Tuesday, August 09, 2011
London's Day of Reckoning, or who is in charge?
After three nights of looting, arson, vandalism, home invasions and assaults, one must start to wonder as the "thin blue line" between law and order, and anarchical violence and destruction, has been broken.
If I hadn’t been watching TV or being online, I would have noticed no difference in London, except that the two men who hand out the free papers at the entrance to my local underground station were absent – the papers still in plastic wrapped piles unopened. A sign that perhaps they had something more important to do, like protect their families. I can afford to live in a part of London where the local population has few who are feral, but even then middle class areas like Ealing have been ransacked. Indeed, there are now dozens upon dozens of people who are now homeless and jobless, because of those who celebrated destruction. Those that if they were let loose would send us all back into the stone age, for they take and destroy, but produce and create absolutely nothing.
Only the wilfully blind, or geographically remote, will think these riots have anything to do with the death of a man in the weekend. They have nothing to do with so-called “spending cuts” or being “disenfranchised”.
The enormous live TV coverage seen here in the UK has shown pretty much what has been going on:
- Criminal gangs have been organising themselves to steal electrical goods, clothes, shoes, watches and the like. They have been using the net and mobile phones to identify where there are no police and going around in groups by car, to ransack;
- Teenagers (and younger) are roaming their local streets, and some are deciding to copycat the criminal gangs. Either to throw items at Police, break windows, start fires, steal or generally cause mayhem. It’s the school holidays, so many see it as a lot fun;
- A significant number (if not proportion) of the young people involved in this are largely amoral about the property of others, so much coverage has shown boys and girls laughing, giggling, saying “let’s get us some watches man” or the like. Shamelessly taking off with the property of others;
- The extensive and ubiquitous nature of modern communications means that it is easy for groups to identify where they can go and get away with it all. The TV coverage of looting, rioting and arson, without any police in sight tells many that they can get away with whatever they like.
In short, law and order is not being kept on the streets of London. The London Metropolitan (and City of London) Police forces are more than overstretched, having called upon forces from outside London to try to control, but they have largely failed.
The core function of the state is to protect citizens from the violence of criminals, but this Conservative led coalition government has preferred to increase its foreign aid budget and keep Labour’s NHS profligacy intact, to keep giving free bus passes and cheap energy to wealthy pensioners, and then cut police spending. It wont be a surprise that morale in the police is not high.
So if the state can’t protect citizens and their businesses, the responses from citizens are going to be mixed, such as Turkish and Kurdish shop owners and their formidable sons wielding baseball bats to chase feral youths away. Far too many online forums are now full of nasty racist remarks about the fact that many of the youths seen as black. These events are perfect recruiting occasions for the BNP and National Front. Muslim business owners in the East End are being protected by their own families wielding weapons. In short, it becomes vigilante justice.
However, why should anyone be surprised? If law abiding citizens had the right to bear arms it might make for a very different scene, because property owners could fight back. Of course there would be the risk that more of the thugs would also have weapons, given that firearms have only been implicated in one incident the last few nights.
Today both the PM and Mayor of London have returned from their summer vacations, to rescue their respective political careers. If a Conservative PM and a Conservative Mayor cannot be tough on law and order, then they are finished. The PM must ensure the Police have all the necessary resources to lock down the looted areas tonight, and the option of a curfew must be considered. For if London is NOT brought under some order tonight, it will get much much worse. If this is blamed on spending cuts in the Police (which is unfair as there has been virtually no impact from that as of yet), then the government will have handed Labour an issue on a plate. Ed Milliband will be chasing the ambulances with glee at this news, even though his political philosophy has contributed to this problem.
There must be an organised effort to establish order on the streets by the Police. A curfew for young people between certain hours should be considered, with the simple point that anyone on the streets at those times under a certain age face being arrested and spending a night in a cell. Shopkeepers and others who are protecting themselves should be supported by the Police, not treated like criminals.
Yet what we have witnessed overnight, the past three nights, has been the result of what happens when solipsistic whim worshippers discover there is anarchy and they can get away with taking what they like and destroying, like the culture they embrace celebrates. That is the vacuum that has been created by cultural relativism, the empty void of amorality presented by so-called liberals who threw away the religious based morality of past generations, and instead of replacing it with a humanist secular commitment to individual rights and property rights, embraced “group rights”, “victimology” and structural theories of power and rights.
The young people who have rioted have been told that if they don’t have what they want, it isn’t “their fault”. That if they haven’t got a job they want and like, then it is someone else’s responsibility to fix that. That if someone has something they want, then they have a “right” to that as well. That the reason their parent or family do not have the wealth of others is because of racism, or because they aren’t part of some special inner circle, not because they didn’t pay attention at school, didn’t read books and preferred the parasitical culture of gangsters and crime.
The failed social engineers, like chardonnay socialist Polly Toynbee of the Guardian are still claiming the riots are because of “benefit cuts” (see removing child benefit from people earning over £38,000 a year will do that). However, their time is past. They have celebrated pouring money into ghettoised state housing schemes that have hothoused criminal gangs and the poverty of aspiration that does promote this. Most of all, they have embraced the philosophy of cultural and moral relativism that says “anything is ok as long as you express yourself”, the idea that “everyone is the same” regardless of whether you actually work hard, achieve and become a success, or if you laze about, barely articulate yourself and resist any advice or attempts to help you change. They will call for more money to be taken from the law abiding and productive, to bribe the feckless, breeding, whim worshipping thugs into being submissive. They will say they aren’t excusing it “but”, which of course means they are explaining the crimes as not the actions of people wishing to do evil, but as reactions to government policies. They would be the first to complain about business owners taking justice into their own hands, after paying their taxes and finding it subsidises those who steal from them.
Today the state has to focus on the single thing it must do and do well – re-establish law and order in London. If it fails, then David Cameron’s much touted promotion of volunteering, called (appallingly) the “Big Society” will come to pass, in the form of vigilantes and localised justice. People will enforce the law as they see fit, because if the state wont protect them, what else can they do?
Tonight either London is secured, or it is anarchy – in either case, most Londoners will be at home, concerned, some frightened. My concern is that I’ve seen little evidence that this government has any real idea of how important this really is.