The English Riots of August 2011

Due to recent events, I’ve decided to write yet another strongly opinionated article about the shameful scenes of last week which were beamed across the world.

I’m sure most of you were sickened by what you saw, read and heard.

For possibly the first time in my life last week, I felt ashamed to be British, or more specifically – an Englishman. I’ve no doubt plenty of you felt the same.

Sick beyond belief

I can understand rioting if you are in an oppressed, third-world, totalitarian country.

I can even understand it in Greece.

Although I disagreed with it, I can at least see why there was some trouble in last years protests against the increase in University tuition fees.

But last week? In our towns and cities?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

The 200 people (mostly family and friends) who started this in Tottenham, London as a protest against the killing of a young man (suspected criminal) by the Metropolitan Police, fair enough. We are a democracy and they are entitled to protest and make their opinion known. Even if they are dangerously misinformed with a warped perspective on life, it’s their right. Hence why they were allowed to demonstrate.

As for what happened next, across the country?

There was no absolutely no justification or good reason for their actions.

Except for they are criminals and the ‘dregs’ of our society.

I’ve heard some barmy justifications or reasons for the riots in the media, in conversation, and on social media.

One of them, our Police Forces are corrupt. I have never heard such nonsense in my life.

I’ve just spent the last 2 weeks in Cambodia. We had to bribe the Immigration Police just to let us into the country, and we then saw 2 further bribes paid to Police Officers quite openly in public for absolutely no reason, except for the Police Officers asked for some money from our bus driver. That’s 3 bribes to the Police we’ve either paid, or witnessed being paid openly in just 2 weeks of being on holiday.

People don’t know how lucky they are. Our Police are among the best trained and least corrupt in the world, Of course, you’ll hear of a few ‘bad eggs’ every now and then, but the majority are good, hardworking people trying their best to keep our streets safe.

You may disagree, but it seems like people have been listening to too much ‘hip-hop’ and watching too many gangster movies. Certain elements of society have forgotten that we are in England, and not Rio De Janeiro, LA or Mexico City.

We’re in England. NOT Los Angeles

When was the last time the British Police murdered somebody in cold blood?

Not in my life-time.

They’re only human, and occasionally they’ll make mistakes and misjudgments which are incidentally, always incredibly well documented and publicised.

To those of you who dislike our Police:

How many of you have ever bribed a Police Officer? In the last 10 years? Or know anyone that actually has?

How many of you have ever been brutally beaten by the Police? (I mean ‘brutal’ – not just a kick in the back of the legs because you got smashed and thought you were Mike Tyson on a night out)

How many of you have been abducted by the Police? Or know anyone that actually has?

I expect the answer to all of the above, will be none of you.

If you have, or do know of someone – I’d be interested to hear more.

I find it offensive and idiotic for people to suggest that our police are corrupt. These rioters don’t know how lucky they are to live in a country where the Police can be trusted. Most people in the world aren’t so fortunate.

Heroes

The left and liberals have been trying desperately to examine why this has happened.

The common suggestion put forward is that poor / young people in Britain are lacking opportunity, and they are attributing it to ‘the lowest social mobility’ in the developed world (according to one index and measurement).

I’m not buying it.

Note –  I have no staunch allegiance to right or left. I think both have their merits, I like to hear both sides before forming an opinion. Although this is admittedly, a ‘right’ leaning post.

I agree that our rich are disgustingly rich, and that it’s unfair for bankers to pocket millions of pounds in bonuses, whilst 2,000 people lose their jobs at the same bank. Hell, I despise those rich bankers and businessmen who profit at the expense of others as much as any other ordinary Englishman does.

There’s still no justification though.

In Cambodia – where we have been for the last two weeks. Democracy is a farce, corruption is everywhere, only 73% of people can read or write and life expectancy is a mere 58. Yet I don’t see Cambodians rioting. Despite their circumstances, they’re pretty happy people and get on with life and try to make the best of it – and they definitely have good reason to protest and riot!

This is just one example of dozens that could have been used.

Our poor are pretty much the richest poor people in the world. A large number of them can afford to smoke, and drink at their local working mens club every Saturday night. They can also afford expensive clothes, jewellery, Sky TV and (for most of them) a holiday to Benidorm or Magaluf once every year or two. When they have their first baby at 14, both mother and baby will receive all the care and attention they require, totally free. And the baby will almost certainly live to grow up and repeat this depressing cycle.

Yeah, they’re desperately poor.

Our ‘poor’ can still afford a holiday to hotspots such as Benidorm!

The liberals and left seem to have no concept of the word ‘poor’. Of course it’s relative, but our poor ‘underclass’ are not poor.

If these income indicators are to be believed and trusted, then apparently growing up I came from a ‘poor, underprivileged’ background.’ Whilst they were never the ‘poorest’ my parents always had to work for very little money throughout most of my childhood. But they were sensible with money, lived within their means and didn’t go on holiday every year. We still had a nice house, car (albeit – usually a ‘banger’), Sky TV, Playstation and my sister and I never went without. Yet according to these ‘poverty indicators’, I would probably have been classified as ‘underprivileged’. It’s absolute nonsense. My parents would never have called themselves ‘poor’, they just weren’t rich and had to work hard for a living.

Which is something a lot of the people responsible for last weeks mayhem and ‘social decay’ don’t seem to recognise.

Through hard work and responsible living my parents are now comfortable and in a position to do a lot of the things they have always wanted to do.

There is plenty of opportunity to climb up the social ladder in Britain.

Perhaps reality TV shows such as Big Brother have something to answer for?

People seem to have been watching too many reality TV shows, wanting instant success and money whilst forgetting / not having the sense to realise that it takes (for most people) hard work to achieve wealth and a good job. Even then, it’s not guaranteed. But at least you’ll have pride, dignity and standards which you’ll be able to pass on to your children, who will hopefully inherit a better life and opportunities on the back of your hard work and strong moral upbringing.

Most of our ‘poor’ people were also disgusted with what they witnessed last week. ‘Middle Class’ people also got in on the act which in essence, proves that economic circumstances, police corruption, and ‘social exclusion’ are not the reasons for last weeks mayhem.

Criminality and a lack of respect and discipline have a lot more to do with it.

For too long, people have pretty much been able to spit in a policeman’s face and get away with it, to call a teacher a ‘c***’ and only have to write some lines in a lunchtime detention. Too many people think they’re untouchable. The law has supported them. A Police Officer can’t give criminals a good old-fashioned ‘clip around the ear’ for fear of being suspended and losing his job.

This has to change. Most Brits respect authority, but as we have seen, a good number don’t.

“What about my Human Rights?”

A council tenant has been served an eviction notice on her council flat because her son has been charged with looting. Her response – “You can’t hold me responsible for my sons actions, what about my human rights?”

Well sorry love, how about this.

RIGHTS come hand in hand with RESPONSIBILITY. NO RESPONSIBILITY, NO RIGHTS. You start with human rights, that is what we stand for as a people and as a country. If you behave like people have done you lose your rights through lack of your own personal responsibility. If you riot, loot, kill and attack innocent people then you should face the consequences!

If we have a strong deterrent, and people know that they will face severe consequences, they won’t do it. We met a British couple who have been living in China for the last 4 and a half years whilst we were in Cambodia. We asked them if there was much crime in China. They said “No”. People don’t commit the ‘pretty’ crimes that they do over here because they don’t want to go to a Chinese prison (would you?). So they don’t do it in the first place. It’s the same in many other countries (particularly Asia).

Wish you were here?

It may seem harsh to make a whole family homeless for the actions of their teenage son but we need to make examples of people, shame them and give ‘harsher’ punishments.

That’s why the crime rate is much lower in North East Asia.

They respect authority for two primary reasons.

Firstly, the consequences of disrespecting the authorities and law are severe.

Secondly, they don’t want to shame their family. In Korea, if you steal from your neighbours (or anyone for that matter) your family is shamed and ostracised within the local community.

If your entire family is going to be made homeless and shamed because you stole a lousy second-hand TV from someone elses property, you’d probably think twice about doing it.

I salute the government for jailing an 18-year-old first-time offender to 6 months imprisonment for looting a box of crisps. Yes it sucks for him and his family, but order and respect needs to be restored in our society. The more ‘disproportionate’ sentences like this given out, the less people will be willing to do it. A strong message is required..

In Korea, we can leave our camera, wallets or mobile phone in a public place and know it will still be there the next day when we go back to look for it. All countries have murderers, rapists and paedophiles, but petty low-level crime (which affects by far the largest number of people) is virtually non-existent. Purely because of respect and discipline.

We could learn a lot.

People need to fear, as well as respect the law and authority. They need to face up to their responsibilities as a citizen and accept the consequences of irresponsibility.

Mr Cameron, it’s time for some action.

David Cameron said all the right things.

Do we have the determination to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations?

Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort.

Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control. Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged – sometimes even incentivised – by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally de-moralised.

So do we have the determination to confront all this and turn it around? I have the very strong sense that the responsible majority of people in this country not only have that determination; they are crying out for their government to act upon it. And I can assure you, I will not be found wanting.

These riots were not about government cuts: they were directed at high street stores, not parliament. And these riots were not about poverty: that insults the millions of people who, whatever the hardship, would never dream of making others suffer like this. No, this was about behaviour.

People showing indifference to right and wrong. People with a twisted moral code. People with a complete absence of self-restraint.

Now I know as soon as I use words like ‘behaviour’ and ‘moral’ people will say – what gives politicians the right to lecture us? Of course we’re not perfect. But politicians shying away from speaking the truth about behaviour, about morality. This has actually helped to cause the social problems we see around us.

Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face,

Now, just as people wanted criminals robustly confronted on our street, so they want to see these problems taken on and defeated.

Our security fightback must be matched by a social fightback. We must fight back against the attitudes and assumptions that have brought parts of our society to this shocking state.”

Can he follow his words up with actions and hard-line reforms?

He needs to.

We saw the worst of Britain last week, but we also saw that 95% of us are good people.

I’d like to give a big shout out to all those who helped clean up the mess, defend property and managed to scare the cowardly rioters away. In particular the Turkish community in London who chased the rioters away from their property with meat cleavers and machetes. Now that’s how it should be done.

Feel free to sign this petition to Parliament. Shame about the spelling error but make your opinion heard. https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/7337

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