Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Riots - A Week On

Duggan wasn't Rodney King. The Left have made this and other comparisons; some have turned him into a freedom fighter. He wasn't. He was a man who had been earmarked because of his connections and because he was carrying a gun. How did the shooting of this man precipitate a riot?
There are two sides to the way in which Duggan's family were treated: they should have had answers immediately when they mounted a peaceful protest, or they should have waited for the outcome of the IPCC report. Well. The Met is a force unto itself - no pun intended - and, had Duggan's family waited, they may never have got answers. As it was, it's rather unrealistic to expect any force to conclude an investigation within a few hours. But they could have been treated better. And they should have. They went out, in a dignified and peaceful fashion, and awaited the verdict. None was forthcoming. Even now, nothing is forthcoming. The violence that arose out of pure opportunism is centre-stage.
The Right and Left respectively have tried to explain what happened on the streets of London and across the country in terms of strong adjectives and social and moral concepts: feral. Undisciplined. Immoral. Deprived. Hopeless. Trapped. None of it has any bearing to the people who have lived the riots, who have contributed to them, or from what part of society they come from. YES. There is a Massive problem that has been created by thirty years of Champagne Socialism and, by extension, by the Welfare State itself. Pay for people to breed and to be paid to do so by public finances, pay for them Not to be married, pay for the division of families, give up on their education, and you reap what you sow. David Starkey's been condemned for saying that a ghetto culture has permeated the underclass, and has much of its root in Jamaica. He's right, but for reasons that haven't been fully explained. If the youth takes gansta rappers as their idols, they're emulating those who have ALSO come from broken homes with broken lives and who CONTINUE to talk about their grief. If the youth adopts the alien way of contempo-speak - the new estuary English - it says that they come from a background of broken homes and lives; you can pinpoint the speaker within a few hundred yards of the estate they come from. The obvious solution is to teach the Queen's English in schools so that all those trying to get jobs will be on the same footing as their better-educated peers, and so remove the social stigma. And forget the nonsense about 'respect'. You earn respect; you're not automatically entitled to it. Which leads to the next point.
So. Take away the financial freedom to breed. With a life expectancy of 80+ after the age of 5, there's no earthly reason for kids to get knocked up at the age of 12. Too much, too soon. You leave them nothing to look forward to. You leave them frustrated. You leave them me-me-me I WANT. The youth shouldn't be 'listened to,' it should be allowed to be young.
How do you remove the 'I'm entitled' manifesto? The interview on Sky with four youths was most illuminating. One had been turned down - ignored - when he'd applied for a job, so he took revenge. (I applied for 50 jobs a week at one point and was rarely if ever contacted: should I too take a torch to all those that rejected me? I think not.) No 'respect', you see. Others said that they 'had to survive'. They looked at the Docklands with envy. Yet I, and so many of us, work very hard for very little, and from that very little is extracted the money to enable such people to eat and heat and clothe themselves. No, it's nothing to do with absolute deprivation - we're not living in Djibouti; I think it's more the fact that we're living in a world where stupidity is celebrated and ignorance is bliss. You can get on. You're not without opportunity. This isn't the Third World. There's a public library down the road from everyone and a museum around the corner. Remember the line in Good Will Hunting? 'You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you could have got for a dollar and a half in late charges at the Public Library.' True. And true, and true again. DH Lawrence, Lloyd George et al would never have escaped their grinding poverty had they not been encouraged to learn.
Conclusions? This isn't a black or white problem; it's an attitude problem. After the Second World War the Conservatives were most opposed to the Welfare State because 'people want everything for nothing'. Break down the chains that the Welfare State binds people up in - tell Polly Toynbee and her ilk to bugger off and stop feteing big Statism - and make learning something to be revered. A billion Chinese can't be wrong. As for those affected by the rioting: it's ironic. The Big Society was created by the riots, exemplified by Englishmen and -women with brooms and cups of tea. In one fell swoop we've lost our anti-Islam animus - fuelled in a large part by the belligerence of Turks defending their home turf and the Extraordinary grace of Mr Tariq Jahan, who has epitomised all those things we once thought noble: dignity, honour, strength and courage. A hardworking man, he is not dealing in recriminations or calls to reinstate the death sentence. He's made us feel that we're All In It Together. All of us, rioters included, could take a leaf from his book.
Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison