drug prohibition end and be replaced with legalised, clean supply chains or is there an alternative approach?

    2. rose
      August 13, 2011

      You are so right, Richard. Wales has poverty and unemployment, very few prospects for the young, and lots of drink and nicotine, but not yet the armed gang/drug scene of London, Manchester, and Birmingham. Bristol is betwixt and between. Leeds is the city with the model layout and maintenance. The city fathers there always were enlightened and philanthropic (partly German Jewish in the 19th and early 20th century?), and still are. But I suppose the present generation got a huge injection of public cash, which Bristol would never get because it isn’t in the North. Newcastle is another example of a nice new environment. I don’t think they get nearly so much trouble there now, do they?

  35. Nick
    August 13, 2011

    The question then is what can be done.

    1. Stop new migration.
    2. Stop citizenship after 5 years.
    3. Migrants have to pay 11K a year in tax to stay.
    4. You have to pay in before you get benefits – even for citizens.
    5. Get rid of the million illegal migrants.
    6. Publish all government spending down to the penny, including the names, address and company numbers.
    7. When the public go through those figures and tell you who the benefit fraudsters are, deal with them.
    8. Publish all the government debts, pensions include
    9. Annual statement of what everyone’s share is of the debt [Watch out for middle class riots at this point – 350,000 per household going up with inflation]

    That gets the racism out of migration. It gets the problem of people have to pay for migrants out of the arguments. It makes work for those on benefits.

    The debt issue address the major problem in the UK. Politicians lying about government finances. Putting it in hard cash terms what individuals owe as a result makes it comprehendable to the voter.

  36. S Matthews
    August 13, 2011

    ‘There does seem to be a move towards more active policing at the time of the event, and less reliance on CCTV images and subsequent arrests.

    My first question is what else would you like the authorities and the police to do? Does the law need strengthening? Are the new police tactics correct?’

    Perhaps the problem is deeper than just the Police tactics being modified. Why did they get it so wrong initially, and why did it take so long to change their approach?

    I propose a possible explanation; the current Police culture has become reactive rather than pro-active. In the past the emphasis was on preventing the crime occurring, now it seems to be on dealing with the crime after it has happened.
    I think the main reason for this is the target culture, its easy to count crimes detected and solved, not so easy to count crimes prevented.
    The Police have been given a perverse incentive not to prevent crime.

    1. rose
      August 13, 2011

      Not just targets, but health and safety, and too much feminisation and bureaucratisation of public services. Police are (less fit? ed) compared to how they were in the sixties. They drive everywhere and don’t ride bikes any more though a very few still ride horses. They spend far too long indoors on admin, and their diet is often terrible.(How do you know – the spy in the kitchens? ed) When they went from being a force to a public service, the rest followed.

      1. rose
        August 13, 2011

        They park on double yellow lines to pick up junk takeaways. That is when one mostly sees them.

        Reply: That’s a very sweeeping generalisation.

        1. rose
          August 13, 2011

          It is a specific observation, not a sweeping generalisation. I live in a part of the city where there are a lot of takeaways. It may well be different in Westminster and Woking, and I am not talking about our PCSOs. They are out on their feet.

          1. rose
            August 13, 2011

            Sorry, I meant Wokingham.

      2. lifelogic
        August 14, 2011

        Indeed the Police operate in a system so constrained with silly rules, the police and criminal evidence acts, political correctness, OTT health and safely, employment laws, poor remote command structures and similar that they can not do their jobs well even when they want to.

        Much of the private sector suffers the same fate due to these absurd laws as well.

  37. Derek Buxton
    August 13, 2011

    Like the curate’s egg, good in parts. It is a complex and difficult problem but not helped by the sounds of “race” and such things. It is not a black and white situation. Nor is it a newly started problem, most goes back to the disastrous policies during the 60s, I think it was, I was too busy working to tale a lot of notice. But noticeably at that time there was a big upsurge in “do as you want, take what you want”. And many did. Governments since then have gone along with it, now it is biting back and they do not like it. Possible approaches: scrap ACPO, clean up the HoC, put Parliament at the hub, not the executive, stop government bringing in two contradictory policies at the same time, let the Common Law do it’s work properly aided by an impartial police, you know – all are equal under the law!

  38. Damien
    August 13, 2011

    For too long criminals have been brought before the courts , especially those under 25, only to be immediately released back into the community that they offended against. This generation of looters wrongly believed that they could carry on in this manner with the same impunity. The Magistrates are now sending them to prison and the public overwhelmingly support these sentences.

    On the wider issue of cause I am not buying this poverty excuse nor that it is a race issue.

    These are criminals who wrongly believed they could get away with their crimes. Sadly too many will escape detection because they were concealed behind hoodies and scarves. These are the same identity concealment tactics that for years have been used by drug dealers and other criminals in estates around the country.

    Over 100,000 have petitioned the government to debate whether convicted offenders should be allowed to remain in their taxpayer subsidised social housing. I would stop short of eviction in preference for those guilty having their tenancies automatically converted from ‘secure’ to ‘demoted’. The provision for this already exists but the bureaucratic burden on the landlord is such that it is rarely imposed. Stronger guidelines to landlords are necessary.

  39. Fiona Maddock
    August 13, 2011

    John asked, “My first question is what else would you like the authorities and the police to do?”

    The government insists that they will implement the proposed cuts in police budgets, with particular emphasis on pairing down the ‘back office’. It is misleading to imply the ‘back office’ is somehow a burden piggybacking on the efforts of ‘the front line’. Let us take the arrest process. At what point does the process move from ‘front line’ to ‘back office’? Where do you draw the line?
    I have heard it said, for various reasons, that it can take many hours to process the paperwork of an arrest, and significantly extend the time the individual officer must spend on one case, if that person has to be arrested. If the officer himself completes the paperwork, is that back or front line activity? If he passes the paperwork to a ‘back office’ operative (and I’m not sure if the legal process allows him to do this), how far will the officer’s productivity on the front line be diminished if he no longer has that support?

    I am particularly nervous of this call to cut the I.T. jobs. Why do this when I.T. has the potential to save so much manual processing?

    Do a feasibility study of how English and European Law dictate police procedures, and see if changes in the law are needed, especially Human Rights Legislation (I am aware our hands are tied to some extent by Europe) to weigh in favour of the citizen not the criminal.

    Examine whether the police can make better use of organisations like, for example, Victims’ Support and similar ones, in ways that might support the role of the Police Liaison Officer and other – dare I say it? – back office roles, or ‘not quite front line duties’.

    I did not agree with George Osborne’s slant on the issue today. Indeed, the emergence of violent and destructive yobbism may not be ‘only about money’, but that remark must not cover a carte blanche permission to reduce police forces. It’s false economy. If he cuts the money there, he will only find it has to be spent anyway, cleaning up the aftermath of the next lot of riots. I don’t want to get into the social debate here. I’m no expert and it’s too large, but it seems common sense to me that order on the streets is the first basic requirement for all the rest.

    In summary, what I would like the authorities to do next is firstly, realign the police to a ‘force’ not a ‘service’ (other agencies must provide the service aspects) and secondly, to examine how they can streamline legal and administrative procedures to increase efficiency, before they start reducing our police forces.

    1. uanime5
      August 13, 2011

      It is not due to the Human Rights Act that the courts are in favour of the criminals, they have been in favour of the criminals even since the prosecutor was required to prove them guilty. Unless you want those accused of crimes to be guilty until proven innocent the court will continue to remain on the side of the criminal.

  40. Denis Cooper
    August 13, 2011

    Actually there is a fairly simple tale to tell about immigration into England – there was a lot during a period of about five hundred years up to about a thousand years ago, a lot of immigration which was often accompanied by a lot of bloodshed, then there was a small surge after the Norman Conquest, after which there was relatively little until about sixty years ago.

    This is why most of the indigenous English are primarily descended from the population of England during the early Middle Ages, whether or not we can put names to our ancestors over the intervening centuries.

    That’s not to ignore the constant small additions to the English gene pool from various sources, some of them quite surprising sources, just to say that they were small enough to be easily blended in over a few generations.

    Of course that process of gradual fusion between an indigenous population and newcomers does depend upon the willingness of both to mix freely and above all to inter-marry, or at least to inter-breed, and that in turn partly depends upon whether the established population welcomes the newcomers or sees them as intruders and resents their presence.

    I well remember an argument with my father when he banged the table and shouted:

    “We were never asked whether we wanted to share our country with people from all around the world!”

    and that was absolutely true then in the 1960’s, and is still true now – we are citizens, and this country is our homeland, but we are NEVER asked whether we want to share it with another load of foreigners.

    JR writes above:

    “The Conservative party has always stood for controlled immigration”

    but that is not exactly true.

    From 1962 onwards for three decades or so the official policy of the UK government was not “controlled immigration” but “would-be zero immigration”, and to be clear that meant GROSS immigration not the NET immigration fudge of the present government.

    In other words, the UK was not to be regarded as “a country of immigration”, a country actively seeking to increase its population by importing new citizens from abroad; while some immigration would be unavoidable, and would have to be permitted, the emphasis would be on keeping that at the lowest possible low level.

    We need to change back to that previous policy of “would-be zero immigration” and maintain that strict policy for at least fifty years, a couple of generations, because it will take at least as long as that to undo the damage which has been done and reunify the population of England into something like one nation in psychological and social and not just legal terms.

    Needless to say that immigration policy is incompatible with EU membership, especially as the EU continues to expand.

    1. rose
      August 13, 2011

      You have put it very well, Denis. Unfortunately our political class has been so brainwashed that aiming for “tens of thousands” seems a daring and drastic reduction to them.

    2. simple soul
      August 13, 2011

      Thank you, Denis. I have never seen it better put.

      The post-war period of mass immigration is something entirely new in our history and took place without consultation and without consent. At the time, no-one admitted that the character of this country was being changed out of all recognition by stealth and deception. Anyone who tried to raise the alarm was treated as mad or bad. Then, when it had taken place (the first tranche, not this latest wave), we were told we must accept it. We were a multi racial society. Then we were told to celebrate it. Any lack of enthusiasm is now treated as a crime.

      The question now is how much national cohesion do we need in a period of what amounts to an extended national emergency? I should say we need a moratorium on further population change until we have made some progress in confronting our grave national problems. Problems which are coming thick and fast upon us in a way they weren’t before. And in a time of unprecedented national weakness and disunity.

  41. forthurst
    August 13, 2011

    “My first question is what else would you like the authorities and the police to do? Does the law need strengthening? Are the new police tactics correct?”

    First of all, I am totally opposed to the present public lawlessness being used in any way as an excuse for spying on citizens’ right to privacy of their electronic communications. In the same way, I totally reject the suggestion that the alleged use by criminals of various electronic gadgets and computer programs created a new ‘reality’ in the war against crime; the police have modern communications too, and they are supposed to be patrolling our streets and they are supposed to know what is happening in their manors.

    (remaining paras deleted-ed)

  42. Mike Stallard
    August 13, 2011

    John – when you write an outstanding article on our noble history or one of your searchlight articles on the economy – both of which I must say I relish – you only get a handful of answers.
    Here you have really struck a nerve, haven’t you.
    I suppose that immigration is the “third rail” now that you must not touch on peril of (political) death?
    Pity really – it is us out here North Of Watford who are carrying the responsibility and the rootlessness and the stretch of facilities that are caused by mass immigration and mass exodus and mass contraception/abortion (see above). And we seem to be doing it with very little support or help indeed.

  43. KVS Marshall
    August 13, 2011

    We should look at this in context. All the riots except the first in Tottenham were copycat riots. People saw that with sufficient numbers of people, looting could be carried out without fear of arrest. There was also the adrenalin rush of rioting, just like football hooliganism. The rioting stopped when people started being arrested in large numbers. They also stopped in Manchester when it started raining.
    We should not overreact in issuing draconian laws. Rather it is to understand that people react to the opportunities presented to them. We had in the inner cities for a few nights to opportunity to riot and loot in the belief there would be no punishment. Many took that opportunity. This can be gleaned from the work of Prof. Gary S. Becker, who pioneered the study of the economics of crime.
    Prevention of the riots in the near future might simply be to show that many of those who rioted had been caught. Therefore the belief that criminal acts in a riot would go unpunished is a false one. Beyond this, there might some minor changes. First, by more rapidly escalating the intensity of Police action in an area and nationally. Second, by instituting temporary powers of arrest in, or near, riot areas for those covering their faces or wearing a hooded top. Third, if riots are in the summer, for helicopters to spray water to simulate a heavy downpour. The water might also contain a harmless dye visible under ultraviolet light (that can be removed with soap and water) to identify those who duck into side streets.

  44. Nick
    August 13, 2011

    Factual inaccuracy in the orignal post

    All are equal beneath the law. The law applies to all, however powerful or rich.

    Not true.

    MPs have voted themselves special priviliges.

    1. No investigation of the expenses by the tax man. 2003 Pensions act.

    2. No prosecution for libel

    3. When the pension fund had a short fall, you just voted yourself some more money.

    What we need is an additional clause in the HRA.

    All citizens are entitled to the privileges of any other citizen.

    It has to be phrases that way. Then when you vote yourself perks, you’re voting for us to have them too.

    Make it a law, that all are equal under the law.

  45. Bazman
    August 13, 2011

    I saw the best comment on the riot on SKY News from a teenager about seventeen or eighteen on a bike who said if he could not get a pair of expensive trainers out of his mum he was going to steal a pair. His mates did not laugh so I presume they agreed on this serious point. Keeeeepin it reeeal innit. Future model citizens. it’s a wonder even the crime industry has a job for them.

  46. rose
    August 13, 2011

    As long as polygamy and forced marriage are tolerated in the UK, and the mutilation of small girls, we are not all equal under the law. And try as you might, you cannot convince us we have all been equal under the law in other respects either. There has been one law for some, and another for others, ever since the word “racist” was coined. This double standard has permeated other institutions too, and produced exactly the opposite effect from the one presumably intended.

    Reply: Everyone in the Uk is under the same marriage laws, and the same laws and rules governing operations to change a person’s body.

    1. uanime5
      August 13, 2011

      What’s wrong with polygamy?

      Since when have the courts approved forced marriage or the mutilation of small girls?

    2. Amanda
      August 14, 2011

      They may be, but a blind eye is turned by the authorities. I believe very few if any charges have been made against the women who do female circumcision, or who take their children out of the country for it to be done !!!

      It is the same blind eye, that has led to the police standing by and watching criminal behaviour !!

    3. Barbara
      August 14, 2011

      I think the point is that polygamous marriages, although illegal if conducted within the UK, have been recognised *if conducted outside the UK* as valid for claiming extra UK benefits for up to (so far) four wives:


      Has this been rescinded?

  47. Sean O'Hare
    August 13, 2011

    and all charged with a crime have the right to prove their innocence in court

    Not sure whether any other commentor picked up on this, as I must admit I haven’t read all 114 of them, but unless the law has changed without my being aware the accused does not have to prove their innocence, rather the prosecution has to prove their guilt.

  48. StevenL
    August 13, 2011

    There have been no prosecutions for ‘house flipping’ or for bankers who use swaps and derivatives to misrepresent their books to their shareholders on reporting day.

    ‘Flipping’, could potentially be a breach of section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 (fraud by false representation) if you ask me. If an MP declares that they have changed their primary residence, when in fact living arrangements have not changed, and the reason for doing so (in the opinion of the jury) was to obtain more expenses and/or a tax advantage, then I would have thought you could draft a S2 Fraud offence for that.

    MP’s might keep saying that what they did was not ‘dishonest’, and that it was ‘within the rules’ but it is not the defendants’ standards of dishonesty that are applied, it is those of the jury. (Known in the trade as the ‘Ghosh test’ see R v Ghosh [1982]) This is how the judge directed the jury:

    “Now it is your turn [to set the standards of dishonesty] today, having heard what you have, to consider contemporary standards of honesty and dishonesty in the context of all that you have heard. I cannot really expand on this too much, but probably it is something rather like getting something for nothing, sharp practice, manipulating systems and many other matters which come to your mind.”

    I’m not saying that we should realistically of prosecuted hundreds of MP’s, but people do face Fraud Act charges over much less.

    Reply: You should take into account that the scheme for designating second homes included for a period the requirement that an MP who became a Minister had to designate the London residence as the main home, whatever their pattern of nights between London and the constituency.

    1. lifelogic
      August 14, 2011

      The revenue actually allows anyone with two homes to elect which is their principal residence for capital gain purposes it does not have to be legally your main home or the one you may declare as main to the fees office.

      So far be it from me to defend MPs the flipping accusation is I think totally unfair to MP’s. Unless it was a home that was let and or not ever used by them.

      Reply: Indeed the same rules on CGT election applied to MPs as to tohers. The rules governing which was an MP’s main home for expenses purposes were different.

      1. lifelogic
        August 14, 2011

        I agree the HMRC rules on PPR election are quite clear (for once).

      2. sm
        August 14, 2011

        Ok so its legal and above aboard.

        How many of the (<35) public are in a position to being able to flip designation on their property portfolios? The debt boom has helped a few and many are paying the cost of high property prices directly and indirectly. The problem is the controlling will to retain the status quo of the current banking model and-eu-politco setup.

  49. rose
    August 13, 2011

    One more point about the immigration of the past: far from being – as it is fashionable to say nowadays – a nation of immigrants, we were traditionally in the past a nation of emigration, as we didn’t have enough land. That is how Canada, Australia, and New Zealand came about. Have we forgotten the Highland Clearances? And the 17th and 18th century famines? Settlers in the colonies weren’t all convicts and puritans. Many were farmers in search of land. What worries me most, is that when food security becomes a more urgent question, and sustainability a serious objective, the many new “Communities” may start fighting each other over the arable land around their cities.

  50. Kenneth
    August 13, 2011

    I agree that race did not appear to be the main factor in the riots.

    I think immigration is a good thing as it keeps the human stock healthy, innovative and vibrant. My problem is with the rate immigration which, if too high, can be destabilizing to our communities. Wheras historic immigration has been steady (with some spikes around both World Wars), we have had a very high rate of immigration which has resulted in parallel multiple communities that hardly interact. That is extremely unhealthy and always likely to lead to trouble.

    I think the riots were due to:

    Education not Working:
    Secondary schools are largely a waste of time for a large percentage of children. If you don’t care for academic theory school is virtually an open prison and a waste of many years of a young person’s life.

    What a waste of time for them and for their teachers not to mention those pupils who are keen on academic subjects who are being disrupted.

    While schools have concentrated on academic qualification, those who otherwise would do a good job with their hands and bodies have been left feeling like failures.

    I am sure these people were at the riots.

    Adolescents Barred from Work:
    There are plenty of teenagers aged 15 who would do a good day’s work on a building site, or in a factory or shop. We through the baby out with the bath water when we rightly stopped the scandal of child exploitation at the workplace. What we never should have done was stopped teenagers from working. Many who do not value years of academic theory would have thrived working and being paid. At the moment these kids are not valued as they are not allowed to be valued. It has left us with redundancy, delinquency and a lack of self-worth amongst this group.

    I am sure they were at the riots

    Addiction to Welfare
    We have been raised the safety net from destitution to ‘relative poverty’. As we are drip fed benefits we no longer need to strive and stretch. Those people who are having more responsibility for their lives being assumed by the State will naturally take less responsibility themselves.

    I am sure they were at the riots

    The State’s Relationship with Us
    The State has forged a relationship with individuals, bypassing the family. In my view the family should be self-policing and financially self-contained. If government cuts through this and passes benefits to an out of work 18 year old living at home or a spouse, this lets the rest family off the hook.

    The government should largely deal with us through the family unit (easier said than done, I know).

    Specifically, those charged with crimes should be liable for the financial costs of police, courts and prison. If the offender could not pay then the wider family should be charged with the cost. This would result in the families policing their own members for fear of having to foot a large bill. The offender should also be put to work in order to pay off the bill and help our country get back into manufacturing goods that would otherwise be imported.

    By charging the whole family with responsibility for its own members, many people would fear the consequences of carrying out criminal acts far more than they do now.

    Many of those rioting clearly had little fear of the punishment that would come their way.

    I suppose a riot, and the enticement of shops with their doors wide open plus the adrenalin rush was too much for some (no excuse of course).

    This is a matter the police should deal with. The police did not appear to be prepared but they also seemed too timid. I would put this down to BBC propaganda and threat of personal prosecution to individual officers. I think the government has got this message but I fear the BBC has not. We may find this a tougher nut to crack as the BBC shows no signs of reforming itself.

    Finally, the vast majority of people in the groups I have mentioned and in all other groups were not rioting at all. Turning off the Blackberry service punishes more innocent people than guilty people. The remedies should not impact directly on the majority as this would be unfair and a bigger riot could be the result!

    Reply: I agree we need to find ways of promoting more family responsibility. When I was the parent of teenagers living at home I regarded myself as responsible and accountable for their conduct and was keen to help them avoid anything they would later regret. I was also well aware that they needed reasonable freedom to lead their lives, so it had to be done by influence and persuasion, explanation and regular communication. Family meal times are an important part of retaining a dialogue of the generations, which have disappeared in many households.

    1. Iain
      August 14, 2011

      “I think immigration is a good thing as it keeps the human stock healthy, innovative and vibrant. ”

      Your comment is somewhat insulting, what you are saying is that we are inbred, thick, and boring and only immigration makes the place tolerable. If the Nazis eugenics arguments were beyond the pale on one side of the political extreme , then your eugenics arguments should be found to be equally distasteful on the other. The very fact that your comments have been moderated and found to be acceptable for posting shows how far this racism against the indigenous peoples and culture has been embedded in the British establishment.

    2. APL
      August 14, 2011

      Kenneth: ” .. as it keeps the human stock healthy, innovative and vibrant ..”

      Like Iain, I find this to be an unfortunate comment.

      The British population produced some of the best minds in modern history. Our ancestors started the industrial revolution and built railroads across much of the rest of the world.

      We abolished slavery, pretty much the first country with an interest in the trade to do so, then we enforced the abolition across the world with our navy.

      1. Kenneth
        August 14, 2011

        You may have a point.

        William Wilberforce may have been pure native stock with no trace of Roman, Angle, Saxon or other foreign blood in his veins.

  51. outsider
    August 14, 2011

    Thank you Mr Redwood for steering the discussion away from immigration and race.

    Yes, there has been far too much immigration and, in my view, net immigration should be set at zero (backed up by a market for available places) to the extent permitted by our legal obligations to the EU and our moral obligations to individual refugees and to people who share the same sovereign.

    But recent immigration really has little to do with the outbreak of arson and looting, except that we need to ponder exactly why, statistically, the vast majority of new jobs have recently been taken by immigrants rather than UK folk apparently looking for a job. Have immigrants received preferential treatment? I doubt it.

    Nor has it much to do with race. People are not rioting because they are black but because they are members of an emboldened underclass. If you think back to that shocking affair in Dewsbury, it uncovered an equally amoral white underclass culture. Remember also the poor man who was kicked to death by drunken teens because he objected to their destroying his family car. Much the same exists (alongside respectability) in some non-ethnic estates in South Wales, Merseyside and even in pockets of generally highly prosperous areas such as Kent.

    Some of the finest English gentlemen I come across personally are black, Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, particularly second generation Englishmen of West Indian descent. On a couple of occasions recently I have felt humbled by them. West Africans and West Indians make up a wholly disproportionate number of church-going Christians. British people of mixed race, who are too often look down on from both sides, have provided a disproportionate number of terrific role models, from Dame Kelly Holmes to Nasser Hussein. Anyone who defiantly still cherishes Englishness, or Britishness, should look up to them and be thankful.

    The underclass has grown much bigger than before because our predominant culture is entirely materialistic, so anyone who does not climb up the ladder is a loser, a lesser human being . Not having stuff is the ultimate sin.

    The underclass has become emboldened because our culture has degenerated to embrace permissiveness, deride order and despise authority. Just listen to mainstream radio or television, forget the ethnic stations.

  52. Bill
    August 14, 2011

    Your question re police tactics

    I think that the police do have the powers that they require, but question their tactics, on a macro view, during recent riots.

    The police give the impression that they stand back too much, allow the mob to have it’s way, then rely on forensics and photos to make arrests later.

    ……Ritz Hotel, Fortnums, Millbank

    Contrast this to how riots are contained in Northern Ireland, or even recently in Greece, where the mob were kept from burning or storming buildings.

    The TV images of the arson attacks being beamed around the world of events here is terrible fr the image of this country.

    Mr Cameron is right to seek advice from the USA.

    Police chiefs, and the association of police officers here in the UK are much too sensitive to criticism.

  53. John Galt
    August 14, 2011

    Interesting article and I’m sure you have enough thought from the comments above to work on, so I’ll only mention two points.
    The first is in answer to your question.

    You asked what more, I would remind you that the police can only ever be an after the event entity, they are reactive and even then they only turn up to put a tape around a “scene”. It is simply not possible in our present society for the Police to be permanently on hand everywhere unless everyone is the police.
    The citizens of this country need to have the ability enshrined in law to protect themselves, their family and their property with if necessary deadly force, anyone trespassing needs to be aware that they face the most final of consequences, the same with anyone destroying someone else’s property or goods.
    If real world peace is deterrence or is mutual annihilation then the same applies to all sections of society.

    The second point is about immigration, there are many comments above that address the issues you’ve raised and those you have not raised.
    One issue I don’t see that anyone has raised nor yourself considered is emigration.
    The net flow of people from this country is astounding, and they are culturally English, they are not (with I think the sole the exception of the Ugandan Asians) first second or even third generation immigrant English, they are of the stock that built Empire and industrial strengthen.
    Many years ago the UK government along with the US administration, concerned about a brain drain convinced the US authorities to implement draconian measures that to this day limits the ability of the English to emigrate to the USA (the only country I know off that is treated thus by the USA). Undeterred the stock of emigration has accelerated in the past two decades, those leaving are leaving for why?
    I met many of them in my travels, most go (here I’m not talking about the ones that flee to Spain on retirement) because England no longer wants them, successive governments of both sides have taken away their freedoms, their entrepreneurial spirit, their altruistic nature and their wealth. The governments have successively denigrated family, religion (except the peace loving one), heritage and national pride.
    I had to laugh a few years ago when the government launched an investigation into why people had stopped volunteering, its nothing to do with lifestyle or free time its because having been told they couldn’t unless they jumped through hoops they went somewhere they could.
    Any visit to Aus, NZ, Canada or any other of the lists of places the English have fled you’ll find plenty of active community, lots of people contributing time and effort to society. You might also note that they are all countries that having flirted dangerously close to the edge with liberal socialism are all taking huge steps back to the center.

    So my point, the quality of the English as a nation has diminished, the gene pool got smaller, those you would call English now are not the same as they where 50 years ago not just because of immigration but because the very English people that built, manufactured, produced and gave of themselves and put back into the community have got up and gone.
    We are left with the idle rich, the trust fund brats, those that invent every more exotic ways of making paper money out of thin air, the government welfare entitlement junkies, or bureaucrats as they are know, and those that have no hope.

    Welcome to the brave new world

  54. electro-kevin
    August 14, 2011

    Why isn’t the reintroduction of corporal punishment both in schools and by courts being discussed ?

    It’s highly effective and – above all else – cheap.

    There also needs to be proper censorship of Rap music and genre’s such as Death Metal. Ditto video games and violent films.

  55. Javelin
    August 14, 2011

    I have experienced the almost universal agreement that these riots are due to the breakdown of the family. I sincerely believe it is the difference between the mothers unconditional love and the fathers conditional love as the VERY simple key point to understand. Single Mothers cannot give unconditional AND conditional love. They simply can’t. It’s a contradiction.

    I have a degree in psychology and trade very successfully using this skill. My partner is a psychotherapist and I am introduced to alot of literature on family dysfunction. I would urge readers to read The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm to understand the difference between the 4 main types of love. Brother, Mother, Father and Partner. The Tory view of a nuclear family as being “good” lacks any explanatatory mechanisms. The Tory family values argument just lacks any substance. But it does have substance.

    The key is to understand that mothers give unconditional love – which is needed to provide children with a sense of self and confidence. Unconditional love from the father provides conditions and modification in the children’s behaviour to make them good citizens. Both are needed yet one person cannot give both.

    So what does this mean?

    It means that the aggressive feminist view that women alone can bring children up has been proven utterly wrong. Utterly.

    It also means that fatherless families should be discouraged. For example fathers pay mothers 15% of their net income for a single child. 20% for 2 kids. 25% for 3 kids. But this figure is reduced by one seventh for every day the children spend with the father. This algorithm needs to change so that fathers are forced to spend every other weekend with their children. But this is complex because alot of mums prevent their kids from seeing their dad to get more money. Sometimes mums and dads move away from their kids – so the person that moves away needs to be penalised.

    So what this means is that whilst its quite simple to determine who is separating kids from their dads, in reality it’s very difficult. The CSA needs to have much more contact with parents. Parents need to be called into interviews and common sense needs to be used to penalise the mum or dad for separating the kids from their dads.

  56. rose
    August 15, 2011

    The antics of the BBC-led lumpenintelligentsia, ACPO, and elements of the opposition this week remind me of those motorists, who, a few miles past a pileup, start driving dangerously again. I very much hope the PM has undergone a baptism of fire, and will not succumb to any temptation to placate such people. Nothing sums up their attitude better than the frivolous and spiteful presenter of last night’s newspaper review on radio 4’s 10 pm programme. He thought he was being brilliantly funny and incisive. Not surprisingly, he turned out to be from the Statesman. A bad joke of a title if ever there was one.

  57. Iain Gill
    August 15, 2011

    for what its worth John I think you lost your way with this post

    sure most of us are from immigrant stock, doesnt mean open doors immigration or the pretty close impression of that we have is sustainable

    we are not all equal before the law, i have sat through many a court hearing and i can tell you for free you get a much better chance if you have a public school accent, this is reality, the poor and rich get good legal teams and the poor workers in the middle get a raw deal

    re “We also need to continue the substantial work going on to get more young people into work” what by flooding the country with ICT visa holders? and the ripple down affect of that bit of social engineering for one?

    re “teach and train more to see the value and virtue of abiding by the law and taking responsibility” needs to start in the infant schools, far too late by the time they are teenagers, and poor education (at high cost) is the biggest issues facing this country, if we were gettng value for money from the education system we really would be leading the world

    and so on

    1. rose
      August 15, 2011

      I don’t agree about the public school or rich bit. Jonathan Aitken got a prison sentence for what a lot of other people do every day in the courts. Archer the same, and his sentence far outweighed what others get – or don’t get – for GBH.

      I think our criminal justice people are well aware that it is mostly one class sitting in judgement on another, and when one of their own comes up before them, they come down really hard on them.

      1. Bazman
        August 20, 2011

        Jeffrey Archer should get a prison sentence for being Jeffrey Archer. “If there was a Nobel prize for story telling Jeffrey archer would win” (Daily Telegraph) I couldn’t agree more.

  58. Steve Whitfield
    August 27, 2011

    Mr Redwood,

    I am disapointed that you have attempted to close down the debate over the riots by citing the dubious claim that we are a ‘Nation of Immigrants”. This is a standard tactic of the left unworthy of you.
    The point is that we as a nation, until relatively recently, where tied by a common culture, values and history very much more than we are today. Decades of unprecedented high immigration has played a part in very much weakening these ties. Surely that has to be a very important factor when discussing the breakdown of society we have seen ?.

    Perhaps the book ” A Nation of Immigrants” By Professor Conway of Civitas or the article ” The Great Deception” by Sir Andrew Green of Migration Watch UK would sway you in your opinion. Or do you believe that these people are as misguided as your readers who wish to discuss immigration?


    Whether we like it or not these riots would have been un-thinkable 40 years ago. So may i suggest a better title for your column would be “What has changed in the last 40 years in England to make the riots possible”. Family breakdown encouraged by changes to the divorce laws and generous welfare payments are part of the problem in my view.

    But we also have a problem with an aggressive gang culture that glamourises cruelty and violence that has taken hold of a generation of young people in our inner cities. Only if these communties can be persuaded to reject this foreign culture and adopt our own of peace and tolerance will progress be made. But if we keep saying that we cannot discuss these issues for fear of sounding judgemental or racist we will help neither ourselves or the people caught up in dead end lifestyles.

    Hoping the problem will just go away or not speaking out because of a fear of causing offence or libel hasn’t worked in the past and wont in the future. It’s like banging your head on a wall and then saying “I know i’ll just bang it harder and see if that works”.

    Reply: In the 1960s we had violence and gang battles between Mods and Rockers – it was no golden age

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