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Friday 12 August 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:32 UK time, Friday, 12 August 2011

It's Friday, and here's what we have planned for our final edition of the week...

David Grossman will be bringing us the news of the day and will be looking back at what's been a tumultuous week of rioting in English cities. Gavin Esler will be considering how damaged the fabric of Britain has been by the unrest. Stephen Smith will be looking at the foreign reaction to and coverage of the riots. And Emily will be joined in debate by magazine publisher Tyler Brûlé, Hong Kong entrepreneur Sir David Tang, and historian David Starkey.

Join them all at 2230 on BBC Two.


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  • Comment number 1.

    The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom

    "The Prime Minister showed no sign that he understood that something stank about yesterday’s Commons debate. He spoke of morality, but only as something which applies to the very poor: “We will restore a stronger sense of morality and responsibility – in every town, in every street and in every estate.” He appeared not to grasp that this should apply to the rich and powerful as well."

    At last a journalist with the guts to say it like it is.

  • Comment number 2.

    True @ MuseV #1.
    A reason to be cheerful - Alastair Cook is on 213 as I write :o)

  • Comment number 3.

    The biggest danger to the fabric of our society stems from our unbalanced, debt-ridden economy. Britain and the US have bailed out and even rewarded the perpetrators.

    The German solution would be to raise taxes: "For the sake of fairness, it would be obvious to have the people who benefited most from the -- in retrospect undesirable-- developments of the boom years, and from the subsequent rescue packages, shoulder the costs of fixing the crisis.",1518,779893,00.html

    What chance of what Helmut Kohl called a "solidarity surcharge" here?

  • Comment number 4.

    Pensioner eventually dies due to injuries sustained when attacked by scum - all he was trying to do was put out a fire. Who's gonna protest the manner of his death?
    If he had've been carrying a gun and was a gangbanger there may have been a chance of some protest. Ah well, the deceased might get a street named after him, so thats something I suppose. I'm sure if he's looking down from the cloudy-above, he'd be buzzing about that little token memorial gesture.

    I was only away for a few days but the change in the city is noticeable. I've been told if I drive up to Salford the smell of urine is also noticable.. no changes there then.

    When I drove up Oxford Road today and passed the BBC studios I had to wonder how they've been reporting the riots. Call me a cynic but my guess is it would be what I had already witnessed a few days ago... the usual left-wing propaganda. I hope I'm wrong. Glad to here that the people of Manchester had en masse cleaned the place up...which included my youngest daughter. I had a lump in my throat when I was told that. That'll be her mothers parenting skills and influence and nowt to do with me as any Influence i could've had would include ranting against the socialist Labour party and its media arm...still she plays a mean guitar so she's picked up something from her cash machine daddy.

  • Comment number 5.

  • Comment number 6.


    The point is well made that Britain is corrupt - culturally corrupt. No one seems to demolish my data-supported rants; and plenty are more restrained, here, with the identical message.


    The bloggers have done the research - all we need is the programme!
    Something smells.

    WHAT DO YOU CALL A GOOD MAN WHO DOES NOTHING? (The answer I seek is NOT ‘Jack Straw’.)

  • Comment number 7.


    ''At last a journalist with the guts to say it like it is.''

    That has been a huge part of the problem, probably accelerated as the BBC became even more cautious after the Dr DK affair.

    Rank and file journalists have been very compliant on the whole, content to tow the party line so they can pay the mortgage with the exception of a few columnists who are past that point of financial insecurity. Most people dont read columnists articles, they are more affected by the general content and direction of the news organisation they habitually use produced by rank and file journalists.

    Many more still dont see any of it as being relevent to them, unless it directly affects them.

    Paradoxically it seems the more methods of communication we have between us the less effective at interacting and the more individualistic we become.

    It has the same characteristics as destructive forms of 'addiction' thinking about it, we are a nation of junkies and are starting to behave accordingly.

    Reminds me of the film 'the day the earth stood still' all the buzz, hustle and bustle of technology suddenly stopped due to alien intervention, no cars, buses, planes or electronic fog, suddenly the people could feel the sun on their faces and hear the birds singing again and talked to each other and interacted in a different context, as if been snapped out of a trance.

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.

    Is the country is sinking into anarchy?

    And who are these anarchists anyway?

    And what do they want?


    For example?


    Ok - so who wants to do this?

    The rioters? Certainly - less chance of getting nicked...

    But if you look carefully, you'll find that there are other anarchists at work too - would it surprise you to know that DAVID CAMERON advocated precisely this policy of dismantling the CCTV systems before the last election? "Restore our freedoms! Dismantle the repressive state!"

    SMASH THE STATE - yeah - from within the government the libertarians who opposed to ID cards, CCTV, etc etc are now reaching for every form of repression they can find to cling to power, whilst on the streets anarchy is only held in bay by the repressive power of the state they sought to dismantle, whilst also using the power of the state to bail out the "private enterprise" financial system - i.e. the people who bankroll the Tory Party.

    Every man, woman & child in this country is being extorted by the state to pay for the private sector banking industry's greed - behind every banker stands the taxpayer, conscripted into bailing them out when it all goes pear-shaped - there is in effect no such thing as "private" enterprise anymore - the state underwrites it, even if we get nothing from it and it doesn't operate in the public interest.

    So what is the state for? To look after our welfare? No - "we must all stand on our own two feet" and help ourselves by giving our time, money and effort through "the big society" - the state's role is to be a robin hood in reverse to take from those who have the least to give to those who have the most - and to crush anyone who stands in their way of doing this.

    CCTV is THE tool being used to catch the rioters and take them to court - installed by an avowedly Statist Labour government - seen as an unacceptable infringement of liberty by Tory & LibDem alike- "the nanny state gone mad" - now CCTV is the straw clutched at by the coalition to been seen to be cracking down hard on the rioters.

    Soon no doubt these anti-state, freedom-loving politicians will be calling on us to bail the banks out yet again - for years we were always told the government simply didn't have the money to sort out this, that or the other social problem - from poverty pensions to social housing, "sorry no can do - no money" - but £100 Bn+ was magic-ed out of thin air overnight to s

  • Comment number 10.

    Armageddon days are here (again)

  • Comment number 11.

  • Comment number 12.

    Fished this comment off facebook but it probably rings true.

    So apparently the first aplication for an eviction notice for a council house tennant involved in riots has been made, my question is this, once evicted they will be black listed from social housing, so who wants them living in the buy to let next door to them?, because lets face it private landlords will not care what they've done, they just want their money, probably from housing bennefit, so out of the £400 / week council house and into the £800 / week private let, more cost to the tax payer!!!, what do you think? (act in haste, repent at leisure!)

  • Comment number 13.

    '@fieldproducer Neal Mann - You've got to love the power of Twitter, after my tweet about @Louisemensch needing some opposition I've just had a phone call.... '

    And you'll never guess which cutting edge new and social media, yoof-expert, 'dan wiv' da kidz' guru it is.

    At least it will keep him off the streets for a while. You'd almost think he has nowhere else to be, other than haunting the Newsynightie or QT green rooms.

    Me, I have a much better plan for a Friday evening.

  • Comment number 14.

    I thought we were all equal under the law.
    If an unemployed man and a millionaire businessman both murder their respective wives in cold blood then they both get charged with first degree murder and get a life sentence.

    But this doesn't apply if you are a looter apparently.
    The well-to-do middle class looters get found guilty and sent to prison but the poor looters get found guilty, sent to prison and also lose their homes as well!

    Now I don't care if looters lose their homes or not, but if it is going to be part of the punishment then it should apply to everyone, if it can't be then it shouldn't be done at all. Otherwise it will cause more problems than it solves.
    I'm surprised no-one else has raised this point in all the discussion about evictions today.

  • Comment number 15.

    ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

    TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

    THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

    FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

    FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

    SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

    SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

    EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

    NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

    TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'


    Thank goodness - I ain't got a donkey!

  • Comment number 16.

    @12, @14, I agree. Kneejerk reactions have unintended consequences. We have to look at the socio-economic problems highlighted this week HOLISTICALLY. Do we want to make society better, or do we want only revenge and damn the consequences?

    I don't blame people for being angry at what has happened, but unrestrained anger at this point will not make anything better. Of course, some at the top may be angry because the current furore threatens to expose their double standards:

    However, it is one thing to urge restraint, and another thing completely to argue that antisocial actions should not have consequences undesired by the perpetrators. For example, if I had my way, any MPs who "flipped" their second homes, regardless of party, would be barred from parliament for good. That would get rid of about half the cabinet AND shadow cabinet. If this country is so devoid of talent that we can't do without them, then our future is bleak indeed!

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.

    liberalism is the hope of mankind...all the rest is propaganda...

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Thanks for having David Starkey on Newsnight. Was a refreshing change to have someone on there who actually seems to understand whats happening in society. He hit the nail on the head re the riots and the links between black culture and the problems. Its not black people as such its the whole rap, Jamaican, violent culture which has been taken on by many white youths. Its not race riots its a cultural trendy youth scene which is leading to breakdowns in society

  • Comment number 21.

    Emily: "Britain doesn't just do queueing!": funny, but unfortunate as an off the cuff remark from a BBC presenter.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think what David Starkey should've said was its the imported gangster culture of the poor black areas of the USA from the 80s onwards with the blood and cibbs gangs is what we see in our own youth culture today - predominantly black but picked up by British white youth...and picture this if you will: BBCs own radio DJ Tim Westwood, his show and his posse over the years. Got it? good.

    Other than that, he was bang-on. The other two guests were apologists...especially the young fella. I suggest he knows nothing because he's about 12 years and should be at home..its late. and By the way writing a book and getting it published don't make you an authority, you've just got a mouth on you. No more childeren on Newsnight please.

    The BBC. The media arm of the Labour party...and the Guardian readers.

    No change there then.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.


    Were Newsynighty the least bit looking to INFORM, the point made by Starkey was 'nice' (in the academic sense) and needed a nurturing Moderator. Instead, Esler (please tell me he was obeying orders) LEAPT in and brought a high value cabinet, of rare ideas, crashing down to rubble - FOR FUN. He saw his chance to up the PC edgy.

    Am I getting through to anyone? This was a nihilistic, 'mini-Esler riot' RESONANANT WITH the Westminster ones, and the street ones, that smashed all chance of a wise exchange. Watch the ‘CCTV’ and WONDER at a man of obvious stature, take a fly kick at the Gems. What is the Newsynighty agenda? Keep the footage coming?

    This whole subject requires a higher level of mentality than meeja is comfortable with.

  • Comment number 25.

    David Starkey has almost nailed the issue squarely on the head .....

    Negative elements of white youth culture have amalgamated with negative aspects of black youth culture - and the downside of both have deeply complex roots - and has mutated and created a completely new ‘monster’ that can be described as ‘disaffected yoof culture’. It is a ‘culture’ in itself. This in turn has encompassed many of different ages whom are disgruntled, dejected and demoralised with - or without - good reason. Again, it is a vast range of perplexing causes that for thirty years we - as a society - have chosen to treat as the rhino on the horizon i.e. ignore it, and hope it goes away!

    Three main facets shine as being primarily responsible for this mutant culture; Parents, Educators and Politicians. All hold equal responsibility! They wanted stroke want to see no evil, speak no evil, and do no evil. Worst of all they didn’t want to hear want to hear what was being said because it would have meant that they would have had to take responsibility.

    One is not exonerating the ‘yoofs’. One cannot, one should not!

    Yet a ultra right-wing knee-jerk, majority solely selfish reaction will cure no society ills

    Coming back with ludicrously pointless and self defeating ‘punishments’ is not the answer. i.e. they’ll be out much sooner than the much publicised sentencing pretends and - perhaps - more ‘resentful’ and rebellious!

    No, don’t be fearful of ‘them’ ..... Realise there is a problem and respond appropriately rather than react disproportionately!

    It may get the headlines in the constituency paper, it may temporarily boost the poll ratings but ....... it is not the answer!

    One starting ‘place’ is to - as mentioned by your female guest - is to drop the ‘tag’ originating from skin colour! As with the niqab, jilbab, turban et al in schools it - black, white, asian - is divisive and - ultimately - destructive!

    “Every cloud has a silver lining” so they say .... This one?

    At least the ishooz are being talked about ... Thankfully!

    Let’s be honest .... The Deity aint gonna do nuffink to deal with the long term ishooz (Most politishunz don’t ) because he and the rest of the second oldest profession - the most dishonest and least useful of them all - exist solely to get re-elected.

    Nothing more and nothing less!

    At least with the oldest profession you get something for your money.....

    So I’m told!


  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    beautiful report by Gavin Estler. The best.

    starkey was incorrect when he stated that there were no gangs before "black culture", in fact such behaviour is somewhat endemic with poverty, and even "all-white" communities form gangs. Gang behaviour and race, not racial-culture, have little or nothing to do with each other. But they ARE influenced by the culture around them.

    "Gangsta-rap" was largely created as a 'brand' by multinational media corporates, - and the murdochracy was a major pusher. And Sky.
    But kids enjoy it, for most it would be a harmless fantasy, every generation has its counter-culture. The problem, David, is there are few avenues even into a decent lifestyle, let alone super-rich, for the majority of English youth. The teen-age fantasy years are not replaced by a mature, adult life-style. Most want this, eventually. And with modern media, and access to information, youth today have a pretty accurate idea of what their future holds. This IN NO WAY condones what the rioters did, the fear caused by the rioters, and the damage, and the lives lost, all were VERY real, and very very scary. There is no doubt that there is a connection between media, and what happened, but sales of 'censored' material usually go up, and become more popular. I'm sure this would have been exlored in a longer discussion with this group.

    from starkey: there is a connection between "gangsta" culture, and "ancient 'aristocratic' practice". An incredible insight!! :o
    i would have liked to learnt more about this....

    the "shouting-over" seems to be becoming more common, which is often more than a bit annoying as it creates tit-for-tat behaviour. It can spoil the flow, - but by the same token those being interviewed should not see the show as an opportunity for a long-winded speech, covering *many* points. A good presenter's life must be difficult, thankfully we pay them more than we do Parliament's Speaker...

    i would very much have liked to hear starky's last comment.

    over the whole discussion, Starkey should remember that the best for a long, researched but very controversial argument is in the form of writing, instead of taking over a panel discussion on a news program. Such a controversial argument can disrail the entire discussion, as tonight. Which was a great shame, for all concerned, as well as the viewers at home. Having said all that, i usually greatly enjoy his presence on TV, trouble he may definitely create, usually for many people at once. I suspect he is NOT a racist, despite his comments tonight, he is an academic unaware of the nuances of British sub-cultures, and cares little for causing offence. Even intentional offence. I would just ask that people give him the chance to fully explain his position tonight, he was cut-off in mid flow.
    the other two were also excellent, it was just a shame the discussion turned into a misunderstood squabble when all 3 probably agreed a great deal, if they would all have let the others develop their arguments. more "discipline" please, NN!!

  • Comment number 29.

    I was astonished at the uninterrupted ranting that David Starkey was allowed to get away with. It is not true to claim that the BBC attempted to stop him. Most decidedly, he was not checked, and was even allowed to suggest that he was the one who was being interrupted. Mr. Starkey has been on the BBC before, frequently on Question Time, and we have seen his flow curtailed. It is not as if the BBC can plead unfamiliarity. It is obvious that Emily Maitlis opted for sensationalism as 'good television'. The Murdochisation of Newsnight continues apace.

  • Comment number 30.

    'Gavin Esler will be considering how damaged the fabric of Britain has been by the unrest.'

    Well, the credibility of most media, especially juggling free speech and sensible discussion seems to have been rent asunder.

    At least, in the twittosphere which, as we all 'know', is where all 'news' gets created and only the most valid of opinion formed.

    I am still awaiting an explanation of how the rioter composition was formed to compose this piece...

    And speaking of the cutting room, and what gets shaped, or left on the floor, I have learned (that means I read elsewhere but can't testify to accuracy, but in the new media world that's fine as allusion is all) that Commissioner Orde is not happy what Newsnight dropped in their piece of work on him, as it were.

    That world-renowned reputation things is looking tattier by the hour...

    Maybe this lady can help...

    But she seems more a 'broadcast-only' girl too.

  • Comment number 31.


    Did not a large part of the rioters, complete their 'brutalising years', watching Britons smashing, burning and exulting (even with condoned looting) in THE JOB THEY LOVE (watching, while being in no doubt it was for geopolitical gain?)

    Night after night we were shown STREETS OF GUTTED SHOPS - THE HALLMARK OF SUCCESS! Almost an archetype - there is a sameness about gutted shops worldwide.

    Are we a nation of such dullards, today, that even when I join the dots, the obvious is not obvious?

    Why is Cameron able to take decisions for which he is psychologically too immature, and regarding the substance, better at PR? How did this man get that over-empowered job? The answers, easy to compute, will lead any right-thinking person to a state of panic. We can't go on like this - but Westminster is configured to ENSURE THAT WE GET NO CHOICE.

    A final word on Tony. No competent observer is in any doubt of the enormity of his past wrongs, and delusional nature. His continuance, floating in a fictitious 'grace', is all the reminder you need that WE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE, but politics is so FUNDAMENTALLY corrupt, his freedom is de-rigueur.

    Brave New World. Are we REALLY out of GOOD MEN completely?

  • Comment number 32.

    What's _really_ clear is we need a new name for this sub-culture. Calling it 'black' is profoundly racist and unhelpful. There are _many_ identifiably 'black' sub-cultures that have absolutely no truck with the misogynistic, materialistic crap espoused by the looters. It's not that 'black' people become 'white' to succeed, a charge levelled at the likes of Trevor Phillips, Diane Abbott, hell, even Obama. Are you telling me that there isn't a long history of recognisably 'black' people who had their own successful style that wasn't 'white'?

    Here's my suggestion, based on the amount of times these kids utter the irritating 'brrrap' comment (supposedly to imitate the sound of a gun, but I suspect to more reliably identify themselves as fools) - 'brrrrrrap culture'. It's grrrreat fun, because you can adjust the number of 'r's depending on your mood.

  • Comment number 33.

    Wha ever.

    Am I bovered.

    ''Where there is no vision the people perish'' - Old testament.

    All old stuff .. nu packaging..

    law of the jungle (free market) capitalism is an 'anti-vision' masquerading as a vision.

    All this jaw wagging about rap culture and other nuances are distracting , pointless intellectual ego massaging (''look how clever I am'') cosy chats between those with lots of brain power but little wisdom debating the performance of a flea circus riding on the back of a blind elephant currently plodding along ...well ... 'blindly' blind elephants do... and with considerable momentum towards the edge of a cliff, drawn there by the smell of peanut butter and jellow sandwiches being endlessly prepared by bankers, corporate gliterati and politicians having a big party on its edge.

    He / she (got to be correct about these things y'know) is about to gatecrash the party in a spectacularly dangerous and unpredictable fashion.

    Meanwhile a group of wise elephant trainers are stuck on a hill not too far away watching all this, franticaly jumping up and down and shouting trying to get someones attension, but nobody can here them over the noise of the party.

    nuff sed innit... party on.

    whoop whoop

  • Comment number 34.


    Lowest of the low. Shame of Britain. Nothing to redeem them. Cowardly. Doing stuff that gives them a buzz.

    With such inviting parallels, we should draft all rioters into a Special Force, and ship them out to Johnnie Foreigner land (where we can never quite do enough mindless destruction) AND JOHNNIE FOREIGNER JUST HAS TO TAKE IT.


  • Comment number 35.

    The difference between this riot and previous riots is what informs Dr. David Starkey's squirmy commentary. It cannot be called a 'race' riot. Therefore, reach for the camouflage: Dr. Starkey saw fit to transform the events of this past week into a race riot (by the backdoor, mind) so that he could find a timeworn scapegoat with an added new twist. But it is nothing new --- it predates rap culture -- to say that 'black' culture has had a profound influence on 'white' culture. There have been many decades of influence in language and music that have crossed over and melded with so-called mainstream culture. The sorry wasteland of post-industrial super-financialised Britain and the increased misery that has caused in the prolonged economic crisis we are living in, cannot be blamed on an ethnic or racial group. Pity that England does not have a strong social democratic tradition to fall back on. Had we one, then the response from politicians could have been more in line with that of Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg when he called for 'more democracy, more openness and greater political participation' in response to Oslo's tragedy. But when we are cutting even such slim bandages or distractions such as youth clubs, EMA and the tidbits of aspirational politics, it is no wonder that the only solutions offered are fulminiations of 'unacceptable' and 'appalling' and the rise of the far right, encouraged by the slippery but fundamentally racist observations voiced last night on Newsnight.

  • Comment number 36.

    Here's one for you Barrie - a photo of Tony Blair in his student days at Oxford:

    Had this photo been in the public domain in 1982, Rev Blair might well not have been selected as a candidate, let alone become party leader.

    Back in the seventies, a friend of mine, who was planning to study Russian at university, sent me a postcard from Minsk. He was on a short intensive language course. He explained that they were able to stay in the university student accommodation, because the students were on the collective farms picking potatoes: "an essential part of socialist education", my friend mocked. At the time I agreed with his sentiments. Now I am not so sure.

    Those who perform menial tasks are amongst the most essential to society, but have the lowest status. They are often treated with contempt by those whose education enables them to do a job they enjoy. Yet without refuse collectors and hospital toilet cleaners for example, where would the rest of us be?

    I have come to the conclusion that admission to university, and eligibility to stand for Parliament, should be conditional upon having satisfactorily completed a year's national service, performing the menial and dirty jobs essential to the functioning of society. Those who complete this would be eligible for a free education, but those who don't would not be admitted.

    Current MPs would be expected to do a month's menial work every year. Perhaps then they might have the right to say "we are all in it together"?

  • Comment number 37.

    British history surely has many incidents of riots and/ or youth disorder. Every 10 to 20 years there are youth disorder issues and a morale panic . This deserves serious debate. It may well be that institutional racism has contributed to the alienation of sections of the community. It is no doubt a contributing factor to these incidents. As has gang culture. Criminal opportunism. Poverty. The economic situation. The reduction in public services which promote social mobility such as education, EMA, access to University. Globalisation which has lead to a loss of a lot of low skilled well paid jobs .
    Starkey is supposed to be an intelligent man. Yet he seems to believe that the colour of your skin predetermines your behaviour or culture. That these behaviours are infectious. He is an intelligent and well educated man we deserve better from him especially if he is being paid a fee from a publically financed organisation. Starkey is helping fuel those dark forces which introduce a far worse barbarism than we have witnessed the last few days. The trouble with racism is the logic takes you to apartheid , "ethnic cleansing", and before you know it you have genocide.

  • Comment number 38.

    Debate and dialogue seem to have disappeared, as with effective chairmanship ; Esler's technique is to listen to the first party, then turn to the second and repeat the first party's comments as statements, masquerading as devil's advocacy; he is incapable of keeping order, vide the last five nights of verbal rioting of special pleaders.

    Apparently on "Any Questions", chaired by the younger Dimbleby, the radio audience asked five questions, Dimbleby minor asked nineteen.

    Nuff sed, innit? Shu'up!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    there is vastly more wisdom in the population, than our political class, or most of the media. Perhaps it has always been that way.

  • Comment number 40.

    #10 link muse:

    --second link. I also recommend the entire film.

    #16, sasha: "For example, if I had my way, any MPs who "flipped" their second homes, regardless of party, would be barred from parliament for good. That would get rid of about half the cabinet AND shadow cabinet. If this country is so devoid of talent that we can't do without them, then our future is bleak indeed!"

    "I've never met a nice politician":

  • Comment number 41.

    a LOT of Party, and Proud, People in Brighton today!!

    (noisy buggers! ;) )

    ...[that pun was NOT intended...]

  • Comment number 42.


    Timely Post Sasha. Backs to the wall.

    Dave has reported his disgust at the unspeakable attack on a young lad. I concur. I owe it to Dave that I should report my disgust in an nation that has GOT US ANOTHER ONE.

    If Dave is such a caring, sensitive, high-minded fellow, How come he connived at the BLATANT Liar Flyer which now warms the bottoms of 9 Conservative MPs? How come he 'hid behind' a FALSE PRETTIFIED IMAGE, expensive poster image of himself, when clawing his way to election victory? How come he VILIFIED NICK CLEGG IN A VERBAL MUGGING, demonstrating scoundrel credentials to make Flashman blush.

    This nation is, indeed, sick - right where it does the most harm.


  • Comment number 43.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Moderator: i have removed the link from the Daily Mail. A newspaper which happens to have a large circulation.

    I can't help but notice the leftist riots apologists have jumped all over the comments David Starkey made on Yesterdays newsnight. I had to watch again to see if there was any suggestive racist utterences form Starkey. I could find none.

    It would appear the mention of that old Tory name of Enoch Powell and making reference to his infamous Birmingham speech was more than enough to send shockwaves around the Guardianasties and their media arm the BBC. Thia is illistrative of how debate about culture, ethnicity, immigration etc is always a difficult one to debate, challenge and question because the self-hating leftists always run around with rampent shrill the usual charge of racism leveled at anyone who dare bring up the subject.

    I would think though the Historian ain't gonna be easily neutered regardless of the self-hating leftists response to his comments.

    Can I suggest that 13yrs of open borders in the Labour years haven't helped much as 3-4 million added to the population was clearly folly given that economys historically rise and fall. I remember the constant doxy trotted out from the Labour political hacks that the country needed more cheap immigrant workers for the growing economy without any thought to what will happen to society when the bubble bursts. There was a time when some school leavers could enter the world of work through the low-end jobs market, sadly they struggle to enter even into that as the competiton is far greater. Maybe having 4 million added to our population was not such a good idea after all. No doubt charges of racism will be levelled at me for those comments...well that's a given really isn't it when you consider how some respond on this subject.

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  • Comment number 46.


    Penny Red's rewarding study of 'the street' does not detect the resonant force coming from Westminster. Westminster is a PHENOMENAL deceit, it is the Hellfire Club, successfully masquerading as a Cathedral.

    SO successful, is the deceit, that frontal denouncement sounds like madness (doesn't it). Now look again.

    Look at Dave's antics - how many more is he 'allowed'?
    Look at Blair. Will we be true to Chilcot? MINDLESS VIOLENCE?


  • Comment number 47.

  • Comment number 48.

    I love David Starkey because he is extremely well-informed and calls it precisely how it is - this is why he is universally despised by the Left-wing and apologists of the utterly unacceptable alike.

    Long may he continue.

  • Comment number 49.


    Telling insight Lizzy - thanks. But still no one seems to notice WESTMINSTER RUNS BY ITS OWN RULES AND BREAKS THE LAW WITH IMPUNITY.

    Westminster is a celebration of perversity that cannot be challenged. There is no OFF POL. No Parliamentary Ombudsman. Formal complaint to the police passes through one or more political-appointee filters, even before reaching court.

    It is a shameless stitch up. Elections do not threaten the EDIFICE only its internal nuances - slightly.

    While this endures, and people think it must be OK, nothing will improve in banks, advertising or on 'the street'.


  • Comment number 50.

    I can't help speculating as to whether this week's riots were just what the eco-fascist anarchists had been planning all along and were to some extent a premature ejaculation of what is likely to come in the future. This weeks riots seem cool with the Corporate Nazi's, its all OK if the riot participants are caught on their CCTV camera and prosecuted, any excuse to throw poor people onto the streets. However, the simple fact is probably something different as when the near future riots caused by power blackouts due to over reliance on wind power begin the CCTV will be inoperative. It is clear that there will be no deterrent whatsoever from CCTV and they can arrest and charge as many as they want from last week but we don't have the available prison places anyway. It must be a mistake to cut police numbers further, but perhaps the police in an attempt to secure their empire started the whole thing in order to give the country a taste of what they probably know full well is coming when the power cuts start. Who can laugh at Tony Farrell now !

    Coming onto David Starkey and his observations on what he terms as black culture infecting the English under classes, and its true except that " black culture " is now a Corporate Nazi fantasy world. It attempts to portray that dancing the thing to do to enjoy yourself at some wild alcoholic party, with plenty of scantily clad women floating around with the cool black guy pairing up with some nice looking white woman. I listen to pop music on the TV in the background and at the moment their offerings are pretty trashy at the moment, more recently a scenario where the streets are deserted unless everyone is out there dancing in them. The reality is that the ideology put out by the popular music industry bears no resemblance to the lives of ordinary people in reality, but then one witness to the recent riots said it was like in a film.

    Every aspect of popular ideology is fabricated these days, you can no longer trust anything the scientists say and the news is full of propaganda like the report on the rebel child allegedly injured by Gadaffi's forces at Misrata six weeks ago. At least Gordon Burns on North West Tonight had the balls to ask Cameron what he was going to do about the bankers and their politicians. He replied that some MP's had been sent to prison but how many of his shadow cabinet had been " flipping ", the Bankers have been looting our economy for at least the last 30 years. At least some key people are beginning to wake up to the truth now and I suspect that many ordinary people have woken up from the corporate illusion. At least it should get a few more people in the habit of keeping up with the news although its not much good if you don't see Ch4 News to cross scrutinise the BBC output. Not much chance of that with Emmerdale / Eastenders / Corrie on the other side, all spewing utter balderdash about how to live your life or what your expectations of life are alleged to be.

  • Comment number 51.

    This one's for barrie...

    Muse: Uprising - V for Vendetta

    Westminster gets dismantled in the end.

  • Comment number 52.

    CATHARSIS (#51)

    If only it were that simple.

  • Comment number 53.

    All the usual suspects moaning about this !

  • Comment number 54.

    The Bulldog Breed's ability to riot, loot and pillage goes back way before we started kidnapping native Africans, turning them into slaves and shipping them halfway across the world, then warehousing them in US inner city "projects".

    What about the London apprentices who smahed the King's army at the Battle of Turnham Green? I didn't hear about any black gang influence during the Gordon riots, the Luddities, Peterloo, the Peasant's Revolt or the English Revolution, to mention but a few examples of mob violence on an epic scale in these islands down the centuries.

    If you consider the way early New York was ruled by white immigrant gangs long before there was hardly any black population outside the southern plantations, I think there is a historical case to be made for the emergence of urban rioting as a consequence of industrialisation and the making of common cause by groups of workers who were often in violent conflict with the authorities through employment disputes, at a time when there was no black presence at all.

    Black urban populations in the USA were relatively late on the scene compared to the establishment of white conurbations and in many ways the black people simply replaced the low paid white workers who then moved on up the economic scale.

    I'd argue that these inner city black communities simply took on the mantle of the worst jobs, housing and poverty from their white predecessors, as wel as their subsyance abuse, marriage breadown and criminal inclinations - was the Mob black, Mr. Starkey? I think ytou'll find they were of Mediterranean extraction...

    Think of what European gangs did when they first arrived in the Americas - genocide of Carib indians and their replacement by African slaves, the unspeakable cruelty of the conquistadores and the gang culture afloat of the pirates and privateers all alon the eastern seaboard.

    So Starkey's attempt to demonise black gang culture as in some way being the cause of recent events seems to me, for a historian like him to be amazingly shortsighted - the roots go much deeper.

    Marx theorised that the infrastructure of a society determines its superstructure - i.e. that once people are detached from the land and have to work for employers to survive who then make profit out of their labour, then this economic infrastructure is THE key determinant of the physical world around us AND the way we relate to each other. It doesn't sound too radical a claim, does it?

    But Starkey and many other anti-Marxists will fall over backwards to deny this simple theory and spend their

  • Comment number 55.

    #53 bro

    Thanks for posting that link, I've been looking for it for a while.

    Gordon Burns put in a brave performance. Maybe he's close to retirement.

    Cameron came across as a sanctimonious prig. That will do his popularity no end of good.

    "Responsibility is the most important word in politics"
    Someone should point out to Cameron that there are 3 i's in responsibility.

    Cameron's "thank you" at the end was like a ‘your-card-is-marked-sunshine’ comment.

  • Comment number 56.

    Richardo bunning wrote:

    "But Starkey and many other anti-Marxists will fall over backwards to deny this simple theory and spend their"

    Marx doctrine is always favourable to the ones who want the state to give them handouts. Marx himself was well known for his shirking work, happy to sit around whilst his children starved when he could've gone out and worked..he was a lay-a-bout. Marxism is for lay-a-bouts and left wing agitators who haven't got an honest days work in them.. And thats why the teaching profession is full of them.

    Oh and lets not forget the 100 million killed in the name of Marx and his communist ideology. It kinda put those national socialists of 30s/40s Germany in the shade don't you think when it comes to a league of tyranny. Funny how I never got taught that in school, somehow the death toll was something they ignored when they extolled the virtues of the Russian revolution and Stalin's USSR.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.


    Men of honour, caught disgracing their trust, would CHOOSE to be tried for "MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE"; law clearly intended for them.

    But no. Once more we read 'they' have a protocol (they always do) to use a lighter law where possible. This is why so few went to jail. AND THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT.

    IN passing: Dave is so like Lisa Simpson in his pathetic little eulogies about 'Great Buzzing Cities' and the like, he seems to be locked in the nursery phase of his life and fearing nurse.

    World Statesman? Britain - did you do this?

  • Comment number 60.

    more Starkey please as he condemns himself with every passing er, RANT

  • Comment number 61.

    54. Truncated posting:

    But Starkey and many other anti-Marxists will fall over backwards to deny this simple theory and spend their time developing other explanations that seem to blame just about anything other than the real root cause.

    We know that we live in an intensively consumerist society where status and self-worth and determined by possessions, not the quality of your character. Avarice is expected and required - fueled by advertising and the media - for those that have the cash, they have the status and can trash restaurants then throw cash at the aggrieved owners to avoid the long arm of the law - i.e. Cameron & Johnson in the Bullingham Club.

    If you've ever stood and watched a fox hunt, this is legalised rioting on a grand scale which ends with a small terrified mammal being ripped to pieces whilst still alive - I see people who support it as being the dictionary definition of "sick".

    Yes a lot of the rioters were out there for a bit of cashless "shopping" and yes those setting buildings & cars on fire were quite possibly only in it for "the Crack", but the medium in which this cultural disconnect grew is the reality of inner city life - and it is the product of economic relationships.

    The spark in Holloway was a shooting, but the individuals not directly linked to this must have had their own festering feelings of injustice which made them only too willing to join in too in their areas - is it any coincidence that the riots coincided with the ending of EMA, for example?

    Outside of recent events, civil unrest has coincided with political events such as the fee demo and the countryside alliance protest - whilst more mundane gang violence has been around football supporters or county town Saturday night booze culture. None of these can be said to be connected an alien black gang culture.

    Starkey should confine his work to Henry the xth and stop dabbling in current politics - playing the Race card is always an attempt to divert attention away from the real cause to protect the vested interests of thise in power - i.e. the Bankers' Party led by Mr Cameron.

    Mr Starkey, black gang culture is the product of crimes against humanity committed by our ancestors in enslaving and repressing people because of the colour of their skin - people who did this out of pure greed, merciless mass murder and enslavement and nothing else - people whose cultural legacy is still with us - it's call the Ruling Class.

    Re: Marx & so-called Marxist governments - IMHO he would have hated them all.


  • Comment number 62.

    This is going to turn into a legal minefield, welfare state for all the alleged human rights lawyers and likely to end in the European court even !

  • Comment number 63.

  • Comment number 64.

    Don't worry at least you'll have a roof over your head, as you slowly starve to death! Just where are we going to grow food 'eh?

    The middle east, chinese and russians are buying up our land as well....

  • Comment number 65.


    In passing, the 'Loud Lady' - Baroness Warsi - on Question Time says: "If you burn down somebody's home; If you take away their livelihood; If you go out and kill people defending their own homes THEN YOU WILL GET WHAT IS COMING TO YOU!" Was she was referring to the jobless shambles our mercenary adventurers will soon return to, after wrecking abroad? Or the impending arrival JFs on these shores, to bring that come-uppance?

  • Comment number 66.

    #61 richard bunning

    "i.e. Cameron & Johnson in the Bullingham Club."

    I think you will find it was the "Bullythem Club".

    In fact, it's the second photo that exudes the sheer arrogance.

  • Comment number 67.

    Thanks for the correction & link re: the Bullingdon Club.

    I found this on Wiki:

    Andrew Gimson, biographer of Boris Johnson, reported about the club in the 1980s: "I don't think an evening would have ended without a restaurant being trashed and being paid for in full, very often in cash. [...] A night in the cells would be regarded as being par for a Buller man and so would debagging anyone who really attracted the irritation of the Buller men."

    It quotes the bbc as a source:

    David Cameron condemned the “sickness” in parts of British society - mindless violence and destruction - wantom smashing of windows and glass, assaults on innocent members of the public by a tiny minority hell bent on destruction.

    And that's just what he and the other 29 overpriviledged toffs could have got up to at his dining club @ Oxford University, according to Andrew Gimpson's remarks, although we don't have testimony that directly implicates Cameron personally in criminal damage and/or assaults, but he clearly associated with and may well have witnessed it and implicitly condoned it along with Boris, GO and even possibly Michael Gove, if Gimpson and other commentators are correct.

    The only difference is that unlike the rioters of the last week, according to Gimson they were all so stinking rich they could buy the silence of those whose property and dignity they assaulted.

    There's a bit more contemporary evidence on Wiki about the more recent past:

    "The club was active in Oxford in 2008/9, although not currently registered with the University, and the retiring proctors' oration recited an incident which, not being on University premises, was outside their jurisdiction: "some students had taken habitually to the drunken braying of ‘We are the Bullingdon’ at 3 a.m. from a house not far from the Phoenix Cinema. But the transcript of what they called the wife of the neighbour who went to ask them to be quiet was written in language that is not usually printed". The members therefore received an Anti-Social Behaviour Contract from the Thames Valley Police, threatening the more common ASBO. The proctor concluded in March 2009: "So I am pleased to say that, except perhaps at the highest level of national politics, the Bullingdon Club this year has been quiescent."


    Scum in hoodies - or scum in tails - where's the difference?

  • Comment number 68.


    "Scum in hoodies - or scum in tails - where's the difference?"

    The scum in tails should know better.

    btw - there is a programme on Channel 4 now describing how the media manipulate the population via narcissisitic behavior programming (professors 'n all) of our children.

    (We know of someone on here who often mentioned this)

    Watch it now, it's called "Starsuckers".

    " This documentary about the all-pervasive cult of celebrity raised eyebrows even before its release, after reports that the film-maker had managed to plant false stories about the likes of Amy Winehouse and Guy Ritchie in the tabloid newspapers. But, far from being a prankster, director Chris Atkins (Taking Liberties) was effectively highlighting how Britain is "Sleaze Central" for fake and fabricated celebrity stories in the media."

  • Comment number 69.

    For someone who calls himself a historian,Starkey knows nothing of black culture. I come from and grew up in the continent where apparently all black people originate from, Africa.If British people had indeed adopted my black culture as he puts it, then we wouldn't have had any riots because according to my culture, the sun should not set without every child present in the home because you're expected to be busy helping your parents prepare dinner, you do not dare talk back to an elder let alone throw stones at one(in this case being the police), you do what your parents tell you even if you don't agree, you don't get pregnant outside marriage, the local community is in fact your second family so give it the same respect and you work hard at school/college/uni so that you can get the best job possible and make your family proud as well as being a good role model for the younger generation within the community. As a black African who is still very much in touch with her roots and people, THIS is what my culture is about.

  • Comment number 70.

    The Earth needs to heal
    humans don't want it to.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have tried on two occasions to see published here my criticism of the David Starkey segment of 12 August. It is my impression that little was done to interrupt the racist diatribe David Starkey launched into and that was shocking. It is all very well for the BBC to insist that he was dealt with robustly. I don't agree. I don't think he should have been silenced, but he should not have been allowed to talk over and interrupt others to the extent that he did without moderator intervention. It is not as if he doesn't have 'form' in his manner of participating. He is a known quantity to the BBC - as far as his style is concerned - and therefore Newsnight should have been better prepared to cut him off and let others speak. Would you kindly allow my criticism of the way this segment was handled to be published here? Thank you.

  • Comment number 72.

    I had given up blogging in favour of the (slightly) more rewarding acts of challenging my MP, signing e-petitions and escaping to that last ghetto of real English culture - the BBC Proms (multicultural music and artists, single culture audience). But I was interested to see whether others shared my view about the performance of David Starkey on Friday’s Newsnight.

    Apart from the few bloggers who haven’t realised that we are no longer gagged by pc and taunts of ‘racist’ and are beginning again to express our own opinions (subject to moderation) many share David Starkey’s view that our national culture has been severely damaged by imported alien cultures. Even the PM (some time ago, and when out of the country) said that the multicultural experiment had been a failure, but copped out of further explanation or action.

    As a total contrast to the polite, appreciative audiences at the Proms, I watched Saturday’s Channel 4’ ‘debate’ on the riots. It consisted mainly of illiterate and inarticulate yoofs in yer face (no wot I meen) shouting each other down with very little listening or reflection. And I recently attended a young relative’s birthday party in SE London and was horrified at the gangsta rap style of communication between yoofs of all shades. No wonder they cannot find employment!

    We have now packed our dau-er (sorry, daughter) off to Philippines to shield her from this cultural descent and provide her with an environment of real ‘respec’ - for elders and betters. Following a major incident of theft and robbery at her (catholic) school, our family has spent the past 6 months directly experiencing the ill effects of handicapping school discipline and police action by pc and extreme liberal pusillanimity. Finally, after many meetings, reams of documents and court ‘action’ during which our daughter was suspended (during exam times) we have learned that the real criminals have finally been dealt the full force of the law – ‘referred’ for 2 months!

    Neither NN nor the Channel 4 ‘debates’ reached any useful conclusions to this cultural collapse, but whilst we are still in the blame mode I nominate the media as the driving force that has been responsible for inflicting this alien culture right into our homes and the national psyche, no doubt chasing the lowest common denominator. Most TV Channels and newspapers believe it our constitutional right to the pursuit of crappiness and the right to bare legs (and all else bar a few pixels) and continue to 'welcome diversity' for our enlightenment and entertainment (eg BBC Eastenders has to introduce a Moslem and a Christian homosexual man kissing; Daily Mail online surrounds its main news items with a huge gallery picturing ‘celebs’ in various titivating poses and devious pursuits) – some role models for our society!

    Will any of this change following the disgracing of the press, politicians, police and rioting public? Not without some major changes:

    • revising the HR and Equality legislation;
    • imposing strict limits on population growth (from EU and alien cultures);
    • introducing PR voting to bring in some Radical MPs and independents;
    • returning to some form of censorship of filth; and
    . reintroduction of National Service – to instil discipline and camaraderie in our youth by compulsory military or community service as a requirement of residence.

  • Comment number 73.


    There are plenty of long overdue, reasoned out, sound policy responses out there, that do not need a dozen 'think tanks' to come up with. They are major changes for sure, but we are in an equally sized mess, tweeking will not do.

    Politicians standard response is to set up and enquiry or a dozen focus groups whom report back 6 months later with mighty tomes of mumbo jumbo within which the obvious is obscured, for fear of being 'controversial' this allows the politicians to

    a) Focus on the detail and make tweeks rather than sweeping changes

    b) Blame someone else if that does not work

    c) Give them suffcient 'word cover' by being able to refer to the enquiry outputs in detail to obscure 'truths' amongst inumerable apparently 'clever' sounding sentences which actually mean very little but which can be traded between parties in parliament and in the media to give the illusion that informative debate is on-going.

    d) Buy them time, any enquiry takes at least 6 months during which period they can refrain from forming any opinion or making any decisions 'awaiting the outcome of the enquiry', after which time the heat (and the opportunity for change) has usually passed, the public at large are busy people and anger is hard to sustain for 6 months while waiting for an enquiry to be produced.

    It is, in fact, an extremely effcient and well tested strategy for suppression of popular opinion and policy masquerading as a democracy.

    The majority of people would, if given the chance, agree with the above and, indeed, most of the outputs that come from this web space (for example), but there is no policy platform for it, no party to vote for, no penetrating of the invisible wall within which politicians, big business, banking and media operate their cosy cabal.

    I dont think it is a conscious conspiracy as such, we need to recognise that we need to constantly re-invent our systems of governance to stop this 'dark side' of human nature from rising to the fore once more and causing misery for millions for the benefit of afew, given time it will always find a way to overcome a system of governance designed to control it, be it a religious system or a secular one.

    Our system of governance has stood still for far too long and is now completely infected with it.

    One thing the riots (unintensionaly) have done is forced this type of debate into the mainstream bypassing , temporarily, the control measures described above and the politicians look 'naked' in its glare.

    But with no tangible descent, organised political force available to fill the policy vacuum on the airwaves one fears the existing system will simply repair itself and carry on as it has become accustomed. Nothing will fundamentally change and the eventual collapse when it does come will be all the more dangerous.

  • Comment number 74.

    The British army is an expensive way to smash and burn property and deprive the innocent of life and livelihood - THE SAME WORK MIDLESS THUGS DO MORE CHEAPLY.

    Turning mindless thugs into squaddies, just puts up the cost of nihilistic pursuits such as Tony loved, IDS bowed to, and Lord Goldsmith stamped 'AAA'.

    Try to justify a world like that! THE WRONG PEOPLE ARE IN CHARGE.


  • Comment number 75.

    Ok for all you "bring back National Service", flog 'em brigade out there who think it's all down to immigration and workshy layabouts sponging off the state, here's a reality check.

    You are 16 - you live in an overcrowded inner city flat with you parents, who work all the hours god sends and struggle to keep their heads above water. You must decide whether to go to university, or leave school and try to get a job - but jobs are thin on the ground - but Uni is scary not least of which because of the £50,000 you expect to end up owing, with no certainty of a job at the end, so you leave and take any job you can get - say stacking shelves in a store on just above min. wage.

    A year or two on and you are in a relationship and want to think about moving out and setting up home together, but it's impossible - try social housing - no chance too many people after too few homes - buying? On your wages? No deposit? Forget it.

    A few words from your older sibbling lets you know that the only way to get social housing is to have children which get you points, so you knock out a couple of sprogs in short order - now you may get something, but your relationship fails under the strain of too little money coming in too higher cost of living environment.

    The young woman now ends up in a flat with 2 young kids, dependent on welfare handouts, but finally she has got a roof over her head and two children. This pattern now replicates down the generations and there is nothing these people can really do to break out of the cycle because society doesn't allow them to become of economic value and able to command a decent salary, but it does place a social value on children in its allocation of scarce social housing.

    So who do you blame for this?

    There are three points at which this could have been avoided:

    1. Incentivise young people to go into higher education &/or training.
    2. Provide enough social housing to prevent a "points race" of producing children as the social currency to buy your way into a home.
    3. Ensure there are enough jobs that are paid a wage that really reflects the true cost of living, as opposed to the minimum employers need to offer to fill the vacancy.

    Repression and sanction would achieve nothing in this situation - it's ECONOMICS that determines the life chances of young people and we have allowed our communities to become financially unviable through the speculative bubble in house prices & rents (ditto country villages) as well as the%

  • Comment number 76.

    Cintinued truncated posting above:

    Repression and sanction would achieve nothing in this situation - it's ECONOMICS that determines the life chances of young people and we have allowed our communities to become financially unviable through the speculative bubble in house prices & rents (ditto country villages) as well as the dog-eat-dog labour market which has been turned into a race to the bottom for low skilled jobs by the emasculation of organised labour.

    There has also been a deeply immoral conspiracy of interests in jacking up and holding house prices high so that those who do own homes benefit from the capital gain, but at the expense of those who cannot afford to buy at all on their low wages.

    Face facts - it is virtually impossible for a young couple from this sort of background to succeed and reach a stable financial base with an affordable roof over their heads, decent jobs bringing in enough money to sustain a family.

    We are responsible for this situation - we the home owning, middle class with our pensions, second homes and town flats - we have done very nicely thank you out of creating a housing market that is held in artificially short supply and we salve our consciences by thinking as a society we have minimum childcare standards to ensure all children have a home, then we slag off theri parents for their lifestyle which we forced them in to.

  • Comment number 77.

    #72 Indi you are a breath of fresh air on the blog, you are absolutely correct in all that you say in IMHO. (And yes I'm listening to the proms)

    My daughter teaches these kids, age 11 - 18 in Kent, Eastenders is their instructions for life, and sarf london their mode of speech. She is a well loved teacher, because she tries to engender respect on both sides, but it is extremely hard work.

    You would not believe the ignorance of these kids as regards current affairs, they are not interested and don't have a clue, a recent question, who is the PM of Britain, the answer Obama, and this happens all the time. They know nothing of politics, but all about the latest celebrity.

    National Service needn't be in the services, I'm sure local activities to understand and work in the area one lives would be the ideal. Although I would worry that it would make more unemployment to local council workers etc.

  • Comment number 78.

    #75/6 Richard

    Your hypothetical example of ‘deserving’ people did not seem to fit the many that we saw looting and burning other people’s property, or those mouthing-off on Channel 4’s riot ‘debate’.

    My post was about the illiterate and ignorant types who think that destruction solves problems and that this country owes them a living without the need for them to bother with schooling and study. (Ask David Starkey what he thought of those kids he tried to teach on Jamie’s Dream School – what an absolute nightmare!).

    Apart from their total absence of any employable skills, and attitudes that would alienate any potential employer, there must surely be a limit to the scope for creating jobs in the private sector, particularly with our swollen population, the global levels of unemployment, and our much higher labour rates and welfare standards. Gordon managed to create hundreds of ‘mock public service’ jobs to keep the immigrant vote, thus further burdening our economy and its taxpayers.

    In all my recent visits to London, and just now to McDonalds in Brighton, I would estimate that some 90% of the employed unskilled staff are foreigners, mainly Eastern European. Maybe employers find them more willing and reliable or, in many cases that I observe, the employer is providing jobs for his own ethnic cousins (check the number of foreign restaurants, take-aways, Costcutters, Nisas, etc.)

    So, I in no way accept your allocation of blame:-

    “We are responsible for this situation - we the home owning, middle class with our pensions, second homes and town flats - we have done very nicely thank you out of creating a housing market that is held in artificially short supply and we salve our consciences by thinking as a society we have minimum childcare standards to ensure all children have a home, then we slag off their parents for their lifestyle which we forced them in to.”

    My parents pulled us out from a Deptford slum by hard work (during the troubled 30s) and I have continued to (one) home owning by diligent stages, hard work, enterprise, risk, and only having kids that we could afford. The bankers and estate agents may have manipulated the housing market for their own gains, but I suggest that there are fewer ‘deserving’ poor than those that will not adapt to a lifestyle that (like all nature) requires struggle and survival to fit its challenges. Unlike nature, we have continued to sustain the unsustainable through a social welfare system that was intended as a safety net, not an alternative to be exploited.

    Those who should feel guilt are the people who take more than a fair share of the created wealth through greed – the bankers who paid me 2% interest on my savings and gambled them to provide financial chaos - and their huge bonuses; and the many over-paid ‘executives’ in the public and private sectors who have widened the gap between rich and ‘deserving’ poor at the expense of the latter.

    We don’t NEED more housing, but less people - and less control by foreign politicians and asset strippers. Then we might strive for a more cohesive society based once again on PATRIOTISM (now a dirty word).

  • Comment number 79.

    OH COME ON IGG2 (#78)

    You know Starkey is a child - BBC is childish - and edgy trumps eductional.

    Probably ONLY Camilla Batmanghelidjh . . . delivers uncontaminted, adult wisdom, derived from personal experience. Maybe this is why we see so little of her on BBC.

    Read Eric Berne GAMES PEOPLE PLAY. Nowhere more, do they play, than when it MATTERS SO DESPERATELY not to.

  • Comment number 80.

    Nouriel 'Dr. Doom' Roubini: ‘Karl Marx Was Right’

    Absent additional fiscal stimulus, or unexpected strong GDP growth, the only solution is a universal debt restructuring for banks, homes (essentially households/families), and governments, Roubini said. However, no such universal restructuring has occurred.

  • Comment number 81.

    Roubini also argues that the social uprisings in Egypt and in other Arab world countries, in Greece, and now in the United Kingdom, are economic in origin (primarily unemployment, but also, in the case of Egypt, due to the rising cost of living).

  • Comment number 82.

    starkers and the feds

    anyone been listening to 1xtra? i could post the lyrics of some the tunes but funny enough they would be modded on this part of the bbc as breaking certain 'house rules'. they might even get me reported to the 'feds' as the 'home grown' call the uk authorities.

    is the promotion or 'biggin up' of violent nihilist materialism a force for good in the uk? is it a good model of humanity that needs to be promoted and 'normalised' by the taxpayer?

    why should some be allowed to break society 'house rules' on the airwaves and elsewhere but others not? isn't that a form of apartheid?

    are not the house rules for everyone? or is that 'discrimination' to expect some to follow them?

    will the notting hill carnival be hijacked by the 'violent shoppers'?

  • Comment number 83.

    given organised crime in the uk has come up from 900 organised crimes in 1997 to several thousand today why are the police chiefs getting uppitty? anyone would think they had a track record of success against organised crime and that the trend of the number of gangs was decreasing?

    no wonder organised crime is on the increase with such head in the sand attitudes from police chiefs?

  • Comment number 84.


    should read

    'given organised crime in the uk has come up from 900 organised crime gangs in 1997..'

  • Comment number 85.

    #82 jaunty

    Just before the looting/riots started, I noticed that Channel 4 were heavily advertising their Street Summer season of programmes. The advert relentlessy aired showed youths on BMX style bikes jumping onto the roofs and bonnets of cars in a street with complete abandon. I noticed that the main ad was pulled when the riots started. I also note that the adverts have returned.

    The channel 4 website lists pieces on "Rap Beatbox", "StreetDance" and "Grafitti Wars".

    Can't wait!

    Maybe, just maybe, the UK will be able to rap, dance and spray paint its way out of recession/depression.

    We surely must trust in and celebrate the creativity of our urban youth.

  • Comment number 86.


    Globalisation is the economic force that you are referring to - the opening of UK markets to global competition, so companies can make money manufacturing goods in low wage, repressive locations like China, then sell them in high income wealthy markets like Europe - ditto the oil energy cartel.

    Another facet of this exploitation chain is bringing in low paid, low skilled labour from outside the Uk to drive down the wages of British workers and so - make even more money!

    We went along with this by supporting EU membership and all the freedom that gives us to go where we like in Europe, own second homes there and gain access to their markets for our exports - not that that's working right now - and critically to allow British banks to engage in their global gambling addiction to fund the big bonuses paid to the people who bankroll the Tory Party.

    Of course if you consume like hell but don't produce an equal amount of exports, then your country racks up a balance of payments deficit - and if we live beyond our personal means, this translates into a Mountain of private debt.

    Without manufacturing jobs for our own people, they become dependent on welfare to exist - and can't afford to live on the sort of wages paid to workers from eastern Europe who anecdotally rent out a four room flat and sleep eight to a room for 10 months, pay no tax and then go home with their hard currency.

    The state provides a safety net for those without the means to live - in effect to pick up the bill for the people dumped by the market - just as it did in picking up the bill to bail out the banks - £40,000+ for EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE UK.

    I could regale you with my family history too, but the point I am making is that the cards are so heavily stacked against the sort of working class people I'm describing, they have virtually no chance of living what you & I would see as a "normal" life - they don't conciously decide to live on the dole - they don't conciously decide to live in an overcrowded flat or fail to get a a qualification - the economic environment they live in determines their life chances.

    How do we fix this?


    I agree we need to end mass immigration and ditch the mad open market policies of the libertarians who control all three major political parties and start talking about A SUSTAINABLE BRITAIN which doesn't import things made on the other side of the world, that creates decent jobs for our%2

  • Comment number 87.


    I agree we need to end mass immigration and ditch the mad open market policies of the libertarians who control all three major political parties and start talking about A SUSTAINABLE BRITAIN which doesn't import things made on the other side of the world, that creates decent jobs for our people not the 80% going to cheap imported labour and stop the tide of environmental damage the current system produces.

    The pre-WWII era you refer to was one where the boot was on the other foot - the British Empire was a captive market for our exports and a ready source of cheap imports of food and raw materials - and once the lunacy of the people who drove the world into the Depression was put in the bin, opportunity reappeared.

    Today everything is exactly the other way round - the processes, innovation and technology developed in the UK has been asset stripped and sent overseas to low cost production areas, then used to create a tidalwave of imports into this country we simply can't afford.

    The growth in the UK underclass is the direct result of globalisation - and its from the underclass that the miasma of crime, drug use, sexual irresponsibility and welfare dependency comes from - it's not wicked individuals or the over-generous do- gooding state that causes the problems -this is a world where the sort of values and attitudes we live by are completely alien and unworkable.

    The reason I blame the affluent for this is that they voted for it and benefited from the fruits of the speculators and asset strippers who have got us into this state.

    Private affluence and public squalor has been the root cause of urban rioting from B.C Rome under the Emperors through the Paris commune, US rioting of the 60s, 70s & 80s, Latin Americas, S, Africa and now in the UK. The factor that the individuals caught rioting here are a rag ,tag & bobtail of different people is irrelevant - it is their absence of moral values, their dog-eat-dog mentality that comes out of a society where the economic relationships are so unsustainable that criminality becomes woven into the fabric of underclass society.

    Haven't you every read Charles Dickens - or Cobett's Rural Rides? George Orwell's Road to Wigan Pier? Robert Trestrail's Ragged Trousered Philanthropists?

    Their books chronicle the way ordinary people are demonised for being poor down the centuries and the injustice of the economic situation they were placed in.

    Today Bob Cratchett would have lost his job when Scrouge sold out and moved his business to China and would be labelled%

  • Comment number 88.

    #86 87 Yes very well put Richard........

    ..........but you can lead a child to books and education, but you can't make them learn, how do you encourage children to learn?

    And who do you count as the affluent, what is your benchmark? Someone who owns a house, a car, and has a job? They are in the majority and probably voted for one of the three major parties, so who are you blaming?

  • Comment number 89.


    The Ape Confused by Language is gearing-up for an Ape-fest - the Olympics - wherein the PHYSICAL EXTREMITIES of the physiological Bell-Curve will compete for visceral, dumb glory and honour, which does little for the also-rans.

    But in a world that is uniquely Homo Sapiens domain', there is NO drive to optimise sapience, lest it interfere with Mammon and Machiavellian government perhaps.

    Were we prepared to 'annoy Surrey' (run an Olympic sized effort to boost Britain's PSYCHOLOGICAL FITNESS) we could be ‘in the ranking’ IN THE HUMAN COMPETENCE EVENT that is life. .

    Westminster would not survive the shock.

  • Comment number 90.

    Thought people could do with a chuckle tonight..... before work tomorrow ; )

  • Comment number 91.

    Bill 'Batman' Bratton. A frantic call on the Batphone and he's soaring through the decadent city streets in his Bratmobile. Crushing gangland pimps and dealers, swooping on the sidewalk scum, delivering justice with a dynamic *ZAP* and *POW*

    But what's this? Oh irony. Oh sad, cruel fate. He's been hired by The Joker!....ha, ha, ha, ha, ha....

    Holy set-up of set-ups! How can he escape the clutches of Mighty Metman? He thought he was fighting for the law. Now he's fighting the law!!!

    Is there a way out of this fiendish plot?

    Will the City's Mayor come to his rescue?

    What brilliant decoy will The Joker think up next?

    And where's Robin?

    Find out in the next thrilling episode of *BRATMAN*.......

  • Comment number 92.


    For the avoidance of doubt: this is the Conservative leader who was swept up by the blatantly false, Blair Agenda on Iraq, and who whipped his MPs into a yes vote.

    I suggest looters can be in a similar state of 'altered consciousness'. Belief is all.


  • Comment number 93.

    I heard on the news this morning that David Cameron is going to tackle the gang culture in the UK head on.

    Perhaps he should start with the gang culture in Westminster first?

  • Comment number 94.

    Oh I can't wait for the Olympics, the whole of the south east will be rammed, perhaps we all ought to go on a sabattical for a month and leave it all to the athletes.

  • Comment number 95.

    As my#94 Hee,hee, I wonder if any of these women will be able to even get to their seats!

  • Comment number 96.

    @86,87 Well said Richard. But now the Tories want to create more crime by removing housing and benefits from transgressors. They really are the stupid party.

    It really would be more honest to eat the poor, as in Swift's 'modest proposal'

    Of course, the madmen are egged on by the Daily Mail, a newspaper with a long history of disrespect for the truth, ever since the Zinoviev letter, if not before. It's not for nothing that Evelyn Waugh, that well known left-winger, satirised it as 'The Daily Beast':

    The 'Daily Wail' is still owned by the same family which used it to support Hitler, Mussolini and Oswald Moseley. The newspaper never did apologise.

    Now it uses loaded language and half-truths to smear the disadvantaged. Editor Paul Dacre disingenuously denies that the paper has had far more successful complaints against it than any other newsaper, by suggesting that "resolved" complaints are not breaches of the PCC code. (Qs 550 and onwards)

    The PCC, whose chairman of the ethics committee is - Paul Dacre - does not record the number of breaches of its code.

    His reported personal behaviour in the office is interesting to say the least:

    Yet those who accept the Wail's inflammatory rhetoric have the temerity to question the sanity of those who disagree with them. (@11) Time for them to think happy thoughts, perhaps, in a place "where life is beautiful all the time". ;-D

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    #96 Sasha

    Aw c'mon, that's all just ad hominem in the extreme of the Daily Mail (and don't you think your "Daily Wail" description rather childish - it does detract from the reasoned argument pov).

    The PCC, certainly leading up to and following the NotW phone hacking scandal, has been a completely discredited body that has merely demonstrated conclusively that self regulation of the newsprint media industry was about as effective as a chocolate teapot (the same goes for banking self regulation btw). At least they didn't hack into a murdered girls mobile phone messages (unless proven otherwise).

    In fact your line of argument is rather similar, in vein, to the ad hominems being thrown at David Starkey. I personally can't stand the man, but on this occasion I believe him to be correct.

    Unless the nettle is grasped and meaningful debate around previously taboo subjects are tackled the we really are going to be in it together in more ways than one.

  • Comment number 99.


    I'm blaming a lot of people, including myself. We assumed we could just go with the flow, our houses would get more valuable, our pension pots would grow, we could make more money - have nice things, foreign holidays, live the dream.

    What is now apparent is that whilst we were winning, others were losing big time - without any moral focus anymore in our secular, materialistic society, we indulgence in headonistic hobbyhorse politics, fuss over eating organic veg, do some guesture politics towards recycling, eat only "happy" meat and feed wild birds in the garden, we do our bit on parents' night and are nice to our neighbours, meanwhile down the road there was a ticking timebomb where unlike us, the winners in the globalised economy, sit those who have lost out for whom their real standard of living has fallen dramatically and the job prospects, the hope of a decent home and a "normal" faily life has become an impossible dream.

    We have lost our sense of collective social responsibility - we blame those at the bottom of the pile for being there - it's all the result of a self-inflicted, lazy, criminal scrounger culture created by do-gooding wet liberal civil servants, not our failure to aspire to a more equal, fair society AND make it happen.

    Be honest with yourself - we don't really care at all do we, so long as the lid stays on down the road and we are free to follow our obsessive, egocentric little lives?

  • Comment number 100.

    #99 To be honest Richard I do care, I do not indulge myself and always consider the outcomes of my actions. I bought a house to be my home, and have not moved in 30 years. (I can't help the rise in house prices, and I wouldn't dream of owning a buy to let) I also won't go on luxury holidays, I can't go to some poor country where my every need is met, when there is such poverty for the local people. (But then am I letting those same people down, by not visiting, and giving them work!) But I do worry about the decline in my pension! ; ) But I blame government and banks for that.

    My husband and I are partners in a small business, we try to accommodate and help our employees, mine is a minor role, but my husband is always concerned with his employees wellbeing. I would admit that the other partners don't exactly share his views!

    I complain a lot about immigration, it is assumed that's because I'm zenophobic and a little englander, and am accused of racism. My feeling has always been that these new people to our shores DO take the jobs from british workers, I've thought this for years, but get shouted down. They also lower the wages and living standard for everyone living here, except those who want to employ them on such low wages. Exploitation of workers seems to be the way to go, it all smacks of how things were a century ago.

    And I'm very cross about it, but I've not a clue what to do about it all.


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