The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

16 August 2011

UK Riots: Prime minister of Great Britain has learned nothing, will do nothing

Verbatim post:

London riots: Cameron has learned nothing, will do nothing

(Photo: Getty)
Add caption

Can it really have been that this time last week that our streets were being torn apart by some of the worst civil unrest in recent British memory? Obviously not. In my head I had these terrible visions of men trying to defend their property being mown down and killed by drivers, of innocents being burned out of their homes, of passers-by being beaten up by gangs, of diners in restaurants being robbed en masse, of millions upon millions of pounds worth of property being destroyed even in the midst of Britain’s gravest financial crisis since the 30s, of kids as young as 11 exulting in the impunity of the watching police and looting to their heart’s content, of rioters being dignified as “protestors” by our state broadcaster and then given every opportunity to justify their actions as the fault of government cuts and bankers’ greed. But clearly I must have been imagining it – because if it had happened, our Government would be doing something about it.

Wouldn’t it?

Here are a few depressing signs that David Cameron and his crew neither understand the nature of the crisis engulfing Britain nor that they have the balls, the political will or even the intellectual capacity to stop it getting worse. As far as Cameron is concerned, it is all just business as usual; no, worse, a Rahm-Emanuel-style crisis/opportunity in which he can wheel out once more his discredited, Liberal Fascistic scheme for his wretched Big Society.

1.Bill Bratton. If David Cameron had wanted to do one thing – just one thing – to show he meant business, he would have overruled his useless home secretary Theresa May and appointed Bill Bratton the head of the Metropolitan Police. The reason for this is quite simple: the Met – and not just the Met but all our police forces – is institutionally crap. Blame Macpherson; blame the police’s politicisation, emasculation and transformation into a branch of the diversity/social work industry under Tony Blair, but unfortunately, the higher echelons of the police are now dominated by the kind of people who demonstrated themselves most capable of pursuing New Labour’s PC agenda. You hear about how corrupt the police was in the Seventies; but the ideological corruption now rotting it from the top down is probably worse. Only an outsider, untainted by these associations, is capable of reforming the police. Bratton is the man and Cameron’s cowardly failure to take on the senior police officers’ trade union ACPO is, though entirely in character, utterly inexcusable.

2. Louise Bagshawe/Mensch. Though not, of course, representative of the entire Tory party, she does stand quite well for a certain type of Cameroon loyalist: the type prepared to damn whatever Conservative principles are necessary in order to get on with the new detoxified, ideology-lite Conservative party. As such her response to l’affaire Starkey is a matter that should concern us all. Instead of understanding – as an MP in touch with shifting popular sentiment really should – that the riots were a game changer which rendered the old mealy-mouthed, politically-correct, eggshell-treading approach to issues like race suddenly untenable, Mensch instead resorted to the usual politician’s chicanery. By – very unfairly, on the flimsiest of evidence – accusing Starkey of racism, she sought to burnish her image as the kind of caring centrist her boss Dave would so dearly like his MPs to be seen as being. This is the kind of behaviour which makes people (rightly) despair of the political class and shows how utterly out of touch Cameron’s Conservatives still are with the national mood.

3. “Bring back National Service; etc” Desperate, truly desperate: the kind of meaningless “I will do such things — what they are yet I know not — but they shall be the terrors of the earth talk-tough do-nothing rhetoric at which Cameron excels. Here, obviously, he’s trying to court Daily Mail readers. As the comments below demonstrate, they’re just not buying it. Does anyone seriously imagine that – short of being compelled by the kind military discipline imposed on 40s and 50s National Service conscripts; up to and including the possibility that they might be sent out to fight the Chinese in Korea (or its modern equivalent Helmand) – the lairy, mouthy, I-know-my-rights street kids of modern Britain will do anything more than stick their fingers up at such a ludicrous concept? And where exactly is the money coming from to pay for the hapless people who’d have to supervise these feckless youths? When David Cameron talks this way he is exposing perhaps his least attractive quality: his inner Liberal Fascist.

4. And talking of Liberal Fascism, what about Cameron’s outrageous threat to shut down social media during civil disturbances? (Endorsed, incidentally, by his Tweeting mini-Mensch). This is just the kind of boneheaded authoritarianism which toxifies the Conservative brand. It’s like when one bad kid has done something wrong and the whole class gets punished: the class doesn’t hate the one bad kid nearly as much as it hates the overbearing authority and unjust bullying of the teacher.

5. Excessive sentencing. (See also 3 and 4 above for further examples of Liberal Fascism in action). The law-abiding public are angry, of that there’s no doubt; and what’s clear is that they don’t want the thugs and agitators responsible for last week’s outrages let off the hook. But when they want tough sentencing, they want it for people like the thugs who steamed into the Ledbury restaurant and robbed the diners at knifepoint; the kind who burned down the Reeves store in Croydon; who mowed down those three young men in Birmingham. Not for people like the student who opportunistically helped himself for £3.50 of bottled water as he passed a looted store and ended up being sentenced to 18 months in prison. Not only is that sentence going to ruin a man’s life and cost the taxpayer at least £40,000 in valuable jail space but it creates the disconcerting impression that our justice system is arbitrary, cruel and out of touch. The same goes for the idiot idea of denying social housing to convicted rioters. Yeah, that’ll really help. It will just mean we’ll have more outcasts and career criminals ending up in those boroughs that don’t operate this draconian policy. Or more crime as the evicted seek to find other ways of “paying” for their accommodation.


The responses to this blog post have been fantastic. Thank you! I don’t think I’ve ever been so heartened by the reaction to something I’ve written. Two things become very clear:

1. Frontline police officers, whom I respect greatly, are sick to the teeth of having to go about their work with both arms tied behind their backs by pettifogging regulation and the constant fear that they’re going to be prosecuted for doing their job. I sense that they are desperate for a police chief who will actually enable them to police rather than act as glorified social workers.

2. Most of you seem to recognise that the riots were indeed a game changer. This is an opportunity for astute politicians to reject decades of ingrained, state-enforced political correctness and actual give the people what they want. What people want is very simple: a government which secures its citizens lives, livelihoods and property rights but otherwise leaves them well alone. Furthermore, a government which does not see it as part of its function to take money from the productive sector of the economy and squander it on the feckless and workshy. Our political class (and that includes its amen corner in places like the BBC) is utterly out of touch with the needs of the people who pay its salaries and expenses. No taxation without representation. Currently we are not represented in the slightest.

To which I’d add a third:

3. The BBC has outstayed its welcome. We need a greater plurality of opinion in our broadcast media which, thanks to bien-pensant regulation, we are currently denied. Scrap the licence fee, now!

(Emphasis added -- HM.)

Sounds familiar, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment