Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’


2:40 pm - August 10th 2011

by Left Outside    


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Many of this week’s riots have been organised by Blackberry’s Blackberry Messaging Service (BBM). This allows for anonymised, tough to trace messages to be sent for free. It seems this service has been used to coordinate and direct the mayhem that has seen London’s worst violence in decades.

A lot of people seem to think that this means that arguments that the rioters are driven in part by poverty to be silly.

“How can you be poor when you own a Blackberry?!” they cry.

I’m not sure why I’m saying “they”, I mean boring, conceited right-wingers, of course. The main point I want to make here is that manufactured goods are incredibly cheap but lots of other things you need to not be poor are not, but I’ll come to that later.

The auxiliary point I will address first is that Blackberrys are actually quite cheap as a phone. Not only because of the availability of long term contracts, £15.50 a month from Tesco, or from £10.50 from Carphone Warehouse but also because Blackberry Messenger is a great service. This service is quicker and easier than texting and is completely free to boot. Chris Bertram‘s niece is a convert, as am I.

It is not as good as texting because you need to coordinate with your friends to all have the same phone, but it is pretty good considering it is free to use. So that people without much money opt for a cheaper but slightly inferior service (BBM) should not be taken as evidence that they have loads of money (unless you are a boring, conceited right winger, of course).

The main point I want to address is that being able to afford impressive consumer goods does not mean you are not poor. The main thing that capitalism is really good at is improving the productivity of manufactured goods. Even very, very poor people can afford technology that was recently considered futuristic. Just look at the explosive expansion of mobile phone usage in Ghana and Kenya, for example, these people I would still not call “rich” in any useful sense of the word.

However, while productivity has increased across the board it has done so noticeably less for other things the poor purchase. This (US-centric) diagram from the Centre for American Progress illustrates this point nicely.

People can afford fantastically advanced consumer goods because productivity advances very quickly in this sector. Other sectors important to the poor do not see such fast growth. In Hackney some one bedroom flats sell for £300,000, now people may live nearby with flashy phones, but how many Blackberry contracts would it take to afford that flat? Well, at £10.50 a month it would take over 2000 years. That may not be poverty to starve you, but it is certainly poverty to disenchant you – and it is that sort of poverty which we need to talk about.

In addition to this, there appears to be a poverty of ambition in these riots. This is displayed most obviously in the way many rioters willingly show their face despite the chance they will be recognised. More subtly though these rioters appear to be looting the same consumer electronics which are so bloody easy to afford in the first place.

Perhaps I should add a caveat at the end here, something along the lines of “I am in no way condoning the rioting, I condemn it utterly, I am only trying to understand what is going on.” But that would only be necessary to boring, conceited right-wingers, of course.

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About the author
Left Outside is a regular contributor to LC. He blogs here and tweets here. From October 2010 to September 2012 he is reading for an MSc in Global History at the London School of Economics and will be one of those metropolitan elite you read so much about.
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Reader comments


Right, so they can already afford TVs, phones and clothes, and food. If they fancied reading books, they are pretty cheap these days too. They can’t buy their own properties but they live in the same ones as most others do (I live on a still mostly council estate in a privately owned flat). What exactly makes their lot “disenchanted poverty”. I suppose a Bentley and a trip to the opera might be a little out of their reach.

They don’t need more money. They just need to a get a life.

2. Leon Wolfson

Perhaps, Nick, a job?

Wait, that would need jobs to be there. Or at least, for the kids, for there to be jobs to aspire to.

And, frankly, I’m seeing the words of someone who’s never been poor there.

What about pure and simple greed and self-centered-ness? Saying they are “disenchanted” or “poor” (yeah right, go talk to some Somalians right now), just gives them a reason to continue doing it. It is a pure mindless “me-me-me” attitude.

Other sectors important to the poor do not see such fast growth. In Hackney some one bedroom flats sell for £300,000, now people may live nearby with flashy phones, but how many Blackberry contracts would it take to afford that flat? Well, at £10.50 a month it would take over 2000 years. That may not be poverty to starve you, but it is certainly poverty to disenchant you – and it is that sort of poverty which we need to talk about.

Not being able to afford a £300,000 house is poverty? I think definitions are starting to slip here.

5. Leon Wolfson

Of course, Natasha, so crush them, crack down. Wait, what’s that, repressed, hungry populations rebel? Better build up the police force, crack down on civil rights…

Can’t do anything as bold as re-opening the youth clubs, re-opening the dialogues with the communities, cancelling a few of the cuts as to HB and actually solving issues rather than delaying them (as in the HB case, with rent boards (which even America, with it’s paranoia over socialism, uses in many places) and a heavy tax on unused property…)

No, gotta go down the totalitarian route. Sigh. The op ain’t no satire.

The educational attainment of blacks in Britain is differentially low compared with that of other poor ethnic minorities:

“Government figures show only 15% of white working class boys in England got five good GCSEs including maths and English last year. . . Poorer pupils from Indian and Chinese backgrounds fared much better – with 36% and 52% making that grade respectively.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7220683.stm

“Though white children in general do better than most minorities at school, poor ones come bottom of the league (see chart). Even black Caribbean boys, the subject of any number of initiatives, do better at GCSEs”
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14700670

There have been years of repeated warnings that unskilled jobs are becoming increasingly scarce and will become even more so in future.

Prior to the financial crisis, there were many reports in the news about immigrants, especially from eastern Europe, taking the jobs going because employers valued their skills and attitudes to work:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5913970.ece

“In the first year of the Coalition, 87 per cent of the 400,000 newly created jobs have gone to immigrants — as Britons fail to chase work, according to new official figures uncovered by the Labour MP. Under previous Labour administrations the figure was about 80 per cent.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8585750/Frank-Field-Migrants-take-nine-out-of-10-jobs.html

“Perhaps, Nick, a job?

Wait, that would need jobs to be there.”

Not really. Jobs are mostly a supply-side problem. You get more or less the amount of unemployment you are prepared to pay for.

But leave that aside. You shouldn’t need a job to not go looting. You could look after your family, help your friends, pursue enlightenment, learn an art – anything. The problem isn’t just jobs, it is that they have literally nothing at all – nothing outside of themselves to aim for or support.

8. Leon Wolfson

@4 – And people can’t use a simple comparison about the gap between the poor and the wealthy without you getting upset. Geez.

Should poor people live in boxes then? Are you aware of how house prices have soared?

9. Leon Wolfson

@7 – Supply side economics, really? Trickle-down theory? Oh for…even the American right has trouble with that nonsense these days, and even the IMF has had to admit that their own studies show that the supply-sider explanations for things like the Laffer Curve are nonsense.

Should poor people live in boxes then? Are you aware of how house prices have soared?

Of course I’m aware of it, I’ve just bought a house. But putting the deadline for ‘poverty’ at being able to afford a £300,000 house is just absurd.

11. Dino Tassigiannis

Oh please. These are poor? I grew up on a poor farm in Greece. WE grew our own food and chickens. My grandparents on my dads side were farmers until they died. My mothers side passed on before I was born. The only income was coming from my dad who worked the ships in the Greek maritime and got paid in Draxma.

We moved to this country when I got ill with meningitis. I missed a lot of my education due to daily hospital appointments since after 9 years old me medical history just grew and grew.

I am still not better off and have a child to look after now along with my long term girlfriend who works part time to bring money in.

To say being poor fuels these riots is a crock of shit, porden my French. I’ve known immigrants from Greece, Poland and parts of Africa who are respectful towards adults, their community and piers. Being poor is not an excuse and neither is not finding a job. It’s bad parenting and no motivation linked with boredom.

Stop making excuses like this is some kind of revolution.

12. Leon Wolfson

@10 – Except he didn’t. It was a plain, straight-up comparison of how affording a few consumer goods is not the same as affording a house. You have to make everything into a battleground…

Poor people need places to live too, and social housing has been neglected in this country for too long. It’s the type of capital project which we need to generate jobs AND it has longer-term benefits…there are suitable brownfield sites out there.

And yes, some of them can and should be aimed at youngsters… tower blocks with shared kitchens, as an example. Give them *somewhere* to live, rather than living on their charity of their relatives.

Not being able to afford a £300,000 house is poverty? I think definitions are starting to slip here.

Boring, conceited, right on time! Tim, not being able to afford a one bedroom house down the road will sure feel like poverty, I suppose it depends on how you phrase it.

What about pure and simple greed and self-centered-ness? Saying they are “disenchanted” or “poor” (yeah right, go talk to some Somalians right now), just gives them a reason to continue doing it. It is a pure mindless “me-me-me” attitude.

Oh yes, near unprecedented riots, what we need is a “pure and simple” explanation. That’ll work…

Oh and the Somalians? I guess our looters can ring let them know how hard done by they are by calling them on their mobile phones, as nearly 1 in 10 Somalis now own one. Guess Somalians aren’t poor either!

I’m trying to be clear. Lots of things are cheap now, which is very good, but people can still feel like they are living in poverty. Lecturing them isn’t really going to help prevent these riots recurring.

Not really. Jobs are mostly a supply-side problem. You get more or less the amount of unemployment you are prepared to pay for.

I doubt the reason we have an economy capable of producing a million less jobs than 4 years ago is entirely structural, some is demand side. Anyway, that is another debate.

You raise a good point, we have supply side ways of making these people better off, one I alluded to was pooh poohed by Tim. Housing is damn expensive and jobs in construction not nearly as easy to come by as they used to be.

No I doubt these rioters have much knowledge of urban planning, but if they did perhaps they would have smashed up town hall planning offices rather than cornershops and currys.

Except he didn’t. It was a plain, straight-up comparison of how affording a few consumer goods is not the same as affording a house.

He said that a one bed flat in Hackney cost £300,000 and that at £10.50 a month that would take 2000 years to buy – and that this was “poverty to disenchant you”. I’m not convinced that this is a particularly strong argument.

Try this from 2002 about the house-price bubble:

“CHARLES GOODHART, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee [and economics prof at the LSE], warned yesterday that the Bank is failing to take sufficient account of the house price boom in setting interest rates.

“His warning comes amid growing fears among economists that house prices, fuelled by the lowest interest rates for 38 years, are getting out of control. Yesterday, new figures showed that homeowners are borrowing record amounts against the rising value of their homes. . . ”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2002/04/06/cngood06.xml

Boring, conceited, right on time! Tim, not being able to afford a one bedroom house down the road will sure feel like poverty, I suppose it depends on how you phrase it.

Fuck you too kiddo. I couldn’t afford housing down my road either and I’m sure as hell not poor. And are you seriously, honestly suggesting that the average price of a one bed flat in Hackney is £300,000? Research much? More like £100-150k.

If your definition of miserable, riot-inducing poverty is not being able to afford a £300,000 house then you’re simply being an idiot. And idiocy is always tiresome.

These people live in artificially cheap housing in a place and at a time where it’s easier to get a well paid job than at any other place or time in human history. They’ve been through a free education system which gave them the ideal chance to get the qualifications to get a well paid job.

They couldn’t be bothered. The rest of us have done enough for them.

Despite America’s unemployment rate of 9%, I’m reliably informed that computer science grads in California are regarded like gold dust.

@11 You after not reading what I said.

Being poor is not an excuse and neither is not finding a job. It’s bad parenting and no motivation linked with boredom.

What I said, which you didn’t read.

Perhaps I should add a caveat at the end here, something along the lines of “I am in no way condoning the rioting, I condemn it utterly, I am only trying to understand what is going on.” But that would only be necessary to boring, conceited right-wingers, of course.

If you’re poor with little prospects and little inspiration from those around then you have a lot less to lose and a lot more to gain from rioting.

Arguing that poverty is unimportant is one of the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. Incentives matter.

Oh and by the way…

I am still not better off and have a child to look after now along with my long term girlfriend who works part time to bring money in.

You are almost certainly better off in real terms than growing up (10? 20?) years ago on a farm in rural greece.

The UK is now four times wealthy than Greece was in 1990, and I suspect most of greece was even poorer than that in reality as the figure was probably inflated by shipping registered there but which little touched the interior of the country.

You are doing what you accuse the rioters of doing and underestimating your own wealth, probably because you can see other people much wealthier than yourself and because you feel personally that you are struggling so you must be poor.

Very interesting article, I really appreciate it.

@ Tim J, focusing on the “£300,000” is not the best way to go about it. That amount of money can get you a really nice house in the North of Wales, but according to the author, it will only get you a one bedroom flat in Hackney. And let’s face it, a one bedroom flat is the smallest property there is for people to live with basic dignity.

House prices for Asians and whites are the same as for blacks.

Why aren’t Asians rioting?

And yes, some of them can and should be aimed at youngsters… tower blocks with shared kitchens, as an example.

Shared between flats?

Terrible idea. Bad enough sharing with housemates.

The issues with poverty in England today, as i think some of what this article is talking about, is that its not so much about the economics, because our country is wealthy so talking about absolute poverty makes little sense because its often not the problem with what we are dealing with.

What we are dealing with, is a complete lack of aspirations, almost no work, and no real community beyond gangs (more now than ever). and yes many of these people can get luxuries. I know many estate friends who have sky tv and computers, you can get these on planned payment options. But at the same time their actual knowledge of the world is terribly bleak, most will never go to the country let alone a museum, they will spend their whole lives in those oppressive grey tenements with a sense of being looked down upon by the rest of society, which by looking at some of the comments here, is all too true.

It is also true that many immigrant work very hard and don’t lapse into the same violence, but that’s because a lot of them have come from truly abysmal conditions like that of somalia. But many second generation immigrants do lapse into this, they fall into the same problems as white working class young males and often its even worse because they have to cope with a very moral, very strict home life, yet go out into a very money driven, morally dubious (if raised religiously) society. If you look at statistics on this matter you can often see that first generation immigrants (including those who arrived here at a young age) will be very valuable to the economy because they know absolute poverty, but second generations offer often the exact same burdens of English people in the same relative poverty.

This is without even talking about the whole matters of societal inequalities.

Now you can argue that they are wrong to be failures and that there are many who are worse off in this world. But what use does that do? Telling them this won’t stop matters, we have to work towards breaking up these areas of entrenched poverty and ensure that aspirations of career and income security are met, and this comes from a set of initiatives right across government and society.

Hate, hate, hate of the “boring, conceited right-wingers”.

Well, that’s fair enough, really. These riots are an absolute disaster for the Left. Everyone is asking why the police did so little to prevent them, and why the government response was so slow and ineffectual. And the reason is all too clear.

The failure of the police is so well-known that we have otherwise law-abiding people forming gangs to do what the police cannot.

Some of you have tried to turn the riots into a victory for the Left, making out that they’re a protest against authority or Tories or police or whatever. But the masses make it clear that they would prefer authority to riots and looting. They don’t so much care if the police are racist, or if they sometimes make mistakes. Sod the IPCC, they care about their families, homes and businesses. Their complaint is that the police aren’t doing enough, not that they’re doing too much.

But hey, be happy. You may have lost this battle, but you won the war. We have a left-liberal establishment, left-liberal Tories and left-liberal police who can’t even stop a riot. Isn’t this what you always wanted? Isn’t utopia just around the corner now? Keep the red flag flying, my liberal friends.

Fuck you too kiddo.

Hahaha, love you too Tim, always fun to spa.

Okay, so average house price of £100,000, that’s 800-900 years of a blackberry contract. My point still stands, consumer electrical are a very bad way to judge poverty because other things matter significantly more.

Something you’ll be familiar with is the proximity with which affluence and poverty sit side by side in London. A lot of people don’t actually realise how unequal the country is as many locales are relatively egalitarian, London is very different, you can be very poor and see vast wealth every day. That will inspire some, but it will grind others down. Owning a blackberry is little consolation.

26. vlad the twat

fuck vlad you twat, just cause you had some wetmare about some lefty-liberal turning you gay dont mean its reality, no matter how much you want it to be.

That amount of money can get you a really nice house in the North of Wales, but according to the author, it will only get you a one bedroom flat in Hackney.

‘According to’ is doing a bit of work there…

Okay, so average house price of £100,000, that’s 800-900 years of a blackberry contract. My point still stands, consumer electrical are a very bad way to judge poverty because other things matter significantly more.

And on this I agree with you – although you won’t find too many mortgages at a tenner a month. Cheap luxury items aren’t a good way of measuring poverty. But then I’d be wary of anyone using footage of these riots/lootings to ‘prove’ the financial standing of the participants one way or the other. In other words, having a blackberry may not prove that you’re rich, but it sure as hell doesn’t prove you’re poor either.

Hahaha, love you too Tim, always fun to spa.

It was using my phone in the sauna that got me into trouble in the first place…

28. Leon Wolfson

@24 – A disaster for the Left? Really? Blaming a 1979 government, are we, still?

You even manage to blame the slow Government response on the left, it’s pathetic. Right, right, more right you cry. Nobody in authority is speaking up for the left, there’s only various displays on the right-hand spectrum.

Norway has demonstrated what a left-wing response to disaster is…and it’s quite different to what we’ve seen here.

@22 – I disagree. There’s a method to it. Give people their own private space, but still make them mix – and you don’t allocate unified ethnic blocks – at meal times. Give them shared spaces as well. Also, it allows considerably higher population densities (note I’m NOT suggesting shared bathrooms).

I’m quite willing to discuss the concept – I do think there’s a good core to it, of *mixed* high-density urban housing for the youth.

(Also, bluntly, some of us LIKE sharing with housemates.)

@14 – And again you make everything a fight rather than simply accept a comparison was made for reference. Tea Party terror tactics and name calling as usual.

“Something you’ll be familiar with is the proximity with which affluence and poverty sit side by side in London.”

The Tories came up with a remedy for this problem too, and of course it was predictably sociopathic. The housing benefit cap social cleanisng policy.

30. Sevillista

@Vladimir

Didn’t the police say they weren’t intervening to prevent property destruction as they were under-resourced and had to pick either people or property to defend?

And didn’t the rioting basically stop last night when the police had adequate manpower (without changing the basic tactics use)?

Those damn lefties trying to impose 20%+ cuts to police budgets right?

Tea Party terror tactics and name calling as usual

Strong work.

@ 4. Tim J

I don’t think LO is suggesting that not being able to afford a £300,000 house is poverty. I understand that he is implying that the house being £300,000 in the first place disenfranchises even people who could not realistically be called poor. Why is the house valued at £300,000? Because we do not build enough houses as the whole system is structured towards serving the interests of existing property and land owners. Is the demand to live in Hackney really so high or could it possibly be an undersupply?

I’ll never willingly share with anyone after I read some guys online discussing how much they enjoyed jizzing in people’s food, and how they got off on watching their girlfriend’s mothers and sisters eating the food.

After reading that my own kitchen is essential. I’d rather share a bathroom.

Your article begs the question, at what point should a poor person be reclassified as rich? Someone who purchases, a £4.95 pay-as-you-go phone, I’ll admit, could be poor; but you must admit that someone who buys a Lear jet is rich. What is the critical point. I suggest that a crappy unknown brand 32″ LCD TV equates to abject poverty, yet a 42″ Panasonic Viera plasma equates to wealth. Yes, I’m taking the p***.

35. Leon Wolfson

@31 – If you don’t like it, don’t do it.

@33 – Great, but a lot of young (and not so young) people don’t feel that way, so…

36. theophrastus

I recommend listening to Tariq Jahan whose son was one of the three young men killed in Birmingham by a speeding car driven by a rioter. (It’s on the web, I assume.) His self control and dignity are impressive and moving, as is his call for no reprisals and for the law to take its course.

All those people who claim not to condone the rioting but seek to explain or understand it in terms of the cuts or relative poverty should remember the many innocent people who have suffered injury or loss at the hands of the rioters.

They should also remember that attributing the riots to (relative) poverty is deeply patronising and insulting to the law-abiding majority of the (relatively) poor.

37. Paul Newman

I have found a flat in Hackney for £100,000 in two minutes and the reason you do not have to be poor to own a blackberry is that you can steal one .
I cannot afford a Blackberry because I have a mortgage to pay and three children to bring up so these people have more disposable money than I do they certainly have a lot more disposable time
99.9% of poor people are not thieves vandals or violent looters and once again can I point out that to “Understand ” is only ever to ascribe root causes outside the individuals and so to legitimise .
It is not good saying you do not condone when that is precisely what you have just done.
I don`t condone the rape but she was wearing revealing clothing and the man was undereducated blah blah blah
I don`t condone the genocide but the immigrant group did dominate banking and there was a lot of unemployment and blah blah blah …
I don`t condone the bombing of children but Palestine blah blah blah ….

If you don’t like it, don’t do it.

I was just applauding the ‘don’t call people names, you terrorist’ line. It was awesome.

It is not good saying you do not condone when that is precisely what you have just done.

No it isn’t. Word have meaning, you’re not humpty dumpty.

40. Shatterface

‘Why aren’t Asians rioting?’

Possibly because they are being mown down in the street by people irate they can’t afford a £3,000,000 house.

It’ll be interesting to see how long the excuse making continues while the body count rises among ethnic minorities and the ‘feds’ suffer nothing more than overtime.

Meanwhile the rain offers more hope of quelling the riots than either the Left or the Right.

have found a flat in Hackney for £100,000 in two minutes and the reason you do not have to be poor to own a blackberry is that you can steal one .
I cannot afford a Blackberry because I have a mortgage to pay and three children to bring up so these people have more disposable money than I do they certainly have a lot more disposable time
Yet you have days off to go to Surrey CC. Save money and get a blackberry.
LO
This is a honey pot to the right wing trolls

Meanwhile the rain offers more hope of quelling the riots than either the Left or the Right.

Your boys are in power shatter old boy. The left has no power. It is like blaming a man with a low sperm count for over population

And on this I agree with you – although you won’t find too many mortgages at a tenner a month. Cheap luxury items aren’t a good way of measuring poverty. But then I’d be wary of anyone using footage of these riots/lootings to ‘prove’ the financial standing of the participants one way or the other. In other words, having a blackberry may not prove that you’re rich, but it sure as hell doesn’t prove you’re poor either.
How true but we don’t all have rich mummy and daddys to pay our bills while we post drivel on the web all day.

“You even manage to blame the slow Government response on the left, it’s pathetic. Right, right, more right you cry. Nobody in authority is speaking up for the left, there’s only various displays on the right-hand spectrum.”

Your definition of left is different to mine. I think most people would like to know why the police didn’t engage the rioters, why they don’t have water cannons and tear gas already, and why property was only protected when ordinary people turned out to protect it. If they are a little bit smarter, they might like to consider why gangsterism has been allowed to flourish in Tottenham and other places ever since the liberal Tories of the 1980s “reformed” the police.

The trouble for you, and all people of the left, is to explain why (if anything) the authorities have already been too tough… in a climate where most people feel that they just haven’t been tough enough. That’s not a job I envy.

But hey, be happy. You may have lost this battle, but you won the war. We have a left-liberal establishment, left-liberal Tories and left-liberal police who can’t even stop a riot. Isn’t this what you always wanted? Isn’t utopia just around the corner now? Keep the red flag flying, my liberal friends
Vlad the impaler, you have a little too much vodka today.
This government in someways is more right wing than Thatchers.
Maggies rhetoric was scary but she acted like Jim Callaghan.
In fact Jim’s cuts were far deeper than any of Maggies
As for the riots bad been for the left.
Mate they are bad for ALL of us.
Liberal left police, love it.

What about pure and simple greed and self-centered-ness? Saying they are “disenchanted” or “poor” (yeah right, go talk to some Somalians right now), just gives them a reason to continue doing it. It is a pure mindless “me-me-me” attitude.
Isn’t that true of everybody but most of us follow the laws of the country.

47. Bored in Kavanagasau

Aside from free healthcare, free housing and free education, these looters were given nothing.

Paul Newman: “99.9% of poor people are not thieves vandals or violent looters and once again can I point out that to “Understand ” is only ever to ascribe root causes outside the individuals and so to legitimise.”

So, um, I take it you will suggest no solutions then. Unless you think the way to find a good solution to a problem is to deliberately refuse to understand it. If you insist on refusing to consider what’s motivating the riots, you’re never going to stop the riots for any length of time.

I see on these pages right-wingers blaming the rioting on liberals abolishing corporal punishment in schools… what’s that if it’s not “ascribing root causes”? Why aren’t you condemning them too, for legitimising the riots… after all, it’s not the rioters fault they weren’t beaten sufficiently fiercely in their early years to instil the required fear of others to ensure they would never riot in any circumstances.

49. theophrastus

@ 48:
“Unless you think the way to find a good solution to a problem is to deliberately refuse to understand it. If you insist on refusing to consider what’s motivating the riots, you’re never going to stop the riots for any length of time.”

OK, here goes…These looters and rioters are criminal filth. But 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 fast 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 from another thread:

“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.

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….

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…

“Aside from free healthcare, free housing and free education, these looters were given nothing.”

It’s inequality that provokes alienation, not absolute poverty. It’s when people feel they will never, could never ever get what they see as their fair share in society…

Of course, the right wing answer is to use merciless force to impress on these people that their fair share is zero, and they should be grovelling because we allow them to have “free housing” and “free healthcare” when being long term unemployed. If they do things like riot instead, we should declare them “scum” take their free stuff away. This will obviously result in them being dependent on crime to feed themselves, in the absence of people willing to give jobs to “scum”. But this is OK, because then we could justify putting them in prison forever. Problem solved, except we end up spending huge sums of taxpayers money on prisons like in the US.

The left wing answer is to attempt to create a more equal society, and avoid the problem in the first place. I know which I prefer, even if the right insist this is somehow “appeasement”.

Guttmann, how else would you describe Brian Paddick? If he’s not left-liberal, what on Earth is he?

Now I know that he’s no longer a deputy assistant commissioner, but I think he must be representative of police management since the “reforms” of the 1980s, for if he is not, how did he remain in his job for so long?

His 2008 article in the Daily Mail, entitled “Britain’s most controversial policeman reveals what’s wrong with policing”, could have been posted on this very website. It reveals what I can only assume are his private beliefs, namely that the police are too tough and don’t do enough to appease criminal communities.

52. Leon Wolfson

And again with the attacks, and again let’s look at consequences:

1. So women should be punished for leaving relationships, and children for their parents. Abandon them all! Never mind that America’s seen many of the same social patterns, despite being far to the right, no, it’s the left’s fault.

2. Never mind that police misconduct and in some cases criminality have been the issue. Never mind that the Tories have done nothing to correct this, or to rip out the APCO’s cancer from the heart of UK policing. Never mind that you want to advocate institutionalised beating of children, which will certainly make them LOVE school so much that truancy rates will soar back up again…

3. Welfare “dependency”, when only a small minority of claims are anything except short-term. “Moral corruption” means that people losing their jobs should suffer, letting bosses even further abuse workers and force them to work even MORE unpaid overtime, already a major issue here.

4. The other Anglophile counties have twice as many immigrants per-capita without the same issues. And without the far-right movements we have.

5. Attacking anyone not small-c christian white again, I see.

6. Moral absolutism, which leads to idiocies such as zero-tolerance, and once more punishing the poor for being poor. It’s their FAULT after all!

7. Can’t have the poor kids being edumacated, no, they should suffer. Right. You want masses of new unemployables at the same time as you complain about a “class” which is a tiny fraction of the size you make it out to be.

8. Never mind that charities have been used to deliver cheap, effective services by councils, and that you’d simply close many more down. The poor might benefit, after all.

9. Never mind that we already jail far too many people, looking at first world countries, America and the UK stand out… Never mind that focusing on rehabilitation would provide better results, and in most cases not sending them to jail to learn from hardened criminals at all…can’t have no stinking evidence.

Together, you’d create a far larger, permanent, volatile underclass and then spend billions on a police force to sit on it, like any good totalitarian state. *claps*

Vlad the impaler
He is ONE policeman, who by the way was despised many fellow officers for been a liberal pouf, their words not mine.
Have you ever a met copper ?

Who wants to buy in to my conspiracy theory about the riots? Look at the winners in all this. First, the police will now get protection from govt cuts. The public has already forgotten the scummy dealings with Murdoch. And worst of all the “bash the shit out of people” brigade is back. Nick Robinson could barley contain himself as he pointed out that at the COBRA meeting the police where pointing out to the Prime Minister that the last time they got tough, a police officer killed someone and is now on a charge. So look forward to a return of thuggish police beating the shit out of political protestors when all this dies down. There will be no holding them. And anyone who dares to complain will be screamed down with “they might be rioters”

Then of course we had the big society in all its glory. As the Prime Minister and Mayor of London enjoyed their swanky holidays, the people of London had started to clean up the mess, themselves. The big society in all it’s glory. Rich people on expensive holidays while the suckers clear up the mess. Cameron must be delighted with all this.

T loony
You have posted this crap on a other thread.
This shows a pathological need to be heard.
Brevik all over.
A need to inflict their views on the rest of us and hopefully it will offend.
If you cannot think of anything else tom post, don’t post.

One copper, yes, representative of the whole upper management. It’s not just the fact he stayed in his job for so long. There’s also his meteoric career. Do you really imagine that his chums at the ACPO called him a “liberal pouf”? Come off it.

The police who hated him are the very ones he, and the government, were trying to get rid of. The “canteen culture” and the rougher types who met violence with violence. Exactly the sort of policemen we need to keep the cities safe, and exactly the sort we no longer have, thanks to “reform”.

One copper, yes, representative of the whole upper management.
Many high ranking police officers hold views opposite to his

It’s not just the fact he stayed in his job for so long. There’s also his meteoric career. Do you really imagine that his chums at the ACPO called him a “liberal pouf”? Come off it.
he may be good at his job, have you any evidence hw wasn’t apart from right wing journos hate spite

The police who hated him are the very ones he, and the government, were trying to get rid of. The “canteen culture” and the rougher types who met violence with violence. Exactly the sort of policemen we need to keep the cities safe, and exactly the sort we no longer have, thanks to “reform”.
There still there mate, have you not seen the pictures in manchester.
The majority of coppers I know are certainly not liberals.
I

Of course he was bad at his job! Decriminalising drugs? Withdrawing police from problem areas? And always, always talking. “Help the addicts, screw the dealers”? The rest of the ACPO had the good sense to keep their left-liberal views quiet.

By the way, I applaud the actions of the Greater Manchester police in suppressing riots. I think you will find that the Mancunian public do not care at all if they are heavy-handed, provided that the streets are safe.

54.

That’s not a conspiracy theory that’s what has just occurred.

I keep hearing the corporate media lauding the community coming together to clean up the mess, and it’s obvious what the transparent fuckers are up to. They think if they praise it enough people will start doing it all the time to get their pat on the head and be called a “good citizen” by the media. They are hoping the people get used to doing that kind of stuff themselves so they can redistribute the tax money they pay for it to be done to their filthy rich buddies – the big society con the stay puft marshmallow man keeps trying to push onto an unwilling population.

As a bonus now the loathsome bastards have an excuse for their destruction of the economy now. Instead of the wrong kind of snow they have the riots. Wouldn’t surprise me if deliberately cut youth programmes hoping they would riot to give them their excuse.

These cynical evil treasonous economic terrorists are capable of anything.

60. theophrastus

@ 55:

“You have posted this crap on a other thread.
This shows a pathological need to be heard.
Brevik all over.
A need to inflict their views on the rest of us and hopefully it will offend.”

I have no desire to offend, nor do I have a pathological need to be heard. I would simply like to hear a reasoned response. So far, all that has emerged is abuse, rantings and non sequiturs.

61. Margin4error

Forget home ownership and think about home.

Millions and millions of poor British people don’t have one.

You don’t need to own a house to have a home. But neither is a home simply a roof over one’s head.

The loss of social housing means millions of families have no long term base – they live under short term rents with private landlords – or they face moving from one temporary housing unit to another for years in hope of one day getting a home. (a permanent residence in a housing association)

And for those who think that isn’t disenfranchising – ponder why those who have lost their homes in fires during riots cry. It isn’t money. The insurance will replace everything. It isn’t a roof over their head. The council will put them up in a B&B for a while.

It is a home they lost – something millions of brits have lost hope of ever getting.

62. theophrastus

@61:

Housing associations are social housing. And there has not been a huge loss of social housing – in fact, the housing association I work for is building in most parts of England.

Homeowners move on every 3-4 years on average. So is it so unreasonable to expect renters in the private sector to do likewise? And why should anyone in social housing expect to be there for life? Social housing is for those in need. If you are no longer in need, you should move on. Otherwise, we end up with the likes of fat cat union barons like Bob Crowe living in social housing ad occupying a house that some more deserving people could occupy.

Surely if someone has a sufficient credit record to be able to get a contract phone (that would require a bank account with debit card, good history of payments with utilities, no CCJs, probably some income source etc), then they’re not really on the underbelly of society now.

However, if they’re not credit-worthy and have a pre-pay then they have found the money to pay for this thing.

The bottom line is that the whole concept of relative poverty has been found wanting and is based upon greed and envy.

The real looting was done by the bankers.

But they don’t have to do all the damge to buildings. They just wear suits and steal.

What is striking is how many of the ideologues fall back on their old prejudices to explain why some people have rioted in England. The right see the causes as all down to their latest bugbears. The left are in danger of excusing inexcusable behaviour. So, all the old obsessions such as the HRA, multiculturalism, corporal punishment, capital punishment, soft policing are trotted out. Of course, absolutely no riots ever occurred on these islands before the advent of the welfare state. The Chartism riots and looting just never happened because people had respect for law and order in those days. Except, they did happen for the very same reason that groups of people felt that they were excluded and had no stake in society. Why respect the rights of others when you have nothing and nothing to lose by taking by force what does not belong to you?

The soft policing is a bizarre meme. The catalyst was the shooting dead of someone by the police. You can’t get more not soft policing than to be shot dead by the police. These young people intensively hate the police. Why? If I call the police or go to a police station they will be polite and respectful. However, the very same officers if they were stopping and searching inner-city kids would have a completely different attitude. This type of thing only breeds resentment. The people rioting and looting see the police as their enemy. The best way to find out why people are looting and rioting is to ask them. When they tell us why, we get from right wingers, oh no, ‘ that is not the reason. Let me give you a list of my obsessions.’ Calls from the right to double down and stop ‘soft policing’ will only make these people hate the police even more. Just as you can’t bomb people to democracy, the police can’t beat their way to respect and consent.

Poverty per se is not an adequate explanation. Most poor people just get on with their lives dealing with a shitty hand, working for not a lot and living in crap housing. However, we have allowed a situation where an underclass of completely disengaged people have developed with no stake whatsoever in society. One of the richest investors in the world has been saying for years that leaving this group of disengaged underclass to rot was unsustainable. Eventually, the system would crack and the disengaged would attack the system that they had no stake in.

Currently a lot of them are unemployable. Hand-wringing that it is their own fault will achieve nothing. Likewise pointing out that others from a similar background manage to improve their lot will get us nowhere. Deal with reality as we find it, and that means spending money to train and if necessary to pay companies to employ them. Less ideology and more pragmatism is required. The alternative is burning cities an altogether more expensive option.

If the theory that poverty leads to looting was correct then surely the ten poorest cities in the UK would be most prone to rioting? They aren’t, there was only looting in two of the most poor cities, Leicester & Nottingham.

1. Hull
Average income per year: £17,300
Average income tax paid per year: £2,360

2. Blackpool
Average income per year: £17,400
Average income tax paid per year: £2,400

3. Caerphilly
Average income per year: £18,700
Average income tax paid per year: £2,630

4. Leicester
Average income per year: £18,500
Average income tax paid per year: £2,690

5. Sunderland
Average income per year: £18,800
Average income tax paid per year: £2,720 98

6. City of Dundee
Average income per year: £18,800
Average income tax paid per year: £2,730
7. Middlesbrough
Average income per year: £18,700
Average income tax paid per year: £2,740

8. Blackburn
Average income per year: £18,700
Average income tax paid per year: £2,740

9. Knowsley
Average income per year: £19,100
Average income tax paid per year: £2,800

10. Nottingham
Average income per year: £18,900
Average income tax paid per year: £2,810

Maybe worth mentioning that only Leicester & Nottingham have over 1% of their population that is black (1.08 and 4% respectively)

What motivated the rioting?

It’s obvious: alienation.

Err .. how do we know?

Because the alienated tend to riot.

They call this analysis: Sociology.

The richer you are, the more you loot. Bankers.

Cameron must be delighted with all this.

You know, Sally, I really have to admire you for not sticking your head in the oven at some point since 1979, tremendous fortitude, old girl.

It was in the police’s interest to do jack shit for the first 2 days to make a point. They don’t like the cuts, and we all know that the police don’t need to have a right to strike, they just pretend to work. If the Looters had gone to the richest parts of Westminster the police would have been very quick to stamp it out.

They may not like the govts cuts, but they know who their master are. Tories are falling over themsleves to demand more money to the police.

Take a bow MI5, your work is done.

72. Margin4error

@62

While I’d love to agree that people choosing to move on regularly in the private sector is equivelent to having the landlord tell you to get out by such and such date – I fear we don’t live in some wonderful utpoia.

Likewise – lets not forget the millions in “social housing” that isn’t the 3.6million council homes of 1979 – but temporary residencies . allocated on emergency need – and from which people are moved on repeatedly – and in which families cannot invest or modernise to their needs.

Like I say, I’m not talking about everyone owning their own home here. I’m just talking about people having a degree of security about the home in which they raise children and grow up in.

And, y’know, having gone from a home to no hom in my lifetime – the taxpayer might expect me to put up with insecurity and a lack of place in society – but that doesn’t mean people who suffer it are happy about it. And why should the taxpayer deny me that? I can pay rent. I just can’t find a landlord with a 20 year lease.

“What is striking is how many of the ideologues fall back on their old prejudices to explain why some people have rioted in England. ”

You’re exactly right. Funny how these riots are evidence of whatever we might already believe. Sally hates bankers so she blames the riots on bankers. Whereas I hate criminals, so I blame them on criminals. Left Outside hates social inequality, so that must be the cause. Jody McIntyre hates the “feds”, so they must be the cause. And so on.

Though I don’t think it’s particularly ideological to expect people to obey the law, or expect the police to enforce it.

“Calls from the right to double down and stop ‘soft policing’ will only make these people hate the police even more. Just as you can’t bomb people to democracy, the police can’t beat their way to respect and consent.”

Actually, you can make people respect you by being tough. Ask a gangsta. Furthermore, you can’t make people respect you by being weak and attempting to appease them in the hope of obtaining “consent”. That is wishful, ideological thinking.

I would question why it is important that these people, i.e. criminals and chavs, should like the police and consent to be policed. Who cares what they think? Of course they don’t like the police! They never will. No matter what the police do, accusations of racism and brutality will be made. The underclass should *fear* the police. The only alternative is that we must all fear the underclass.

Many thanks for those figures @68 showing deprivation by English local authorities.

What the figues show is that the London borough in which I live is substantially poorer than Croydon or Haringey, the borough in which Tottenham is located. Presumably, with all that local alienation, we should have been out there rioting too..

Actually, you can make people respect you by being tough. Ask a gangsta. Furthermore, you can’t make people respect you by being weak and attempting to appease them in the hope of obtaining “consent”. That is wishful, ideological thinking.

I do wonder why all the right-wingers seem to be demanding that someone like Muammar Gaddafi be placed in charge of the nation.

76. paul barker

Labour twat.

“Sally hates bankers so she blames the riots on bankers. Whereas I hate criminals,”

If you hate looters you hate bankers. But you don’t, because if people steal through business, you support that.

“I do wonder why all the right-wingers seem to be demanding that someone like Muammar Gaddafi be placed in charge of the nation.”

I wonder why all the left-wingers seem to think he already is.

Right-wingers don’t mind being robbed just as long as it’s by someone they consider to the be their betters.

80. Paul Newman

Leon
1 It is those who stay in couples who face a penalty in the tax system. It is your active discouragement of responsibility for others that puts endless children in care where they stay thanks to the left domination of our utterly disgraceful adoption agencies
2.Police misconduct ? Wtf has that got to do with it ? I think you will find that crime is predominantly commited by criminals -I mean just about all of it .
3. Welfare “dependency” – Show me that-we all know places where welfare is a life choice and we all know people who are idle scroungers. In Islington 50% of homes are social housing and 70% of those in them are on some sort of welfare . That cannot far off Tottenham… they all just a week or two are they ? Bollocks

4. The other Anglophile counties ..you mean like Austria and America ? Think about why that might be, England is one of the most crowded countries in the words and went from cultural homogeneity to looking at white English being minorities in major cities in about 30 years … not quite the same is it ..Comparable post Empire pattern mass immigration into settled communities have taken place in France and Holland both of whom have serious far right movements

5. Attacking anyone not small-c christian white again, I see-
About 2/3 black 1/3 white 100% little shit in Croydon don`t know about anywhere else – you are one obsessing about colour , I don`t care .

6. more punishing the poor for being poor.- Who do you think suffers when the tiny minority who are criminals steal and vandalise, the vast majority of poor people are not these verminous pests and frankly your treatment of the poor as some sort of mindless lab rat is repulsive. People are not gnats . They think and they decide “even if they are poor” Its a choice !

7. Can’t have the poor kids being educated- Education you are quite correct has been a disaster under New Labour this has been because the vast resources thrown at it (50% up year on year)have been eaten up by teachers salaries. It is also impossible to retain staff in tough schools with a National Pay scale. The coalition is desperately trying to reform this failed system in the teeth of union opposition cheered on by the Union puppet Labour Party.

9. Never mind that we already jail far too many people,-
You are less likely to go to jail in this country having commited a crime than anywhere else in Europe , we have a lot of crime but the fact it is not a deterrent is because of the slow glide along community services into risible sentences and usually nothing for theft and property crimes . Why not steal as for your belief in rehabilitation.. words fail me . I take it you have never met any criminals . Yup.

You seem to relapse into a sort of crazed assertion at the end in any case none of this has anything to do with a fashion for violent looting spread by mobiles.

I feel that the most important question facing us today is–are boring conceited right-wingers more boring and conceited than boring conceited left-wingers?

“If the theory that poverty leads to looting was correct then surely the ten poorest cities in the UK would be most prone to rioting? ”

How’s their crime rate compared to less deprived cities?

Also, around the issue of poverty…in this situation where how people feel in comparison to the rest of society, all that matters is relative poverty. Absolute poverty really doesn’t matter when it comes to looking at where you are among your peers, community, and wider population.

Hey LO,

You write,

People can afford fantastically advanced consumer goods because productivity advances very quickly in this sector.

So what does being poor actually mean? Apols if you’ve already addressed this in comments.

I think you will find that the Mancunian public do not care at all if they are heavy-handed, provided that the streets are safe.

Actually, this is very true–I’m afraid that in this part of the country, we’re all for the police being as heavy-handed as they need to be.

“There are pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick – Stay Puft Marshmallow man

“The rich are different — and not in a good way, studies suggest

The ‘Haves’ show less empathy than ‘Have-nots'”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44084236/ns/health-behavior/

Indeed fucker.

“When we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man with people pretending to help him while they are robbing him, it is clear there are things that are badly wrong in our society.” Stay Puft Marshmallow man

Oh the Irony!

“People who are sick, who are vulnerable, the elderly – I want you to know we will always look after you. That is the sign of a civilized society and is what I believe.” Stay Puft

A contract to terrify 1.5m people on incapacity benefit

A French company is being paid millions to harass incapacity benefit claimants with the threat of being made destitute

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/25/contract-terrify-people-incapacity-benefit

You hypocritical chinless wonder.

Surely all social problems could be resolved by applying the principles of the New Testament:

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=kjv&book=mat&chapter=7

87. blackwillow1

Something was starting in my city early evening. Rain stopped play, says a lot about the people getting involved in this shit. Bad weather scares them back home, probably afraid they wo’nt look fashionable with wet clothes and squelchy trainers.

So what does being poor actually mean? Apols if you’ve already addressed this in comments.

Well consumer durables are only a small part of anyone’s consumption basket (what a dreadful phrase). You can own a blackberry and be in fuel poverty for instance, because blackberrys are very cheap, whereas fuel is expensive. Housing is very pricey for instance too.

So my point is, just because some things are now cheap, not all things are now cheap. Terrible planning policy is one contributor to this, but it is just harder to improve the efficiency of building houses and pumping fuel out the ground than it is in the manufacture of phones and TVs.

89. CensoredBySunny

Do you know how you can afford the better things in life? You fucking work for it.

@ Bob @74

The London boroughs with the highest proportions of population with Afro-Caribbean ethnicity are

Lewisham – 28,400 (11.0%)
Croydon – 26,800 (7.9%)
Lambeth – 25,600 (9.4%)
Brent – 24,100 (8.9%)
Hackney – 18,200 (8.7%)
Haringey – 17,700 (7.9%)
Southwark – 17,500 (6.4%)
Waltham Forest – 16,700 (7.5%)
Newham – 15,900 (6.4%)

Other UK cities with high percentage populations are

Birmingham – 44,700 (4.4%)
Manchester – 8,700 (1.9%)
Nottingham – 8,400 (2.9%)
Bradford – 9,500 (2.2%)
Wolverhampton – 8,200 (3.5%)
Luton – 8,000 (4.2%)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_UK_locations_with_large_ethnic_minority_populations#Afro-Caribbean_communities

Left Outside

Most of your article is nonsense.

There is almost universal agreement that the riots were NOT driven by poverty. This agreement includes all MPs from all sides of the House (as witnessed by yesterday’s debate) and almost every contributor to the various blogs on this website, none of whom, I suspect, are “boring, conceited right-wingers”. The only support for your opinion has come from that appalling man Livingston.

None of the scum currently being processed by the courts appears to be “poor” in any meaningful sense of the word.

With your level of ignorance it is no surprise that you are left outside.

There is an assumption made here that all the rioters were “Poor”. Have you had sight of their tax returns? Dealing drugs,robbery etc may not be a proper job but its well paid.

An inquisitive approach could lead to questions about why the most rioting was in Tottenham, Croydon, Clapham Junction, Manchester, Birmingham etc – but not in Beaconsfield, Henley, Aylesbury or Newbury.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  2. Ceehaitch

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  3. Lee Hyde

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  4. Zoë Titchener

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  5. Scorcher

    Even looters with Blackberries can be ‘poor’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/KCXvk64 via @libcon

  6. Alec Style

    Even looters with Blackberries can be ‘poor’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QGKqpQF via @libcon

  7. Peter Martin

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  8. Collen Chandler

    RT @libcon: Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://t.co/ttVwPNg #liverpoolriots #londonriots

  9. SM

    People in ethiopia and kenya have mobile phones too- doesn't mean they don't live in poverty http://t.co/FWywyjM

  10. Hannah Boast

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  11. Sophy

    RT @ColMarx: RT @libcon: Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://t.co/ttVwPNg #liverpoolriots #londonriots

  12. Stephe Meloy

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  13. Helen

    RT @ColMarx: RT @libcon: Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://t.co/ttVwPNg #liverpoolriots #londonriots

  14. Jonathan Glennie

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  15. Pucci Dellanno

    Even looters with Blackberries can be 'poor' http://bit.ly/pZXTBy

  16. Mark Ferguson

    Interesting post at @LibCon "Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’" http://j.mp/oRTYwX

  17. Frank Manning

    If you were wondering how long it would take for the Left to justify 'poor' people having BlackBerry phones worth £300> http://t.co/F1RYxPh

  18. Who are the rioters? « wordstothateffect

    […] Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’ […]

  19. smileandsubvert

    Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’ http://pulse.me/s/1682L

  20. Dawn Foster

    RT @smileandsubvert: Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’ http://pulse.me/s/1682L

  21. James Coglan

    Even looters with Blackberries can be poor. http://t.co/bQwLcta

  22. Charlie Waters

    Even looters with Blackberries can be poor. http://t.co/bQwLcta

  23. hammersteen

    Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’ http://t.co/rrnoL3C via @libcon Badly written, badly argued, made me laught.

  24. hammersteen

    Even looters with Blackberrys can be ‘poor’ http://t.co/rrnoL3C via @libcon Badly written, badly argued, made me laught.

  25. London in flames, police cuts in doubt and the economics of no way out: round up of political blogs for 6 – 12 August | British Politics and Policy at LSE

    […] Matt Cavanagh at The Staggers argues that the riots show that youth unemployment must be addressed, while Liberal Conspiracy says that even looters with Blackberries can be poor. […]

  26. Cognitive Dissident

    @Old_Holborn http://t.co/QGKqpQF

  27. If Poor People Make Bad Decisions, They Are Still Poor « Left Outside

    […] of blow back for suggesting that even rioters with Blackberrys can be poor. The usual suspects at Liberal Conspiracy also waded in. Most of the comments ignored my main point. Owning something that sounds expensive […]





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