Sunday, 9 October 2011

Let's be very clear, IDS - I was not responsible for the bloody riots!

As a fairly typical middle-class man of advanced years and solidly right-wing views, I am used to being blamed for things that have sod all to do with me. 

Nevertheless, I was taken aback to find myself being fingered for the recent spate of rioting and looting by a former leader (albeit a spectacularly ineffective one) of the Conservative Party. 

Ian Duncan Smith (for it was he) said, "For years now, too many people have remained unaware of the true nature of life on some of our estates… This was because we had ghettoised many of these problems, keeping them out of sight of the middle-class majority. But last month the inner city finally came to call, and the country was shocked by what it saw."

The implication, of course, is that the smug, complacent bourgeoisie has finally got what it deserved.

I have absolutely no idea where Smith gets the impression that these problems have been kept “out of sight of the middle-class majority”. I doubt if there’s a vaguely sentient member of the coping classes who hasn’t been aware for years that many inner city council estates have been turned into living hells by an unemployable, uneducated, lawless, violent, conscienceless and utterly pointless feral underclass. We know, because we see them behaving like animals on our streets. We know, because there are so many areas of our cities that nobody respectable would dare to enter. We know because we often see them on their bicycles, riding slowly along our leafy, suburban roads, checking out our cars to see if there’s anything worth stealing. We know, because we return home to find our homes broken into. We know, because, when our teenage sons or daughters are out for an evening we sit at home chewing our nails, praying that we don’t receive a phone call telling us that they they’ve been robbed, beaten up, knifed or shot by drug-crazed, semi-human barbarians.

How dare you tell us we remain unaware of the problems!

The question is – what in the name of God are we supposed to do about it? We hand over a vast portion of our earnings in tax so that people in authority – teachers, social workers, policemen, magistrates, prison officers, the clergy - can do something about it. When Evelyn Waugh was asked whether, as a proponent of capital punishment, he would be willing to carry out an execution, he replied "Do you actually mean do the hanging as well? Well, I should think it very odd for them to choose a novelist for such tasks." Similarly, I’m confused as to what you expect someone like me to do about Britain’s underclass. Roll up my sleeves and head deep into the heart of a sink estate, carrying a baseball bat and a kitchen knife, intent on teaching young thugs that actions have consequences?

It’s not the whole of the middle class turning “a blind eye” which is to blame for this appalling state of affairs: it’s those members of it who earn a living from dealing – or, rather,  failing to deal - with the underclass. 

I refuse to be held accountable for policies and approaches to which I have always been wholly opposed. Did I ask wet, right-on, socialist teachers to indoctrinate sink estate kids with the belief that nothing they do is their own fault? Did I demand that the police allow whole swathes of our cities to become no-go areas, where decent people are left to fend for themselves against heavily-armed teenage gang-members who earn their money by theft, drug-dealing and extortion? Did I ask judges and magistrates to bend over backwards to ensure that the vast majority of crimes committed by these wretches go entirely unpunished? Did I ask for a whole sub-class to be left enervated by a lavish benefits system? Did I ask for a tsunami of foreigners – some without any cultural ties to this country and many hailing from societies where criminality is endemic – to be allowed to flood into Britain? Did I ask for multiculturalism? Did I ask for the institution of marriage to be downgraded to the level of an “alternative lifestyle”? Did I ask for a welfare system which encourages teenagers and immigrants to give birth as often as possible?

That’s what my tax money has been spent on. And I didn’t really have a say in it, given that all our major parties are determined to continue down the same mad path. What do you expect me to do about it? Riot?

Look, IDS, I’m delighted you’ve found a way to redeem yourself after a disastrous stint as Tory leader. You should have known your own limitations before going for that particular job, but, even allowing for that, you were given a brutally rough ride. And I think that figuring out what we do with the poor now that they’ve become a costly irrelevance is urgent and massively important.

But don’t turn round and try to blame the likes of me for a disaster created by the political class, of which, last time I checked, you are an eminent member. 

No comments:

Post a comment