Sunday, 7 August 2011

The Riots: a political colossus speaks, a hushed nation listens

Nice to see Tottenham MP David Lammy – Labour’s erstwhile Culcha Minstah – back on our TV screens talking the sort of twaddle which was his trademark as a Minster of the Realm.

“A community that was already hurting has had its heart ripped out,” he said. Yup, even when he’s faced with the constituency he represents going up in flames thanks to an outbreak of mass lawlessness, this creep can’t resist using it as an opportunity to peddle yet more propaganda on the subject of this government’s non-existent “cuts”. 

If your community’s “hurting”, Lammy Baby, it’s entirely due to thirteen years of Labour misrule. As for having its heart ripped out (pass the sick-bag, Alice!), that’s almost entirely down to young black men whom parents (usually singular, to be accurate), teachers and our criminal justice system have failed to convince of  the benefits of self-discipline. Tossers like you constantly bleat on about “community”, but seem utterly unable to dun the concept into the head of those you seek to champion: these moronic beasts wouldn’t recognise a community if it held a gun to their head (actually, a very sound idea).

The man who once strode the Arts world like a colossus goes on: "I'm concerned that what was a peaceful process turned into this.” I presume the “peaceful process” to which Lammy is referring was the gathering of a 300-strong crowd outside the local cop shop demanding “justice” after the police shot someone. Of course, the fact that this touchingly peaceful “process” descended into savagery was the fault of – you guessed it – the police: "… it seemed to go on for many hours before we saw the kind of policing that I think is appropriate… And I think small skirmishes initially should have been stopped far quicker."

I agree with him there. When an angry mob surrounds a police station in a democratic country, I generally favour an immediate and preferably hugely disproportionate armed response before the lives or property of any decent, law-abiding citizen is threatened. Even if the police had acted in the sort of wet, softly-softly, politically correct fashion people of Lammy’s political persuasion insist on, no doubt the MP would have been the first to criticise them for over-reacting. With guys like this, you just can’t win.

TV News reports today are full of “community leaders” (i.e. self-appointed unemployed communist limelight cases) droning on about the relationship between the police and the community. As an ex-policeman who had been present at the original Broadwater Farm riots pointed out, there’s absolutely no point in anyone in authority speaking to these dorks – they don’t represent the drooling calibans doing the rioting, and have no control whatsoever over them. I used to have to interview community leaders on camera and they are an utter waste of space.

As for the broadcasters’ coverage – well, just about par for the course, really. Here’s a quote from an online BBC report:

‘But an 18-year-old man, who did not want to give his name, voiced a sentiment he said was shared by many. "Police know what they should have done, they should have come to speak to the community themselves," he said. "They don't care."’

Actually, young man, most of us would prefer that the police were out there maintaining order by breaking as many heads as it takes rather than chatting to criminals mid-riot. The people who really don’t care are the unspeakable swine destroying property and attacking the police. Besides, what’s the point of talking to thugs? They’re evidently incapable of rational thinking – they act purely on animal instinct. The only things I would like to hear the police say to them is “You’re under arrest, you disgusting little toe-rag” or “Drop the flat-screen TV or I’ll shoot!” Rioting of this sort is exactly the same as football hooliganism - it isn’t “about” anything except the sheer pleasure it affords emotionally retarded young men.

Sky News had a large strap-line reading “Where were the ministers?” over much of its coverage. Well, at home or on holiday, one presumes. What did you want – Theresa May driving down there in a 4x4 toting a machine-gun as soon things kicked off? (Again, not such a bad idea.)

Next time this sort of thing happens, perhaps those fox-hunting Tory MPs who aren’t on holiday should get the appropriate kit on, mount up and ride to the scene, driving a pack of baying hounds in front of them. 

Now, that would be great television!


  1. Like you, I feel that David Lammy may not have got quite to the bottom of the riots.

    For that, we must turn to Gary Younge [1], who says "these riots were political. They were looting, not shoplifting" and then goes on to point out that "attempts to establish a definitive reason for what happened last week inevitably implode under the weight of their own dogma" except that "while the precise cause may be elusive, the general context is clear. Last week's calamities unravelled as though on a split screen. On one half the contagion of the street, as the rioting spread, on the other the contagion of the markets as stocks plunged".

    Not that all the rioters were disappointed shareholders, oh no, what you have to understand is that "the primary challenge of integration, it transpires, is convincing a sizeable section of British youth, of all races, that they can be integrated into a society that won't educate or employ them", the point being that "Insisting on the criminality of those involved, as though that alone explains their motivations and the context is irrelevant, is fatuous. To stress criminality does not deny the political nature of what took place".

    After all, "criminality and politics have always cohabited quite happily" and let's face it "this was not a Greek-style uprising, let alone a distant cousin to the Arab spring. Riots can produce tangible, progressive results. But beyond Tottenham, those who took to the streets last week failed to advance any cause, embrace any ideal or articulate any agenda".

    It's Miliband's fault: "this places them firmly in the context of a weak [and] ineffectual left that has failed to reinvent and reinvigorate itself in the face of a deep economic crisis". And in case you were in any doubt: "The fact that their actions were political does not therefore make them wise ... Nobody knows where the next spark in Britain will come from. But last week we saw that our streets too are highly flammable".

    I think that sums it up pretty well.

    But some people find it as hard to understand Gary Younge as Roger Penrose, say, the mathematician and cosmologist. For them, the Guardian provide the exotic -- or at least Canadian -- Naomi Klein [2], who spells it all out in words of one photon in her article Looting with the lights on, making the obvious connection between looting and sex: "Argentina's mass looting was called el saqueo – the sacking. That was politically significant because it was the very same word used to describe what that country's elites had done by selling off the country's national assets in flagrantly corrupt privatisation deals, hiding their money offshore, then passing on the bill to the people with a brutal austerity package. Argentines understood that the saqueo of the shopping centres would not have happened without the bigger saqueo of the country, and that the real gangsters were the ones in charge".



    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 03:05 PM

  2. Tony Blair, writing in the Guardian*:

    By the end of my time as prime minister, I concluded that the solution was specific and quite different from conventional policy. We had to be prepared to intervene literally family by family and at an early stage, even before any criminality had occurred. And we had to reform the laws around criminal justice, including on antisocial behaviour, organised crime and the treatment of persistent offenders. We had to treat the gangs in a completely different way to have any hope of success. The agenda that came out of this was conceived in my last years of office, but it had to be attempted against a constant backdrop of opposition, left and right, on civil liberty grounds and on the basis we were "stigmatising" young people. After I'd left, the agenda lost momentum. But the papers and the work are all there.

    Mr Blair was and is recognisably at the evil fruitcake end of the spectrum on which the reasons for mass surveillance lie.

    How was he going to identify these wayward families before they had even done anything criminal? Profiling? How? What are the parameters? He doesn't say. He doesn't know.

    And what does "intervene" mean? Incarceration? Transportation? Re-education through labour? Sterilisation? Euthanasia?

    Damn right there was and is a "constant backdrop of opposition ... on civil liberty grounds" and thank God for that.

    But suppose there hadn't been and wasn't. Suppose his pre-crime project had been given its head.

    It could only work if there was a scientific understanding of personal psychology and the dynamics of a healthy society. There is no such understanding. Blair's project was and is not just distasteful. It was and is a sham.

    He couldn't and can't deliver. He didn't and doesn't know what he's talking about.


    Monday, August 22, 2011 - 12:17 PM

  3. Thanks for these excellent observations, DM.

    As I’ve had reason to comment before, it never fails to astonish me how convinced liberals are that they can fix stuff – if only the “forces of conservatism” would get out of the way! If Blair and his “unscrupulously optimistic” ilk had listened to their conservative opponents for the past five decades, perhaps there wouldn’t have suffered the sort of mass immigration, multiculturalism, neutering of the police, weighting of the criminal justice system in favour of the offender, dismantling of the education system, destruction of the nuclear family and marriage as an institution, assault on any sense of personal responsibility, the determination to reward feckless, anti-social behaviour, and the deliberate fostering of a universal victimhood culture which has led to a number of outbreaks of lawlessness in our cities over the years.

    I mean these wankers can’t organise a decent transport or healthcare system – what makes them think that any of their silly, excitable, buzzword-peppered schemes can fix the sort of social malaise that their own political philosophy has created?

    Socialists always start off convinced that by smothering the less wholesome elements of the population with understanding, love, money, resources, education and healthcare, they’ll all end up behaving like the nice, well-mannered, law-abiding middle class mugs who pay for all this nonsense. Then, when everything goes tits up, they start by pretending that it’s all going swimmingly, really, then turn, snarling with rage, on all the critics who told them it wouldn’t work, and then eventually turn on the people they were so determined to help – but who have let them down by not turning into nice middle-class types who take their holidays in Tuscany – and demand staggering levels of control over every minute aspect of their lives so they can socially engineer them into becoming nice middle-class types who take their holidays in Tuscany.

    Whatever Tony Blair plans were, you can bet they involved lots of lovely liberal re-education designed to turn fatherless black kids and the white chavs who ape black gangsta “culture” (an oxymoron) into upwardly-mobile, Labour-voting public sector employees. This would no doubt have meant appointing lots of “Tsars” and busybodies with powers to enter people’s homes to check that children are watching the “right” sort of television and eating the “right” sort of food and having the “right” sort of thoughts.

    As a columnist points out in today’s Telegraph, having more CCTV cameras than any other nation on earth has done bugger all to make good people safer – but the left is always convinced that if it just had all the levers of social engineering ready to hand, their stupid ideas would actually work.
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 12:08 PM