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BrainGlutton
08-09-2011, 11:38 AM
One death so far; PM calls special session of Parliament. (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/08/201189141323759165.html) Why are they doing this? What do the rioters want? Are they just frustrated at being poor? Did the riots on the Continent give them ideas? Are they trying to accomplish something? Or is it all just an excuse to loot?

Jas09
08-09-2011, 11:43 AM
They began as a march in reaction to the shooting of a man by the police. The march turned to rioting.

Now they seem to just be rioting for riots sake.

Kinthalis
08-09-2011, 12:24 PM
Large population of young men without job prospects = this. Through out history it's the same story. Not sure why anyone's surprised.

blindboyard
08-09-2011, 12:28 PM
An end to the nasty habit the police have developed of gunning down innocent men in the street, in the back seats of taxis, in their beds in the house next door to the one they were meant to raid, and so on, might be a good start.

Leaffan
08-09-2011, 12:36 PM
An end to the nasty habit the police have developed of gunning down innocent men in the street, in the back seats of taxis, in their beds in the house next door to the one they were meant to raid, and so on, might be a good start.

Innocent? Didn't this guy pull a gun and actually fire on the police first? :dubious:

blindboyard
08-09-2011, 12:49 PM
Innocent? Didn't this guy pull a gun and actually fire on the police first? :dubious:

The police retrieved that bullet, which was embedded in a police radio. Turned out to be police issue. The evidence that he opened fire at any point is so far just some arse-covering coppers making dubious statements. The only guns or bullets we have evidence for at the scene are police weapons. As for him, well, he isn't in a position to comment.

blindboyard
08-09-2011, 12:52 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-duggan-police-report-2011-8

Police investigators have found Londoner Mark Duggan did not fire at a police officer before being shot dead in the incident that sparked riots across England.

At most, it appears the dead chap might have had a gun about his person, the tales the police told about him leaning out of a taxi blazing away like the sociopath in a gangster movie is bullshit.

Leaffan
08-09-2011, 12:52 PM
Ah. Interesting update. Thanks.


ETA: Still no reason to riot, loot, burn and pillage though.

ratatoskK
08-09-2011, 01:56 PM
I'm wondering whether that may happen in the near future in the U.S. We also have a huge jobless population.

PrettyVacant
08-09-2011, 02:05 PM
You've got one in nine young black males in prison already - wtf does it take to rise up. The degree of passivity and acceptance in the USA is quite staggering from a European pov. IMO.

MarcusF
08-09-2011, 02:06 PM
An end to the nasty habit the police have developed of gunning down innocent men in the street, in the back seats of taxis, in their beds in the house next door to the one they were meant to raid, and so on, might be a good start.A this relates to kids looting T-mobile (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3739871/Mob-rule-as-looters-swoop-on-br-shops-like-plague-of-locusts.html) how?

Tom Tildrum
08-09-2011, 02:14 PM
Why are they doing this?

Every suggested explanation I've heard, from all quarters, has basically been the same explanation one hears for any world event: "It's happening for reasons that comport with my political views."

Rune
08-09-2011, 02:18 PM
Why are they rioting in London?They are rioting because the police is not taking the required forceful steps to put the riot down and because on account of too restrictive gun laws, and self defence laws, people are unable to protect themselves. Making rioting fun and profitable without much chance of anything too bad happening. Shoot a few rioters would put a stop to it presently. If not do it again.

Simplicio
08-09-2011, 02:26 PM
I honestly can't tell if Rune's post is a satirical response to Tom Tildrum's post or if he's serious.

TheMightyAtlas
08-09-2011, 02:50 PM
I honestly can't tell if Rune's post is a satirical response to Tom Tildrum's post or if he's serious.

I am sure he is serious. Not only do you have an almost toally disarmed population, but you also have a largely unarmed police force. When the police cannot effectively project force, you have the apparently ludicrous scenes we have on TV now, where half a dozen police officers are just watching a dozen "kids" loot a store.

Not that I am saying that the policy is right or wrong. It just looks really, really bad in cases like this. Now this has reduced the total level of gun violence in the society compared with the US (almost ten times more cops killed by guns in the US since 2000 than have been killed in the UK since 1900). But non-gun violence is a different matter.

Jas09
08-09-2011, 02:54 PM
See, I don't think it has much to do with politics. It started out as a protest of a police shooting, and then hoodlums and criminals realized it was perfect cover to start mayhem. Now folks are stealing and burning shit because they think they can get away with it.

As to the guns issue, the trade-off between non-gun violence and gun violence is one Britain was willing to make. I don't see why this would change anything - it's not like Police with guns stopped riots in LA or NOLA, right? Riots are stopped with overwhelming manpower, not by shooting rioters.

Malthus
08-09-2011, 03:04 PM
Every suggested explanation I've heard, from all quarters, has basically been the same explanation one hears for any world event: "It's happening for reasons that comport with my political views."

Perhaps "why" is the wrong question. Maybe better to look at "how".

Rioting always requires a committed core of agitators and a crowd willing to go along with it; once rioting starts, it builds on itself, as those interested go for it and those who are fearful of it stay home, and the authorities are overwhelmed and helpless - they cannot defend everywhere ("s/he who defends everywhere defends nowhere"). The issue is not why, but how: how to get that core and crowd together, without the authorities stopping it?

In the past, this was hard - because the spread of information was slow.

Today, with ubiquitous social media, it is easy. Messages pass faster than the authorities can track. "Spontaneous" crowds are easily formed, forearmed with the knowledge that they can attack and likely get away with it.

This explains the modern "success" of rioting, and the reasons why are really secondary: there could be any number of reasons. After all, no-one claims the similar scenes of rioting in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup game had any deeper political meaning.

Grumman
08-09-2011, 03:10 PM
They are rioting because the police is not taking the required forceful steps to put the riot down and because on account of too restrictive gun laws, and self defence laws, people are unable to protect themselves. Making rioting fun and profitable without much chance of anything too bad happening. Shoot a few rioters would put a stop to it presently. If not do it again.
I'm reminded of that one discussion in Starship Troopers about the belief that "violence doesn't solve anything". Some people need to learn there's a difference between being politically correct and being correct.

The rioters are ruining innocent bystanders' lives because they are both willing and able to do so. Being cowards, the threat that their victims might actually fight back makes them less willing, and the capacity to at least hold them off until the police arrive makes them less able.

Whack-a-Mole
08-09-2011, 03:13 PM
Every suggested explanation I've heard, from all quarters, has basically been the same explanation one hears for any world event: "It's happening for reasons that comport with my political views."

I think it is a combination of most of those explanations.

I saw a great write-up from someone living in London and this was the view he espoused (sadly I cannot find the link so I'll summarize as best I remember).

Certainly there is an aspect of disaffected youth. The economy sucks, they have poor future prospects and they are bored and angry and feel powerless.

As with many social upheavals they can start from seemingly insignificant events. WWI started over one assassination. The unrest in Egypt started with one guy setting himself on fire. Here it is some guy getting shot.

It was the writer's opinion that the youth probably do not really care overly much about they guy who was shot. He doubted if most of them could even tell you his name. But it was the spark that lit this tinderbox.

After that they used it as a cover to loot and rob and be general hoodlums. There is no real political goal for them. They see a chance to rob and pillage and are pretending it is about the economy.

It IS about the economy at its root but at the end of the day these folk are just plain acting badly and do not deserve the righteousness that something like the Arab Spring engenders.

guizot
08-09-2011, 03:53 PM
..It started out as a protest of a police shooting, and then hoodlums and criminals realized it was perfect cover to start mayhem. Now folks are stealing and burning shit because they think they can get away with it...it's not like Police with guns stopped riots in LA...right? Riots are stopped with overwhelming manpower, not by shooting rioters.Yes. I lived through the LA riots, watching it around my workplaces and neighborhood, and I can say that the motivations for something like rioting defy simple, pat explanations. Some people were pissed off at police, some were pissed off at the general local economics, and some people (not only hoodlums) were just taking advantage of the decision of the police to stand back to get something for free. It's a breakdown of the social contract.

Larry Borgia
08-09-2011, 04:15 PM
They're rioting for the same reason people riot when their team wins/loses the big game: it's fun to smash things and you can loot some sweet swag.

SecretaryofEvil
08-09-2011, 04:46 PM
You've got one in nine young black males in prison already - wtf does it take to rise up. The degree of passivity and acceptance in the USA is quite staggering from a European pov. IMO.

Hey, that's not fair! We've had quite a few riots over the past 20 years or so, and several of them were race related!

Seriously though, what do you think black people should be doing? Are you suggesting they should be rioting more?

Mijin
08-09-2011, 05:32 PM
The only guns or bullets we have evidence for at the scene are police weapons. As for him, well, he isn't in a position to comment.

That's not true. The independent police complaints commission issued a statement (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/mark-duggan-police-ipcc) earlier. There's no evidence yet that he fired at police, but certainly he had a loaded (illegal) handgun.

As for the riots, all this stuff about job prospects and heavy-handed police is BS; my brother works in the bull ring in birmingham and was telling me about mobs mugging and beating ordinary people as well as all the looting. That's making a political statement?!

What it's about is that there's a proportion of people in our society -- like all societies -- that are thugs. The difference now is that with FB and blackberry such people can very quickly mass.
We've had three sets of riots in fairly quick succession -- tuition fees, the financial crisis and now the duggan shooting. In all cases there were some peaceful protests but some anarchists who show up and use the whole thing as an excuse to kick off.

Not only should we use plastic bullets, water cannon etc, we should set up a rapid response force that can quickly do the same thing when the next wave of riots inevitably start.

Der Trihs
08-09-2011, 05:37 PM
As for the riots, all this stuff about job prospects and heavy-handed police is BS; my brother works in the bull ring in birmingham and was telling me about mobs mugging and beating ordinary people as well as all the looting. That's making a political statement?!That's the sort of thing mobs do. Regardless of how good the original reason for people getting angry, once the mob violence gets going it just turns into smash-burn-and-loot.

Mijin
08-09-2011, 05:57 PM
That's the sort of thing mobs do. Regardless of how good the original reason for people getting angry, once the mob violence gets going it just turns into smash-burn-and-loot.

Yeah but the proportion of opportunists here seems very high.

And I dispute that there is a good reason for this set of riots.
It's awful that a father of four was killed by police but the presence of a loaded handgun gives reason to suspect that they probably had cause to. I wouldn't personally join even the peaceful protests (though I might do depending on the findings of the investigation).

Broomstick
08-09-2011, 06:36 PM
It's awful that a father of four was killed by police but the presence of a loaded handgun gives reason to suspect that they probably had cause to.
Even in the US mere possession of a handgun, even an illegal one, is not considered justification for summary execution. It might given the London police cause to arrest, but shoot him?

Only if he was actually a threat to police is there any basis for justifying a shooting here, and even that could be questioned. Actually SHOOTING at the police is a different matter, but as noted, it has not been proved that the man Duggan was doing any such thing.

Qin Shi Huangdi
08-09-2011, 07:09 PM
Even in the US mere possession of a handgun, even an illegal one, is not considered justification for summary execution. It might given the London police cause to arrest, but shoot him?

Only if he was actually a threat to police is there any basis for justifying a shooting here, and even that could be questioned. Actually SHOOTING at the police is a different matter, but as noted, it has not been proved that the man Duggan was doing any such thing.

Well American police have shot and killed people if they though say someone was reaching for a gun (or something like a gun).

Mijin
08-09-2011, 07:20 PM
Even in the US mere possession of a handgun, even an illegal one, is not considered justification for summary execution. It might given the London police cause to arrest, but shoot him?

Only if he was actually a threat to police is there any basis for justifying a shooting here, and even that could be questioned. Actually SHOOTING at the police is a different matter, but as noted, it has not been proved that the man Duggan was doing any such thing.

I should clarify what I meant. I'm obviously not saying that summary execution is fair for carrying a gun.

The first factor is that carrying a loaded handgun is a *very* serious crime here -- I think it can get you up to 5 years IIRC. So, the chance of someone just carrying a gun for self-defence is pretty unlikely. He wasn't on his way to buy baby formula.

Secondly there's all kinds of scenarios given that he had a gun -- he pointed it at the police, at other people etc. Given the rarity of officers shooting anyone in this country* I think it's likely that something like this happened.
But of course, few details have been released yet.

* Obviously the cockup with the brazilian electrician stands out but that was an extraordinary event and a very different situation.

Revenant Threshold
08-09-2011, 07:34 PM
They are rioting because the police is not taking the required forceful steps to put the riot down and because on account of too restrictive gun laws, and self defence laws, people are unable to protect themselves. Making rioting fun and profitable without much chance of anything too bad happening. Shoot a few rioters would put a stop to it presently. If not do it again. It would also mean that those rioters would be equally armed, however. I'm not particularly confident that people who would be prepared to loot and firebomb would be averse to violently using a gun, either.

Der Trihs
08-09-2011, 07:40 PM
Shoot a few rioters would put a stop to it presently. If not do it again.
Sounds like a good way to escalate a short term riot into a long term insurrection/terrorism problem. Especially since these are people who are quite likely to not believe the cops when they say they shot people for rioting.

Mangetout
08-09-2011, 08:08 PM
Sounds like a good way to escalate a short term riot into a long term insurrection/terrorism problem. Especially since these are people who are quite likely to not believe the cops when they say they shot people for rioting.

One difference - perhaps still not a big enough one - is that the rioters are out there doing bad things in public. It would be technically feasible to capture their activity and summary execution on a single continuous piece of video footage, .

As I say, not really sure that's enough to make it a good idea, but "can't we shoot these idiots?" does seem to be crossing the mind of many a frustrated observer at the moment.

Chen019
08-09-2011, 08:32 PM
It began as revenge for the shooting of black drug dealer Mark Duggan. From sonsofmalcolm blog (http://sonsofmalcolm.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-08-07T18%3A07%3A00%2B01%3A00&max-results=7):

BROTHERS TAKE REVENGE ON pIGS IN NORTH LONDON - AFTER PIGS SHOOT DEAD A YOUNG BROTHER

matt
08-09-2011, 08:35 PM
As I say, not really sure that's enough to make it a good idea, but "can't we shoot these idiots?" does seem to be crossing the mind of many a frustrated observer at the moment. Paintball guns on full auto, balls loaded with water gel containing silver nitrate (stains skin for weeks) and a trace of butyl mercaptan (stinks worse than a skunk, tough to wash off). That's the mildest suggestion I have at the moment. The notion of an array of public portaloos in Trafalgar square, with arrested rioters pilloried below them for two days, isn't even the nastiest.

Qin Shi Huangdi
08-09-2011, 08:41 PM
It began as revenge for the shooting of black drug dealer Mark Duggan. From sonsofmalcolm blog (http://sonsofmalcolm.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-08-07T18%3A07%3A00%2B01%3A00&max-results=7):

Did you have to include the "black" part?

LonesomePolecat
08-09-2011, 08:47 PM
One death so far; PM calls special session of Parliament. (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/08/201189141323759165.html) Why are they doing this? What do the rioters want? Are they just frustrated at being poor? Did the riots on the Continent give them ideas? Are they trying to accomplish something? Or is it all just an excuse to loot? This is racial violence. It's blacks attacking white people and looting and burning white property, just like the racial assaults on whites at the Wisconsin state fair, the flash mobs of young blacks in various cities who gather to attack whites, Hispanics and Asians, the gang assault on two whites and a Hispanic on a Marta train in Atlanta, the gangbangers who forced the police to close the Chicago beach on Memorial Day, and a lot of other incidents. Is there no one of you on this board who has the backbone to acknowledge this fact and say it aloud in public?

LonesomePolecat
08-09-2011, 08:48 PM
Did you have to include the "black" part? If you want to be truthful, yes.

Broomstick
08-09-2011, 08:58 PM
Well American police have shot and killed people if they though say someone was reaching for a gun (or something like a gun).
Yes. And some of them have been charged with homicide for doing so and have even gone to jail for it. There is a penalty for the police screwing up when the system works properly. When people don't trust it work properly you can get riots.

Broomstick
08-09-2011, 09:02 PM
Did you have to include the "black" part?
Why not? Was he not a black man? Should we pretend race doesn't exist so we don't have to wonder whether or not it might be a factor here? Are you saying race relations in the UK are so perfect that there is zero chance that could be a factor?

Broomstick
08-09-2011, 09:06 PM
This is racial violence. It's blacks attacking white people and looting and burning white property, just like the racial assaults on whites at the Wisconsin state fair, the flash mobs of young blacks in various cities who gather to attack whites, Hispanics and Asians, the gang assault on two whites and a Hispanic on a Marta train in Atlanta, the gangbangers who forced the police to close the Chicago beach on Memorial Day, and a lot of other incidents. Is there no one of you on this board who has the backbone to acknowledge this fact and say it aloud in public?
While there is no doubt that the US mob violence you mentioned has a definite racial component with black culprits and white victims, it is not so clear cut in the UK. The crowds there seem more integrated, with victims likewise of various ethnicities. Racial issues in the UK are not the same as in the US, even though there are some similarities on a few points.

Chen019
08-09-2011, 09:33 PM
Did you have to include the "black" part?

Only because that is relevant to the motivation here. I understand the police involved were from Operation Trident which is a unit set up to deal with gun crime in the black community. And the rioters have predominantly been from that community (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/katharinebirbalsingh/100099830/these-riots-were-about-race-why-ignore-the-fact/) (or were initially).

Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London (central) OXFORD CIRCUS!!, Bare SHOPS are gonna get smashed up so come get some (free stuff!!!) fuck the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! >:O
Dead the ends and colour war for now so
if you see a brother... SALUT!
if you see a fed... SHOOT!...

its a free world so have fun running wild shopping;)
Oxford Circus 9pm if u see a fed stopping a brother JUMP IN!!! EVERYONE JUMP IN n1ggers will be lurking about, all blacked out we strike at 9:15pm-9:30pm, make sure ur there see you there. REMEMBA DA LOCATION!!! OXFORD CIRCUS!!!


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/08/london-riots-tottenham-duggan-blog#block-44

Chen019
08-09-2011, 09:36 PM
edit: duplicate.

Bryan Ekers
08-09-2011, 09:36 PM
Oh, if only the police could read them some kind of act....

mac_bolan00
08-09-2011, 10:28 PM
i think they're trying for the record. there were 15,000 rioters arrested in seoul, south korea just before the 1988 seoul olympics (most arrests per guiness.)

An Gadaí
08-09-2011, 10:52 PM
This is racial violence. It's blacks attacking white people and looting and burning white property, just like the racial assaults on whites at the Wisconsin state fair, the flash mobs of young blacks in various cities who gather to attack whites, Hispanics and Asians, the gang assault on two whites and a Hispanic on a Marta train in Atlanta, the gangbangers who forced the police to close the Chicago beach on Memorial Day, and a lot of other incidents. Is there no one of you on this board who has the backbone to acknowledge this fact and say it aloud in public?

Take a look at the footage, plenty of white kids acting the bollocks too.

Really Not All That Bright
08-09-2011, 10:59 PM
This is racial violence. It's blacks attacking white people and looting and burning white property, just like the racial assaults on whites at the Wisconsin state fair, the flash mobs of young blacks in various cities who gather to attack whites, Hispanics and Asians, the gang assault on two whites and a Hispanic on a Marta train in Atlanta, the gangbangers who forced the police to close the Chicago beach on Memorial Day, and a lot of other incidents. Is there no one of you on this board who has the backbone to acknowledge this fact and say it aloud in public?
Oh, alright. Minorities are responsible for all violence, especially those pesky blacks.

Happy?

Punoqllads
08-10-2011, 12:11 AM
this is racial violence. It's blacks attacking white people and looting and burning white propertyWrong. (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/08/09/uk.riots/index.html?iref=obnetwork)
The protest soon devolved into violence as demonstrators -- whose numbers included whites and blacks -- tossed petrol bombs, looted stores and burned police cars.
Oh, and another (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/08/09/uk.riots.identity/index.html)
On the third night of violence across London, as police in riot gear fended off hails of missiles in streets filled with smoke from burning cars, it was clear their adversaries hailed from different backgrounds -- young and old, black and white.Scotland Yard has begun to release CCTV shots (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14462271) of rioting suspects. Oh, look! Both white and black suspects.

What the rioters have in common is poverty. They're not singling out businesses by race, they're taking everything that's not nailed down.

Sandwich
08-10-2011, 01:48 AM
Even in the US mere possession of a handgun, even an illegal one, is not considered justification for summary execution. It might given the London police cause to arrest, but shoot him?

Only if he was actually a threat to police is there any basis for justifying a shooting here, and even that could be questioned. Actually SHOOTING at the police is a different matter, but as noted, it has not been proved that the man Duggan was doing any such thing.

Not so. There's a difference between the UK and the US. In the UK many (perhaps most) people are entirely content with the idea that ending up dead is a suitable consequence of having a gun. People are sceptical if the guy did have a gun, but if they are persuaded that he did then they will accept the police's judgement that he needed to be shot. No further justification is considered necessary. This will be the case even if it turned out that the gun was held legally - it's one of the accepted risks of gun ownership that accidents can happen like that.

The vast majority of Britons (including the true Scots :D) are strongly anti-gun.

blindboyard
08-10-2011, 02:15 AM
Well American police have shot and killed people if they though say someone was reaching for a gun (or something like a gun).

We have that sometimes in the UK too. There was a case a few years back, a Scot with a chair leg he was repairing was murdered by the police because they assumed he was an IRA terrorist with a gun. Had a bit of trouble trying to explain that he'd drawn the chair leg and tried to shoot them with it when challenged, precipitating his death, what with all the bullet holes being in his back and the back of his head. So they got an American ballistics expert to tell the court that, in America, the police shoot people quite legally but the ballistic evidence makes it look like they were shot in the back all the time. Police just kill whoever they feel like and then get let off, if it even gets to court.

A this relates to kids looting T-mobile (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3739871/Mob-rule-as-looters-swoop-on-br-shops-like-plague-of-locusts.html) how?

It provides a handy excuse for their customers to express their quite legitimate murderous vengeance. Makes me wish I was in one of those riot areas, then I'd show those Orange bastards (not racist).

That's not true. The independent police complaints commission issued a statement (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/09/mark-duggan-police-ipcc) earlier. There's no evidence yet that he fired at police, but certainly he had a loaded (illegal) handgun.

As for the riots, all this stuff about job prospects and heavy-handed police is BS; my brother works in the bull ring in birmingham and was telling me about mobs mugging and beating ordinary people as well as all the looting. That's making a political statement?!

What it's about is that there's a proportion of people in our society -- like all societies -- that are thugs. The difference now is that with FB and blackberry such people can very quickly mass.
We've had three sets of riots in fairly quick succession -- tuition fees, the financial crisis and now the duggan shooting. In all cases there were some peaceful protests but some anarchists who show up and use the whole thing as an excuse to kick off.

Not only should we use plastic bullets, water cannon etc, we should set up a rapid response force that can quickly do the same thing when the next wave of riots inevitably start.

Already did that, obviously didn't work. The police have chosen to allow looting and violence, as if it's some sort of spectator sport for them to amuse themselves watching.

For the rest, they can't be just thugs and anarchists. Anarchists have a political point to make, or anti-political, thugs don't.

blindboyard
08-10-2011, 02:17 AM
Account of the original protest, and the police sparking violence by beating up a young girl:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyxRnD-DnNw&feature=player_embedded

Darcus Howe on the BBC:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biJgILxGK0o&feature=player_embedded

Boris in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpqJGutYNcs&feature=player_embedded

Speech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rbkzVkXuMY&feature=player_embedded

Riot girls speak for themselves:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6iLggKf1qM&feature=related

AK84
08-10-2011, 04:18 AM
Waterstones was untouched. These guys have no interests in books evidently.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 04:23 AM
Already did that [use plastic bullets and water cannon] didn't work.

Well plastic bullets have never been used on the UK mainland.
(water cannon obviously has)


For the rest, they can't be just thugs and anarchists. Anarchists have a political point to make, or anti-political, thugs don't.

Yes, I'm not sure how to label them.
Many of the rioters belong to gangs; certainly in Birmingham there are two main gangs with at least 100 core members each, mostly 14-18 year olds, who have been well represented in these riots.
The rest are just opportunists who have no respect for authority and no aspirations beyond having the latest trainers. But calling them opportunists belittles their crimes.

NineToTheSky
08-10-2011, 05:42 AM
What worries me about this is that it shows how frighteningly close we are to anarchy. For the first three nights, the rioters were left to do anything they wanted. And what they wanted to do was not minor; they left whole streets decimated. People have lost their homes and businesses, and it's very lucky that only three people have lost their lives; it could have been so many more.

This shows that many people are prepared to carry out immoral and illegal actions, and that they care not a jot for the rule of law. And that we are not yet prepared to deal with them.

coremelt
08-10-2011, 06:36 AM
What worries me about this is that it shows how frighteningly close we are to anarchy. For the first three nights, the rioters were left to do anything they wanted..

No not really. The UK is not the US, of course they could have contained the Riots in the first night if they didn't care about deaths (on both sides). Seems the police had orders to contain but not to confront. As far as a strategy to minimise death, it's been remarkably successful.

You can bet if the rioters had tried to hit 10 Downing St or Parliament houses it would have been rather a different response. I would imagine those Police that were "just standing around"were actually recording evidence and that most of the riot leaders will be rounded up over the next few weeks.

Of course yes they'll probably mostly get off with light sentences unless the public outrage over these events causes some real changes in the UK laws.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 06:42 AM
Not so. There's a difference between the UK and the US. In the UK many (perhaps most) people are entirely content with the idea that ending up dead is a suitable consequence of having a gun.
So, you're saying they approve of extra-judicial summary execution? I find that a little difficult to believe is a majority viewpoint.

People are sceptical if the guy did have a gun, but if they are persuaded that he did then they will accept the police's judgement that he needed to be shot.
First of all, it has been determined that he did, indisputably, have a gun.

Second, the riots would seem to indicate that not all people were accepting of the idea he "needed to be shot".

No further justification is considered necessary.
So what you're saying is the UK is a police state where trials are no longer needed? I thought the UK had abolished the death penalty, but you're saying it's somehow OK for police to shoot people dead without a trial?

This will be the case even if it turned out that the gun was held legally - it's one of the accepted risks of gun ownership that accidents can happen like that.
It has already been determined that the gun was illegal.

The vast majority of Britons (including the true Scots :D) are strongly anti-gun.
Being strongly anti-gun does not automatically mean pro-summary execution in the streets.

You know, I'd find your claim somewhat more credible if you were up to date on the facts involved, such as the official inquiry determining he definitely had an illegal gun in his possession.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 06:54 AM
What worries me about this is that it shows how frighteningly close we are to anarchy. For the first three nights, the rioters were left to do anything they wanted. And what they wanted to do was not minor; they left whole streets decimated. People have lost their homes and businesses, and it's very lucky that only three people have lost their lives; it could have been so many more.

This shows that many people are prepared to carry out immoral and illegal actions, and that they care not a jot for the rule of law. And that we are not yet prepared to deal with them.
Actually, riots underscore the fact that MOST of the time people actually do behave themselves. Those same people looting the last few nights have been around every other night of these past years, when they DIDN'T riot. The numbers of police you see are based, even if not consciously, on the fact that most people behave themselves most of the time. If that wasn't true, you'd need a ratio of police to public more like what you see in prisons with guards to prisoners.

Which is not to diminish the damage done, or the seriousness of crimes committed.

The "contain and not confront" strategy minimizes deaths, though obviously it doesn't minimize property damage. For many civil disturbances it can work, as the mob eventually gets tired and is then rounded up. The problem is that it doesn't work so well when the riot gets past a certain size and momentum. However, increasing the force used from "contain" to "confront" WILL increase the injuries and deaths. Is that actually preferable to you? Should looting a pair of trainers carry the death penalty?

Colophon
08-10-2011, 07:00 AM
Actually, riots underscore the fact that MOST of the time people actually do behave themselves. Those same people looting the last few nights have been around every other night of these past years, when they DIDN'T riot. The numbers of police you see are based, even if not consciously, on the fact that most people behave themselves most of the time. If that wasn't true, you'd need a ratio of police to public more like what you see in prisons with guards to prisoners.
The problem is, now the genie is out of the bottle and people have seen how easy it is to loot with (seemingly) no repercussions, what is to stop this becoming the norm? Any time a group of couple of dozen kids fancy some free stuff, they just mobilise using BlackBerry Messenger and rock up to a given target. Small-scale, isolated looting would seem to be the way of the future...

Mijin
08-10-2011, 07:11 AM
Actually, riots underscore the fact that MOST of the time people actually do behave themselves. Those same people looting the last few nights have been around every other night of these past years, when they DIDN'T riot.

Didn't riot perhaps but that doesn't mean they were law-abiding. Many of the rioters are well known to police, and as I said, the gangs have been a big part of this.

The numbers of police you see are based, even if not consciously, on the fact that most people behave themselves most of the time.

Absolutely, but the fact that most people behave themselves is based in part on an awareness and fear of the repercussions (note: not only based on this). Unfortunately there's a generation of youth that see police and teachers as powerless and have a huge sense of entitlement but little aspiration.

As I've said, we've had several sets of riots now, and they're getting worse each time. We can't dodge this any longer, or make vague calls for "communities to work together".

However, increasing the force used from "contain" to "confront" WILL increase the injuries and deaths. Is that actually preferable to you? Should looting a pair of trainers carry the death penalty?

In a sense, yes. I'm fine with the reality that taking part in a riot puts one at risk because the police will be using non-lethal weapons (which of course, can be lethal in certain circumstances).
I have no problem with that because such people are behaving criminally and are already putting themselves at risk e.g. a firebomb hitting them.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 07:12 AM
The problem is, now the genie is out of the bottle and people have seen how easy it is to loot with (seemingly) no repercussions, what is to stop this becoming the norm? Any time a group of couple of dozen kids fancy some free stuff, they just mobilise using BlackBerry Messenger and rock up to a given target. Small-scale, isolated looting would seem to be the way of the future...
Two reasons that won't happen:

1) This sort of unrest doesn't last forever. Things always go back to the norm. Eventually. So, yes, there may continue to be some problems even after the "official" riot is over, but the norm will return.

2) Thanks to modern technology, there are apparently a LOT of pictures and video of people doing the looting, and apparently quite a number of them didn't bother to cover their faces. The British police have already stated they're identifying and tracking these people down, and have published photos on line to prove they're not making that up. They are also looking into using Twitter and other social media data to track people down. So these people might have new trainers and iPads at the moment, but there is a definite possibility they'll wind up behind bars in the not too distant future. When it sinks in that while you can get away the night of the riot you won't get away with it long term the incentive to loot will go down considerably. It's only "fun" if you get away with it.

NineToTheSky
08-10-2011, 07:16 AM
Actually, riots underscore the fact that MOST of the time people actually do behave themselves. Those same people looting the last few nights have been around every other night of these past years, when they DIDN'T riot. The numbers of police you see are based, even if not consciously, on the fact that most people behave themselves most of the time. If that wasn't true, you'd need a ratio of police to public more like what you see in prisons with guards to prisoners.

Which is not to diminish the damage done, or the seriousness of crimes committed.

The "contain and not confront" strategy minimizes deaths, though obviously it doesn't minimize property damage. For many civil disturbances it can work, as the mob eventually gets tired and is then rounded up. The problem is that it doesn't work so well when the riot gets past a certain size and momentum. However, increasing the force used from "contain" to "confront" WILL increase the injuries and deaths. Is that actually preferable to you? Should looting a pair of trainers carry the death penalty?

I agree that most of the time most people behave themselves. The 'contain and not confront' strategy is very risky though. As I've said, it's a miracle that more people weren't killed in the fires or by the rioters. Had they been, I don't think the police would have praised for their gently, gently approach.

Also I think they took the strategy they did not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because there wasn't enough of them to successfully tackle the rioters.

NineToTheSky
08-10-2011, 07:20 AM
Two reasons that won't happen:

1) This sort of unrest doesn't last forever. Things always go back to the norm. Eventually. So, yes, there may continue to be some problems even after the "official" riot is over, but the norm will return.

...

I am curious as to why it crops up when it does. Though it is almost always in the summer; we don't want the rioters to feel chilly.

coremelt
08-10-2011, 07:21 AM
It's only "fun" if you get away with it.

Agree with Broomstick, its way to early to say that there is "no repercussions" for the looters. For those who have never been to London, there are CCTV's absolutely everywhere. I'd expect a high percentage of those involved to be tracked down.

Of course this just means next time, they will cover their faces before looting...

Sandwich
08-10-2011, 07:28 AM
So, you're saying they approve of extra-judicial summary execution? I find that a little difficult to believe is a majority viewpoint.

First of all, it has been determined that he did, indisputably, have a gun.

Second, the riots would seem to indicate that not all people were accepting of the idea he "needed to be shot".

So what you're saying is the UK is a police state where trials are no longer needed? I thought the UK had abolished the death penalty, but you're saying it's somehow OK for police to shoot people dead without a trial?

It has already been determined that the gun was illegal.

Being strongly anti-gun does not automatically mean pro-summary execution in the streets.

You know, I'd find your claim somewhat more credible if you were up to date on the facts involved, such as the official inquiry determining he definitely had an illegal gun in his possession.

Britain is not a police state and extra-judicial killings are not acceptable. Perhaps you would like to re-read my post in that context. What can I have meant, if not the absurd conclusions you inferred? British public opinion can be sampled imperfectly but in volume from the comments pages of any British news web site. But bear in mind the difficulty you had interpreting my comments - people might not be saying what you think they are.

I disagree with your conclusion that the rioters are protesting Mr Duggan's death.

Personally, I have not formed a view on Mr Duggan's guilt or innocence of any crime, notwithstanding police reports that he was armed. Have you got a cite for an 'official inquiry' concluding that he definitely had an illegal gun in his possession? I don't think anyone but you thinks that is settled fact yet, though I'd accept that the police want you to think that. Perhaps you are assuming that anything reported by the media as coming from a police spokesman is a definitive fact?

I'd find your claims more credible if you dialed down the hyperbole.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 07:34 AM
Have you got a cite for an 'official inquiry' concluding that he definitely had an illegal gun in his possession? I don't think anyone but you thinks that is settled fact yet, though I'd accept that the police want you to think that. Perhaps you are assuming that anything reported by the media as coming from a police spokesman is a definitive fact?

It's been mentioned several times already: the IPCC update (http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/Pages/pr_090811_dugganupdate.aspx), which is not a "police spokesman" but a separate investigative body, say they recovered a loaded, illegal handgun.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 08:28 AM
I am curious as to why it crops up when it does. Though it is almost always in the summer; we don't want the rioters to feel chilly.
Hot weather always increases the incidence of riots. Certainly before the days of air conditioning, people didn't sleep well in the heat and their tempers got shorter. These days people might have air conditioning, but they're still affected by the heat.

Agree with Broomstick, its way to early to say that there is "no repercussions" for the looters. For those who have never been to London, there are CCTV's absolutely everywhere. I'd expect a high percentage of those involved to be tracked down.

Of course this just means next time, they will cover their faces before looting...
Some of them already are doing just that.


I disagree with your conclusion that the rioters are protesting Mr Duggan's death.
Not past the first night, no - riots aren't static, they evolve. What started as a protest against Duggan's death turned into an acquisitional free-for-all by people who don't give a rat's arse about Mr. Duggan.

Personally, I have not formed a view on Mr Duggan's guilt or innocence of any crime, notwithstanding police reports that he was armed. Have you got a cite for an 'official inquiry' concluding that he definitely had an illegal gun in his possession? I don't think anyone but you thinks that is settled fact yet, though I'd accept that the police want you to think that. Perhaps you are assuming that anything reported by the media as coming from a police spokesman is a definitive fact?
The IPCC update has already been mentioned and linked to several times in this thread.

BrainGlutton
08-10-2011, 08:34 AM
IIRC, the last time anything like this happened in the UK was in 1981. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_England_riots) Are these riots any different from those riots?

NineToTheSky
08-10-2011, 08:37 AM
Hot weather always increases the incidence of riots. Certainly before the days of air conditioning, people didn't sleep well in the heat and their tempers got shorter. These days people might have air conditioning, but they're still affected by the heat....

I think your idea of British summer heat is rather different to mine. The average night temperature has been about 12 degrees. Pleasant, but not ire-inspiring.

BrainGlutton
08-10-2011, 08:37 AM
See, I don't think it has much to do with politics. It started out as a protest of a police shooting, and then hoodlums and criminals realized it was perfect cover to start mayhem. Now folks are stealing and burning shit because they think they can get away with it.

:mad: Boy, if that ever happens here . . . I've got my eye on this awesome flatscreen at Best Buy . . .

BwanaBob
08-10-2011, 08:43 AM
Are mobile phones so cheap in the UK that disaffected youths, who don't have a pot to piss in, can afford Blackberrys? I find that really strange.

Really Not All That Bright
08-10-2011, 08:48 AM
IIRC, the last time anything like this happened in the UK was in 1981. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_England_riots) Are these riots any different from those riots?
There were race riots in Birmingham in 2005 over the alleged rape of a black girl, but those were more focused.

NineToTheSky
08-10-2011, 08:51 AM
Are mobile phones so cheap in the UK that disaffected youths, who don't have a pot to piss in, can afford Blackberrys? I find that really strange.

I suspect that many are stolen. They certainly were during the looting.

ETA: Generalising, they are from about £100-£200, and on contract from about £25 pm.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 08:57 AM
Are mobile phones so cheap in the UK that disaffected youths, who don't have a pot to piss in, can afford Blackberrys? I find that really strange.

They aren't cheap (though their price has gone into freefall now there's lots of smartphone competition), but poor people often have a few trinkets of wealth.

It's a similar phenomenon to how they will often have things like gold chains. In a poor community such trinkets are coveted. In a wealthy community, they are often considered vulgar.

But also (and I know I'm mentioning this a lot) but there are gangs in these riots and gang members can normally afford such stuff.

Really Not All That Bright
08-10-2011, 09:11 AM
Does mobile phone service cost less than land line service in the UK now? I remember being astonished at how cheap land line service was when I moved to the US relative to the UK. I imagine not much has changed in that regard.

Baron Greenback
08-10-2011, 09:29 AM
Does mobile phone service cost less than land line service in the UK now? I remember being astonished at how cheap land line service was when I moved to the US relative to the UK. I imagine not much has changed in that regard.

My landline service, that I only have because I need it for broadband, costs 27 quid a month. That includes the broadband, which is fast enough for my needs, and seems to be unlimited. I guess running a Blackberry could be done on a tenner or maybe fifteen a month, on a sim-only contract. If you usually just use BBM, then that would be enough for most folk.


Edit: My mobile contract is 25 a month, with "unlimited" data, and more calls and texts than I could ever use.

Really Not All That Bright
08-10-2011, 09:57 AM
You need a landline for broadband?

Lemur866
08-10-2011, 10:05 AM
Are mobile phones so cheap in the UK that disaffected youths, who don't have a pot to piss in, can afford Blackberrys? I find that really strange.

I've been in several threads where posters were astonished that poor people could afford mobile phones. But they aren't that expensive. They just aren't. Especially if you aren't paying for a landline on top of that.

It's 2011, not 1998. Can we please stop pretending that mobile phones are expensive luxuries that only middle class people can afford?

NineToTheSky
08-10-2011, 10:15 AM
You need a landline for broadband?

Broadband is available through:
your landline to which you connect a modem/router, to which you connect to your pc with either a cable or wifi
your mobile carrier to your mobile phone
satellite to your satellite dish

blindboyard
08-10-2011, 10:59 AM
Well plastic bullets have never been used on the UK mainland.
(water cannon obviously has)

I meant they've previously set up a rapid response force, rather than specifically used rubber bullets, or baton rounds, or water cannons.

Riots seem to have slowed down a bit now, although having spread to Leicester and some other places. It's been raining, that's not rioting weather.

The police in Manchester have apparently said they are "coming to get" the rioters because they know who they are. That's what you get for changing your Facebook status to "rioting".

Bisected8
08-10-2011, 11:05 AM
I've heard rumours that someone's been distributing leaflets on "how to get away with rioting". Does anyone know if there's anything to them?

tagos
08-10-2011, 11:08 AM
It would also mean that those rioters would be equally armed, however. I'm not particularly confident that people who would be prepared to loot and firebomb would be averse to violently using a gun, either.

There are armed police aplenty. What Americans are missing is that the British policing philosophy is 'policing by the consent of the community'. Force is therefore the last resort. Rubber bullets have not been used on the British mainland.

And the UK public is not 'unarmed'. We have baseball bats and knives and now that we are alerted, numbers on our sides.

The looters are not routinely gunned up either and without strict gun laws a whole lot more people would be dead on all sides.

Part of the problem is that in the poorer housing estates an imitation of American gang culture has grown up and therefore a significant number of young men and women do see the 'Feds' as the enemy.

What is worrying/interesting is the way that secure Blackberry messaging gives a couple of hundred people the mobility to evade the police and basically loot at will without fear of getting caught.

We can't keep tens of thousands of police on the streets of every major city and I cannot see what can stop these groups from doing this practically at will now the genie is out the bottle.

Speaking as a liberal socialist type - I wouldn't blink if these people were executed on the spot. They are useless criminal vermin that make the lives of the majority in their communities a misery.

Failing that it is important that the criminal justice system hits everyone caught with every creative charge they can. Hit them with conspiracy charges on top of everything and make sentences run consecutively. Let's see what sentencing a couple of hundred to 25 years without remission or hope of parole does to these scum's desire for a free pair of trainers.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 11:27 AM
I think your idea of British summer heat is rather different to mine. The average night temperature has been about 12 degrees. Pleasant, but not ire-inspiring.
Heat is relative.

When I'm acclimated to winter temperatures I may perceive 12 C as sweltering and sweat copiously. This time of year, 12 C might feel chilly to me.

Nor is it just about the night temperature - high day time temperatures, especially combined with humidity, puts people under stress that builds up over time, hence why deaths in heat waves don't show up until 3 or 4 days into one at earliest.

But, you know UK temps better than I do, if you say they're not warm enough to be a factor I'll believe you.

Really Not All That Bright
08-10-2011, 11:30 AM
12 deg. C is 53.6 deg. F. Unless you are posting from a chest freezer, I find it hard to believe you would perceive that as "sweltering".

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 11:30 AM
I've heard rumours that someone's been distributing leaflets on "how to get away with rioting". Does anyone know if there's anything to them?
That information has been out on the internet for years - it would be trivial for someone to download and print them out.

Especially if they're looking a print/copy shop and don't have to pay for toner and paper.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 11:38 AM
12 deg. C is 53.6 deg. F. Unless you are posting from a chest freezer, I find it hard to believe you would perceive that as "sweltering".
It can get down to -30 F here in winter. After I get used to going out into that, yes 53 F is hot if I'm working outside. Granted, the "chest freezer" is only in operation around here about 3-4 months of the year.

Broomstick
08-10-2011, 11:41 AM
What is worrying/interesting is the way that secure Blackberry messaging gives a couple of hundred people the mobility to evade the police and basically loot at will without fear of getting caught.
The authorities over there claim the CCTV's all around plus looking into the records for all those blackberry and twitter accounts will lead to arrests... so maybe they will get caught, just not immediately?

Speaking as a liberal socialist type - I wouldn't blink if these people were executed on the spot. They are useless criminal vermin that make the lives of the majority in their communities a misery.
No, they're not vermin, they're human beings. Granted, they are human beings doing bad things, but no, you do not want to give the police the power to be judge, jury, and executioner on the spot. History tells us that can also lead to great misery.

Failing that it is important that the criminal justice system hits everyone caught with every creative charge they can. Hit them with conspiracy charges on top of everything and make sentences run consecutively. Let's see what sentencing a couple of hundred to 25 years without remission or hope of parole does to these scum's desire for a free pair of trainers.
I could get behind that as a solution. Here's hoping that if they try it, it works.

Really Not All That Bright
08-10-2011, 12:00 PM
It can get down to -30 F here in winter. After I get used to going out into that, yes 53 F is hot if I'm working outside. Granted, the "chest freezer" is only in operation around here about 3-4 months of the year.
You may take it from me that it doesn't get down to -30F in the UK in any season, and the rioters are correspondingly unlikely to be sweltering. One presumes that the immigrant element (if any) is even less likely to be disturbed by the heat.

Qin Shi Huangdi
08-10-2011, 12:03 PM
An article on some possible causes: http://theweek.com/article/index/218125/what-caused-the-london-riots-5-theories

2. A weak police response
This outbreak of "mass criminality" was "unleashed by an insufficiently tough police reaction to the initial incident," says Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast. Because the cops didn't crack down right away, it essentially "gave permission for dozens of sheer thugs to come and loot and burn the neighborhood." When a mob sees that police can't control a situation, it "leads to a sort of adrenalin-fueled euphoria," agrees criminologist John Pitts, as quoted by Britain's Guardian.

4. Rank opportunism
This isn't a political uprising by the downtrodden poor, it's an outbreak of "nihilistic behavior" by "a mollycoddled mob" of social ingrates robbing their own community, says Brendan O'Neill at Spiked. In fact, what has set these riots apart from earlier ones is the deliberate, eerily consumer-like looting. And that has greatly upped the damages, says sociologist Paul Bagguley. Whereas all riots loosen inhibitions, "looting tends to involve a wider range of people — children, women, older people — because it does not involve physical violence." And as more people get involved, more damage is done.

Dick Dastardly
08-10-2011, 12:44 PM
One death so far; PM calls special session of Parliament. (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/08/201189141323759165.html) Why are they doing this? What do the rioters want? Are they just frustrated at being poor? Did the riots on the Continent give them ideas? Are they trying to accomplish something? Or is it all just an excuse to loot?

They're rioting to steal free stuff mainly. They do this every so often. IKEA had a huge sale a few years ago at a store opening near the scene of the outbreak of the riot and they were stabbing each other over a cheap sofa. massive riot, police attacked etc. Basically there are some no-go areas for police in London and the criminals make everybody's life a misery. Stronger policing, law and order etc,. needed.

Bryan Ekers
08-10-2011, 12:55 PM
12 deg. C is 53.6 deg. F. Unless you are posting from a chest freezer, I find it hard to believe you would perceive that as "sweltering".

It's not the chill, it's the chumidity.

Der Trihs
08-10-2011, 03:49 PM
4. Rank opportunism
This isn't a political uprising by the downtrodden poor, it's an outbreak of "nihilistic behavior" by "a mollycoddled mob" of social ingrates robbing their own community, says Brendan O'Neill at Spiked. In fact, what has set these riots apart from earlier ones is the deliberate, eerily consumer-like looting. And that has greatly upped the damages, says sociologist Paul Bagguley. Whereas all riots loosen inhibitions, "looting tends to involve a wider range of people — children, women, older people — because it does not involve physical violence." And as more people get involved, more damage is done.
I've heard this argument several times and it strikes me as bizarre. Why does the fact that they are looting undercut the claim that part of the trigger for the riots is anger and despair over a lifelong prospect of poverty? That seems like claiming that if a riot is full of white and black people beating on each other it disproves that it's a race riot.

And calling the poor things like "coddled" and "ungrateful" is such a classic bit of right wing demonization of the poor that it makes the argument difficult to take seriously on its own. It's a way of preemptively denying that there might possibly be some good reason for the poor to be angry.

John Mace
08-10-2011, 04:14 PM
And calling the poor things like "coddled" and "ungrateful" is such a classic bit of right wing demonization of the poor that it makes the argument difficult to take seriously on its own. It's a way of preemptively denying that there might possibly be some good reason for the poor to be angry.

Yeah, those right-wingers:

Speaking as a liberal socialist type - I wouldn't blink if these people were executed on the spot. They are useless criminal vermin that make the lives of the majority in their communities a misery.

Der Trihs
08-10-2011, 04:30 PM
Yeah, those right-wingers:That's right wing rhetoric, regardless of what he calls himself.

BwanaBob
08-10-2011, 04:40 PM
I've been in several threads where posters were astonished that poor people could afford mobile phones. But they aren't that expensive. They just aren't. Especially if you aren't paying for a landline on top of that.

It's 2011, not 1998. Can we please stop pretending that mobile phones are expensive luxuries that only middle class people can afford?

Are you saying you can get a new Blackberry with data plan for under $100/month?
I could afford that, but to my mind, if I'm an unemployed youth or making <$20K, that's a luxury, and I'd get a basic shit phone with no data service. Blackberry indeed.

An Gadaí
08-10-2011, 04:49 PM
Are you saying you can get a new Blackberry with data plan for under $100/month?
I could afford that, but to my mind, if I'm an unemployed youth or making <$20K, that's a luxury, and I'd get a basic shit phone with no data service. Blackberry indeed.

There are pay as you go Blackberries so yes. You could spend $20/month on it if it's all you could afford.

Tom Tildrum
08-10-2011, 04:51 PM
You may take it from me that it doesn't get down to -30F in the UK in any season, and the rioters are correspondingly unlikely to be sweltering. .

And if they are, they can just steal a chest freezer! :p

PaulParkhead
08-10-2011, 05:03 PM
That's right wing rhetoric, regardless of what he calls himself.

I normally have time for Brendan O'Neill, and I would say the summariser in the quote provided by Qin Shi Huangdi is not being entirely fair to his argument, which can be found in full here (http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10970/). He doesn't use the word "ingrates" or anything like it, and while he does refer to them as "mollycoddled", it's not the standard Daily Mail rightwinger use of the term.

Basically, I would say his view is that increasing government intrusion into the lives of the poor (based on the assumption that they are incapable of looking after themselves) has resulted in groups of people with no real sense of belonging to a community. I guess that's a point for debate, but he's certainly not describing the rioters as a bunch of lazy welfare addicts who should take what they're given and like it.

PaulParkhead
08-10-2011, 05:09 PM
Are you saying you can get a new Blackberry with data plan for under $100/month?
I could afford that, but to my mind, if I'm an unemployed youth or making <$20K, that's a luxury, and I'd get a basic shit phone with no data service. Blackberry indeed.

I work for a UK cellphone network. I don't do sales, but here's (http://shop.o2.co.uk/mobile_phone/pay_monthly/init/BlackBerry/Curve_8520_Purple) the cheapest I could find, and other operators are probably cheaper.

£16.50 per month is about US$27.

LonesomePolecat
08-10-2011, 05:22 PM
While there is no doubt that the US mob violence you mentioned has a definite racial component with black culprits and white victims, it is not so clear cut in the UK. The crowds there seem more integrated, with victims likewise of various ethnicities. Racial issues in the UK are not the same as in the US, even though there are some similarities on a few points. Thank you. This post lead me to look for photos of the rioters on Google Images. After looking at several dozen, I withdraw my remarks about the UK riots. The others still stand.

Revenant Threshold
08-10-2011, 05:29 PM
I think the biggest problem with this was, simply, that they weren't expected. Which does seem reasonable - I can only speak personally as a Brit, but if you told me last week we'd have riots like this the week after i'd call you a muppet. Now that the police are actually getting into it, hopefully, things will calm down after a while.

What's worrying me now (or perhaps, what's worrying me in addition to) is potential vigilantism, and perhaps arising from that, the ability for extreme groups to take advantage of the situation. There was just a bit on TV a moment ago with a bloke from the EDL speaking about how they were down and around attempting to control and help out those people who were taking it upon themselves to patrol. And the rhetoric that's being used by such patrolling groups is disturbingly similar to the type of speech commonly used by such groups. It's not entirely fair - by and large, it's simply because such groups do try and co-opt that kind of loud patriotism - but i'm worried about the long term ability for some groups to, well, boost their membership out of this.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 05:33 PM
Why does the fact that they are looting undercut the claim that part of the trigger for the riots is anger and despair over a lifelong prospect of poverty?

The point is, even compared to other riots this has been very much about opportunism. There has been muggings and beatings of ordinary people as well as all the looting. It's completely about "no-one can do anything, so why not?".

We need to stop making excuses for such people.

I guess I'm weird for having grown up in extreme poverty and not wanting to steal, commit arson or beat people up.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 05:45 PM
I think the biggest problem with this was, simply, that they weren't expected. Which does seem reasonable - I can only speak personally as a Brit, but if you told me last week we'd have riots like this the week after i'd call you a muppet.

Expecting it to happen now would have taken a crystal ball. But certainly I expected that at some point in the near future there was going to be another wave of riots worse than the ones that have gone before.
The same guys who rioted supposedly over tuition fees and the financial crisis, as well as other yobs like the EDL, have got a taste for rioting now, and figure the police can do nothing.

LonesomePolecat
08-10-2011, 05:59 PM
Oh, alright. Minorities are responsible for all violence, especially those pesky blacks.

Happy?No. I don't hold that view and never have. No one seriously believes that minorities are responsible for all criminal violence. I realize you're being sarcastic here, but I don't see how your remarks were supposed to contribute to the thread.

Grumman
08-10-2011, 05:59 PM
I've heard rumours that someone's been distributing leaflets on "how to get away with rioting". Does anyone know if there's anything to them?
I've seen a photo of one. Is that close enough?

John Mace
08-10-2011, 06:08 PM
I think the biggest problem with this was, simply, that they weren't expected. Which does seem reasonable - I can only speak personally as a Brit, but if you told me last week we'd have riots like this the week after i'd call you a muppet.
And as an American, I'd go :confused: if you called me a muppet.

Der Trihs
08-10-2011, 06:12 PM
We need to stop making excuses for such people.I'm not making excuses. I'm saying that I don't buy the idea that the only possible explanation for what's happening is that they are all subhuman "Morlocks" who are rioting for no reason. I'm saying I don't buy the idea that the only reason for the riots is that poor people are all lazy, evil and cowardly. And that I don't buy the idea that the solution is to kill them all.

And that's what I've been seeing from people.

Grumman
08-10-2011, 06:34 PM
I'm not making excuses. I'm saying that I don't buy the idea that the only possible explanation for what's happening is that they are all subhuman "Morlocks" who are rioting for no reason.
And why is that? Is it because the evidence says it is not true, or is the evidence simply too destructive to your religion of the martyred poor?

Der Trihs
08-10-2011, 06:43 PM
And why is that? Is it because the evidence says it is not true, or is the evidence simply too destructive to your religion of the martyred poor?
It's because I don't believe in right wing Social Darwinist fantasies about how the poor are all evil subhumans who should be sterilized or killed. It's because such fantasies have never turned out to be true. And it's because it's idiotic to think that our society is some meritocratic utopia where income and virtue are neatly correlated.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 06:44 PM
I'm not making excuses. I'm saying that I don't buy the idea that the only possible explanation for what's happening is that they are all subhuman "Morlocks" who are rioting for no reason. I'm saying I don't buy the idea that the only reason for the riots is that poor people are all lazy, evil and cowardly. And that I don't buy the idea that the solution is to kill them all.


Some people have talked about killing the perpetrators but even if they were being serious, I think it's mainly because emotions are running high rather than a sober opinion. You always get draconian solutions bandied about after something terrible happens.

The rest of your post is an comically absurd straw man.

Mijin
08-10-2011, 06:45 PM
It's because I don't believe in right wing Social Darwinist fantasies about how the poor are all evil subhumans who should be sterilized or killed. It's because such fantasies have never turned out to be true. And it's because it's idiotic to think that our society is some meritocratic utopia where income and virtue are neatly correlated.

Wow.
Are you trying to build some kind of King of the Straw Men?

Grumman
08-10-2011, 06:51 PM
It's because I don't believe in right wing Social Darwinist fantasies about how the poor are all evil subhumans who should be sterilized or killed.
We're not talking about rich and poor; we're talking about arsonists and non-arsonists. If Bill Gates starts running around setting fire to people's houses, I encourage the police to shoot him too.

Kozmik
08-10-2011, 07:50 PM
If Bill Gates starts running around setting fire to people's houses, I encourage the police to shoot him too.Bill Gates would never (http://www.jonhs.com/mugshots/gates.htm) be an aronist..


Once they can control the weather... and I know you're going to discount this as "woo"; however, please consider:

If you could control the weather, what would you do to those you view as subhuman?

And, please, don't tell me it is impossible to control the weather because when you exclude God from controlling the weather that does not preclude humans from being able to control the weather.

Kozmik
08-10-2011, 07:56 PM
I'm wondering whether that may happen in the near future in the U.S.That was the talking points memo today on The O'Reilly Factor. :rolleyes:

Chen019
08-10-2011, 10:12 PM
It's because I don't believe in right wing Social Darwinist fantasies about how the poor are all evil subhumans who should be sterilized or killed. It's because such fantasies have never turned out to be true. And it's because it's idiotic to think that our society is some meritocratic utopia where income and virtue are neatly correlated.

Nonetheless, the rich outproducing the poor (http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2011/08/demography-and-fast-evolution.html)was probably a factor in places like England developing a larger middle class and becoming more prosperous. Now the opposite is happening.

Belowjob2.0
08-10-2011, 10:56 PM
No. I don't hold that view and never have. No one seriously believes that minorities are responsible for all criminal violence. I realize you're being sarcastic here, but I don't see how your remarks were supposed to contribute to the thread.

He was pointing out, in a snarky way, that you were wrong in all of the claims you made in that post.

This is Great Debates. When you're irrational and factually inaccurate, people will call you on it. That's how it works.

Der Trihs
08-10-2011, 11:17 PM
We're not talking about rich and poor; we're talking about arsonists and non-arsonists. If Bill Gates starts running around setting fire to people's houses, I encourage the police to shoot him too.The rich have other people do their dirty work for them. If he wanted something destroyed he'd probably have the government order the US military to do it, and I doubt you'd really call for US soldiers to be shot.

Nonetheless, the rich outproducing the poor (http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2011/08/demography-and-fast-evolution.html)was probably a factor in places like England developing a larger middle class and becoming more prosperous. Now the opposite is happening.Blah, blah, the poor are genetically inferior and should be sterilized, the rich are Übermensch; we've heard it all before.

Chen019
08-10-2011, 11:27 PM
The rich have other people do their dirty work for them. If he wanted something destroyed he'd probably have the government order the US military to do it, and I doubt you'd really call for US soldiers to be shot.

Blah, blah, the poor are genetically inferior and should be sterilized, the rich are Übermensch; we've heard it all before.

Yeah, but now you have the unusual situation of the poor underclass expanding while the middle class tend to have fewer children. Not a good idea for maintaining a modern economy.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 04:49 AM
This whole thing about rich and poor is a complete red herring.

For the benefit of anyone here who is not from the UK (and a reminder to those that are), here's some background on this:

Britain has a problem with yobbish behaviour. For a long time football hooliganism was out of control. Nowadays it's things like assaults, muggings and stabbings, for which we're one of those most dangerous of developed countries.
It's very common on our high streets to see groups of youths 15-18 years old threatening people, spitting at them etc because they feel invincible: they have much of the physical strength of an adult, but no care of the consequences. They don't think anyone can do anything.

And now this new flavour of rioting. Which is ostensibly about duggan, tuition fees or whatever but is really an excuse for such youths to smash up the place and steal stuff.
The softly softly approach has been tried. A lot. Instead of the soul searching let's nip the behaviour in the bud.

Note that I had to say we were a country with a football hooliganism problem. It's not gone away, but things are *much* better than the hooliganism heyday of the 70s.

How did we solve it?
Did we ask what were the causes in society of such behaviour? What we should be doing in our communities?

No, we recognized it for what it was: a bunch of people acting like idiots, and we got tough with them.

Obviously getting tough on criminal behaviour is no panacea. The point is, britain has its own specific set of problems and getting tougher on yob behaviour is well overdue.

SecondJudith
08-11-2011, 05:07 AM
Britain has a problem with yobbish behaviour. For a long time football hooliganism was out of control. Nowadays it's things like assaults, muggings and stabbings, for which we're one of those most dangerous of developed countries.
It's very common on our high streets to see groups of youths 15-18 years old threatening people, spitting at them etc because they feel invincible: they have much of the physical strength of an adult, but no care of the consequences. They don't think anyone can do anything.

Why do you think it's worse in Britain than other developed countries? Do you think British young people are inherently more violent than others? Are they just born this way?

NineToTheSky
08-11-2011, 05:35 AM
This whole thing about rich and poor is a complete red herring.

For the benefit of anyone here who is not from the UK (and a reminder to those that are), here's some background on this:

Britain has a problem with yobbish behaviour. ..

A superb post. You are right in every respect.

I know that this is a bit of a cliche, but I believe that it must be down to parenting and education. They are the two main factors that influence a child. So often, in the reports I have been reading, the parents, or more commonly, the parent, doesn't know or seem to care what their child is doing.

They have no guidance and no sense of what is moral. They obviously have no sense of empathy. They need to learn about this. What is available is schooling, parenting and their peers. The latter may have a different set of values to the former.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 05:45 AM
Why do you think it's worse in Britain than other developed countries? Do you think British young people are inherently more violent than others? Are they just born this way?

Well the point of my last post was attempting to say that in not clamping down on certain behaviours we encourage them to not only continue, but get worse. People see they can get away with x, so they try y. "Flexing their muscles", so to speak.
This kind of thing has gone on for so long that a generation has grown up and I'm sure there are parents that will be telling their children things like "...so then I told the teacher to fuck off and she couldn't say anything".

But I do want to make a point about genetics. One of the philosophies that seems to have slipped into the public consciousness is the idea that people are inherently good and it is only particular circumstances that act to make them behave badly e.g. being abused, not having a father figure around.
I don't subscribe to this.

I think there are a distribution of personalities and some people are inclined to be aggressive or spiteful or whatever. And if we don't deal with this reality, then other people with less of an inclination will start to behave the same way, because the perception will be that such behaviours are effective.

Colophon
08-11-2011, 05:48 AM
I've heard rumours that someone's been distributing leaflets on "how to get away with rioting". Does anyone know if there's anything to them?
Leaflets? How delightfully old-school...

NineToTheSky
08-11-2011, 05:48 AM
Well the point of my last post was attempting to say that in not clamping down on certain behaviours we encourage them to not only continue, but get worse. People see they can get away with x, so they try y. "Flexing their muscles", so to speak.
This kind of thing has gone on for so long that a generation has grown up and I'm sure there are parents that will be telling their children things like "...so then I told the teacher to fuck off and she couldn't say anything".

But I do want to make a point about genetics. One of the philosophies that seems to have slipped into the public consciousness is the idea that people are inherently good and it is only particular circumstances that act to make them behave badly e.g. being abused, not having a father figure around.
I don't subscribe to this.

I think there are a distribution of personalities and some people are inclined to be aggressive or spiteful or whatever. And if we don't deal with this reality, then other people with less of an inclination will start to behave the same way, because the perception will be that such behaviours are effective.

But I don't know why other countries don't suffer from this.

Der Trihs
08-11-2011, 05:49 AM
Yeah, but now you have the unusual situation of the poor underclass expanding while the middle class tend to have fewer children. Not a good idea for maintaining a modern economy.Because the rich are getting richer and everyone else as a consequence is getting poorer. Not because of your racial & Social Darwinist fantasies.


How did we solve it?
Did we ask what were the causes in society of such behaviour? What we should be doing in our communities?

No, we recognized it for what it was: a bunch of people acting like idiots, and we got tough with them. That's not even logically coherent. If you didn't even ask yourself what the causes are, then you don't know why the behavior got better, or the cause of it in the first place. By definition. You can't reasonably claim that people are "just a bunch of idiots" while at the same time saying that you not only don't know but you aren't even trying to find out why they are doing anything.

There's a definite "Ignorance is Strength" vibe here...kind of ironic on this website.

SecondJudith
08-11-2011, 05:50 AM
But I do want to make a point about genetics. One of the philosophies that seems to have slipped into the public consciousness is the idea that people are inherently good and it is only particular circumstances that act to make them behave badly e.g. being abused, not having a father figure around.
I don't subscribe to this.

So you think people are just born 'bad'? Do you think this distribution is equal across the races, classes, genders, etc, or is it bred?

Kobal2
08-11-2011, 05:56 AM
Well the point of my last post was attempting to say that in not clamping down on certain behaviours we encourage them to not only continue, but get worse.

And the answer is to let the beatings continue until morale attitude improves ?

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 06:27 AM
Yeah, but now you have the unusual situation of the poor underclass expanding while the middle class tend to have fewer children. Not a good idea for maintaining a modern economy.
Oh, please - there have been complaints about the poor outbreeding the rich since the days of the Roman Empire. So far, the rich haven't gone extinct and the poor haven't taken over. It's not "unusual", it's actually fairly typical in history.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 06:30 AM
But I don't know why other countries don't suffer from this.

Because their methods for dealing with initial, smaller scale bad behaviour are different to ours. That's my central point.

Obviously there are other factors, like our culture on binge drinking, but the thing is, if you mention something like that it becomes the scapegoat for bad behaviour. People change licensing laws in an area and are surprised when crime doesn't come down.

If you didn't even ask yourself what the causes are, then you don't know why the behavior got better, or the cause of it in the first place.

Think what you're saying here. That we cannot respond to a phenomenon without knowing its causes? Or indeed, we can't even say whether a given response is even useful? Seriously, do I have to give an analogy to show you why this is nonsense?

In any case, I think I can identify causes, which I've gone into in other posts.


So you think people are just born 'bad'?


Well, sort of...I wouldn't put it like that.
We all have some propensity to doing bad things some of the time. And I think it's innate. If you watch very young children play you'll see clear-cut acts of spite.
And I saying there's variation in this, like most things, so some people are inclined to do more extreme things, more of the time.

Inclination is not the same thing as behaviour though. I'm not saying anyone is "lost".

Do you think this distribution is equal across the races, classes, genders, etc, or is it bred?

For race and all that...let's not go there. There's no reason to bring this into the discussion.
As for "bred", yes, if you mean bred by natural selection.


And the answer is to let the beatings continue until attitude improves ?


I've no idea what you're talking about. What beatings? To whom?

Rune
08-11-2011, 06:35 AM
There was a riot in Copenhagen in 1993 (http://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/18._maj-urolighederne) (youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E7PHw07Mg4)) by ultraleftist nationalists. The police shot (100+ shots were fired) them down. The riot wasn’t repeated. Plenty of peaceful demonstrations of course.

Grumman
08-11-2011, 06:48 AM
And the answer is to let the beatings continue until morale attitude improves ?
This is not a political movement. It is a band of opportunistic thugs. These arsonists and looters can and should be suppressed just as you would a spate of armed robberies. Cracking down on robbers isn't going to attract others to their cause, because they don't have one. All it will do is tip their cost/benefit analysis away from committing more robberies.

SecondJudith
08-11-2011, 07:00 AM
Because their methods for dealing with initial, smaller scale bad behaviour are different to ours. That's my central point.

So it is to some degree affected by environment?

For race and all that...let's not go there. There's no reason to bring this into the discussion.
As for "bred", yes, if you mean bred by natural selection.

I don't see why not. If it's related to genetics and breeding there must be some correlation with race and ethnicity, according to your theory. What's the difference?

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 07:04 AM
Because their methods for dealing with initial, smaller scale bad behaviour are different to ours. That's my central point.
Then you may need to change the rules on how your police respond to small mobs. My understanding is that in the UK police tend to hold back when it's a property crime and then track the culprit down later - perhaps they should be more active in apprehending someone in the act of committing such a crime. Perhaps they should re-evaluate how they handle unruly crowds. Maybe something else needs adjusting, it's hard to say since I'm not overly familiar with life in the UK.

Obviously there are other factors, like our culture on binge drinking, but the thing is, if you mention something like that it becomes the scapegoat for bad behaviour. People change licensing laws in an area and are surprised when crime doesn't come down.
Well, obviously, in that case drinking was not a cause of the crimes that didn't go away. Drink might contribute, or it might be involved in a subset of crime, but if you change the alcohol laws and crime remains the same then alcohol isn't the root of the problem.

But yes, we get the same phenomena here.

Think what you're saying here. That we cannot respond to a phenomenon without knowing its causes? Or indeed, we can't even say whether a given response is even useful? Seriously, do I have to give an analogy to show you why this is nonsense?
Well, of course you have to do something immediately to quell riots on this scale. You have to stop them. Once it's over, though, you have two choices: go back to things as they were, and deal with the next riot down the road; or try to find out the root causes of why this happened - which the participants themselves might not even be aware of!

There have been lot of urban riots over the years. You know what? They tend to have a few things in common:

- discrimination (racial, class, religious - doesn't matter, and can be a mix)
- poverty (lack of money)
- high unemployment (lack of jobs)
- lack of good educational opportunities
- lack of adequate healthcare access
- lack of adequate housing
- police brutality (real and/or perceived)

So take a look at that list and ask yourself: how many of these exist in Britain right now? Doesn't have to be all of them, but every one of them you find increases your chance of a riot.

I've no idea what you're talking about. What beatings? To whom?
It's an old joke: "The beatings will continue until morale improves" - people are unhappy about something, so we will inflict more unhappy on them until they become happy. Another way of saying that if something doesn't work doing more of it is unlikely to result in a different outcome.

Jackmannii
08-11-2011, 07:09 AM
This is not a political movement. It is a band of opportunistic thugs.Well, you can't ignore social injustice. These things don't just happen in a vacuum (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=619240&highlight=wisconsin+state+fair), you know.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 07:47 AM
So it is to some degree affected by environment?

Of course.


If it's related to genetics and breeding there must be some correlation with race and ethnicity, according to your theory. What's the difference?

Firstly, why do you insist on calling it "breeding"? I'm talking about our natural tendancies which have come about through our evolutionary history.
Secondly, it's not my theory: It's been well established that we have some propensity towards bad behaviour and there is variation in to what degree. What part of this do you dispute?
Finally, yeah probably there would be some variation between population groups. This is very different from saying black=good, white=bad and I think it's quite poor form to try to lead the discussion that way.


- discrimination (racial, class, religious - doesn't matter, and can be a mix)
- poverty (lack of money)
- high unemployment (lack of jobs)
- lack of good educational opportunities
- lack of adequate healthcare access
- lack of adequate housing
- police brutality (real and/or perceived)


Fine, but don't forget:

- opportunism

What I'm saying is that this reason may be one of the most critical in the kind of riots which are taking place in britain.

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 08:16 AM
Well, yes, there is a certain sort of person who, seeing what they perceive to be an opportunity to get something for nothing without getting caught will take advantage. The fact that the UK actually is using CCTV footage and other means to track down those who rioted, burned, and looted may make people think twice next time, as getting away with it is apparently not as easy as it appeared.

But tens of thousands of other people did not become opportunists. Why is that? What's the difference between those who take and those who restrain themselves? Who is more likely to loot, those who can afford to pay for the stuff in the shop window, or those who will never be able to afford those items? It's not that rich young idiots never smash windows, set fires, or steal, but they seem far less likely to do so. Nor is it poverty alone that drives the looting, as there were plenty of London poor who didn't take part in all the rioting, theft, and arson.

The causes aren't direct - you can't point to someone and say "oh, he's X, he'll do Y" because people don't work like that. On the other hand, it's also pretty clear that if certain types of social conditions are common, then certain other conditions - like riots - are much more likely to occur.

Mangetout
08-11-2011, 08:32 AM
...Fine, but don't forget:

- opportunism

What I'm saying is that this reason may be one of the most critical in the kind of riots which are taking place in britain.

If today's news reports are at all representative of the facts (and I acknowledge this isn't always the case), then you could be right. People arrested and charged who aren't jobless, homeless or particularly poor or disgruntled

Mangetout
08-11-2011, 08:36 AM
Who is more likely to loot, those who can afford to pay for the stuff in the shop window, or those who will never be able to afford those items?

I'm not sure the answer to that is at all straightforward or obvious - and it may be the opposite of what you expect. Poverty has a reputation for inspiring a kind of earthy honesty, and people who can (or have preiviously been able to) afford stuff might generally expect to have stuff they want.

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 08:37 AM
In which case Britain will have to ask why that cross-section of people thought "smash and loot" was somehow acceptable.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 09:01 AM
I'm not sure the answer to that is at all straightforward or obvious - and it may be the opposite of what you expect. Poverty has a reputation for inspiring a kind of earthy honesty, and people who can (or have preiviously been able to) afford stuff might generally expect to have stuff they want.

Quite.
It's interesting that so much of the discussion has been about poverty, with no obvious evidence of a correlation. Sure, they're unlikely to be the richest in society but I'd like to see evidence they're the poorest.
The logic appears to be "They're taking stuff...so they must be poor, right?".

Whereas on the other hand, the fact they're firebombing people's homes (in some cases while people were still in them), and other acts which are despicable even through the lens of other riots...from this we're not supposed to infer anything.

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 09:12 AM
Well, go ahead and infer.

I think part of the reason discussion has focused on looting is because that's most of what was going on, the arson, although alarming, was not the dominant activity.

Capitaine Zombie
08-11-2011, 09:19 AM
This whole thing about rich and poor is a complete red herring.

For the benefit of anyone here who is not from the UK (and a reminder to those that are), here's some background on this:

Britain has a problem with yobbish behaviour. For a long time football hooliganism was out of control. Nowadays it's things like assaults, muggings and stabbings, for which we're one of those most dangerous of developed countries.
It's very common on our high streets to see groups of youths 15-18 years old threatening people, spitting at them etc because they feel invincible: they have much of the physical strength of an adult, but no care of the consequences. They don't think anyone can do anything.

And now this new flavour of rioting. Which is ostensibly about duggan, tuition fees or whatever but is really an excuse for such youths to smash up the place and steal stuff.
The softly softly approach has been tried. A lot. Instead of the soul searching let's nip the behaviour in the bud.

Note that I had to say we were a country with a football hooliganism problem. It's not gone away, but things are *much* better than the hooliganism heyday of the 70s.

How did we solve it?
Did we ask what were the causes in society of such behaviour? What we should be doing in our communities?

No, we recognized it for what it was: a bunch of people acting like idiots, and we got tough with them.

Obviously getting tough on criminal behaviour is no panacea. The point is, britain has its own specific set of problems and getting tougher on yob behaviour is well overdue.

Football hooliganism caused the French 2005 riots? Nothing at all to do with the social situation?
Cause from across the Channel, your riots look a lot like ours.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 09:39 AM
I think part of the reason discussion has focused on looting is because that's most of what was going on, the arson, although alarming, was not the dominant activity.

Firstly, it depends what we mean by dominant activity. Obviously in terms of frequency you are not likely to get more buildings razed than shops stolen from.

But secondly, the discussion hasn't focused on looting, it's focused on poverty. Which is really a non sequitur.
I've given my reasoning for why I think they're happening in quite some detail. The poverty explanation seems to rest on it being "just obviously" about that.

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 10:00 AM
Well, OK then - did mobs of wealthy youth swarm into poor and middle-class neighborhoods, smash buildings, and set things on fire?

While certainly poverty isn't the whole story it's hard to argue it's not a factor. Part of what complicates these discussions is the human desire to find just one easy explanation for it all. There isn't. There are always a number of factors at work.

Bisected8
08-11-2011, 10:30 AM
Well, OK then - did mobs of wealthy youth swarm into poor and middle-class neighborhoods, smash buildings, and set things on fire?

As I've already pointed out there's not real divide in the rioters; they're of all economic classes, ages, races and proffessions.

The first people to be sentanced have included a primary school assistant teacher and an 11 year old (no direct connection).

Mijin
08-11-2011, 10:32 AM
Well, OK then - did mobs of wealthy youth swarm into poor and middle-class neighborhoods, smash buildings, and set things on fire?

As I said before I don't think many of the richest in society took part, but I want to see evidence it was the poorest.


While certainly poverty isn't the whole story it's hard to argue it's not a factor. Part of what complicates these discussions is the human desire to find just one easy explanation for it all. There isn't. There are always a number of factors at work.

Sure. But I'm trying to bring some balance here.
Shit going down and people saying "Well it's poverty. We need to tackle the deprivation." is what always happens in this country.

There are not enough people saying "There's a wicked element in every society, and if you don't tackle it, it grows".
You'd think this would now be the conclusion: that people would realize how badly wrong their policies were because they've led to these appalling scenes.
But apparently not. There is nothing that could happen that people won't make excuses for. :(

SecondJudith
08-11-2011, 10:36 AM
Can we get a "trying to understand the reasons behind the rioting (to stop it from happening again) is not excusing or supporting the behaviour of the rioters" sticky or something?

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 10:51 AM
^ This.

There is a difference between explaining and excusing, and in order to explain we have to question.

PaulParkhead
08-11-2011, 10:52 AM
Can we get a "trying to understand the reasons behind the rioting (to stop it from happening again) is not excusing or supporting the behaviour of the rioters" sticky or something?

Well, from what I'm reading I think the opposing view is something like "the reason behind the rioting is that the rioters are bad people, end of story." If you approach the situation from that point of view, hanging and flogging 'em makes sense.

Malthus
08-11-2011, 10:55 AM
Football hooliganism caused the French 2005 riots? Nothing at all to do with the social situation?
Cause from across the Channel, your riots look a lot like ours.

In Canada, we had furious rioting after the Stanley Cup in Vancouver, quite recently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_riot_2011

Oddly, though, few here advanced the theory that the rioting in Vancouver was caused by deep-seated social malaise created by a lack of opportunity for Vancouver's youth. The authorities blamed "anarchists", but quite evidently most of the rioters were neither disadvantaged youth nor anarchists.

Rather, the focus was on mistakes made by the authorities in not anticipating the trouble and not responding to it in a timely and efficient manner.

Malthus
08-11-2011, 11:03 AM
Well, from what I'm reading I think the opposing view is something like "the reason behind the rioting is that the rioters are bad people, end of story." If you approach the situation from that point of view, hanging and flogging 'em makes sense.

A third possibility is that the rioting was enabled by a lack of prompt response by the authorities, and thus fed on itself (see Vancouver's 2011 Riot, cited above).

Rioting doesn't really need a deep-seated cause. Certainly there was none in Vancouver. What it needs is a trigger (be it protest at a police shooting or losing a hockey game) and opportunity for the social compact to evidently break down, allowing some people to do stuff they are usually inhibited from doing (burn stuff down for fun, steal things, beat people up for kicks, etc.).

An element in that opportunity is the advent of social media, which enables crowds to be summoned quickly.

From the Vancouver Riot wiki entry:

Many participants in the riot stood and posed for photographs, with some even posting the photos on their own social media accounts. Photos and videos were also taken by onlookers intent on documenting the riot. In the aftermath, those photos and videos were used by many local people outraged by the riot, in an effort to tag and identify rioters and looters on Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites, and to provide additional information to police for prosecution.[26] Community participation in assisting police to identify the rioters has been described as unprecedented,[27] and police admitted to being overwhelmed by the amount of evidence provided.[28] While riot instigators were described by police as a small group of anarchists, the collected photographs and videos revealed that many participants were not connected and had never been arrested before.[5][29] Online shaming campaigns resulted in some riot participants being fired from their jobs and removed from athletic teams. In some cases, violence was threatened against those identified as rioters, prompting one family to flee its home,[30] and others to express concern about the potential of mob mentality online.[31] The Vancouver Police Department appealed to citizens, online and otherwise, not to engage in acts of vigilante justice.[32]

What is notable is the (apparently, proud) participation of people who had never been in trouble with the police before, who had jobs etc.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 11:14 AM
Can we get a "trying to understand the reasons behind the rioting (to stop it from happening again) is not excusing or supporting the behaviour of the rioters" sticky or something?

I'm trying to understand the reasons too, but my focus has been on personal responsability, whereas the poverty explanation diminishes it.
If poverty were the sole explanation there would be no personal responsability.

Well, from what I'm reading I think the opposing view is something like "the reason behind the rioting is that the rioters are bad people, end of story." If you approach the situation from that point of view, hanging and flogging 'em makes sense.

I suspect this may be directed at me, so let's make it clear: I don't think it's just "they're bad people, end of story".
Nor have I said anything about capital or corporal punishment.

Let me put it this way: Let's say I had a teenage son and I discover he has been stealing money from my wallet. Then I confront him and he says "Shut up, I can take whatever I want from you".
I wouldn't think: my son is pure evil: he must be killed. Nor would I think: this is a sign of poverty, I must raise his allowance.
I would think clearly discipline has failed and my son has no respect at all for me. I need to repair this situation. I need to do that first before I can fix any other problems my son may have.

Broomstick
08-11-2011, 11:25 AM
What is notable is the (apparently, proud) participation of people who had never been in trouble with the police before, who had jobs etc.
It may well be that due to the video/photo documentation of this riot we learn something that has been overlooked, ignored, or missed in previous urban riots... and wouldn't that be an interesting development?

For all we know, that sort of mix of people is more typical than past notions, in which case there might need to be quite a bit of revision on the theories about riots.

blindboyard
08-11-2011, 11:34 AM
“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.”
— UK Ministry of Defence report: 'The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007

Punoqllads
08-11-2011, 03:42 PM
What the rioters have in common is poverty. They're not singling out businesses by race, they're taking everything that's not nailed down.
Whoops (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/08/11/ukriots.accused/index.html?hpt=hp_c1). Taking everything not nailed down is correct. But...


Reporter Andrew Gilligan wrote in the Daily Telegraph: ... "Most were teenagers or in their early twenties, but a surprising number were older.

"Most interestingly of all, they were predominantly white, and many had jobs."

Malthus
08-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Whoops (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/08/11/ukriots.accused/index.html?hpt=hp_c1). Taking everything not nailed down is correct. But...

Heh, echoes what I was saying about the Vancouver riots.

It wasn't the no-hopers from the downtown eastside (notorious for its poverty) that rioted - it was often people with jobs and money.

PaulParkhead
08-11-2011, 06:32 PM
I suspect this may be directed at me, so let's make it clear: I don't think it's just "they're bad people, end of story".
Nor have I said anything about capital or corporal punishment.

Let me put it this way: Let's say I had a teenage son and I discover he has been stealing money from my wallet. Then I confront him and he says "Shut up, I can take whatever I want from you".
I wouldn't think: my son is pure evil: he must be killed. Nor would I think: this is a sign of poverty, I must raise his allowance.
I would think clearly discipline has failed and my son has no respect at all for me. I need to repair this situation. I need to do that first before I can fix any other problems my son may have.

Not directed at you personally, and my remarks about "hang 'em and flog 'em" should be taken as hyperbole. There haven't been all that many people here advocating execution or whatever.

Your point seems reasonable enough to me, and if one of my children behaved that way I'd probably consider the issue in the same way. But I'm not convinced it's possible to extrapolate from a family situation to one where we're dealing with a riotous mob attacking multiple cities.

I do think there's a problem, and it's not that we aren't paying these people enough JSA or ESA or Housing Benefit. There apparently isn't a sense of community, to the extent that people seem quite happy to set fire to their own neighbourhoods. Someone else here, on one of the threads about this, asked why we have raised a generation of sociopaths. I think this is important, and I don't think it's possible to explain this problem, much less solve it, while ignoring that question.

By all means we should kick the arses of those rioters we can catch. I've got no problem with that - lawless thugs should be in jail. Just as long as we don't pretend that by doing so we've solved the problem.

LonesomePolecat
08-11-2011, 07:31 PM
He was pointing out, in a snarky way, that you were wrong in all of the claims you made in that post.

This is Great Debates. When you're irrational and factually inaccurate, people will call you on it. That's how it works.And blah blah blah. I was wrong about the UK riots, but not the others. The “irrational and factually inaccurate” thing here is your overwrought response to the breaking of your taboo against speaking honestly about black lawlessness and violence. If you're going to continue in this vein, take it to the Pit, where I won't be joining you.

Mijin
08-11-2011, 07:50 PM
There apparently isn't a sense of community, to the extent that people seem quite happy to set fire to their own neighbourhoods. Someone else here, on one of the threads about this, asked why we have raised a generation of sociopaths.

I agree there's little sense of community, but getting it back could take decades if it's possible at all.

I've been living at my current address for about a year. I don't know anyone on the streets nearest my home. I've said literally "all right" a couple of times to the guy who lives next door, but I don't even know his name.
And I think I'm pretty representative of british people today.

I've thought about why it's like this. One factor is that people view strangers with suspicion. Maybe we've had too many paedo headlines for too long :confused:


By all means we should kick the arses of those rioters we can catch. I've got no problem with that - lawless thugs should be in jail.

Also we should got more zero tolerance-y with the riots. It's weird saying this with the background of the arab spring, but the situation here is very different. Here it's about disdain for the police and a feeling of being untouchable.

The more I think about it, the more I think the analogy of a teenager flexing his muscles works well. Because many of them were teenagers and they are just flexing their muscles. It's just difficult to see this for some, because no-one can believe it would get to this stage. But if you let someone get away with x, tomorrow they'll try x + 1. Rinse and repeat for about 30 years of policy.

For various reasons I don't think we'll see riots like this for the next couple of years. But unless something changes (something much more significant than the changes so far), I'm sure something worse will happen in time...

Chen019
08-11-2011, 07:59 PM
http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUnderstandingWhyCrime2004.pdf
How did we solve it?
Did we ask what were the causes in society of such behaviour? What we should be doing in our communities?

No, we recognized it for what it was: a bunch of people acting like idiots, and we got tough with them.

Obviously getting tough on criminal behaviour is no panacea. The point is, britain has its own specific set of problems and getting tougher on yob behaviour is well overdue.

1. Tougher approach, more discipline and firm boundaries for youth.

2. More apprenticeships and army service for unemployed.

3. More police and more prisons works. See Steve Levitt's paper on causes of the fall in US crime rates (http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUnderstandingWhyCrime2004.pdf).

4. For long term beneficiaries, contraception should be a condition of eligibility after 12 months. This is just a basic reciprocal obligation to receiving state money.

Belowjob2.0
08-11-2011, 08:47 PM
And blah blah blah. I was wrong about the UK riots, but not the others. The “irrational and factually inaccurate” thing here is your overwrought response to the breaking of your taboo against speaking honestly about black lawlessness and violence. If you're going to continue in this vein, take it to the Pit, where I won't be joining you.

Well, since this thread is specifically about the UK riots...

But I won't confuse you with the facts.

Capitaine Zombie
08-12-2011, 01:39 AM
And blah blah blah. I was wrong about the UK riots, but not the others. The “irrational and factually inaccurate” thing here is your overwrought response to the breaking of your taboo against speaking honestly about black lawlessness and violence. If you're going to continue in this vein, take it to the Pit, where I won't be joining you.

That's fucking hilarious. You get caught, once again, spewing unfounded racist bullshit, and you act outraged that nobody takes you seriously.

gonzomax
08-12-2011, 01:15 PM
A 40 percent unemployment for young people is part of the reason. There are a lot of people without hope. The direction the government is headed, looks pretty bad to them.

blindboyard
08-12-2011, 01:48 PM
http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/Small-town-gang-cause-bemusement-Tesco-Express/story-13120472-detail/story.html

They had seen the images from London and Birmingham and wanted to bring a bit of rioting and looting to their own little corner of a West’s market town.

With their hoods up and with bricks in hand, they had arranged to meet on Facebook and selected their target – the Tesco Express store in the centre of Calne, Wiltshire.

But things didn’t really go according to plan for the Calne Five, who hadn’t exactly done their homework before setting off for a night of rioting, mayhem and looting.

For a start, they perhaps failed to realise that the looters of London were smashing shop windows because shops were closed so they could get inside to steal their goods.

But if the shop is still open, like the Tesco Express in Calne was at the time on Tuesday night, they could easily have simply walked in through the open door.

Der Trihs
08-12-2011, 05:01 PM
Let me put it this way: Let's say I had a teenage son and I discover he has been stealing money from my wallet. Then I confront him and he says "Shut up, I can take whatever I want from you".
I wouldn't think: my son is pure evil: he must be killed. Nor would I think: this is a sign of poverty, I must raise his allowance.
I would think clearly discipline has failed and my son has no respect at all for me. I need to repair this situation. I need to do that first before I can fix any other problems my son may have.To extend that metaphor, you are also a thief and part of his excuse is "well, you do it!" In a world where the wealthy and powerful loot and break society as they please, are protected from consequences for their actions, and are outright self-righteous about doing so the authorities don't have a great deal of moral authority when they tell other people to not act the same. It's hard for a practicing thief to convince his son he shouldn't steal.

BrainGlutton
08-12-2011, 05:17 PM
4. For long term beneficiaries, contraception should be a condition of eligibility after 12 months. This is just a basic reciprocal obligation to receiving state money.

You really think you could get something like that through Parliament or Congress?

Mijin
08-12-2011, 08:07 PM
To extend that metaphor, you are also a thief and part of his excuse is "well, you do it!" In a world where the wealthy and powerful loot and break society as they please, are protected from consequences for their actions, and are outright self-righteous about doing so the authorities don't have a great deal of moral authority when they tell other people to not act the same. It's hard for a practicing thief to convince his son he shouldn't steal.

I'm sorry this just doesn't wash, it's not a reasonable extension of my analogy.
I'm disappointed that you are still making excuses for this kind of appaling behaviour.

Earlier in the thread I mentioned how I am from quite a deprived background myself. A single-parent family where at times my mother struggled to put food on the table, in one of the roughest areas of Birmingham (yes, start the violins...).

I and the rest of my family got out of this situation by...working hard. I studied hard and I had a part time job from the age of 12 to...well there's never been a point where I haven't worked since then. I didn't expect anything to fall into my lap.

So sure, in the metaphor, I would like it very much if the hypothetical boy followed my example.

Now obviously, jobs are harder to come by in the current environment.
And if all the people rioting were working hard at school, but ultimately there were only x jobs available I might have some sympathy.
But as the data show, many do not. Part-time jobs are still advertised with the most rudimentary of requirements. So if someone genuinely wants to work their way out of poverty, and not make excuses, they still can.

An Gadaí
08-12-2011, 08:11 PM
David Starkey is an idiot (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517).

nudgenudge
08-12-2011, 08:28 PM
David Starkey is an idiot (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517).
I watched that as it happened, open-mouthed. I'm trying to give Starkey the benefit of the doubt, that he had maybe had a reasonable point somewhere in there, but articulated it very badly. But... man, some of the stuff he came out with. I had to rewind to double-check that he did actually say it.

Mijin
08-12-2011, 08:33 PM
I watched that as it happened, open-mouthed. I'm trying to give Starkey the benefit of the doubt, that he had maybe had a reasonable point somewhere in there, but articulated it very badly. But... man, some of the stuff he came out with. I had to rewind to double-check that he did actually say it.

Seconded.
I really wanted him to blast through political correctness and have a good point, but he was just speaking from ignorance and, frankly, racism.

I did lol though when he was trying to speak patois...

Der Trihs
08-12-2011, 09:18 PM
I'm sorry this just doesn't wash, it's not a reasonable extension of my analogy.
I'm disappointed that you are still making excuses for this kind of appaling behaviour.And I'm disappointed, or at least irritated that people are still trying to pretend that any attempt at explanation is "making excuses".

So if someone genuinely wants to work their way out of poverty, and not make excuses, they still can.No; like America Britain has little social mobility. Most of the time, trying to work your way out of poverty doesn't work.

And that's besides the point I was trying to make, anyway. I was making the point that a society where the people on the top of the economic heap openly and self righteously loot and exploit and harm others with no consequences has little moral authority when it tells less wealthy people to not emulate their "betters".

Really Not All That Bright
08-12-2011, 10:26 PM
David Starkey is an idiot (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517).
Oh, sweet fuck.

Belowjob2.0
08-13-2011, 03:42 AM
David Starkey is an idiot (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517).

What's funny about Starkey's comments is that it's actually the other way around.

The Afro-Caribbean population has largely assimilated into the white English underclass. The rampant property crime, public drunkeness, street violence, illegitimacy and welfare dependency are features of the native born, white underclass.

http://www.city-journal.org/assets/images/19_2-cb2.jpg

Of course, class has tended to play the same role in Britain that race has in the US, so no surprise that the black underclass in the States and the white underclass in Britain greatly resemble each other.

Mijin
08-13-2011, 05:00 AM
And I'm disappointed, or at least irritated that people are still trying to pretend that any attempt at explanation is "making excuses".


Actually we are both attempting to explain these riots. But I'm focusing on personal responsability whereas the poverty explanation diminishes it.
In fact, in your case specifically, you talk almost entirely about the greedy rich people and barely mention the people who committed these crimes.

nudgenudge
08-13-2011, 05:05 AM
so no surprise that the black underclass in the States and the white underclass in Britain greatly resemble each other.
Yes, I'm guessing that that's part of what Starkey was trying to say, but throwing in stuff like "if you close your eyes, he almost sounds white", and saying to the (black) woman sitting right next to him "you don't sound like them" was jaw-droppingly... insensitive? I don't want to say racist, because I don't know what the guy actually thinks, but it came across like that. He set off on the wrong foot by appearing to praise Enoch Powell - it became apparent that he perhaps meant something more like "Powell was not wholly wrong", which is debatable but not necessarily insane, but man, it's not a good way to get the audience on your side, starting off like that.

Kobal2
08-13-2011, 06:24 AM
Let me put it this way: Let's say I had a teenage son and I discover he has been stealing money from my wallet. Then I confront him and he says "Shut up, I can take whatever I want from you".
I wouldn't think: my son is pure evil: he must be killed. Nor would I think: this is a sign of poverty, I must raise his allowance.
I would think clearly discipline has failed and my son has no respect at all for me. I need to repair this situation. I need to do that first before I can fix any other problems my son may have.

True to a point, but do you think grounding him or whupping his arse is going to make him respect you ? Respect is earned. You can't take it or force someone to give it to you.
And if your metaphorical son doesn't respect you because you're never home, could give a shit about his schoolwork and toss him on his ear on his 18th birthday, all the while telling him over and over what a piece of shit he is, I don't think giving him the belt is going to improve his opinion of you none.

BrainGlutton
08-13-2011, 10:11 AM
What worries me about this is that it shows how frighteningly close we are to anarchy. For the first three nights, the rioters were left to do anything they wanted. And what they wanted to do was not minor; they left whole streets decimated. People have lost their homes and businesses, and it's very lucky that only three people have lost their lives; it could have been so many more.

This shows that many people are prepared to carry out immoral and illegal actions, and that they care not a jot for the rule of law. And that we are not yet prepared to deal with them.

Don't worry about it. Based on American experience, a riot, however major, never becomes anarchy. It dies down like any temper tantrum and the people in the rioting neighborhoods go on living more or less like they lived before. You are frighteningly close to anarchy only in the sense that you are (if you live in London) frighteningly close to starvation: It could happen, but the whole political-economic-industrial system would have to break down first, and you'd see it all coming from far away.

lurking guest
08-13-2011, 10:14 PM
Please read the second edition of "The Meritochracy Myth."

People across the world are beginning to understand that the "Haves" do not have because they are more virtuous, or intelligent, or talented...but because of their access to power or wealth.

And are beginning to understand that those who control the wealth of the world and the militaries of the world and the governments of the world are NOT more virtuous or hard working or intelligent or talented...they are just those who already have it, are not willing to share it, and must figure out strategies to keep the 'masses' from discovering their need of them.

The "Arab Spring" - the "London Uprisings" - the dysfuntion of the current American system... the Elites are already meeting across the globe and trying to figure out how to 'contain' this.

Can they?

nachtmusick
08-14-2011, 02:52 AM
People have understood these truths for quite some time. You have just stumbled upon a conspiracy of six billion against one.

blindboyard
08-14-2011, 03:15 AM
The word "meritocracy" has been hijacked by the rich to provide moral cover for their position. The word originates in The Rise of the Meritocracy by Michael Young, who wrote the Labour Party manifesto in 1945. A remarkably accurate prediction of the future, although the term "meritocracy" was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

NineToTheSky
08-14-2011, 05:11 AM
Harriet Sergeant, a fellow of the Centre for Policy Studies, an independent Think Tank, has published a study WASTED: The betrayal of white working class and black Caribbean boys, which I have found very interesting. It was published before the riots, but it goes some way into exploring the motivation - or more importantly the lack of it - that drives their lives.

(The paper is public domain.)

Mijin
08-14-2011, 06:12 AM
David Starkey is an idiot (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14513517).

In some ways what I've found worse than the original event is some of the opinions following it.
Here's Toby Young (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyyoung/100100845/was-david-starkey-being-racist-on-newsnight-last-night/) of the Telegraph trying to defend some of the comments using the most convoluted logic (e.g. "the blacks" isn't a generalization -- he meant a particular part of black culture).

I'm not saying we should all be proclaiming "Starkey is a racist", but he did make some inappropriate and ignorant (e.g. wrt rap music) comments and people that won't admit even that are showing their true colours.

Mijin
08-14-2011, 06:33 AM
Please read the second edition of "The Meritochracy Myth."

People across the world are beginning to understand that the "Haves" do not have because they are more virtuous, or intelligent, or talented...but because of their access to power or wealth.

And are beginning to understand that those who control the wealth of the world and the militaries of the world and the governments of the world are NOT more virtuous or hard working or intelligent or talented...they are just those who already have it, are not willing to share it, and must figure out strategies to keep the 'masses' from discovering their need of them.

The "Arab Spring" - the "London Uprisings" - the dysfuntion of the current American system... the Elites are already meeting across the globe and trying to figure out how to 'contain' this.

Can they?

First of all I think it is disgusting to put these riots alongside the arab spring.

This is not an oppressed population risking their lives to make a positive change for the future.
This was a bunch of yobs organising to burn down innocent people's shops and homes, mug people and steal whatever they could.

Let's try not to lose sight of what actually happened.

---------------

Britain is not a meritocracy. No country is, and it is a straw man to accuse anyone of suggesting it is.
I earlier said that hard-working children would escape poverty. This is not to say that everyone has the same opportunities and there's no advantage to being born into a rich family.
But social mobility is still good in our country compared to most of the world and most of our history.

I think there's a worldview that money just rains from the sky and if some people have more of it it is because they've taken your share. Instead, it's business and enterprise that create wealth and it's just the way capitalism plays out that money tends to gravitate towards money.
Governments should try to redistribute some of the wealth but no-one should feel entitled to anything.

nachtmusick
08-14-2011, 06:35 AM
True to a point, but do you think grounding him or whupping his arse is going to make him respect you ? Respect is earned. You can't take it or force someone to give it to you.
And if your metaphorical son doesn't respect you because you're never home, could give a shit about his schoolwork and toss him on his ear on his 18th birthday, all the while telling him over and over what a piece of shit he is, I don't think giving him the belt is going to improve his opinion of you none.

To bring the metaphor back into the realm of reality, the rioters were not protesting their harsh parenting, they were simply misbehaving. The idea that these riots had any political or social impetus remains a purely self-serving speculation.

Despite the fact that these riots took place in the full sunlight of modern cities, no evidence has yet emerged that any of the participants of the riots were even remotely aware of the motives that apologists have attributed to them.

We are asked to accept as self-evident truth that these riots are an eruption of discontent and the inevitable consequence of structural social injustice. If so, where was the anger? Where were the slogans? Over and over again, the images and accounts just reveal gleeful and random mayhem.

Even if we were to accept that structural social injustice is somehow to blame, that does not excuse random mayhem. It doesn't even mollify it.