Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

London/English Riots

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #76
    And it will cost the tax payer so much more to evict them as they will then have to go through the homeless support system which apparently costs a fortune so mark yet another stupid idea up for calamity cameron.
    What a muppet!
    "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

    Hunter S Thompson


    • #77
      As long as a lot of people think in terms of "us" and "them" there will be unrest, which sometimes turns violent. Doesn't matter if its in Britain, Egypt, Los Angeles or Shanghai.

      "The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world."
      -- Dr. Paul Farmer

      And it goes all ways. If those in power in the government think some don't count as much as others, then their policies will reflect this and be cause for unrest. If the people who've been short-changed by such policies (or simply believe they've been) they'll see "them" as the source of their problem and, depending on their temperament, react in all manner of ways, sometimes violently, stupidly and without apparent motive.

      And yet to me, it all comes down to this "idea" quoted above. It's just a concept, but what a disastrous one! Change that idea, maybe things would get better.

      "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
      - Mark Twain, notebook entry, 1898.


      • #78
        Originally posted by zilch View Post
        In this case the mother is being punished for the actions of her son, which is collective punishment, which is an abuse of human rights.
        The tenant will have signed a contract that (may have) included* a 'good behaviour' clause, so where anti-social behaviour by a member of the family can be proved (i.e. through a criminal conviction) then the tenant will have broken their contract. However, the clause normally refers to the tenant's 'local community' so doesn't cover someone from York going to Leeds and behaving in an anti-social manner. Consequently there are arguments that these contracts should be redrawn to focus on the person rather than the locale.

        I'm deeply ambivalent about evicting people for the crimes/wrong-doing of family members, but we shouldn't forget those families who, through no fault of their own, are now homeless either because their homes were burned down, or because their (or their employer's) business have been destroyed so they're now unemployed and won't be able to pay their mortgage. That's not exactly fair either, is it? but they're in that position because of idiots who still have four walls and a roof and a bed to sleep in at night. I think the Gordian Knot is how do we make people understand that their actions have consequences not only to others but also to themselves and their families in a way that is fair and just?

        *Not all tenancy agreements do include such a clause and in those cases eviction wouldn't be a legal option aiui.
        _"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."


        • #79
          Sorry, but most of the measures taken strike me as closing the barn door after the horses have split. Reminds me of a certain Republic that let it's outrage over the destruction of a skyscraper, along with attendant loss of life, whip it into a ten-year war frenzy that broke it's economy.
          Kevin McCabe
          The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson


          • #80
            Absolutely Kevin!
            "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

            Hunter S Thompson


            • #81
              The London Riots

              Hammering the poor has never, in the past, permitted the wealthy to sleep more soundly at night.
              Mwana wa simba ni simba

              The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom


              • #82
                Interestingly, the profile of some of these looters is not necessarily what was expected. It really is a 'messy problem' which is not very easy to identify.

                A comment from a former policeman involved in the 80's riots saying that the tough repsonse at that time by the police, then became the story of police brutality and not of the criminality by the looters.

                Incidentally, when I lived near Manchester in the late 70s and 80s, we heard rumours of outsiders driving up the M6 with petrol bombs in the back of cars and asking for directions to Mosside. Was this rumour mill or fact, I suspect the former, but an example of the grapevine rather than mobile's text messaging.

                Reading various articles and knowing a bit of history, there does seem to be a cycle of violence that occurs, every few decades. The one thing is for sure that this has blown a lot of the Government plans off course and this is before the cuts have even got started.

                If that eviction clause means that next time people will not stop and think that their actions will hurt them as well, if there is a next time. If some one abuses their human responsibilities e.g. attacking someone, destroying property, etc then they forfeit their own human rights.

                On a lighter note, I did discover that there are twice as many Greggs (chain bakery and Helen Milligan of the Apprentice UK (moment of) fame works) as there are Starbucks.
                Papa was a Rolling Stone......


                • #83
                  Consider the fairness of this and its impact on the future of the UK (with apologies for the asterisks):

                  A young lady comes to the UK from Poland. *She is qualified as a physiotherapist but is not allowed to practise in the UK as her qualifications are not recognised. *She is eligible to claim social security benefits but does not want to be a burden on the state. *She takes a job cleaning houses, working 7 days a week, and rents a room in a flat above a corner shop in a run down part of London. In her limited spare time she studies to pass exams that will enable her to set up a physiotherapy practice.

                  A 19 year old British man left school at 14 with no qualifications. *Once he reached 16 he signed on to claim social security. *He has never worked and*lives in a council property with his mother and sister in the same run down part of London as the Polish lady lives.

                  A riot occurs in the area and the young man joins in. *The police provide no resistance so the mob goes on the rampage, looting and burning shops. *

                  The corner shop that the Polish lady lives above is attacked and burnt down. *She is not home but her flat and all her possessions, including her passport and cash savings, are destroyed.

                  She is left in a foreign country, homeless and penniless, with the only friends she can turn to in the same parlous situation.

                  He is caught on CCTV setting light to the corner shop and is arrested, *prosecuted for arson and burglary and sent to prison for a year. *On release he returns to the subsidised council house to live with his family, his social security payments and human rights intact.

                  The Polish lady made homeless by his actions returns to Poland, taking her work ethic, skills, qualifications and abused human rights with her.
                  ** * * * * **


                  • #84

                    Sadly, the sort of Yob mentioned in the example above, like the more deserving poor, will also always be with us.
                    An awful lot of them,some now murderers, were involved in the recent carnage.
                    It is not them I am in sympathy with, by any streach of the imagination.
                    Last edited by Kymba334; 08-14-2011, 04:27 AM.
                    Mwana wa simba ni simba

                    The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                      Originally posted by KevJo View Post
                      They are also looking at how many of the bankers got prosecuted for their role in the last financial crash. I don't think they've got any interest in politics, or political agenda or motive, but that doesn't mean that that sort of news completely passes them by. The poor, for some reason, have always been fascinated by how the rich behave, and tend to seek to imitate them. (The only exception being the late sixties, when it was actually cooler to be working class).

                      Similarly, your average financial whizz-kid will be watching the news, keen to see how many rioters get prosecuted/imprisoned, and will also notice how many of his colleagues got prosecuted for their role in the last financial crash. That will determine how likely they are to do it again.
                      I completely missed this nuance first time around but, correct me if I'm wrong, but while what the bankers did may well have been morally wrong it wasn't actually against yer-actual-carved-in-stone-and-ratified-by-parliament law, was it? Selling sub-prime mortgages may have been ethically wrong but it wasn't illegal - at least at the time. Short-selling is almost certainly bad for the long-term health of the economy - and I'm please to see this morning that France, Italy, Spain and Belgium have (once again) banned short-selling; hopefully other countries will follow suit very quickly - but no laws were broken in the practice afaik

                      By contrast, the activities of the rioters and looters in London, Manchester, Birmingham, etc. are visibly and discernibly criminal. I accept it's easier/safer for the State to go after the (criminal) underclass than it is to do anything about huge corporations - financial and otherwise - who may pose the bigger threat in the long-term but in the short-term actually contribute to society (jobs, taxes, etc.) in a way that rioters and looters don't. It's not right and it's not fair but until our politicians grow a collective backbone, while there's one country that's prepared to let Corporations/Banks act in their own self-interest in the pursuit of bigger and bigger bonuses and profits, then it's easier to ignore the tiger in the backyard than it is the irritating fly buzzing around while you're trying to watch TV/read/eat/etc.

                      From what I've read, there were plenty of cases of financial traders selling products that they knew to be worthless, if not toxic, and assuring clients that they were solid investments. Some might call it 'fibbing', some might call it 'criminal fraud'. The number of lawsuits and out of court settlements seemed to multiply as the crisis developed. The most recent book I've read on the subject was 'All the Devils Are Here' by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. Read it and weep.

                      Of course, given that we are talking about people/companies who have the power to influence sovereign governments as to which laws should be passed, and which shouldn't, I wouldn't find it particularly comforting even if the bankers hadn't broken any laws.

                      To be honest, I accept that rich and powerful people will always get their own way, and order governments about. That's always been how the world works. I don't mind them travelling first class, and me travelling third class. It's when they do things that are so stupid, so crass, so selfish, that it could sink the whole ship that we are all sailing in (rich and poor alike), that I get irritated. And then we get the dubious delight of paying for the repairs until the next time they decide to blow a hole in the side of the ship. But you're right - the process of blowing a hole in the side of the ship may well provide jobs and generate tax income in the short term.

                      But, getting back to the rioters - yes, they undoubtedly broke the law, and it looks like some of the ones that were caught are going to pay for it. And quite right too. I don't have much sympathy for them, despite me wanting to understand what societal conditions led them to do it. They weren't protesting against a repressive government (or if they were, they clearly don't know how bad things are in other countries), and they weren't even stealing food because they are starving. They were stealing booze and flat-screen TVs, which, if nothing else, seems to show that people's perceptions of poverty are relative.

                      The range of people who have been through the courts shows how mobs are not just one type of person. They consist of everything from disenfranchised youth, to political activists, to people who just like to have a fight, to bystanders who get caught up in the excitement, to organised criminals, and everything in between. It becomes a little world which generates it's own set of rules and norms of behaviour, until the conditions that enable it to come into being change and the mob disperses, most of the participants reverting back to people who don't normally behave in that way.

                      If nothing else, it gets us all talking about the state of our society. Don't know if that's good or bad though.......


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by opaloka View Post
                        Looks like Cameron has hired an American cop to instruct him on the finer points of population control. More cops, more guns, more fear and violence from all sides.
                        Ahoy, Opa! I can understand why you would suspect that, but actually Bill Bratton doesn't have a history of encouraging that kind of policing in NYC. He did some good work here before he and Giuliani had a falling out (Rudy subsequently took credit for the reform work done by Bratton's people (and also later elevated his crooked crony Bernie Kerik to Bratton's old office)), by putting in place a number of essentially bureaucratic reforms within the police department that helped make the city safer in many neighborhoods, and not just the affluent ones. He continued and intensified the reform work started under (previous and current Commissioner) Ray Kelly's administration in the early 90s and that led to the sustained crime drop that's remained low despite 9/11, a widespread blackout, and a serious recession.

                        Here's an old article about the '90s reforms in City Journal: Sure, it's from a center-right publication and it's a self-serving piece that he co-wrote, but in my estimation it's not an unfair overview of the positive side of the reforms he encouraged here. It's worth bearing in mind, though, that (keeping him on par for the course with many powerful NYC government figures) he resigned under the cloud of an investigation into questionable gifts and a profitable book deal contract. I know nothing about his LA record, so I won't comment on that.

                        I suppose the sum of what I'm writing is that I'd be very surprised if Bratton recommended ugly (i.e., brutish or violent) Americanisms for any police policy or practice changes in Britain.


                        • #87
                          An unexpected turn of events?
                          The Daily Mash does it again!


                          • #88

                            Thank you Rothgo, i thought that nothing could cheer me up today!
                            Mwana wa simba ni simba

                            The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom


                            • #89
                              A very special lady pointed me and her other friends on Facebook to this voice on the UK Riotz: (Thanks, LM)
                              Google ergo sum


                              • #90
                                Fine words there L'E.
                                If only our so called leaders had this amount of tolerance and insight rather than the pathetic knee-jerk reactions we are witnessing today.
                                "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                                Hunter S Thompson