David Thompson
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August 09, 2011

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Horace Dunn

I must admit that I’ve been somewhat encouraged by the response of the media to the riots. I’ve been expecting a parade of hand-wringers attributing the violence to public sector cuts or racism or an illegitimate and insufficiently left wing government or military interventions of which they disapprove or … in short, blaming the latest modish preoccupation of the chattering classes.

In fact, though, there’s been none of that. Most of the evidence so far suggests that what we have here are mobs of vicious opportunistic thugs, and even the BBC is reporting to that effect. No doubt weirdo lefty stalwarts like Tariq Ali and silly little girls like Laurie Penny are waving their arms about in a rage somewhere, but meanwhile the mainstream media seems to be having an attack of good sense.

Or have I missed something?

Peter Risdon

The BBC is still referring to the looters as 'demonstrators'.

David

Peter,

Quite. Presumably, they’re referring to “protestors” who’ve taken grave exception to passing female fire-fighters, the existence of local ethnic restaurants and the evil conglomerate Mothercare.

Ross

In fairness to the Independent they do seem to have sacked McIntyre now.

Although it was obvious before this that he was a thug but he got a free pass because of his disability.

Anna

Following his recent tweets and statements on the London riots, The Independent will no longer be taking blogs from Jody McIntyre.

http://order-order.com/2011/08/08/indy-shuts-down-jody-macintyres-indy-blog-for-inciting-riot/

One down…

Tom Foster

Horace, you spoke too soon. Here's our old favourite 'Dr' Nina Power:

"Combine understandable suspicion of and resentment towards the police based on experience and memory with high poverty and large unemployment and the reasons why people are taking to the streets become clear."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/08/context-london-riots?commentpage=2#start-of-comments

JuliaM

Sadly, even Sky tv was unbearable last night, with every interviewee asked 'Is this because of Duggan/excessive policing/poverty/Tory cuts?'...

David

“One down…”

Mr McIntyre’s choice of words – an “uprising” to “beat the feds” - is interesting too. As Ross noted in the comments over at Harry’s Place,

“These people really do think they’re living in a TV show.”

And that would cover quite a few of the “activists” highlighted here over the years. A capacity for grandiose unrealism seems a prerequisite, along with a gift for dishonesty, self-flattery and denial. As when McIntyre claimed that, being evil, the police “want to portray us as violent people… They want to portray this as mindless violence.”

Well, readers can find hours of footage online and decide for themselves.

mlrosty

A disorientated and bleeding teenager on the streets of London. A gang pretend to help him, and then mug him.

God, that's the most depressing thing I've seen since it started.

Anna

Doubtless Laurie will soon tell us exactly what those politics are and how closely they match her own.

She starts off saying it's complicated and we mustn't rush to conclusions… then does exactly that.

TDK

God, that's the most depressing thing I've seen since it started.

I disagree. This mugging typifies the entire riot. It captures the true essence of the "protest". The riot itself is depressing. In contrast this video exposes the shoddy attempts by the likes of Livingstone, Penny and McIntyre to reframe the events into a progressive narrative.

Mr Eugenides

Laurie Penny is basically the female Johann Hari. It takes a special kind of self-absorption to watch footage of a masked teenager walking down the street with a plasma screen TV over his shoulder and think, "yes, but what does it mean?".

Anna

It takes a special kind of self-absorption to watch footage of a masked teenager walking down the street with a plasma screen TV over his shoulder and think, "yes, but what does it mean?".

But not having a plasma screen TV is oppression, innit?

Rafi

But not having a plasma screen TV is oppression, innit?

And Sunny Hundal is comparing legal tax avoidance with looting and rioting. It's exactly the same apparently.

The left's brains trust is out in force today.

Ted S., Catskills, NY

Combine understandable suspicion of and resentment towards the police based on experience and memory with high poverty and large unemployment

Doesn't sound that far different than how the white working classes seem to feel about the "multiculturalism" that's been foisted upon them. But even when that sentiment leads to something nonviolent like the minaret vote in Switzerland, there's never any attempt to look at the so-called root causes.

Anna

Any Londoners want to play catch a looter?

http://catchalooter.tumblr.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/metropolitanpolice/sets/72157627267892973/

Col. Milquetoast

I note that he doesn't call for everyone to rise up. He understands the fragility of civil society and calls for 100 people who would be enough to instill hesitancy in the police and intimidate & bully the rest of the unorganized neighborhood. What could go wrong?

Anyways, the standard has been set. Obviously, David needs to put on his tracksuit and a hoody and start his own mob to riot for his cause(s). Don't forget your tea kettle.

David

“The left’s brains trust is out in force today.”

Yes, it’s strange how readily masked youths - often carrying Blackberrys along with clubs and other weapons - are assumed to be “oppressed” by some terrible injustice – say, a £20,000 ceiling on housing benefit – and are therefore merely retaliating and making themselves heard. (Hm. Sound familiar?) Outside of the delinquent left, it’s hard to see gangs of predatory vermin - robbing passers-by, setting people’s homes on fire and assaulting the people trying to put those fires out - as particularly sympathetic or deserving of indulgence.

Conceivably, though, one might argue that those predators are products of socialist indulgence – and a cultivated belief that the world owes them whatever it is they want.


“Laurie Penny is basically the female Johann Hari.”

Well, Like Johann, she’s a fantasist and confabulator, a player of the role. I suspect that Laurie imagines her idealised, “revolutionary,” terribly radical violence would – somehow - look very different. I can’t say I share that assumption.

YMC

Over here in Australia, the ABC, the equivalent of the BBC, did an interview with a British-African who was a former advisor to the Labor Govt - he droned on and on about the disenfranchisement of the youth etc.. when the ABC journalist surprisingly cut in and, using a quote, basically told him he was full of crap and that the rioters needed to get a life, work hard etc..

ojo

setting fire to occupied buildings - resulting in this

And it's not the BBC's so-called 'protestors' catching that woman.

David

On a more upbeat note, another group of inconvenienced people are making themselves useful.

witwoud

I think that the scales are going to fall from a lot of left-wing eyes after this, because any attempt to shoehorn these riots into a narrative of oppression is so obviously, painfully false that only the stupidest of lefties will believe it. Your average socially-conscious, well-meaning Guardian reader will finally have to admit that there is little connection between, say, systematic racism ... and men arriving in BMWs to do a bit of 'late-night shopping.'

David

Aside from the opportunism and the nihilistic thrill of smashing someone else’s stuff, we shouldn’t overlook the role-play and political pretension:

“Some looters were young women with manicured nails and customized BlackBerry smart phones… ‘This is the uprising of the working class. We’re redistributing the wealth,’ said Bryn Phillips, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist, as young people emerged from the store with chocolate bars and ice cream cones… ‘In America you have the tea party, in England you’ve got this,’ he said.”

Yes, I know. The comparison is cretinous. So far as I’m aware, Tea Partiers haven’t been trashing local businesses and burning out their neighbours just because they can. I seem to recall they even make a point of tidying up after themselves.

But hey, it’s leftwing psychodrama.

svh

Doubtless Laurie will soon tell us exactly what those politics are and how closely they match her own.

I can't wait for Posh Riot Girl to mention 'social justice'…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2024001/Forced-strip-naked-street-Shocking-scenes-rioters-steal-clothes-rifle-bags-people-make-way-home.html

mojo

A "whiff of the grape" will cut down on that nonsense.

Karen M

On twitter - 'Things to Blame for London Riots'

http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23thingstoblameforlondonriots

Favourite so far: "Unfair mobile phone contracts."

David

“On twitter – ‘Things to Blame for London Riots’.”

I quite like this one: “When you get down to it, it’s always Thatcher. Everything else is just phrasing.”

Though the ludicrous Polly Toynbee (of whom more here) is once again trying to have it both ways:

“No excuse but a recipe for riot; cut EMA, cut benefit, cut youth service, cut holiday schemes, cut police, cut estate maintenance, speed inequality.”

Yes, “no excuse, but…” And the alleged causes of the robbery, beatings, arson – and now apparently public stripping - just happen to coincide with Polly’s own pet grievances. And a modest cap on housing benefit is obviously what these people are fretting about.

Bigland

http://yfrog.com/h2u43lhj

"Looting rules"?! Who said there was no honour among thieves?

sg

I am heartened by the quality of the TV fittings in betting shops. On Sky I saw footage of a trashed Ladbrokes (IIRC) where a low-IQ kid trying to wrest a wall-mounted TV off its brackets. Despite help from another waste of oxygen, he abandoned the attempt and fled. I guess he will just have to carry on playing Grand Theft Auto on a smaller plasma at home, poor thing.

Still, perhaps he was a socially-deprived lefty redistributing wealth to himself, so that's okay then.

JuliaM

Guido is reporting that the Beeb and Guardian offices are closing early today. Looks like it's getting a little too close to home...

pst314

"setting fire to occupied buildings...isn’t 'real' violence. Not when compared to “hypocritical language."

Would it change their minds if the "demonstrators" tossed a few dozen Molotov cocktails into the Guardian offices? :-)

Jonathan

I was pleased watching 'North West Tonight', when in a piece about last nights violence in Liverpool, presenter Gordon Burns asked Labour Council leader Joe Anderson whether it was due to Government cuts. He said " Absolutely not". The BBC have been trying to push this for the last 2 or 3 days, they must now realise that if even Tory-hating Labour councils aren't blaming the ConDems that the jig is up.

David

Julia,

“Looks like it’s getting a little too close to home...”

Back to the doorstep of those who repeatedly excuse animal behaviour. As noted here several times, a sizeable chunk of the leftist commentariat is overtly titillated by mob violence and physical intimidation, which they frame as retaliation and payback for “injustice,” generally of a tendentious or question-begging kind. One after another, Guardian contributors and leftist academics have claimed to be “angry” and “oppressed” (though by what isn’t always clear or credible). Violence, they tell us, is a result of not being heard – and being heard, rather conveniently, means being obeyed.

Leah Borromeo imagines she’s being “oppressed” by modest cuts in the growth of public spending, which apparently entitles her, and her peers, to smash windows, trash cash machines and throw projectiles at the police. Ms Borromeo told Guardian readers that “to try to make distinctions between a ‘peaceful’ and a ‘violent’ protester is inherently flawed.” She is, needless to say, all in favour of “people who choose to vent their anger in more visceral ways.”

Laurie Penny also wants us to believe that hurling bricks and large metal objects through someone else’s windows (regardless of whether anyone is likely to be inside) is something other than violence. Ditto Priya Gopal and ditto David Graeber, who redefines “civilisation” to include mob thuggery and menaces, and ditto Alexander Vasudevan, who regards the “seizure and reclamation” of other people’s belongings as a “potent symbol of protest.”

Given sufficient exposure to this stream of delusion, it’s not hugely surprising that some may come to feel entitled to act out those fantasies. Or use them as an excuse.

Tim Newman

The behaviour you see on the TV now has been actively encouraged in multiple ways for long enough that three or possibly four generations have known nothing but a life of subsidised idleness punctuated with random acts of sex, violence, substance abuse, and criminality. How is any surprised by any of this, and struggling for explanations?

Bart

Great news comrades! Ordinary working class Londoners come out en masse in solidarity with the demonstrators in their struggle against this nation's racist sexist capitalist hegemony and - oh wait...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8691761/London-riots-residents-fight-back.html

Bart

And in good more news from the front line: an elderly man has heroically been given life threatening injuries by the Revolutionary Vanguard after he tried to oppress them by putting out a fire in a bin:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/08/09/london-riots-elderly-man-fights-for-life-after-being-attacked-by-yobs-115875-23332647/

Hey Skipper

Where I live, Anchorage, AK, everyone has a gun.

What has been going on for three days in the UK wouldn't last for three minutes here.

You Brits need the Second Amendment in the worst kind of way.

Wm T Sherman

"When seconds count, the police are just minutes away." Or in some cases, hours.

No doubt you have heard that we are having precursors to this sort of social justice festival in the U.S. Flash mobs rush through comfortable parts of town beating and robbing the melanin-deficient, and of course the people of the chattering classes who make excuses for them, when the events are officially acknowledged at all. General riots on the scale of the Rodney King affair are to be considered a reasonable possibility in the near future, as the entitlement payments dry up and Teleprompter Jesus is given his pink slip in the general rout of November 2012.

I must confess all this progressive talk about the voiceless and oppressed salt of the earth making themselves heard has me confused. I ruminate upon it. What does it all mean? Should I buy a Saiga 7.62x39 mm, or a Ruger Mini-14 5.56x45 mm? If we are to have this conversation I want to be certain they can hear me.

JuliaM

I do so love Twitter for its ability to instantly puncture the preening egos of the Righteous. Referring to this article, I got this reTweeted to me yesterday:

"Camila Batmanghelidjh says these youths don't have money... no hopes.. no food on the table. Did they BBM that to her via their Blackberry?"

LOL!

rjmadden

Outside of the delinquent left, it’s hard to see gangs of predatory vermin - robbing passers-by, setting people’s homes on fire and assaulting the people trying to put those fires out - as particularly sympathetic or deserving of indulgence. Conceivably, though, one might argue that those predators are products of socialist indulgence – and a cultivated belief that the world owes them whatever it is they want.

Spot on, David. Watching the left (including the BBC) try to turn this into a 'social justice' issue is grotesque.

Perry de Havilland gets it too:

"All it takes is a look at the footage or a walk down the right street if you live in London, to see that the thugs in question, with a Blackberry in one hand and wearing expensive trainers, are not doing this because "Haringey Council has lost £41m from its budget". Does anyone seriously think these rioters are doing what they are doing because their 'Youth Services' Danegeld was cut back? These are the bastard children of Diane Abbott and David Cameron... and their lineage goes all the way back to Clement Attlee...and all the other members of the political class who created them as the Welfare State progressively hollowed out civil society. These are the product of the demon seed that was planted in 1945 and progressively watered ever more lavishly each year. So yes, the largely fictitious 'cuts' are indeed to blame. Far far far too little and 20 years too late.”

http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2011/08/the_rioters_do.html

David

rjmadden,

Well, it’s interesting how readily and persistently many of our leftist commentators have tried to hammer their default narrative onto events, regardless of the fit. Our glorious state broadcaster spent three days referring to muggers and arsonists as “protestors,” until finally embarrassed out of doing so. I heard one reporter asking a local resident, “Is this about the cuts? It’s about the cuts, isn’t it?” When the resident disagreed, the disappointment was audible.

The comical Nina Power – yes, her - once again rolled out her cretinous Marxist boilerplate. For her, the causes of the riots are “clear.” And they just happen to correspond to her own doctrinaire outlook. And so, eagerly, she cast the muggers and arsonists as the “dispossessed” fighting against “entitlement” and therefore deserving of our “understanding,” which in her case means projection, excuses and flattery. Yet these “dispossessed” souls seemed for the most part quite well kitted out and intent on possessing more. Say, by beating up pensioners, punching women and robbing children of their clothes. The muggers’ sense of entitlement – which you’d think was hard to miss – somehow escaped her notice. Must be all that “critical thinking” she does.

And, as Tim notes,

“We are told, endlessly, that only the rapist is to blame for rape. Nothing that the victim does, has done, where they go, how they’re dressed, nothing at all changes the fact that the rapist is solely and completely responsible, in and of themselves, for the crime. So why isn’t this true for rioters?”

Maybe the maths of designated victimhood doesn’t quite add up.

Min

readers may have noticed just how readily and persistently many of our leftist commentators have tried to hammer their default narrative onto events, regardless of the fit.

Just don't mention those absent fathers…

http://order-order.com/2011/08/10/fatherless-feral-youths/

WTP

Look, not to be rude (but why change now), I recall working in Bristol the week that riots took place in the UK (London, I think) and Seattle, WA in response to an IMF or G7 or some sort of economic meeting that was going on at the time. This would have been Nov/Dec 1999. There was a picture on whatever tabloid I picked up that day of a young man standing on or near a burning police car in the UK. There was significant commentary about how "well" UK police "handled" the situation relative to the nasty thug Seattle cops ("nasty thug Seattle cops" would be read as sarcasm in the US, for the uninformed). You didn't see any Seattle police cars on fire however. But the UK cops handled it well. Sorry, but while I have sympathy for the truly innocent, I have little for the majority of you folks. And that includes the silent ones.

David

In a Newsmight interview Labour’s deputy leader and harpy-in-chief, Harriet Harman, echoed the equally disingenuous Polly Toynbee. Ms Harman wants us to believe that the riots and muggings were due to cuts in the Educational Maintenance Allowance and the underfunding of social workers. She then claims the causes are too “complex” for non-leftists to grasp and yet she - intellectual titan that she is - knows exactly and immediately what they happen to be. And again, as with Polly and Nina, they just happen to coincide with her own pet causes and rapacious socialism. Note also Harman’s now-familiar tactics. She continually interrupts Michael Gove, she claims one thing and its opposite, and she refuses to answer direct questions about her own claims. (Clip here, jump to around 2 minutes in.)

If these people weren’t so pathologically dishonest, they’d almost be funny.

Tom Foster

David,

The Guardian's account of the Newsnight exchange is hilariously biased. It's headed 'Michael Gove comes close to losing his cool' and the caption to a picture of Gove states 'Michael Gove repeatedly interrupted Harriet Harman'.

Further nuggets:

'Harman, 61, who is something of a veteran of Newsnight bust ups, kept her cool. But Gove, 43, who was still at school when Harman was first elected as an MP in 1982, came close to losing his temper.'

'At this point Gove raised his voice…'

'Gove then adopted the tone of a school master…'

'Gove… then spat out his words…'

'Gove raised his voice again…'

Love that sly little, 'who was still at school when Harman was first elected'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/wintour-and-watt/2011/aug/10/michaelgove-harrietharman

David

Tom,

That’s why they make this T-shirt.

JuliaM

"As noted here several times, a sizeable chunk of the leftist commentariat is overtly titillated by mob violence and physical intimidation..."

The light seems to be dawning on a lot of the left (and the enablers of the sort of behaviour we are seeing now) that the great British public doesn't share their belief that all thugs need are more hugs.

Their bitter tears of realisation and impotent rage are sweet as wine to me:

"I feel utterly sickened at the attitude of large numbers of people who are suddenly supporting the police, who support the army being brought in, who want to see water canon and plastic bullets used on the streets.

I am livid with rage at people who have never experienced police harassment not even attempting to understand the brutalisation this causes."

When he got to the bit about a need to look at the root causes (violent repressive policing, social deprivation and capitalism, in case you were wondering. Presumably in that order.), I swear a bit of wee came out... ;)

sackcloth and ashes

A woman having to jump for her life when her flat was torched in Croydon.
Three men in Birmingham - who were trying to protect their neighbourhood - getting run over by some chav in a car.
People in cities across the country seeing their shops get stripped and their homes going up in smoke.

The gulf between the public and the cretinerati on Planet Beeb/Graun grows even wider.

David

Sackcloth,

At risk of sounding overly optimistic, maybe recent events have made that mismatch obvious to a few more people. Ideally, people who vote.

Bart

"I feel utterly sickened at the attitude of large numbers of people who are suddenly supporting the police, who support the army being brought in, who want to see water canon and plastic bullets used on the streets."

I'm confused by this attitude too. It's almost like the majority of the British public don't like hordes of criminal parasites looting and setting fire to their neighbourhoods.

David

We’ve heard plenty of the usual blather about “deprivation” and “social exclusion,” but what we’ve seen over the last four days is as much about attitude and presumed entitlement as any social circumstance. Which is why many of those who’ve been arrested – including a teacher and a youth social worker - are in no meaningful sense “deprived” or “excluded,” just arrogant, nihilistic or leftwing.

As Brian noted here, with riots there are usually any number of factors – or excuses - to consider. High among them, though, is the fact that rioting, mugging and looting are exciting and can result in free stuff. The penalties for rioting are also fairly small and usually non-existent – relatively few of the rioters are likely to be caught, let alone sentenced. It’s a notoriously difficult crime to prosecute. And, as Brian points out, rioters tend not to regard rioting as wrong. This self-justifying narcissism is rather important yet overlooked – or studiously ignored - by many leftist commentators. Rioters generally feel entitled. As the looting girls quoted in the update put it: “Good fun, free alcohol… We’re showing the police we can do what we want.”

David Gillies

If one were to try to frame this with some over-arching narrative, I think it would be this: almost all of our current woes - the dire economic situation, looming default on sovereign debt, youth unemployment, 20% functional illiteracy among school leavers and now, of course, these riots and the dismal police and political resposnse to them - can be blamed on a refusal to believe that choices have consequences or even, in some cases, that a choice exists in the first place. But they do, and there is always a choice (even if it's the choice to do nothing.) It was a CHOICE that led us to spend unsustainably more than was taken in taxes. It was a CHOICE to defang the police and criminal justice system, so that the worst sort of criminality attracts few or no adverse effects. It was a CHOICE to allow a huge swath of children to languish under provably-ineffectual teaching methods. And the list goes on...

And ultimately, in a representative democracy, it was OUR* choice, and not just that of drivelling cretins like Laurie Penny and Seumas Milne and Harriet Harman. Of course, the necessary corollary of this is that if we choose, we can row it back. I do not think the outcome of these disturbances will be wholly palatable to the Polly Toynbees of this world. I just hope the pendulum doesn't swing back too far the other way.

* ah, but we didn't know, did we? We left it to the politicos and cultural Marxists. Reminds me of that old story about the Presbyterian minister berating his congregation: "and on that day of Judgement, as ye be consumed by the fire and the ashes, ye will cry out to the Lord, "Lord! Lord! We did'nae ken!" And the Lord will say unto ye, "well, ye buggers, ye ken noo!" "

ErisGuy

"it’s hard to see gangs of predatory vermin "

It's hard for me to see the difference between the socialist nomeklatura and the rioters. The academics, politicians, and bureaucrats rob by using the state: opposition gets a quick trip to the camps. The rioters are more honest; they punch their victims themselves instead of hiring others to do it for them.

Horace Dunn

I continue to draw some hope from this situation. I think it's of significance that the "looting girls" that David referred to above were broadcast by the BBC. To be sure, there's the usual silliness and cant from the likes of Harriet Harman and Ken Livingstone but even the BBC are allowing the true story to come through the normal obfucation. When Michael Gove, with genuine fury in his face, laid into Harman on the Newsnight clip, I think you'll find that the nation, to a large extent, applauded. It has become difficult for the Milnes, Toynbees and Benns of this world to hide the failings of their ideologies. They need more now than their usual weasel words to maintain their social standing.

JuliaM

"...but even the BBC are allowing the true story to come through the normal obfucation."

Because they think they can drown it out by constant repetition of the party line after the dust settles, is the only thing I can think.

David Gillies: "...a refusal to believe that choices have consequences or even, in some cases, that a choice exists in the first place."

Spot on.

Leftwing Apostate

The muggers’ own rather prodigious sense of entitlement – which you’d think was hard to miss – somehow escaped Dr Power’s notice. Must be all that “critical thinking” she does.

Consider yourself bookmarked, Mr Thompson. ;)

David

Leftwing Apostate,

“Consider yourself bookmarked.”

And so my terrible influence grows.


Horace,

“I continue to draw some hope from this situation… even the BBC are allowing the true story to come through…”

I suppose that depends on whether you think BBC News belatedly allowing reality to reach us is an acceptable state of affairs. As our official, publicly-funded gatekeepers of reality, their track record isn’t exactly glorious. Though, again, there’s a chance that more people will now have registered the degree of filtering and distortion, and what that implies.

Min

a sizeable chunk of the leftist commentariat is overtly titillated by mob violence and physical intimidation, which they frame as retaliation and payback for “injustice,” generally of a tendentious or question-begging kind

And lookee here...

"A group calling itself "Coalition of Resistance: Can't Pay, Won't Pay" is organising an event called "Riots, Recession, Resistance" at the University of London. From the title they appear very keen to re-brand the criminal riots blighting London and other cities around the UK as "resistance" and somehow a reaction to "recession" and thus lending these acts of thuggery, theft, arson and mindless vandalism some sort of credibility and legitimacy."

http://hurryupharry.org/2011/08/11/inciting-fresh-riots-whos-who/

Sam

Can't Pay, Won't Pay

Can't Pay, Won't Pay, Can't Have.


There, fixed it.

Horace Dunn

Julia

"Because they think they can drown it out by constant repetition of the party line after the dust settles, is the only thing I can think."

Well, perhaps. I also think the fact that there was some rioting going on in Islington might have had something to do with it. All of a sudden these BBC types saw that what was going on could threaten them and their chums. It ceased to be some abstraction for them to pontificate about and became all too real. It's remarkable how lefties change their tune in such situations.

David

"I suppose that depends on whether you think BBC News belatedly allowing reality to reach us is an acceptable state of affairs."

Well, no, I don't. But this still might be a step in the right direction. According to something I read at Samizdata, even Diane Abbott was seen on Newsnight talking sense. I think I need the evidence of my own eyes before I can be entirely convinced of that, though.

P

What the far left fails to understand is that In a society of property holders used to the rule of law there will always be more freikorps than Spartacist​s... i.e. People will fight for their property and family if the state fails.... best that the state tries to keep its monopoly on force though....

David

Horace,

Well, I don’t mean to sound unduly pessimistic. But the BBC has been called on its distortions and omissions more times than I care to recall, in front page stories, including several by its own former employees. It’s practically a tradition. I see little evidence that recent events are likely to change how the Beeb frames events or where its sympathies will tend to be, at least in the long term. The BBC is ultimately socialised news and, like socialised art, is largely immune from normal corrective pressures, so I doubt one can change the nature of the beast. Though, as others have suggested, if the “protestors” started targeting BBC premises – say, to “redistribute” some computers and audio equipment – that might count as a corrective pressure too.

[ Added: ]

We’ll see how well the BBC handles the current shift in public mood, which seems more vehement and may well be more permanent than the small concessions of BBC editors. Again, I think the question is the Beeb’s long-term adjustment, if any, once repairs have been made and the debris swept up. (And I suppose much the same might be said of our political establishment.)

Paolo

Some of the witterings from the hard left are simply beyond parody. Have a gander at this bit of idiocy

http://universityforstrategicoptimism.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/riotcleanup-or-riotwhitewash/

By the symbolic cleaning, cleansing and casting out of the rioters from the community, the sweepers appear to enact the closest thing to popular fascism that we have seen on the streets of certain ‘leafy’ bits of London for years.

witwoud

Thanks for the link Paolo. Best laugh I've had in days. But I'm finding it very hard to believe that "Dr Sofia Himmelblau" is not a spoof.

WTP

While I have seen the occasional story about gun ownership in the UK, what's the story there? Aren't there a few people in London or near by that have their own personal firearms that they can use to guard their property? It wouldn't take but one or two incidents to put a little fear into these fear mongers themselves.

And why are people handing over the clothing that they are wearing? Do they fear the thugs will bop them over the head and then struggle to remove their pants? Is there no one willing to come to these people's aid? The incidents that I saw were not taking place in some back alley. Why not put the camera down and get involved? Perhaps my limited exposure to what is going on over there is slanting my perceptions, but it seems like the only areas where I hear of people joining together in their communities to protect themselves are the Muslims. I'd like to see one of these thugs try to take someone's burka. Maybe Mo' had a point.

JuliaM

"... but it seems like the only areas where I hear of people joining together in their communities to protect themselves are the Muslims. "

And the Sikhs, and the Turks. The police rolled an eye in their direction, but took no action.

A handful of EDL/football fans in Eltham, however, and the police moved like greased cheetahs to flood the place.

Ralph

I suspect that Laurie imagines her idealised, “revolutionary,” terribly radical violence would – somehow - look very different. I can’t say I share that assumption.

College 'radicals' like Penny Red are basically spoiled children. They want a world that doesn't have consequences.

svh

Jody McIntyre -- crash and burn:

http://order-order.com/2011/08/12/so-long-jody/

It's funny how the NS, Indie, Guardian, Channel 4, etc were so eager to believe this lying piece of shit...

Michael Anderson

I've never heard of Laurie Penny until now - but leave it to a leftist to lionize a pathetic junkie as a role model. Just more evidence - as if we needed any - that leftists are basically the bad guys, and we can thank four decades of their insidious ubiquitous propaganda for most of the West's problems.

Wm T Sherman

I've decided to go with the Mini-14.

virgil xenophon

Wm T Sherman/

Good choice...one I made a looongg time ago..

BTW the "original" (lol) WTS was the first President of my alma mater, LSU. (actually, its pre-Civil War predecessor, LMI--Louisiana Military Institute--hence LSUs nickname of "The Old War Skule.")

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