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London/English Riots

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  • #46
    Originally posted by KevJo View Post
    But in general, like I said, confront people with the consequences of their actions. Won't always work, but it's worth a try.
    I get the impression that's most popular when somebody else's ox is being gored. Also it seems to work more powerfully in some sectors than others. Remember "too big to fail"? I'd like to see a more even distribution of justice (myself excepted!), mostly I think we settle for what we can get. I definitely don't want to be threatened or robbed in my home.

    The other problem is that some folks just get inured to consequences. A police officer once described to me a conversation where he tried to explain the attitude of the street. He explained to a friend that this week's victim is often next week's perpetrator. A typical example would be a guy standing on a street corner, minding his own business at 3 am, when someone takes a shot at him. The victim has no idea who would do this. Everyone else in the neighborhood, has an idea, but no proof. So next week, the suspect from last week is standing on a corner at 3 am minding his own business, etc. The cycle repeats until someone's aim improves.

    The officer's friend says why don't you tell these guys to knock it off or they'll go to jail. The officer replied that to his interlocutor, jail is the end of your middle-class existence. For these guys, it's just another place to see their friends & relatives.

    Some people just don't get it. Maybe they'll age out of it. Some don't get that far.
    Dave Hardy
    http://fireandsword.blogspot.com/

    My books: Crazy Greta, Tales of Phalerus the Achaean, and Palmetto Empire.

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    • #47
      Language, lads. Language. A wee bit of brevity, if you will.
      Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

      ~Henry David Thoreau

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      • #48
        The mob is a reactive, exploitive animal. Which is natural if not praiseworthy given the circumstance. The cop-related death that sparked it gave a flicker of angry recognition in their skulls that they were being well and truly fucked. Collectively.

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        • #49
          Yes, people are cunts. Astonishing, really, little less than angels but no much more than apes (and often less). But, just possibly, context is important as well....

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          • #50
            Some people, undoubtedly, are cunts.

            For me, the ones responsible for jettisoning a fair chair chunk of the population that they are supposed to represent certainly deserve the tag.

            It's hard to see how people can be expected to respect society's rules when society shows them no respect.

            It's funny how the UK politicians' reaction (and no doubt the Daily Mail's) to riots in Egpyt, Libya and Tunisia are to demand the removal of their governments, but riots in England are just hooligan criminality (the same line loyally parroted ad nauseam by UK state TV).

            And of course it's political, if anything is. Where there are riots, there will always be opportunists ready to take advantage (whether it's looters or Prime Ministers trying to look tough). But that does not mean that the tripe being spewed by the BBC is anything more than precisely that.

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            • #51
              But not terribly effective or articulate. They attacked the wrong targets. My guess (and my information is not good and comes through cultural prisms) is that more common Joes than real wrongdoers got victimized. That said, nothing happens in a vacuum. The cop-related death AND the fact the cops left his widow and kids to stand outside the cop shop for five hours and didn't inform the family for a good 12 hours that the man was dead lights the match. Now normally one would expect rocks through the cop shop window. Instead, you have a lot of retail damage. That likely is class envy. Two likely sources. Consumerism, judging folks by the material. And, lack of economic opportunity, which is largely a function of bad tariff policy. If the pols have a brain in their collective skulls, they should move to addres.the tariffs. Otherwise, an articulate cadre will step up and organize them with effectiveness in mind. In the U.S., proper political action may not be possible. It may well be that our pols are so used to the voice of their corporate masters that they won't know how to slip the leash. Unless, of course, they remember that

              "all political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to pRotect and maintain individual rights."
              Kevin McCabe
              The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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              • #52
                My garage is based out of a town where, with very little exageration, there are more cops of one phyle or another than people. I have experienced, with bitterness and increasing anger, the regulation contempt that the cops piss all over 'regular joes' or otherwise.......

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Robin View Post
                  It's hard to see how people can be expected to respect society's rules when society shows them no respect.
                  The BBC showed a brief clip of a redhaired young woman from east London declaring in a cod Jamaican accent that "them don't give us no respect, man'.

                  At the risk of sounding like a Daily Mail editorial again, it's worth considering how much respect individuals are given in this grubby little post-empire country called England.

                  Every man, woman and child born in England has the right and opportunity to recieve a FREE comprehensive primary and secondary education up to the age of 18. Also, every 18 year old with the appropriate qualifications has the right, if they "pass" the means test, to a FREE tertiary education.

                  Every man woman and child born in England also has the right to health care and dental care FREE at the point of delivery for our entire life, regardless of our wealth.

                  On leaving school, we also have the right to state funded financial support, not only until we find a job, but also after we have done so, to ensure that we are able to keep our heads above water. *If we are unable to work due to ill-health, we also receive state funded financial support. We also have the*right to state funded housing whether we are working or not.

                  On retirement, we also have the right to a state funded pension until we die.

                  Every working parent in this country has the right to state funded support for each of our children, up to the age of 18.

                  We live in a country where those rights are enshrined, not only in the Magna Carta, but also in hundreds of years of laws. *We live in one of the most liberal, safe and wealthy democracies in the world.

                  And yet people bleat about not being given respect (that's not directed at you, Robin). *Respect, over and above the basic human rights of the individual, has to be earned. *I respect people who take the opportunities that are handed to them on a plate and try to make a succees of their lives. *I respect people who work hard, pay their taxes and contribute to society. *I respect people who leave their impoverished home towns to live in another city, or even country, so that they can find work. *I respect people who take risks and innovate and try to move this country forward.

                  I don't respect people who take from society and give nothing back. *I don't respect people who think that the world owes them a living. *I don't respect people who have such an inflated sense of entitlement that they take other people's hard earned possessions simply because they want them. *I don't respect people who have no respect for the society I live in. *I don't respect people who riot on the streets of my city after the country they live in has given them so many opportunities and so much support.

                  99% of the people in this world don't live in a country where the individual is given this much respect, free at the point of delivery or otherwise.

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                  • #54
                    er dental care is most definitly not free! but your right we have it easy, you go and tell the kids that though...

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Robin View Post
                      It's funny how the UK politicians' reaction (and no doubt the Daily Mail's) to riots in Egpyt, Libya and Tunisia are to demand the removal of their governments, but riots in England are just hooligan criminality (the same line loyally parroted ad nauseam by UK state TV).
                      You *cannot* compare the 'Arab Spring' with the 'Tottenham Summer'; it's a crass comparison. What happened in Tunisia and Egypt and what is happening in Syria and Bahrain and Libya was/is a popular demonstration for basic human rights, for the right to political puralism, the right not to be tortured by secret police, for freedom of expression, etc. The riots in London and other parts of England (*not* Wales, Scotland or N. Ireland afaik - and we might well ask why that is exactly) aren't in the same ballpark. Hell, they're not even the same game.

                      We *are* living in a MeMeMe - or 'Smash & Grab', as Nick Clegg described it this AM - culture, that includes everyone: politicians, bankers, media moguls, rioters, looters, trade unionists, public servants, average joes, uncle Tom cobbley and all. When Cameron goes on about an alternative to 'Bling Culture', the Big Society, he's ridiculed and mocked by the Oh-So-Smart Brigade who then have the gall to blame *him* for the rioters' behaviour! Because you can't blame the poor little rioters for the own actions, can you? No, it's always got to be someone else's fault because why should anyone be expected to take responsibility for themselves?

                      Oh, and it really pisses me off when people call the BBC 'UK State TV', like the BBC is just some official mouthpiece for the Government. I guess I must have dreamed the whole David Kelly/'sexed-up dossier' thing, mustn't I?! (But that's a whole other debate and this isn't the thread for that.)

                      Sent from my iPhone via Tapatalk
                      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                        You *cannot* compare the 'Arab Spring' with the 'Tottenham Summer'; it's a crass comparison. What happened in Tunisia and Egypt and what is happening in Syria and Bahrain and Libya was/is a popular demonstration for basic human rights, for the right to political puralism, the right not to be tortured by secret police, for freedom of expression, etc. The riots in London and other parts of England (*not* Wales, Scotland or N. Ireland afaik - and we might well ask why that is exactly) aren't in the same ballpark. Hell, they're not even the same game.

                        We *are* living in a MeMeMe - or 'Smash & Grab', as Nick Clegg described it this AM - culture, that includes everyone: politicians, bankers, media moguls, rioters, looters, trade unionists, public servants, average joes, uncle Tom cobbley and all. When Cameron goes on about an alternative to 'Bling Culture', the Big Society, he's ridiculed and mocked by the Oh-So-Smart Brigade who then have the gall to blame *him* for the rioters' behaviour! Because you can't blame the poor little rioters for the own actions, can you? No, it's always got to be someone else's fault because why should anyone be expected to take responsibility for themselves?

                        Oh, and it really pisses me off when people call the BBC 'UK State TV', like the BBC is just some official mouthpiece for the Government. I guess I must have dreamed the whole David Kelly/'sexed-up dossier' thing, mustn't I?! (But that's a whole other debate and this isn't the thread for that.)

                        Sent from my iPhone via Tapatalk
                        Of course you can compare them, because they are the same thing. What you're saying about the riots in England sounds very similar to what the apologists for the Libyan, Syrian, Egyptian, etc. regimes have been saying about the riots in their countries. This isn't the only "smash and grab" culture - that's exactly why Egyptians objected to Mubarak. That and unemployment, rising prices, etc. - same as in England. Listen to what people in these countries are saying rather than the line we're fed about it - they want food, jobs, housing. And don't forget that the UK jails more people than any of those regimes do.

                        And of course it's legitimate to talk about UK State TV because that's precisely what it is by any definition you care to come up with - or any comparison to the broadcasters the BBC always refer to as <insert country> State TV. You didn't dream the David Kelly affair but you certainly seem to have missed what happened afterwards - the BBC had stepped out of line and were whipped back in. Since then the BBC has been even more of a state propaganda outlet than it already was. (And always has been). And the treatment they gave Darcus Howe was outrageous - even if they have belatedly apologised for it - particularly compared to the free airtime they're happy to give to people like Nick Griffin.

                        If you read what I said it's pretty clear I blame the looters - as much as the government - for taking advantage of a bad situation. But the situation IS bad. A lot of people are genuinely angry - and they have every right to be - about the way they are treated by their government. And don't forget how these riots started - as a peaceful protest about a police execution in the streets.

                        But it's always got to be someone else's fault, nothing to do with the poor little government, why should they be expected to take any resonsibility?

                        The lack of riots here in Scotland is no mystery, but it is pretty clear evidence for what I've been saying - that, at least, should be obvious.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by porcus_volans View Post
                          Originally posted by Robin View Post
                          It's hard to see how people can be expected to respect society's rules when society shows them no respect.

                          And yet people bleat about not being given respect (that's not directed at you, Robin). *Respect, over and above the basic human rights of the individual, has to be earned
                          Actually, I agree with a lot of what you said.

                          But governments have to earn respect too. Starting wars when it's obvious that the vast majority of the population are against it is showing contempt. Pumping our money into banks and cutting public services is also showing contempt (never mind the fact that taking money out of the economy is exactly the wrong thing to do when you need to stimulate economic growth) - it's not just bankers bonuses, since 2008 banks have been making bigger profits. They keep any profits they make, we take the hit when they fuck up - because our governments let them. In Iceland they quite rightly refused to play ball - ok, they had a very bad two or three years, but their economy is now recovering nicely. While things here are still on a downward spiral.

                          We might respect people who work hard, pay their taxes and contribute to society - the government doesn't. Keeping interest rates artificially low while inflation is rising thereby punishing savers - the only people who did NOT contribute to the financial disaster that's really behind the current problems - is just more evidence of that contempt.

                          Before the war there was a real fear in government about a revolution - after the war people demanded something better, and they got it. Since then, succesive governments have been steadily eroding the NHS - prescription charges are negligible for someone with plenty of money, not for someone on a low to middle income. That's one tiny aspect of it. just highlighting one more way to save the wealthiest a bit more money. (You know, the people who don't pay their taxes and get away with it while the government bleats about the benefit scroungers who cost the country an insignificant sum by comparison. In fact, if those rich scroungers were made to pay their taxes, there would be no need for any cuts - quite the reverse. The sums involved are staggering...).

                          The gap between rich and poor has been steadily growing for decades. And by poor I don't mean the people at the bottom - I mean everyone who's not actually in the "stinking rich" category. And it's not getting better, it's getting worse. And it's now accelerating.

                          John Locke said “When the social contract is broken the people must revolt”. And if it's not in pieces yet it's definitely looking decidedly stressed.

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                          • #58
                            Of cours

                            I think you said it L'E. Linda reminded me that I predicted this sort of incoherent 'riot' a while back when I was talking about the disenfranchised. These aren't race riots (which seems to be confusing the US popular press). The people rioting -- chavs included -- must sense this lack of a franchise. They are ignored as a voting block; they don't vote because they have no representation. This seems to reflect what was happening, for instance, in the Watts riots of the 60s. Cameron and Co ONLY address what they consider to be their constituencies, effectively 'outlawing' the others.
                            Characterised already as outlaws, they behave as outlaws. It's happened before. In this kind of situation a demagogue could come along who takes advantage of things and the next moment we're looking at a mob organised into something resembling the SA in Germany during the 20s/30s. The 'mob' doesn't trust regular politicians, however much they seem to be sympathetic. The rich can't easily buy off the mob, at the moment. We've been trained to expect immediate rewards which nobody can deliver in our present climate. Without hope, it seems to me, people start to exercise their frustration in action. As in Watts and elsewhere the poor stole from the poor or at least those with just a little more; destroyed what little property the poor owned and so on. Same happened in the banlieus of Paris. Paris was a clearer example -- the riots took place in suburbs ('projects'/'council estates')
                            outside the city proper because Paris learned the lessons of the Commune and isolated its potential rioters. That said, we don't know if this is a phenomenon likely to spread yet. It's the poor attacking the lower middle class. I suspect there's still a better political dialectic in place in most parts of Europe and also greater solidarity demonstrated. This might be demonstrated at last in England where ordinary people seem to be coming together first to resist the rioters and to clean up the damage which might isolate the fire-starters and leave everyone else to consider creating political solutions which don't involve 'crack downs' and generally repressive measures. In my view consumerism leads to this sort of violence. We've seen the same thing across the globe where the first thing people do is steal a flat screen TV or DVD viewer. It happened in Iraq, you'll recall, as the social infrastructure broke down.
                            My kids all live in 'riot' areas and I'm inclined to listen to what they tell me. They too seem to think most of it is about the have-nots wanting the consumer goods others already have. So, unlike earlier 'riots' there is no coherent alternative on offer. They're not rioting for bread but for the consumer goods they're constantly offered on TV and elsewhere. I don't blame people for feeling left out, unable to buy what they're told to buy and think they need. During my short time at school I remember learning about consumerism then and being taught how to resist advertising. Of course, that was in the 1950s... A lot of SF taught similar lessons (i.e. The Space Merchants). It's sad that people should be looting as they do, but hardly surprising. And the left is neatly divided into bickering groups at the very moment it should be forming some sort of popular front.
                            In Notting Hill, in the old days, 'community leaders' (gang bosses) did more to calm things down than the police ever did. Is this what happens in the US, maybe ? This is all off the top of my head while I'm trying to write a book. This is really a job for Jerry C but I don't really have the time to go there at the moment. Anyway, apologies if this is a bit incoherent.
                            Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 08-11-2011, 01:27 PM.

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                            • #59
                              Brilliantly put Mike, it just reminds people how close we are to the "mad max" world, and that law and order and the system only exists if everyone believes in them, things seem to be accelerating and everything seems so apocalyptic this year, strange times indeed but they allways are as this is after all chaos.

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                              • #60
                                Once again The Site Host comes off the bench in the 89th minute and heads the winner!!
                                "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                                Hunter S Thompson

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