Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past


3:04 pm - August 9th 2011

by Éoin Clarke    


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These nine UK teenagers (or younger) have been killed by rubber bullets. Let’s not deploy them in London

Brian Stewart 13, of Turf Lodge, Belfast, died in hospital six days after he was struck by a British army plastic bullet yards from his home. His inquest heard that the soldier did not know the rules governing use of baton rounds.

2. Stephen McConomy 11, Derry city, died three days after being hit by a plastic bullet in April 1982. Witnesses said Stephen was standing with his hands in his pockets when he was struck from a distance of 17 feet.

3. Frank Rowntree 11, of west Belfast, died four days after being struck by an allegedly doctored rubber bullet in April 1972 fired by a member of the British army. His inquest heard a British army representative admit he did not know at what distance it was permissible to fire a rubber bullet gun or at which part of the body it should be aimed.

4. Tobias Molloy 18-year-old Strabane Republican, killed by a rubber bullet fired by a soldier at the Camels Hump border crossing in July 1972. Rubber bullets were fired at youths attending his funeral.

5. Stephen Geddis 10, of west Belfast, died in August 1975, two days after being struck on the head by a rubber bullet.

6. Paul Whitters 15, Derry city, died in April 1981, 10 days after being struck on the head by a plastic bullet fired by the RUC.

7. Julie Livingstone 14, of Lenadoon estate, west Belfast, struck by a plastic bullet as she returned from a shop near her home in may 1981 and died the next day. Witnesses said rioting in the area began AFTER she was shot.

8. Carol Ann Kelly 12, of Twinbrook, west Belfast, was struck by a plastic bullet near her home in May 1981 and died two days later. She, too, was returning from a store and was carrying a carton of milk when she was shot.

9. Seamus Duffy 15, of Oldpark, north Belfast, was struck in the rib cage as he ran from RUC vehicles in the New Lodge area in August 1989. He died shortly afterwards.


Research from ‘Relatives for Justice’

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About the author
Eoin is an occasional contributor. He is a founder of the Labour-Left think-tank and writes regularly at the Green Benches blog.
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Reader comments


Quite, armour, batons, shields… as long as the police have the co-ordination and numbers there is no need to increase the chances of a fatal injury to someone any more.

If anyone who wants these riots to stop is advocating such tactics as rubber bullets, then they’re disingenuous, as all it’ll take is one mistake (an unintentional miss or unfortunate timing) and the riots will take on a whole new level of intensity.

Nuff said really.

Thank you for this, there are plenty of people out there calling for the army to get involved. I can only assume they want us pissed-off Londoners to be truly scared. You can usually avoid rioters and stay out the way of the police, but you can’t run from a soldier with a gun.

The first question that comes to mind, is how many lives has it saved?

The next question is – can the Met be trusted to judge when potentially fatally injuring someone “is for the greater good”?

The former, I doubt anyone can answer. For the latter, unfortunately, the answer is probably no.

The fact that there have been deaths from the use of rubber bullets in the past isn’t reason in itself for them not to be used in the future.

Arson and violence also have a long history of killing people. The secondary effects of these riots also indirectly kill people by disrupting emergency response and even more indirectly costing a shed load of money to rectify – which ultimately reduces the budgets available for other life saving government services like the NHS.

My point is that there is no use talking about absolutes. I don’t know a great deal about public order policing so am reluctant to comment on the utility of rubber bullets – but your post shows only one side of the argument.

As long as they’re only fired in the direction of looters, I don’t see a problem.

Now compare this to how many people have died after having their homes set on fire….

@5 That statement is moronic. The rioters move quickly and often get mixed up with bystanders. You could not fire into a moving crowd of looters and be sure who were hitting.

Identifying real trouble-makers and innocents also becomes difficult when tensions are high. Last night I approached some police at a blockade to ask how extensive the damage was to my neighbourhood. When I first approached they were immediately hostile because I was wearing a hoodie, and they kept me at a far distance yelling as politely as possible. I don’t blame them, but you can easily see how the same situation repeated with guns could have seen me shot simply for being a ‘youth’ on the streets.

Not to mention – do you really think somebody deserves to be killed for stealing trainers? Arrested sure, but are you okay with that person dying for it?

8. Wibble Wibble

Then you’d be daft to be on the streets if rubber bullets were being used. No?

Besides, how many have been killed by the real bullets these little b’stard ‘gangstas’ pack in their guns while looking for respec’ in their ‘community’?

“The fact that there have been deaths from the use of rubber bullets in the past isn’t reason in itself for them not to be used in the future.”

It’s a good reason not to, especially when there is no reason to believe that a co-ordinated police force can’t control the situation.

The student protests were a liberal’s nightmare in terms of how over the top they acted…but a few thousand officers completely shut down legitimate protests in to a few key areas with *minimal* damage and the only real injuries happened to the protestors.

It was heavy handed, it was unnecessary for what they were trying to control…but with that organisation they did what they couldn’t do with more riot police and less people to control yesterday.

Rubber bullets are essentially a state’s answer to halting an seriously armed riot, i.e. with heavy blades and/or guns, with minimal casualties and injuries. They are not the answer to people using chairs to smash down windows, and bricks to hurl at the police from a long enough distance that the police can protect themselves adequately.

“Besides, how many have been killed by the real bullets these little b’stard ‘gangstas’ pack in their guns while looking for respec’ in their ‘community’?”

I’d wager less.

@8 “Then you’d be daft to be on the streets if rubber bullets were being used. No?”

Are Londoners supposed to hide in their homes in terror 24/7? Because that’s worse than what the rioters have done.

I’d wager less

Less than nine gangland fatal shootings over the past 40 years? Seems a touch optimistic.

13. Shatterface

There’s no such thing as a ‘non-lethal weapon’ – but its only a motter of time before kettling kills someone too.

14. Eoin Clarke

I must say that the data above is not my own research but the work of the “Relatives for Justice”. So please do not give me any credit for the research. I merely brought the info to the attention of the UK mainstream public.

@13:
> its only a motter of time before kettling kills someone too.

And you can also kill people by hugging them to death.

If the police do absolutely anything, even without any arms or sticks or whatever, someone will eventually die. And then the police will be blamed. Like now it is blamed for being too heavy-handed and provocative, and too passive and not enough robust, at the same time.

Dr Eoin, I find your argument incoherent.

You don’t seem to distinguish between rubber bullets and plastc bullets, and demand that we do not use rubber bullets, which – as you should know having written an article about it (its even on Wikipedia) – were withdrawn in 1975. If you do not understand the difference, it makes me question the clarity of your reasoning.

You trot out a list of events from 30-40 years and demand that we make decisions now based on events then, not taking into account that just perhaps practice, policy and design have changed. That is strange reasoning. Perhaps we should also ban this year’s cars now because the Blower Bentley used a lot of fuel in 1927.

That plastic bullets have been used for 22 years since the last case on your list, and that that was an outlier with all the others being more than 30 years, and that – for example – they were in use throughout the 1980s and 1990s with a single incident on your list, suggests that any problem you might point to no longer exists.

Is there any evidence that plastic bullets as they would be used now are unnecessarily dangerous?

There’s no evidence in the article, and given the number of lives which have been placed at risk in these riots (have any been killed that we haven’t heard about yet?), I’d support the police deploying whatever they think they need to deploy.

17. Eoin Clarke

No.16. Check the chronology again. As for my argument, I did not really deploy one.

No.17 … As for my argument, I did not really deploy one.

Erm … you start the article with :
These nine UK teenagers (or younger) have been killed by rubber bullets. Let’s not deploy them in London

… and list the deaths. Yet you say you are not making an argument ?

…. Let’s not deploy them in London … you said. To me, that is ‘making a case’, or ‘making an argument’. Feel free to correct me, but it looks like a duck, and it certainly quacks like one …

@7 Wuffy,

The people should have their right to keep and bear arms returned to them, rather than be locked down in a police state. If then criminals decide to loot and get shot in the act, fine.

As to your question:

“Not to mention – do you really think somebody deserves to be killed for stealing trainers? Arrested sure, but are you okay with that person dying for it?”

In a situation of total lawlessness, yes I am okay with that.

I’m happy with my chronology – what are you questioning?

21. Shatterface

‘The people should have their right to keep and bear arms returned to them, rather than be locked down in a police state. If then criminals decide to loot and get shot in the act, fine.’

And of course, looters could never get their hands on weapons too – least of all from the places they are looting; nor would violence escalate if someone shot into a crowd.

Right-wingers wont be happy until live ammunition is used. It’s the only thing that will satisfy their bloodlust.

@19. Trooper Thompson

It’ll never happen, this isn’t America. The British do not arm their citizens with guns, and a good thing too. Can you imagine what a bloodbath London would be right now if the rioters had guns?

“Is there any evidence that plastic bullets as they would be used now are unnecessarily dangerous?”

Yes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3583515

26. Leon Wolfson

@5 – Great. Kill a kid, the entire community comes out and riots. Not a problem!

Blood, murder, kill – the standard answer of a large, dangerous sect of the right.

Even more reason to use them!

28. ZootCadillac

As an ex soldier I’m going to have to call ‘so what’ on this. You are discussing a bygone age and a totally different scenario. Your pointing out the fatalities means nothing without comparing it to the number of incidents where rubber bullets were used and in what context.

If the police are trained to use and have available ( they are and they do ) ammunition which is on the whole a non-lethal alternative to live rounds then they should use it. If there are looters who die as a result then perhaps the attitude that they can loot with impunity might just peter out. There is no fear of authority in these people because the police ( and to some extent, the army due to there no longer being troubles in NI) have for a long time been incapable of managing large scale civil disobedience.

These looters have broken their social contract and if they come to harm whilst threatening harm to others then it’s naive and foolish to be concerned about it.

“As an ex soldier I’m going to have to call ‘so what’ on this. ”

So what… indeed. So what if despite all the training a fracas gets to the situation where a freaked out officer discharges it at an unsafe range, or is caused to shoot at the wrong angle.

So what if it just happens to hit a kid in the head or chest and lead to their death.

So what, it’ll only be another week, maybe month, of more legitimised rioting and unrest as a result. So what?

@23 Wuffy,

“It’ll never happen, this isn’t America. The British do not arm their citizens with guns, and a good thing too.”

In recent decades, this is true, but historically it’s certainly not the case. Where do you think the American’s 2nd Amendment comes from? The answer is English law.

” Can you imagine what a bloodbath London would be right now if the rioters had guns?”

If the shop-keepers had guns, the looters probably wouldn’t be looting.

@26

“Great. Kill a kid”

You’ve got all your moral outrage saved up for a hypothetical looter. How about a little for the people who are burned out and have lost everything they have?

I see that you’re lumping together the old style rubber bullet and the plastic baton round – they’re very different beasts.

Jesus, you people advocating the bullets aren’t even aware of the term “escalation” are you? I don’t “care” about the safety of the kid, as long as he’s not killed or put in serious injury (we are not a direct retribution state, thank god), what I care about is the many other lives, of the elderly, immobile, disabled, young…that could then be at a greater risk because of the heightened violence and scale of danger that situation causes.

Personally I find it distasteful that you disregard these lives in order to feel good about giving a hoody an injury.

“I see that you’re lumping together the old style rubber bullet and the plastic baton round – they’re very different beasts”

yeah, plastic bullets are more fatal when they hit the wrong place, albeit less likely to hit the wrong place in the optimum scenario. Plastic bullets have killed more people in NI than rubber bullets as far as I can see.

34. Leon Wolfson

@28 – Perhaps consider that the economic situation behind this is one where the bankers had no respect for any social contract. That we see daily abuse of it, when the government tears up work painstakingly put into place. That the social contract’s end end by the police has become tarnished, once more.

Unless it’s rebalanced, anything you do with force majeure is no more than a delay. Constant news stories – and they’re true, trying to suppress them would be a terrible idea – about how little tax corporations pay, about how the wealthy are turning the economy away from wages into unearned capital…

@30 – Thanks for demonstrating the value you put on Human life there. It’s quite possible to have shades of morality – of course rioting is wrong, but the murders you advocate so gleefully are above and beyond that. There have, yet, been mass deaths. But if kids die and communities come out…why do you WANT that to happen?

35. Zarathustra

The risks of using them have to be weighed against the risks of not using them. I don’t want to sound all gung-ho here, but if risking the life of a rioter prevents risking the lives of innocent people cowering terrified in their homes….Well, that rioter chose to be there. And as ZootCadillac says, they’ve broken the social contract.

@34

“Perhaps consider that the economic situation behind this is one where the bankers had no respect for any social contract. ..”

What are you? The self-appointed political wing of the looters? You should go and meet some of them, and see how much respect they give you.

@30 Yes, I’m aware of the history. However you are referring to a completely different age, the same rules do not apply.

I realise we are unlikely to persuade each other of anything, but I believe that if the shops had guns, the looters still would be looting… with more guns!

@35 and others with similar views, I repeat:
Even if you are fine with looters getting shot, there is simply no way that at least some bystanders would not end up hurt. Plenty of innocent people have *already* been hit by police with weapons – I’m not making accusations here, this can easily happen simply by accident in a fray or mistaken identity (as I have found as someone who like to wear hoodies). Start shooting into a crowd and there is simply no way you can guarantee the only ones hit will be the criminals.

Why start shooting when the police have alternative methods available to them?

@37

“However you are referring to a completely different age, the same rules do not apply. ”

I recognise my view is a minority one and that it introduces a totally hypothetical situation, (ergo. if the shop-keepers were armed etc) I only stated it to distinguish my position from those calling for something like martial law and a massive lock-down.

In the present situation, the most effective way to deal with the looters is the people standing up against them, which has happened in some places.

39. Leon Wolfson

@36 – Who are you, someone calling for people to be killed?

See, I can use hyperbole as well. Get real.

TT @ 19

The people should have their right to keep and bear arms returned to them, rather than be locked down in a police state.

Yes, because that was my first reaction to the riots; ‘hmm, of only there were more gunmen on the streets, that would really calm it down a bit.’

See this is the problem with you people. I enjoyed reading ‘Judge Dredd thirty years ago, but I grew up quick enough not to use ‘Mega City One’ as a template for society. Seriously, get a grip man, the last thing we need is even more guns.

It may surprise you to learn that we are not talking about Sweto or some South American conurbation, but London a European, civilised city, that happens to be going through a bit of temporary lawlessness. Okay, it is pretty bad, but let us retain a sense of perspective, London is not, on the whole, in flames.

@40

Some brave people, like the Turks and Kurds in Dalston, went in the streets and chased off the looters. They didn’t allow their shops to be wrecked and burned down.

They defended themselves and their property. If they hadn’t done it, no one would have. The police would have stood by and let it burn.

If you can explain to me why they are wrong to defend themselves, maybe I’ll reconsider my position.

42. Leon Wolfson

@41 – And they needed guns to do it? Seems they were pretty successful WITHOUT killing anyone.

I note that the article is cut and pasted in its entirety, apart from the 1st paragraph, from the Troops Out Movement website, and not attributed, and that the statement “research by Relatives for Justice” has actually been changed from “Pictures from Relatives for Justice”. The RFJ website appears to no longer exist.

http://www.troopsoutmovement.com/plasticbullets.htm

@lee

Both of the papers you quote are themselves 20+ years old, and one states in the summary:

“An examination of the three rubber bullet and 13 plastic bullet deaths reveals that most victims were shot from distances much less than that determined to be “safe” and in a manner that contrasted with the rules of engagement. ”

which suggests that the issue may be with how they were used a generation ago than how should be used now.

In this situation today:

a – People have been clearly asked to stay off the streets.
b – We have people rioting for the hell of it, supported by a political narrative which has been justifying violence for months and months.

I chose to prioritise the lives of innocent men, women and children above the very small risk from plastic bullets to rioters.

I say that is a correct decision.

Would you be making a different argument if a dozen people had been burnt to death above that Carpetright store?

Rgds

Aha.

The page on the RFJ website linked from the Troops Out movement has been deleted.

http://www.relativesforjustice.com/plastic/plastic_victims.htm

The website is there.

@42 that’s right, but some of them were armed, with sticks at least, and there were numbers of them.

I say they did the right thing, and that they were justified, because I believe people have a right to defend themselves, and are not obliged to be victims of scumbag criminals if they can defend themselves.

And I bet you agree!

Where you disagree is in believing that ordinary people should have the *means* to defend themselves, if they are not lucky enough to be tough enough or numerous enough to do what these guys did.

@45

As a gun owner I’m bloody glad we haven’t got your dream of NRA UK. You do yourself no credit by spouting such utter bollocks. Do you really want to see the general public carrying firearms on our streets? Do you actually believe it would help stop rioting? Do only the goodies have guns in your fantasy world?

Do we have comparable stats for fatalities arising from Police use of: tasers, water canon, police vehicles, police horses, and police dogs?

48. Leon Wolfson

@45 – So blood in the streets. Thanks for that contribution.

“Research from ‘Relatives for Justice’”

This would be the chuckie front organisation which regularly complains if PBRs aren’t used in loyalist areas.

It’s important to distinguish between the PBRs (not “rubber bullets”) and the manner in which they’re used. Julie Livingstone for example died because some idiot/twisted fuck (delete according to prejudice) fired the thing at the poor kid’s head, which is not how the things are supposed to be used. I would have concerns about them being used correctly by a force which has yet to fire one in anger, but if it’s the only way then so be it. I doubt Londoners are prepared to see recreational rioting become as popular as it is in Belfast.

50. Wibble Wibble

Lee Griffin

upthread you wager that fewer than nine people have been killed by these gangsta muppets…

Boy, do you know how way off the mark you are. Have a look at the stats for murder by shooting for yourself (just gang-related and in London if you want to improve your chances!) 0ver a couple of years, never mind over the 40 year period of rubber bullet use.

TT @ 41

Christ mate, look at what you are talking about. You are looking at all out warfare on the streets. Not just a riot, which is bad enough, what we are talking about are pitch battles between armed gangs! Okay, some people defended their houses and shops, good on them, but gun battles on the streets? Come on, look at the position we are actually living in, as opposed to some kind of Libertarian wankfest dreamworld you appear to be living in.

I don’t mind you guys with the ‘think the unthinkable’ routine, but surely to fuck there needs to be a reality filter added? I have rarely seen a situation where universal gun ownership appears to be the answer and by the Christ, if you are suggesting ‘Peckham’ and ‘Ealing’ are the best examples, then the gun lobby are seriously fucked up.

“Boy, do you know how way off the mark you are. Have a look at the stats for murder by shooting for yourself (just gang-related and in London if you want to improve your chances!) 0ver a couple of years, never mind over the 40 year period of rubber bullet use.”

Sure, show me the stats of gang land murders by shooting that are committed for the purpose of gaining “respec'”.

“Both of the papers you quote are themselves 20+ years old, and one states in the summary:

“An examination of the three rubber bullet and 13 plastic bullet deaths reveals that most victims were shot from distances much less than that determined to be “safe” and in a manner that contrasted with the rules of engagement. ”

which suggests that the issue may be with how they were used a generation ago than how should be used now.”

The “issue” is they are potentially fatal if used at the wrong range, or if they hit above the diaphragm. Thankfully it appears very few have been fired in modern times (as you say), but this does not change that all it takes is one awry shot, one circumstance to go wrong, and someone could die, and this could all get a lot worse.

“I chose to prioritise the lives of innocent men, women and children above the very small risk from plastic bullets to rioters.”

But you don’t though, you skip a whole barrel of logic and consequence and jump to a disproportionate level of force, which is uncharacteristic of you as far as I’m concerned.

What you’re choosing is to ignore that sufficient police numbers and appropriate use of intelligence can stop what’s going on, and hopefully we’ll see that proved in London (though clearly Manchester have been asleep). you’re going to skip to something that is potentially lethal, more lethal than the proportionate weaponry used so far, and allow a situation that could put MORE innocent people at risk, directly through the use of the plastic bullets, or indirectly through the increased violence that a serious injury or killing of a child will surely cause.

You’re prioritising a primal urge over common sense.

“Would you be making a different argument if a dozen people had been burnt to death above that Carpetright store?”

No, as the problem with that store as far as I’m aware is that no-one was anywhere near it (authority wise) to even dissuade the attack.

54. Charlieman

@47. Bob B: “Do we have comparable stats for fatalities arising from Police use of: tasers, water canon, police vehicles, police horses, and police dogs?”

Comparable with what, Bob?

Tasers: Yup, they kill and seriously injure people in the UK. Under UK police guidance, tasers are logically pointless. Tasers may only be used if the police feel that they are mortally threatened, in which case the police are also entitled to shoot people. Reality is that tasers are used more often than guns and in situations where police would never use a gun. Get rid of tasers.

Water canon: We don’t use them in the UK.

Police vehicle impact fatality: Too many, and almost always bystanders. End high speed police car chases.

Police horse impact fatality: A trained horse is averse to injuring people. A horse moving at speed will knock you flying but a more likely cause of injury will be the bloke on the horse’s back. If you are prone, a trained horse will try not to run over you.

Police dog bite fatality: Dog bites are potentially fatal so police dogs are trained not to bite. I did not see the police dog that nailed a bloke attempting to break into my next door neighbour’s but I heard the encounter. I did see the wet patches on my concrete driveway. Death by police dog or police horse is a freak incident. Death by a privately owned “security dog”, unattended and uncontrolled, is more common but the frequency is still unusual.

” Tasers may only be used if the police feel that they are mortally threatened, in which case the police are also entitled to shoot people. Reality is that tasers are used more often than guns and in situations where police would never use a gun. Get rid of tasers.”

They bridge the gap between mortally threatened by assault (extendable baton) and mortally threatened by gun (pistol or MP5). If, for example, someone’s got a knife. It’s more reasonable to taser them than to shoot them, given the former is much much less likely to kill in the way it will be officially used.

Keep tasers 😉

personally, I believe that ANY person (be that parent or not), who is of sound mind and is a decent honest person with no hand in these troubles, will be in their homes with their loved ones trying to keep away from harm…

What sort of person would be wandering around the street of our major cities in the thick of the rioting other than somebody who is there to riot? As a parent are you going to let your children out of the house when all of this is going on? the answer SHOULD be no… and if there are children that are allowed by their parents to go off and roam the streets creating chaos and f*cking up their own communities then they deserve to be struck as many times as it takes to get the message across that they CANNOT behave like this and it is completely unacceptable!!

There really do need to be some real consequences and real hard lessons being learnt by these sh*tbags!!

This said, I think that a decision should be made and the police, who have been doing their best and working very hard, should be joined on the streets by the British Army. A real presence needs to be felt, and fear needs to be injected into the British public so that these types of things do not happen.

this has nothing to do with dictatorship or abuse of power. The lack of real authority of the Police has been noted ever since the Rioting that came of the Students’ Protests just a couple of months ago when Harrods was getting smashed up by scummy C*nts!

I say… enough is enough!!!

“What sort of person would be wandering around the street of our major cities in the thick of the rioting other than somebody who is there to riot?”

journalists, photographers, curious individuals, people that recognise that it’s still largely safe to be out aside from a few areas…

” The lack of real authority of the Police has been noted ever since the Rioting that came of the Students’ Protests ”

The police kettled the students to such a degree that a riotous attitude was created, they showed too much “real authority”.

58. Rick Worth

On the other hand, arson, violence and real gunfire have killed plenty more in London. It’s a question of balance. Personally I’d prefer the police to fire a few baton rounds than allow the other to continue.

@lee

Thanks for taking the time for a detailed response.

I’m not saying “use plastic bullets under all circumstances”; I’m refuting the article’s blanket ‘don’t use them under any circumstances’, which is based on (as Eoin says) a lack of much an argument – though why anyone would repost a set of incidents from a generation ago without making an argument is a little baffling, and I think his desired conclusion is clear though his logic in getting there is not.

I don’t mean to jump straight to baton rounds; I mean be willing to use them if necessary and where appropriate.

We have the worst violence on the streets in England in my conscious lifetime – would the early 1970s be as bad? Don’t know, but I remember everything from 1980 on.

Would it be excessive in London at present? If it gets worse – no. Hopefully, as you say, it won’t get worse. Though of course the tool has to fit the context.

But if it did, I would happily have plastic bullets or water cannon used if necessary, and explicitly place safety of citizens above safety of rioters.

I’d also note that our Police Forces (including NI) have been more cautious than other countries.

These are the numbers for police use of baton rounds since 1981 in NI:

This is police use of baton rounds since 1981.

1981 19,649
1982 335
1983 545
1984 1,503
1985 906
1986 1,462
1987 1,908
1988 2,292
1989 836
1990 211
1991 235
1992 39
1993 497
1994 214
1995 273
1996 6,949
1997 2,527
1998 1,236
1999 111
2000 22
2001 (21 November) 89

(http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo020109/text/20109w18.htm#20109w18.html_spnew3)

That suggests more more recent use than you (and me) perhaps imply.12k have been used since Eoin’s latest fatality, which suggests that practice has much improved.

Replace 12k with “at least 12k”, since I don’t have numbers used since 2001, nor do I have numbers here for those used by the army not the police in NI.

61. Robert the crip

It was Saturday, August 19th, 1911, the third day of the national railway strike. There were 370 soldiers in the town who ensured that trains driven by blacklegs got through. A train had been standing on the town platform for some time, and was of concern to the Strike Committee. The train moved off at 2:30 pm, followed by a crowd of at least 250 people who had gathered at the Heolfawr crossing. It got within 200 yards of Union Bridge when it stopped because the Old Castle crossing gates were shut. Pursuing railwaymen climbed onto the engine footplate and raked out the fire, thereby immobilising the engine.

Within minutes Major Stuart arrived on the scene with 80 soldiers of the Worcester Regiment. They cleared the track at bayonet point and the crowd scrambled up the embankment. As a result of some stone throwing, Stuart ordered a firing squad to shoot at the young men sitting on a low wall in the garden of 6, High Street. Two men, Jack John and Leonard Worsell, were killed, one severely injured and one shot in the hand.
The soldiers were promptly marched back to the station. The soldiers remained inactive while looting later took place in Market Street and in the siding beyond the goods shed. An explosive truck blew up on the sidings, killing four people, before soldiers cleared the area just before midnight. 300 more soldiers of the Sussex Regiment arrived to help clear Market Street. There were over 700 soldiers in the town by this time.

By John Edwards Member of Llanelli Community Heritage Advisory Panel

For a full account of these riots see

62. theophrastus

MW @59/61: So the fatalities from PBRs are a tiny – almost vanishly small – percentage of the total PBRs fired. And Eoin Clarke’s propaganda is a gross distortion.

@62 Yes, the fatalities are a very small fraction. There are also injuries, too, of course, and all the critical stuff that Lee pointed out about not using them for the sake of being macho is critical.

But, yes – I do think that Dr Eoin’s simplistic call is a gross distortion.

And he seems, unaccountably, to have vanished.

Rubber bullets? Some of you guys need to sit down and actually read what you have actually written.

You do not restore law and order with rubber bullets, for fucks sake. Rubber bullets and water cannon are the tools of totalitarian States, not liberal Countries. What we need is a return to law and order, not some kind of junta patrolling the streets willing to shoot on sight anyone who fails to toe the line.

I sometimes wonder about the Right and the so called ‘Libertarian Right’ in particular when it comes to this type of thing, I really do. When it suits you people, you are all ‘small state this’ and ‘voluntary agreement that’ and ‘self regulation’ the next thing. The same people who scream ‘big brother’ at the idea of speed cameras monitor their every journey are now demanding every arsewipe ‘solution’ from water cannon and plastic baton rounds to keep the populace under the jackboot. Fuck me, one guy on Radio 5 even had the suggestion of putting troops onto the street. Yep, some halfwit who has seen the success of Northern Ireland and Palestine thinks that troops on the street is the way to solve anything. Honestly guys, you really have a cup of tea and a hob nob before you pop a vein or something, because you are heading for an early grave.

You do not prevent riots by sliding into a fascist State, you prevent riots by connecting people to the society.

Why don’t any of you cunts riot. You are all unhappy about something or other, yet you never riot, do you? Every blogg written by someone the Right is a scree about being constantly furious about something other. Yet you never riot. Why is that? Forget all th ‘I was taught right from wrong’, ‘I respect property and the law’ bullshit. There are no water cannon outside your house, yet you don’t riot because, you are pretty well off and pretty well part of society, that is why.

That is what we need to do, we need to connect people to society, not shoot them.

The quicker you cunts understrand his the better.

Rubber bullets and water cannon are the tools of totalitarian States, not liberal Countries.

Totalitarian states like France, Italy and the UK? All of them routinely use water cannon and baton rounds in countering riots.

As it happens, I think that water cannon would be ineffective in this scenario (it’s suitable for pitched battles between rioters and police, not randomised looting) and baton rounds are probably unnecessary given that the overwhelming majority of the looters don’t seem to be armed themselves. But the suggestion that their use would be ‘totalitarian’ is farcially hyperbolic.

66. theophrastus

Jim @ 64:

“You do not restore law and order with rubber bullets, for fucks sake.”

They can certainly help to disperse rioters.

“Rubber bullets and water cannon are the tools of totalitarian States, not liberal Countries.”

Actually, in totalitarian states, they shoot rioters – which is not something we want to to happen here. See Syria, for example.

“you prevent riots by connecting people to the society”

That is platitudinous. What do you mean exactly? And prevention is one thing, but how do you disperse riots? It seems to me that PBRs are one tool in the riot control armoury – to be used judiciously and selectively depending on the situation.

And why are these people disconnected from society? As I wrote on another thread:

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…

Jim,

That is what we need to do, we need to connect people to society, not shoot them.

What do you think is the best means of ‘connecting to society’ a vandal, looter, arsonist or person attacking the police or other people?

@ 64, Jim

So you say that these people need to be ‘connected’ back to society.

Lets hear some REAL, constructive suggestions on how to do it. The left/liberal left have been ploughing more and more money into ‘projects’ and ‘schemes’ for the inner cities for the last 15 years, and yet it has accomplished nothing. The failure is on a, literally, breathtaking scale. The only people that have benefitted through all that have been the people with jobs funded by those projects, who are by and large from outside the communities they are working in.
Gun/drug crime in some areas of London is on a frightening scale, considerably worse than Moss Side (remember Gunchester) in the 90’s. There are no jobs in those areas because, quite frankly, a large number of the black male population are unemployable. They have no skills, are illiterate, have no respect for other people’s property, and absolutely no idea of what a days work entails.

If they only respect violence and overwhelming force (the old bullies are cowards argument), then can you really be surprised when a lot of people support that as a solution (after all, the army have much bigger guns)
Whether they have no respect for anything IN SPITE OF the money that has been thrown at some of the communities is debatable. I would hazard a guess that they have no respect for anything BECAUSE OF all that money. It has been continually given, and given. They have come to expect it as a right, having never been taught that rights and responsibilities come hand in hand.

Anyway, I’m getting off-topic a bit. You say that these people need to be connected to society. That is such a vague statement as to be utterly meaningless. Lets hear your wonderful proposals on how that is to be accomplished, bearing in mind the last 15 years of failure

I look forward to hearing reasoned reply to #65, #66, #67 and #68, someone who feels they can support #64’s comments, and refute those made against it.

Jim, if its you replying, try not to descend back the ‘You stupid c*&ts don’t get it’ that you used in your last post. Instead, a good, well reasoned argument, that destroys the points made, and comes up with fresh solutions, will go a lot further than something along the lines of “you’re a daft twat, so I’m going to make a short speech containing the worst of social-worker-speak, and insult and ignore you”

Please also note that NONE of the replies to #64 were insulting to you personally, and yet you felt the need to insult and denigrate those who had the temerity to post suggestions that you disagreed with.
Something to think about, isn’t it ?

70. Leon Wolfson

@69 – And they’ll read them this time…why?

I can talk, again, about the nonsense peddled against the left, who haven’t been in power since 1979. About how I’m still looking for suggestions as to how to connect people to communities they’re being forced out of. Suggestions, again, for how to generate hope without jobs.

The concept that the advances which /were/ made in the last 15 years, such as on child poverty were worthless is all that’s offered. People who say loudly that the authoritarian and often right-wing New Labour were somehow Avatars of the left.

What are theophrastus’s suggestions? Well, what might they be?

1. Making it harder for abused women to leave marriages
2. Abolishing the HRA, leaving this country an international pariah, and with rights laws from the 1800’s
3. People starving in the street
4. An isolated Britain, with trade barriers against us for the rest of Europe, with China ignoring us and with plummeting GDP. Never mind that we have very few immigrants compared to other Anglophile democracies.
5. Kicking out every community which is not identikit. Attacking MY identity as British, simply because I hold views different from the narrow range he finds allowable
6. Absolute morals for the poor, completely ignoring the situation. “He might have saved a life, but he jaywalked. JAIL!”. Get out jail free passes for the rich, and claiming this as absolute as well.
7. Denial of education to the poor.
8. Ripping away even more funding to charity groups, closing even more, then wondering why.

It’s all about problems, always listing problems, rather than solutions. And when I list them, the right *mock*. Always punishing the poor, always more ways to hurt them, no empathy, no hope ALLOWED.

It’s sickening.

71. theophrastus

Further to my comment @ 66, there is a ninth factor:

9. The Criminal Justice system: Our enfeebled criminal justice system cares more about offenders than victims, and many on the left believe that punishment itself is wrong. Consequently, many offenders often don’t get a severe enough punishment to deter them from offending again or to deter others from committing similar offences. Many of these rioters regard the penalties they would suffer if convicted with contempt. For those over eighteen, whatever custodial sentences they do receive (if any), they will serve just a fraction of their sentences, like most criminals in the UK. While, under the influence of left-wing ideology, those rioters under 18 will be treated as if they are the victims of the very crimes they have commited. They will probably be put on an Intensive Surveillance and Supervision Programme, where they will spend most of their ’sentence’ being escorted to gyms, adventure centres, DJ courses and having their lunches bought and paid for and they will even be given the bus fares to attend their ‘punishment’. There will be a minimum of community work as part of their ISSP, though in some parts of the country the Youth Offending Service will fail to implement this part of the ISSP. Meanwhile, they will also attend sessions where staff will ask them what feelings they were experiencing when setting their community alight and how best they could channel those feelings in the future….

72. theophrastus

LW @ 70:

“What are theophrastus’s suggestions? Well, what might they be?”

Your (1)-(8) are not my views, and they are certainly not implied (according to the laws of formal logic) by anything I wrote in my (1)-(8).

You seem incapable, such is your irrational rage, to understand nuanced positions. All of the points in my (1)-(8) admit of degree. My general view is that we have gone too far in certain directions under left-wing influence, and we need to move to more balanced positions.

73. Leon Wolfson

Given the left haven’t been in power since 1979… Never mind that the happy, successful countries are to our left, not our right, eh?

And of course you’re not about to admit the logical consequences of what you called for. You’re just interested in listing problems, not following them to their logical conclusions. I’m interested in the practical effects on people. If you don’t want me to draw the lines, do it yourself.

I see no nuance, nothing but the typical right wing dream-crushers, the protection of privilege and wealth and capital before people.

@ 70 Leon. Now that’s what I’m talking about !

1. I agree. However, the pendulum has swung way too far in the other direction. Parents must not be allowed to abuse their children, but discipline is another matter entirely. Parents should be allowed to do that, without interference from the courts. This would entail the establishment of what is/is not alowable in law, but physical discipline should be permitted. (our mum used to pinch us on the back of the arm/leg, damn, it made us jump, but it also worked)

2. Was this country an international pariah before the HRA came into being ? No. So why, on abolition, would that occur. However, a replacement for the HRA, being the HRRA (human rights and responsibilities act), would go a long way to dealing with any issues there.
3. Welfare being made dependent on the willingness to try to find employment, and if not possible, to undertake community work, regularly and diligently.
4. There are a number of countries which are in Europe, but not part of the EU. Norway especially comes to mind (most others are in the old eastern bloc, and candidate members). I don’t see massive trade barriers/an ignored country there. Remember that the EU was originally the EEC, a free trade area. I don’t personally see how wanting to go back to that would be such a bad thing.
Also, to say we would become marginalised if leaving the EU, is exactly the same argument that was used as to why we should have joined the Euro at the start, else we would be marginalised/left behind, etc.
5 and 6. I agree with you entirely.
7. I disagree here. The original post did not wish, in any way, to deny education to the poor, rather they feel that the education system has failed the poor, and thus needs a large amount of rebuilding. I’ve seen it where I work, with 17-18 year olds with a load of GCSEs, but a marginal grasp of mathematics and literacy. That system does need looking at, and very seriously, to ensure that children leaving school have a good grasp of the ‘3 Rs’
8. Once again, its about focus. If the funding was reduced, but lots of the ‘back office’ expenditure from charities/clubs could also be removed, then you might find that the actual (front line) cash would be increased. As an example, I volunteer for a badminton club’s junior section. We have a minimum of 3 volunteers for each session (usually 4, 2 male, 2 female). We all have our CRBs done annually. now, we have to pay initially for our CRBs, then apply through a sports funding body to get our CRBs refunded, and all the admin that entails. Then, when we eventually get the money for that, we have to go through more hoops with the council to show that we have these done, each person has to go to the council offices to get their passes to work with children, taking their CRB and ID, and only then can we do the work for the club that we are VOLUNTEERING for. The end result is that fewer and fewer people volunteer due to the hassle involved, and the admin costs for the sports body, CRB, council are undoubtedly huge.

75. theophrastus

LW @ 73:

“Given the left haven’t been in power since 1979…”

This is the No True Scotsman logical fallacy, I’m afraid. The 13 years of Labour misrule did huge damage to the economy, criminal justice, the voluntary sector, education and through mass immigration social cohesion.

“Never mind that the happy, successful countries are to our left, not our right, eh?”

Err, Scandinavia? I think you’ll find that their economies are even more neo-liberal than ours, and they are not the social democratic paradises that some suggest they are. And Germany doesn’t even have a minimum wage and has forced wages down quite ruthlessly.

And of course you’re not about to admit the logical consequences of what you called for.

Because they are not the logical consequences of my diagnosis of the fundamental causes of the riots. If you believe they are the logical consequences, then you clearly don’t know what logic is!

“You’re just interested in listing problems…”

I’m interested in listing causes and reasons for the large number of inadequately socialised, semi-feral and criminally inclined people in this country

“… not following them to their logical conclusions.”

Oh dear this is embarrassing for you. You just have no idea what constitutes a logicall inference, do you?

“I’m interested in the practical effects on people.”

So am I. The practical, long-term effects of left-wing ideology.

“I see no nuance…”

Because you persist in seeing things in black and white, Manichaean terms, and persist in making invalid inferences about my views from my previous comments

“nothing but the typical right wing dream-crushers”

I’m interested in achieving better outcomes for the people that the left has so signally failed to help, preferring as it does to keep them as clients of the state.

“the protection of privilege and wealth and capital before people.”

The problem with socialism and the politics of envy is that their solutions are worse than the initial problem. As for social democracy, there’s plenty of privilege, wealth and capital in Scandinavia…The important thing, in my view, is to maximise the minimum, not minimise the maximum in pursuit of ‘more equality’…

76. Leon Wolfson

“Left, left, left”.

No. New Labour was, at best, Centralist with Right tendencies. Not of the Left. It’s actions, as opposed to your rhetoric, prove that quite convincingly. Who voted for it, too, is notable.

That you can deny the success and resilience of the far more socialist and left-wing Nordic Countries is funny. Yes, of course they have large market elements to their societies – the free market is not capitalism, as much as the right love to conflate them. Inequality is something on which they don’t only waste words, but take action to correct.

There is a LOT more redistribution of wealth in the Nordic states. And that *allows* people there to be far more individualistic, to associate freely and not through need. There is a strong social contract, of the type not seen in Britain since Thatcher finished off any concept of it from our society.

And of course you duck and dive from the consequences of what you call for. That you say I see things in black and white, when you’re condemning people simply for being poor is funny, and not in a good way.

You advocate nothing but the same corporate welfare the right does, redistributing wealth to capital with abandon, and then decrying feeding a little of that wealth back to the poor to help them. You’d stop them being “clients” of the state allright, by abandoning them to sink towns. That IS the practical effect of Tory policy, indeed.

The Tories, the right, are in Government now, and you can’t even look beyond condemning labour, to actually govern. “It’s killing this country, which I once loved”.

77. theophrastus

LW @ 76:

I think you have a reading comprehension problem. You are constantly arguing against a straw man of your own creation. For example…

I am not condemning anyone for being poor – only for being criminal.

I have never said that I oppose redistribution. Indeed, my quoting the maxim ‘maximise the minimum’ suggests some measure of redistribution.

And you persist in claiming that you have correctly identified the logical consequences of my criticisms of some left-wing ideas that have done immense damage when it is all too obvious that you have no idea of what logic is!

78. Leon Wolfson

@77 – If you don’t like my interpretations, supply your own. It’s really that simple. None of your points address only criminals, they address much of today’s society, which has been built by the centre and the right.

Show me the left wingers who have held power in politics here recently… (and not New Labour, that joke’s no longer funny)

@76 ” the free market is not capitalism, as much as the right love to conflate them. ”

The RIGHT like to conflate them? Pull the other one, its got an electronic jingle.

In general the whole was it right / left policies that caused the riots is entirely pointless at this stage. First restore order to the streets, cracking as few heads as possible to achieve this, then there may be some point in wittering on about the evils of benefit withdrawals that haven’t even happened yet.

In general the whole was it right / left policies that caused the riots is entirely pointless at this stage. First restore order to the streets, cracking as few heads as possible to achieve this, then there may be some point in wittering on about the evils of benefit withdrawals that haven’t even happened yet.
I agree totally.
It would be nice to see that we come to sort on consensus on the issues behind the riots.
The left predictably are blaming yoff unemeployment, which is nonsense because most of the rioters seem to be employed.
The right the liberal society, (education et al), thinking that countries such as the Nordic ones , Germany and Holland are far more liberal but their youth doesn’t go onto the streets to nick videos.
This problem is about west indian drug and gang culture and the lack of patrental control.
Whatever government is in charge it has to change the mind set of this community.
How, I haven’t a clue but I would suggest the change has to come from within.
As for Rubber bullets
Worst single eveer

@80 Do you like cricket though?

82. Leon Wolfson

@79 – If you want this to happen time and again as resources are poured into civil crackdowns and punishment for the sin of being poor, sure. Can’t possibly short-cut this by showing leadership and dealing with the issues.

And yes, it’s the right who refuse to let go of capitalism and the free market being the same idea. It’s ludicrous to anyone on the left who’s a cooperative or mutulist.

And we’re less than two months from the start of the Tory social cleansing program. Again, how do you get kids whose parents will have to move from their community, their roots, to connect with that community?

T loony
“The breakdown of the family: The family is where children are socialised and firs” acquire moral principles.”
True but why is this left or right wing issue
“Children in single parent families are much more likely to be undisciplined, unable to defer gratification, inclined to crime, and do poorly at school”.
How the hell are you going to stop single parents, shoot them?
” 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.”
Cobblers, they didn’t have families in soviet societies and they were barking.
Name ONE Labour politician who has denigrated the traditional family.

They have encouraged divorce, and subsidised single parenthood. And under the guise of children’s rights, they have sought to undermine parental discipline.
Good parenting is about boundaries, love and commitment not kicking the shit out of them.
Do agree with child abuse ?

Unsurprisingly, increasing numbers of children are inadequately socialised and at least partly feral.
In one community. Most kids are well adjusted nice humans unlike you

“” Diminishing respect for the Police and authority: As in (1), the left has generally sought to diminish respect for authority and the Police.”
Cobblers, Labour and Ken L put more on the streets and gave them more powers; in fact you right wingers called it over the top.

“rAny 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.”
If any group has undermined the authority of teachers, the police and others has been the right wing media

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.
I do agree with you about that

” 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.”
Who started mass immigration, the right in the fifties. Recent immigrants such as poles, white South Africans, and Asians work their socks off and have had a positive impact economically. Certainly more than likes of tossers who use portentous monikers

“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.”
I agree with you on this but you could argue the west indian community has adapted more than other community but they are the problem not the asians you despise so much

“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:”
Of course but right wing posters don’t do the same. We all do it and it is not a right or left issue

“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.”
State education has worked in germany and the countries like Finland. Also a stupid generalisation

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.
Yes nothing like paedo scout masters looking after your kids.
Or are you saying that because you are ……..
OH forget that
Sorry

Tim J @ 65

Yes, I am aware that they use this equipment on the continent and I am always struck that the use of baton rounds/plastic bullets and similar looks like the actions of the most disreputable regimes in the World.

I agree with you on water cannon, though. The wider point about water cannon I was making is more about the imagery it portrays rather than the tactics used. I believe that pseudo military hardware like that will alienate the general public from the police in the longer term and will end our civilian police force and turn it into a de facto junta designed around the needs of the economic elite. Once we cross that Rubicon, it will get easier and easier to justify putting them onto the streets until they, and whatever supersedes them in the future, are commonplace and routine. When we had the airport scares a couple of years ago, we had armoured cars that looked like small tanks on the roads, completely over the top. What next? Gun turrets and watchtowers in the most violent streets?

Baton rounds are a no, no in my book. Not only does it cross a line that takes us down the road to a police state, but let’s have a think for a minute.

Remember how we got here. A guy was shot and killed and some people ‘rightly or wrongly’ thought that justice had not been seen to be done. Let us imagine a nine year old girl taking a round to the head and dying. That is not going to calm anything down, is it?

To be honest, Tim, I don’t mind the Right Wing fuckwits that have started spouting out this reactionary crap, that is to be expected. A Tory MP has managed the old ‘bring back National service’. I seriously wonder if you (er) ‘guys’ give out prizes to the MPs that score the highest cliché count. I seriously don’t mind that stuff coming from the swivel eyed among your people, but I do expect the more intelligent among you to have a step back and look at the wider picture.

85. Leon Wolfson

@84 – Well, frankly, the idea of national service isn’t so terrible. One year, defined roles, working mainly in deprived areas.

And, unfortunately, the…er…voracious Tories want to frame the debate their way, so they “win” automatically”.

theophrastus @ 66

To take your points from one to eight in your post. Let us remember a few things.

Sweden has seen ‘family breakdown’ as well, so has Denmark and most of the Nordic Countries too, yet they never riot. I wonder why that is?

When did this welfare dependence occur? Here is a clue, when was the last time you had mass riots? You want to stop welfare dependence? Sure, why did you cunts calavry charge the miners? When did we see three million on the dole? The Tories, that is who. Guess what? You people caused the social breakdown and now you think you can fix it with removing the welfare State? Get fucking real. Social solidarity? From the people who ripped up whole communities? Get fucking real. Respect for the police? Who have turned policing into a political football? Who sacked the last head of the police and replaced him with a placeman? Who stopped recording the stop and search results?

And the Left is largely to blame? Fuck off you halfwit, go and find out why these things actually happened.

#86 Jim said …

…Sure, why did you cunts calavry charge the miners?
…Get fucking real.
…Get fucking real.
…Fuck off you halfwit,

Do me a favour please Jim, go back and READ my post #69.

If you’ve got valid points to make, then its entirely possible to make them without swearing at and belittling other people. After all, the ‘orrible tories and (probably BNP) people on here are doing it, so why can’t you ?
If you can’t make your political point in a mature manner, then you have no valid political point, just a huge chip on your shoulder. And that makes you even worse than the most rabid Daily Mail reader, because at least they are willing to try to explain WHY they feel the rioters should be shot/starved/cattle prodded/shipped to Van Diemens Land.*

* They haven’t worked out that Australia exists yet, I think. To them, it’s all Empire and the Raj still

Robbie P @ 68

Lets hear some REAL, constructive suggestions on how to do it. The left/liberal left have been ploughing more and more money into ‘projects’ and ‘schemes’ for the inner cities for the last 15 years

Well you say 15 years of failure, but where is your evidence for that? Sure you can say we have a failure now, but remember we haven’t seen anything remotely like this in 26 years (not 15). I would suggest that twenty five years without major riots would count as success in my book. It is only after a year of the ‘destroy, destroy, destroy’ polices of the Tories that we have saw community relations fail and the police being disconnected from the public that they are supposed to serve. We have been told that these community projects were a waste of money, but I would suggest the cost of four nights worth of riots will have more than wiped out any savings made by cutting these projects.

I do not live in London or anyway near it, but I would rather listen to those that do and see the real issues and what needs being done.

Connecting people to society is not easy when there are obvious fractures like the ones we saw this week. I happily concede that, but as a starting point, how about not parking huge amounts of military hardware on their estates? Just a thought?

What about providing a decent living wage to the people that DO go out and work? Instead of shitting onto people and rubbing it in, let us give them decent wages so that those that do toe the line actually can stand apart from the criminal gangs has something to show for it? Let us actually see people who go straight be able to earn the type of wages that the criminals get? Perhaps make being honest more profitable than being dishonest? Perhaps if we treat people as part of our society instead of an underclass, they might even be part of our society, instead of an undesirable underclass?

How about that?

Robbie P @ 87

Sorry but people who peddle this ‘everything is the fault of the Left’ get exactly the respect they deserve, none.

I cannot see what people like the above bring to anything. The Left did not destroy marraige the Right did that when they destroyed communities. The left did not expand the welfare State, that wasthe Right in the eighties, nor did the welfare state create unemployment either.

what???

what is wrong with these people on here, dont use rubber bullets who gives a fuck if they kill people there are scum of the earth on our streets today and this latest outrage is a joke police are doing everything and putting their lives on the line for this country these people need to be shot if they want to riot kill them if they want to loot kill them too put a stop to this crap. England is too soft

Jim (#89) said :

Sorry but people who peddle this ‘everything is the fault of the Left’ get exactly the respect they deserve, none.
I cannot see what people like the above bring to anything. The Left did not destroy marraige the Right did that when they destroyed communities. The left did not expand the welfare State, that wasthe Right in the eighties, nor did the welfare state create unemployment either
—————————————————————————-
there’s a perfect counter-argument to that, which goes like this :

Sorry, but people who peddle this ‘everything is the fault of the Right’ get exactly the respect they deserve, none.
I cannot see what people like the above bring to anything. The Right did not destroy marraige the Left did that when they introduced gay marriage and civil partnerships. The Right did not expand the welfare State, that was the Left in the late nineties/2000’s, with moving people onto disability, and if the welfare state pays too well, then it does create unemployment.

Your points, twisted around slightly.

After all, the tories were out of power from 1997 to 2010. Labour (or new labour, as it was), had a massive parliamentary majority from 1997 to 2005, what the hell were they doing ? They could have pushed through virtually any laws they wanted to, and yet they spent their time being blinkered and focused on banning hunting, as an extension of the ‘class war’

Admittedly, your viewpoint is still more valid than mark (#91), but then again, I’ve got a dog with a greater grasp of social policy than that person’s.

Anyway, I agree with you when you say : Let us actually see people who go straight be able to earn the type of wages that the criminals get? Perhaps make being honest more profitable than being dishonest?
Yup. drug dealing, theft, robbery, rape, a whole load of crimes, massive mandatory prison sentences. I’m talking 6 months for a first (minor) offence, just so they know what the prisons are like, and the full 20 year plus tariff after that. Hard labour in prisons, prisoners not having the Human Rights Act apply to them. Lets make being in prison so horrifying that these people go straight, and crime really does not pay. After all, if you froze half to death on Dartmoor while breaking rocks as part of a chain gang for 6 months, I reckon honest work would have a certain appeal.
Wasn’t that what you meant ? It seems a bit reactionary to me, a little “hang ’em and flog ’em”

“I reckon honest work would have a certain appeal.”

What honest work would this be, then? The work that doesn’t exist you mean?

Robbie p @ 92

The Right did not destroy marraige the Left did that when they introduced gay marriage and civil partnerships.

Eh? How does that work then? How does civil partnerships destroy marriage? You despise gay people, okay, fair enough, but do not conflate gay rights with the destruction of marriage.

The Right did not expand the welfare State, that was the Left in the late nineties/2000?s, with moving people onto disability

Typical Tory vermin. Too ashamed of your own policies, you have to pretend that they were someone else’s.

When are you people going to admit that you are unable to tell the truth? Tis is why I describe you people as scum etc. You are just making things up for your own political meeds.

To be fair to the current batch of Tories, though. You cannot be considered a true Tory until you have had at least one city in flames directly through your own policies. Well done guys, Thatcher would be proud of you.

Jim,

I believe that pseudo military hardware like that will alienate the general public from the police in the longer term and will end our civilian police force and turn it into a de facto junta designed around the needs of the economic elite.

Hmm… so the police aren’t a ‘junta’ today? This seems to be a change in your position.

When you wrote in March 2011, “From what I have seen on the Telly, which, itself is hardly an impassive viewer, it appeared that most of the violence was induced by the junta rather than the ‘protesters’”, what was the junta to which you were referring?

Or in July 2011: “If the political leaders of the day have the ability to choose the Leaders of the police, then we should not be surprised to find that the police cease to be keepers of the peace and the law, but become a junta for the Government.”

Or in December 2010: “The fact that the true ‘Right Wing’ are willing to line up to support the junta in their actions will further polorise the position.”

Or in November 2010: “When the police are given ‘carte blanche’ like this, then in my view, they cease to be police as I understand the term and become a junta. We are living in a de facto Police State.”

and, “This will be new to the Lib Dums, the erstwhile ‘conscience’ of the coalition though. No doubt there is a collective hard-on at the thought of having their own personal junta carrying out summery justice. ”

tee hee.

there’s a perfect counter-argument to that, which goes like this :

Sorry, but people who peddle this ‘everything is the fault of the Right’ get exactly the respect they deserve, none.
I cannot see what people like the above bring to anything. The Right did not destroy marraige the Left did that when they introduced gay marriage and civil partnerships. The Right did not expand the welfare State, that was the Left in the late nineties/2000?s, with moving people onto disability, and if the welfare state pays too well, then it does create unemployment.

Your points, twisted around slightly.

Generally if you’re going to play a game of reversies you might want to pick a couple of right wing bugbears that aren’t either demonstrably false or completely hat-stand.

Lets start with hat-stand – gay marriage/civil partnerships destroying marriage. Only in the fevered mind of an anti-gay bigot would this make sense, because, believe it or not, gay marriage is actually a conservative cause. You have a minority group whose relationships differ only slightly from the norm wishing to form legally recognised lasting bonds via the ancient institution of marriage, combine that with gay adoption and you have people actively campaigning for the right to form family units that the Tory party cheers and lauds as being the bedrock of society. It is in fact the complete opposite of what you claimed, indeed anti-gay bigotry has done more to rent and tear families apart when they throw out and abandon their gay children than any advance in gay rights could ever achieve.

As for demonstrably false, it depends on what you regard as “expanding” the welfare state. If you regard expansion as being the mere increase of available measures you can claim from (working tax credits for example) then yes labour did expand the welfare state.
If however you regard the expansion of the welfare state as the increase of people who are solely reliant on state handouts to live (ie such as the unemployed on JSA + housing benefit) then that expansion would fall upon the government that deliberately presided over the unprecedented destruction of swathes of the economy and watched with glee as it’s enemies, the trade unions, had their membership and strength devastated by them being put out of work. That is the sole work of neo-liberalism, which I wouldn’t call left by any measure.

@ #94 and #95

Thats just the problem. In no way at all do I believe in what I wrote. I did say that it was the perfect counter-argument for the right to use, against Jim’s whole point that ‘the right are all bastards, with nothing worth saying or listening to’ – and I view that as (hopefully) the argument of only the most rabid left.
A good friend of mine is a Lib Dem, party member, activist. However, his liberalism seems to be a little selective at times. During the general election last year, we went past a stand for the BNP. His immediate reaction was to say to me that such a party should be abolished/disbanded. I pointed out to him that, in a real liberal democracy, people are free to vote/have political parties in any direction from communist to Nazism, or even KKK if they really wanted to. It was the same with the PR vote (which I also supported, btw) during one of our discussions over a couple of pints, I pointed out to him that he would end up, in a 600 seat parliament, with about 30 BNP and UKIP MPs (nationally, they got just over 5% combined vote at the General Election). He was horrified, even though, as a couple of us pointed out, the most rabid ‘Sun’ reader (reader may be the wrong word) has a vote equal to his, and that was what democracy is about.
Jim’s liberalism seems to be all well and good, until you scratch beneath the surface, and find that he really feels that any political view that he does not agree with is obviously held by a total fuckwit, who should be incarcerated and never allowed to vote again.

Now tell me, is that REALLY a liberal viewpoint ?

Oh, and Jim, I certainly do not despise gays in any way at all, and I resent the accusation that I do. The best man at my wedding (14 years ago) described himself as a ‘raging queen’ quite regularly, and though he is sadly no longer with us, he is still greatly missed. I’ve been to a few gay/lesbian weddings, and am at another one in 3 weeks. Myself and my wife have quite a few gay friends, including some that are ‘out’ to us, but not to many other people.
In fact, I have friends from across the political spectrum, from Labour unionites to the Lib Dem mentioned earlier, through to a couple of people who run their own businesses, and are as Tory as you can get, along with a few Plaid Cymru, and even a SNP person.
Can you really say the same ?
Which of us is the more tolerant, and really ‘liberal’ in our outlook ?

6 and 15 well said

47,there hasn’t been any fatla deaths from tazers in the U.K but there has been in other cuntries, but then agian the tasers used eleshere are used differntyl and also as the police ave guns in the U.S they’ go back to there car to get teh taser afterwards, the Police in the U.K have to have anotehr officer with them when they use the taser to control the person on the gorund ,or they will sent a second shock
As for water cannons The police onyl have tehm in Northern irelans it;s for crowd control, I think there was one person who died after grtting knoecked over by apolcie horse, but that horse had been startled by protesters and that’s why It ran off, don’t know of anyone dieing after beignbit by a police dog.
There’s differnt exmaples of People dieng while biegn hit by polcie vehicels

In recent years 3 polc have gone to prison for knocking over people killing htem without having their sirens on when speeding, 2 other examples of people lying in the road and the police knocked them ,but as the polce had their flashing lights on they weren’t prosecuted, A couple of exmaples of Polce vehicles having rocks thrown throught heir windscreens coasung the polce vehicle to Swerve and killing people by knocking into them, they similar weren’t prosecuted, I know the first examples of polcie killing people by knocking into them were in the 30’s and 50’s.

A couple of questions relating to the article:

a.) The argument is that because there have been 9 deaths of teenagers caused by the use of baton rounds that baton rounds shouldn’t be used. I’m not sure that this really stands up. I don’t have any statistics to hand, but I strongly suspect that a lot more teenagers die annually as a result of road traffic accidents or misuse of alcohol than dies over a period of 17 years covered in the reports above. Are you equally in favour of banning motor vehicles and alcohol?

b.) If people engage in arson, looting, assaults, murder during a serious breakdown in public order then what’s the problem with shooting them with baton rounds to stop them doing it?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  2. Oliver Conner

    Why the police should not start using rubber bullets http://bit.ly/ncubcx #londonriots

  3. Bradley R

    How many has arson killed? RT @libcon: Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  4. Kashaan

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  5. Abbie Marillat

    Why the police should not start using rubber bullets http://bit.ly/ncubcx #londonriots

  6. Alan Smith

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  7. Matt Foley

    Why the police should not start using rubber bullets http://bit.ly/ncubcx #londonriots

  8. Tony Hatfield

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  9. Monalisa

    British police vow only to use 'plastic bullets' during #londonriots, but we know they kill people. http://t.co/sWB5aeX via @thethirdestate

  10. David Davies

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past ~ http://t.co/GpLu2os

  11. sunny hundal

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  12. Aidan Rowe

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  13. evelafay

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  14. Adam

    Rubber bullets kill 9 in 40 yrs. How many could be killed by fires in flats above shops hit by petrol bombs? Use them! http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  15. jameskennell

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  16. Wesley Rykalski

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  17. Rich Hurley

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  18. Naida Haq

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  19. Tom Stevenson

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  20. BintYunus

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  21. Tracey Ford

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in recent years, points out @thegreenbenches #Londonriots – http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  22. Tim Holmes

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past – don't use them in London http://t.co/u9HdEWG

  23. John Böttcher

    @MatthewWells And rubber bullets don't kill? http://t.co/IqXgxMQ I think a curfew would be far less incendiary, personally.

  24. Martin McGrath

    On a grimmer note: 9 young people killed by "rubber bullets" in N. Ireland http://bit.ly/q3vZ4v You don't want them on London's streets

  25. Claire

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past http://t.co/7dWdLbE #ukriots #londonriots #manchesterriots #liverpoolriots

  26. NoBigGovDuh

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in the past http://bit.ly/qMvMPO

  27. Brian Teeling

    http://t.co/hiCfhRu UK cops don't want to use rubber bullets on their own people, yet they happily did it up North.

  28. smileandsubvert

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past http://pulse.me/s/150ty

  29. Rachel McCraw

    RT @smileandsubvert: Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past http://pulse.me/s/150ty

  30. Miranda

    RT @smileandsubvert: Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past http://pulse.me/s/150ty

  31. Martin McGrath

    9 young people killed by "rubber bullets" in N. Ireland http://bit.ly/q3vZ4v Not non-lethal weapon. Don't fire them kids, even troublemakers

  32. Chris Schofield

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/E7R4BKm via @libcon

  33. Jamie Cotton

    Rubber bullets have killed nine youths in past | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/E7R4BKm via @libcon

  34. raincoat optimism

    Death by rubber bullets – Eoin Clarke Aug #Nov9 http://t.co/YVQBqi2S





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