Ugly Competition 103


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?


103 thoughts on “Ugly Competition

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  • Edwin Stratton

    Parliamentarians are ugly, self-centred, materialistic and vicious, often very similar to the solipsist gang member. Lots of MPs, (Menzies Campbell, Fraser Kemp, George Laxton, Ruth Kelly, Shahid Malik, Natascha Engel, Bob Marshall Andrews, etc.) stole – looted, widescreen plasma televisions, not from Curry’s but from the taxpayer. It’s just a difference in style and scale.

  • conjunction

    Oh, so you’e still concerned with the riots. Have they suddenly become UK riots again?

  • Philip

    Poor people don’t have dependants – only those ghastly common-law thingummies which most of them can’t wait to be rid of. Hasn’t IDS taught you anything?

  • Jack

    Many years ago, a severely-disabled youngster had some kind of fit in a health centre in the Scottish Borders, and broke some crockery before the medics calmed him. The Council sent the parents a bill for the crockery! For many years I had pinned to my office notice board a newspaper article on the subject by a Scottish journalist. I’m retired now, and afraid I can’t recall his name. (Skerrett perhaps? That name mean anything to anyone?)

    I mention this, because the headline read, “You can lead a man to a Council chamber, but you can’t make him think!”

    A very similar headline appeared a few years later in a Newcastle newspaper, when Northumberland Council – on being asked to inter an intestate deceased lady – insisted that, as she had been resident in a private nursing home, she was now officially industrial waste!

    Council or Parliament, I’ve never been able to put it better myself. If their brains were black powder. most of them couldn’t blow their hats off.

  • Eddie-G

    Even uglier still for me are the jackwads like Bernie Ecclestone – probably safely ensconsed in his Monte Carlo home – calling for the start of the football season not to be delayed.

    Sorry, pal, but the reason your precious season opener is under threat is precisely because of the policing necessities that come with football. No other sport in this country, rugby union or league, racing, tennis, cricket, darts, snooker, cheese-rolling requires anything more than a couple of bobbies to keep an eye on things. Football is the exception, and if dickweed owners think that the policing of rival fans should be prioritised over the protection of homes and businesses, they can go screw themselves.

    I haven’t read through all the comments relating to riots, but your take is spot-on, Craig. Elements of the Yoof subculture has always had it in itself to turn violent, and whilst there’s a lot to be said of the general social milieu, there’s no excuse not to hold the looters and vandals to account. The majority of people from a similar working-class background that we assume the looters are from, simply do not do these sorts of things, and it shouldn’t be too hard to shine a light on those who do.

  • Jack

    @Mark_Golding…
    “BBC Prejudice – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdjr64bBosg

    If nothing else, I’m amazed and concerned that any so-called independent news program could use emotive terms like “Do you condone…?” in response to any opinion that departs from the establishment line. That interviewer was clueless.

    When it got to “You have some experience of rioting yourself…” I’m amazed Mr Howe didn’t just walk away from the interview. I don’t agree with everything Darcus Howe says, but I agree with one thing – wholeheartedly. And that is that anyone to whom the riots came as a complete surprise just has NOT been listening, mainly because they just didn’t want to hear.

    That said, I had to watch this on Youtube to be shocked by it, as – while I watched news footage of the riots, I’ve been turning off news commentary in exasperation, having believed very little I’ve seen on BBC News since the South Atlantic War.

    In fact – this kind of media attitude (whether by dictat or political ingratiation) may itself have much to do with the current problem.

  • NWD

    The eviction idea reminds me of something I either read or listened to recently (sorry, can’t quite remember where it was) about Section 8 housing in the US (sort of council housing, but through private landlords) where if someone in the household is accused of a drug-related crime then the whole household (not just the individual) is evicted.

    This has led to a great deal of family breakdown as people cannot afford to be associated with someone accused of such a crime (one of these mystical fathers, say…) because it will result in them and their dependents being made homeless.

    Of course the private landlords can use this as a threat to exploit their tenants too, but that’s a separate issue.

    @Conjunction – that’s a bit of a silly thing to say isn’t it? Even if your implied thesis held, I’m sure I remember Mr Murray commenting on things that have happened outside Scotland before.

  • Eddie-G

    @ jack “anyone to whom the riots came as a complete surprise just has NOT been listening, mainly because they just didn’t want to hear.”

    Indeed.

    Anyone who lives in London, say, has been in cloud-cuckoo land not to know that this sort of thing could happen. All it was going to take was a bit more organisation from the hard-core criminals and the wide-boy Yoofs, and the hint of an opportunity to DEMAND SOME RESPEK.

    I actually predicted that after Monday night, the situation in London would very quickly be brought under control, because whilst there are enough of these people to cause very nasty localised disruption, there’s nowhere near enough to bring the city, let alone the country to a standstill. Once the police got their shit together, it was game over.

  • Paul

    @ NWD

    Bill Bryson talks about it in “I’m a stranger here myself”

    He cites the example of a couple in their 80’s who were evicted because their grandson had been selling cannabis from his bedroom without their knowledge or consent.

  • conjunction

    In a much earlier thread, Craig, you expressed amazement at the advent of the riots, and saying they made no sense, compared them to the Gordon riots of 1780.
    .
    ‘You have to look back to events like the Gordon Riots to find parallels that seem to make any sense. The arson and looting is not justified, full stop.’
    .
    I think in many ways this is a good comparison. The Gordon riots were ostensibly about a largely imaginary fear of a Catholic threat. But they came at a time when the gap between the rich and poor had been steadily increasing for a long time, as international capitalism really got going, in a century when the prevailing attitude of politicians like Walpole was that it was good if the poor were kept that way as they then had an incentive to work harder. Methodism then arrived to convince the poor that God would smile on them if they did what they were told, and all the signs were that the government, then more corrupt than at any time before or since, was utterly incompetent, although admittedly much of this was the fault of the king.
    .
    OK, so the riots were ‘mindless’. But it was the first major expression of what as EP Thompson carefully explained later became an organised and disciplined working class movement, culminating 50 years later in the first Reform Act.

  • Tom Welsh

    “How on earth can you achieve rehabilitation if you deliberately force homelessness?”

    That has been tried in the USA: for the consequences, see http://www.counterpunch.org/ehrenreich08092011.html

    OTOH, how can you make people comply with the rules of civilised behaviour if you don’t have any sanctions to use against them? Sweet reason doesn’t always work. Or, as Heinlein put it, “Never appeal to a man’s better nature. He may not have one”.

  • mike

    Crooked MPs in prison. Bankers who stuffed their pockets and crippled the economy. Policemen taking cash from News International. War criminal former Prime Ministers on book-signing tours.

    Yes, lies and greed have served those at the top very well. Are we surprised that those at the bottom grab what they can?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    This is indeed a very sensitive issue. But these riots or putting it in more simple words looting and arsons have been mostly done by those petty criminals who were and in large are still free instead of being placed to jail. Friend of mine has been attacked few years ago by 3 teens. He was lucky to escape without any serious physical harm as few bystanders rushed to his help. It happened NOT at night and NOT somewhere in dark corner but on the street during the day. He gave his statement to the police and was called to the police station a week later to give more detailed statement. He was told then by a policeman that they (police) know who did this to him and that these teen have long been known for disturbances. Few weeks later he was called to a Magistrate court where all these teens got was ASBO. They were free to go minutes after their ASBO have been issued to them. I am not sure what later happened to these teens-criminals but I can bit that they have been participating in all these lootings and probably arsons. Friend of mine has developed panic fear of teens wearing hoods.
    .
    I think that this and not urban culture or anything else caused recent riots at first place. Even the poorest child in England has 100 times more chances of getting to the University or finding decent job than millions of Uzbeks in so called middle-class families in Uzbekistan. To understand this you should check out schools in Uzbekistan and job prospects for Uzbek youth.
    .
    I may sound harsh but I suggest to Cameron to send all these caught trouble makers to Uzbekistan for just few weeks and take their British Passports from them for this time. When they come back to Britain they will realize that their disadvantages bear nothing comparing to hardship of millions of others abroad.

  • Parky

    With the olympics just a year away i’m sure much stricter measures will be enacted to get the “undesirables” off the scene for the duration as happened in China in their run-up. With all the tourists in town and the world’s media in attendence, they won’t want some chavs spoiling the show.
    +
    Also some false flag operation wouldn’t be out of the question. I was reminded of this option when the other day Peter Power was wheeled out to comment on the looting. This was the guy whose company was involved in an anti-terrorism exercise on 7 July 2005 where the underground stations involved just happened to coincide with those in his exercise. This always seemed very odd to me although apart from ITN and Radio 5 none of the other media outfits seemed to be much interested.
    +
    Other than that its back to business as usual – Nothing changes.

  • Herbie

    As Seumas Milne explains:

    “These riots reflect a society run on greed and looting
    .
    David Cameron has to maintain that the unrest has no cause except criminality – or he and his friends might be held responsible”
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/10/riots-reflect-society-run-greed-looting
    .
    Oh, and in the side panel you can also read Hugh Orde on why plastic bullets and water cannon are not a good idea. Hugh knows a bit about social decay.
    .
    The “well-feds” and (sanctions!?!) are clearly to blame.

  • Hydraargyrum

    Posted this on my blog yesterday, cutting and pasting here as I think its a fair comment/add:

    Saw an interesting headline in the Daily Telegraph online this morning:
    “PM blames riots on moral decay”
    What about headlines like this?
    “PM blames tabloid phone hacking scandals on moral decay”, “PM blames police corruption on moral decay”, “PM blames lying us into war on moral decay”, “PM blames bankster greed on moral decay”, etc. Don’t expect to see any of these headlines anytime soon? Shades of hypocrisy?
    The reality is that we have become societies of men rather than of laws. Failure to adequately investigate and prosecute those that hacked phones/electronic devices, lied us to wars, took backhanders or manipulated the financial system shows that there is one rule for the powerful and rich, another for everyone else. Social cohesion becomes impossible when there is one law for the rulers and another for the ruled, so we should not be surprised by what is happening. Be it hacking, graft, warmongering, fraud or rioting.
    I have unqualified condemnation for the rioters. I also have unqualified condemnation for corrupt so-called “news” organizations, “politicians” and “bankers”. These people have led us into an economic and social abyss.

  • Herbie

    It’s important to understand that the questions that Fiona asked of Darcus will have been given to her by her producers. They’re not her questions as such.
    .
    These are standard corporate BBC questions, used against those deemed critical of the status quo. They’re designed to raise questions in the mind of the viewer as to the bona fides of the interviewee, and also to damp down explanation and causes etc in social phenomena, towards simplistic goodie/baddie explanations which are easier on the powers that be.
    .
    Pure propaganda, in other words. This was a BBC tactic throughout the troubles in NI.
    .
    Her co-anchor did look rather uncomfortable and embarrassed though. All BBC staff know that if they want the big salary then they must do as they’re told. The era of the individualist reporter are long over at the BBC.
    .
    Anyone who’s interested in the detail of how this propaganda works might want to look at Medialens or The Glasgow Media Group for more information.

  • dreoilin

    No, Conjunction, they are not and won’t be “UK riots” unless Northern Ireland gets in on the act. I posted this on the previous thread, and I’m posting it here for those who may still be confused:
    .
    “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!)”

  • Azra

    No connection but it reminded me of Iranian government, they would excute by shooting so called traitors and then would demand the money for the bulletts from the family otherwise the body would go missing…
    I have seen the posts petitioning for looters to lose their benefits, housing, etc…
    Get ready England for more looters and arsonists ..

  • mary

    Parky – I saw that Newsnight too when he was saying that the police should be allowed to have carte blanche. Opposing him was a young black woman who is a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.
    Who is Peter Power? I know about his Visor stuff and the strange coincidence of the ‘exercise’ he organised that simulated 7/7 and the following reality. I saw this about his time in the Dorset police.
    .
    http://julyseventh.co.uk/j7-exclusive-peter-power-dorset-police-suspension.html
    .
    Does anyone know what the reference to the Libyan Embassy is about? Was the shooting of PC Fletcher a black op?
    Is Power retired from the police on a pension or is he active?
    Why was he suspended?
    .
    A mystery.

  • YugoStiglitz

    Mary, this is not a forum for you to push silly 7/7 conspiracy theories. Craig Murray does not appreciate your attempt to include him in a deluded group.

  • mike

    Absolutely, Yugo. Governments are always open and honest and never knowingly harm their own citizens.

    There are no conspiracies. There are no hidden agendas.

  • Antonio Lorusso

    “Putting criminals homeless on the streets will reduce crime? Does anyone really believe that?”

    That is the same as advocating extortion for people not to commit crime.

    The question is:

    When do you stop giving people free stuff no matter what they do? If you never stop you become an enabler. That’s what socialism is. Because no matter what they do, it advocates housing, clothing and feeding them. They do what they want. They get clothed and fed regardless.

    By all means help the ones that want help to stand on their own two feet, I do out of my own pocket, not everybody else’s pocket, but unconditional help is the problem, not the solution.

  • YugoStiglitz

    Mike, do you hear yourself? Do you see how quickly you attempt to force someone into a false dichotomy? I’ve had people who believe in alien visitation say the same thing to me. I was merely suggesting that 7/7 conspiracy theories were silly, and the reason is that the evidence for them is laughable. I don’t know why you people continue to push this stuff on Craig Murray’s website.

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