It is the mainstream view in the UK that the riots reflect, in part, a breakdown of morals. Politicians across the spectrum have said this, even Labour Leader "Red" Ed Miliband said the riots were "inexcusable". He knew that taking the line of Ken Livingstone that the riots were because of cuts, would have ended his political career as Labour would have been sidelined, even by its loyal sycophants - the BBC and the Guardian - as being on the fringes. So he waited, now it is a moral breakdown, but not one that is the responsibility of the people who rioted or their parents.
The problem is not the systematic failure of the welfare state, education system and a fundamental breakdown of ethics among hundreds of thousands, it is “greed, selfishness and gross irresponsibility” he is reported as saying by the Daily Telegraph. He accused David Cameron of a “shallow and superficial response”. He ought to know, he is the master of it.
On the face of it, most would agree with such a phrase, but within it lies something far more pernicious.
For he deflects blame from those who actually committed the crimes, or those who negligently don't police their children (or even encourage them) to say:
The bankers who took millions while destroying people's savings: greedy, selfish, and immoral; the MPs who fiddled their expenses: greedy, selfish, and immoral; the people who hacked phones at the expense of victims: greedy, selfish and immoral
The moral relativism comes out once again, but most disturbing is how he can't see the underlying contradiction in his empty argument.
MPs' expenses are an easy target, not one anyone will disagree with. He included it because it looks “introspective” for an MP to blame “his own”. However, it is curious that it took a Conservative leaning newspaper – the Daily Telegraph – to “out” all of this, and it “outed” MPs from all parties. It wasn’t Ed Miliband who did it. Of course the qualitative difference between MPs who get legitimate expenses paid and those who got more is rather insignificant, although Ed will claim it is material. It is OK for MPs to be paid for by taxpayers, who have no choice to pay them, not OK if the MPs get more by committing fraud and lying about it - noting that obfuscation of the truth, and telling half stories is the stock and trade of being an MP. Ignoring his acquiescence during this entire period, and his full participation in the last government is a demonstration of that.
He raises the phone hacking case, because it is part of Labour's vendetta against News Corp for turning on it, when they had been getting on so well when Blair led the party. The phone hacking cases are under investigation. They are alleged cases of trespass into people’s voicemail accounts. Certainly a serious concern, but then again it is not quite the same as destroying someone’s home, or business, or murdering them, or raping them. Is it Ed? However, this is part of Ed’s monologue that you can point fingers at “big business” or in this case privately owned media that isn’t slavishly sycophantic to his view of the world, or he himself. Phone hacking is an initiation of force, but is different dramatically in terms of degree of impact and consequences to the riots. Yes it is a criminal case, but why not raise the spectre of the students who looted the Conservative Party headquarters, or the shootings and knivings in low income areas? That would be shifting blame to the perpetrators you see.
However, note how he put his enemy number one in the sights. Labour has a new scapegoat to blame for the economy, the deficit and now social breakdown and disorder.
He said that the looters were acting like the legendary “bankers who took millions while destroying people’s savings”. Who were they Ed? Doesn’t matter, as it has become part of Labour folklore that the recession is entirely because of bankers, and the budget deficit is because of bankers. What people’s savings were destroyed Ed, when the government guarantees up to £85,000 in personal bank deposits? Who did bankers “take” from? Their employers? Since when is being paid your salary and bonus, but making bad business decisions “taking” something like committing arson, murder, rape, vandalism or thieving? Yes some banks made out loans to people who couldn’t pay them, but these were decisions made by consent. The more fundamental problems were around those who invested too heavily in property in some locations, when moral hazards weren't identified and monetary policy that offered fiat money as unearned credit. The financial crisis was a series of errors and mistakes, largely by people who took decisions that were legal and unsustainable, including politicians. Bank bailouts should never have happened, but does Miliband truly think people who make monumental catastrophic business and public policy errors are like criminals? By what measure does he rank himself, his own colleagues, and his former leader Gordon Brown as being a part of all of this?
Many of the looters – especially the younger ones – would have had no idea that MPs abused their expenses. Britain’s dispossessed minority does not watch the news or read papers; many are functionally illiterate, having been let down by sink schools, collapsed families, terrible neighbourhoods and gang culture. The vast majority are so far from the mainstream of the economy that they don’t understand what investment bankers do. The only rich people they are properly aware of are footballers, entertainers or local gang leaders. There is no empirical link between the crisis of 2008, the subsequent bailouts and the looting of 2011.
The moral bankruptcy of his moral relativism is astonishing. Ed was happy being part of a Labour government with billions of tax revenue fed from banks and their staff, to pay for its generous welfare state, Leninist style health system and overexuberant capital expenditure. However, now he treats them as “the enemy”. Fine Ed, close the City of London, see how much of the UK’s GDP disappears when you treat an entire sector of the economy as if they were feral youth who do nothing but destroy.
After all Ed, when have you EVER created wealth? You’ve never created a business in your life. You’ve never really worked for the private sector, for the people who pay taxes. You’ve spent your life living in a very exclusive part of London, absent of poverty and those you claim to give a damn about. Raised on Marxism, you’ve never seriously questioned what you were weaned on, and now you want power, and you damn thousands of people who bring income into the country and live lifestyles that are NOT criminal (but pay buckets of tax that you and your colleagues live off of).
Think for a few moments about the moral equivalency Ed Miliband has put together.
Bankers who made poor judgments about investments that bankrupted their employers, (but not the politicians who used taxpayers' money without consent to rescue the banks) are the same as the:
- Driver of the car that mowed down three young men on the footpath in Birmingham;
- The boy who beat an old man into a coma for complaining about a fire lit in front of his home;
- The men who stole from the student who already had a broken jaw;
- The man who set fire to a shop just to watch it burn down;
- The groups who lined up in a queue to steal from shops.
Ed Miliband doesn’t pick on the people who raise feral children, doesn’t pick on the ASBO laden chavs who have hounded pensioners into early graves, doesn’t pick on the multi-billion pound deficits his government created that the next generation of children and grandchildren have to pay back, doesn’t pick on the unionists who constantly want more money from struggling taxpayers. He doesn't think they are selfish. Not the salaried medical staff in the NHS who have absorbed much of the doubling in real health expenditure in the last government.
No, you see Ed Miliband is the politician for the looters, the dependents, the people who have jobs paid for by the effort and entrepreneurship of others. Ed is the politician for the welfare beneficiaries, who aren’t grateful for the taxes that others paid for them to be housed, fed, clothed or for their kids to be raised, educated etc. Ed is there to demand that even MORE money be borrowed from future generations, that even MORE taxes be taken from the peaceful, productive, hard working and entrepreneurial, and that it is because if you don’t, the feral underclass will riot – and it is because there are bankers who make bad decisions. Ed is there for the public sector workers, the people who get paid, on average, more than the private sector. The people who get more generous pensions, more pay rises and who are all carried by the private sector.
He should be an easy target for the Conservative Party, but it is a zone of philosophical vacuousness, as is seen by the disgusting Louise Mensch who in a matter of days has both embraced statist authoritarianism in suggesting the government “shut down” social networking sites at times of crisis, and in accusing History Professor David Starkey of racism, because he clumsily claimed there were many youths of the white underclass who now talk the language of the black underclass.
The Conservative Party is incapable of fighting the cultural battleground in favour of individual liberty, personal responsibility, respect for property rights and disrespect for those who seek to promote violence as a way of life. It is palpable in its unwillingness to defend bankers in public as a sector, because mindless populism overrides principle, which is the norm in the party of people who believed they were born to rule.
Miliband's call for responsibility is achingly hypocritical, when he evades any responsibility for his part in a government that created the economic conditions for the financial crisis, for its part in overspending every year after Labour's first term, for its part in creating a client-voter sector of welfare dependents, suckling off of the state tit, with Labour's endless "programmes" to help them into work, whilst never letting Nanny State ever really take away the milk. Never confronting the client-funders, like the teaching unions, who resist pay or conditions that reflect performance.
The people who take responsibility in Britain the most, are the people he is least interested in. Those are the entrepreneurs, the business people, the employers, the families who raise children at their own expense, the people who aren't dependent on the state. He preaches wholesale abdication of responsibility in his embrace of the Leninist NHS, which has a philosophy of people not having to ever take responsibility for their health, for the state will pay. He preaches the same with state pensions - don't save for retirement (a chance to tax you), the state should pay. He preaches the same with housing - if you buy a home, pay a tax on the transaction, if you don't buy a home or pay private rent, the state will pay.
His philosophy is bankrupt, his approach to public policy has palpably failed, and now he shifts blame on the perpetrators to bankers, MPs and the news media.
He has no answers, and through his disgusting moral relativism, has shown his own moral and intellectual bankruptcy.