These Are English Riots 89


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.


89 thoughts on “These Are English Riots

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  • Beeston Regis

    @Mary I have been visiting and posting on this blog since
    its inception. Don’t be a snob.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr Murray,
    .
    Not arguing with you on the subject on which I am not profoundly informed. It is just all these nationalistic ideas seem to be very alien to me.
    .
    And yet again I wish to parallel this with Uzbekistan. For centuries we (Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tadjiks, Turkmens, Kyrgyzs and other ethnic groups) in Central Asia lived together. We have had states on our lands (mostly despotic) but governed ourselves without any ethnic division. Then Russian came and occupied us for over a century. They (after communist revolution) divided us into 5 states without paying much attention to the culture, ethnic composition or livelihood of each particular ethic group (similar to many post British Empire colonies). And what we have now is Uzbekistan as a result is an Independent BUT double landlocked country (I think the only one double landlocked country in the world). Whatever we Uzbeks do, whichever government we have we will always depend on a good will of ours neighbours twice more than any other country in the world. We now have problems with all our neighbours, and all these problems could have been resolved if we were one nation.
    .
    I am aware that this is not particularly similar to Scotland but just food for thought.

  • JimmyGiro

    “Glasgow is as poor as North London or Salford, but people up here are not burning out their neighbours.”
    .
    remember guys, the trick is to bang the stones together.

  • HG Wells the alien

    I was watching coverage of the riots and the civil wars in many of your earthly locations from my high vantage point in near space and I have come to the conclusion that these are human riots are problems which would not be occur in the more advanced civilizational sections of the galaxy that I am proud to be a part of. We are not usually in the habit of turning on our neighbours and do not blame them when things go wrong but enough is enough. I propose the immediate banishment of planet earth and its inhabitants to the outer arm of the galaxy. Thank you for allowing me onto your thread, even though it has the appearance of a giant serpent coiling around and eating itself in extreme agony.

  • Sam

    I wouldn’t riot in this rain! All the stuff would be ruined before I got it home. I don’t think we had any riots in Edinburgh, but I did see a youth greedily eyeing up some stuffed olives at Peckhams. Those plastic bulltets might be needed soon.

  • Vronsky

    The wonderful ignorance of Scottish/UK fiscal affairs paraded here and on innumerable other sites is of huge value to the Scottish independence movement. Keep it up, Helen and the others – that ignorance is important to us.
    .
    I am reluctant to believe that the absence of rioting in Scotland reflects some sort of social superiority (much) although undoubtedly the gangsta (c)rap is less in evidence up here. I’ve also heard it said that more people in Scotland think Elvis is still alive than vote Conservative – surely that measures something.
    .
    Look out for trouble as we move closer to independence. Those with the means and the motive will ‘play the Orange card’ as they always have, and then it will be your turn to have a laugh at us. Enjoy it – it won’t last.

  • OldMark

    ‘That is based on a formula in which hydrocarbon revenues are “British”, whereas in fact they are 90% Scottish’.

    Exactly- that is why the Barnett formula, guaranteeing the Scots 10% of the public spending cake despite their lower population level, was instigated.
    Without the Barnett formula the barrels of oil would have had Saltaires on them, not Union Jacks.

    Now that the oil in the North sea is running down, the rationale for the continuation of the Barnett formula no longer exists- the share of the public spending cake guaranteed to Scotland should be reduced, given the current populations of the countries, to around 8.25% instead of 10%. Once this has been done, then we should have the referendum on independence.

    On the more general point about these being English riots, Craig is quite correct. Why should anyone in Scotland riot or loot on the pretext of what happened to Mark Duggan ? The characteristically shitty Scotch weather you’ve been having this week is also hardly conducive to outdoor activities like a good riot.

  • de Quincy's Ghost

    So, in the next iteration of this miserable zero-sum game, do we get Scots vigilantes on the border to protect “their community” from the marauding English tribes ?
    .
    Gawd, this is depressing.

  • de Quincy's Ghost

    “Why would anyone care what happens in Cardiff?”
    .
    Because we are them, and they are us.
    .
    Maybe I’m lacking a sense of humour. I’m not in a mood for silly wind-ups.

  • dreoilin

    Absolutely astonished to have read this far without anyone pointing out the correct meaning of “UK”. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Scotland is included or not. It’s entirely to do with whether Northern Ireland is included or not. UK means The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, or Britain, is the territory of England, Scotland, and Wales. You can talk till you’re blue in the face about whether they’re British riots or English riots (English I would say, so far anyway) but they are not UK riots if Northern Ireland is not included.
    .
    (Goes away shaking her head in disbelief!)

  • OldMark

    ‘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’m sure most of the people rubbing shoulders with Craig in Edinburgh at the moment would agree with that – events like these (and readers reactions to the events) must make parts of London seem as remote from them as Haiti-

    http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/londonriots/9186021.VIDEO__Police_kettle_crowds_in_Eltham/?ref=mr

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Craig, I would be reluctant to be so relaxed about the situation in Glasgow. No real sign of any trouble so far, right enough. But it’s early, and people learn from one another. Myself, I’d withold judgement, as it were. I agree with you, though, on all the other points made in your post. I see now that the BBC News Channel is referring to it as ‘Riots in England’ or ‘England Riots’, so that now is more accurate. I’d be concerned about Edinburgh too, where, post-C18th New Town peripheral slums surround an affluent centre. Irvine Welsh has written, and spoken, extensively about this geographical dynamic. In some respects, in terms of the feeling of ‘threat’, Edinburgh can be a harder and more fearful city than Glasgow. I know that’s counter-intuitive, esp. amidst Festival-time and so on. But people who know both cities well will know what I’m talking about.

  • mary

    Beeston Regis. Sorry I had not spotted you before. I was not objecting to you (how could I?) but to your comment which came over as right wing, reactionary and insulting.
    .
    ‘Panic over, Dave n Bozza frightened those ghastly
    criminals back into their hovels, hurrah!’
    .
    or perhaps you were being ironic.

  • Parky

    I just have a sneaky feeling that all these rioters and looters are really just rather useful idiots for the establishment. They after all created the conditions for them to exist and breed and then through the unaccountable Met, who seemed to be hanging back at the start, lit the touch paper for the whole show to kick off. Next comes the solution…..

  • Canspeccy

    “it must be crossing numerous Scottish minds that England is a liability best jettisoned.”
    *
    And when Scotland has jettisoned England, will it cross English minds that the Scots in England are a liability best jettisoned?

  • craig Post author

    Suhayl,

    I am confident it won’t happen here. There have always been gangs and violence here. My uncle Duncan was stabbed to death outside his home in West Pilton by muggers thirty years ago. But it is an older kind of thing and not the “Gangsta” rubbish they have bought into in England. I don’t mind going out on a limb to say it won’t happen.

  • YugoStiglitz

    I’m quite enjoying all this nationalist silliness, particularly dreoilin’s contribution.

  • HG Wells the alien

    I have it on good authority from my interception of radio communications that the Russians have no word for this Scottishland. To them all residents of the rocky outpost on the eastern fringes of the Eurasian landmass are Ingerlish.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yugostiglitz, are you not a US Nationalist? You strike me as one (just as Alfred is clearly sees himself as an ‘English Nationalist’, but is really more akin to being an acolyte of the League of Empire Loyalists, circa 1955). Anytime anyone criticises even the daffodil flower-beds of the USA, you get very touchy and become an avid defender of daffodils.
    .
    Are you a flower-child, Yugostiglitz?
    .
    Craig, thanks, point taken. That’s awful, about your uncle.
    .

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ah, Alfred, so now, according to you, the Scots are committing “genocide” in England! Yes, now we see it clearly! And should we then throw the English out of Canada? Perhaps you ought to pack your bags and return to Devon, where you can remain safe in the knowledge that you will not be committing “genocide”.
    .

  • dreoilin

    “I have it on good authority from my interception of radio communications that the Russians have no word for this Scottishland. To them all residents of the rocky outpost on the eastern fringes of the Eurasian landmass are Ingerlish”
    .
    Does that include the Irish on the other bit of rock?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    If every cell in the human body replaces itself every seven years, this means that Alfred now is Canadian, several times over. Alfred has been eating the trees of North America. Alfred has become a Native American! Alfred is Geronimo!
    .
    This means that if Alfred were to repatriate himself to Devon, as Geronimo, he would be committing “genocide”. But as a self-confessed Englishman in Canada, he’s committing “genocide” right now, in Canada. Golly gosh, there’s nowhere for Alfred to go, without committing “genocide”!
    .
    But wait…I know. There is somewhere for Alfred, yes, there is, after all, a haven on earth.
    .
    Zimbabwe.

  • de Quincy's Ghost

    “To them all residents of the rocky outpost on the eastern fringes of the Eurasian landmass are Ingerlish”
    .
    “Does that include the Irish on the other bit of rock?”
    .
    The one on the eastern fringes of the Ingerlish landmass, you mean ? They’re Japanese, really.
    .
    Or perhaps they’re optical Aleutians.

  • dreoilin

    “I’m quite enjoying all this nationalist silliness, particularly dreoilin’s contribution.”
    .
    Definition of “UK” versus “Britain” has nothing to do with nationalism, you silly boy. And since UK has come to be so widely used (it goes well with US, and UN) you’d be amazed at the numbers who don’t know the difference.
    .
    “The one on the eastern fringes of the Ingerlish landmass, you mean?”
    .
    I was thinking more to the west? But I’ve been in a state of shock since the riots (I have, really) and I’m not myself at all at all. Maybe it’s east.

  • dreoilin

    “They’re Japanese, really.”
    .
    Oh that explains everything. I think I should go to bed.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The Aleutians are very interesting. During the Cold War, they continued to paddle their canoes b/w the superpowers as they always had. It was like, ‘screw the nukes – eat the fish!’ They are the Kings of the Ice-Bridge. North, north, north.

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