Because responsible Mothers go out looting with their children…

By DeusExMacintosh

Violence broke out in four English cities as rioting and disorder spread across London for a third night.

Hundreds of people attacked and looted shops in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham in what police called “copycat criminal activity”. There were smaller disturbances in the Medway towns in Kent and also in Leeds.

It comes as London saw a third night of violence which began in Tottenham on Saturday over the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan.

There was third night of violence in London after trouble started on Monday afternoon in Hackney. An extra 1,700 police officers were deployed in London, where shops were looted and buildings were set alight.

The prime minister has returned early from his holiday to discuss the unrest, which first flared on Saturday following a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by police.

Met commander Christine Jones described the violence was “simply inexcusable”. All Met police cells in London are full and some of those arrested are being taken to surrounding forces.

London Fire Brigade said fires had spread “almost pan-London” and it faced its “busiest night in recent history”. Its 999 control centre answered 2,169 calls between 18:00 BST on Monday and 07:19 BST on Tuesday.

BBC News

Thinking positively, perhaps it’s just the ‘rage‘ virus…


UPDATE: While HER mother gives them all a right rollicking…


  1. Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    It’s her careful checking that the size is correct that just floors me.

    Bloody Hell. Britain. Hell. Handbasket.

  2. Mel
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    The usual suspects over at Larva Prod have already pinned the blame on social exclusion and inequality.

    Any attempt to sheet home at least a goodly portion of the blame to an intractable and toxic yet self-made culture in some religious/ethnic groups is deemed impermissible, crude and downright racist.

    Some of my old sociology textbooks very specifically state that any talk of a “culture of poverty” is out of bounds.

  3. Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know who he/she is over there, but ‘sg’ is cutting though the bollocks in commendable style. SG wins the internetz for today…

  4. Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Yeah someone would say it. The rest of ’em are just in a feeding frenzy. Anger and Stuff. Get the stuff! Lookee here All Those Logos and design riffs! Wow! Africans are TOTALLY ZAPPED by stuff.

    But one of ’em would say it. And after this some more’ll say it and then they’ll party and bullshit and party and bullshit and…

  5. Patrick
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I can understand why Mel reads LP, since he loves a stoush more than a debate…but what has any reasonable person got out of that place in the last few years, besides that Labor is pretty cool, so are the greens, and not the libs?

    There is of course research on rioting, poverty and inequality are not apparently very influential factors – kinda like terrorism.

  6. kvd
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    They also calmly queued at registers to take off the security tags before placing their loot into JD Sports carrier bags

    At least some part of Brit stoicism has been maintained.

  7. Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Patrick – What do Hindu-Muslim tensions have to teach us about the general determinants of rioting and mass looting?

    That there’s a racial or sectarian factor? D’uh?

    There might also be a racial and/or sectarian factor in socio-economic inequality or, more pertinently in the actual experience of the justice system by people from various backgrounds. For example, given the disrespect this country has shown the property rights of indigenous people is it any wonder that there’s little by way of ‘respect for the law’ amongst them?

  8. Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    This is fubar.

    The result of all this in 3 months will be a. The already proto-fascist state of the UK will have a mandate to raise the level of state surveillance, intrusive policing, cyber-tracking and body control even higher. b. The racial profile of Anglo-Africans will be even more deeply stamped with the ‘they’re a bunch of criminals’ tag and c. Some people with new trainers they didn’t pay for won’t end up getting arrested in the Blackberry Cull that’s due in a week or so.

    If this happened in Melbourne I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

  9. Mel
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink


    “I can understand why Mel reads LP, since he loves a stoush more than a debate …”

    You cut me real deep this time, Patrick.

  10. Mel
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Right, so an anti-social hyper-masculinized white working class element is a large part of the problem. Oh dear. How do fix that up?

  11. kvd
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    How do fix that up?

    Maybe we need a hero, Mel. And thanks for making me 🙂 with your earlier comment.

  12. Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    It’s not your fault, Mel, it’s the nexus of social and economic inequality in the context of the modern globalised economy that makes you do it. 🙂

  13. Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Further proof (if any were needed) that Britain has no shame: they looted Poundland. Yes, Poundland. This in addition to nicking people’s wedding rings.

    Maybe they figure that gold is $1700 an ounce while a diamond is forever.


  14. kvd
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    they looted Poundland

    There’s an allegory, or a metaphor, or something, just begging to be written about by somebody, SL. Shame has nothing to do with a good book title going begging.

  15. Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Well, the looters of the City did worse damage, and government bent over backwards to (a) not remove moral hazard (b) not punish but pay to clean the mess.

    If the rioters were wearing white collars doing this, allowed to run rampant to do enough damage as the City looters did with the GFC, they’d be barely through their quota in a few decades.

    And replacing busted windows and burnt buildings is great for employment and the GDP. If they rioters wore white collars, the government would be given tax breaks for bricks and petrol.

  16. Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Dave, do you have any idea how you sound?

    Are you incapable of divining the difference between force and fraud?

  17. Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I tend to agree with Dave’s viewpoint – I can understand why looting may be a form of economic protest when you’re tired of getting the rough end of the pineapple and can do absolutely nothing about it (“fine, bankers and tories can do anything they want so we’ll do anything we want and see how they like it”). Doesn’t make it right or constructive, but the unfortunate thing about violence is that it tends to focus the attention of those in power extremely effectively. As one young chap admitted to journalists “Well, you wouldn’t be listening to me if I wasn’t rioting!”

    The coalition has messed up big-time. The Tories’ choice to play wedge politics to weaken labour has meant they failed to obtain wide public support for the entirely necessary austerity measures (yes, Virginia. There IS a deficit…) “We’re all in this together” might have actually worked. “We’re all in this together except for those lazy scroungers” weakens the message.

    Jewellers I can understand. Quite what was going through the mind of those raiding Poundland [a discount shop where as the name implies, everything costs one pound] is completely beyond me. I bet that whilst stealing booze from a supermarket in Deansgate in Manchester last night, none of the rioters thought to loot the large and excellent branch of the Waterstones bookshop that’s there.

  18. Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    But if I catch the little f*ckers who deliberately hurt the police dogs…

  19. Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    SG over at LP:

    Britain has had a long-term welfare program, and it hasn’t worked particularly well. I think there are three things that are needed:

    – a serious effort to stamp out police corruption and incompetence. They need a British equivalent of the Wood’s Royal Commission, they need to get rid of the IPCC and replace them with something that works, and they need a root-and-branch review of their whole policing system, its cozy links with government and corporations, etc.

    – a massive intervention in local authorities to get them working again. The problem historically wasn’t just under-investment, but corruption and waste in local government. Fix it.

    Both of these actions will involve charging a lot of people with serious corruption crimes.

    – the leading parties and agencies of the left and organized labour need to stop making excuses for the ongoing, horrible behaviour of the working class, and get some spine back into their local communities. They could start by taking all the advocates of New Labour’s policies out the back and shooting them. Then they could do the same with all the dyed-in-the-wool old schoolers. And they could start telling working people: the government can fix some problems, but your nasty fashion, your nasty manners, your nasty attitude, your nasty dogs and your nasty children are your problem.

    – Labour and the Guardian need to stop blaming everything on Thatcher. FFS, the Labour Party was run by a Vampire between 1997 and 2007, and has 50% responsibility for the GFC. Get over Thatcher!

    – they need to reform the housing sector. London and Britain in general are overcrowded, dirty and dismal. This is largely because of housing policy, which is linked to New Labour’s prescription for electoral success (banking ponzi scheme + housing ponzi scheme).

    – they need to have a serious, public and open discussion about class. This won’t happen until the left stops making excuses for the poor and gets rid of its New Labour skidmarks. These little oiks are “intensely comfortable” about people being filthy rich. Sure, in some other society.

    – start looking overseas for ideas, because Britain is fresh out of them.

    S/He is spot on, by the way. Is a Londoner judging by the comments, was born and grew up there.

  20. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Is the ghost of Enoch Powell laughing somewhere?

    I propose something radical: let’s take the view that one can be black, young and unemployed and still a full moral agent. Now, if we take that view, where does it lead us?

    And do we take the view that this is from not enough welfare or too much of the wrong sort?

    England, of course, has a long and rich history of riot. Normally, however, they had some political and social purpose. Getting a better set of runners, or a nice plasma TV, by theft does not cut it, really.

  21. Mel
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I do have some sympathy with what Dave @15 has to say. I am a lefty after all.

    The whole limited liability corporation thing and the associated laws protect the cunning and deceitful Richie Rich’s but screw ordinary folk in many ways. Paradoxically, however, capitalism only works properly if it is rigged in favour of capital.

    Nonetheless, the looters are morons not heroes and deserve severe punishment. How about a nice old fashioned horse whipping?

  22. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Of course, the UK authorities could take the robust Louisiana view of dealing with looting.

  23. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Why do such dreadful capitalist countries have the richest, healthiest, longest lived ordinary folk in history? That sort of being “screwed over” most humans around the planet would love to experience. Hence, of course, all the people smuggling.

  24. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Just in terms of legal history, people need to be aware that it took the common law a long time to take crimes against the person more seriously than crimes against property. In days gone by, the City fraudsters (or their medieval analogues) would have been punished far more harshly than someone who burnt down a shop or committed rape (the latter may not have been punished at all; it depended if the woman was married or a virgin; an unmarried non-virgin had no hope).

    It took a great deal of very diligent work over about 150 years by lawyers of all classes and backgrounds to ensure that violent crime (of whatever sort) was punished more harshly than property crime, particularly non-violent property crime. It meant judges like Lord Mansfield and barristers like Garrow convincing common law courts to take the Roman law view that people were more important than property seriously (initially, the courts were not receptive).

    [I will just point out that for some reason, the Romans always took crimes against the person more seriously than crimes against property, across the spectrum, from violent robbery to rape. No-one really knows why].

    When I see lefties wanting to ‘rank’ fraud with force when it comes to criminal retribution, the legal historian in me wants to lift up a corner of the carpet and crawl underneath. Just. Don’t. Go. There.

  25. Mel
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink


    [email protected] Why do such dreadful capitalist countries have the richest, healthiest, longest lived ordinary folk in history? That sort of being “screwed over” most humans around the planet would love to experience. ”

    Obviously, Lorenzo. Obviously. Capitalism enmeshed within a liberal, social democratic state is the least worst system currently known to us and that is why I, along with most contemporaneous lefties, support it.

    Half a loaf of bread is better than no loaf at all, as they say.

    ps. life expectancy in commie Cuba is equal to that in America. Just sayin.

  26. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]

    I will just point out that for some reason, the Romans always took crimes against the person more seriously than crimes against property, across the spectrum, from violent robbery to rape. No-one really knows why

    My guess: because they wanted citizens to fight for their Republic. (Which included protecting women folk to raise good citizens.) I suspect this would be in keeping with my notion of Roman institutions being significantly Spartan-inspired: good Spartiates were simply expected to not care about hankering after wealth and their whole system was obsessively about raising fighting citizens.

    It took a great deal of very diligent work over about 150 years by lawyers of all classes and backgrounds to ensure that violent crime (of whatever sort) was punished more harshly than property crime, particularly non-violent property crime.

    The diligent work of said lawyers was probably assisted by England getting richer, so property becoming comparatively less valuable (because there was increasingly more of it per person). We find it hard to understand medieval notions of property because we are orders of magnitude away from their level of property scarcity. (Not to mention risk of starving.)

    Back on the post, I was listening to Joy FM and one announcer suggested that a video could be compiled of the riots under the title of “Chavs gone wild”. I was struck by the utter lack of sympathy for the rioters by the Joy announcers. (Actually Joy FM is quite a law-and-order police-friendly station nowadays: vulnerable minority, no longer legally persecuted, it makes sense that queer folk would appreciate social safety.)

  27. Mel
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand, capitalist Somalia, which has an even smaller State than the 1913 England model that apparently rings Lorenzo’s bell, isn’t much fun at all 🙁

  28. Posted August 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Actually, Somalia has a lot less state than did 1913 England, which is its problem, as I have previously alluded to.

  29. Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    LE @29:

    Bwah-ha ha ha ha!

  30. Chris Bond
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Interesting take on the background of some of the rioters in

    DEM @18: “The coalition has messed up big-time.”? This little s**t-storm has been at least 3 or 4 decades in the making, methinks… take a look, for example, at the comments by Simon_Coulter in that link.

    [email protected] quoting SG at LP: “…I think there are three things that are needed:” … there then appears a list of seven points… ? “Amongst the things that are needed…” [in Spanish Inquisition tones]

    I take some heart from the rapid appearance of volunteer cleanup squads – ordinary members of the public who self-organised to sweep up the broken glass (“more broomsticks than Hogwarts”)… but I think there’s a major problem in this country of an uneducated, unemployed underclass who obviously feel hopeless enough to lash out and destroy their own communities, together with a criminal underclass who will leap at the chance of getting free ‘stuff’.

  31. Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha Chris, yes, in his/her next comment, there was an amusing admission about failure to count!

  32. Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m not excusing NuLabour attempts at social engineering and bloated welfare policies, CB, just that the coalition tack of basically announcing “you’re sh*t and you know you are” isn’t much more constructive and may be why we have reached this immediate tipping point.

    I’ve spent the last 18 months being labeled variously a cheat, a scrounger and a fake because I receive disability benefits and frankly, I’ve just about had all I can take as well. Being middle class however, I blog about it or go on protest marches rather than rioting. The emotional catharsis of actually being about to DO something is, I imagine, similar – but I prefer to be more constructive.

  33. Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    DEM and SL “none of the rioters thought to loot the large and excellent branch of the Waterstones bookshop that’s there.” and “they might learn something”.

    Aaaah, when living in Warrnambool (then MUCH smaller) there was one decent bookshop (good books for people like me, a few crap ones, and school textbooks).

    The owner once remarked to me “If we are ever robbed, I’ll know exactly who has done it and the police will be knocking on your door within the hour”

    My twisted sense of humor says that one way of quelling the riots is to return to that community what was taken. I’d imagine there’d have been lots of cannabis taken by the cops over the years, so dropping an equivalent amount (either by handout or dropping them on any burning buildings) might chill a few of the rioters out a bit – although looting might still happen with milkbars and supermarket chocolate aisles.

  34. Posted August 11, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Yes, similarly if Edinburgh’s branch of Lakeland is ever knocked over I daresay I can expect a visit from the polis!

  35. Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Theodore Dalrymple is deep into “I told you so” mode. Due to the fact that, well, he did.

  36. Posted August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I see the “disadvantaged” looters include the daughter of a company director who benefited (if that is the word) from an expensive private education.

  37. AJ
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    This is pretty great:

  38. Posted August 12, 2011 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    [email protected] *snort* 🙂

  39. Posted August 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Skepticlawyer, this is sg who you quoted above at 20. I’m posting in my more generic internet name (“sg” is a historical accident). I thought I’d let you know that I’m not a Londoner, though I lived in Britain as a child and my parents are British (lumpen proles, no less). I doubt, if I had lived in Britain my whole life, that I would have said any of the things I did over at LP – my experience when I lived in London as an adult was that Brits are so completely ignorant of the rest of the world that they have no idea how bad their situation is.

    I just thought I’d also mention, since I know that this blog attracts a fair amount of anti-welfare/small govt types, that you shouldn’t take the failure of govt in Britain as any kind of evidence in favor of your views. Everything in Britain is broken, be it private or public. The banks, the mobile phone companies, the privatized train system, the entire consumer economy (try buying a decent shirt as a man in London; I had never in my life before experienced two female colleagues wearing the same necklace from the same shop until I worked in London, and discovered how piss-poor the retail sector is), the airports, the pubs (oh my god the pubs are fucking awful), and of course almost all of the commercial food industry.

    Britain’s problems are much, much bigger than its government.

    But yes, the poor do have nasty dogs.

  40. Posted August 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    SG/Faustusnotes, many thanks for swinging by. You were fighting a bit of a lone battle over there, but were saying everything so clearly and well I couldn’t really do anything other than say ‘hear, hear’.

    I must admit I am slowly (and reluctantly, I must admit) coming around to the ‘everything is broken in Britain’ view (or at least in big swathes of England).

    I’m glad I live in Scotland.

  41. Posted August 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    skepticlawyer, most Aussies I met in London – left or right (and I met a few of both sides and some in the middle) – agreed with my broad perspective. Britain is broken. The Labour party should have taken Cameron up on that idea and run with it, but an interesting thing I’ve noticed about the British left is that they’re actually very nationalistic, and have a stupid fondness for working class roughness. They also don’t believe that they can learn anything from Aussie leftists (like, e.g., me) or even that Australia has a left wing ideology, and if so they assume it must be just like Britain’s (and nothing could be further from the truth). Look no further than the Brits at Crooked Timber for your examples – they sneer at Australian ideas and get really, really defensive if anyone makes any criticism of the UK.

    I don’t know what the phrase is for the opposite of the cultural cringe, but Brits have it in spades.

  42. Posted August 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    hey! As far as I know I didn’t re-enter my screen name but it’s mis-spelled in the second comment – what’s that about?

  43. Posted August 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I thought I’d fixed it for you — is it still wrong?

    [Edited to add: Damn, just had to let the misspelled one out of the spammer; is it meant to be ‘faustusnotes’? The other version looks wrong. Also I’ve responded to you over at LP]

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Skepticlawyer » Dishonesty, looting and theft on August 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    […] post is inspired by a comment of Dave Bath’s on DEM’s cartoon about the London riots. Dave said: Well, the looters of the City did worse […]

  2. By Skepticlawyer » Twilight of the Institutions on August 13, 2011 at 4:50 am

    […] I pointed out on Legal Eagle’s thread on this issue, I think it’s very important that we take violent […]

  3. By Club Troppo » A speech in England on August 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    […] HT: Skeptic Lawyer […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *