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London riots

Not disagreeing, but the the cops shot a suspected drug dealer and gang member. The family came out and said he was unarmed, but didn't deny the gang or drug mentions.

At the risk of generalising, almost all young blacks in London belong to some outfit or other. The "suspected" drug dealing bothers me a bit: was it an allegation or for real? And it is true that blacks undergo more arbitrary stopping and searching than the rest of the population.

Cops kill a criminal and people riot.

Well, okay ... though even I feel compelled to say that young blacks are deliberately being criminalised by the police.

This is about mob mentality, theft, criminal behavior and pure animalistic behavior. And the police as so weak it is pathetic. These criminals are destroying peoples shops, their livelihood.

I agree. Even if it starts with a legitimate grievance it quickly takes on the new dimensions of robbing, looting and arson with the grievance being used to justify the vandalism and violence. An Israeli friend of mine was pointing out today how relatively peaceful the protests in Israel have been.

Take off the gloves, break out the dogs and put this riot down.

Maybe it will be necessary. But it will change London, maybe the country. Towards a more authoritarian country, with greater powers of surveillance and detention.

In my opinion, multiculturalism and mass immigration have been a dismal failure. Because of violence-prone minorities, the texture of the country has to change.

Apologise for such an equivocal answer but reality can be confusing and messy.
 
I don't know if it will change London. I don't think responding to criminal riots is authoritarian. What the Syrians are doing to peaceful protests, that is authoritarian. You simply cannot allow people to burn buildings and riot because they disagree with something. Yes, protest and march, but this wasn't as if the police randomly killed a guy, execution style.

This guy was a suspected gang member and drug dealer and there is a report of him firing at the cops. Might be a lie, might be the truth, but these people who are rioting are not concerned with the truth, just how they feel. Many are just stealing and being part of the destruction.

I think if the UK allows this to continue it will change the country. If this riot is put down it will bring them together.
 
And lets look at history for an example. Segregation and Dr. King. That was true oppression and straight up racial violence. King practiced non violence and it worked. These minority immigrants are given a lot, much more than in many other nations. Yet there is still rampant criminality and rioting. How much more can a government do for those who are poor to get at least a little respect.
 

Joe Ross

Rutgers MSMF Student
To put this into perspective, how many riots like this occur in America? Or more pointedly, how many are not quelled immediately?

The reason these riots last longer in other countries is a direct result of limited firearms. Who would burn another man's car or smash his storefront if they thought the man was putting a bead on their forehead through the scope of a Springfield M1A1? An armed populace adds to more subversive activities where encounters with the general populace are limited and therefore the risk of encountering the 2nd Amendment obliging store owner is limited.
 
These minority immigrants are given a lot, much more than in many other nations. Yet there is still rampant criminality and rioting. How much more can a government do for those who are poor to get at least a little respect.

You're putting me in the uncomfortable position of having to defend the black experience in Britain. The work the immigrants were brought over for -- unskilled and semi-skilled -- has disappeared for well over a generation. Working-class whites have also been affected. What you have is a growing underclass of second- and third-generation immigrants, along with underclass whites. There are no prospects for them. Even the ladder of higher education has been taken away as Tony Blair instituted tuition fees, which under the current Tory/Lib coalition are set to triple. The family structure has also gone to hell. The rioting is occurring against this backdrop of a bleak present and even bleaker future (which is what the austerity measures augur). This attempt at explanation doesn't mean I condone this mayhem and violence -- on the contrary. But we have to see it in context, see what may be causal mechanisms.
 
Well I suppose many places in Europe are having issues with immigrants and making them part of society. With that said, I really think there is no excuse for this type of destruction and violence. Maybe some are hopeless, but many are just looking to loot and steal. Couple that with the fact that the British government seems unwilling to allow the police to stop this and restore law and you simply embolden these criminals.

And especially in the UK, where you cannot point to a large military like in the US and you really can't talk about people not being taxed enough or not enough entitlement programs, the poor really are getting all that they can get. Outside of a free Ferrari, what more can a government do for its people?
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
BBW keeps using "multicultural" as if this was somehow a cause.
He needs to look at the TV coverage...

The gangs looting shops are of mixed skin colour, their religion is not clear from the video, but the lack of ethnic division is clear.
The rioters have not fought much amongst themselves, which if you saw race/culture/faith as causes is something you'd expect. Britain has more Moslems than farmers, a serious Sikh population, pretty much every flavour of Christianand more French citizens than all but 5 cities in France. In much of London newsagents have up to 20 different language newspapers, so where is the inter-ethnic strife ?
The only example I've seen so far is Sikhs forming a defensive ring around their biggest temple, trust me you don't want to fuck with Skihs defending their temples.

You can of course see the idea of mixed race gangs as evidence of good or bad things.

I've never met BBW, but I suspect we have quite different social backgrounds and definitely very different friendship circles.
It's worth pointing out at this point that by British standards I am seen as a bit right wing, which by US standards puts me somewhere around Clinton.

When I first read BBW's comments that included the idea that all black kids are in gangs, I first assumed he was someone who had visited London once on holiday years ago. I find it hard to believe that he knows any black families and I suspect his background didn't involve socialising outside those his parents found suitable for a young gentleman. (I'm an Essex man, the precise opposite of a gentleman).

Yes some black kids are in gangs, too many, but unless you set a filter that would include my sons scout troup as a gang, or "me and my mates are going to watch a video" as gang related activity, it is just stupid. It's not even racist, the racists I know have at least bothered to research their topic.

Also it is more complex than immigration.
Most of the rioters are clearly white and some of the areas where rioting has happened have really quite low immigrant populations.

There is a correlation with unemployment as you'd expect, and the accents of the people do rather imply that they are N generations in this country.

Anthony raises some good points.
There is a hard core of systemically unemployed and unemployable in Britain which seems to be larger than in comparable countries; this has been there for >50 years and has not ever really been dealt with.
It has been made worse by the drift towards qualification driven employment. On QN, that may not be seen as too bad, and probably a good thing. Some kids don't take to schooling and the set of decent jobs you can get with no exams is pretty small. Because the UK has higher standards for soldiers than the US, Anthony is right, that is not a way of giving them something to do and in proportion it has few places anyway. But you can't now get a job mending cars or on a construction site without exams, which means they either can't get a job, or the ones they can get aren't much more attractive than being on benefits.

He asks what more can be done by the government and the obvious answer is education, which in some parts of Britain is almost as bad as the USA. People with employment prospects rarely join gangs and only riot when the government behaves actively badly.
 
BBW keeps using "multicultural" as if this was somehow a cause.
He needs to look at the TV coverage...

The gangs looting shops are of mixed skin colour, their religion is not clear from the video, but the lack of ethnic division is clear.
The rioters have not fought much amongst themselves, which if you saw race/culture/faith as causes is something you'd expect. Britain has more Moslems than farmers, a serious Sikh population, pretty much every flavour of Christianand more French citizens than all but 5 cities in France. In much of London newsagents have up to 20 different language newspapers, so where is the inter-ethnic strife ?
The only example I've seen so far is Sikhs forming a defensive ring around their biggest temple, trust me you don't want to fuck with Skihs defending their temples.

The TV coverage is biased so as not to make it look like the majority of rioters are black. Of course they've been joined by white underclass opportunists -- but let's not kid ourselves about the ratio.

It's worth pointing out at this point that by British standards I am seen as a bit right wing, ...

Dominic, you wouldn't know "right-wing" if it hit you in the face. What you are is a liberal.

When I first read BBW's comments that included the idea that all black kids are in gangs, I first assumed he was someone who had visited London once on holiday years ago. I find it hard to believe that he knows any black families and I suspect his background didn't involve socialising outside those his parents found suitable for a young gentleman. (I'm an Essex man, the precise opposite of a gentleman).

I didn't elaborate -- according to the London Met and mainstream media, any group of young blacks constitutes by default "a gang." That's how they define it. The unstated implication is they're upto no good. This is what I meant but didn't making it sufficiently explicit. This is part of what is involved in criminalising them.

Yes some black kids are in gangs, too many, but unless you set a filter that would include my sons scout troup as a gang, or "me and my mates are going to watch a video" as gang related activity, it is just stupid. It's not even racist, the racists I know have at least bothered to research their topic.

Yes, but this is precisely the working assumption of the police and media.

Also it is more complex than immigration.

Agree, with reservations. There is a heavy overlap between race and class here. That is, some underclass whites have joined underclass blacks. But the dynamic and momentum has been race-driven and come from blacks. taken them out of the picture and the relatively few whites would slink into the shadows.

Most of the rioters are clearly white and some of the areas where rioting has happened have really quite low immigrant populations.

Where? I know London. Tottenham, Brixton, Clapham, even Ealing, have heavy immigrant populations. I haven't seen any riots in Grays, Tilbury, Benfleet -- which are also economically disadvantaged. The difference is they're mostly white (I used to live in Tilbury). In fact, let's scrap the "immigrant" euphemism. I'm talking of Afro-Caribbeans. And just so it doesn't get mixed up with Islam (a la Geert Wilders), most of these are nominally Christian.

There is a hard core of systemically unemployed and unemployable in Britain which seems to be larger than in comparable countries; this has been there for >50 years and has not ever really been dealt with.

Don't know about that. France has similar problems and they see periodic rioting in Paris -- cars being torched, vandalism, etc.

People with employment prospects rarely join gangs and only riot when the government behaves actively badly.

Dominic, the job situation is dire in Britain. Honors graduates are serving Big Macs. The government is on full thrust with regard to its austerity measures.
 

Lyosha

Psychic in Training
pic002.jpg


^^^"white underclass opportunist"?
 
Incidentally, for those who don't know London might I -- with some trepidation -- suggest a film? For Queen and Country, with Denzel Washington, that came out over twenty years ago. It resonates with me.
 
It's interesting that the riots have spread to other cities. Greater Manchester, and the West Midlands conurbation.
Yet places like Newcastle and Gateshead which have some pretty impoverished areas seem to have escaped any rioting.

Alexei Smirnov

Ha the rocking horse is burnt anyway, what was the point in stealing that, what a moron.
 
The only example I've seen so far is Sikhs forming a defensive ring around their biggest temple, trust me you don't want to fuck with Skihs defending their temples.

And the Turkish-Kurds and white vigilante gangs hurling racist abuse in North London. I've read about Poles being chased by groups because of their nationality. The chaos has not only enforced some ethnic divisions, but brought the scum out of the wood-work with a racist axe to grind.

Edit: And this is a quote from the Guardian regarding the three murders in Birmingham:

Feelings are running very high in Winson Green where residents of the largely British Asian area are out on the streets discussing the tragedy in shocked and angry groups.
A committee meeting at the Dudley Road mosque this morning was "very hot" according to a group of men who were there, and whose view was echoed by the Bishop of Aston Rt Rev Anthony Watson, who also took part.
He warned of events taking on a 'potentially ugly race dimension' with real concern over reprisals if pleas for calm were not heeded. He said: "There were some very good things said by older people, but some of the younger ones were very angry."
One of the group of men said: "There will be race riots if the police don't sort this out quickly".
He accused largely African-Caribbean looting gangs of targeting Asian-owned businesses, partly because they were perceived as easier targets compared with the city centre which was full of police.

BBW is right, the vast majority of the rioting has come from the Afro-Caribbean community and this in turn has lead to a knock on effect where gangs and chavs in other parts of London (and England) have kicked off, because there is no-one there to stop them.

Sure there are mixed races when it comes to the rioters, but ignoring the overwhelming number of Black-Britons involved, is a bit like the Left ignoring the ethnic minorities that are members of the EDL, it avoids asking the hard questions.

At the end of the day the EDL and black gangs in London are all symptoms of the same problem - lack of decent jobs.

The BNP was on the wain after the last election, however after the recent events there is a worry that we will see them start to win seats again and all the crap that brings with their idiot rivals in the SWP/AFL/George Galloway.
 
The BNP was on the wain after the last election, however after the recent events there is a worry that we will see them start to win seats again and all the crap that brings with their idiot rivals in the SWP/AFL/George Galloway.

Keep in mind that they took a record number of votes in the General Elections last year -- about 500,000 nationally. This will go up. If they can avoid their constant squabbling, present a united front, and ameliorate some of their rougher edges, they will win some seats next time around. At the risk of provoking howls of indignation at the comparison, British voters -- like those in Weimar Germany -- are going to see the regular political parties (Labour, Tories, SLD) as having no solutions to intractable economic and social problems. They will gravitate to more radical parties, to more radical solutions.

Postscript: What's been happening the last few days in England is exactly what Enoch Powell warned about in his famous "Rivers of Blood" speech 42 years ago. For which Ted Heath kicked him out of his Shadow Cabinet.
 
Moving away from the race/ethnic angle, here is an insightful essay by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. Coincidentally, I bought his User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation a few weeks back.

In the UK, converging energy, economic and environmental crises are being refracted through the lens of a deeply unequal, yet vehemently consumerist, society. As Professor Pitts argued in a later interview directly about the riots: "Many of the people involved are likely to have been from low-income, high-unemployment estates, and many, if not most, do not have much of a legitimate future." Widening social exclusion has pushed these young people onto the margins of conventional morality – "Those things that normally constrain people are not there. Much of this was opportunism but in the middle of it there is a social question to be asked about young people with nothing to lose."

The young people involved in this spate of violence are beyond the conventional alienation of repressed labour. Instead, they suffer from a deeper, more dangerous alienation of being utterly surplus to capitalist requirements, irrelevant and ostracized, and thus doomed to subsist on the margins, functionally illiterate, without hope or aspiration. That is a mode of being which is no longer capable of recognizing ethical constraints or boundaries, precisely because the state has already breached its contract of citizenship to them.

However the government chooses to now respond to the escalating violence, there can be no doubt that the episode represents a fundamental turning-point for British society, in a world that has already passed the tipping point on a whole range of interconnected systemic crises. The danger is that the authorities will offer the traditional, knee-jerk, business-as-usual response of maximizing police state powers, rather than addressing the root causes of our predicament. Of course, robust measures are clearly necessary to contain the violence and hold those responsible accountable. But we are already on the slippery slope of intensifying state-militarization – and we won't be able to get off as long as we refuse, as societies, to take responsibility for the systemic crises we all now face.
 
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/08/11/ukriots.accused/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Before they started appearing in court, most people assumed London's rioters and looters were unemployed youths with no hope and no future.So there was much surprise when details of the accused began to emerge, and they included some from wealthy backgrounds or with good jobs.
Those passing through London's courtrooms on Tuesday and Wednesday -- some courts sat overnight to cope with the numbers -- have included a teaching assistant, a lifeguard, a postman, a chef, a charity worker, a millionaire's daughter and an 11-year-old boy, newspapers reported.
 
Interesting article -- and in The Telegraph, of all places. Strange times we live in when The Telegraph publishes this kind of piece.

I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. So have the feral rich of Chelsea and Kensington.
 
I am all for the government providing education for people to raise themselves up, but all the government can do it provide the opportunity. This has been a fundamental issue forever now. You can provide the education, but it is up to the parents and individual to take advantage. That is why dirt poor Indian and Chinese kids can excel in the worst environment, but relatively taken care of first world poor fail and fail again. Parenting is the differentiation between success and failure.
 
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