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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sick Britain, sick politics

This piece of mine appears in today's First Post.

Neil Clark: Entire urban communities have been sacrificed in the blind rush to ‘liberate the people’
Within hours of the first London riots breaking out, the debate was already being polarised, with left-wing commentators blaming Tory cuts, poverty and institutionalised racism, and right-wing observers slamming multiculturalism, poor parenting and 'community' policing.

In fact both the Left and Right must take equal responsibility for the social breakdown we are now witnessing. Or more precisely, the New Left and the New Right.

You can read the whole article here.


DBC Reed said...

I would n't want to be some kinda Johnny One Note but the importance of homeownership in identity politics and encouraging ordinary people to believe their "investment" can make more money than they can do by earning is more significant than over-priced trainers and designer labels.
None of the political parties has the balls to freeze land/property prices (as JS Mill proposed,more or less) or use land values as the entire basis of taxation (as Henry George proposed) or even re-enact Schedule A taxation on houses (which unbelievably taxed house price rises straight out of income until 1963 in Britain).There are plenty of Lefties who are so lost to reason they think that you can have continually rising house/land values and rising wages and bubbles/crash.

brian said...

stopimperialism UK PM Cameron calls for social media crackdown. Says Twitter,FB used to organize riots.Ok 4 UK; not China, Iran, Russia
18 minutes ago
Retweeted by PoshBirdGabi

NOW I recall when social media was praised for its role in the arab spring!LOL Now when they are its victims, they arent so sanguine.

A. Redding said...

Please, please, God, please ensure that David Cameron spends the rest of his useless life unemployed! (Perhaps that should be "her" useless life, given that Cameron and manly courage are total strangers.)

Douglas said...

My only answer to the causes is that Britain needs better people. I grasp that poverty isn't exactly the problem, because some of the looters were well-off. It wasn't exactly an ethnic issue, because there were looters from many different backgrounds. What do you do to develop yourself, and make yourself exemplary to others?

I understand that this is an unthinkable idea in the UK, but I submit that things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand if more citizens and business owners had firearms.

John Lott wrote an entire book on this subject called More Guns, Less Crime

Robert Heinlein wrote that an armed society is a polite society. I offer Switzerland as an instance of an armed society.

The fact that some Korean shopkeepers were armed during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 saved the Koreatown section of Los Angeles.

C-SPAN is showing the emergency session of Parliament. But allowing the citizenry freer access to firearms doesn't seem to be part of the debate.

The British people seem to be hard at work getting their hands on whatever weapons they can.

Neil Clark said...

Thanks for the comments.

DBC Reed- very good point.

brian-"NOW I recall when social media was praised for its role in the arab spring!LOL Now when they are its victims, they arent so sanguine".
there's an awful lot of hypocrisy by the political elite over social media use.

After the riots, the danger is that there will be clampdowns on legitimate democratic protests in the UK.

dougals- interesting thoughts as ever, but I'm not sure that i agree that people having more guns is the best solution.

if we have an aggressive, dog-eat-dog economic system, then we are going to get a fair share of aggressive people. Under neoliberalism people are encouraged to see other human beings as rivals and competitors and not as comrades and the lack of genuine solidarity is the basic problem.

'simon more' aka 'harry north' aka 'anonymous (on syria thread)' aka 'philip cross'
if you want to leave comments here and join in the debate then please stick to one moniker, as everyone else does.

jack said...

I think the regime actually let the riots spread and enforced so little police presence as an experiment to collection information and data as to how civil unrest will break out once the economic system and the bailout money eventually collapse this year.

I think the riots are a symptom of pressure due to the economic down turn and upcoming austerity measures as there has been protests across the world in Chile, Israel, Arab Spring, North Africa, China and a spate of unreported shooting in the US.

Given our policy of privatisation letting multi-national corporations essentially become more powerful than governments and countries with little or no government oversight the price of everything from energy to food which we are to face a food shortage it is likely to get worse due largely to our post Soviet foreign policy especially in Europe.

The London riots maybe the calm before the storm.

@Neil Clark

Yes apparently the rules of the Open Society and the colour revolutions do not apply to Britain.

Do what Simon says not what Simon does.

When the Belarusian opposition smashed up the parliament and where rightfully arrested the west decried “authoritarianism” and “clamp down on democratic opposition” with the US Senate pledging millions of dollars more in financing these groups and EU and US placing further sanctions on Belarus.

The head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood coordinating with Turkey and Israel the mess we are seeing now in Syria resides in Britain.

Gregor said...

'Robert Heinlein wrote that an armed society is a polite society. I offer Switzerland as an instance of an armed society'

I'm all for relaxing Britain's hand gun ownership laws. But I'd point out that the Heinleinian combination of anarcho-capitalism and practically unlimited gun ownership in nations such as Columbia and Yeltsin's Russia form a rather poor contrast to social democratic Switzerland.