Condemning the British Rioters!

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  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 03:13pm

    #1

    Vanityfox451

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    Condemning the British Rioters!

If somebody is rich and privileged, I think we can assume that they have an easier time being a better person. I don’t think that’s a hugely controversial thing to say. I’m not saying this means nobody has any free will, but there are influences.

 

Lets look at a guy; just some guy in England, picked semi randomly. Lets say that this guy spent almost the first two years of his life at a family home in Paisley Terrace in the Willoughby area of Edinburgh. His dad worked as a tax inspector while studying for a law degree at the University of Edinburgh, then a couple of years in Australia as a lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Durham England, where his father lectured in Durham University, and he went to the Chorister school in Durham, and then attended Fettes College, a prestigious independent school in Edinburgh, then became a lawyer.

 

Well, this is a pretty rich, white, privileged background. Would you say that somebody like this had “More” moral responsibility for how his life turned out? Or the destruction he reeks? Would he have about the same, or would he have less moral responsibility than a ghetto kid?

 

Well, I think responsibility with greater privilege comes greater moral accountability. Its not 100% to 0%, but its definitely there.

 

This rich privileged young white kid grew up to be Tony Blair. Tony Blair, in the first six years that he was Prime Minister, ordered British troops into battle five times; more than any other Prime Minister in British history.

 

Iraq in 1998 and 2003, Kosovo in 1999, Sierra Leone in 2000, and Afghanistan in 2001. None of these countries were threatening the United Kingdom. This was not Operation Sea Lion, with Hitler trembling at the haunches on the French coast. These were clearly international war crimes, falling under the worst crime, which is aggression from one country to another; the unprovoked invasion of another country.

 

Downing Street memo’s seem to indicate fairly clearly that intelligence was manipulated and the population lied to, in order to draw England into the Iraqi war in particular, and this has resulted in the deaths – most conservatively – of 100,000 or more Iraqi’s, the displacement of a million or so, and the shattering of the infrastructure, and the housing and the hospitals of an entire country.

 

So its fine with me if you want to place the heavy cloak of moral responsibility on ghetto youths whose brains have been shredded by crappy government schools designed to squash them and keep them in a permanent underclass. Its fine with me if you want to say that people who have never been exposed to a work ethic; people that have never been exposed to any role models who have grown up in poverty and single parenthood, in a culture that avoids work, and has been trapped into the role of the system. That’s fine with me if you want to say that these people are 100% responsible for what they do.

 

But what level of moral responsibility falls upon some rich kid like Tony Blair, who starts wars against international law, and who is a war criminal by any objective standard. What is his level of moral responsibility?

 

Tony Blair now makes about £7 million a year. Commands £250,000 for a speaking engagement. Still bills out his private security force to the British tax payer at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds per year. Has an estimated net worth of £60 million. Works for a variety of financial companies, is a lecturer at universities, and has book deals. What is his level of moral responsibility?

 

Well, do you think that nobody sees this in society? Do you think the children are not aware of this? Do you think the youths are not completely aware of the rank moral hypocrisy involved in this kind of stuff?

 

The cost of the bail outs of the British banks. Lets talk about that for a moment, because we’re all about holding people accountable for theft and destruction of property. Well, £850 billion – Eight hundred and fifty billion pounds – that is an extraordinary amount of money. That is what went to the banks.

 

Lets take a quick look shall we : –

 

£76 Bn   – To Purchase shared in RBS and Lloyd’s Bank Group

£200 Bn – Indemnify Bank of England against losses incurred in providing over £200 billion of liquidity support

£250 Bn – Guarantee wholesale borrowing by banks to strengthen liquidity in the banking system

£40 Bn   – Provide loans and other funding to Bradford & Bingley and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

£250 Bn – Agree in principal to provide insurance for selection of bank assets.

£671 Bn – Total government spending in the financial year 2009-2010

£32.9 M  – Slaughter & May – Commercial legal advice

£15.4 M  – Credit Suisse – Financial advice on a range of measures, including bank recapitalisation and the Asset Protection Scheme

£11.3 M  – Pricewaterhousecoopers – Advice on APS

£8.7 M    – Ernst & Young – Due diligence on APS, Northern Rock

£7.7 M    – KPMG – Due diligence on APS

£7.4 M    – Blackrock – Valuation advice on APS

£5.3 M    – Deutsch Bank – Financial advice on a range of measures

£5 M       – Citi Financial – Advice on APS

£4.9 M    – BDO Stoy Hayward – Valuation of Northern Rock

£4.5 M    – Goldman Sachs – Financial advice on Northern Rock

£1.5 M    – Morgan Stanley – Financial advice on Bradford & Bingley

£2.5 M    – Other Advisers – Financial advice on a range of measures and proposals to revive Britain’s ailing economy

 

Now, the raising of tuition fees for British youth will cost the British government about £18 billion right? £850 billion to bail out the banks and to keep the bonus’s of executive salary; of people who ripped off other people largely, or made extensive miscalculations which they alone should be responsible for.

 

£18 billion has been taken from the youth, and these were just loans which the youth are obligated to repay. Its true that some of the banks have to pay some of these loans, but way down the road, and not the executives making the bonus’s right now. They get to walk away with all the money.

 

The £850 billion is going to take decades if not generations to pay off, and this was passed like that with no consultation from the youth who will actually have to pay. The government is going to need people with some pretty damn high earnings to be able to pay off the amount of debt that is being forced down young peoples throats, and yet, it isn’t going to loan them any money to go to school, or to improve their skills. If it is going to loan to them, it’ll be at extremely high interest rates, with tuition fees going up enormously.

 

And the whole system – “The” Whole System itself – Statism as a whole is the initiation of force to achieve your goals. If you want the poor people to get money, well, what you do is you go and raise taxes on the productive. You take from the productive and you give to the impoverished. That’s the idea behind the welfare state. Can we really blame the kids for eliminating the middle man and simply take stuff from the productive themselves – the shops and the restaurants and the local business’? Hard to see why its OK for a tax collector, but its wrong for youth. Surely its much more efficient by the youth; much less overhead.

 

So, I just wanted to point these things out. I do not condone violence. I do not condone the initiation of force. It is wrong what the rioters are doing. They are playing directly into the hands of the ruling powers, because now the majority in England are going to beg for state power. They’re shooting themselves in the foot even more than they have been shot in the other foot.

 

The reality here is that the youth are listening. They don’t listen to what their elders say. They listen to what actually occurs in the world. They listen to what actually occurs to rich white people who cheat and lie and miscalculate, then get massively rewarded.

 

They look at what happens to people who start wars in foreign countries for no reason of self defence, then lie to the population. They get awards, revered teaching positions, executive positions in banking and financial institutions. They get all the goodies that society can provide.

 

They look at how important they feel to those in power, when they see the government passing off their future as a nice little slave created for the banking institutions, and shaft them for tuition fees.

 

You understand?

 

The gravest danger for any society is not that the young do not listen to the moral instruction they are receiving …

 

… but that they do …

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjW-lfTlr0g&feature=channel_video_title

~ VF ~

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 04:19pm

    #2
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    Serial killer

Blair, like Cheney and Obama are hired thugs, murderers for empire and big oil. They are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths of dark skinned people in Arab nations. Ironic that darker skinned people are the ones rioting in England. Blair doesn’t even rise to the level of a serial killer who at the very least kills with twisted passion. He’s a snivelling coward, a servile Golum. Thank you for drawing attention to the deeper moral reality of this issue!

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 05:02pm

    #3

    Tim_P

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    There is no sliding scale of

There is no sliding scale of morality based on income.  Every one of us wakes up in the morning and is faced with choosing between right and wrong hundreds of times a day.  More often than not, the income a person draws is related to how they tend to make those decisions.  How a person approaches school, their job and their community plays a role in their personal success.

I’m not saying that more income equates to higher morals, but that low ethics exist at both ends of the scale.  To suggest that because a person has a low income gives them any excuse for looting, robbing and mugging is completely wrong.  Marching for a cause is a very moral thing to do.  Turning a morally motivated march into a mass of looting and robbery is about as low as you can get.  There is no way to rationalize that type of behaviour based on income.  None.

Tim

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 05:26pm

    #4
    xraymike79

    xraymike79

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    agitating prop wrote: Blair,

[quote=agitating prop]

Blair, like Cheney and Obama are hired thugs, murderers for empire and big oil. They are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths of dark skinned people in Arab nations. Ironic that darker skinned people are the ones rioting in England. Blair doesn’t even rise to the level of a serial killer who at the very least kills with twisted passion. He’s a snivelling coward, a servile Golum. Thank you for drawing attention to the deeper moral reality of this issue!

[/quote]

Nice to see your comments here.

I read quite a bit about the riots and the actor/comedian Russell Brand had some brilliant, beautifully written commentary on the riots:

… even David Cameron came back from his holiday. Eventually. The Tuscan truffles lost their succulence when the breaking glass became too loud to ignore.

…That state of deprivation though, is of course, the condition that many of those rioting endure as their unbending reality. No education, a weakened family unit, no money and no way of getting any. JD Sports is probably easier to desecrate if you can’t afford what’s in there and the few poorly paid jobs there are taken. Amidst the bleakness of this social landscape, squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultra-violet consumerism and infra-red celebrity. That daily, hourly, incessantly enforces the egregious, deceitful message that you are what you wear, what you drive, what you watch and what you watch it on, in livid, neon pixels. The only light in their lives comes from these luminous corporate messages. No wonder they have their fucking hoods up.

…Politicians don’t represent the interests of people that don’t vote. They barely care about the people who do vote. They look after the corporations who get them elected. Cameron only spoke out against News International when it became evident to us, US, the people, not to him, (like Rose West, “He must’ve known”) that the Newspapers Murdoch controlled were happy to desecrate the dead in the pursuit of another exploitative, distracting story.
 

Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, “mindlessly”, motivated only by self-interest? How should we describe the actions of the city bankers that brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? mindful? Kind? But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that’s why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.

If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together….

Big Brother isn’t watching you

 

I think the riots are a result of a society that has learned to see and value everything through the prism of consumerism and whose leaders have embraced neoliberalism, as this essay helps to point out:

 

Commentator after commentator, from politicians to journalists, is blaming the recent chaos in London and beyond on “criminality”. What does that even mean? Crime is a product of social conditions, not a thing in and of itself. Recognising that people smashing, looting and burning are committing crimes is not an explanation – of course they’re criminals, what they’re doing is against the law.

What people aren’t recognising is that this kind of criminality is a direct product of consumerism. These kids have been told, all their lives, that what they own is more important than who they are or what they do. Having the right trainers, having the latest iPhone, eating the right chocolate bar – these are the things that are supposed to make you happy.

All through the ‘90s and into the new millennium, people were able to fund their consumerism with debt. Credit cards were handed out like sweets at a children’s party. Can’t afford it? Borrow. You need a new car, remortgage your house – the value of your two-bedroom ex-council flat is up 20%!

Then came the 2008 crash and the credit dried up. Ads for credit cards were replaced with ads for extortionate legal money lenders like wonga.com. The poor suddenly got poorer. Going into debt wasn’t the breeze it was before. But the consumerism didn’t adjust – on the contrary, politicians and economists looked to the consumers to boost the economy to help the poor banks out as bonuses for those at the top of the industry returned to their original level – and higher.

Areas like Tottenham are areas of high unemployment and social dislocation. Gang culture has grown across the UK for years, as Labour’s “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” became ASBOs, stop and search and other repressive measures.

And then the Tories were elected – benefits cut, EMA cuts directly targeting the pockets of these young consumers. After the first student protest that attacked Milbank, every subsequent demonstration had large numbers of kids from the very same areas now in chaos. How were their legitimate concerns addressed? With kettles, riot police and political indifference.

Tottenham was hit very hard by the cuts, particularly youth services, which had their budget cut by 75% across the borough of Haringey. Eight of 13 youth centres were closed, bringing warnings that riots would ensue. An area so hugely dependent on state support was always going to suffer badly from cuts.

To make matters worse, when teachers, lecturers and public service workers went on strike on 30 June, the Prime Minister condemned the strikers as “irresponsible“. What message did he think he was sending to school-kids slagging off the very people who should be their role models?

Then came the News of the World scandal and the revelations of police corruption. What many suspected was shown to be true, the police, politicians and the corporate media were working together and breaking the law. This is all cognitive dissonance on a major scale, a society supposedly based on respect for authority and the rule of law is revealed to be nothing of the kind. The situation was like a tinder-box doused in petrol.

And then the police shot a man dead in Tottenham and left the community without answers. The shooting of Mark Duggan lit a show burning fuse that exploded in Tottenham on Saturday night. The events in communities elsewhere saw what happened there and took advantage. Stretching the police by popping up all over the city meant they could loot with impunity.

What is looting but the collapse of the agreement in society that a buildings full of desirable items can sit on the high street and you need to pay to take things from it? Suddenly people found that this wasn’t true any more, you could just break the window and take what you wanted and, as was discovered in Tottenham Hale Retail Park early Sunday morning, no-one could stop you. CCTV cameras, ubiquitous in our surveillance society, were either forgotten or ignored.

A dangerous sense of power and fearlessness overtook a considerable part of the youth of this country. Worse, all respect for other people was gone and firebugs started burning things, with no apparent concern for the people who lived above the buildings they burned. Muggings, stabbings and shootings ensued.

Mass waves of criminality like this are not simple; they are a sign of a complete collapse in social relations for a large sizeable of the population. What makes it so tragic is that they were absolutely predictable, not just by those in the communities where the trouble is. In April last year, they were predicted by the leader of Liberal Democrats – now Deputy Prime Minister – Nick Clegg, if the Tories won with a narrow majority. Instead, the government has less legitimacy than that and the riots are far worse than anyone could have predicted.

Riot criminality is a product of consumerism and social breakdown

 

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 05:32pm

    #5
    ao

    ao

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    Tim_P wrote:There is no

[quote=Tim_P]

There is no sliding scale of morality based on income.  Every one of us wakes up in the morning and is faced with choosing between right and wrong hundreds of times a day.  More often than not, the income a person draws is related to how they tend to make those decisions.  How a person approaches school, their job and their community plays a role in their personal success.

I’m not saying that more income equates to higher morals, but that low ethics exist at both ends of the scale.  To suggest that because a person has a low income gives them any excuse for looting, robbing and mugging is completely wrong.  Marching for a cause is a very moral thing to do.  Turning a morally motivated march into a mass of looting and robbery is about as low as you can get.  There is no way to rationalize that type of behaviour based on income.  None.

Tim

[/quote]

Yes, indeed.  Thank you Tim.  You’ve saved me the time of writing a response and expressed my thoughts better than I would have.  I understand the frustrations that come with poverty and injustice expressed by VF.  But all too often these actions involve a good deal of greed and hooliganism and a lesser degree of political awareness and activism.  On the other hand, if the rioters had chosen to vent their hostilies upon the very individuals who have contributed to their economic woes, while I’m not condoning violence, one could make an argument  for some justification to their actions.   

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 05:54pm

    #6
    britinbe

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    They saw an opportunity….

I had a discussion with a friend a long time ago as to what would I do if I found say 1000 GBP on the floor, my friend was adamant that he would hand in the money to the police.  I replied by saying that I would like to think that I would hand the money in; my fiend was appalled that I said that.  Honestly, unless you are faced with a given situation, one does not know how one would react.
 
I cannot condone the wanton destruction and violence, but as one commentator on RT said, when a person’s sense of self worth is based on luxury items that they cannot affoard and how little hope of securing a salary to be able to affoard them, how can you blame them when temptation is put in their way?  Undoubtedly, there is a large organised criminal element involved in all this as well, but with the levels of social inequality that exist in the UK, it really was a tinderbox looking for a spark.  I fear we will see more of this as we go forward…..
 
I do really feel sorry for the innocent victims in all this from those that loose their jobs because a shop cannot affoard to reopen, to the people who lost their homes and everything they owned….
  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 06:11pm

    #7
    doorwarrior

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    There is no sliding scale of

There is no sliding scale of morality based on income.  Every one of us wakes up in the morning and is faced with choosing between right and wrong hundreds of times a day.  More often than not, the income a person draws is related to how they tend to make those decisions.  How a person approaches school, their job and their community plays a role in their personal success.

I’m not saying that more income equates to higher morals, but that low ethics exist at both ends of the scale.  To suggest that because a person has a low income gives them any excuse for looting, robbing and mugging is completely wrong.  Marching for a cause is a very moral thing to do.  Turning a morally motivated march into a mass of looting and robbery is about as low as you can get.  There is no way to rationalize that type of behaviour based on income.  None.

Tim

I agree with your thoughts overall however, you are mixing morals with ethics rather loosely. I don’t think there is a sliding scale of morality based on income but I do think there is a scale based on ethics.

Here is a defination for ethics  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethics

Here is a defination for morals http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/morals

In short morals are a personal set of guidelines while ethics  are  defined by society/community or a specific group.

As an individual no one is going to think " I make more money and am more privilged than others so I should act more responsibly, and take better care of my community". To the contrary I think privileged people think the world should cater to their whims and feel no responsibility to any one.

On the flip side society in general feels that the privileged people should do more to take care of everyone else. The general population feels that the privileged have gotten where they are because of the system so they should give something back.

Every where I look everything ( capital, power, opportunity) flows to the top and never makes it way back down to the rest of the people. The game is rigged for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer and for the middle class to go away. If a person is wealthy and privileged they should do what they can to help others as much as possible. I don’t believe they should be forced to, ie. taxes, laws, regulation, redistribution,  that will never work. The privileged should feel MORALY compelled to help others because of their sucess.

Rich

 

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 06:29pm

    #9
    xraymike79

    xraymike79

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    doorwarrior wrote: … Every

[quote=doorwarrior]

Every where I look everything ( capital, power, opportunity) flows to the top and never makes it way back down to the rest of the people. The game is rigged for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer and for the middle class to go away. If a person is wealthy and privileged they should do what they can to help others as much as possible. I don’t believe they should be forced to, ie. taxes, laws, regulation, redistribution,  that will never work. The privileged should feel MORALY compelled to help others because of their sucess.

Rich

[/quote]

This is the same advice that Obama gave the Banks, but it fell on deaf ears. So how do you propose to fix a problem that’s not fixable with wishes and hopes?

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 06:37pm

    #8

    Vanityfox451

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    Ministers Plan Removal of rioters’ Benefits …

[quote=Agitating Prop]

Blair, like Cheney and Obama are hired thugs, murderers for empire and big oil. They are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths of dark skinned people in Arab nations. Ironic that darker skinned people are the ones rioting in England. Blair doesn’t even rise to the level of a serial killer who at the very least kills with twisted passion. He’s a snivelling coward, a servile Golum. Thank you for drawing attention to the deeper moral reality of this issue!

[/quote]

AP,

Extremely good to have you reappear back on the forum after so long!

I’m calmed that in your description of  Blair as "a snivelling coward; a servile Golum", that you left your truer expletives of the man to private message, and away from the forum boards …

My apreciation for the use of such decorum …

Our allies in this suburban war through further economic attrition could well be youth, if only their energies could be tapped into doing a type of something that is both meaningful and constructive. I sense more of the same will have to suffice, since recent discussions at Number 10 Downing Street are busy finding ever fancier ways to pour jet fuel onto the rising flames : –

Ministers plan removal of rioters’ benefits
Financial times ^ | 14 Aug, 2011 | Kiran Stacey

Ministers are drawing up controversial plans to remove benefits from those convicted of taking part in the riots that engulfed England last week, in a move Liberal Democrats and independent experts have condemned as counter-productive and overly expensive.

Officials in Number 10 and the department for work and pensions are putting together plans for the harsh punishment of those found guilty of even the most minor infringements during the riots after a public petition calling for such a move gathered nearly 200,000 signatures.

David Cameron will lay the ground for such a move on Monday, in a speech a week after the worst of the violence took place in London. The prime minister will argue that there has been a “slow-motion moral collapse” in the country, and argue that the problem needs to be tackled in various ways, including through the benefits system.

He is expected to say: “I and ministers from across the coalition government will review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society: on schools, welfare, families, parenting, addiction, communities; on the cultural, legal, bureaucratic problems in our society too.”

FT.com

… emphasis mine …

Yeh, Cobblers!!!

Reminds me of the late eighties, where people young and old that refused to pay the exorbitant Council Tax, lossed their right to vote out Thatchers Government. The country blew into quite a tinder box state back then, but nothing in comparison to right now.

Lets hope that the means of distraction aren’t kept up for too much longer, or that these riots aren’t used as yet more of a means of distraction in themselves – who can tell at this moment. Rubber bullets for the first time on mainland Britain, and an inexperienced army with basic training to make up for cuts in the police force sounds ominous, yet not in the least impossible.

The recent implosion of that cancerous Murdoch rag The News of the World was one large block from the base. The cement aint yet dry on the replacement to aid kicking it right back out. The British public though, appears to pride itself in its abilities of self-policing themselves up against cul-de-sac walls of their own building …

~ VF ~

  • Mon, Aug 15, 2011 - 06:56pm

    #10
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

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    xraymike79

[quote=xraymike79]

[quote=doorwarrior]

Every where I look everything ( capital, power, opportunity) flows to the top and never makes it way back down to the rest of the people. The game is rigged for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer and for the middle class to go away. If a person is wealthy and privileged they should do what they can to help others as much as possible. I don’t believe they should be forced to, ie. taxes, laws, regulation, redistribution,  that will never work. The privileged should feel MORALY compelled to help others because of their sucess.

Rich

[/quote]

This is the same advice that Obama gave the Banks, but it fell on deaf ears. So how do you propose to fix a problem that’s not fixable with wishes and hopes?

[/quote]

If measures to control economic piracy and militant slaughter overseas, don’t evolve through legislation, ‘evolution’ could be given a power assist by the addition of one little letter that means so much!  The letter ‘r’.

Let the revolution begin!!!

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