Daily Archives: August 11, 2011


Ugly Competition

My detestation of the urban sub-culture which spawned the recent crime wave is longstanding. It is ugly, self-centred, materialistic and vicious, and in large part imported from the United States. Those who disliked my views on the looting, if surprised have not been paying attention in the past.

But the House of Commons debate is managing to look like a manifestation of a still uglier sub-culture. Fat-jowled smug men who look like that caricature of the yeomanry at Peterloo, and shrill unpleasant lean-faced women.

So far they want the revocation of the human rights act, powers to close down Twitter, censorship on the internet, tax allowances for married couples (sic), and have suggested that the killing of Ian Tomlinson was a good example to follow.

By comparison Cameron is coming over as almost sane. But he himself has said that convicted looters should lose their social housing. This is crazed populism. I am in favour of custodial sentences for looters. But the custodial sentence should be aimed at better equipping for participation in society. How on earth can you achieve rehabilitation if you deliberately force homelessness? Putting criminals homeless on the streets will reduce crime? Does anyone really believe that?

Presumably he does not intend to throw family dependants on the street too, or does he?

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These Are English Riots

The Guardian has a whole stream of articles, each under the heading “UK Riots”. Actually pretty well every mainstream media outlet is using the term “UK Riots”, as a simple google search affirms.

Bollocks. These are English riots. Glasgow is as poor as North London or Salford, but people up here are not burning out their neighbours. Newsnight Scotland last night had a discussion of what was happening in England, which it struck me could as well have been a discussion of Haiti.

I have the cheering thought that whether it is the sickening sight of the looters or the sickening sight of David Cameron, it must be crossing numerous Scottish minds that England is a liability best jettisoned.

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Hague in La La Land

The British foreign office looks more stupid than ever today after the Transitional National Council, which it has recognised as the Government of Libya, collapsed. Its entire executive committee has been sacked by its head, Mustafa Jalil. The committee had organised the murder of its own army commander, former pro-Gadaffi killer General Younes, and appears to have been dismissed for incompetence in organising the cover-up. Nobody really knows if Jalil has the authority to dismiss everybody else, but as neither he nor they were elected in the first place, it is a rather fine point.

What is for certain is that the “government” of the TNC is not recognised by the people doing the acutal fighting. The rebels of Misrata have actively repudiated the TNC, while the most succesful of the rebels in the field, to the south west of Tripoli, do not appear to have any firm links with other rebel groupings and are largely Tuareg particularists.

Anyway, all is well. The complete collapse of the self-murdering TNC is in fact a sign of strength. Hague’s Foreign Office issued the following yesterday:

“the dismissal of the executive committee demonstrates the strength and maturity of the NTC.”

Pick yourself off the floor, stop laughing and read it again:

the dismissal of the executive committee demonstrates the strength and maturity of the NTC.

As someone who used to work there, I find it deeply disturbing that large amounts of taxpayers’ money are being spent within the FCO to produce this surreal propaganda.

The truth, of course, is that for Hague and Clinton the TNC has to exist only as a numbered Swiss bank account for oil revenues and arms sales to flow through. As long as that account number exists, an actual physical opposition, self-appointed, blood-steeped or whatever, is an irrelevance to western governments.

The ever excellent Patrick Cockburn here.

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