It’s about time I blogged on the rioting. It seems to be quite a complex issue with potentially far-reaching consequences, one of which is the further undermining of the freedom of the internet. Social networking sites were used to organise the rioting and looting and the Met considered shutting down Twitter, but discovered that they didn’t have the power to do so.
It is believed that much of the disorder during three nights of violence in London was orchestrated on sites such as Twitter, which was monitored by the police.
BlackBerry Messenger was also used by youths planning riots. The instant text messaging system cannot easily be monitored by police.
Essex Police apparently had no problem the other day, as they reassure residents they are working to keep county safe.
A 20-year-old man from Colchester who allegedly sent messages from a Blackberry encouraging people to join in a water fight has been charged with encouraging or assisting in the commission of an indictable only offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007. He has been conditionally bailed to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on September 1.
Essex Police officers,
have vowed to take a robust approach to anyone who uses social networking sites to stimulate fictitious rumours.
It reminds me of the jokes on Twitter that landed people in court. Paul Chambers very obviously just pretended that he was going to blow Robin Hood airport “sky high” and Tory Birmingham councillor Gareth Compton requested that someone stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death after her discussion about human rights on Radio 5 Live. They were arrested.
There had been calls from politicians for a Twitter and Facebook blackout during riots. I suppose this seemed easier for MPs than dealing effectively with the problem, having created it in the first place.
So who or what can we pin the blame on for these riots? Most commentators agree that genuine poverty is not the reason. People who are genuinely poor need food, shelter, clothing and fuel, not huge big tellies, designer trainers and even more bling.
Melanie Phillips blames the liberals,
So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.
She writes about the liberal intelligentsia’s attack on the family, welfare dependency, the victim culture and human rights, multiculturalism and the shattering of “any attachment to a shared and over-arching culture”
Ms Phillips has a special mention for the Hideous Harman,
One of these ultra-feminist wreckers was Harriet Harman. The other night, she was on TV preposterously suggesting that cuts in educational allowances or youth workers had something to do with young people torching and looting shops, robbing and leaving people for dead in the streets.
But Harman was one of the principal forces in the Labour government behind the promotion of lone parenthood and the marginalisation of fathers. If anyone should be blamed for bringing about the conditions which have led to these appalling scenes in our cities, it is surely Ms Harman.
Historian David Starkey caused shockwaves by suggesting that whites were becoming black. It was a dangerous thing to say in this day and age, but was he being “racist” as so many were quick to claim? Barrister and former Tory MP, Jerry Hayes, wrote,
So the cool analysis that David Starkey was trying to explain, despite the wailings, squeals of outrage and shocked indignation, is this. Many young people have adopted a way of speech and a way of life that is alien to the tolerance and decency that is Britain. It glorifies the workshy, feckless fatherhood, gun crime and drugs. It worships greed and self gratification no matter whom it hurts. If you want further evidence just look at the subliminal messages and popularity of Gangsta Rap.
He makes it sound like another form of liberal ideology: selfish self-indulgence with no real connection or commitment to the community as a whole.
Another Tory MP, Robert Halfon, wrote on his blog,
…moral relativism, moral equivalence, family breakdown and absent fathers, the weakening of social capital (the glue that binds community together), the failure of our education system over decades (a huge proportion of children leave school illiterate) and the glorIfication of the drugs/gang culture have all contributed to this disaster.
In other words, the liberal agenda of the past few governments and that of the controlled “entertainment” industry.
However, Mohammed Abbas and Kate Holton believe that London rioters point to poverty and prejudice.
“It’s us versus them, the police, the system,” said an unemployed man of Kurdish origin in his early 20s, sitting at the entrance to a Hackney housing estate with four Afro-Caribbean friends who nodded in agreement.
“They call it looting and criminality. It’s not that. There’s a real hatred against the system,” he added, listing what he saw as the police prejudice, discrimination and lack of opportunity that led him and his friends to loot shops, torch bins and hurl missiles at police Monday.
Is this what multiculturalism and political correctness have delivered? Well, I don’t think it ever was about equality, but divide and conquer.
“There’s two worlds in this borough. More and more middle classes are coming and we’re being pushed out. The shops are pricing stuff like it’s the West End, we can’t afford the rents. We’re the outcasts, we’re not wanted any more.
“There’s nothing for us.”
Are these genuine reasons for complaint or unacceptable excuses for those exaggerated tantrums in the streets?
Is this bad feeling between the “poor” and the middle classes yet another front in the divide and conquer war?
One of the knee-jerk reactions has been the serving of eviction notices to rioters who live in council houses. The first was in Wandsworth, but it was the son who was charged with breaking the law, not the tenant. This sounds as unjust to me as the looters ruining a man’s business. But when natural justice has been compromised to such an extent to accommodate the beliefs of others, political and religious, confusion was bound to reign.
What is the answer? If the problems we face as a society stem from the postwar liberal agenda and the socialists’ anti-family agenda and the divisive multicultural and political correct agendas then clearly these things must be rejected forthwith, because they have not brought the promised freedom or peace – that was just an illusion to get as all on board, but the reality is what we see today – a country in crisis – people without direction and little hope; broken families and fragmented communities; desperation dealt with through alcohol misuse and prescrption and illicit drug use.
Being tough on crime is important, but so is grabbing these failed, highly destructive ideologies by the scruff of the neck and throwing them into the depths of the ocean.