Only poor people go looting, and other claims


9:10 am - August 9th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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For some on the left, the response to the London riots is straightforward: these people are ‘the dispossessed’ and crying out for attention. They have been ignored by society and they don’t feel part of their local communities, so they lash out.

The right-wing response is straightforward too: shoot on sight. Oh, and that multi-culturalism is to blame. Let’s ignore that idiocy for now. I think lefties are also missing something.

Yes, you could say they are ‘dispossessed’ and deeper structural problems make such situations all the more likely.

You could cite the statistics for police-custody deaths. You could point to the Guardian article where youths predicted riots because their centres had been closed. You could say that the kids are stealing trainers and mobile phones because they’re deprived and want something better. You could say that the media ignores the concerns of poorer people unless they’re rioting.

But I have two points to make.

The first is this: Richard Hall echoes many when he says:

It isn’t rich, employed, successful people who are out looting

But rich people do go out looting; they just do so in other ways.

The financial crash was precipitated by corporate fraud on a massive scale, perpetrated financial institutions – and wasn’t that different in nature.

Plus, what is tax evasion and tax avoidance if not (legalised, in the latter case) looting? This sort of looting requires two factors: a herd mentality (which reduces individual risk) and the expectation that the rule of law won’t hinder them.

As Alison Charlton succinctly put it:

People are acting like the markets. Sensing a weakness in the establishment, they exploit it. They are ‘shorting’ the law.

If people start making excuses for the criminal behaviour of these looters, then logic follows that they must do the same for bankers. Their relative difference in wealth is irrelevant – both groups are motivated by greed.

Second point: Laurie Penny says, “Violence is rarely mindless.” – but in this case it has become exactly that. And if you’re going to assume that most violence isn’t mindless, then you may soon find yourself trying to make excuses for for violence against women

To assume that people will always behave like rational agents with regard for their actions is hopelessly naive. If you doubt that, watch this video of a bleeding man being mugged by random looters.

There is no doubt that cutting youth centres and EMA are a false economy. It is probably likely that the austerity cuts and a decade of economic stagnation will create more such flashpoints.

But none of that is helped by these riots, despite what some idiot anarchists think. The focus right now should be on putting an end to this without exception, and immediately.

Such mob rule could easily escalate to the point of major gang violence and cause massive destruction to the lives of poor people already hurting from the cuts. Even the Egyptians are laughing at us.

I am capable of differentiating between such mindless violence and political protest. I will always defend the latter but this is not political any more. They are looting and burning cars not because society has pushed them there, but because they can. I can’t muster an ounce of sympathy for them.

Alternatively, you could just listen to her

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Nora Perrott

When will NATO be demanding the government steps down and start arming the protesters?

“am capable of differentiating between such mindless violence and political protest. I will always defend the latter but this is not political any more. They are looting and burning cars not because society has pushed them there, but because they can. I can’t muster an ounce of sympathy for them.”
Good point and article.
This has more to do with larcony, pathetic group excitement helped by new technology, and returning to base instincts.
I would personally bring in army especially if there is rioting tonight.
Christ we look like Haiti

“When will NATO be demanding the government steps down and start arming the protesters?”

A good and timely question. Better still, the government could claim Britain is under attack and invoke the mutual defence obligations in the NATO Treaty to invite in military support from allied countries.

Mind you, it could come to that to ensure security during the Olympic Games next year. What if rioting broke out then?

Plus, what is tax evasion and tax avoidance if not (legalised, in the latter case) looting?

For fuck’s sake. Keeping hold of your own property is the same as stealing other people’s? You’re on the right track to getting yourself run over on the next zebra crossing.

“Mind you, it could come to that to ensure security during the Olympic Games next year. What if rioting broke out then?”
Good point especially when you see US news teams in flak jackets and helmets on the streets of Croydon.
Our right wing press certainly didn’t want the world cup in south africa for “security reasons”.
If I was a cheeky S.A. newspaper perhaps I would be suggesting the same

For fuck’s sake. Keeping hold of your own property is the same as stealing other people’s? You’re on the right track to getting yourself run over on the next zebra crossing.
True but is still against the law and when widespread disrepect for the laws of country is excepted then anarchy follows.
I have seen white business men losing it with the police because of excessive speeding. Respect to the police and the laws of the country is paramount. Not just the laws you don’t like Tim or the belief that certain sections of the community you think should be immune. .

Good article:

“They are looting and burning cars not because society has pushed them there, but because they can.”

Although I disagree a bit there: they’re looting and burning cars not because society has pushed them there, but because they believe society hates them unconditionally. They hate society unconditionally back. After all, any large and reasonably able-bodied group in society *could* do this in theory. They just don’t.

Is it just coincidence they are the kids from the estates where living standards have been dropping and everyone knows are heading for an imminent cliff? This is about a whole sector of society that not only feels they have nothing to lose, but has lost any sense of the legitimacy of property rights. They don’t believe any of the current holders of property got it honestly, so don’t see why they should respect their rights.

I’m not saying these riots are a rational response, or are somehow OK (to make it clear, I think anyone actually rioting deserves whatever punishment they get, and that the army should be on the streets tonight): this is irrational, but grounded in a nihilistic atmosphere that’s been building for some time.

I recall a housemate of mine who was doing a PGCE at a school in Peckham telling me about the kids’ nihilism. They were completely alienated from society. They hated him, the school, the neighbourhood, pretty much everyone not in their class. They knew they would never be respected, so they want to be feared. They think that the successful ethos is that you take what you can by any means and fuck the consequences. It’s those kids doing this.

If we want to solve the problem long term, rather than endlessly fighting fires, that’s what needs to be solved.

8. Sally Burgess

This says it all;
https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150333636850851

hear one of mob said they were “taking back their taxes” this vid says different, totally sickening stuff

Good points Jungle
I have friends who are teachers in London who make exactly the same points.
.

Called it:

“Labour’s a bunch of middle-class wankers tryin’ to administer everyone,” said David ‘Nosher’ Davis. “The Tories respect the povs’ intelligence and intrinsic street-smarts, and know how to go up to them and say, ‘yo, blud, I’m an avaricious self-centred materialist like you, bro’.’ Some of our best Tory leaders ’ave come from the estates. Er, don’t tell Dave I said that, okay.”

http://newstechnica.com/2009/01/25/tories-head-downmarket/

Well put,

here’s a song i wrote on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBJ-qBIY34c

Olly

?”And if you’re going to assume that most violence isn’t mindless, then you may soon find yourself trying to make excuses for for violence against women” – Hardly. Violence against women serves a very specific political purpose – that of letting women know what their actual status in society is. You can balk at calling it terrorism, but it certainly sends an effective message.

13. Not Surprising

“Let them eat cake” comes to mind when I hear about the UK Govt’s ridiculously trite and insulting “Big Society” citizenship agenda.

This failed agenda was based on the absolutely patronising concept that voluntary community work is the answer for all of those unemployed people and low wage-earners who got screwed over by the GFC and are now being further penalised through public sector cuts.

How has the news about the deep corruption at the upper echelons recently revealed through the Murdoch malarchy impacted on levels of disaffection and anger out there in the general UK population – the proletariat, you might say?

This day was bound to come. The Royal Wedding gave us a glimpse of the UK’s real power networks (which includes the PM & Co. of course). Now we can catch a glimpse of the millions of Brits who feel disaffected, powerless and desperately angry.

England never had its revolution, although came to the brink a few times over the past few hundred years. Riots in London are a part of its history, its fabric, and long will this ontinue until something drastic changes in its outdated feudal social structures.

Who knows if that will happen, but surely the anger is justified.

This the result of not engaging with the argument that our educational establishment, with its failed concepts of “inclusion” and “freedom of expression” for students along with fundamentally flawed politically driven structures and policies, spanning generations, has created a feral underclass who are completely disconnected from society, authority and the tenants of good community.

Stand in front of those burning buildings and tell me this is not true? You know that the hundreds who escaped arrest will be back at home, laughing about this, and their parents who were also brought up in this system, will be laughing along with them.

This is the depressing truth and is a direct result of the failed political project that is our education system.

An excellent article Mr H and to me, far removed from the hypocrisy of the likes of Laurie Penny.

What these people making think veiled excuses for the rioters need to remember is that it’s the people that need the help the most that will have to pick up the pieces.

And where is the money coming from to clean the places up? The money that “might” have been spent on a community project is now going to rebuild homes, shops and infrastructure.

In my opinion, it’s the likes of Miss Penny that have helped cause the problems over the past few days. The Police are now scared to stop any problems for fear of being accused of being heavy handed and have to resort to arresting people months later.

True but is still against the law and when widespread disrepect for the laws of country is excepted then anarchy follows.

Tax avoidance is, by definition, within the law.

get labour out
they aren’t they ?

We’ve posted a fairly forthright blog post on the riots at the New Internationalist – I should probably say that not all of us agree with it, but no more than that!

http://www.newint.org/blog/2011/08/08/jody-mcintyre-riots-police-tottenham-brixton/

This is the context we are told to ignore. These riots have nothing to do with the death of Mark Duggan. These riots have nothing to do with rising unemployment. These riots have nothing to do with the cuts to education and youth centres. Simply mindless violence, we are told.

When I arrived in Tottenham, I could see a huge fire at the other end of the main road. Police officers had cordoned off a large area, and were being occasionally pelted with bricks and bottles in side streets. Fires were drifting dangerously close to nearby homes. It was we who directed fire engines when they arrived. When challenged on this, a police officer told us he was “here to protect the police”, not local residents. After all, this was Tottenham, not Westminster.

As the night progressed, another police car was set alight. The attention of the crowd turned to looting, and as I drove away, I saw scores of people walking in and out of JD Sports, piles of clothes in their hand. Did I sympathise with the people who saw their homes or corner shops damaged, yes. Did I sympathise with JD Sports, no.

Tax avoidance is, by definition, within the law.
fair enough

Tim
But in the article Sunny makes the point about legality.
Also if you aviod paying tax e.g. cash in hand.
Is that not illegal

sorry avoid

They’re not all poor, they have blackberries for crying out loud! I don’t have one, I have a nokia pay as you go which I’m perfectly happy with, and I’m not going to rob some shop – because I have morals. This is about morality, I was brought up to know what’s right and wrong.
And the other point is there are plenty of poor, deprived people who DON’T do this sort of thing, being poor doesn’t = no sense of morality. Everyone has a choice in how they act, theese people decided they don’t care about being good decent people,

To respond to what the other person said, tax evasion is not ‘keeping hold of your own property’ – it’s stealing from what is the public purse. Oh, abit like the bankers and the politicians who enacted a massive heist from public funds recently – ring any bells? Oh, and what about the met police acting like gangsters taking bribes from Rupert Murdoch’s lot? Those same people are on TV talking about how wrong it is to steal and intimidate people. With straight faces. And if anyone (eg Ken Livingston) has the temerity to point out that there IS a social context for this, their point gets conflated and over-simplified. I’m disappointed by this article. It’s amazing how quick middle-class liberals can turn right-wing when their forty acres get threatened.
I live in an area affected by the riots, my own street was blocked and looted, it’s bang out of order. But pointing out that there’s a context for this is not the same as excusing it.

“Plus, what is tax evasion and tax avoidance if not (legalised, in the latter case) looting? This sort of looting requires two factors: a herd mentality (which reduces individual risk) and the expectation that the rule of law won’t hinder them.”

How excellent this idea is!

Tax avoidance is the same as looting and rioting. So, people who recommend tax avoidance, who explain it and urge people to do it, should be jailed then.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2003/feb/16/tax.observercashsection

How wonderful, we get to jail Richard Murphy for incitement to riot then. Up to ten years in pokey for him: these criminals deserve all they get, eh?

@Sunny

“And if you’re going to assume that most violence isn’t mindless, then you may soon find yourself trying to make excuses for for violence against women”

Isn’t the point about violence against women that it *isn’t* mindless because it seeks to control and terrifying women for male gain?

It not being mindless doesn’t make it right.

@19 Yes but you can’t go on about the importance of the rule of law on the one hand whilst micturating over it on the other. That’s the important bit about the rule of law, it has to apply to those bits you don’t like as well.

27. Shatterface

There are obvious parallels with the Brievik killing spree.

In both cases you have people lashing out over supposed grievences that have tipped over into paranoia;

In both cases the press has fueled this sense of resentment;

In both cases press commentators have scapegoated particular groups;

In both cases those politically motivated commentators have distanced themselves from the violence but claim it was innevitable because of Government policy towards minorities;

In both cases those commentators are predicting/hoping it will happen again if policy doesn’t change.

Ah yes Sunny, quite agree.

Perhaps those right wingers slagging off the rioters could explain where these kids are supposed to get their mobiles, trainers and games consoles from, when the Tories have cut their EMA?

Thought not!!!!!

In several news reports of the looting, there have been references by reporters to people turning up in “expensive cars” and filling up the boots with loot before driving off.

That’s hardly consistent with the legend of protests by dispossessed and alienated black yoof out to attract attention to their social plight and lack of prospects.

And why don’t we see gangs of alienated ethnic Indian yoof?

@18 Indeed, so the problem now facing us is how do we go about legalising rioting?
Since if it’s legal its a-okay!

Yes but you can’t go on about the importance of the rule of law on the one hand whilst micturating over it on the other. That’s the important bit about the rule of law, it has to apply to those bits you don’t like as well.
I make that point early you right wing plonker

But firstly – people looting with Blackberries and ‘label’ clothing are not poor – they’re just stealing from people trying to make a living. And in between the ‘poor’ and the ‘rich’ are the vast majority of ordinary people who don’t steal in either way described.

But firstly – people looting with Blackberries and ‘label’ clothing are not poor – they’re just stealing from people trying to make a living. And in between the ‘poor’ and the ‘rich’ are the vast majority of ordinary people who don’t steal in either way described.
So true
These riots have nothing to with poverty but opportunism. The irony is that poverty will increase because which business is going to invest in these areas. Therefore less jobs

Meanwhile, here’s some music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiVFfOOm_GI Inspired by Watts and the news coverage of it, this was written 45 years ago. Plus ca change

35. Paul Newman

You say you have no sympathy but you imply that a few more ping pong tables and they would not have rioted.Crap.Then you claim that there is an equivalence between employing accountants to act tax efficiently within the law and burning down buildings. What gibberish !
Next you blame austerity and “The economy” and as usual it is everyone`s fault except the scum bags arseholes who are stealing
You glamorise the activities of criminals! This is disgraceful when people are waking up getting on with cleaning up their mess, I am watching it now .
You say the right “Blames multiculturalism” well not that I have noticed , it was not blacks especially. It is the left dragging race into the question as soon as possible presumably so as to cloud the clear issue of law and order . Livingstone took seconds to make it a “black” thing , no-one else cares about your fetish with skin colour especially not now.
It was the people who were doing it who are to blame and who you continue to excuse whilst claiming otherwise
I am on the side of shop keepers, the workers, the families the people trying to get to work, the people whose Borough has been dragged into the mud, the businesses that will suffer and the 7,000,000 law abiding people of London who have been attacked by a few thousand thugs.
Perhaps now we can have some Police back on the street some proper sentences some respect of people and property and bit less whining if a few heads get knocked together on the way.

Paul newman
Did you read the article ?

Do you feel better ?

You glamorise the activities of criminals! This is disgraceful when people are waking up getting on with cleaning up their mess, I am watching it now
Mad right wing loony

I am capable of differentiating between such mindless violence and political protest. I will always defend the latter but this is not political any more. They are looting and burning cars not because society has pushed them there, but because they can. I can’t muster an ounce of sympathy for them.
From the actual article

Looting isn’t a political act? Nonsense, looting is a fundamental political act. The people doing the actual looting may not be acting through political motivation, but the act of looting is highly political.

Looting is THE MOST IMPORTANT political act, because looting is exactly what happens when people believe (rightly or wrongly )that the laws no longer apply to them.

Looting is an exact analogy to the Newspaper publisher who ignores the rules because the regulator is completely toothless and the lawmakers are in the back pocket. Looting is the hedge fund manager killing a currency, or the shareholder closing a factory. Looting is exactly the same as the MP who writes his own expense claim, because there is no-one there to check. Looting is the same as the millionaire footballer who thinks his bank account gives him the right to spit roast his way across Europe or the property developer who rips the heart of a city because he can.

Looting is the population’s way of saying ‘there is no such thing as society’. What is that young guy doing with a plasma screen under his arm? He could never acquire that from working down Tescos, so he has waited for an opportunity and when the rules no longer apply to him and the prevailing culture has liberalised the property laws he has acted in his own self interest and to fuck with everyone else. Isn’t that EXACTLY what we have been saying to everyone else? The only difference is that ‘we’ removed the rules willingly.

Looting is what happens when you replace rules with ‘voluntary codes of conduct’, ‘light touch, self regelation’ and Government getting out of the way.

There is much said and written about how deprivation motivates the rioters.

But little about the deprivation of the victims of the riots:

Tottenham community becomes real victim of rioters . Carrying emergency blankets and food, left with only the clothes on their backs, they looked like refugees.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8690265/Tottenham-community-becomes-real-victim-of-rioters.html

Clapham resident escapes house fire
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14454248

It may become one of the defining images of this week’s London riots. A woman in silhouette is photographed jumping out of a first-floor window in Croydon, south London, into the arms of a group of police and firefighters huddled below, as a large fire rages behind her.
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/how-to/escaping-the-inferno-20110809-1ikhf.html

Guttman, for you to call anyone a right wing plonker when in one of the previous threads you demanded that they all “be sent back from where they came from” and to call in the army (bet the “collateral damage” from that outing will be interesting in its portrayal) is frankly laughable.

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/08/07/tottenham-riots-what-does-the-community-think/ comment num 132

41. Luis enrique

My friends who live on Shackewell Lane tell me there are flyers circulating offering advice on how to riot without getting arrested. Who the hell is printing and distributing them?

@Guttman

Yes and thankfully so! Maybe I should change it to “Keep Labour Out” ;-)

@ Jim

What is that young guy doing with a plasma screen under his arm? He could never acquire that from working down Tescos

Why not?

With so many Royal Palaces in London, I don’t get why people attack corner shops: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/london-riots-august-2011/

Darcus Howe has called this a ”calssical insurrection”. The Independent have dropped Jody McIntyre after he was calling for people to ”rise up against the feds” on twitter.

That view, or variations of it can be heard if you listen to the radio for an hour or so. Someone calling themselves a ”community leader” will make the point that it’s all about the police. So how are the police to police the post code hoodies? If they stop and search them it leads to this resentment, and if they don’t, they run amuck.

London Road in Croydon that got trashed last night, is nearly all Asian run businesses.
Pakistani Musllims and Tamils mostly. And the guys who wrecked it will be the Croydon street gangs who are all over youtube with their boasting rapping videos and who must be basicly unemployable. What can you do with those lads?
Some of them make a pretence of going to Croydon College, but have turned that into more like a social club for Hip Hop street stylee life.

David Cameron is talking tough on the radio at the moment. What’s he going to do, send them to Feltham? How many? A thousand? They don’t fear that. It looks like a right laugh.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=feltham+sings&aq=2&oq=feltham

Basicly, these young people don’t want to work crap entry level, or dead end jobs for low pay ….. and for that alone, I have some sympathy for them.

Seems about the right balance – I don’t have a problem with saying that deprivation is part of the cause, but that doesn’t *excuse* what has happened – it’scomparatively deprived people who are also the most immediate victims of the violence and destruction.

Guttman, for you to call anyone a right wing plonker when in one of the previous threads you demanded that they all “be sent back from where they came from” and to call in the army (bet the “collateral damage” from that outing will be interesting in its portrayal) is frankly laughable

1. I didn’t say they should ALL be sent back but those who were constant gang members should be deported. In fact I think the asian and chinese community add to our society because of their work ethic.
2. Bringing in the army, you don’t mix in lefty circles, Ian would say I am acting just like an authoritarian lefty collectivist.
3. Also the point I was making that ALL crimes whatever they are if they are excepted undermines the law. Why is believing in the rule of law a right wing view, I would have thought that would be universal

jodymcintyre Jody McIntyre
Young people in the streets need organisation, direction and objectives. Random looting is not helping the cause.

Idiot thinks these people are interested in his “cause” or “need” his “organisation, direction and objectives”.

http://twitter.com/#!/jodymcintyre/status/100723640445833216

The causes of the London Riots are complex. It would be wrong to dismiss them as simple outbursts of criminality – we must as a nation properly analyse the social and economic factors that have caused this.
We must also avoid the temptation to turn it into a party political issue, or a straightforward battle between the thinking of the left and the right – in reality, both have very important and legitimate points to make.
I urge people to read the following article which attempts to take a more objective view:
http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2011/08/what-caused-the-london-riots/

Whilst (for once) I agree with Sunny on the general disposition of his article (looting and violence are wrong) there are other points I’d take up with him.

These riots have nothing to do with cuts or politics in general. In real terms spending cuts have barely started, and they certainly haven’t dramatically changed the lives of people overnight, as much as many on the Left would love to have us beleive.

The Coalition has been in power for just over a year. Labour in power for 13 before that. For the most part, the lives of many of these “poor and disposessed” people haven’t really changed in any any meaningful way over that whole period. In some measures, they got worse under Labour.

Saying cuts are the reason for this trouble is just an excuse pure and simple. Blaming a new government for failings of the last and “cuts” for general failings in society.

These riots are pure opportunism, with a clear hint that the Police, already under pressure after allegations of racism and their handling of the student riots, would react with less than necessary force to contain the situation – as we can see this has transpired. Agitators on the extreme Left suggesting this is some form of class war haven’t helped, and even more moderates haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory by defending the student riots and attacking the Police. Laurie Penny and Sunny among them.

I’m sorry, but what do you expect? Legitimising one form of violent protest (student cuts etc) against the rule of law and elected government does give people a form of cover when deciding to riot in complaint about almost anything else.

As for the rich looting – it’s just a straw man argument. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and for the most part totally overrepresented by the Left. It’s become some form of totemic issue, which if it didn’t exist would solve all our problems overnight. This of course is nonsense.

What we are seeing in the financial world is a rejection of high spending, high debt government by investors. Not banks or hedge funds, which make up a tiny part of the financial system, but pension funds. Rightly so, pension fund managers, looking after pensioners money, are shying away from heavily indebted governments who are either unlikely to ever pay their debts back in full, or are going to debase their currency to do so. Either way a loss for the investors they look after. Hardly a surprise.

People have got so used to massive social spending and benefits that any move to do so is greeted with howls of protest, without any serious conversation about what is really needed, how much it actually costs and who is going to pay for it (other than “the rich”). This is a recession – everybody is going to suffer through it one way or another – but even though the financial crisis brought the problem to an immediate head, social security costs were already climbing at an unsustainable rate. Some 90% of US Federal tax revenues are spent on social security, before counting the massive deficits states have in their pension funds. It simply isn’t sustainable, or realistic to expect China to keep funding that deficit.

So, a little realism on the Left about spending and finances would be nice to see. Of course, there are a lot more aspects to these riots than those I’ve mentioned, not least a general cultural shift to instant gratification, poor education and such like, but ignoring these aspects to focus on a anti-cuts anti-coalition agenda is rather missing the reality of the situation.

I second the clearly differentiating between protests and criminality. Protesters would go to Whitehall, criminals just trash their local stores… .

52. Richard Hall

Sunny, you are fighting straw men.

Lot’s of people rightly noted that it was people from poor areas doing the looting. No one said “only poor people go looting.”

To ignore that means ignoring the causes of what is going on. Yes, rich people steal far greater amount and cause far more damage, but you seem wilfully ignorant about the reasons why people are heading out on to the streets in roves to burn, rob and loot.

Also, absolutely no one is excusing the actions of looters, as you claim in your piece. It is possible for there to be a political cause to the looting and for the looters to not be political. You don’t seem to able to grasp that.

You said last night the looters were middle-class kids out to get kicks, I suggest you go out tonight and take a look for yourself.

@46 Well I’m glad you’ve never been a victim of unjust laws to be able to believe that then. The law is not always right, in fact it is often very wrong and has to be pushed so that it becomes right.* Though you should do us all a favour and put your privilege away. I mean did it not occur to you that these gang members might very well have all born and raised in this very nation? Where are you going to deport them to? Or are all the troubles of this fine nation clearly caused by dirty foreigners?

*I’m calling for the abolishment of tax avoidance being legal, rather than rioting and looting to become legal, before you start.

I can’t muster an ounce of sympathy for them.

Me neither.

these riots are about something running deeper than cuts and recession. it’s about total disenfranchisement of a whole section of society. a lack of respect both ways, a break down of family, values and boundaries. a lack of competition and strong engagement in school, a real missing of consequences. it’s a tantrum on an epic scale. kids need boundaries to feel safe, held and connected.

Jimmy Reid knew the score…

“Alienation is the precise and correctly applied word for describing the major social problem in Britain today. People feel alienated by society. In some intellectual circles it is treated almost as a new phenomenon. It has, however, been with us for years. What I believe is true is that today it is more widespread, more pervasive than ever before. Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.

Many may not have rationalised it. May not even understand, may not be able to articulate it. But they feel it. It therefore conditions and colours their social attitudes. Alienation expresses itself in different ways by different people. It is to be found in what our courts often describe as the criminal anti-social behaviour of a section of the community. It is expressed by those young people who want to opt out of society, by drop outs, the so-called maladjusted, those-who seek to escape permanently from the reality of society through intoxicants and narcotics. Of course it would be wrong to say it was the sole reason for these things. But it is a much greater factor in all of them than is generally recognised.

Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity. It partially dehumanises some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self-centred and grasping.”

It take your point and do not condone looting or destruction, but cracking down on the “rabble” will not put a stop to the other practices. Instead, it is the best way for establishment to continue getting away with its own forms of looting and destruction. Diverts attention.They’ll play the security card, criminalize all forms of resistance or protest: if you open your mouth about spending cuts in the UK now, you can be sure that at some point in the conversation, you will be lumped together with the rioters, or derided as a lunatic who supports mass vandalism. And incidentally, “rich looting” has caused much more structural damage to the UK than a couple of nights of rioting and destruction. If a crackdown should take place, the really dangerous elements should be targeted first.

Presumably, I can measure how “alienated” a person is by much much he/she riots.

If so, the term is tautological.

If not, how exactly do I measure the extent of “alienation” – or are we just talking mumbo-jumbo?

59. Kismet Hardy

As the father of a teenager (albeit one who isn’t a violent thieving little shit), I know one thing for certain: kids don’t need much justification to be angry. When they are, they will let rip.

I’m not going to romantise the riots by flowering it up as some kind of socio-political statement these kids were making – in fact, at the risk of sounding patronising – I daresay some of them don’t give a toss about socio-political anything, but no one can deny they are angry. Not just in tottenham because some criminal got gunned down by the coppers, but all over the country because they’ve had enough.

Like my teenager who doesn’t know (or care) for the reasons behind the door slamming shoutiness, nor do the angrier more violent more disaffected of her peers. But they need to vent and this is the ugly outcome of what happens when thousands of kids are left feeling like they have no prospects in life.

The last time this government was in power, the criminal justice bill took away the freedom for bored lost kids to gather and party. This time round, with cuts leading to bruises, they’re taking away their hope.

Opportunism, yes. But when we’re talking about a whole generation of poor kids being denied opportunities in life, you have to wonder why they wouldn’t grab it and then smash it when it comes…

This is great!

I advise the left to keep apologising for the rioters. This is really great.

Hey look at the plus side. All this window smashing boosts aggregate demand!

A very good assessment, I like the article. Many in the ideological and political world are going down their usual respective paths. Hang em and flog em or its all someone elses fault.

My goodness! I agree with Sunny wholeheartedly!

For &*$%£ sake, i’ve never seen such a bunch of pansy apologists in my life.

Lets cut the crap, this is violent crime, theft, armed robbery. You can dress it up as ‘looting’, or ‘rioting’ if you want, but thats what it is. Seen the footage of the injured lad being mugged ? Seen the CHARITY SHOP that got robbed ?

These people basically have a nice, cushy life on benefits, and now they’ve been told that they aren’t going to be able to afford that, and its time they actually got out and find a job. So they are going to cause trouble until they get back the extra cash.

Don’t go telling me that there are no jobs out there, only last week I was coming back on the ferry from Ostend, and speaking to 40 polish men and women, who were heading to lincolnshire and cambridgeshire to do picking work. They admit that the work is tedious and hard, but its work, and it pays.
And no, I’m not some toff who owns a business or has a high-powered job. I left school at 16, with 3 CSEs. When I was 23 I started studying again, eventually, aged 30, getting a BSc in Chemistry. I came from what would be called a ‘sink’ estate on Merseyside. My dad died when I was 7, a coal miner, killed at work, so my mum brought us all up. I work shifts, and by god, where I am, we all work for what we earn.
The simple lesson is that you CAN pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and make something honestly, if you are prepared to WORK for it. Having a bunch of people saying ‘Oh, its all right, its not your fault, here, have some more dole/facilities/community crap’ is NEVER going to help anyone, apart from lining the pockets of the people administering the ‘community project’.
Remember the old line about giving a man a fish/teaching him to fish ? As a nation, we need to teach people to go out, and get a job, to earn the fish, instead of sitting at home, and being given the fish. Then they make real worth of themselves, and have real pride.

64. Comrade Tebbit

Londons police cells are now full. Everything the lib-left told us was a lie.

– We don’t need to build more prisons.

– The all powerful police that make communities live in fear.

– That ‘social disorder’ is about ‘poverty’, Tories, bankers etc

Jim: good response.
Looting is what happens when you replace rules with ‘voluntary codes of conduct’, ‘light touch, self regelation’ and Government getting out of the way.

Fair point, and this what I allude to in my article. But if you’re going to try and ‘understand’ looting by some random kids, then you must also by definition try to ‘understand’ the looting of the rich.

My point is I want the rule of law enforced for both – I abhor tax avoidance AND the looting of JD sports.

Richard:
To ignore that means ignoring the causes of what is going on. Yes, rich people steal far greater amount and cause far more damage, but you seem wilfully ignorant about the reasons why people are heading out on to the streets in roves to burn, rob and loot.

No I’m not ignoring what you think are the reasons (‘poverty’) – I’m saying my understanding of those reasons is different to yours.

I’m saying that they are doing it for the same reasons the rich people do it – that two conditions have been created (the herd mentality, breakdown of law and order). Without those two this looting wouldn’t happen in London, nor at the banks.

Ms 45:
Hardly. Violence against women serves a very specific political purpose – that of letting women know what their actual status in society is. You can balk at calling it terrorism, but it certainly sends an effective message.

The purpose it serves is different to the motivation behind it though. I’m talking about the motivation here of the original act.

66. Anonymous Person

Most of the crime is being commited by young Black people! It says a lot about there society! They have no care for anymore else in the world. They bring shame to everyone and as yet, they give a crap! There parents don’t seem to have had any affect on there lives. Shame on you Black People… The quicker they wipe them selves off this planet, the better for the whole human society!

67. anna-rose phipps

Actually i’d like to reverse Sunny’s statement: “If people start making excuses for the criminal behaviour of these looters, then logic follows that they must do the same for bankers”

How about a refreshing change for once? “If people start making excuses for the criminal behaviour of these tax evading corporate fraudsters, corrupt police and Newspaper tycoons, by not sending them to jail, then logic follows that they must do the same for the Tottenham rioters”.

Look at the facts: these people have certainly made endless excuses for the bankers, none of whom will ever see the inside of a jail cell. Hank Paulson? Larry Summers? Alan Greenspan and his ‘Flaw’? HELLO? And Rupert Murdoch?

@37 is spot on here: ‘Looting is THE MOST important political act, because looting is exactly what happens when people believe, (rightly or wrongly), that the laws no longer apply to them.

So the actual physical carryng out of the act of looting is never done by the corporate fraudster, tax evader or Media tycoon. As Richard Hall says, it isn’t rich, successful people who are out looting.

Greed is hardly the motivating reason behind these riots, since every single rioter knows they are likely going to get caught and they are beyond caring, most of them. Envy of those who have, possibly. But why put their lives and freedom at risk if they have something to lose? THESE PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE! No, not starving Somalians, But totally disenfranchised

Looting is the population’s way of saying ‘there is no such thing as society’.

Brrrrrap as the kids would say.

@62 Robbie P

Well said.

70. Bored in Kavanagasau

When Jade Goody called Shilpa Shetty, Shilpa Poppadom, Kismet Hardy and Sunny were more riled then than when the yoot are burning and looting of a city which gave all their families an opportunity to move away from third-world squalour. Some gratitude.

The best piece I have read about this mindless violence by thugs. Well done Sunny.

There cannot be any ifs and buts about this. This violence needs to stop because its not harming people in Chelsea, Belgravia or even Richmond, Kingston – it is hurting people who work hard and make a living It is ruining livelihoods and if one is a lefty you cannot agree with any one of those things. And more importantly, putting nine month old baby’s life at risk for fun and mayhem by burning down businesses is disgusting and it is senseless violence.

I think almost all politicians have managed to respond effectively on all sides of the political spectrum but Ken Livingstone ‘s opportunisim is beyond parody.

“We must also avoid the temptation to turn it into a party political issue, or a straightforward battle between the thinking of the left and the right – in reality, both have very important and legitimate points to make.”

This is simply not true.

The right have nothing useful or worthwhile to say on the matter.

Their contribution consists of –

Send in the army and use live bullets on them!

They are doing it because black people have a chip on their shoulder and are always looking for things to feel aggrieved about even though we treat them so well

Bomb them!

Castrate them so they can’t breed another generation of thugs!

Hang them from lamposts as a warning to the others!

Deport them!

Publicly flog them!

Bring back national service that’ll fix it!

This is the idiocy that the majority of this country considers common sense.

And then people wonder why things are the way they are.

Looting is never to be condoned or encouraged. People talk about the poor of the country and yes I know what it is like to be poor. I am a small businessman and I own a small manufacturing business. (So, I must be rich and successful eh?)

No, I manage to get £20 per week to pay for food and essentials. I am also having to make payments to council tax, electricity (out of the £20) and I manage to pay the rent on my house although not terribly regularly. This is what is needed to build up a company, dedication and commitment, Even the unemployed get housing paid for, council tax paid for, more disposable income, and free prescriptions; just to name a few perks. Because I am trying to give local people jobs, (they have to be paid before I can pay myself), I am trying to set-up export which will help the British economy (albeit by a small amount); because I am trying to do this without the help of the banks, without the help of the government (even support for small businesses has virtually gone), because of all of this I cannot get any help. I cannot even get help to pay for food…. So does that mean I can go and loot the local McDonald’s? My TV is old, and I can’t afford a new one, can I steal one from Curry’s? The government will not help me with my company, can I set fire to a shop? NO, NO, NO…. because that would be wrong. If I did, I would expect to go to prison. Arrest these thugs on the street and lock them up.

62. Robbie P

Did a friend challenge you to see how many right-wing cliches and inanity you could fit in one post? Was it a bet?

@71 Robert.

Come on then genius, lets hear your suggestions.

Saying the right have no good ideas/nothing ever worth listening to is exactly the same as them saying that the left has no good ideas/nothing worth listening too.

After all (their argument would go) the left have been running this country for most of the last 15 years, and look where it’s brought it to. Employers complaining about illiterate kids, a culture of idleness, the welfare state gone mad …

If your argument has any validity, then theirs does too. Instead, lets hear your constructive suggestions, so that we can all have a laugh picking them apart.

Oh … one last thing. you complain that :
This is the idiocy that the majority of this country considers common sense

If its the majority of the country, then it is, by definition, common sense (or, the sense of the commons). Where have you gone wrong then, if after all that time, joe public still feels that rioters/looters/muggers should be ‘brought to book’ in one way or another, instead of given a cuddle, and a new iphone ?

To say that the right’s point has no validity is to ignore a large section of the population – remember Gordon Brown and the ‘bigoted woman’ ? She raised what, to her and a lot of people, are genuine concerns about immigration, and was dismissed as a racist. Yes, she is a labour voter, but that part of her political outlook was almost UKIP

I really don’t know why bankers and tax avoidence was brought into this, as it has the affect of deflecting the discussion away from the riots and the causes of them.

Camila Batmanghelidjh is of course pertty much an expert in her field … and wrote this in the Independent today.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/camila-batmanghelidjh-caring-costs-ndash-but-so-do-riots-2333991.html

She has been saying the same thing for years, but as the problem reproduces itself, it can never really be sorted out entirely.
For example, Mark Duggan’s children weren’t getting the best start in life, growing up on Broadwater Farm with a father who carried a gun. So it just gets passed on down to the next generation.

Another article, worth taking into consideation was this one in Spiked. Even if it contradicts the first one somewhat.

What we have on the streets of London and elsewhere are welfare-state mobs. The youth who are ‘rising up’ – actually they are simply shattering their own communities – represent a generation that has been more suckled by the state than any generation before it. They live in those urban territories where the sharp-elbowed intrusion of the welfare state over the past 30 years has pushed aside older ideals of self-reliance and community spirit. The march of the welfare state into every aspect of less well-off urban people’s existences, from their financial wellbeing to their childrearing habits and even into their emotional lives, with the rise of therapeutic welfarism designed to ensure that the poor remain ‘mentally fit’, has helped to undermine such things as individual resourcefulness and social bonding. The anti-social youthful rioters look to me like the end product of such an anti-social system of state intervention.

There’s certainly something in that I think.

I also think that some of the left have to take some of the blame for preventing proper discussion of this wider subject. I’ve been called a racist and banned off a left wing forum in the past for trying to describe some of the dysfunctionality and day to day reality of areas like some of those which got trashed last night. Croydon I know particularly well, and it has had this unemployed ”gang banger” problem for years now.

Like these lads from Thornton Heath.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjql5Qjd47I

It was all the Asian owned shops on London Road nearby Thornton Heath that got smashed up last night. You might even call it a racist attack, as many of the shop owners are observant muslims and had koranic verses displayed on the walls and behind the counter. And the attackers were of a different culture entirely.

I really don’t know why bankers and tax avoidence was brought into this, as it has the affect of deflecting the discussion away from the riots and the causes of them.

It isn’t ‘whataboutery’ when Sunny does it.

Is it absolutely necessary to refer to the anarchists as “idiots”?

77 – necessary but not sufficient.

80. Leon Wolfson

There have to be promises made, and kept, at the highest level of fixing things as well Sunny. Or there will be more flashpoints. Nothing that is happening is restoring any level of trust in the police.

And I don’t see Cameron as that sort of leader. Certainly his comments today all about security have not done anything along those lines.

Do you want this solved, Sunny, or do you want it delayed? I ask again – when people are going to be forced, with their kids, from the area by government cuts…how do you make those kids connect with the community? They’re not dumb, they understand they’re being forced out.

@3 – Of course there are no guarantees about the Olympics now, unless there’s a *resolution* other than simply forcing the tension back underground to simmer for a limited period.

Sunny Hundal @ 64

Fair point, and this what I allude to in my article. But if you’re going to try and ‘understand’ looting by some random kids, then you must also by definition try to ‘understand’ the looting of the rich.

Oh, we do understand and codify the looting done by the rich and powerful. We understand and justify all too well the motivation that drives the rich. Not only do we understand it, we actually applaud it! Of course, on these very pages we see people posting that we need to appease the looters of society. We have had it openly suggested that we scrap maternity leave, force the disabled to Dutch auction themselves or scrap the minimum wage, lest the looters ‘move to China’.

The talk today is about lost livelihoods and houses thanks to rioters, but then again, how many lost livelihoods and houses have there been due to speculators and asset strippers? The asset stripper and the ‘offshorer’ are revered in our culture.

It is my contention that rioter and the asset stripper are doing the exact same job, for the exact same reasons, though the methodology may be different.

It would be interesting to look at the psychometric tests of these two groups in society and see how similar they are in profile. I wonder if there is that same lack of empathy, the same lack of regard for the rules and conventions of society or even that they belong to that society.

@80: “It is my contention that rioter and the asset stripper are doing the exact same job, for the exact same reasons, though the methodology may be different.”

Not so. Asset stripping can be motivated by many reasons, including that of better managing badly run companies, the assets of which could be employed more productively. A string of studies through to the 1980s found that British directors and managers were poorly qualified compared with counterparts in America and some mainland European countries.

Try this from the ONS on comparisons between productivity in the UK and peer-group countries:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=160

The tough test is productivity per hour worked in Britain as compared with peers.

83. Leon Wolfson

@81 – That is NOT measuring productivity per hour.

It’s measuring capital generated per hour for the employer, which is something else entirely, and is strongly affected by social and other factors, and ignores things like unpaid overtime and worker abuse.

TimJ @4

But it’s not “your property”, is it? Let’s try to explain this in terms right-wingers will understand. Taxes are a service charge made by the government on behalf of the nation as a whole, and the service provided is the environment that allows you to live in safety, make the money you’re making and maintain a lifestyle that is way in excess of what the majority of the world’s population gets to experience.

@82 Leon

I suggest you take up your complaints with the ONS, otherwise try:

International comparisons of GDP per hour worked are
also published in this bulletin. This approach yields
different results from GDP per worker, taking into account
differences in working patterns across countries.
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/icp0211.pdf

86. Leon Wolfson

@84 – It’s a mis-labled graph, I’ll point out what it really represents in a relevant debate, thanks.

At a time of increasing disconnect between labour and capital, those figures are a bad joke, and speak to nothing except the bankers.

“Taxes are a service charge made by the government on behalf of the nation as a whole, and the service provided is the environment that allows you to live in safety, make the money you’re making and maintain a lifestyle that is way in excess of what the majority of the world’s population gets to experience.”

OK, let’s take that as our reason for taxation.

Does this require that those who work for the government get huge pensions for retiring early?

Does this mean that govt should subsidise upper middle class pleasures like the Royal Opera House?

Does this mean that the taxpayers should be paying for Nurse Pilgrims (copyright Guido) who do no nursing but get taxpayer funded salaries to do union work?

Does this mean that weirdo numpties like the nef should subsist on taxpayer money?

Oh, so it’s possible then that while taxation on *some* things is a necessity for that society we’d all like to live in that not all of the taxation currently applied is so necessary?

I’m with you on defence, the courts, police, the basic minarchist state. After that….no, not so much. And the problem you’ve got with your definition of what taxation is for is that you’ve got to defend the really, seriously, obviously, lunatic spending as “necessary”.

Go on, Lee Jasper getting a council house in London on £100 a week. Defend that as being necessary for me to enjoy my life, liberty and property in a free and rich society.

Then as an encore, defend Lee Japser getting a council house in London on £100 a week when he’s getting £103,000 a year advising the Mayor on “diversity”.

Bob @ 81

Asset stripping can be motivated by many reasons

No Bob, asset strippers may attempt to justify their actions using any number of the motives you mention and probably more too, but the ‘reason’ will always be the same. Sheer unadulterated greed. The desire to make as much material gain, irrespective who suffers and what damage is done to individuals, communities or even Countries.

They may lobby for the lawmakers to change the social conditions the rules of trade or whatever, but when the conditions turn in their favour, for whatever reason they move like sharks to make a killing and the bigger the killing the better.

Now, you may wish to defend ‘greed’ and I would have no problem with that, but why try and dress it up as some kind of ‘decent’ action?

89. Leon Wolfson

@86 – So, then let’s make targeted, necessary corrections.

Not the wholesale bludgeon which you wield.

Let’s take council houses. If there’s a rent cap for an area (and there should be), that gives us a certain rate. Now, charge a low base fee, and have a low scale on which people pay the full cap when they’re earning well (exactly how can be debated, of course).

There, the richer people pay the cap, AND the poorer don’t get shafted.

@86

I love the smell of whataboutery in the morning…

There are two reasons I don’t begrudge public sector workers their pensions – firstly there’s the fact that on average they earn noticeably less than their equivalent numbers in the private sectors during their career. Secondly, in most cases the work they do benefits society as a whole a hell of a lot more than the work I and my compadres working in the private sector do, and I think that should be rewarded. As an aside, the question that should be being asked is why private pensions are comparatively such a bad deal if the private sector is as efficient as the free-marketeers claim it is.

If contributing to things like the Royal Opera House helps maintain the well-being of the country, why the hell not? I’m not classist when it comes to how people enjoy their leisure time… I also think free-market small-government libertarians drastically underestimate the amount of effort and manpower it takes to keep a society ticking along – especially one as complex as that of the UK. The whole reason why public services beyond the Randian base level of the military and justice systems exist is because there are many services that are required to keep the country running, but nevertheless cannot turn a profit while maintaining a decent level of service.

I couldn’t give a toss about Lee Jasper either. Another anecdote to throw into the mix is a friend of mine who has done pretty well as a software developer, but nevertheless manages to live in a council property because his wife had one before they met. I don’t begrudge him that – heaven knows that if I were in the same position I’d do the same, and I resent the idea that I should be encouraged to do so.

Also, you’re good at giving examples of what you consider public sector graft, but in doing so you’re ignoring the elephant in the room that is private sector graft. Not only have I seen plenty of examples of graft and incompetence in the private sector firms I’ve worked in over the years, but let’s face it – the whole financial services industry on which this country’s economy currently depends is built on nothing but graft. It has been mathematically proven that the complex financial calculations and market-predictions business on which a very small number of men make a staggering amount of money is in fact no better in terms of successful trades than if they’d just selected trades at random, but it’s dressed up in a language that has been designed to be impenetrable to the average Tom, Dick and Harry on the street so that they can’t work out that the whole thing is a gigantic con job.

So basically I have long arrived at the conclusion that the Randian free-marketroids both inside and outside the global finance industry have either been completely seduced by their bullshit to the point that they actually believe it, or they are well aware that it is bullshit and are hoping that the fancy language will make the rest of us look the other way while they help themselves to our money. What’s your position, Worstall?

91. theophrastus

These looters and rioters are criminal filth. Why are so many people so poorly socialised? I believe the answer lies in the accumulated maladjustments resulting from left wing policies and propaganda in the post-War period. For example:-

1. The breakdown of the family: The family is where children are socialised and first acquire moral principles. Children in single parent families are much more likely to be undisciplined, unable to defer gratification, inclined to crime, and do poorly at school. For decades, many Marxists, feminists and leftists have denigrated the family as oppressive, capitalist and bourgeois, and presented the traditional family as being only one lifestyle choice among many. They have encouraged divorce, and subsidised single parenthood. And under the guise of children’s rights, they have sought to undermine parental discipline. Unsurprisingly, increasing numbers of children are inadequately socialised and at least partly feral.

2. Diminishing respect for the Police and authority: As in (1), the left has generally sought to diminish respect for authority and the Police. Any and every failing of the Police is used to discredit them – as brutal, trigger-happy, corrupt, racist agents of the capitalist state. Political correctness and the Human Rights Act have been used to undermine their confidence and reduce their effectiveness. (Note how the police response to the riots and looting was quite timid at first.) Similarly, the authority of parents and teachers has been undermined by a culture of rights-without-duties and by the abolition of corporal punishment in schools.

3. Welfare dependency: Increasing welfare dependency has morally corrupted huge numbers of people, leading many to believe that they are entitled to an income even if they never make any effort to work. This has resulted in certain people believing that they are entitled to something-for-nothing – and from there to conclude that they can just take what they want through crime. The poverty lobby’s use of the word ‘deprived’ rather than ‘disadvantaged’ encourages the relatively poor to believe that things have been taken away from them by ‘society’ or ‘the system’. Unsurprisingly, they are often inclined to undertake what they might call restitution or the rest us would call theft.

4. Mass immigration: Our cities may be more vibrant and diverse as a result of immigration, but the downside is that mass immigration reduces social solidarity, increases alienation and weakens the cultural bonds that tie us to each other.

5. Multiculturalism: ‘Multicultural society’ is a contradiction in terms, because what we mean by a society is a group of people who share a common culture. There can be a multi-racial society with many sub-cultures providing nearly everyone subscribes to one primary and dominant culture. Multiculturalists deny all this, maintaining that all cultures are equal (with the possible exception of Western culture which is racist and exploitative and…*yawn*) and that immigrants should not be required to adapt to the host society. The result is often ghettoisation. Multiculturalism is a form of apartheid. The result is moral relativism and a lack of shared moral standards.

6. Moral relativism: The tendency to see all moral principles as subjective and relative is a leitmotif in leftist thinking, the moral standards of a society being somehow determined by the economic forces controlling it. Few, however, articulate the doctrine clearly – it is more of a subconscious assumption. How it usually appears is in spurious claims of moral equivalence, which diminishes the effect of any moral condemnation by saying @Well, it’s just the same as bankers/Murdoch/tax avoidance, etc. Here’s an example @37 above:

“Looting is an exact analogy to the Newspaper publisher who ignores the rules because the regulator is completely toothless and the lawmakers are in the back pocket. Looting is the hedge fund manager killing a currency, or the shareholder closing a factory. Looting is exactly the same as the MP who writes his own expense claim, because there is no-one there to check. Looting is the same as the millionaire footballer who thinks his bank account gives him the right to spit roast his way across Europe or the property developer who rips the heart of a city because he can.”

7. State education: The state education system with its multiple failings – not least low standards and poor discipline – has condemned generations of children to unemployability. The unemployable are excluded from the many opportunities our society has on offer and unsurprisingly some of them turn to crime and anti-social behaviour.

8. Over-regulation of voluntary groups: The demented layers of regulation (eg in H & S, CRB checks, child protection, etc) imposed on the voluntary sector from 1997-2010 have discouraged new entrants, reduced the number of volunteers actually running small groups and encouraged the centralisation, state-funding and professionalization of charities and voluntary groups. The result has been to diminish grassroots efforts to establish clubs and societies that can help to socialise disadvantaged children.

Together these factors have all contributed to there being a significant number of inadequately socialised people who are prepared not only to loot and riot but also commit crime and various forms of anti-social behaviour. And the left is largely to blame…

92. Paul Newman

Actually the Public sector is better paid than the private sector has enjoyed far greater rate of rise and if you calculate the true value of index linked guaranteed final salary related pension there is something like 50% Premium for being on the state payroll.

93. Leon Wolfson

@90 – What rot.

Let’s take #8. Why have many charity and youth groups closed? Oh that’s right, it’s a recession, donations are down and THIS Government’s cuts have made sure they couldn’t continue. Saying that many of them shouldn’t have been in existance (i.e. no funding for them) is typical of the Tory attempts to roll back the success at diminishing youth poverty, one of the few things New Labour did right.

Typical, blaming the sins on anything but those responsible. Blaming Parents, the Left, the Poor… The right, their cutting up of the social fabric and using it as tissue paper, is to blame, if you want a simple-minded, angry response.

These riots were predictable, to anyone who was willing to see.

@87: “No Bob, asset strippers may attempt to justify their actions using any number of the motives you mention and probably more too, but the ‘reason’ will always be the same. Sheer unadulterated greed.”

That’s just infantile trash. For starters, it has no regard for the studies showing how poorly qualified directors and managers in Britain have been compared with peer-group countries and UK productivity per hour worked compared with peers.

“Surge in bids for British firms by foreign buyers, study shows – City law firm Wedlake Bell finds 53% of mergers and acquisitions targeting UK-listed companies in the first quarter of this year were backed by overseas bidders”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/may/31/mergers-acquisitions-vince-cable

For many years, Britain has been one of the largest recients of mobile international investment and successive governments have welcomed foreign direct investment – presumably, because governments believe it to be beneficial (*)
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/60/43/48462282.pdf

(*) The classic academic paper on this is: Donald MacDougall: “The benefits and costs of private investment from abroad: a theoretical approach.” The Economic Record 1960 but there are pay barriers to online access. It is reprinted in: Caves + Johnson: AEA Readings in International Economics

@91

Superficially yes, but what you actually find once you scrape away the hyperbole is that the top earners in the public sector earn less than their equivalent numbers in the private sector, whereas those in the middle and towards the lower end of the scale appear to earn slightly more. However what you then have to take into account is that almost all the lowest-paid unskilled jobs performed for the public sector (e.g. cleaning) are actually all outsourced to the private sector these days, which skews the numbers substantially. That’s hard to squeeze into a tabloid headline for the hard-of-thinking though.

What the disparity actually shows is that the private sector vastly undervalues it’s workforce, except for those at or near the very top.

96. Leon Wolfson

@94 – Absolutely. It’s very telling that salaries are falling as a percentage of income generated, which pushes hardest on the poor and lower middle class, who can’t afford “investments”.

97. blackwillow1

Okay, for what it’s worth, here’s my take on it all. If you’re dumb enough to set fire to a building when the people living above it are pleading with you to stop, that qualifies you as a moron. Smashing your way into a shop to rob stuff makes you a thief, regardless of your financial position. If you steal to survive, you have my sympathy. If you steal because you want some gadget that you do’nt actually need, you’re just a greedy thieving bastard. The social divisions and economic disparity in society are very relevant to the situation, if the social and economic problems did’nt exist, the people involved in the riots would feel much less inclined to take part. However, that in no way justifies their actions, particularly as they are wreaking havoc in their own already disadvantaged communities. That’s why you can forget any claims that this is some kind of political protest, if it was, the rioting would be happening in the wealthy, well-serviced areas of the country, the poor taking it from the rich. The reality is that they are taking, not only from the people who can least afford to lose it, they are ultimately stealing from themselves. The clean up costs, paid for by the council tax. The scaring away of investors in those communities, weakening the local economies further, increasing joblessness, depressing the area even more, pushing up the crime figures.
As for the police handling of the riots, I do have some sympathy for them, they are doing a hard job under difficult circumstances. That’s not to say they handled it well, clearly they misjudged the potential for it to escalate. Lessons to be learned. Now, the way the coalition have handled it, no sympathy at all. We’ve heard Cameron, Clegg and others spouting the predictable line, this is criminality and nothing more. They do’nt believe that there are any underlying symptoms, because they have absolutely no experience of them. Poverty, unemployment, living in a high crime area. They have no concept of feeling alienated or dispossessed from society because they live in a truly seperate world. Safe, protected from financial hardship, sub-standard housing, poor provision of education and social structure. Do’nt expect the coalition to get a grip on this, they wo’nt. They ca’nt deal with the problem if they have no understanding of the reasons why people feel it’s okay to do these things. One positive could come from all of this, it could potentially force a collapse of the coalition, bringing about a general election. Not by itself, but added to everything else, the economic turmoil, recession heading back towards us, the complete shambles in Libya, phone hacking and the multitude of questions thrown up by it, as yet unanswered by Cameron and others. I’m almost tempted to feel a little sympathy for the coalition, but then I remind myself what a bunch of arrogant self serving bastards they really are, and the temptation dies away.

98. Paul Newman

I am not sure the name riot is right it implies political motivation whereas what we have is looters and leisure violence . I agree with much of what Theophrastus says .You cannot ignore the fact that these people are all from estates where single mother, workless atomised multiculturalism has created a vacuum for young men.
This has spawned the gang culture which in turn leads to destructive behaviour, when you think about it the Andover Estate and many other areas in London have been scary places for a long time and certainly no-go areas at night

94 – We recently saw some figure of HR payment and the public sector bonus was comical. The main way that money has been funnelled into state employment however has been by multiplying grades and positions . Even in n ordinary school many teachers will have endless top ups for being in charge of this that or the other aspect of what is their job anyway
While the private sector has flattened out the Public Sector retains then crazed bushy management structure in which the “Public Sector Professional ” have become a large voting constituency
This is because New Labour used the state to redistribute income by distributing employment
It is my belief that the fact over half top graduates now go into state employment has had a profoundly destructive effect on our economy which goes way beyond the obvious cost of tax eating non productive idle capacity

99. Leon Wolfson

@96 – Actually, the Met is responsible for cleanup costs.

@97 – So your solution is to punish the women, and reduce opportunity for their children even more. Brilliant!

And no, running out of school activities and other duties which take their own time, on top of the marking and other duties that they are expected to do out of school hours, is most certainly NOT something Teachers should be expected to do for free.

It’s always the same, the workers are expected to put in long hours, unpaid, while the executives have their expensive accounts…

The “obvious” problem is capital sucking away salaries from lower income people, who would *spend* the money, not stick it straight back into the market.

Bob B @ 94

it has no regard for the studies showing how poorly qualified directors and managers in Britain have been compared with peer-group countries and UK productivity per hour worked compared with peers.

Nowhere have I disputed this, however, no doubt the asset stripper for example, feels he is doing some good and perhaps he is doing some good, but he is not doing this from a sense of alturism. He is driven by greed. We can call it ‘maximising profits’ if you want, but we are talking about greed.

101. theophrastus

LW @

I’m glad you see that your response is “simple-minded”.

The necessary cuts have hardly started, and cuts in discretionary expenditure to charities etc have been (and will be) made largely by local authorities determining their priorities, not by central government. (Never forget that public sector bureaucrats will always look after their own interests – cutting services than rather making efficiency savings.)

“Typical, blaming the sins on anything but those responsible”

False. I began: “These looters and rioters are criminal filth.”

“Blaming Parents, the Left, the Poor”

I’m blaming the Left, actually. Poor parenting and welfare dependency are part of the left’s legacy to our society. See my points 1-7.

“The right, their cutting up of the social fabric and using it as tissue paper, is to blame”

The right – if you call the Coalition right-wing, which I don’t – has been in power for just 15 months. Previously, we had 13 years of irresponsible government by the Labour Party.

“These riots were predictable, to anyone who was willing to see.”

Really? Where did you predict them? I assume you mean the current government is to blame. This is unlikely as they have not been in power long enough. And the rioters have not made any reference to ‘the cuts’ as far as I’m aware – though one was reported as saying that looting was a way of recouping tax! Lefties like you are usually very keen to identify “root causes”; but when the right does this, you retreat to the most simplistic and superficial analysis available.

102. Leon Wolfson

@101 – And you lead with the insults. You can’t even get past a single statement without throwing them. Thanks for that great demonstration of your closed-mindedness.

The cuts are well under way, if they’ve “hardly started”, then millions will starve in the streets and it’s time to reverse course. And of course the Government has forced local authorities to do much of the cutting for them, they have to maintain certain services legally, and heavy cuts have fallen in other areas. The actual responsibility remains the Government’s, of course, especially when they cut most heavily in deprived areas.

And of course you blame the Left, who haven’t been in power since 1979. Anything but accept the blame which the Right holds. Of course you can’t accept that the coalition is to the Right, and that it’s smashing social structures with abandon, that would be accepting blame for their own actions. Or that many of New Labour’s impulses were to the right.

Of course 15 months is long enough to bank the flames, though, with the way they’re guillotining the futures of so many. They destroyed the future of the industry I work in, in this country, after just three days in power, for instance.

And of course I’m interested in “root causes”. I’m interested in solutions, while you’re just interested in blaming the Left. The analysis is anything but superficial, while you are happy to see things smoulder, rather than putting the fire out. Never mind that the next fire will be worse.

103. theophrastus

LW at 102:

“And you lead with the insults.”

Errr…I was quoting your description of your own comment. Do keep up.

“if [the cuts have] “hardly started”, then millions will starve in the streets and it’s time to reverse course”

You are never knowingly understated, are you? Do you seriously believe that reducing public expenditure to 2006/7 levels will lead to mass starvation? Please get a grip. That is pure piffle.

“…the Left, who haven’t been in power since 1979″

It’s also the No True Scotsman fallacy. Moreover, that’s just defining ‘the Left’ to suit your prejudices and to enable you to avoid the Left having to take any responsibility for the last Labour government. And if you seriously believe that the pre-1979 Labour government was more left-wing than New Labour, you don’t know what you are talking about. Don’t you remember Healey’s cuts?

Your analysis is ‘It’s the cuts’. And that sounds pretty superficial and simplistic to me.

@103

Left-wing vs. Right-wing and cuts vs. no cuts are unrelated. The difference between the pre-1979 Labour cuts and the cuts that are coming now is that the former happened because they had no choice (and had to go to the IMF to bail us out). The cuts as they are now may be because of fear of the bond markets – but make no mistake, those on the right of the Tory party wanted to make these cuts even when the going was good, because they can’t stand to see the proles having a reasonable standard of living.

105. Leon Wolfson

@103 – If the cuts have not yet started, given their front loaded nature, then we’re going a LOT further back than that. Of course, in reality, they’re well underway – organisations expected to cut back next year’s budget have to get started THIS year, after all.

106. theophrastus

@ 104:
“they can’t stand to see the proles having a reasonable standard of living”

No, don’t be silly. They want the proles to have a decent and economically sustainable standard of living – not one that consists of debt-fuelled handouts and welfare dependency.

107. Leon Wolfson

@106 – Oh THAT’S why they’ve killed economic growth and slashing the very programs which give the poor the possibility of bettering themselves then.

Right.

Er, funny way to be doing that, massively accelerating inequalities.

Tax evasion is looting? Impossible. Resisting theft cannot be theft, even ‘stealing’ back what was stolen from you cannot be theft if it was yours by right in the first. This contradiction arises from the false premise that taxation isn’t theft.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  2. Lanie Ingram

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  3. Lee Hyde

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  4. Andy Saul

    Brilliant analysis from @sunny_handal RT @libcon Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  5. Hive

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  6. matthew choules

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  7. Eelyn Lee

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  8. Very frustrated Pete

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  9. James Dunford

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  10. Stephen Coltrane

    RT @sunny_hundal: My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q << Good article

  11. Mark Rowland

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  12. benbryant

    Great piece RT @sunny_hundal My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  13. sujatin

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q (by @sunny_hundal)

  14. Carl Legge

    Rationally put by @sunny_hundal >>> 'Only poor people go looting', and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/T5VsuAZ via @libcon

  15. evelafay

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  16. jethrobelman

    RT @sunny_hundal: My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  17. Kambi Thandi

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims', very good mister, very good: http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  18. Fadia Faqir

    But rich people do go out looting; they just do so in other ways. MT @sunny_hundal: My response to the #londonriots http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  19. Peter. P

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  20. Owen Blacker

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  21. davidgerard

    People are acting like the markets. Sensing a weakness in the establishment, they exploit it. They are shorting the law http://t.co/cycdeqG

  22. Dr Dick Nelson cmt

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  23. Sandy Nicholson

    Which is worse? Looting by disaffected youth, or bankers’ greed? http://t.co/HtD9Rk5 (Neither is, of course, excusable.)

  24. Ulrich

    Sunny Hundal : "rich people do go out looting; they just do so in other ways" http://bit.ly/qure68

  25. Olly The Octopus

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6H1VwZO via @libcon

  26. Olly The Octopus

    Well put @sunnyhundal http://fb.me/GhELZdNK

  27. Rebecca Taylor

    Agree with @sunny_hundal that it's possible to differentiate between mindless violence + political protest http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q #LondonRiots

  28. What's in a name?

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  29. Allison Heller

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  30. Erik Nolander

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  31. Mike Tendler

    Bit lefty, but interesting viewpoint: Only poor people go looting, and other claims – http://t.co/Vecy3jd #londonriots

  32. Olly The Octopus

    well put @sunnyhundal @liberalconspiracy #londonriots… http://fb.me/DEcAkm3Z

  33. DPAC

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  34. Andreea Vrabie

    True RT @sunny_hundal: My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://t.co/tg44ETY via @Mihnea

  35. Jim Lynch

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  36. Reema Gehi

    Great piece RT @sunny_hundal My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  37. Ryan Bestford

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/pHrK5cl via @libcon

  38. Amila Jašarevi?

    @libcon feel the same way about the looters as me: http://t.co/4OT6t0z #LondonRiots

  39. George Berry

    The best articles I've read on the rioting this morning http://t.co/Lb4L8Xx via and http://t.co/EECoFsU

  40. Noxi

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/rnnxXr

  41. Richard Hall

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/rnnxXr

  42. Simon Proctor

    http://is.gd/EsqF2J Only poor people go looting…. an other silly claims.

  43. Stephe Meloy

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  44. Rich

    Great, great article by @sunnyhundal http://t.co/SuNCCGH

  45. Ed Brown

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  46. Stephen Buggy

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jyV5Bcu via @libcon

  47. Scosmico

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/YMuewjc via @libcon

  48. Jonathan Scott

    Are tax evasion & tax avoidance (legalised, in the latter case) a form of looting? #Gibraltar http://t.co/ONq1j8F

  49. Mark Carrigan

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LR6OxVd via @libcon

  50. selwynf

    Are tax evasion & tax avoidance (legalised, in the latter case) a form of looting? #Gibraltar http://t.co/ONq1j8F

  51. Roland Ellison

    Nice post and links from @sunny_hundal http://t.co/VcZC2op via @libcon #riotscleanup in particular http://t.co/6g845bw

  52. takhalus

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  53. S. Farhan Lala J.

    RT @takhalus: RT @sunny_hundal: My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  54. Kensy Joseph SJ

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy: http://t.co/z38Pdib via @addthis

  55. Brenda Cuby

    Are tax evasion & tax avoidance (legalised, in the latter case) a form of looting? #Gibraltar http://t.co/ONq1j8F

  56. Sunny of the Day

    [...] Hundal wants to jail one of his own contributors. I always knew he was a rum’un. Plus, what is tax evasion and tax avoidance if not (legalised, in the latter case) looting? This [...]

  57. Iain Paulin

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/YRovhRr via @libcon

  58. Tom Marshall

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LR6OxVd via @libcon

  59. ??? ???

    http://is.gd/EsqF2J Only poor people go looting, & other claims by @sunny_hundal

  60. thesvelteone

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  61. Pamela Heywood

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://dlvr.it/fTd5H

  62. Samina Zahir

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  63. Scosmico

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/NcWmS4A

  64. Linda Wainwright

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/h3Yg0VN

  65. Linda Wainwright

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://dlvr.it/fTd5H

  66. bint battuta

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  67. Zoya Rehman

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  68. sohail

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  69. Imran Naqvi

    http://bit.ly/qKXNkF Completely agree with this assessment, my only hope is that this doesn't escalate

  70. Kareem El-Borai

    RT @Sarahcarr: http://is.gd/EsqF2J Only poor people go looting, & other claims by @sunny_hundal

  71. Simon

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/H0wZdXc

  72. Mary Lia Reiter

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LR6OxVd via @libcon

  73. John Stanley

    http://bit.ly/qKXNkF Completely agree with this assessment, my only hope is that this doesn't escalate

  74. cult of travel

    My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  75. Aly

    A very sober look at #londonriots http://t.co/qG2uoni

  76. Huw

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LR6OxVd via @libcon

  77. Nome Cognome

    A very sober look at #londonriots http://t.co/qG2uoni

  78. RodBScherich

    Group behavior becomes mob mentality: Why is this ?@mark_carriagan @ http://www.gvltec.edu #Group behavior & deviance http://ow.ly/5YCFk

  79. Fouad GM

    Sunny Hundal for the Liberal Conspiracy || Only poor people go looting, and other claims || http://bit.ly/nkekxy #LondonRiots #UKRiots

  80. sunny hundal

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  81. Jazz Khalifa

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/KyZzH0l via @libcon #londonriots

  82. Miss Lucy

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  83. eithne horgan

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  84. Brian Routh

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/A6Ne0xN via @libcon

  85. Joe Rennison

    @sunny_hundal writes this about #londonriots. http://t.co/Jl5ZgrR

  86. Amber

    I can't agree with #1, but #2 is spot-on: http://t.co/485Czxf

  87. Hayley Davis

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/osEujXA

  88. Adam Clare

    Well written RT @TheCurlyLucy: 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  89. InternationalUNCUT

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  90. Adam Clare

    Well written: RT @sunny_hundal 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' -my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  91. Steve Thorp

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  92. Aleksandar Bratkovi?

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/fW8E4h0

  93. garbuixgrafic

    @nani_caldu @davidjane1976 http://t.co/kCAjysv aquí teniu una visió del tema des de l'esquerra.

  94. Merlin Harries

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  95. Ajay

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  96. Helen Clavering

    this might resonate for eg @ladyofsalzburg http://t.co/rliu1Mu

  97. Philip Marsh

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc (via @sunny_hundal)

  98. Davina Gee said

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  99. Rakesh Bungar

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  100. totti

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/kevrnhO

  101. Jonathan Max Spatz

    http://t.co/HaqCiHy beyond the opening, this is a succinct summary of the debate taking place with good links to pertinent vids of #london

  102. hellomachina

    "will always defend [political protest] but this is not political any more" http://bit.ly/qeG8vw

  103. Paul

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  104. Dominic

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/9urupnl

  105. ed gillespie

    Most excellent insight from Sunny as always: http://bit.ly/nkekxy #londonriots #asenseofperspective

  106. Theo Smart

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://bit.ly/nkekxy

  107. Sharday

    Most excellent insight from Sunny as always: http://bit.ly/nkekxy #londonriots #asenseofperspective

  108. Briony Lumb

    Hopefully some sense will come about soon. Only poor people go looting, and other claims: http://t.co/PfWzCLc via @libcon

  109. Jose Aguiar

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/07WO5jL via @libcon

  110. Rose Heaney

    @GrahamAttwell @dajbelshaw try these views including video at the end http://t.co/4Bnkyz8 via @sunny_hundal

  111. Lisa McIntire

    RT @sunny_hundal: My response to the #Londonriots – 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://bit.ly/ooCV9Q

  112. L E T ? C K S H O P

    /// http://t.co/zxoGWeN

  113. Gail

    @fragmentz Oh, are you not on FB at the mo? I think it was the most recent thing I posted. I'll just find it. There: http://bit.ly/nkekxy

  114. Iain Whistlecraft

    'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' – my article on #londonriots from earlier http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  115. Faronomics

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/NXKJij8 #londonriots

  116. Tony Diaz

    The myth that "only poor people go looting" http://t.co/ueMMmYc

  117. Iulia Leilua

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/C0eRSxx via @libcon

  118. Iulia Leilua

    Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/C0eRSxx via @libcon

  119. The Riots – some initial thoughts « CitizenZod66

    [...] http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/08/09/only-poor-people-go-looting-and-other-silly-claims/ [...]

  120. Alasdair Pettinger

    It was only a matter of time: 'Christ we look like #Haiti': http://bit.ly/nkekxy (comment 2) #londonriots #mindlessrhetoric

  121. Be a Sheffield man

    Excellent post by @sunny_hundal: Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/v8rfEVK via @libcon

  122. Paul Stovell

    . @buildstarted left: http://t.co/zhGG7id

  123. Robert Arbon

    @GuidoFawkes candidate for Order OTT, Sunny Hundal: "what is tax evasion and tax avoidance if not…looting" http://t.co/JdlUH4n

  124. Tony Breen

    RT @libcon: Only poor people go looting, and other claims http://t.co/mlYCZn1 Watch this video. Very interesting indeed!

  125. W.Kasper

    Burn his house down and kick his head in. It's the only language he'd understand: http://t.co/wu1xLA5

  126. Only poor people go looting, and other claims | Social Warriors

    [...] Liberal Conspiracy NewsPermalink ← Get up, clean up, sweep away the riots [...]

  127. sunny hundal

    @dannybananas see this http://t.co/vwnhiMc

  128. sunny hundal

    @bengoldacre mine was quite short actually :P 'Only poor people go looting, and other claims' http://t.co/vwnhiMc





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