Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Riots in London are a Culmination of Decades of Failed Social Policies

The underclass are rising up. No longer content with simply burglaring and mugging the decent law abiding working classes that have the misfortune to dwell amongst them, they have now decided to torch and terrorise the very communities they come from. What we are witnessing in London and in other cities across Britain at the moment is an attack upon the decent and law abiding citizenry of the country. Their places of work have been attacked, looted and even burned down. Opportunisitic burglaries have occured and violent attacks upon the police and innocent individuals are widespread. Fear is endemic and people are anticipating a fourth night of chaos and disorder. The nation of Britain is being brought to its knees by a festering amoral underclass that has been fostered by decades of failed social policies in the spheres of education, criminal justice, social services and by a well intentioned and necessary welfare system state that has unwittingly produced an attitude amongst some young people that being a citizen of a country is all about what you can get without ever considering what you are contributing to the community that you come from.

The rightful abandonment of excessively harsh discipline only to swing to the extreme of having no discipline in schools along with the namby-pamby non-judgementalism that pervades social services and the youth offending service are all contributory factors to the chaos on our streets. The Police who purportedly exist to protect the masses of law abiding working communities from criminal elements and who exist to guard the peace are stymied in their efficacy by a political class that eschews robust policing when it is needed. This morning on Sky News, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, dismissed the option of using water cannon when she said: "The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon...the way we police in Britain is through consent of communities." I am sure if she consulted the vast majority of people on this island she would discover that very few people would be too concerned about a few thousand drenched tracksuits if it meant a return of law and order and an absence of terror within communities. She then went on to assure us that, "people will start to see the consequences of their actions".

Now, just what will these consequences be you may ask? Well, for those over eighteen whatever custodial sentences they do receive, if any, they will no doubt serve just a fraction of their sentences as is common for most criminals in the UK. However, in what will clearly be a perversion of justice, those rioters under eighteen will be treated as if they too are the victims of the very crimes they have commited, as this is the ethos at the heart of the youth justice system. I know this from having worked alongside and in the Youth Offending Service. Within a few weeks many of these rioters that you are now watching loot, burn and terrorise on a twenty four news channel will be on an Intensive Surveillance and Supervision Programme, where they will spend the majority of their 'sentence' being escorted to gyms, adventure centres, DJ courses and having their lunches bought and paid for and they will even be given the bus fares to attend their 'punishment'. There will be a minimum of community work as part of their ISSP and in some parts of the country the Youth Offending Service will fail to implement this part of the ISSP. I know this will occur because I have seen it first hand. Another part of their ISSP will involve them sitting in on classroom based sessions where staff will ask them what feelings they were experiencing prior to setting their community alight and how best they could channel those feelings in the future. We may even get them to do some 'poster work', as I have heard it referred to, where they will draw and colour in examples of criminal behaviour just in case they were not aware that torching homes in their communities as well peoples place  of employment  and throwing masonry at innocent passers by as well as the police, fire brigade were indeed criminal acts. When this is the system charged with preventing youth crime is at any wonder we have such high rates of recidivism amongst the more serious of young criminals? Many of the rioters you see on the streets will have been through this sytem. They know there are no real consequences for their actions and thus they behave in the manner we are now viewing.

One thing is clear to me about these riots that set them apart from the race riots of the eighties, or those of the late sixties/early seventies in the aftermath of state suppression of civil rights marches in Northern Ireland and it is that these disturbances are not political in nature, or as a result of one ethnic group feeling rightfully disenfranchised and discriminated by the police. This is a rainbow coalition of the underclass, all shades and colours are present on the streets. If it was political in nature the main targets of the rioters would be the state and whilst the police are being attacked the perpetrators are more concerned with acquiring the contents of high street shops. These riots are purely criminal and materialistic in nature and it is the state and its failed social policies along with the pervading culture of selfishness as a result of neo-liberalism that have bred the savage and feral mentality of the perpetrators. It is no surprise that our police force has proved ineffective in protecting working and middle class communities when wetting criminals and louts is seen as a step too close to draconian policing? Is at any wonder we fear another night of chaos?

76 comments:

MTG said...

Here is an unfortunate case of Gadgetitis; bloggers falling victim to the whims of their readership. Is it not just possible that decades of lazy, ineffective policing combined with useless central and local government, contributed to the present state of affairs?

The chief symptom of this infectious disease is failure to accept professional liability. Long courses of treatment and therapy are required to assist brain and hands back into a truth writing mode.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@MTG

I agree that the police are largely ineffective at dealing with crime but I dont think it is due to laziness but rather the top target driven culture that puts more emphasis on form filling than policing the streets. The police have to act according to the dictats of the Home Office.

I am writing the truth as I see based on my experiences. I am not really sure of the point you are trying to make.

Zenobia said...

I'm surprised we've not had some hand-wringer coming on here and saying that actually yes, they are the victims because they live in a consumerist society and feel alienated and marginalised by their inability to have consumer goods.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering...

Are the motives behind this
- greedy/materialistic?
Apparently, blackberries were used to organise the looting and the message included 'we're not broke but who doesn't want free stuff'
This is rather ironic because in many parts of the world, blackberries are luxury items only for the rich

Or are youths interested in violence just for adrenaline/violence sake? After all, it is not an unknown phenomenon for war veterans to feel unfulfilled when they return to peaceful society. If that is the case, perhaps there is a justification for routine military service for youths, such as in Singapore or Israel?
Ah well... I think that comment would draw a lot of flak...

WinstonSmith33 said...

@ZENOBIA

Give it time the apologists will be out soon. If these people lived in an oppressive police state or didnt have the generous welfare state we have then I could understand them rising up. This has nothing to do with being genuine victims of oppression or actual real poverty. It is about blatant greed, criminality and hyper consumerism nothing else. This is not Brixton in the 80s when there were genuine grievances that needed addressing. It is thuggery plain and simple.

Julie said...

Theresa May: "the way we police in Britain is through consent".

She must have been watching different news footage to me then, because the rioters and looters I saw didn't look like they were giving consent to be policed!

Anonymous said...

Umm This is to MTG.

I am going to read your comment above as a suggestion that Winston has crept to the right wing in response to his readership. If you disagree with that interpretation please correct me.

I do not know Winston's views on politics but instead i would like to address the implied argument that people are victims of circumstance and not responsible to or for actions taken.

Do you believe that people can be responsible for actions? If so when and how? How much money can i carry in my hand before people become unable to not steal it?

How does "lazy, ineffective policing combined with useless central and local government, contributed to the present state of affairs" excuse peoples actions. Really can you put a coherent political message to these riots? if so how are you so much better informed?

I suspect that you are merely backing your own political bias into this discussion (as am I to be fair) and are ignoring inconvenient facts.

As a General question to everyone - if this is not the sign of a failed or failing society then what can we say is a sign of that? What evidence would convince you that has not already been presented?

Old Holborn said...

We allowed the monster to be created. We will have to destroy it. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

@ Zenobia

Camila Batmanghelidjh already is and you have predicted her response perfectly.

Zenobia said...

Winston,

I think they already have. That godawful hoodie hugger Camilla Batmanghelidgh of Kids Company (a South London charity that provides massages for muggers and is a prime beneficiary of the victim culture) "tells Radio 5 live's Richard Bacon that the people rioting are the ignored underclass and that this is them taking revenge."

Ugh.

I dare say that if one shopkeeper comes out and spray-paints the rioters with a Pancor Jackhammer or other large and improbable gun the looters will get the message pretty quickly. Not that I'm advocating the use of illegally held firearms, of course ;)

Anonymous said...

Interesting that most of the rioters are children.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/aug/09/uk-riots-data-figures?intcmp=239

This is not about politics, it's about about lawlessness and greed.

On the other hand, their elders are launching the 'keep calm and clean up' campaign.

Anonymous said...

Well they are starting to roll in here from London,the under 18's we had 5 today & are getting 10 a day until full.
They have flat screen tv's & phone's in their rooms(cant call them cells as they are kids it not PC) PS2's but can use the Xbos 360's & PS3's on a weekend.
Oh they'll suffer............

Anonymous said...

London needs Rudy Giuliani. I am grateful that the UK has "Winston Smith."

Anonymous said...

you say it is a rainbow of the underclass but from what I've seen it is mainly young black men. The damage to the streets can be repaired in a couple of weeks but the damage to black young men's reputations will take a lot longer

DJ Drummond said...

I think Anonymous has at least part of the answer. In my lifetime, I have seen a great range of parental involvement, from (perhaps) overprotective parents ranging down to parents absent in all meaningful respects.

Discipline is a vital ingredient missing in all too many lives, especially when it loses favor in celebrated media - every television show or movie makes it clear that self-control and adherence to a moral code is anathema to 'coolness'.

Hence, a generation which is half-Narcissus, half-Nero.

Anonymous said...

This would be a good time for people to consider real punitive measures. If young adults wish to commit crimes I believe they should be placed in prisons especially built. These prisons should be spartan, and involve none negotiable labour in return for a basic food allowance. If the criminals do not work, they are not fed.

They could build basics required by society. wooden crates for shipping, etc...

Hideki said...

Bring back borstal.

It may not have been PC but it worked, no playstations, televisions etc. in the rooms and up at 6am doing hard physical exercise with perhaps community work clearing graffiti etc. during the day, ex army types enforcing discipline and laws protecting them while they do it.

Time in Borstal/YOI should not be pleasant, in fact it should be as unpleasant as possible so they don't want to go back!

Of course it'll never happen, there's not the will anymore and I doubt this is going to change anything.

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Ms she also said:
"My own view is that the police in this country do an impressive job and unjustly carry the consequences of a much wider social dysfunction. Before you take a breath of sarcasm thinking "here she goes, excusing the criminals with some sob story", I want to begin by stating two things. First, violence and looting can never be justified. Second, for those of us working at street level, we're not surprised by these events." http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/camila-batmanghelidjh-caring-costs-ndash-but-so-do-riots-2333991.html

Anonymous said...

I think this teacher said it well...

"Many of these mindless thugs involved in the riots don’t think more than 10 minutes into the future. They think that stealing trainers is ‘fun’, not even considering that it might be wrong. Many of them are, quite literally, unable to read and write: 17 percent of 15-year-olds are functionally illiterate. If you de-educate an entire generation, if you constantly make excuses for their behaviour, if you never teach them the difference between right and wrong, then chaos is what you reap." http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/katharinebirbalsingh/100100161/no-wonder-these-kids-think-stealing-trainers-is-ok-everyone-makes-excuses-for-them/

Anonymous said...

As a US citizen that stumbled upon your blog while trying to find information on the riots, I found your opinions enlightening.

I hope that the US heeds the warning and does not travel down that same road, though I fear we are headed in the direction of coddling the criminal and ignoring the rights of the victims. Why must it be that the criminals get the help and apologies, while the victims continue to suffer because the punishment for crime is so loosely enforced and ineffectual?

Bravo Sierra Control said...

I read blogs which relate to my line of work, and they all refer to a lack of discipline and respect in the younger generation. I'm not big or clever enough to understand why this is, but it is. We're seeing the result of that now.

Genius said...

Hard to say it's not political in nature. Class warfare is, after all, just class-based politicking by other means.

Bill O' Rites said...

Remember the compact between State & Citizens, where we gave up a "little" freedom in exchange for security?

Well now we have neither & no means left to restore either.

During the Los Angeles riots a group of Korean shopkeepers took up arms to defend their businesses - guess which were the only places left alone by the looters?

Anonymous said...

Maybe law enforcement is defanged when it becomes a nagging voice that comes from a trashcan.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, blackberries!

I can imagine probably universal rejection of my idea on what could be done - I just wonder if it might work on some of the looters? It would certainly free up more police time.

1 - Anyone wearing a hoodie in a riot area has their face painted with what I think the police call 'magic paint', so it lasts for days.

2 - If they are carrying looted items or if, when the hoodie is pulled back, their face is already painted then they are bound kneeling down (probably with many others) to some railings near the centre of town, supervised by armed police to prevent escapes.

3 - Their photo and fingerprints are taken, along with a dna sample.

4 - Blackberries, along with other soft fruits and rotting vegetables, are sold by grocers' stalls to passers-by, to throw at these looters.

5 - After 24 hours they are released unless they have committed a violent act (such as carrying a knife, machete or molotov cocktail), in which case they are kept there for several more days.

6 - Before being released other photos are taken, showing their condition and making clear they have soiled themselves. They are told that if they commit any other trouble both photos will be posted on the internet.

Maybe we could adapt this process for self-serving politicians?

Chris Heward said...

Here is a good explanation in Wednesday's Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-britain-has-experienced-its-katrina-moment-2334812.html

RAH said...

" An armed society is a polite society" The corollary is a disarmed society is a violent society.

As an American my first reaction is shoot the looters. One blogger said the cause of the riot "is a lack of incoming fire."

How is that guns are bad doing for you? You Brits let the government take and destroy your guns.
This is not some poor underclass. This is a greedy parasitic class that British society has encourage to misbehave and they have taken the logical course that a mob is a pretty good way to loot a city. Amazing it used to take armies days to take a city for looting . Modern British just walk away and let the barbarians loot, pillage and burn.

JohnM said...

What can I say.
?
Most of those "rioting" (thieving, damaging and enjoying themselves) will have some sort of employment. Most will not be short of food or healthcare.
They are just opportunist criminals.
They are just doing "it" because others are doing the same.
In reality, it just shows how little people think, if they think at all.
The "disturbances" also show how we need to equip the police with the necessary equipment, and allow its deployment, to quell any such problems.
politics, politicians, are SO responsible for SO many problems. And let us not forget those 650 crooks with their snouts firmly in the westminster trough.

Anonymous said...

I used to half think a lot of what I read on here was exaggerated to make a good read, then I saw this story on BBC news today!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-14465259

At least they have a high percentage of people completing their course, makes you wonder though how they define successfully completing and what the course objectives are!

Anonymous said...

The underlying problem is a complete absence of discipline and lack of consequences for actions.

Today, the rights of the individual are seen to be more important than those of the society in which he/she lives, which is completely wrong.

Kids need clear boundaries when growing up, with defined consequences for exceeding those boundaries. The rights of society must be paramount and discipline is the key to ensuring this.

Bring back corporal punishment (it reinforces learning!), and consider reintroducing national service, too, to instil discipline. If kids fail exams, keep them back – there are no guarantees of any “free lunch” in life. It’s time to stop this silly experiment with political correctness, and to go back to basic decent norms of behaviour in society.

Anonymous said...

Custodial and community sentences that are too easy may be one factor. There are others: A society directed by unrestricted capitalism and the cultural and spiritual decline associated with this. No shared moral codes and no social cohesion. The largest gap between the rich and poor since the 1920s. The prevailing orthodoxy that “greed is good”. Intergenerational and permanent unemployment – leading to lack of self respect and alienation from the rest of society. Sink estates, sink schools, no hope, no aspiration and young people who have nothing to lose etc.

I entirely agree that keeping people permanently on benefits has a detrimental impact on society. I don’t think any young person should be allowed to do nothing and that every one of them should be working or in college or training. However, there are almost a million young people unemployed at the moment. There’s not a sufficient number of jobs for all of them and further education is unattainable for many. The government has to take responsibility for some of this. They bailed out the banks at the cost of billions of tax payers money. Why not invest in job creation schemes and training programs and make participation in society a realistic option for every young person?

Min said...

Thank you, Winston - dreary truths are needed now. First we need to listen, then act.

I'm appalled by the 'humiliation of poverty amidst plenty' argument offered as an excuse for the inexcusable by the likes of Camilla Batmangeligh: this is one of the most damaging untruths peddled by these people. It is so obviously both intellectually and factually dishonest. Orwellian NewSpeak at its worst.

Bon courage, Winston!

Bob S said...

Nail on the head Winston.

But lets not forget how the police have been emasculated by political correctness and the constant drip drip of diversity and how they must respect it. The police (chief constables and their ilk, not the rank and file) need to get back to what they are supposed to do............prevent crime, arrest offenders and protect the public and their property from criminal behaviour.

If someone commits an offence then arrest them. Don't worry for one second about whether or not their ethnic or religious sensibilities will be offended. Don't even think about their cultural background..............deal with them as the lawbreakers they are and put them before the courts and make sure the courts give out the proper sentence, not some silly lttle community punishment.

Diversity has no place in dealing with criminals. They commit a crime? Arrest them and deal with them. Simples!

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly agree with your post;

I thought about buying your book, but I downloaded an extract on Kindle, and then asked myself "Why on earth should I pay money to give myself a heart attack through high blood pressure?"

1) Shut half the universities and make a univeristy degree a prize worth striving for again.

2) Use the money saved and buildings vacated to make jails for the scrotes. Lock 'em up.

3) Make the state an employer of last resort, rather than a dole cash machine. Make the scrotes work for their dole.

Daisy said...

Hi Winston... Just been listening to you on Radio 5 Live.. Wanted to say, how refreshing it was to hear your views, instead of some others, who just make excuses for the thugs.. Keep it up.. There are many people who feel the same as you :o)

Officer Friendly said...

MTG - "Here is an unfortunate case of Gadgetitis; bloggers falling victim to the whims of their readership. Is it not just possible that decades of lazy, ineffective policing combined with useless central and local government, contributed to the present state of affairs?"

As somebody who is employed by the Police to work in a YOT, you have hold of the hammer & the nail, but not any where near to making the two collide.

I find it interesting that somebody has drawn a (vague) link between the actions of the mindless & criminal few with war veterans. That godawful hoodie hugger Camilla Batmanghelidgh of Kids Company, love her or hate her, has shown that many of the hoodies she hugs come from such failed families who rely on violence & bribes (money, fags, booze, drugs, anything but attention & affection) to try & control their kids, that these kids routinely end up with mental trauma akin to PST (anybody wanting to doubt that, go & volunteer for Kids Company for 6 months then prove me wrong).

I get funny looks when I train people coming in to the youth offending service for focusing on a young person's offence(s) & the consequences for their victims, as the majority of a YOT's staff will look at welfare first, offending second. We do need to place a far higher emphasis on getting some kind of resolution for victims, all victims, direct & indirect, at the heart of any punishment & rehabilitation.

Its not going to happen any time soon though, if we are not able to enforce the threatened consequences.

CJ Nerd said...

The gist of the Independent's editorial today is that the underclass have been badly let down by the rest of us, and we need to do more for them.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Hi Winston, the below courtesy of Thin Blue Line (Analyst)
http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2011/08/dr-aric-sigman-we-make-no-apology-for.html

Anonymous said...

I moved to Brixton from my safe Lake District home in the 80's. As an overly polite, law abiding lad, I found the 15 year experience to be a bit like living in a theme park but enjoyed the vibrancy and edge to the area. I could also acknowledge that many in the area had very understandable grievances with their lot, looked to Los Angeles gang culture as their contemporaries and rap and Hip Hop music as the soundtrack to their lives. This all made sense to me.

In 2004 I moved to Preston and bought a house in a 99% white council estate. I was really surprised to find that the youngsters here listened to the same music, idolised gangsta culture and all had gangs even if the next gangs patch was only a roads width away. Reveling in their "deprived" tag although they all possessed several consoles and Widescreen TV's.

The most surprising thing was that I started to hear something I used to hear in Brixton. "I won't respect anyone until they show respect to me". Again, this made sense in Brixton in the eighties as it was a ghetto populated by people with no future, suffering from inherent prejudice on a daily basis. Pampered kids on housing estates repeating this mantra about not giving respect until it is shown to them is something I now hear on a daily basis and now repeatedly by looters and rioters being interviewed over the last 4 days.

It would only take 2 brain cells to understand that the premise of not showing respect until you have it shown to yourself is a route of diminishing returns. Put 2 people who think like that in a room and it will be stalemate. Once the polite and well mannered become the minority it will be a slow death for society.

But 2 brain cells seem to be in short supply, as coasting through school misbehaving and showing off before pining about the urge to be famous seems to be the new norm.

PS. Just heard you on 5Live. Agreed with every word you said. Comforting to hear someone who understands that it isn't as simplistic as shouting "looting scum" like most talking heads on the TV.

Jason Feather said...

One of the more annoying things about discussions surrounding this issue is the Daily Mail reading demographic turning this into a race issue, hysterically saying there’s no reason for it and calling these people animals. Get a grip of your emotions. Just because intelligent people want to find the reasons behind these kids (and adults) behaviour doesn’t mean they are apologists or condone what these people have done. We need some sober debate not right wing hysteria.

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2024128/Young-offenders-taken-expenses-trip-Alton-Towers-supervision-programme.html

MrAngry61 said...

I'd like a large prison building program, up to 200,000 more places, and the judicial freedom to sentence offenders to longer stretches of gaol time.

At the moment prison is used sparingly far too late in criminals' careers. And letting them out after serving 25% of their time is an affront to the law-abiding public.


I'd really like to hope that social values (or at least obedience of the law) could be instilled into offenders, but would be prepared to pay more taxes simply to know that they were incarcerated & off the streets.

cheeky chappy said...

Winston, did you get my last comment?

Anonymous said...

The expense of National Service or creating 200,000 more prison places would impact positively on far more people if it were used on job creation schemes and training programs for young people. We allow almost a million of them to do nothing and offer them no sense of purpose or self worth. What advice do any of you have for law abiding, unemployed London youths with no qualifications or marketable skills? Those in that situation don’t currently have any chance of finding work.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@ Cheeky Chappy above.

I was looking for your email on your blog profile but couldnt see it. Thanks for your comments and you often make some valid points but that post was just too over the top in advocating harsh violence. It came across like you would actually enjoy inflicting such violence. I welcome your comments and indeed agree with you that harsh measures need to be taken to deal with the louts terrorising Britain at the moment but I cant publish anything that seems like the author is almost revelling in and enjoying the violence. Please just tone it down, I realise you might not mean what you wrote literally but it just comes across extreme. Thanks again and please just take this as constructive criticism and not a personal attack or rebuking. Regards, Winston

NightJack said...

Thanks for risking the radio. It needed to be said and you said it very well. Now it just needs to be listened to.

cheeky chappy said...

Winston, totally and completely understand. No offence taken and I shall tone it down in future. In any case this is still an excellent post (the best I've seen) and you hit the nail on the head. Great job.

Anonymous said...

On the idea of corporal punishment mooted above I'm genuinely interested in how this reinforces learning. Was it effective in improving educational standards and reducing illiteracy when it was in use? Also did it have a positive impact on the behavior of the youth generally? I seem to recall there being a lot of violence from Teddy Boys in the 50s, Mods and Rockers in the 60s and football yobs throughout the 70s and 80s.

If there is research evidence to say corporal punishment works then I'm all for it. Do you know of any?

Anonymous said...

Good post as usual. If I were David Cameron I would be offering you a job- ideally replacing Ken Clarke.

Sadly I am not

Anonymous said...

It seems like Lord of the Flies come to life.

Where I grew up, the prevailing attitude was that the world will mistreat you by default but it is your responsibility to make something of your life. The current attitude among youth seems to be that the world owes them a living.

I guess that would explain the looting, but it still doesn't really explain the attacking of elderly folks and subsequent assault of paramedics who arrive.

cartermagna said...

I tried to say something similar here but you said better than I did:

"If we lived in a police state, the looters wouldn't have dared to attack. If we lived in a police state there would be a fair few mouthy students with bruised bones and the EDL would get their backsides handed to them before they even gathered in the car park of the Three Feathers, to protest the corner shop that belongs to a dusky skinned gent who has the temerity to sell news and booze to decent white folk.

If we lived in a police state I wouldn't be able to go about my business without fear nor favour either. No utopia to be gained from that. I would love to say "The Police must distance itself from political control and revert to the Peel Principles upon which it was founded", because that would actually be nice. The Peel Principles are fairly Libertarian as far as I can see and they make good common sense. But that will never happen. Their world is run by HR and that, is that.

Ever since 1997, Tony Blair and his pals paid back the miners by systematically de-fanging the police and we have ended up in this situation. Labour grew the existing client state with mass amounts of social engineering and they mortgaged the nation's futures whilst doing it. The people that pay the bills, do the cleaning, keep this country operating have been kicked in the ass yet again because the extraordinarily entitled underclass continued Labour's social experiment to its logical conclusion: smashing down shop doors and just taking what they want.

There were no banners, no protest chants, no reason that could be called reasonable. These weren't hard working people that have been pushed to the brink by the ever rising cost of living, these are people that have never done a days work, that don't intend to and see no reason not to have all the things the posh people have got."

Anonymous said...

Winston I dread to imagine what Cheeky Chappy was advocating given the other fairly extreme comments that you do publish. Some of the commentators here seem to have as much difficulty containing their anger than the rioters themsleves. It's just as well that you welcome such extreme views as most of your supporters are of a simular ilk.

Dirty Euro said...

It is the tories faukt. I knew there would be riots under Boris. I like him but he is out of touch and wants tax cuts for the rich while the poor get poorer.
The riots are evil.

Dirty Euro said...

@KaMiK2205 Straw man bull shit. I never said i supported the riots or murder. I said the riots happened under the tories and never happened under labour. Those are the FACTS.
Now why did the riots happen under the tories?
Why is it OK for you to blame the riots on labour. when they have happened under tory government you straw man bull shitter.
The right wing policies cause riots. #
We all know you are tory straw man creator.

Kiwibird said...

Put the offenders in the army...including a spell in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

National Service is not the answer. Why should the Armed Forces be lumbered with educating and instiling discipline into "yoofs" that have been failed by their parents.

Roue le Jour said...

Winston,

Delingpole has quoted you at length without proper credit. (He did mention you in the tags.) This appears to be a simple oversight as he correctly credits Inspector Gadget. I have sent him a message via his website asking him to do so.

Dr Luana O'Connor said...

Foxtrot Uniform here.

My father was in the job for 25 years and my grandfather was also head of the Yards Drug Squad for years.
So I am pro-police. Having emigrated from the UK recently, or should I say England as the BBC now indicates the riots are an English phenomenom, I see the police where I am are in charge unlike the emasculated officers in England. Here a prison sentence is a prison sentence. They make no allowance for human rights in prisons here, unlike English prisons which are really home from home for a lot of the residents. There is no plethora of social workers, translators or legal aid lawyers smoothing the convicted persons way. There is discipline in schools. The complete and utter murder inflicted on English society by the liberal politicians is tantamount to war crimes.

Currently I live in Romania which is in the EU and it still runs it owns legal constitituion unlike the UK which has no idea what it is doing.

Officer Friendly said...

"consider reintroducing national service, too, to instil discipline"

A family friend was one ot the last to be forced in to National Service. He has told me of his life before, riding a motor cycle, getting in to fights with Mods, running around drinking, smoking & fighting. He did hie two years & as he puts it "I went in to the Army a thug & I came out as a thug who had been taught how to kill".

Anonymous said...

Winston - I drove to Northampton yesterday and had the radio on for the whole journey. One voice (yours) stood out amongst all the others as the voice of sense, reason and actually of somebody who cared about getting to the real gnarly root of all this.

It was so refreshing. Thanks.

Mark

Paardestaart said...

Everybody seems to think these riots are the unintended result of political intentions gone wrong. But these riots are not an accident: this is exactly what socialist schemers intended to happen when they unloosened the immigration wave drowning the west. They meant to destroy the bourgeois, white middle class culture of Europe - exactly as the marxists said should happen..
Our elites are simply levelling the ground for the kingdom of perfect social justice and equality they think they are building. This is why the progressive radicals governing us are destroying what generations before us have built at the cost of so much trouble and hardship over the ages..
And don't think that 'conservatives' think any different: nowadays there are no conservatives anymore, and neither are there social-democrats. They have all been purged by the new left in the seventies, and now there are only socialist idiotarians, every which way you look
Maybe this generation of Brits will be the first to see a european armed police force arrive to restore order in their green and pleasant land..Why else would our political class have wanted to install a european gendarmerie force than because they foresaw that one day they would have to shoot at their own people? I wonder which EU administration will be the first to order armed assistance from Brussels..
http://www.eurogendfor.eu/

Anonymous said...

Too bad: several looters have admitted to looting 'just because they could' and 'everybody else is doing it'. No underlying social dissatisfaction at all.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the link to the Five Live appearance, I cannot find it (the BBC search function is rubbish).

Any help would be appreciated

Anonymous said...

"Too bad: several looters have admitted to looting 'just because they could' and 'everybody else is doing it'. No underlying social dissatisfaction at all."

Yup, they even boasted of being able to easily afford it. After all, the 11 year old boy came out of the courts carrying 2 handphones. I can't afford that and I work a full time job.

It's rather strange the way politicians are questioning the intentions of looters when they have already stated their reasons clearly.

Kamik2205 said...

Oops, may I apologies on "Dirty Euro's" behalf. We had a rather petty argument on youtube which revolved around the fact that he blamed the riots entirely on the Tories and their spending cuts (while simultaneously ignoring the failed social policies as documented by Winston Smith).

I referred him to your blog, but unfortunately he developed the bizarre idea that I was in fact Winston Smith himself.

Wyverex said...

This all makes me think of a quote by Alexander Tytler:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature;
it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover
that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates
who promise the most benefits from the public treasury,
with the result that every democracy will finally collapse
due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship”

Whilst not a modern view, there are undercurrents of this starting to surface in modern Britain.

I realise of course that the violence and wanton destruction we've seen here in Britain are caused by a myriad plague of mismanagement on many levels.

As you said yourself Winston, there is no single group to blame for this.

I believe that schools need to be allowed to discipline unruly students and teachers allowed to defend themselves from physically aggresive students. Additionally they need the right to dispense physical punishment (I'm not talking about a beating, perhaps just a wrap on the wrist with a ruler). My point really is that schools need to be able to instill a sense of discipline and respect of authority into the young.

I also think that parents need to be held liable for their children, if your thirteen year old son goes and robs a man in the local community the parent should be punished ASWELL as the child - perhaps punishments such as eviction if they are in state owned housing. And I'm not talking about the empty threats they receive, I mean actual eviction. If they aren't council tenants, the parents and children should serve community service time together.

On the police level I believe that police should be allowed to dispense appropriate force in the face of a disturbance without worrying about losing their jobs. If an officer pushes a man or teenager over in a difficult situation, they should not need to worry about being sued if the person falling over breaks their ankle.

At the benefits level, rather than hand over money to the claimant, introduce a system like our American friends; food stamps, clothing stamps and a basic 'luxury' allowance. Luxury allowance being items not needed to survive, e.g. mp3 players (perhaps an allowance of £5 a week)

Alter housing benefit so that only the local housing authority or private landlord receives the money, as opposed to giving the claimant the option of claiming the money.

Introduce a 'work for benefits' scheme. Get people on job seekers out cleaning up communities that are run down, removing graffiti and the like.

Put time and contribution based restrictions on specific types of benefit. If you have never worked due to being young, a 6 month 'allowance' of job seekers should be awarded to the claimant. After that they may only claim an equivalent to any contributions they have paid in via national insurance. The same goes for people with children - with an exception of a maternity period of 'grace' where the benefit will be given and not affect any time or contributory based limitations.

I actually heard a person say that benefits shouldn't be cut as they have two children. Well my belief is that many people with children work to keep their family afloat, why can't they? They had a sense that because they had two children they had the 'right' to claim benefits indefinitely. These people seem to forget the definition of the word 'benefit'.

Anyway Winston I'd love to hear your feedback on this comment, I realise my opinions are often considered a little extreme. I don't truly understand what the ramifications such changes as I propose could actually be, I'm interested to see what your readers and yourself may have to say.

Jen said...

Anonymous said...
Does anyone have the link to the Five Live appearance, I cannot find it (the BBC search function is rubbish).

Any help would be appreciated

11 August 2011 09:20
I think this is the right one Anonymous
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0132q3l/Shelagh_Fogarty_10_08_2011/
Excellent Post Winston, refreshing to read someone tell it as it really is.

James N. Kennett said...

I hope your writing does some good. However, I have been reading blogs from "the trenches" for several years - Theodore Dalrymple, David Copperfield - and sadly it seems that telling truth to power has absolutely no effect. While you will receive sporadic interest from the mainstream media, the effect on public policy five years down the line will be nil.

Something more is needed. Perhaps a policy research unit, along the lines of the IPPR or the old Centre for Policy Studies. It would need to be independent of any political party, yet funded, media-aware, and staffed by people like yourself who have actually worked in the front line and can articulate the problems without falling back on whatever fashionable theories they learned at University or on training courses.

The first steps would be to identify the founding members, and find the funding. Funding could only come from carefully selected private sources, because any public funding comes with an agenda and hoops to be jumped through; and even some philanthropists have a pre-set agenda, such as paying less tax. Not an easy task.

Michael said...

In essence you are saying that we have insufficient authoritarianism and excessive rehabilitation, that people are not adequately controlled and punished for what is deemed bad behaviour. I'm not sure where the welfare angle is supposed to come into it as you just include it in the list of causes with no further comment.

That is the sum of your argument, or it would be if it was actually an argument, it's just a statement about what you thinks, or feel. You completely fail to consider that there are reasons why people might be driven to behave badly, you assume that violent behaviour is a default stance which must be repressed by force, that people are a force for evil which must be contained, and that "decent" people are so, thanks only to successful containment. This does not seem a rational view.

I try and think about people's behaviour in a rational manner. I do not assume that people are intrinsically a force for evil. People are biological, psychological systems which adopt behaviour patterns in reaction to the conditions they find themselves in. People are also emotional creatures who feel frustration, boredom, resentment, exclusion and anger and if they find themselves in an environment which promotes these feelings they will react to it in a negative manner. You are saying that people who react to their negative experiences with destructive responses should have more negative experiences enforced upon them. I want everyone to enjoy to enjoy their lives; I think any decent person would have the same desire. So I would prefer not to use the metaphorical whip to contain the metaphorically whipped, but to stop the whipping in the first place, and my selfish desire to live in a peaceful, entertaining society consolidates that view because more authoritarianism will lead to a more violent reaction from those who are marginalised. I recognise that if taken to extremes, authoritarianism can, in the short term, completely contain undesirable behaviour, but I do not want to live in a society where people are forced to behave in a "normal" way, as it stifles the creativity and diversity which makes being alive fun, and I know that authoritarian containment is effective only temporarily, we need only look at this years events in North Africa, or the failure of effective dictatorships in the former Eastern Bloc, to see that while in the short term authority can provide the semblance of orderly society, it is not a condition which people are happy to endure. See also various revolutions and unrest throughout history.

The immediate response to the riots should have been effective policing to minimise injury to the people who were caught up in it, and the destruction of buildings and community facilities. The long term response has to be the creation of a society where people do not experience the inequality, marginalisation, persecution, frustration and aimlessness that leads them to have no respect. I think that when people feel they are valued in society, they will return the favour. Some might say we have had years of social policy which attempts to address this but we have not. We have had social policy which rewards greed and privilege, and lip-service to the disadvantaged. Being humane to people who've been locked up for their natural response to their hopeless conditions is not progressive social policy. It's the bare minimum.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@ Michael.

Thank you for taking the time to write such an idealistic, articulate but specious essay. It is the type of drivel I used to believe wholeheartedly in but working with the underclass opened my eyes.

I am not advocating an overly authoritarian state. Just consequences for violent disorder and serious criminal acts. Over the past two years I have been unemployed for a few months, when working it has been in insecure badly paid work with challenging individuals. I also lost my home. Many other people just like me have had similar things happen to them. I also didnt have a utopian childhood so by your logic I would have the right to go out and be destructive to deal with the negative feelings that these experiences have evoked in me but I dont because I was effectively socialised not to do so. This is the difference between people like myself and others in that when we feel marginalised, cut off, frustrated etc we dont decide to destroy our own communities. Why? We have values and until we can instil those in many of our citizens we will be revisited by what we saw over the last week.

Michael said...

Winston, it's all very well saying there must be consequences for actions but why do the actions happen in the first place? I have no desire to go out looting and rioting, and it's not because I am afraid of the punishment. Your response to me shows that you have missed my point. You say:

"I also didnt have a utopian childhood so by your logic I would have the right to go out and be destructive to deal with the negative feelings that these experiences have evoked in me but I dont because I was effectively socialised not to do so."

No, that is not my logic. I did not say anyone had a right to be destructive. There may be an argument to be made in that direction, but I am not making it. I am saying there is a reason and a reason is not the same as a justification.

It's interesting that you say the reason you dealt with your issues in a non-destructive manner is that you were effectively socialised not to do so. Were you locked up in a proper jail without all the modcons? Did the police use water cannons on you? What was different about the way you were socialised?

And then remember that these rioting kids have no say in how they are socialised, it's something that society does to them. So in what way is the answer more authoritarianism? It wasn't authoritarianism that allowed you to be more constructive in your actions, because you grew up in pretty much the same legal regime. In fact there may have been less in the way of surveillance and so on when you were growing up?

Hibbo said...

Michael. Michael Michael Michael.

What on earth are you talking about? "Authoritarianism"? "Authoritarian containment?"

Do you even know what authoritarianism means? It is authoritarian to tell and force people to believe in, vote for, act and live their lives as a dictator demands. It is most definitely NOT authoritarian to want people that continue to commit crimes are locked away to protect the law-abiding majority.

Listen to interviews with the looters, they openly admit (and in fact boast about it) that they are looting and starting fires because there will be no consequences for them even if they get prosecuted. This is the crux of the matter.

There is something both cute and quaint about your staggering naiveté, I just hope that - exactly like Winston - this is knocked out of you once you finish your poxy degree and meet the underclass for real.

Michael said...

Hibbo, Hibbo, Hibbo, Hibbo.

Please, understand my point then respond to it, if you have a response.

I am saying there is a reason people behave destructively, and that it is not because of the absence of suitable punishment, because we all live under the same regime. If your argument was correct then we would all be looting, because we know we could get away with it. However, we are not all looting.

There is some aspect (or several aspects) of the conditions under which we develop and live which is different between rioters and non-rioters, or that is more or less present for the rioters than the non-rioters.

That aspect is not fear of reprisal, because we all (supposedly) live under the same judicial system, yet we do not all riot.

I am not studying for a degree of any kind, what makes you think that? I am a grown, working man. In fact, I'm middle aged.

The reason I hold a different opinion to yours is not that I am naive, it is that I apply logic to the situation.

Dr Zen said...

You didn't notice the financial crisis? Have a good job, don't realise that despite huge gains in productivity, there has been a decline in the share the bottom 90% has of real national income?

Nah, it's just scum stealing trainers. It's just so much easier to see the world in those terms, and as long as there are lazy "thinkers" like you, there will be masters, slaves and, well, "thinkers" like you.

clickerville said...

Wetting rioters isn't an issue. Water cannon, though, have been and will in the future, be misused. Take out target's feet, he batters his head on pavement. He sustains brain damage, becomes a greater burden on society. You can achieve a similar end with baton rounds. It would be far more effective and cost effective to issue a warning, which if ignored, would be followed by the shooting of ringleaders. Then what about the psychological impact upon the shooter (in any event, or subsequent to "collateral damage")? What sort of individual would volunteer for such work? Would I like him as a neighbour?

A younger me might have willingly performed the task of shooting anyone my superiors told me to, but much of my moral superiority has gone with age, along with any faith I had in my superiors.

Rob F said...

I totally agree; I live in Manchester and work 20 hours a week, and so get way below the average wage. In fact, I could be described as 'living in poverty'.

Although I am apparently a mere peasant, I still have a roof over my head, have a laptop, a HDTV, central heating, a smartphone, and so on. In fact, I, along with many people in my situation, live a life that the Caesars and potentates of old might have envied.

Could they fly across the world in a day, be immune to so many diseases, or have access to so much information at their fingertips that would have made the Great Library of Alexandria redundant?

Yes, I'm relatively poor, but I at least recognise that I already have everything I need; anything I don't have is just what I want - but I won't die of typhoid or the plague for not having it.

A lot of people might have more than me, but I don't see the logic of attacking local businesses in order to promote 'fairness' and 'equality'.