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#LondonRiots

with 40 comments

police baton Standard issue Met Police baton

This is the standard Met issue Arnold baton, I don’t think it has seen a lot of use over the past couple of days, and while plenty of commentators are advocating the use of water canon and armoured vehicles, and even suggesting an imposed curfew (which hurts the innocent law abiding citizen) perhaps we ought to allow the police in London to use what they already have.

For too long now we have treat the feral youths of our capital and other large cities with kid gloves, mollycoddled them at the breast of the mother state, nurtured them with welfare handouts, protected them with Elf ‘n ‘safety concerns, awarded them ASBO badges, Nike shoes, Adidas track suits and hoodies, gold bling, PS3s, Black berries and McDonald’s burgers. Whenever they come into contact with the law they get another caution until after a score of them they face a magistrate and get told to do some community service which is then never carried out, instead they return to do service for the gang scoring a few more deals, and earning a crust by caching knives and “nines” for those hiding further up the drug supply chain. They pay no attention to mother and often do not even know who father is, teachers are only there to be abused or stabbed, and life is no good to them unless they have a 42 inch plasma screen to play Battlefield 3 on. Thuggery is just part and parcel of their street “culture”, it’s a tough life out there man!

Meanwhile the rest of us go to work, strive to make an honest living, pay our taxes to provide more and more “services” for those who refuse to contribute a penny towards them, and over the last three days we have seen the results of our work. Didn’t they thank us for our largesse in the most generous fashion, looting and burning, killing off businesses, scaring people with their insane violence, making some folks homeless, and challenging authority in the most horrible manner imaginable. Perhaps they don’t feel included in our society because they have contributed nothing towards it, but they want, they want, and want more, and even more if it comes freely!

Where the hell did we go wrong? (oops, I think I answered that above.)

David Cameron’s return from holiday makes the riots look even more like a crisis, but at least the recall of Parliament might tie all of our political leaders into a unified deal on how to police the streets, we might hear less of the silly arguments about social conditions, deprivation, joblessness, economic cuts etc. They may be a very small factor, but the overwhelming factor is lawlessness, thuggery, robbery, and violence that has little at all to do with the shooting of Mark Duggan now. It is all about grabbing as much as you can, knowing that the police may be stretched to the limits, it is all about acquiring new status symbols which they feel “entitled” to have.

My hope is that whatever violence ensues around the country tonight or tomorrow will be met by a much stiffer and robust response from the police who are charged with protecting life and property, being overwhelmed by numbers may not be the fullest answer, but it will help them, their foes are not in the business of respecting authority, they might only respect those who stand up to them. Therefore I hope that the Met take advantage of the polycarbonate Arnold baton that they carry, and make bloody good use of it, and perhaps avail themselves of a few plastic baton rounds to cause a little pain and suffering. These riots must be quelled quickly and effectively, the youths must not be allowed to develop guerilla tactics, they do not have a cause to rally to any longer other than sheer greed. Let them be dragged kicking and screaming off the streets of our cities, they must not be allowed to think they own those streets.

And finally, let’s not make the mistake of locking them away for a few weeks at Her Majesty’s pleasure where they will only learn new tricks, they should be physically forced to go out strictly supervised into their communities to put right the damage that they have caused. They should be made to understand the effects of their hideous actions, feel some pain and suffering of their own, they should be kept away from their Blackberries, PS3s, XBoxes, laptops, iPods and iPads, kept away from their fellow gang members and made to stay with mother for twelve hours each night. Mother should be made to forfeit a heavy long term fine too, clearly she doesn’t understand the responsibilities of parenthood!

The events of the last few nights have angered and embarrassed me as an Englishman, so much that it has constrained my libertarian tendency for now, come on what rights without responsibilities do these teenage thugs think they have!

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Written by curly

August 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

40 Responses

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  1. I agree with a lot of what you say but and there are some buts. A lot of politicians of all persuasions are coming out with kneejerk reactions. Appeals to parents to keep their kids at home. Hello …..do you think any sensible parent would be allowing their 8 and 9 year old kids to roam the streets where there was rioting and looting. The kids doing this stuff come from homes where nobody cares what they are doing.
    Fining the mothers if they don’t keep them indoors. I’d wager best part of the parents are on benefit and can’t control the kids so fining is not an option.
    The popular cry for water cannon and rubber bullets. Seem to remember thirty years of them being used in Northern Ireland without any appreciable effect.
    Mind it calls into question reducing police numbers and non custodial sentences.

    Ispy

    August 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

  2. I don’t think the families of Kevin Gately, Blair Peach, Harry Stanley, John Charles de Menezes or Ian Tomlinson would agree with you, nor the many other victims of ‘The Met’ and it’s well deserved reputation for heavy handedness. Root cause of all the modern day social breakdown? The ‘Greed is good’ mantra of the Thatcher years. The seeds were sown with the shattering of working class communities, looks like this year we’re reaping another bumper harvest of disengaged youth….but why worry, there’s no such thing as society anyway….right?

    Neil Newton

    August 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    • Wrong!
      Let’s deal with the first point, and I have written in here of my disgust at the actions of a few bad policemen in the Met, most recently about the Ian Tomlinson case, but I refuse to accept that the vast majority of the Met’s force is anything but conscientious, hard working, and honest, even when working under the current pressures of economic turndown.
      Now to even attempt to blame this week’s riots on any politician of any party is beyond reason or even parody. I’m sick of hearing the apologists looking for “social reasons” as to why these youths make such bad personal choices, there are millions of us who have lived through decades of change, millions of us have suffered hardship or unemployment, yet we always knew right from wrong. Theft is wrong! Criminal damage to property is wrong! Mugging is wrong! Knife and gun crime is wrong! Looting and burning is wrong!
      What is even more wrong is the apparent inability of some parents to instil a sense of right and wrong into their offspring, or educate them as to what their personal responsibilities as good citizens are. Let’s stop making excuses for crime and those who think they can take something for nothing!
      Good grief, I’m even hearing today that it’s the bankers to blame, and you’re the second one I’ve heard who would like to place the blame on Thatcher, most of their parents weren’t even born at the time she left No. 10!!

      Curly

      August 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      • I grew up in the ‘Greed is good’ era of Thatcher and Reagan, I saw what those policies did to my family back then and the struggle faced by my Father, as he tried to cope with his pride and dignity being taken from him due to redundancy. It was also the first time I saw a grown man cry and that man was my Dad , I’ll never forgive Thatcher for that,ever. It was also the first time I’d heard the word ‘Divorce’.Thatcher didn’t believe in society, she believed in looking after No1, self, self, self and succesive party leaders and governments have continued to promote this. How else do you expect people to act when their own government promotes greed and not giving a shit about anyone but yourself is the way to be?

        “Theft is wrong! Criminal damage to property is wrong! Mugging is wrong! Knife and gun crime is wrong! Looting and burning is wrong”!

        Morally is there a difference between a corporation which pays workers overseas pretty much nothing for manufacturing trainers and teenagers who steal them? And who is attacking property more? The looters who throw bricks through windows, or the government who lends so much money that our children won’t be able to pay off the debts? It could be argued that at least the rioters are being more upfront and transparent in their approach to aquiring material goods but when riots and violence occur, they are always the result of those in power failing.The riots in London have nothing to do with ‘anarchy’, they are the fruits of capitalism and the consequences of government decisions. When a corrupt system falls apart, it never happens in a ‘controlled’ and ‘thoughtful’ way. Politicians & bankers set fire to whole countries’ economies and their future but now are in shock of the results. Where’s the acceptance of responsibility there then?

        “most of their parents weren’t even born at the time she left No. 10”!!

        I wasn’t born when they invented sherbert but it will still rot my teeth!

        Neil Newton

        August 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm

  3. They have nothing to lose; if I had shoplifted a pair of shoe laces and been caught my professional career and my life would have been ruined, not so these rioters and looters. Travel on the Metro and you regularly encounter foul mouthed, anti social behaviour from persons wearing expensive looking “designer” clothing, behaviour which noone dares to challenge. During the course of one journey at peak time on a Saturday pm, we sat and listened to a vicious faced young male repeatedly threatening to kill a “Michelle” as he talked loudly and foul mouthedly to her on an expensive looking mobile phone; the threats were serious and aggressive; the carriage full of regular reasonably respectable travellers did and said nothing. The “Gazette” naively imagines that putting stories of these dysfunctional thugs on the front page somehow “shames” them, not so it is a proverbial “badge of honour”. Meanwhile certain local politicos either refuse to condemn foully worded attacking blogs, or abuseany of their followers, who question their commitment, some example. Sadly,bad situations are created, which result in death and injury to innocent, harmless people, Has TV coverage of street protests in the Middle East and North Africa fuelled this appetite for rioting? Read some of the novels written by an ex copper, the late John Wainwright if you are seeking some insight into the simmering “war” between Police and the lawless, but potentially, when operating as a “pack”, very dangerous disaffected minority.

    LL.B

    August 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm

  4. I have stayed away from this blog partly because of this kind hyperbole that gets published from time to time. Have a look back at my previous entries and you will see that I suggested some months ago, that riots were on the cards. So, no surprises other than the scale and the nature of organisation. Whilst the criminality of the people involved in the riots cannot be supported in any way, you lack a total understanding of the ‘underclass’ in our society, how they are policed, the lack of esteem or ambitions they hold, their poor education, lack of parental support, lack of employment opportunity, and what extent they live in poverty etc. Yes, poverty is alive and well in our country, and whilst it is not a reason in itself for criminality when combined with the range of other factors it is. Some will say, “I was poor but didn’t offend!” OK but did you have caring people around you? Did you have those who suggested it was better to help each other than be bitter and alone? Were you scolded when you did wrong? Trust me, in some areas values are made from the circumstances upon which one grows up in, not on the values of others. By the way when I am talking about the underclass I am not referring to ‘all’ people who are unemployed or ghettoised or single parents etc. but about the section of our society who take much but give little (maybe they have little to give , would we want it anyway).
    The police are subject to constraints, especially in the Met where they have made so many mistakes in the past that they are now ‘over’ careful. The naivety of the public to such issues which have been illustrated on our screens in a most horrific way over the last few nights is startling. For those who have not been in a riot, trust me, it is a lot worse than you see on the TV. It emanates real danger. Also, when all is over with their is a community that needs to have a connection with the police, the police after all should be part of the community.
    Why do we not see so much of these mass disorder problems in the north east? Is it the style of policing, the lack of visible ethnic minorities who are caged into ghettos, the fact that we are a small conurbation? Or is it s9mply simmering under the surface? Alternatively, could it be that we have over the past few decades, put a good deal of investment into our communities as well as community policing. Unfortunately, over the past year or so that investment has gone, as have many of our police officers, youth workers, and much hope.
    The answer is to ensure that blogs, twitters, facebook publishers are aware of the law, and that they could be used to incite crimes and thus must take a responsible approach to minimising such practice. I suggest that the use of such communication is one of the reasons for the deployment of people into areas thus outfoxing the reduced resources of the police.
    Also, there has been again a lack of leadership, from labour as well. Where were our political leaders during the recent financial crisis and the current riots that broke out three days ago? We were deafened by their silence. I will say now, above the volume of others saying that this has nothing to do with poverty, education, values etc. that, putting it bluntly it has a great deal to do with it.
    Curly, you know that I speak from a wealth of experience of riots, policing, in particular very disadvantaged communities and have been to places such as Walworth, Brixton, St. Pauls, the Blackbird Estate, as well as the West End of Newcastle and the Meadowell Estate. Look at those areas, they have something in common and it is not affluence, good education, good opportunity, or good parenting. Unfortunately the community we are currently living in with the CUTS (yes I still say we have them) will do little to stem the flow of the underclass.
    So, let’s not get carried away with mass hysteria and panic. Rather, lets ensure that the victims and police have our unreserved support, until things are under control and then let’s start to reinvest in our youth, who Curly would have you believe, live in a world of ease but who are in fact suffering the worst unemployment since the Second World War and I belief have a difficult journey on the approach to adulthood. My experience of the underclass young person was that they had very little, including knowledge of life or good manners. I would also add that my experience of the vast majority of young people is very positive!

    Kevin

    August 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    • Kevin,
      I am not generally this vociferous or excitable, how would you suggest that the Met deal with London’s problems over the next few days (or other forces who may have to deal with copycat criminals)?
      How do you think the courts should handle the offenders?
      BTW the only political leader who is not at home at present is Ed Miliband, but even I wouldn’t attach any blame to him for continuing his holiday.

      Curly

      August 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      • I was going to post a long reply but suffice to say that Ed Milliband was on BBC 1 this morning visiting the scenes of the riots – so lets put that one to bed. Still he should have been flying the flag. The PM and Deputy PM should not have been on leave at the same time. Good luck to the Met for tonight and for any other cops going to help them from other forces. I’ll be thinking of those who have been made victims of this wanton waste.

        Kevin

        August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  5. Kevin, as always makes good points; please keep blogging. When I am subjected along with others to foul mouthed, ill mannered anti social behaviour, I too appreciate that it is coming from a disadvantaged, marginalised victim from the “chav” or underclass, and try to be tolerant; but it is apparently a class where the poverty is not so much material as a conspicuous lack of all those parental, family and community elements that help to nurture an aspirational, well integrated, well mannered, non criminally inclined individuals. A friend of mine has a saying “50 youngsters performing a brilliant version of “Les Miserables” at the Customs House will earn a couple of paragraphs on page 8 of the “Gazette”, 50 smashing up the theatre and looting it will be front page national news”.

    LL.B

    August 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    • I couldn’t be arsed with all of that long winded thinking mate, I just see them as bad mannered prats who deserve a good slapping and should have had a few when they were younger. Trouble is no one wants to stand up and be counted as decent people, thats why they get away with murder, too much turning of the blind eye.

      Terry

      August 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      • The “bad mannered prats” are mereley a product of our society ” look at the cause for the unrest and lawlessness, it may lead you to the cuts imposed by our regime .Plan B is needed to give these people hope.

        Captain Pugwash

        August 10, 2011 at 8:51 am

  6. Mr Cameron was the first to defend the public uprisings in other countries naming the regimes as corrupt,#]
    His regime is no different , take away prospects , hope , jobs , increase vat , food prices , domestic fuel etc..
    what is there for working class kids when they leave school , erm… nothing .Plan B , invest , create & development needed now.This is no time for austerity.

    Captain Pugwash

    August 10, 2011 at 8:25 am

  7. A lot of “middle class” kids don’t face a particularly rosy future. Public or private sector real job creation investment spending is needed. The “Journal” newspaper’s create an apprenticeship scheme is a recent example of constructive, productive leadership; another such example could be highly remunerated individuals taking pay or bonus cuts and insisting that the moneysaved be invested in creating jobs within the organisation employing them. I would love to see local politicos and business leaders participating, along with customers and constituents, in blogs and tweets promoting and discussing ways in which employment prospects, particularly for youngsters, could be improved in this area.

    PRESS WATCH

    August 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

  8. Quick fix isn’t the answer. Examining the causes is the only realistic option.
    If water pours in your house you don’t just clean up and redecorate you look to see what went wrong and how you can stop it happening again.
    Whilst maintaining order and punishing the wrongdoers we have to look at how we got to a position where there are vast swathes of people who are outside the bounds of community and society, who have no hope of a job or of earning any money except by robbing and dealing drugs.
    Dismissing them as ‘bad mannered prats’ is incredibly short-sighted. Unless the root cause is tackled the problem will reoccur time and time again.

    Ispy

    August 10, 2011 at 10:06 am

    • It is heartwarming to read that the majority of entries in this particular blog are opposed to the ‘flog em, birch em’ brigade. However, we must not lose sight of an important issue within the debate. Whilst we do need to invest in all of our youngsters futures, and as discussed this is more about values than anything else, we should not place offenders difficulties over those of the victims. Whilst I feel that the comments of Curly lack any real understanding of societies problems (a trait I think the conservatives need to work on as they do not appear to be a caring party to many) I do agree with his sentiment that first and foremost the weak and defencless need to be protected. I would hate to see millions of investment into charities to assist the pockets of ghettos wiythout concern firstly to victims and secondly to the wider economic problem of growth. No growth = no opportunity.

      Kevin

      August 10, 2011 at 10:24 am

  9. Even on Monday, the victims of Tottenham, black and white, were already tired of outsiders blaming racism, police brutality, or cuts. (What were they rioting about in prosperous, suburban Enfield – rising season-ticket prices?) The real reason for the rioters’ behaviour is much simpler: because they can

    Andrew Gilligan, after being mugged in London.

    Curly

    August 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    • Enfield is affluent but surrounded by deprived areas, I also understand that the rioters were quite mobile and used real time communication something that your quoted victim may not have been aware of.

      Also I suspect that we need to realise that deprivation has many forms (including values) and does occurr in affluent areas where frustration simmers. It is for example bad news to be long term unemployed in a conurbation, yet worse to be unemployed in a rural area where the numbers may be low but the difficulties for the individuals are very real real and opportunity less. We also have to examine the culture we live in where affluence is poured onto our youth by celebs and media – there is an expectation that if others can have then why not I. I would also note it has become a very secular society.

      Look back to the 1953 when in one night the Met Police arrested 189 students because their usual rag week bonfire was banned because of fears of fights with local hooligans. The response then by a reader of the Times was “have we arrived at a time when a boy cannot throw a bag of flour at a policemans helmet on a night of license…without being prosecuted and fined by the law for causing a disturbance of the peace?” (letter in the Times: quoted from Emsley, 2011 p74). This perhaps shows us something of the variable values held by different classes in society. The arrested students were carried on the shoulders of their peers into court.

      I also note that you comment about the thuggery of youth today…I remember one lad in the 1970s, who was quite close to me, being engaged in the culture of skinheads and suade-heads, carrying weapons, causing Grafitti with cans of spray paint, being truant, engaging in the wearing of thuggery uniform such as brouge shoes with multiple segs as well as football scarves tied to wrists etc.

      I’m not altogether certain that my memory of home life and society replicates that of others of that era. I thought the 1970s and 1980s were far more violent than now, there was far more crime and car thefts etc and the reality is we are shocked now because it is rare to see such mass disorder. Look back into history, I can assure you that what we experience today is not a new phenomenon – yet we have still not solved the complexity of the problem. Even though in the past we have shot them, charged them with sabres and excuted them.

      I suggest we try to stay level headed and support the police and those communities that face the challenge of repairing the damage in the short and long term. I’m sure that Northumbria Police will be monitoring our streets for any copycat disturbances in flash points such as the Big Market, deprived areas and during the night time economy.

      The reality is, as I said earlier, the public can be unaware of the difficulties we have in society – I have often noted in this blog comments made from an outside perspective where the authors of various entries have no experience of working in the public services – they only know what they see in the papers or TV. They have been often quick to criticise but slow to understand.

      Kevin

      August 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

  10. Now we hear that one of the first to plead guilty to looting charges is a 31 year old teacher! Should we look for a wider explanation of the social condition of all teachers or just accept that this is opportune criminality?
    Northumbria Police are also reporting that a missile was thrown through the window of a Washington Police station this morning and that a police car outside was set on fire.

    Curly

    August 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    • In my 30 years in the police we often had minor attacks on the police station. I remember at Felling one night we had metal bars etc thrown through a window and the police who went to investigate were attacked. We also were attacked by ram raiders who would reverse high speed cars into us, many officers were injured but it never made the headlines. This incident atWashington could be nothing more than a one off incident, I note that the police must of had some knowledge of the event as they were able to arrest two men more or less straight away.

      You will also find that the media will scour the courts for defendants such as your teacher, not sure what it is you are trying to say – at the end of the day this is wanton criminality – criminals come from all sections of the community. The majority of defendants I would suggest will be male, aged between 14 – 25, but don’t forget there will be others who are cleverer and will have used or instigated these riots for criminal means, or simply to have fun! Again, I would caution people becoming embroiled in what the media display. Thinking people have to try and look beyond what journalists feed us sometimes creating moral panics.

      Kevin

      August 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  11. Kevin, out of interest have you read any of John Wainwright’s novels, and, if you have, what is your opinion of the way in which they depict police and criminals? Expect trouble in Stevenage, our “virtual reality” councillor has stirred up the locals with his tweets; makes a change from Cleadon I suppose…

    LL.B

    August 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    • John wainwright was a policeman with the West Riding of Yorkshire Force and therefore his novels are based on his police experiences I have a book of his, ‘Wainwrights Beat’ but I’ve only dipped into it, I do need to read it fully. He comments on policing in the immediate post-war period very interesting stuff. I think he was hampered in his career by having an LL.B.! It is interesting when we are able to learn from those such as wainwright who have seen it from both ends, academic and practical. Today it is fairly common for police officers to have degrees. Some have masters and a few PhDs. In Wainwrights days it was rare.

      Kevin

      August 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      • Can I recommend this post from Inspector Gadget, I really cannot understand why we allow our police to be so abused as they are in the video clip, nor can I understand the condemnation when they do show “robust” policing at work.

        curly

        August 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

  12. Excellent balanced post by Mark Ferguson at Labour List, just hope that many of their MPs get the chance to read it before tomorrow.

    Curly

    August 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    • Curly, you espouse a post that recommends unification and non partisanship on the issue seeking a unified response, then blatently politicise the issue “just hope that many of ‘their’ MPs”- shame on you!

      Kevin

      August 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      • Utter nonsense!
        If I read a similar post on a Conservative leaning blog I would say EXACTLY the same thing.
        I take it you read Mr. Ferguson’s very sensible article?

        Curly

        August 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

  13. Curly the man up in court was a teaching assistant.
    Hell of a difference in pay,education and status to a teacher

    Ispy

    August 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    • Point taken , I went by the initial report this morning – still…..someone who should be displaying a little leadership and example to our youngsters.

      Curly

      August 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      • “Things got out of hand and we’d had a few drinks. We smashed the place up and Boris (Mayor of London) set fire to the toilets” – David Cameron (Prime Minister) talking about his experiences in Oxford in 1986.

        Neil Newton

        August 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    • Curly, the clip of the police you show is not helpful. It does show that our officers have to put up with a great deal especially in public order situations where they are vastly outnumbered. They are meant to police with consent. Also, recent legislation makes it clear that the police cannot be insulted. Who in the immediate area of the clip is harrassed alarmed or distressed, is their any incitment? Again, I would urge you to take a more responsible approach in the material you publish and the stance you take. You cannot on the one hand take a none partisan stance and then politicise it. If you cannot see that you have politicised it, then you really do need to reflect.
      I read Fergusons article but I’m not sure I want a political system such as in the US, nor do I want their style of policing, nor do I want their type of society. I want politicians and professionals to come together on the issue. Yes, I want the crime to be addressed, yes, I want the riots to stop yes, but I am not sure that the curreny leadership is what I want. Going into the net and pulling out bits of video or snippets of political or journalistic media does not support a more in-depth thought out approach. Reflect on your original post, you commet on the feral youth, you constantly refer to ‘they’. Who is it that you are talking about? Then, when adults appear on the court list you change tact and say theyb are not all youths or unemployed. Who is it you are referring to? I urge you to consider your stance and the extreme approach you publish. Calm down and think! Yes, I know that we are all upset and concerned but knee jerk reactions are not what is needed.

      Kevin

      August 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      • I have not “published” the video clip, I “linked” to a story written by a serving police officer (who also did not publish the video) so that people can get a flavour of his views, and thanks so much for labelling me as “extreme” – not a knee jerk reaction from you was it?

        Curly

        August 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm

  14. Curly, what ends up on this blog and what you dispay amounts to publication!
    I now see that you are expressing anger at someone who is simply expressing an ‘informed’ point of veiw. This is somewhat disappointing.
    “I hope that the Met take advantage of the polycarbonate Arnold baton that they carry, and make bloody good use of it, and perhaps avail themselves of a few plastic baton rounds to cause a little pain and suffering”, on refelction this comment suggests that the Met police should express violence against a crowd. Such extreme, uncontrolled force has in the past led to far worse situations. I hope that your comments are mere vitriol brought about by the rare and raw events of the past few days, and on that basis I will ignore any of your anger directed at me!

    Kevin

    August 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm

  15. The events of the last few nights have angered and embarrassed me as an Englishman, so much that it has constrained my libertarian tendency for now

    From my final sentence, let’s not take things out of context shall we?
    I don’t recall directing any anger at my readers either.

    Curly

    August 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm

  16. Curly, Kevin labelled your approach as extreme, not you personally. The fact that you are unable to discern the difference supports Kevin’s argument that some cool headed reflection is needed.

    brian

    August 11, 2011 at 12:05 am

    • I don’t think many people would have been thinking in a calm and cool headed way at the time that Curly wrote this, I think he just typed a natural reaction, tough policing to stamp out the violence and better sentencing to put right the damage, Locking these people away will not solve much at all, and as Curly said it would be better for them to be working in the community repairing the damage they caused.

      Sandra D

      August 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

  17. Just heard on the news a conservative junior minister advocating that those involved in riots who live in council housing should be subject to being evicted. This is a prime example of two things 1) We don’t want these people in our society lets cast them out, syndrome. This would usually be well supported and even welcomed by most members of the public, at first glance. However, if the majority of offenders are the children of the tennants, are we saying that the parents who did not engage in the riots who may have other well behaved children and who may be contributing to society should be punished for the actions of their offspring? Also, who then houses these people. Are we not in danger of stereotyping such families, I don’t believe that one size fits all.

    OK there may be ways around that but, the more important point 2) OK we decide to punish those in council subsidised housing, who are generally the less well off. But what about those offenders who live in the private sector, or who have their own property. Suddenly we cannot evict them. Thus if we use eviction as a type of punishment we find that we are in fact creating a social divide a punishment for the poor that cannot be applied to other similar offenders who have alternate housing one punishment for the rich another for the poor!.

    This is perhaps and example of what I was trying to say yesterday, great to come up with these popular media hitting ideas but in practice they are complex issues that do need to be thought out. I saw some footage of officers getting stuck in to a lad on a pedal cycle in Manchester, I don’t know what the lad had done but he was given a right hiding and the TV commented that the GMP were to investigate, watch out officers it’s your job and a potential prison sentence if you’re not careful. We can’t have it both ways.

    There are anti-social issues in our borough, some of them, for peaceful residents are serious, even though they may be catagorised as petty e.g. groups of youths hanging about in a particular place making local residents feel unsafe. So lets not think that the current social instability is not on our doorstep, it is.
    I wonder how many parents have had letters saying that their son or daughter was spoken to by the police, or who simply let their offspring go off wandering about unsupervised, and in effect either don’t give a jot or accept what their children tell them. If you have children you need to care for them be with them, love them and support them. They are your future and if you fail to apply parental care then the day will come when your children will rebel.

    Most youngsters grow out of crime and devience even in deprived areas, why is this? Only 5% of our teenagers actually get into bother, what are the other 95% doing? Why is it that human behaviour alters in certain situations e.g. mob rule, football matches, etc? Watch the tribal chants of what would be normal men on the terraces chanting obscenities and gesturing to the other side with two fingers swear words etc these are people most of whom live normal lives!

    Life for our youngsters shoud be fun, engaging, purposful and inclusive. Our future parents need to know and experience more about social responsibility and we as a nation need to review the criminal justice methods we use to prevent anti-social behaviour and to learn how to best address those who choose to opt for criminality. The current methods frankly do not work with one exception, if they are behind bars they are not able to offend on the streets. Complex issues need good sensible thought that aims for the long term.

    Kevin

    August 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    • Why dont we start by refusing to give council houses to single mothers who give birth as a result of casual sex and then lavish them with other benefits? Make them stay at home with their parents and think about finding work.

      Sandra D

      August 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

    • “Why is it that human behaviour alters in certain situations e.g. mob rule, football matches, etc? Watch the tribal chants of what would be normal men on the terraces chanting obscenities and gesturing to the other side with two fingers swear words etc these are people most of whom live normal lives!”

      Kevin raises a factor that commentators have largely ignored. Politicians can talk tough and judges can hand down ‘deterrent’ prison terms but you’ll never be able to outlaw endorphins.

      It’s also worth recognising that Britain has a long history of sporadic rioting and violence.

      Bryan

      August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm

  18. In line with my predictions of the 10th August at 1:12pm a statistical snapshot provided by the BBC of those appearing at court 95% are male and 69% aged between 15 years and 24years.

    Kevin

    August 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm

  19. The eviction threat is a typical Politician’s kneejerk reaction with no thought for feasibility or consequences. It’s straight from the Tony Blair ‘march drunks to a cashpoint and administer on the spot fines’ school of thought.
    First of all most of the young people involved won’t be tenants. Secondly it is incredibly difficult to get a possesion order because of the behaviour of someone in the household who isn’t the tenant. Thirdly if young chidren are involved the cost of rehousing the family or taking children into care must be considered.
    Sandra my experience is that not all single mothers get council houses and certainly don’t get benefits lavished on them.
    A young girl in my family found out she was pregnant just after she’d taken her A levels. There was no room at home for her and a baby. She could not get council accomodation and is renting privately whilst at college. It’s hard going and nothing about her life is lavish.
    You can’t punish children because of their parent’s behaviour.

    Ispy

    August 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm

  20. […] #LondonRiots […]


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