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London's Burning - Page 3

post #101 of 229

As a Northern Irishman, it saddens me to see behaviour I've come to expect in my own homeland spreading across England, a place I never thought I'd see it in after living there for 3 years at university. Spike is absolutely right about this being chaos without rationale and, not to sound too glib about it, I should know. Ken and Mike have also made fantastic points, and Nabster seems to have a better handle on things than most as well.

 

With respect, Diva's remarks sound like the musings of someone who doesn't know what she's talking about because she hasn't dealt with this kind of chaos on a day-to-day basis; where a spontaneous riot can break out on a massive scale at a moment's notice and linger for what feels like an age. I'm not talking about crime. I'm talking about living in a situation where you feel like you're in a Dystopian near-future rather than reality. I don't mean to cast aspersions and I say this with no smugness because I'd rather not know what it's like, but I've been through it. I know what it's like to stand around with your friends and say "don't they realize they're destroying their own community and making their own lives tougher in the long run?" while banshees run around grabbing and smashing and attacking anything they can.

 

People here are saying this is like what we've been going through in Belfast and Northern Ireland in general since the late 60's. The late 60's. Not just under a week. I'm not making it a competition. I'm not saying "we're more messed up!" I'm saying there's a reason we're the only part of the U.K. with water cannons. I had to laugh at the news yesterday when a reporter mentioned how, in England, plastic bullets are seen by the police as a "measure of last resort." I and my friends were finding plastic bullets in the wake of riots the night before when we were still in school.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Savage View Post

Folks it's ok David Cameron has come back early from his holiday to sort out the oiks.


He certainly seems to be shaking a lot of hands and standing around listening to people trying to right the mess. What a guy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post This isn't raging against the system, it's bringing the system down to their level.


Precisely, mate. It's the same behaviour I witnessed from classmates and friends of friends growing up. When things kicked off here again in July (as is tradition) it was the same thing. The people doing it are morally bankrupt idiots doing it because it's all they know. If you think that's an unfair assessment, count yourself lucky because you've probably never had the displeasure of witnessing this first-hand.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post
 

This is about STUPID people.


Repeated for maximum emphasis.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

I'm sorry. People don't riot for three days just because they are stupid or its the cool thing to do. People are taking out their anger, frustration, boredom, what have you, on the community. Breaking, stealing, and burning stuff is an outlet for something. We just don't know what yet.

 

No offense, but I just don't think you get it.

 

While we may have the only water-cannons in the U.K., unfortunately we have enough of a job keeping a lid on our own problems over here. I'd just like to offer my sympathy to the England-based Chewers. I hope this stops immediately and everyone's safe and sound at the end of it. My own experiences have taught me to be a tad pessimistic when it comes to this kind of thing, but here's hoping. Take care, friends. If we've hung in there this long, you'll be alright. You're better than this.

 

post #102 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post





And thank god we have your emotionally detached, vaguely superior snark to shepherd us through this thread and these dark times Spike.

 

Thank god for you.

 

So, let me see. I'm the one horrified by this situation and scared for the safety of my friends, and you're the one making snarky comments and basking in what you perceive as some sort of social revolution. And I'm the emotionally detached, vaguely superior one?
 

 

post #103 of 229

Rioting in Gloucester last night, thats about as close to home as it gets.  Still at least I live 20 odd miles away from the city, most Rioters are to lazy to come that far.

 

 

And Bobby, you are spot on mate, well said.

post #104 of 229

Seriously Ian, really appreciate your insight into this. Probably the most salient and well written thoughts in this thread.

 

Speaking of Salient points this article from The Guardian is a surprisingly even-handed appraisal of what's going on right now.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/09/uk-riots-psychology-of-looting

 

London-Croydon-riot-iconi-004.jpg

 

Also, this image and the accompanying story (she's a Polish immigrant who had only been living here since March) is the kind of thing that makes me sick to stomach. Just feel so sorry for the people who've lost their homes and livelihoods and the people in Birmingham who are having to deal with the fact their sons, brothers, friends, were murdered last night.

 

Just sickening.

post #105 of 229

Ken and Spike, thanks very much. It truly saddens me to see Manchester descending into a battleground like the one I had to flee in the wake of the Europa League final three years ago. I remember feeling disgusted then that a little piece of the ugly side of home had crept into that beautiful, vibrant, multicultural city. I hoped to never see it again. You can imagine my disappointment yesterday seeing landmarks on the news - streets I know well, places that hold many fond memories for me - turned into smoking ruins. I expect stuff like this here which is why I've largely stopped even commenting on it when it's happened recently; it's no surprise, as horrible as that might sound. I genuinely expect better from Manchester though, a city that was rightly up in arms when a horde of drunken, idiotic people masquerading as Rangers fans trashed their gorgeous city in 2008.

 

Seriously guys, be careful.

post #106 of 229

I have just heard from one of the security guards that come to my office that a 200 people are gathering in the Park in the centre of Gloucester.  I have never been so happy to be working in a highly secure building.

post #107 of 229

And Stroud apparantly.

post #108 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post

It’s a little off-topic Diva, but I think one of the things that you might not understand is that the history of Black and Indian immigrants doesn’t have a clear analogy to the history of African-Americans. Most immigrants from Black communities came here in the 1950s and were from former colonies.

 

They were essentially welcomed into the country with open arms because Britain had a crippling labour shortage, as such tensions between Black and White communities spring from a different place than tensions between White Americans and African Americans (in Britain the tension has always been most fuelled by economic concerns, with racism being piled on top of a fear of losing your job to a more abled foreigner). In terms of community building it’s probably wiser to equate English Blacks and Asian with Russian Immigrants to America, who created Russianised communities where they landed in New York.


True. That's why I'm curious what community outreach the organization did. It still seems to me that if some wealthy org plopped down in a low-income neighborhood and said "I'm here to help you", people would be a little skeptical.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

I think Spike is right on that. I don't know many Americans who understand at all what is going on here. Its a very messy situation, but this isn't about race anymore. This is just about taking shit, because they can get away with it. 

 

I think its vital you all listen to this on ground interview with the Kids in Manchester. Its insane. http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9560000/9560646.stm


When did I ever say the riots were about race? I've pretty much only argued that we can't say the riots are meaningless or the partakers mindless.

 

As for my comments towards Spike's organization, I'm genuinely curious why Spike thinks certain people don't want to partake in mainstream society. I find it disturbing that someone would make personal attributions when discussing why whole groups of people act a certain way. American or no, human nature doesn't work like that.

 

 

post #109 of 229

It's not a wealthy organisation, they're largely public funded outreach centres designed to meet the needs of the community. People's taxes pay for those centres and those projects. The problem has always been underfunding and apathy. The outreach centres don't get used as much as they should, so they're deemed as failures, so they get there funding cut, so they don't get used as much as they should.

 

What's fascinating about this situation is the fact that NOW the politically motivated people are starting to get involved.

 

This footage, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuqeQaEatiI, which ends with a police officer having a firework thrown into their face is a perfect example of the desperate way people are attempting to make this some sort of nebulous political statement.

post #110 of 229

Speaking as a Londoner, the underlying issues that have caused this are too complex to easily pigeon hole. I imagine if you surveyed 100 of the teenagers throwing rocks at the fuzz or looting their local sports shop you'd get 75 different reasons why.

post #111 of 229

A lot of those answers would be variations on a theme though, Love Machine. For decades, idiots of all ages here have needed no reason to attack the emergency services on our streets beyond "they are there." By definition, they are a target because they're perceived as - to put it in simpler terms than I'd like to - "The Man." The same can also be said for why people suddenly feel the need to destroy shops and steal whatever they can. And trash their own community. And on and on.

post #112 of 229

The best resource for news right now is The Guardian live update Blog.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2011/aug/10/uk-riots-fifth-night-live

 

Apparently things are kicking off with racist groups trying to hi-jack the situation so they can just fight. Bunch of Football hooligans.

 

From a guy in Birmingham, predicting tonight.

 

 

Quote:
"That was really wrong what happened last night in Birmingham to the three lads. But listen it is going to be like it was in 2005. I don't agree with violence like that but because of what happened. It's going to go off tonight in terms of Blacks versus Asians. And that is a bad thing - people should go in and lock their doors."

 

Also, an update on that boy who was mugged while injured posted on the previous page.

 

 

Quote:

A Malaysian student who was mugged by youths posing as good Samaritans during the London riots has said they threatened to stab him.

Ashraf Haziq, 20, was seen in a YouTube video bleeding after being punched in the jaw less than a month after arriving in Britain. Hooded youths initially pretended to help him to his feet - then went through his rucksack, stealing his mobile phone and wallet, in Barking, east London.

Ashraf, from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, relived his ordeal from his hospital bed when he was visited by a friend who filmed the chat and posted it online.

"They threatened to stab me, they told me they had knives," Ashraf says in the footage, available on YouTube and translated by Channel 4 News.

"Some of them were quite young, maybe still in primary school. They had their hoods on and demanded my bicycle."

Ashraf was due to undergo an operation on his broken jaw today.

 

 

post #113 of 229

Yeah, I have to say when I saw groups going mob handed to 'protect' stores or areas the first thing I thought was "you just want a legitimised reason to have a fight".


Like those guys at the end of that Manc soundbite, wearing facemasks because they don;t want to be seen "if we catch one"

 

madness.

post #114 of 229

From Manchester Police on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/#!/gmpolice/status/101406299501232128

Quote:

 GM Police

Just arrested two men found with fuel can, balaclava, ball bearings - if you want to commit disorder, we'll lock you up.

post #115 of 229

And now the EDL are getting stuck in.

post #116 of 229

Saw that earlier. Such a bunch of twats. I'm at work tomorrow in Ealing. I've not been back there since the big riot. I'm dreading walking through burnt out buildings and shops. So awful. I hear its spreading all over the place right now, but isn't sticking. I should imagine the riots will die out soon. They've had their fun, they've stolen the stuff they wanted.

post #117 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post



 

So, let me see. I'm the one horrified by this situation and scared for the safety of my friends, and you're the one making snarky comments and basking in what you perceive as some sort of social revolution. And I'm the emotionally detached, vaguely superior one?
 

 


If you can point to where I'm basking in anything I'd be interested. I'm fucking horrified by whats going on and have close friends in the epicentre of what was going in London - but lets not turn this into a pissing competition shall we, I just get tired of snarky blindsides from you Spike, if I was a more narcissistic personality I'd simply assume you have a crush on me.

 

post #118 of 229

Watching the UK and world media in general flap around like dying fish desperate to frame the situation in the UK right now within the parameters of a simplistic, usually agenda-driven, narrative that boils the problems down to simplistic basics is once again hammering home to me how far our modern media complexes have come from being a true democratically healthy fourth estate...

 

Here are just some typicals from a basic skim of what I've been reading...

 

For some it was the evils of social netoworking:

 

 

 

Quote:
The riots, predictably, imported the question of the role of social media in civil unrest from the more exotic locales of the Arab Spring into a more familiar environment. The occasional face-palm moment apart, most discussion of the events of the past eight months in the Middle East has long since moved on from facile notions of “Twitter Revolutions” or “Facebook Revolutions”, unless you’re Evgeny Morozov and there are “cyberutopians” to be smitten hip and thigh. But courtesy of some British newspapers, we were back in exactly that territory within moments of the riots breaking out.
 
The Daily Mail claimed there were “fears that violence was fanned by Twitter as picture of burning police car was re-tweeted more than 100 times”. Who outside the Daily Mail held those fears, and why violence would be fanned by pictures of a burning police car — rather than, say, concern or fear — was never explained. Meanwhile, that Murdoch journal of record The Sun devoted an entire article to “rioting thugs use Twitter to boost their numbers”.
 

 

 

For others it was the failure of the evils progressive left and its welfare mentality...

 

 

 

Quote:
This pot has been simmering for a long time. The Coalition government inherited a mess from Gordon Brown. Thirteen years of big-spending Labour governments under Tony Blair and Brown, at a time when they should have been weather-proofing the budget during growth years, left Britain running a budget deficit comparable with that of Greece. The coalition inherited Britain's largest budget deficit and national debt outside wartime, driven by social spending that perpetuated a welfare economy.
 

 

While some are obviously so desperate for a different throughline to the story that they'll point the finger at almost anything...

 

 

 

Quote:
"Parents are fearful about how they chastise their children," Clasford Stirling, a veteran youth worker, who runs the football club at Broadwater Farm community centre in Tottenham, said. "There's been an erosion of authority for a long time. Parents move very gingerly not to upset their own kids – that's the reality."
 
Broadwater Farm estate is again at the centre of the unrest in London. Mark Duggan, whose death last week sparked London's riots, was brought up here, and sent one of his sons to Stirling's football classes. On Wednesday, Stirling was making arrangements for his wake.
 
Struggling to make sense of the violence that has turned buildings on Tottenham High Road into smouldering piles of rubble, Stirling wondered whether weakened parental authority might have something to do with it.
 

 

 

It's bewildering, anger-inducing, yet fascinating stuff.

 

 

ETA: Here's another good piece on how essentially the UK riots are an ideological rorshach test for politicians and the media, usually saying much more about themselves than the events they're commenting on.


Edited by The Rain Dog - 8/10/11 at 7:12pm
post #119 of 229

As ugly as this has been, it's going to get a lot worse considering who's in power right now. Good to know that Cameron can act swiftly and decisively when an 11 year-old steals a pair of trainers, though.

 

God, so much about this is depressing. I pretty much hate everyone right now. And I'm surprised by the general Toryesque tone in this thread of "well, these guys are just scum who don't want to be helped". Most of them are 16 and under. They're kids, for Christ's sake.

 

Who's done more damaage to society, the idiots smashing shit up this week or the craven, greed-driven sociopaths who destroyed this country's economy for personal gain? And yet who got off scot free? The courts can open 24 hours when the underclasses start breaking stuff, but there's only been two or three MPs jailed for swindling their expenses?

 

Forgive me, I'm ranting. This is just an elephantine societal meltdown that I can't chew at the moment. Everything about this country's day-to-day operations right now gets me down.

post #120 of 229

the only good thing about these riots is that it may end up bringing down the government or at least stopping there attempts to cull everything in sight.

post #121 of 229

It won't though. It'll just give them the excuses they've needed to enact further punishing cuts on the lower classes and draconian laws to crack down on dissent/the young/anyone who disagrees with them.

post #122 of 229
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

 

And I'm surprised by the general Toryesque tone in this thread of "well, these guys are just scum who don't want to be helped". Most of them are 16 and under....


Forgive me, I'm ranting. This is just an elephantine societal meltdown that I can't chew at the moment. Everything about this country's day-to-day operations right now gets me down.


I don't know about you or the rest of this thread, Andrew, but I haven't seen a lot of footage suggesting the people stealing items from an injured youth's backpack while he tries to right himself or destroying a "Mom and Pop" independent business of over a hundred years of age because the opportunity presented itself deserve much sympathy. Now is not the time to molly-coddle the source of people's fear and outrage. Let's not forget the disgusting immorality we've seen already.

 

Some of us might not like to say certain people just don't know any better and don't want to be "good", productive members of society. Some people might not like to hear other people saying it. I don't particularly like either myself, but I've known enough individuals like that to say with absolute confidence such people are real. If you still need convincing of that after the headlines over the last few days, I'm impressed by your optimism. I wish I hadn't seen things growing up that put that beyond doubt before I'd left school.

 

It's still the same here as it was when I was first encountering this. Those who attacked the authorities and "the other side" of the community (as they saw them) were the people who knew little about the history of the country they were so passionately "fighting for." I'm not just talking about those I saw or knew personally. I'm talking about the culture of ignorance that the sectarianism bred on a national level. Whether they were people on the street or on the TV, the answers were always the same. It didn't matter to them why "they" - the "other side" - were their enemy. They just wanted to know who their enemies were. It's still the same. That's why, when stuff kicks off here now, the cry from the peaceful sides of the community is "what have we done?" When the arms have been decommissioned (apparently) and it's a new era (again, apparently), then why are we still going over the same ground? Because the people causing trouble were brought up to believe in this monochromatic world of "us and them." "It's all a big conspiracy. They're the bad guys. They're getting more from the government..." hence why the police are just another target to them. That's what they were told and their fathers were told and their fathers. And so on. And they just accept it and get on with carrying on the grudges because it suits them.

 

That's what I think a lot of people don't understand about this. Some people just love to fight. Whether it takes the form of looting or attacking the police or each other, the principle is the same. There's no taking away that some of the people involved in this are still kids. However, many of them aren't. This is unprecedented. It's on a scale the country was clearly unprepared for. Does anyone else think that calls for similarly unprecedented action?

 

post #123 of 229

No-one is born "just loving to fight". And what unprecedented action are you advocating?

 

And where the *fuck* did I call for sympathy? Is suggesting that these rioters aren't simply subhuman refugees from a John Carpenter film now too "bleeding heart"? Christ, it's like being a Muslim on 12th September 2001.


Edited by Andrew Merriweather - 8/11/11 at 7:37am
post #124 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post

 This is unprecedented. It's on a scale the country was clearly unprepared for. Does anyone else think that calls for similarly unprecedented action?

 


Honestly not trying to be facile, but here in the States we're certainly learning what sort of repercussions "unprecedented actions" can have.
 

 

post #125 of 229

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

No-one is born "just loving to fight". And what unprecedented action are you advocating?

 

.... Is suggesting that these rioters aren't simply subhuman refugees from a John Carpenter film now too "bleeding heart"?


I'm not advocating any particular form of unprecedented action, because I'm not in a position to know how you begin to deal with this kind of situation. I never professed to know how to fix this, but I know what the problem is.

 

I said "some people just love to fight" and I can't really believe I'm even having to convince people of that. This isn't meant to sound condescending, but I feel glad for you, because the very fact that you doubt that shows you must have led a pretty nice life so far.

 

You didn't openly come out and call for sympathy, but you obviously looked down your nose at everyone in this thread who's condemned the people responsible for the thugs that they are. The way you casually derided the "general Toryesque tone in this thread" of people calling this they way they see it made it seem like you were painting yourself as some sort of extra sensitive, caring individual surrounded by a mob baying for blood. And you did it again with that ridiculously hyperbolic comment about people portraying those responsible as extras from They Live or something. That's not the case and I personally didn't appreciate being lumped into a "Tory" bracket when I'm not even English nor remotely Tory-sympathetic.

 

post #126 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post

Honestly not trying to be facile, but here in the States we're certainly learning what sort of repercussions "unprecedented actions" can have.

 

That's why I was very careful not to suggest any knee-jerk Dystopian solutions. However you think this would best be dealt with, there can be little argument that it calls for something more than the average.
 

 

post #127 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post

 


I'm not advocating any particular form of unprecedented action, because I'm not in a position to know how you begin to deal with this kind of situation. I never professed to know how to fix this, but I know what the problem is.

 

I said "some people just love to fight" and I can't really believe I'm even having to convince people of that. This isn't meant to sound condescending, but I feel glad for you, because the very fact that you doubt that shows you must have led a pretty nice life so far.

 

You didn't openly come out and call for sympathy, but you obviously looked down your nose at everyone in this thread who's condemned the people responsible for the thugs that they are. The way you casually derided the "general Toryesque tone in this thread" of people calling this they way they see it made it seem like you were painting yourself as some sort of extra sensitive, caring individual surrounded by a mob baying for blood. And you did it again with that ridiculously hyperbolic comment about people portraying those responsible as extras from They Live or something. That's not the case and I personally didn't appreciate being lumped into a "Tory" bracket when I'm not even English nor remotely Tory-sympathetic.

 

 

"Some people just love to fight" is just utter nonsense. Yes, some people might just love to fight. But those some people aren't numerous enough to spread riots across an entire country's worth of cities in the space of four days. To shrug this off with such a simplistic platitude is borderline irresponsible. You and others essentially seem to want to close down any debate about underlying social causes for behaviour like this, and it's bullshit.

 

And my weariness and attitude about this has nothing to do with moral superiority and everything to do with how the world grinds to a halt to condemn the poor when they destroy lives, but just carries on ticking away when the better-off get away with figurative murder on a daily basis. I am just simply tired of it all, and seeing people who I know are intelligent reduce such a complex issue to cries of "bloody thugs!" adds to that.
 

 

post #128 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

"Some people just love to fight" is just utter nonsense. Yes, some people might just love to fight. But those some people aren't numerous enough to spread riots across an entire country's worth of cities in the space of four days. To shrug this off with such a simplistic platitude is borderline irresponsible. You and others essentially seem to want to close down any debate about underlying social causes for behaviour like this....

 

And my weariness and attitude about this has nothing to do with moral superiority and everything to do with how the world grinds to a halt to condemn the poor when they destroy lives, but just carries on ticking away when the better-off get away with figurative murder on a daily basis. I am just simply tired of it all, and seeing people who I know are intelligent reduce such a complex issue to cries of "bloody thugs!" adds to that.


It really isn't "utter nonsense." I already qualified what I meant by explaining that it wasn't only to be taken literally. It applies to more than just one form of conflict, as I already said. There are massive portions of young people (and not so young people) all over the U.K. who congregate for anti-social behaviour in one form or another under certain circumstances. I expect you'll have a field day tearing this kind of directness apart, but there's an element of "monkey see, monkey do" to it. Amongst other things, peer pressure also contributes. It's actually amazing watching how otherwise ordinary law-abiding people can be lured into participating in a riot or some other form of violence when they see other people doing it. Or at the very least adding to the mob of people gathered, making the job of diffusing the situation even harder for the authorities. If you're feeling like that relates to what we've seen already over the last number of days, then good. You should be, frankly, because that's what's been going on.

 

I think it would be fair to say someone who wakes up with no particular agenda of rage or desire to loot and pillage, then swiftly changes his or her mind when they see it happening elsewhere in their city or in others across their country has a questionable moral compass. I would also call their intelligence into question, because I don't feel particularly bad about condemning someone who sticks two fingers up to civilization and law & order as the people involved in this chaos have been doing. You don't pick up a pipe or a gun or a petrol bomb to try to change things. That's what "radical" people in Northern Ireland have struggled to learn all these years. And I have a pretty low opinion of someone who thinks that kind of barbarism is an option in any kind of civilized society.

 

I mean, someone who decides to break into a shop and snatch TVs and stuff is a criminal right? Someone who runs riot through a city, trashing everything in sight is a thug, isn't he/she? That didn't suddenly change because a lot of people have been doing it and it might sound "mean" to say, did it?

 

It isn't shrugging something off to offer another opinion, especially when it's informed from personal experience of this kind of thing. It wasn't exactly something I was seeing a lot of before I started posting. Again, I'm not making it a competition or trying to sound like some sort of quasi-noble savage who's "seen things you wouldn't believe", but the simple fact of the matter is you can only appreciate something so much if you haven't witnessed it first hand time and again.

 

You can try and back-pedal now about your condescension, Andrew, but it's as clear as day. And I frankly find it a bit suspect when someone informed and intelligent has oodles of venom to spray at a person discussing the vile antics of others, but little to direct at those actually perpetrating said behaviour. 

 

post #129 of 229

Good people do bad things, and bad people do good things. It's crazy to me that so many people are labeling these rioters as just mindless thugs.There's so much more going on than that.

 

In reading news articles and blogs on the events, the gap between authority figures' and citizens' opinions on the cause(s) of the rioting and looting is just so apparent.

 

From the NYTs:

 

Quote:

“The sight of those young people running down streets, smashing windows, taking property, looting, laughing as they go, the problem of that is a complete lack of responsibility, a lack of proper parenting, a lack of proper upbringing, a lack of proper ethics, a lack of proper morals.” --Prime Minister David Cameron, on the riots in Britain.

 

Let's blame the individuals and their parents. Gov't has no responsibility in this.

 

From a blog:

 

Quote:
UK PM David Cameron said he has ordered an inquiry into the possibility of banning users from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook if it is determined that they are planning to engage in criminal behavior.

 

So that's what caused all this - social networking? Does Cameron really think that constraining social networking use will stop people from lashing out violently in their communities?

 

 

Compare those quotes to these from the BBC:

 

Quote:
Prof John Pitts, a criminologist who advises several London local authorities on young people and gangs, says some of those taking the lead in the looting will be known to the authorities, while others are swept along. He says looting makes "powerless people suddenly feel powerful" and that is "very intoxicating".

 

"The world has been turned upside down. The youngsters are used to adults in authority telling them they cannot do this or this will happen. Then they do it and nothing happens."

 

He says a large number of youngsters are involved in these riots because it is the school holidays and the nights are longer. Numbers are all important in a riot and the tipping point comes when the rioters feel in control, he adds. "You cannot riot on your own. A one-man riot is a tantrum. At some point the bigger crowds confronting the police realise that they are in control."


Psychologists argue that a person loses their moral identity in a large group, and empathy and guilt - the qualities that stop us behaving like criminals - are corroded. "Morality is inversely proportional to the number of observers. When you have a large group that's relatively anonymous, you can essentially do anything you like," according to Dr James Thompson, honorary senior lecturer in psychology at University College London.

 

<snip>

 

For law-abiding citizens setting fire to a bus or stealing from a shop is simply unthinkable. But academics say socio-economic factors cannot be left out of the equation.

 

Dr Paul Bagguley, a sociologist at the University of Leeds, says young men are usually engaged in confrontation with the police, while looters tend to include young children and women.


"It's very likely that a lot of people stealing the stuff would not have done it before. There's a sense in these situations that the normal rules don't apply."

 

Prof Pitts says riots are complex events and cannot be explained away as "just thuggery". They have to be seen against the backdrop of "growing discontents" about youth unemployment, education opportunities and income disparities. He says most of the rioters are from poor estates who have no "stake in conformity", who have nothing to lose.

 

"They have no career to think about. They are not 'us'. They live out there on the margins, enraged, disappointed, capable of doing some awful things."

 

Researchers and psychologists claim that you can't understand the events without looking at the larger context it plays out in.

 

It'll be interesting to see how London begins to rebuild after all the violence dies down. But I can guarantee that nothing will be learned from these events until people can talk on a common ground and see each others' perspectives. Both sides have accept responsibility for what went down. You can't marginalize people and expect them to respect you and you can't lash out at innocent people just because you are angry.

 

I'll end this post with a video of a smart ass lady telling the looters to cut the shit out. "If we're fighting for a cause, let's fight for a cause!"

 


Edited by Diva - 8/11/11 at 11:05am
post #130 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post


It really isn't "utter nonsense." I already qualified what I meant by explaining that it wasn't only to be taken literally. It applies to more than just one form of conflict, as I already said. There are massive portions of young people (and not so young people) all over the U.K. who congregate for anti-social behaviour in one form or another under certain circumstances. I expect you'll have a field day tearing this kind of directness apart, but there's an element of "monkey see, monkey do" to it. Amongst other things, peer pressure also contributes. It's actually amazing watching how otherwise ordinary law-abiding people can be lured into participating in a riot or some other form of violence when they see other people doing it. Or at the very least adding to the mob of people gathered, making the job of diffusing the situation even harder for the authorities. If you're feeling like that relates to what we've seen already over the last number of days, then good. You should be, frankly, because that's what's been going on.

 

I think it would be fair to say someone who wakes up with no particular agenda of rage or desire to loot and pillage, then swiftly changes his or her mind when they see it happening elsewhere in their city or in others across their country has a questionable moral compass. I would also call their intelligence into question, because I don't feel particularly bad about condemning someone who sticks two fingers up to civilization and law & order as the people involved in this chaos have been doing. You don't pick up a pipe or a gun or a petrol bomb to try to change things. That's what "radical" people in Northern Ireland have struggled to learn all these years. And I have a pretty low opinion of someone who thinks that kind of barbarism is an option in any kind of civilized society.

 

I mean, someone who decides to break into a shop and snatch TVs and stuff is a criminal right? Someone who runs riot through a city, trashing everything in sight is a thug, isn't he/she? That didn't suddenly change because a lot of people have been doing it and it might sound "mean" to say, did it?

 

It isn't shrugging something off to offer another opinion, especially when it's informed from personal experience of this kind of thing. It wasn't exactly something I was seeing a lot of before I started posting. Again, I'm not making it a competition or trying to sound like some sort of quasi-noble savage who's "seen things you wouldn't believe", but the simple fact of the matter is you can only appreciate something so much if you haven't witnessed it first hand time and again.

 

You can try and back-pedal now about your condescension, Andrew, but it's as clear as day. And I frankly find it a bit suspect when someone informed and intelligent has oodles of venom to spray at a person discussing the vile antics of others, but little to direct at those actually perpetrating said behaviour. 

 

 

Bobby, I think the disconnect between you and Andrew (and myself) is that you seem to think  (correct me if I'm wrong) that people trying to understand the context of the situation or why someone would participate in this is somehow condoning their actions. There is not a single person in this thread who has said that the rioters and looters behavior is ok. It's not. They are doing horrible, horrible things. We can all agree on that. What we can't agree on is why these people are doing these horrible things. And I think its a cop out to just label these folks thugs. Yes, there are some thugs who are participating. But when you look at how many people across the board are involved and on such scale (various cities, not just the community the guy who got shot lived in), you can't just boil it down to thuggery. People who wouldn't ordinarily be involved in this type of behavior, are doing so. Why? This questions holds important answers about what sort of fixes need to be made on a socio-political level.
 

 

post #131 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post

It's not a wealthy organisation, they're largely public funded outreach centres designed to meet the needs of the community. People's taxes pay for those centres and those projects. The problem has always been underfunding and apathy. The outreach centres don't get used as much as they should, so they're deemed as failures, so they get there funding cut, so they don't get used as much as they should.


Regardless of who's funding the organization, the point I'm making is that it is an outside organization coming into a community. You said that the org made efforts to engage the community, and I'm interested in what sorts of efforts. As I mentioned, there is international research showing that most attempts at outreach fail when the community doesn't feel ownership in it or when the organization tries to apply models based on one community in another. You suggest the latter part was taken care of, yet the org had no funding to implement those strategies. It seems bizarre to me, then, to blame the residents of the community for not wanting to participate in a program that they had very little reason to believe would benefit them.

 

post #132 of 229

Thanks for trying to reason with us!

 

I think the response from the government is hilariously outmoded. They're attempting to create draconian measures against a generation they know very little about, aside from buzzwords like Facebook and Twitter.

 

I think the response from the intelligentsia is telling in how they're straining to correlate this to any kind of salient point. Speak to a dozen commentators, from both the left and right, and you'll get a dozen reasons about why this happened. But once again they're not sure of who is to actually blame, who is at the heart of the riots, and so there commentary is like trying to fill in negative space.

 

I think the response from the rioters themselves, who aren't just kids and oppressed minorities but represent opportunists from a variety of economic and social background, makes the intelligentsia and the government seem even more quaint. Because there repsonse either boils down to 'why not', 'or it looked like fun'. The few people trying to corral this into a legitimate political statement have largely been drowned out. Whilst community leaders and more progressive political groups (like Solfed) have attempted to either calm the troubles down or disassociate themselves.

 

As much as I want to look at the lots of the people involved in the riots, I can't help but feel more sympathy for the three young men who were run down defending their community, the woman who had to jump from the second story of a burning building, the Malaysian student with a broken jaw who was helped to his feet and summarially robbed, the hundreds of privately owned businesses and homes destroyed.

 

I think you're equating these rioters with people you've interacted with in America, and I think that it's unwise to make such direct correlations.

 

What makes me angry is that this is a tipping point which is going to allow the conservatives a chance to create really draconian measures which could seriously impact peoples abilities to demonstrate and protest in the future. British Society has already lurched to the right in response to this, backbenchers are discussing the feasibility of cutting benefits of anyone involved in he riots due to it receiving 100,000 votes from the public as an e-petition.

post #133 of 229

The problem with Outreach Programmes is this. There's a very specific lack of funding for all of these projects, but they're all expected to get results. The same model is also used in EVERY community and there's no real understanding of why there are certain community clashes or why there may need to be more resource for certain communities. I remember an entire community centre was scrapped in a district called Manningham in my home city. It was built with one entrace, in an area that was about 65% Muslim, and the Muslim community would not use it because they required separate entrances for Men and Women. The Community Centre was therefore scrapped, despite the fact that the Polish and Serb population of the community were using the centre enough to justify it staying open. The problem has always been that the Government thinks with square pegs, but communities are triangles, oblongs, and circles.

 

Where I grew up was a fairly affluent neighbourhood, but it had a row of Council Flats (I guess you'd refer to them as tenaments) built in close proximity to it when I was about five or six. The amazing thing was that the kids themselves from these Flats didn't become the problem, the sheer psychological impact of the Flats seemed to make the existing kids on the neighbourhood act out in a very specific way. My community went from being fairly quiet and boring to having five and six year olds walking around with screwdrivers and stanley knives and disused buildings being set alight every few months.

post #134 of 229

" as long as you have private property, and as long as cash money is the measure of all things, it is really not possible for a nation to be governed justly or happily." Sir Thomas More

post #135 of 229

The thing is I hate this 'Class War' rationale because it feels like bullshit middle class posturing. The banking crisis, the expenses controversy, the economic downturn are all screws that were tightened but I guarantee that what made these communities riot wasn't a concept as opaque as that, although they are part of the overall malaise.

post #136 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

Bobby, I think the disconnect between you and Andrew (and myself) is that you seem to think  (correct me if I'm wrong) that people trying to understand the context of the situation or why someone would participate in this is somehow condoning their actions. There is not a single person in this thread who has said that the rioters and looters behavior is ok. It's not. They are doing horrible, horrible things. We can all agree on that. What we can't agree on is why these people are doing these horrible things. And I think its a cop out to just label these folks thugs. Yes, there are some thugs who are participating. But when you look at how many people across the board are involved and on such scale (various cities, not just the community the guy who got shot lived in), you can't just boil it down to thuggery. People who wouldn't ordinarily be involved in this type of behavior, are doing so. Why? This questions holds important answers about what sort of fixes need to be made on a socio-political level.


I don't think what you said about why we're disagreeing is true at all. I understand the context of the situation. Again, with respect, I live in the British Isles so I'm not "trying" to get my head around it from the outside looking in.

 

I'm sure a lot of the people involved in this feel like they're marginalized (or were convinced to join in because someone told them they were), but why did the need suddenly strike them to act out then? What momentous, Earth-shattering change came about that caused this pandemonium? They seemed to be getting on with life until very recently. Was conscription suddenly reinstated for some new war? People are killed all the time and it hasn't led to this before. Spike's points about opportunism get right to the nub of this. What you're seeing is the initial volatile outbursts in London spreading when one set of criminals inspires another. "Look at what they're getting down there! We've not got anything up here! Let's do what they're doing!" Some people are crying foul about poverty and so on, yet they managed to arrange to meet up for a smash and grab high street dash via Blackberrys and iPhones? I'm sorry, but I still don't think you get it, Diva.

 

There may well be more to it than just mindless destruction and criminal indulgence for some of those involved, but it seems unlikely it's any substantial amount. If it was, they would have achieved what they set out to do after night one. Attention: gained. What was to be gained by repeating it for purely, obviously personal gain night after night? Violence isn't the best way to solve a problem. If there was any kind of deeper "controlling idea" or ethic behind this, then surely that would have been told to those who took it too far on the streets of some of Britain's biggest cities? I didn't see anything approaching organization on that kind of level. This isn't Demolition Man with some unseen Denis Leary figure coordinating careful strikes from the underground. This is more like This is England with people who don't know better seeing what they can get away with or doing what they think is "acceptable" because of their warped morality.

 

However bad your circumstances may be or how alienated or oppressed you may feel, it doesn't justify chaos on this scale. It just doesn't. I'm angry about things I'd like to change and it affects me on a day-to-day basis as well, but I don't think that entitles me to vent my frustration by looting the local electronics superstore or attacking the police. Nor do I think that would entitle me to call it "reactionary" or some other half-baked justification. If you or Andrew (or anyone giving a thumbs up to your comments) can explain to me where stealing the biggest TV a human body can carry fits into revolutionary behaviour, I'd love to hear it. Or a "cry for help" or however else people clamoring to justify it want to put it. If these people were as misunderstood as some of the posters in this thread are suggesting, wouldn't they understand they're going about their "mission" all wrong (if they, indeed, have one?)

 

You find a peaceful way to solve what's bothering you or you don't bother at all. At least, that should be the way it's done.

 

When I suggested that anyone who thinks it's alright to destroy a city or endanger lives or steal from innocent law-abiding citizens isn't a very nice person, it was suggested to me that I was some sort of wannabe Judge Dredd calling for heads to roll. And I didn't appreciate that too much since it felt pretty obvious to me that what I was saying seemed fair enough.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post

I think the response from the intelligentsia is telling in how they're straining to correlate this to any kind of salient point. Speak to a dozen commentators, from both the left and right, and you'll get a dozen reasons about why this happened. But once again they're not sure of who is to actually blame, who is at the heart of the riots, and so there commentary is like trying to fill in negative space.

 

I think the response from the rioters themselves, who aren't just kids and oppressed minorities but represent opportunists from a variety of economic and social background, makes the intelligentsia and the government seem even more quaint. Because there repsonse either boils down to 'why not', 'or it looked like fun'. The few people trying to corral this into a legitimate political statement have largely been drowned out. Whilst community leaders and more progressive political groups (like Solfed) have attempted to either calm the troubles down or disassociate themselves.

 

As much as I want to look at the lots of the people involved in the riots, I can't help but feel more sympathy for the three young men who were run down defending their community, the woman who had to jump from the second story of a burning building, the Malaysian student with a broken jaw who was helped to his feet and summarially robbed, the hundreds of privately owned businesses and homes destroyed.

 

I think you're equating these rioters with people you've interacted with in America, and I think that it's unwise to make such direct correlations.


I couldn't agree more with all of this. Very well said, sir.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post

The banking crisis, the expenses controversy, the economic downturn are all screws that were tightened but I guarantee that what made these communities riot wasn't a concept as opaque as that, although they are part of the overall malaise.


And again, excellently phrased. Your point about "middle class posturing" is so perfect; it actually reminds me of the lyrics to "Hunting for Witches" by Bloc Party, a song I listened to again the other day after all this kicked off. It resonated a lot with this discussion with lines about "middle class indecision" and calls for "accountability."

 

I resent the fact that this discussion has almost been turned into an election where you're either in the liberal nice guy camp where there must be some deeper reason to people rioting (has every riot in human history needed some sub-textual meaning to get going?) or the "LOCK 'EM UP!" camp.

post #137 of 229

Well I for one see no dichotomy whatsoever between saying these people need to be locked up, and that there are underlying systemic factors that led to this, and that can and should be addressed.

 

Just to take one example (which may or may not be pertinent to these riots): you put a lot of restrictions on how and when the police may use force, and the police will seek ways around those restrictions, because at the end of the day, they care about their jobs and want to maintain order. But by skirting the regs, and using tactics like intimidation, profiling etc, they create hostility amongst a significant part of the community they are supposed to protect. You get a positive feedback loop which creates two armed camps: the police and the community (and not just the toughs. In parts of La like Compton no one trusts the cops).

 

As a side note I think that conflating MPs faking business expenses with torching a business or running someone down is sheer bullshit.

 

Also Bobby, iPhones and Blackberry's are quite inexpensive relative to the items that were stolen. They are also status symbols, so people will spend what money they have on them vs. other items.

This AP story goes into detail about the emerging trend of "Flash Mob Crimes": http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONTROLLING_FLASH_MOBS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-08-09-08-01-56

 

Seeing the news of the numerous arrests based on surveillance videos I was struck by a comment by the (now former) CEO of Google: that kids will need to think about changing their names once they reach adulthood, because of the electronic trails they've left as kids. PM Cameron has stated that the names and pics of some of these rioters will be made public. I can see that these perpetrators may be shamed publicly and perhaps for life due to this. We may cheer this, but think of the proportionality: you steal one TV set when you are 12-15, and that follows you for the rest of your life.

 

One thing that is cause for cheer: the way the localities have rallied themselves into neighborhood watches. Hopefully they will become more self reliant and prevent similar outbreaks in the future.

post #138 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Augustine View Post

" as long as you have private property, and as long as cash money is the measure of all things, it is really not possible for a nation to be governed justly or happily." Sir Thomas More



There is a long list of Totalitarian regimes where no one had property that were a lot more unjust and unhappy.

post #139 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post

The problem with Outreach Programmes is this. There's a very specific lack of funding for all of these projects, but they're all expected to get results. The same model is also used in EVERY community and there's no real understanding of why there are certain community clashes or why there may need to be more resource for certain communities. I remember an entire community centre was scrapped in a district called Manningham in my home city. It was built with one entrace, in an area that was about 65% Muslim, and the Muslim community would not use it because they required separate entrances for Men and Women. The Community Centre was therefore scrapped, despite the fact that the Polish and Serb population of the community were using the centre enough to justify it staying open. The problem has always been that the Government thinks with square pegs, but communities are triangles, oblongs, and circles.

 

Where I grew up was a fairly affluent neighbourhood, but it had a row of Council Flats (I guess you'd refer to them as tenaments) built in close proximity to it when I was about five or six. The amazing thing was that the kids themselves from these Flats didn't become the problem, the sheer psychological impact of the Flats seemed to make the existing kids on the neighbourhood act out in a very specific way. My community went from being fairly quiet and boring to having five and six year olds walking around with screwdrivers and stanley knives and disused buildings being set alight every few months.

 

Totally agreed with the bolded section. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Programs that are designed without at least some input from the community are going to fail because they are designed by outsiders looking in. They don't know the ins and outs of what make that community work. I feel a lot of government projects are well-intentioned, but the people running them are just so clueless. In anycase, I was really interested in the program you talked about previously so I thank you for engaging in this discussion. I'm still curious about what specific types of methods that program used to engage the community (not just putting a building in the neighborhood, but what sorts of outreach, mentorship, programs, etc.), but it is tangetal to the thread.
 

 

post #140 of 229
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

 

Also Bobby, iPhones and Blackberry's are quite inexpensive relative to the items that were stolen. They are also status symbols, so people will spend what money they have on them vs. other items.

 

Obviously a TV is more expensive than a mobile phone. I'm talking about poverty. My point is, no-one could seriously be rioting over feeling oppressed and/or neglected living in squalor if they're running around in brand new Adidas and Nike tracksuits, trainers, and letting their mates know where to loot next on the latest mobile phones. If someone is truly living in poverty, they're not going to spend money on a phone instead of food because they're worried about what people might say if they don't have one. I'd imagine they'd be more concerned about them saying "did he really die of starvation just because he didn't want us to know he still had an old brick instead of a smartphone?"

 

It's not a case of people saying these rioters can't be motivated and locked up at the same time. I just don't think it's that complicated for the majority of them.

 

post #141 of 229


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post


I don't think what you said about why we're disagreeing is true at all. I understand the context of the situation. Again, with respect, I live in the British Isles so I'm not "trying" to get my head around it from the outside looking in.

 

I'm sure a lot of the people involved in this feel like they're marginalized (or were convinced to join in because someone told them they were), but why did the need suddenly strike them to act out then? What momentous, Earth-shattering change came about that caused this pandemonium? They seemed to be getting on with life until very recently. Was conscription suddenly reinstated for some new war? People are killed all the time and it hasn't led to this before. Spike's points about opportunism get right to the nub of this. What you're seeing is the initial volatile outbursts in London spreading when one set of criminals inspires another. "Look at what they're getting down there! We've not got anything up here! Let's do what they're doing!" Some people are crying foul about poverty and so on, yet they managed to arrange to meet up for a smash and grab high street dash via Blackberrys and iPhones? I'm sorry, but I still don't think you get it, Diva.

 

There may well be more to it than just mindless destruction and criminal indulgence for some of those involved, but it seems unlikely it's any substantial amount. If it was, they would have achieved what they set out to do after night one. Attention: gained. What was to be gained by repeating it for purely, obviously personal gain night after night? Violence isn't the best way to solve a problem. If there was any kind of deeper "controlling idea" or ethic behind this, then surely that would have been told to those who took it too far on the streets of some of Britain's biggest cities? I didn't see anything approaching organization on that kind of level. This isn't Demolition Man with some unseen Denis Leary figure coordinating careful strikes from the underground. This is more like This is England with people who don't know better seeing what they can get away with or doing what they think is "acceptable" because of their warped morality.

 

However bad your circumstances may be or how alienated or oppressed you may feel, it doesn't justify chaos on this scale. It just doesn't. I'm angry about things I'd like to change and it affects me on a day-to-day basis as well, but I don't think that entitles me to vent my frustration by looting the local electronics superstore or attacking the police. Nor do I think that would entitle me to call it "reactionary" or some other half-baked justification. If you or Andrew (or anyone giving a thumbs up to your comments) can explain to me where stealing the biggest TV a human body can carry fits into revolutionary behaviour, I'd love to hear it. Or a "cry for help" or however else people clamoring to justify it want to put it. If these people were as misunderstood as some of the posters in this thread are suggesting, wouldn't they understand they're going about their "mission" all wrong (if they, indeed, have one?)

 

You find a peaceful way to solve what's bothering you or you don't bother at all. At least, that should be the way it's done.

 

When I suggested that anyone who thinks it's alright to destroy a city or endanger lives or steal from innocent law-abiding citizens isn't a very nice person, it was suggested to me that I was some sort of wannabe Judge Dredd calling for heads to roll. And I didn't appreciate that too much since it felt pretty obvious to me that what I was saying seemed fair enough.
 


I couldn't agree more with all of this. Very well said, sir.
 


And again, excellently phrased. Your point about "middle class posturing" is so perfect; it actually reminds me of the lyrics to "Hunting for Witches" by Bloc Party, a song I listened to again the other day after all this kicked off. It resonated a lot with this discussion with lines about "middle class indecision" and calls for "accountability."

 

I resent the fact that this discussion has almost been turned into an election where you're either in the liberal nice guy camp where there must be some deeper reason to people rioting (has every riot in human history needed some sub-textual meaning to get going?) or the "LOCK 'EM UP!" camp.


I think you don't get what I am saying. I am not saying that the people involved in the riot have some sort of agenda. I even quoted psychologists saying that people involved in mobs often do it because everyone else is doing it or quite frankly they can get away with it. What I have been saying ad nauseam is that when masses of people all behave in a particular way, you can't boil it down to individual personality traits (those people just like to fight), you have to look at the group context. Groups behave in particular ways, and individuals behave different in groups than they would individually. Examining the group context is infinitely more interesting to me, and more useful in terms of analyzing the situation, than assigning individual blame.

 

Human behavior doesn't know boundaries. To say an American doesn't get rioting is stupid. Maybe I don't know the historical context in which these particular riots are taking place, but I never claimed to. I just said that it is *important* to look at the historical context. And your response has been, the rioters are just idiots who like to fight, which looks at people in isolation of their situations. Again, I don't claim to know their situation. But its important that somebody does and examines the riots in light of it.

 

post #142 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post

 

Obviously a TV is more expensive than a mobile phone. I'm talking about poverty. My point is, no-one could seriously be rioting over feeling oppressed and/or neglected living in squalor if they're running around in brand new Adidas and Nike tracksuits, trainers, and letting their mates know where to loot next on the latest mobile phones. If someone is truly living in poverty, they're not going to spend money on a phone instead of food because they're worried about what people might say if they don't have one. I'd imagine they'd be more concerned about them saying "did he really die of starvation just because he didn't want us to know he still had an old brick instead of a smartphone?"

 

It's not a case of people saying these rioters can't be motivated and locked up at the same time. I just don't think it's that complicated for the majority of them.

 

 

Ahahahaha! Poor people spend money on the most ridiculous shit. They definitely will spend money on a new pair of Nikes rather than food.
 

 

post #143 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

I think you don't get what I am saying. I am not saying that the people involved in the riot have some sort of agenda. I even quoted psychologists saying that people involved in mobs often do it because everyone else is doing it or quite frankly they can get away with it. What I have been saying ad nauseam is that when masses of people all behave in a particular way, you can't boil it down to individual personality traits (those people just like to fight), you have to look at the group context. Groups behave in particular ways, and individuals behave different in groups than they would individually. Examining the group context is infinitely more interesting to me, and more useful in terms of analyzing the situation, than assigning individual blame.

 

Human behavior doesn't know boundaries. To say an American doesn't get rioting is stupid. Maybe I don't know the historical context in which these particular riots are taking place, but I never claimed to. I just said that it is *important* to look at the historical context. And your response has been, the rioters are just idiots who like to fight, which looks at people in isolation of their situations. Again, I don't claim to know their situation. But its important that somebody does and examines the riots in light of it.


I get you. There needs to be a willingness to engage in the "mob mentality." The people everyone have seen in the footage that's been played over and over again clearly have that susceptibility. I didn't say "an American doesn't get rioting" so, again, there's a case of someone reading something into another person's words in this thread instead of what was there. Those from this part of the world can appreciate this in a way others simply can't. Just the same way I can't compete with you on issues relating to American civil unrest. I've deliberately tried to cut through a lot of the mealy-mouthed evasive language that sometimes permeates these kinds of hard discussions and all it's got me is accusations and my words twisted. I should've known better.

 

What you have to understand is that the U.K. contributors to this thread are already operating on a level of understanding beyond your own. We're not having to explain or qualify things with each other the way we do with foreign Chewers, because we're already on "the same page" in that respect. I can see from the tone of your responses that you're not.

 

There's having faith in people and there's naivety. I believe that line has been well and truly blurred in this thread. At a certain point, people need to show they deserve the benefit of the doubt and I'm of the mind that surrendering your individuality and any sense of right and wrong isn't the way to do that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

Ahahahaha! Poor people.... definitely will spend money on a new pair of Nikes rather than food.


Well, if that's true of some of these individuals, then they're even more misguided than I thought, aren't they?

 

post #144 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post



 

Totally agreed with the bolded section. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Programs that are designed without at least some input from the community are going to fail because they are designed by outsiders looking in. They don't know the ins and outs of what make that community work. I feel a lot of government projects are well-intentioned, but the people running them are just so clueless. In anycase, I was really interested in the program you talked about previously so I thank you for engaging in this discussion. I'm still curious about what specific types of methods that program used to engage the community (not just putting a building in the neighborhood, but what sorts of outreach, mentorship, programs, etc.), but it is tangetal to the thread.
 

 

 

This is so true and why a great swath of people are easily manipulated into buying the "Big Government is EVIL!!!!" bullshit.  Anyone that's ever had to deal with social services of any kind can speak to the out of touch, labyrinthine bureaucracy that sometimes run these things.  And then you watch as the good people with good ideas and intentions get so disillusioned or swallowed by the politics or corruption they end up either quitting or just become an apathetic cog in the wheel.
 

This whole rioting business has not been revolutionary but reactionary.  People react to different things for different reasons but you can't walk away from all this with the idea that it's just a few bad apples or juvenile delinquents taking advantage of a situation to steal shit.  Frankly, the British Government's response to all this has been just that: nothing wrong with the system just the common riff raff having a go at their betters. We'll make 'em pay.  

 

post #145 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post





There is a long list of Totalitarian regimes where no one had property that were a lot more unjust and unhappy.

 

Wrong, the elites that run regimes have plenty of property.
 

 

post #146 of 229

Russell Brand's take.  Susprisingly well-written, I think, but I wasn't a big fan of his.

post #147 of 229

Reading the response from Cameron and assorted government and political types in the aftermath of all this and I'm pretty sure this could be a prequel for V For Vendetta.

 

Pretty much how I thought it'd go:  Same old bullshit about getting tougher on crime, moralizing and restricting civil rights instead of actually addressing the underlying issues. It's actually kind of comforting to know that the U.K. is just as fucked as we are. 

post #148 of 229

And that is the real issue. The people in power at the moment are so far disconnected from normal folk that they have no idea whats going on.  The current government is the worst thing to happen to this country in a very long time, and why did it happen? 

 

Voter fucking apathy.

 

 

So basically it's all our own fault.

post #149 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

Russell Brand's take.  Susprisingly well-written, I think, but I wasn't a big fan of his.



Brilliant sentence of the day: "The Tuscan truffles lost their succulence when the breaking glass became too loud to ignore."

post #150 of 229

Goddamn do I Iove Russell Brand.

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