Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Liberal British Society Unravels "Unexpectedly"?

Smiling British youths show their outrage over...  racial issues?

The non-working British wards of the State have taken it upon themselves to break into shops, steal, burn them to the ground, rob people, burn up cars, throw things at the police, and generally have a rowdy good time.

And despite all this, all that comes to mind for Katharine Birbalsingh is the same, tired, misplaced themes of her youth.

"These riots were about race. Why ignore the fact?"

Race? The vast majority of these twerps don't have any idea what she's talking about.

Good grief.

August 13th

Mark Steyn has weighed in:
"For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ's Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population."

Big Government means small citizens: it corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically.


  1. James, did you actually read the piece? She's doesn't come across as a "liberal" blaiming "white racism" as being the cause of these riots.

  2. If I am reading it right, she laments that though everyone agrees that people are very angry out there, no one is willing to say what must be said, which is that these people are angry about racial injustice:

    "Some of the black kids I used to teach will tell you that the riots are absolutely justified. A number of adults would agree with them. Everywhere I read that the protest was understandable because 'people are very angry'."

    Absolutely justified? The 'protest' is understandable? Leaving aside the obvious moral bankruptcy that justifies or at least condones beatings, robings, and the burning down of countless businesses owned by people that had nothing to do with any crime against anyone, you still have at the heart of her assertion a glaring misinterpretation.

    A quick look at the photo, which is fairly representative, shows you that the people rioting aren't angry about the fact that Mark Duggan was black and killed in a shoot out with police. In fact, most don't look angry at all. They appear to be spoiled sots that live on the government dole and have taken this as an opportunity to steal things and have a "bit' o fuen" while they're at it. They don't give a rats rear end about Mark Duggan. They are the product of an entitlement society that has failed to teach anything about self-reliance and commitment to community. The bastard children hate the society that sired and coddles them. But Katharine Birbalsingh misses that and sticks to a template a little more comfortable and less self-condemning. It isn't the socialist society that we have created that is coming apart. It is a response to social injustice.

    I think not.

    We'll have to see what Bedes says. I do hope he is all right.

  3. James, she's not saying that that is correct.

  4. I am famously indestructible!

    Yes, it's an odd one. I think you are right, James, that it is not even superficially about racial issues, in the way that the Brixton riots of the early eighties were. There, race was used just as spuriously as an excuse to loot and destroy, but that at least was the 'official' explanation.
    This time I think it is quite openly and unashamedly apolitical: the original riot was supposedly sparked by the death of a black man, but even then it was sold as personal rather than representational revenge, and nobody so far as I know has claimed that the subsequent flare-ups were anything other than opportunist nihilism.
    So in that respect, what Birbalsingh is saying is factually incorrect.

    But Ilion is right to say that the piece is more complex than it might first appear, and the passage about kids and adults saying the riots are justified is certainly not intended to endorse thst view - as the subsequent paragraph makes clear.
    Birbalsingh is a conservative - an ultra-rare one in the teaching profession - and her beef is with the media ignoring the racial component of most street crime through PC paralysis. She's not trying to excuse the crimes by painting them as a response to racial prejudice but to expose the redundancy of that position, and to propose unresolved - simply because undiscussable - racial friction as a cause of social malaiase generally. (The thing that makes the piece weird, as I said, is that so far as I was aware no such attempted justification has been seriously made here. By far the most popular explanation is that the riots are a result of supposedly stringent Tory cuts, which is insane, as there aren't any really. Certainly, none of these people's state-sponsored lives of indolence, indulgence and stupefaction are in any useful way being threatened by some very minor financial tinkering.)

    Birbalsingh's position may seem vague to you because she is writing for an audience (over here) that knows exactly where she's coming from before she says a word. She achieved a degree of celebrity a while back when, as a London schoolteacher, she stood up at the Conservative Party conference and basically blew the whistle on our useless and barbarous non-education system. The predictable response of the overwhelmingly leftist teaching establishment was, of course, not to take her points on board but to turn on her and force her to resign.

  5. Maybe it's a confluence of several forms of rioting all under the guise of politics? It certainly didn't start out as an iPod riot.

    We do live in a society which praises rebels and condemns power. I speak from a USA perspective, but we do tend to export many of our ideas.

  6. It's something I never understood,but young men
    have been busting stuff up since the beginning of time around the world under the guise of "fun." Me? I always think "What a waste!" I have a hard time even throwing anything away because I can always think of future uses for almost anything.

  7. "We do live in a society which praises rebels and condemns power."

    I'd say it idolizes power and hates authority.

  8. Well, I am heartily glad to hear you are faring well, Bedes. I did happen to hear Katharine Birbalsingh on the radio yesterday and enjoyed what she had to say. Despite what I took her article to assert, it would seem her take is similar to my own, which is quite sensible in this instance. It is a cultural crisis over there, that much is certain, and the same is in store for us if we do not turn the direction we are headed.

    I will have to look further into what she is saying.