What brought on the riots in England?

Sometimes short and punchy blog posts are the best, as evidenced by Richard North at EU Referendum.

“Anyone who has so much as glanced at British policing policy over the last two decades would be hard pressed to argue which party on the streets of London, the thugs or the cops, is more irredeemably stupid”, writes Mark Steyn.

There is not a person with a brain who would disagree with that, yet the politicians are planning to give the plods still more powers. Are our politicians themselves really so stupid that they cannot understand that the police are part of the problem and that, given new powers, they will abuse them in exactly the same way they abuse their current powers?

Mark Steyn’s piece linked to by North, as uncomfortable as it may be for some Britons to read and take on board, represents the reality of the British condition – the one created and nurtured by the politicians and the social engineers who replaced self reliance within a once confident nation with dependence on the State.

Instead of merely providing a safety net for those who need a hand up, or are too vulnerable or unable to provide for themselves, the desire among the political class for ever more control saw them facilitate the development of an alternative to playing a productive role in our society, with government controlling the purse strings.  Instead of a desire to escape from this entrapment, the opportunity for some to sink into a cycle of dependency and covet a sense of entitlement proved too tempting.

Successive governments, with their desire to be seen to be ‘doing something’ and their pathological need to leave a ‘legacy’, have fuelled the welfare dependency while at the same time creating ever more offences – designed to exert control by criminalising ever more people in the squeezed middle whose tax pounds finance the wasteful and damaging policies.  Yet perversely the establishment seeks to excuse the criminality among the client class, which is energised by that corrosive sense of entitlement and refusal to accept responsibility for their actions, instead treating them with kid gloves, soft sentencing and devoting to them ever more resources.

Then there is the police.  It is all well and good talking about policing by consent. But the reality is the police do not currently see themselves as part of the community they are supposed to serve and whose consent they are supposed to require. The ‘them and us’ mentality has been solidified by an ever more authoritarian state creating ever more offences designed to criminalise ever more people and thus make the war on crime look as it it’s achieving something. But treating everyone as a suspect and demonstrating an arrogant and high handed approach has angered not just the hardcore criminals but also a huge number of people who had done nothing of consequence yet who have been treated without courtesy or respect by the significant number of overbearing and over powerful officers in the ranks.

Is it any wonder that over the years the bad apples in the police have alienated a good number of people who were formerly their natural allies?  Is it any wonder that so many people now reject and resent the authority of the establishment, and by extension the police that are the most visible symbol of that authority?

That is why it wasn’t just the selfish criminal element on the streets last week who were looting and burning, but also previously law abiding people who sought to stick a middle finger up at the establishment and riot simply because the circumstances made it possible.

As there was a wide range of differing rationales for the lawlessness, so there are a wide range of actions required to correct the situation.  They include the implementation of a respect agenda. Not for the people, but for the police.  It is time to restore the police to the position of public servants rather than further empowering them to the level of a remote paramilitary outfit.  It is time to refocus them on serious criminality while rebuilding relations with the many parts of the community that have been alienated and insulted, and ignored when police assistance was needed.

13 Responses to “What brought on the riots in England?”


  1. 1 Alan Douglas 18/08/2011 at 4:52 am

    I despair when I regularly hear police spokesmen referring to the public as “civilians”. SO ARE THEY.

    But ever-increasing squads of officials including the police are now empowered to order us about, clearly we “civilians” are the ENEMY to be ordered, bullied, enforced upon, fined, and lied to.

    Labour turned petty jobsworths into a national pry-force. The riots ARE a response. Man requires freedom, including freedom to make his own mistakes, rather than have health/safety tell him what he cannot do.

    Alan Douglas

  2. 2 Andy 18/08/2011 at 7:25 am

    AM, good post but it does not go far enough….I have been researching The Police for a book I hope to publish but even just as a work of personal satisfaction it would suffice and I have learned an immense amount about their historic role and their evolution to the current state we are in today;

    suffice to say for now they have moved from Peel’s original concpet of ‘public are the police and the police the public’ in other words servants of the (Common) Law i.e. ‘peace officers’ to becoming servants of the State, indeed if the current ACPO trend continues to create a National Police force, they will become servants to themselves wholly unnacountable to anyone but their own vested interests, serving the needs of the political whim of the day which is the exercise of power in whoever’s hands they deem they want to.

    I have personal friends who are serving officers, some retired also, some just constables others with higher ranks up to DCI, but none thankfully (or sadly as a means of personal research) in the higher echelons of the Police ‘service’ as they like to be termed. serving whom? is the BIG question but thats for another day.

    I will say only this that there is a mixed bag of feelings and opinions on how they see themselves as and us ‘civilians’ and their roles they are paid to do.

    The Police are moving and their is a determined effort on the part of the ACPO (an unnacountable yet tax payer funded organisaton, not even subject to FOI until November this year and how they fought to prevent that tooth and nail)to becoming independent of judicial oversight, either central or local or independent oversight and frankly it scares the Bejeeeezus out of me…..

    Banana republic is the course we are on….some may argue the boat has arrived!

    in the course of my research I have collected countless incidents of law abiding peaceful people being subjected to harrassment and physical assault (by police attempting to enforce Statutes without consent) damage to personal property (breaking of car windows with hammers and truncheon’s is the most common example) because they refuse quite politely and peacefully as is their common law right to do so if behaving peacefully and lawfully) not to engage with a constable without consent.

    even the training of police officers today is geared and slanted towards ‘policy enforcement’ i.e Statutes and legislation and ignores largely the historic role they have, indeed still have by the swearing of an oath to uphold the Law (not legislation) protection of people and property rights and preserving the Queen’s peace.

    God help us if they ever become routinely armed, but already we are seeing them become the State’s policy enforcer, judge jury and executioner (I keep watching the numbers grow) in many instances due the breakdown of the criminal justice system, their move due to Chief Constable’s bonus and target driven cultures towards criminalising ever more of us honest middle class and poor, and their ever growing legislatie powers sanctioned by central government intent on hanging onto power ever tighter and the diminishing oversight on their actions.

    we need to remind them peacefully and lawfully and in ever growing numbers not just hundreds or thousands but millions of us every day that they are members of the public paid to give full time attention to duties that are encumbent on us all in the interests of social harmony and that they serve us, the law abiding and peaceful.

    if not I fear violence will be the only way to make TPB understand that and to plagarise from a very apt historical document “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”

    I am a peaceful man but as a wise man one said “a man with nothing to lose is to be feared, but when the many, with just a little to lose have enve that taken from them, be afraid, be very afraid”

  3. 3 right_writes 18/08/2011 at 8:21 am

    Excellent analysis AM, but I am not so sure about the remedy…

    Each government and its associated PM (particularly since WW2) have had a hand in this and one wonders sometimes whether those conspiracy theories have any traction.

    There was the first post WW2 government of Attlee with his own ideas and the implicit support of Liberals and (to a lesser extent) Tory’s Beveridge consensus… “Something like this must be done for the poor”…

    Of course Attlee’s implementation peppered with lefty Bevinism led to the whole mish-mash in the first place… and all in five glorious years, they wasted the American loans negotiated by the other Bevin and set up the Welfare state.

    Then what follow are the Eden/MacMillan years, where it became obvious that not only was British power at an end, but MacMillan was going to “birch” himself and the nation by doing whatever our former colonies demanded in defeat…. There was absolutely no need to give the citizens of these new nations British passports.

    Then followed the Wislon years with the faux tory “the traitor Heath” in opposition, who was looking to prostrate the nation to Germany and France, which became a reality once Wislon had spent all the money and made America less of a friend than previously… the general political consensus was that as a defeated empire we should create and join another.

    Then followed Thatcher, who made an enemy within… “the white working class” and turn our defence “forces” into “services”.

    This led to the disaster that was the treacherous Major/Blair/Brown years, where corporate business was cuddled up to and where it could do whatever it liked to the already alienated “white working class”, destroying manufacturing, taxing everything and replacing it with more services… public service, financial service and service service… selling hamburgers to each other, because over taxation makes it impossible to compete in manufacturing, despite having some of the best homegrown ideas.

    And here we are, with a police “service” and an alienated common people infused with foreign cultures, in particular the Jamaican street culture and its patois being something that the yoof aspire to.

    The response needs to be the triumph of the people over the government, these people need to demand their misspent money back… We need to rely on ourselves alone, through free trade and exchange of the best ideas.

    The welfare state needs to be examined and re-imagined as the farewell state, the white working classes need to realise that there is no such thing as a free lunch…

    We need to get back all of the natural benefits that accrue from being an island nation, self reliance, independence and pride in our difference our language and our white working classes that did so much to defend the British way, right up until our government betrayed it.

    Some say that we need a “Bill Bratton”, I reckon we need more than that, we need a “Ron Paul”.

  4. 4 The Gray Monk 18/08/2011 at 9:22 am

    I am not sure that blaming the police is an answer here. The average officer is a decent person trying to do a job within the cntsraints of the mess the law has become. He is beset by political overseers, bureaucrats who think form filling equals accountability and let down repeatedly by a justice system run by “liberals” for a “liberal” ideology which needs to have “victims” to patronise and “enemies” to revile in order to maintain its legitimacy. In this the criminals have become the “victims” and the police the “enemy.” Why are we then surprised that the police are themselves feeling alienated and behaving as an alienated group themselves?

    There is a much deeper ailment eating away at our society. Over 60% of teenagers say they see no prospects for themselves or their generation in our current society. 49% say they do not believe in any “higher power” or in any form of religion. With numbers like that having no hope of improving their lot – in this life or another – and seeing themselves as forever excluded from the organs of power, wealth or the tools to achieve either, why are we surprised they fall back on believing they are “entitled” to welfare, housing and anything else they fancy?

    There is massive corruption in Whitehall. The whole Civil Service operates on nepotism, patronage and networks. Contracts for vast amounts of tax money are awarded to contractors on the basis of their being on a list issued by the Treasury as “Preferred Bidders” and the prices charged are loaded, because there is no one in the Civil Service hierarchy capable of actually writing a proper specification for what they are buying. Senior Civil Servants invariably retire to become “consultants,” lobby “advisers” or “Non-executive directors” of the companies on these lists – but nothing is done about this cosy relationship even though it is right there in everyone’s face. The same applies to our politicans. Lost your seat? Never mind, here’s a directorship for you …

    The political classes have, over the last sixty or so years, cut the average person off completely from the corridors of power or any meaningful avenues to wealth generation. The burden of the civil service alone on the taxpayer runs into billions – from experience of running a public fire service – 63% of the budget goes on salaries and wages – and more than 20% of the UK workforce is now directly or indirectly employed by the taxpayer. We no longer offer kids like those who rioted recently any form of apprenticship for a trade, because we’ve successfully killed off all skilled trades bar a handful. We’ve killed off our large industries and now have only niche industries which require highly skilled and possibly dedicated staff. Our commercial interests are now all focused on consumer supply and our merchant “fleet” and its partner the fishing “fleet” are no more.

    We have a problem. A complex one. We have a large underclass with no hope and no prospects. And a bigger problem, our political class (which includes the civil service and the Union bosses) have no interest in addressing this – because their contnuing in power depends on maintaining this disaffected class on benefits …

  5. 5 Patrick Harris 18/08/2011 at 12:05 pm

    The “average” officer is a decent enough person when acting alone or in pairs, get them togged up and armed to look like robocops, release them in great numbers and they become something totally different.
    Not policemen – but thugs who’s intent is to harm the public they promised to protect.

  6. 6 The Gray Monk 18/08/2011 at 12:51 pm

    Patrick Harris – If you were ordered to protect someone, something or an area, and you were confronted by a mob intent on causing harm, damage or otherwise disrupting other peoples lives and property, how would you react if attacked?

    The reason they do have to wear all the protective gear is because there are thugs in every rent-a-mob ‘demonstration’ hell bent on causing damage. More than once I have owed my safety and possibly my life to a policeman as you put it, “behaving like a thug,” when I and my fire fighters have been attacked by the “peaceful” mobs who set the fires in the first place.

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 18/08/2011 at 1:23 pm

    Gray Monk, while I understand your argument mine is also based on personal experiences.

    Last year Mrs Mind stepped away from her office desk and came back to find an intruder rifling her handbag. She challenged him and then grabbed hold of him to stop him taking the bag, but he managed to get away, injuring her in the process.

    The police were called and an officer arrived a few hours later. She took a description and asked for details of what happened. When Mrs Mind explained what she had done the officer admonished her and said she was liable to arrest and questioning for possible assault. The man had handled doors and the desk, yet no one was sent to collect fingerprint evidence.

    Needless to say the man was never caught and my wife did not pursue the matter because of the threat from the police officer. The police response was pathetic and the officer’s action on arrival was to look for the easy target rather than make an effort to catch the real offender. From being a victim reporting a crime my wife saw herself being positioned as a wrongdoer by an officer throwing their weight around, and as a result of her experience she won’t report anything again.

    I know this is just one anecdote, but it is the most recent and I have others. The problem is there are plenty more where people who have not done anything wrong suffer high handed and unjustified police attention when the police should be focusing on finding and dealing with the real offender. This is fuelling alienation and resentment and it needs to be stopped.

  8. 8 Shevva 18/08/2011 at 2:33 pm

    Can’t really blame the police as even council staff use anti-terrorist laws to catch people putting the wrong kind of stuff in there bins or trying to send there kid’s to a diffrent school.

    The main problem in this country now is that every level of the public sector is corrupt (I don’t mean money grabbing but a power grab to control peoples lives) and you can’t blame them as ‘Everyone else is doing it’.

  9. 9 Shevva 18/08/2011 at 2:39 pm

    @Autonomous Mind
    18/08/2011 at 1:23 pm

    I’ll add my 2 cents worth about the police, I reported at the beginning of the year to the police that I had been attacked by 2 bouncers in a local pub while there with 2 work colleagues, I never heard anything back from the police so I have no time for them at all, you can’t blame just one or two for this it is the whole local police force(?) that completely ignored me when i needed there help.

  10. 10 ProgContra 18/08/2011 at 4:40 pm

    AM, one of the more interesting pieces on the riots has been this one:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10988/

    It’s well worth the read.

  11. 11 The Gray Monk 18/08/2011 at 9:17 pm

    AM, we blame the police for enforcing, or attempting to enforce, laws made by our politicians and which the police officer has sworn an oath to enforce and uphold. While I have several similar experiences in recenet years with this twisted justice, it is not the police who make these “rules” but the “Learned Judges” and equally moronic politicians …

  12. 12 Autonomous Mind 18/08/2011 at 11:18 pm

    You are quite correct about the task the police have, and how they have no choice but to enforce the law. However the police do have a choice about how they go about their duty and it is that which is the problem.

  13. 13 jameshigham 19/08/2011 at 1:41 pm

    and their pathological need to leave a ‘legacy’

    Yes, that hits the nail on the head.


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