10 August 2011

Russel Norman shows the mindlessness of the far-left (UPDATED)

I'm not a fan of Russel Norman.  He's a prick.

He might be a co-leader of the Green Party, but he quickly resorts to personal abuse and name calling when debating.  He plays the man, not the ball.  I've engaged with a few Green MPs and most are more dignified than he is.

See we have a history...

Then he says I am "far right" for saying it was offensive on the day that dead bodies were being found in Brisbane after severe floods to say that Queensland is a major contributor to climate change, as if they were reaping what they sowed.   Because you see, Norman can't actually believe people who want less government aren't somehow Nazis.

His latest effort is to copy Ken Livingstone (not copied by UK Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband) in saying on Twitter:

London riots show costs of inequality and poverty can present with more immediacy than slowly increasing public health bills

Bullshit.  Especially vile since you wont see Russel Norman coming to London to talk to those who wrecked havoc and stole, you especially wont see him talking to the owners of businesses whose lives and families are ruined.  One couple came from Sri Lanka with nothing, and now have their livelihood destroyed.  What's poverty Russel? How can hundreds of thousands of migrants from far poorer backgrounds who come with nothing create livings for themselves, whereas thousands of kids who have been handed education and homes on a plate, who in some cases are given a basic living for doing nothing, be seen as underprivileged?

The gangs who roamed around London used Blackberries, that great symbol of poverty, to organise.  Many had cars to drive around in, which given nearly half of Londoners don't have cars (given the density of public transport) means they are hardly in poverty.  Most weren't seeking food, they went for designer clothes, widescreen TVs, or in many cases just wanted to vandalise.  How else does it explain the breaking in to a baby clothing shop (in Ealing), and just strewing the contents of the shop around?  These aren't mothers desperately needing stuff for their kids, they are thugs who just want to destroy.

However, Russel Norman can't understand that.  He is as out of touch with the underclasses as he is with the laws of physics and economics (think he lives in a housing estate?).  He can't believe people can be evil and destructive for no reason.  He can't believe that people can be given the full blame for their actions, because his "world view" is coloured by Marxist structuralist identity politics that automatically labels people as either empowered or oppressed according to race or class background.  The Sri Lankan couple with a shop are petty bourgeois, the black youth gang are "disadvantaged", the young (Malaysian student) boy robbed while he was injured might have more "power" because of his background. 

It is collectivist groupthink - it categorises people as winners or losers by stereotypes.  It is racism of the left, which is more sophisticated if not less insidious and destructive than racism of the right.

A more sophisticated view has come from the Editor of the Independent, not my favourite newspaper as it tends to be the mouthpiece of the Liberal Democrat left, but still take this:

We know enough about these riots and those perpetrating them to know what they are not. This is not a political protest. The rioters have no agenda. It is not centrally directed. The goal is acquisitive looting or brainless destruction. The original riot in Tottenham on Saturday seems to have been sparked by a community's sense of grievance against the police. But what happened in Woolwich, Toxteth and Bristol on Monday night is clearly not an anti-police protest. Much of it is copycat rioting. Criminal gangs and antisocial youths have seized on an opportunity to run amok, knowing that the police cannot be everywhere at once.

Nor is this a response to public-sector austerity. Reports of the Government's cuts might have added to the air of desperation in many poor communities. But the fact is that most cuts have not been implemented yet. This is not a riot driven by new media either. BlackBerrys and Twitter – neither of which existed during the inner-city civil disturbances of the 1980s – have doubtless played a role in fanning the flames. But new media is hardly a sufficient explanation for this antisocial spasm. This is also not a race riot, in the manner of Brixton, Toxteth, Handsworth or Broadwater Farm in the 1980s, either. The rioters of 2011 are racially mixed. And there is no overwhelming collective grievance against the police for racial harassment as there was three decades ago.

So the mindless claims, parroted by other leftwing bloggers like Tumeke and Kiwipolitico, are just that:
-  It isn't politically driven;
-  It isn't anti-Police per se;
-  It isn't a response to spending cuts;
-  It can't be blamed on social media;
-  It isn't racially driven.

It is "acquisitive looting and brainless destruction", it isn't desperation from poverty, it isn't a desire to "express themselves" (has it ever been less difficult to publish, record or broadcast?).

It is more disturbing:

many of these jobless and under-educated youths simply do not feel that they belong to a community. They have formed parallel groupings instead, defined by a shocking lack of morality and an immunity from shame. It is this criminal, marginalised and sometimes mentally disturbed underclass that Britain has seen in action in recent days.

They are, in part, a result of absent parents, especially fathers, who have been allowed for decades to breed and flee, with little financial consequences, leaving hoards of boys being raised without male role models, until they find the next best thing. The get recruited by tough gangsters who demand obedience, who deal in violence, theft and the black economy, but in the lawless environment of housing estates offer some security, the easy spoils of thieving, status and as a result access to the girls who cling on for their father figures, trading the one currency girls always have in.

It has been the damning failure of a massive social experiment, a belief that only with more money, more "youf centas", council workers, housing benefits, dumbed-down education that treats them as incapable of achieving, a softly softly approach to law and order for those who don't bother and infest these communities with their poisonous embrace of violence, but most of all the constant excuses from the illiberal left that "it isn't your fault" that you did things you shouldn't, that somehow these lost people can be saved.  It would be quasi-Christian, except Christians believe in punishment.  This philosophy, interwoven with the envy-ridden simplicity of Marxist belief that claim people succeed only through "luck" or by inheriting from people who are considered to have "stolen" from society, is now both philosophically and empirically bankrupt.

It is time to break up the housing estates that condemn kids from poor families to live in high density housing (good for public transport and the environment!) surrounded by gang culture.  It is time to cease paying people to breed.  It is time to cease handing out welfare to convicted violent criminals.  It is time to set education free of the state mass production system that claims one size fits all and which condemns kids of poor families to no choice.  It is time to promote a culture of celebrating entrepreneurship, hard work and trading, whilst not state subsidising a culture of violence, attitude laden demands for "respect" and unalloyed misogyny. 

Meanwhile, Russel Norman thinks he is qualified to point finger at a foreign country, score political points that are at the expense of hundreds of victims, and proclaim effectively that if only taxes took more money for these rioters, they wouldn't riot. He ignores the small business owners whose livelihoods are ruined, and those of the people they employed.  People who despite poverty, make a go of their lives, even with the taxes and regulation Russel thinks makes what they do "good for society", for let's not forget that if any such businesses do very well, he will want to smash them down to size or pillage more for the people who would destroy them.  Always second, third, fourth chances to those who demand it all for nothing, always more and more taxes and demands for those who ask for nothing, but build for themselves.

He isn't interested in poverty, he is interested in point scoring, in state control and intervention and in using state power to take from some to give to others.   For if he cared about poverty, he'd worry about the businesses that keep these communities alive, that provide goods and services, and hire people and create wealth for them.  No, he cares about those who if left to their own devices, would turn everyone to dust, and after taking all they could, would starve to death because nobody productive would be left.

In fact, his philosophy of not letting the perpetrator take responsibility for his or her actions and ignoring the victim of their crimes has been a resounding failure.  It is not a time to bribe the uncivilised and destructive with money taken from the civilised and creating.

UPDATE: You'll do worse than read Allister Heath's editorial today..read it all but for part of what he says:

The cause of the riots is the looters; opportunistic, greedy, arrogant and amoral young criminals who believe that they have the right to steal, burn and destroy other people’s property. There were no extenuating circumstances, no excuses. The context was two-fold: first, decades of failed social, educational, family and microeconomic policies, which means that a large chunk of the UK has become alienated from mainstream society, culturally impoverished, bereft of role models, permanently workless and trapped and dependent on welfare or the shadow economy. For this the establishment and the dominant politically correct ideology are to blame: they deemed it acceptable to permanently chuck welfare money at sink estates, claiming victory over material poverty, regardless of the wider consequences, in return for acquiring a clean conscience. The second was a failure of policing and criminal justice, exacerbated by an ultra-soft reaction to riots over the past year involving attacks on banks, shops, the Tory party HQ and so on, as well as an official policy to shut prisons and reduce sentences. Criminals need to fear the possibility and consequence of arrest; if they do not, they suddenly realise that the emperor has no clothes.

he disposes of the arguments around it being political

the state will spend 50.1 per cent of GDP this year; state spending has still been rising by 2 per cent year on year in cash terms. It has never been as high as it is today – in fact, it is squeezing out private sector growth and hence reducing opportunities and jobs. Many of the vandals were school children not yet in the labour market; unemployment is a tragedy that must be fought but 9, 10 or 14 year olds can’t be pillaging because of it. Equally tragically, most of the older rioters would never have any hope of going to university, regardless of cost, such is their educational poverty.


James said...

Well said LS...I'm linking this to a few sites in the UK...it needs spreading all over the place. And that Ginga tard can blow me..

Just my opinion said...

Listen to this interview on BBC.


Sure thing Russel!

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Exactly. Of course the left will use this terrible business to call for more welfare state - cash transfer, social services, job creation - when what it really illustrates is the need to curtail it.


Excellent commentary Liberty Scott.
I have linked to it too, along with others of likeminded views.
Wasn't it good seeing Harriet Harman getting a slapdown from michael gove on Newsnight last night?

Libertyscott said...

Thanks all and thanks Fairfacts, excellent range of links on your article.