Shopping with Violence

Hi, everybody.  Sorry that I’ve not been here for a bit but I’ve been rather preoccupied with other things recently.  Anyway, I’m sure that those of you who do not live in England will have seen the scenes from

Under attack

London, broadcast across the world.  I wrote the following piece yesterday afternoon in something of a rush, and in a mood, angered by some ignorant and ill-informed comment on an American-based online newspaper.  I’m posting it here by request.  🙂

I want to say a word or two about the riots in London, my city, my home. My view is that – as with the Norwegian massacre – it is best to stand back from such events before forming a definite judgement, simply to allow the facts to settle. But judgements are already being formed which have nothing whatsoever to do with facts and everything to do with politics. The suggestion is that these events, which have disgraced my country and its capital in the eyes of the world, are somehow to do with cutbacks. This is no more than a supposition, based not on evidence but wishful thinking.

The opportunity has also been taken to attack the police, that somehow they do not respect the ‘right to peaceful protest,’ an assertion that again is utterly at variance with the facts. No it’s more; it’s an outright lie, one that is clearly intended to give a completely wrong impression to people who know little of the Metropolitan Police, who know little of London and little of this country. If anything the police have gone too far in the opposite direction, a softly softly approach that sometimes makes the force look fumbling and weak, an approach that saw them lose control at the weekend

To try to play politics at time like this really is appalling. The present government of David Cameron has been in power for just over a year, inheriting a massive and unsupportable debt from the previous administration. There was no alternative to serious fiscal retrenchment, but the cuts, such as they are, have not yet had an impact. No, people are not starving in the streets while capitalist fat cats sit back complacently smoking Havana cigars. I would simply ask you to see this Marxist fantasy for the risible nonsense it truly is.

Simply put these riots are anarchy for the sake of anarchy, not for politics, disorder as an end in itself. Who are the targets? The bastions of capitalism, perhaps, the banks and the stock exchange? No, ordinary traders, little shopkeepers, who have seen their stores looted and their livelihoods destroyed. Workers of the world unite; you have DVDs and a couple of video games to gain, to say nothing of shoes and sofas.

So what is the truth? Rarely pure and never simple, perhaps? Pure and simple for some, that much is obvious. The reality is we are dealing with a hijack here. What started as a peaceful vigil over the shooting of a man called Mark Duggan (leader of a drug gang, incidentally) in the district of Tottenham was quickly taken over by those who had never heard of him and had no interest at all in making a political point. A great many involved in this Twitter riot (yes, that’s the medium) are teenagers. One, a fifteen year old, was caught on camera, saying that it was ‘fun.’ Commenting on this Richard Evans, who edits an online news forum, said;

Make no mistake, they’re not crusaders on some just cause, most of them don’t even have a point to make, these are morons acting like morons — nothing more, nothing less. It must actually be insulting to Mark Duggan’s family and friends — who have spoken out against the riots — that people are doing this in his name, using his death as an excuse to steal some crappy trainers from a JJB Sports.

Morons, well, that’s certainly one way of putting it; I’m not quite sure what other term could be used for those who were filmed helping an injured and bleeding teenager to his feet, only to start rifling through his backpack to take anything of value. Was he a capitalist, a supporter of the cutbacks who just happened to have lost his way, perhaps having mislaid his merc? Well, that’s one possible spin, I suppose.

Then there is the woman who was stabbed in a fight over…over what exactly?, over some principle of the revolution? No it was over a looted cut-price sofa. Incidentally, as the mob smashed its way into this furniture store a member of staff (a capitalist lackey?) had his jaw broken while paramedics stood in fear of their lives. Elsewhere, in front of a smashed store window, a woman can be seen trying on a pair of shoes. As one report says, this wasn’t a spontaneous uprising of dissent from the downtrodden masses, it was shopping with violence.

Most people not from this country have probably never heard of Tottenham, Hackney and Brixton, the districts at the heart of the disorders, For the benefit of Americans, the closest parallel that comes to mind is Watts inLos Angeles. Yes, these areas of high social deprivation, much of it inherited, ghettos of state dependency. There have been riots here in the past. What was the result; more oppression, more deprivation? No millions and millions of pounds were poured into community reclamation schemes which have clearly reclaimed nothing.

There is racism here, something else an audience beyond England may not be aware of, but it’s not as you may suppose. Black mobs were seen attacking white people but that’s really only one dimension. The racism is multi-faceted. Think of the movie Crash, set in California, then you may begin to understand something of the complexity. The hostility is one of ethnic fragmentation, rather than skin colour, black Nigerians hating black Jamaicans, both hating people from the Middle East. Anybody who has managed to rise above the common herd, anybody who has made a success, no matter how modest, has turned into a potential target. One Tweet in this Twitter riot reads “F**k the electronics, them Turkish jewellers needed to get robbed.” Yes, the needed to get robbed, as lots of others needed to get robbed.

There are no politics other than the political irresponsibility of the left, singing a hymn that bears no relationship to reality. This includes various Labour MPs, whose administration had over thirteen years to be tough on crime and the causes of crime and did absolutely nothing, other than to pour in endless doles. There are notable exceptions, including Diane Abbott, a black Labour MP, a former leadership contender and a leading left-winger, a person with whom I have virtually nothing in common, politically or ideologically. But she has taken the bold step, distancing herself from those who have irresponsibly blamed the illusory cuts, adding to the Twitter conflagration – “Cuts don’t turn you into a thief. What we saw was people thieving for hours…the violence inLondonwas totally opportunistic and utterly unacceptable.”

I would only add brutal and ugly. The victims will all turn out to be other members of the community, not bankers and speculators. The victim is also London, a city I both hate and love in equal measure, a city that is in my blood. I try to be measured but I have no respect at all for those who have abused the city, who have traduced and cheapened it in the eyes of the world and, above all, those who are attempting to twist the facts for their own ideological ends. If you think these dreadful events are about injustice, inequality and deprivation I would urge you to think again. It’s no more than hooliganism, based on forms of avarice that would shame even the greediest banker.

Author: anatheimp

I'm a student, a horsewoman, a flyer and an all round wild child!

20 thoughts on “Shopping with Violence”

  1. Nice blog Ana. Too late to read it in full now. I will come back to it. Nice to see you here.

  2. There are no politics other than the political irresponsibility of the left, singing a hymn that bears no relationship to reality.

    My sentiments exactly.

    As one who lived in Brixton during the ‘riots’, I can only despair that the same old unrealistic, left-wing clap-trap is being peddled as was peddled then. Even while mobs were smashing and looting, the Labour Council was only interested in pushing the idea that it was all about ‘deprivation and disenfranchisement’. How do I know? My mother was on the Council, as a rare Conservative, and was locked out of the Council Chambers when she demanded to know what steps were being taken to protect the law-abiding citizens and shop-keepers in the area.

  3. Morning Ana

    Back in the old days we used to call it ‘Affirmative Shopping!’ 😉

    Beside the disgust at the actions of the rioters and sympathy for the people who have lost their homes and businesses talk down here is could you imagine the worldwide outcry if something similar had happened here two years ago? (As you probably know, our poor and unemployed have far far less than the louts I’ve been watching on my TV this past week.)

    ‘Move the World Cup’ would have been the cry ‘blah blah blah.’ So why no outcry questioning the safety of visitors to London’s big bash next year?

    As it is we had one of the most successful tournaments ever which if I remember correctly close friends of yours came over and enjoyed.

  4. Hello Ana,

    I can imagine how you feel. My commiserations.

    I wonder, if you see a pattern (from a non-marxist point of view) between the riots around the world and the timing. Spain, Greece, Israel, Arabs, Chile etc? Do you see something common?
    And I wonder why everyone is omitting to talk about the morals and/or religion dimension of the problem. Perhaps we are looking the wrong way for the answer.

  5. A good post but it doesn’t go far enough.

    People have died as a result of these criminal scum. Being robbed is one thing but you can rebuild after that. I watched a father yesterday talk of the loss of his youngest son who dared to protect his family shop from these sub human filth. Then I watched a drunken or drugged up or both brain dead simpleton have a chuckle and proclaiming “Lets have a riot”. The main thrust of his gripe was the fact that the Polish, Bulgarians, Asians et al were everywhere and he couldn’t get work. I would be amazed if he has ever sought employment and astounded if anyone would actually give him a job if he did.


    I don’t know if there is any link between these shopping with extreme prejudice events and the other trouble because I do not know enough about Greece etc. I steadfastly refuse to believe the meeja who insist on conjecture and sexing up a story.

    What I do know is that there can be absolutely no excuse for these scum and they need to be very publicly and severely punished.

  6. “What I do know is that there can be absolutely no excuse for these scum and they need to be very publicly and severely punished.”

    Wot Ferret said.


  7. Thanks, Ana, it’s refreshing to read a piece that is well-constructed and well-argued. Good point Soutie. Both my children have had social events cancelled this week – and there is scheduled to be a major bicycle race in London on Sunday…

  8. Ferret,

    (What I’m going to tell right now may sound fascist/racist, so be it;)

    I’m in no way trying to justify the thieves, thugs. In U.K, what I see is some opportunist vandal scum, who are using the death of a man for their own sake. Truly disgusting and sickening.

    But from what I read about it over here and there, I get the feeling the arguments are somewhat shallow and are not going further than politician-bashing. The reason behind the need to bribe the mass by the dole should perhaps be argued.

  9. Ah Levent,

    There you have it in a nutshell. And in no way, shape or form is your observation fascist/racist IMHO.

    There is a reasonably large section of the UK population who consider the drawing of welfare as a valid carreer choice. There are entire generations who live off the state and have absolutely no intention of working for a living. The system has allowed this for a long time.

    Now that the threat of having to earn their way in society is beginning to dawn on these leeches they are looking for anyone or anything to blame for this threat to their non-contributary way of life.

  10. Levent, in Vikingland, a significant proportion of adults have adopted the dole culture – and here too the gubmint has woken up to the scam. Unfortunately the ability of any ruling group here to pass new legislation is severly limited because of the effects of proportional representation. It will be ages before any real change is implemented.

  11. Levant

    And I wonder why everyone is omitting to talk about the morals and/or religion dimension of the problem.

    You haven’t been reading the comments properly. The question of morality is being talked about. The morality of whether people have the right to murder, steal and set fire to property because they think they can get away with it.

    ‘Civilised countries’ don’t ‘bribe the masses with dole – they are given sufficient to live on if they are unemployed – none of these people will ever starve in the UK, nor, unless they wish it, will they be homeless. Their children will be educated and they do not even have to care for their elderly parents.

    The arguments are not shallow – here we have a bunch of people who think it is ‘fun’ to wreck other people’s lives and, guess what – those who have worked for what they own are mightily p***d off because not only do do they have to pay to keep this worthless lot, but they will also have to pick up the bill for cleaning up after the riots.

  12. Well said, Ana. A very sensible summation, unlike that of Julie Tee’s yesterday. BTW, she is having another bleat today, with an equally fatuous argument!

  13. Ferret,

    What do you think happen next then?


    The democracy paradox, then.


    “…they can get away with it. ” I don’t think this is talking about morals, this is the way to talk about justice system. Which is far-away what I’m trying to say.
    Do you think a solution only within the justice system will solve this? Don’t you think “severe measures” will fuel up the thugs. I think recognition is another thing they have been enjoying, right now. Sever measures wil grant them a kind of “guerilla romance” (something you may not understand, not being from a 3rd world country).

  14. Levent,

    They are already talking about eviction for any social tennants who are arrested, and there are e-petitions out there for the removal of benefits to the guilty. My guess is that they will make an example of the more open/shut looters and give th erest suspended sentences and community service. Which is run by lefty idiots so will have no effect what-so-ever.

    There is going to be a dearth of political finger pointing over all this which will of course be utterly fruitless. You cannot simply tell people to get a moral compass.

    Personally I believe that before very long there will be real rioting which will make this crime wave look like apple scrumping. The nations unwashed and their socialist champions will not take kindly to being told to sing for their supper. Once the benefit scroungers realise they are not going to be given their money, they will resort to the only other option, they will steal what they want. Look for a massive increase in crime before the year is out, and the political bun fights which achieve bugger all.

  15. Good post, Ana.

    I’ve exhausted my outrage, heard the hogwash from the PM this morning and I’m now seriously thinking of re-locating somewhere more civilised.

    I can’t quite think where at the moment, though!

  16. Hi Ana. A brilliant post.

    I do not, of course, live in England myself but you are writing about my country and my Capital City and I can not disagree with a word you say.

    Above all, I agree with the second sentence of your third paragraph.

    ‘My view is that – as with the Norwegian massacre – it is best to stand back from such events before forming a definite judgement, simply to allow the facts to settle.’

  17. Sit back and wait for the facts. The facts are very obvious. A group of people of varying ages decided to go out break up shops and steal anything they can. That is the fact and nothing else.
    They may think that the death of person who was carrying a gun (illegal in this country) was reason to protest and that may or may not be the case. But then to go on a rampage ruining innocent people’s lives and businesses, putting innocent working people out of work is unforgivable and the guilty must suffer the consequences.
    Not all are on benefit some are from wealthy families and caught up with the mob and behaved appallingly.

    For the first time since blogging here I shall add a blog that I placed on our web site and linked in today, not a thing I normally do as I feel work and this site should be kept apart


    CRB (Criminal records Bureau)

    How many lives have now been blighted by this idiotic rioting and looting, I am not just talking about the businesses that have been trashed by the mindless yobs, nor the loss of income and possibly jobs of the employees that work for the looted businesses but of the very looters themselves.

    Do these people not realise that those people that have been charged and those that will be charged will now have a Criminal Record, a record that will be checked by future employers and even by universities. Once this record is in place their chances of obtaining good employment is going to be reduced to almost zero; financial companies, IT, educational establishments, hospitals, care homes, sports centres, nurseries plus many more will now shun these criminals for ever. For those currently at university they may now find that their place has been withdrawn and for those applying for a place be prepared for rejection.

    We live in a very different world to that of 20 years ago, a world where there is a raft of information about you held on a database somewhere waiting to be accessed. Get a criminal record, even if it is a minor infringement and your future earning power will be greatly reduced. What employer is going to want to employ any of the people on the front of today’s papers, a person who has been identified as a looter and a vandal; a person who has shown they cannot be trusted working with other people or with money.

    The even sadder part is that many of those now being identified are not in need of the goods they have looted; they were just caught up in the almost party like atmosphere without a second thought to the people whose lives they have ruined or set back.

    A last word on this, if you are one of those caught on camera behaving badly then please don’t waste my time by sending me your CV, as my rejection will certainly offend.

    End Quote

    This is the culmination of the stupidity by all these people.

    As I heard today the police are using face recognition software from CCTV and scouring Facebook for identities, So if you were snapped expect a knock on the door.

  18. Thanks everyone. I was so angry when I wrote this, a response to some Marxist claptrap on an American online newspaper called Broowaha. I’ve not finished yet, having posted another piece earlier this evening which I called England Shamed. I’ll modify it slightly and post it here also a bit later. I’ve so much to catch up with. 🙂

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