London’s burning, an alternative viewpoint.

You know what you do when one or two hundred kids in hoodies turn up in your high street and start looting it?

Nothing. That’s what you do because you’re helpless. There’s only one of you and the police force you trusted are nowhere in sight. Yes, you’ve called them but you’re just another one of those twenty thousand calls they’ve taken that night so you stand there and watch them smash and loot because you’re helpless. You don’t have a gun or a knife. They’re the ones who’ve probably got those and you’re the one who’s not allowed to carry arms. You don’t need to; you’re protected by the police.

You watch them smash windows and grills to get after stuff and see them walk away with it. Nobody is running. A few exhausted cops watch it too. Maybe it’s your livelihood they’re walking off with but you’re not supposed to get angry about it but you do. It may not have been a great livelihood but it was yours.

The BBC wouldn’t like you to get angry. Let’s face it, with them you’re either a native with a white ass, who never matters anyway, or a petty bourgeois capitalist with a slightly brown sub-continental Indian ass, and neither have been plat du jour with those arbiters of social justice and political correctness for a few decades and anyway, they’re busy reporting on how one or more of their reporters may or may not have suffered a serious abrasion while reporting the whole thing at a safe distance using Twitter.

The bit you did calming your kids in the flat over the shop being looted, all the time hoping to God they wouldn’t torch it, really doesn’t matter either; the media all live in Kensington, Barnes, Richmond and the other fashionable areas that won’t be visited anyway. You and your family are not going to be the focus of their attention. They’re already cranking up the great cry from the heart on behalf of those poor deprived people driven to be looters. Oh, they’re bright enough not to go for that one directly but all the foreplay is there with all the usual leading questions being asked. How could this happen? Does it reflect on us as a society? Where’d we all go wrong? You know where that’s all heading towards as well; it’s somehow your fault and you’re supposed to feel guilty about it too. You’re on your own and you know it, as all Londoners do tonight.

You’re on your own and they’re untouchable. The cops think very hard before going after them, much as they’d like to, even if they have the advantage of numbers. The courts go out of their way not to send them up the river for a long spell. The media treats them with great compassion and understanding. Brain them and you’re probably the one who’ll end up in court. Why is this? What is the great mystery here?

It’s because they’re black. There, I’ve said it so I must be a racist. Being a young black criminal is a marvelous thing in today’s Britain. It’s become not only the great get out of jail card but nearly guarantees you won’t go to jail in the first place. They’re “made” men, protected men. On one side they have a reporter from the Guardian just hot to trot about their deprived background and on the other side they’ve got a human rights lawyer, pro bono of course, ready to hurl themselves in front of any sort of oncoming judicial retribution.

Sure, they’re not all black but who’s kidding who here? You watched the media hunt desperately on the first night for at least one good shot of a white kid involved and plaster that photograph everywhere. They had to look hard too. No white kid in their right mind was going out on the street with that lot in charge of it.

They needn’t have worried though. They should have known all they had to do was wait until the next night. By then, all the young white criminals, who’d watched the easy looting on the telly, made sure they were out in numbers to get their share of the booty and they were too.

We have a Prime Minister repeatedly telling us about our “broken” society. Well, Mr. Cameron, I’ve got news for you. What we’ve got is the same fundamentally decent and tolerant society that we’ve always had but it has a criminal element, which was always there too. It always will be as well. No amount of outreach, social initiatives or heart searching will ever change that; they simply don’t care. They never have and they never will either.

The only bit of our society that’s broken is the decades long shift in emphasis from the victims of crime to the perpetrators and the blame for that lies squarely with politicians like you and numerous social commentators who think the can engineer a conscience into criminals without actually punishing them in any meaningful way. The person who’s jumped for their life from a burning building or just been violently assaulted and robbed doesn’t care about why the criminal did it, they just want people like that off the streets so the ordinary person can go about their business without being in fear for their lives, which is the first duty of any government. This is the single most important thing that every community in this country, irrespective of their colour, asked of you Mr. Cameron and you failed us Sir, you failed us badly.

The society we have contains fine decent people like Mr. Tariq Jahan, a father of a murdered son, who spoke movingly and with a quiet authority in the immediate aftermath of every parent’s nightmare, to prevent rioting spiraling further down into racial violence. He succeeded and in my opinion, his words and bearing were more effective than anything said by any of our political leaders.

I can only offer to him and the families of the other two young men, my deepest sympathy and my lasting admiration of someone who could still think in terms of the wider community, in the midst of what was obviously such a grievious personal loss to them. You are an example to us all Mr. Jahan.

What happened on the streets of London and subsequently in other towns, was simply the breakdown of law and order with a criminal class running rampant. They got away with it once so, unless things change, they’ll do it again. That change can be made though.

In the nineteen seventies, the great city of New York looked over the very same precipice that London is now staring down into today and decided to do something about it. They did several things but the main one that had the biggest impact on the quality of life of its inhabitants, is they gave their police department a simple order and then got out of its way to let it do its job unhindered. They were told to enforce the law strictly at all levels of criminality everywhere in the city, irrespective of the race, religion, age or gender of the offender.

If they needed more laws, the city would pass them. If they needed more resources, the city would provide them. If the jails were filling up, that’s okay, they’d build a few new ones. No more political interference. All the howls of moral indignation from the liberal establishment were ignored and the cops simply rolled up their sleeves and got to work. It took a few years but they turned it around and that city not only became a safe place again but also a pleasant and very desirable place to live and work in.

In the mean time, London has been steadily going in the other direction. The simple fact is, you are now much more likely to be murdered on the streets of London than New York city and that has been true for a long time. London stopped being a safe city a number of years ago and it’s been getting progressively worse. I’ve lived and worked in London several times but on my occasional visits since then, that change has been sadly all too visible.

Last weekend was a taste of things to come. The only upside to what happened is you’ve now got a very angry city who want action, real action, not some phoney broom-waving rerun of the blitz spirit. The thugs have just inadvertently handed you a very strong mandate Boris. I suggest you either use it or get used to the sight of one of the great cities of the world periodically looking like downtown Mogadishu on a bad Saturday night.


Related articles by Pointman :

Why Multiculturalism failed.


Click for a list of other articles.

12 Responses to “London’s burning, an alternative viewpoint.”
  1. Labmunkey says:

    Very interesting post again and i largely agree. Wile i can’t comment on the ethnicity of the ‘starting’ groups (as i wasn’t paying attention to that particular aspect at that time) i agree that it was mostly opportunism from a group of society that just don’t care.

    I’d suggest another motive; ‘the wake up’ as i call it. This has been touched on ever so breifly in the media (and of course not on the BBC) but due to the economic downturn, things are getting tough.

    The cuts and stark financial reality of the current economincal situation are finally presenting a visible effect (those of us in buisness have know how hard it’s is and WILL get for nearly two years now, the wider public are only just becoming aware of it now in my opinion) and this has presented an interesting conflict.

    On one side we have a whole generation brought up on the easy credit, bling, widescreen tv, xbox, flashy car mentality. Just look at the programs aimed at young people today; obsessed with possessions, status and fashion.

    On the other side we have reality, and this particulr subset of the young don’t like it. Not at all.

    Criminality and wanton feral behaviour aside, i genuinley think that it is this realisation; that life perhaps isn’t all gold rings, crystal champaigne and flashy cars, but a realatively difficult slog to make ends meet and survive that generated a lot of the anger that was vented in the london riots.

    Unfortunatley, the vast majority of those who rioted are not educated enough to perform the necessary self-reflection to establish this for themselves.

    One can only hope that as you suggested above Pointman, that we get some tough action and support for the police (and those defending their homes/families) soon. I fear all we’ll get is more procrastination, political manouvering and bluster.

    That and the BBC telling us it’s all ‘our’ fault; don’t blame the children….


  2. Chris says:

    Before Bratton – the cop who helped clean up NYC – went to NYC he was the one who helped turn my city, Boston, around crime-wise.

    It takes more than the right person in the right job to stop the erosion decades of entitlement programs have had on a city. We had, and continue to have, an entitlement mentality among certain groups that resulted in quite a bit of crime.It required the citizens being willing to take action, stand up for themselves, and put elected officials on notice that if things don’t change they’d be out of office. Then Bratton came along.

    Bratton faced a lot of negative pressure in Boston, NYC, and LA.. He was only able to accomplish what he did because of public pressure. The leftist elite *hated* him. They went after him. They smeared him in the press. The public had to show its support for his methods by being very vocal and voting *out* of office those who stood in the way of making our streets safer.

    Personally, I’m not too confident that Bratton will be able to make much of a difference in London. I think the cultural differences may be too great. I hope I’m wrong, because I’d hate to see the citizens of London continue to live in fear of the thugs and scum.

    An example of what I mean by cultural differences is the deployment of troops. If Boston had the riots that London did – by the 2nd night – the citizens would *expect* the police to be augmented by soldiers. No question about it. Yet, the deployment of troops in London was not done. I don’t understand why.

    I’m assuming it’s a cultural thing. Perhaps Americans don’t have the patience – or perhaps we always reach for a sledgehammer when others still use a hammer? Anyway, I know there wouldn’t have been the questions raised about troop deployment here that I saw raised there.


    • Pointman says:

      Hello and welcome Chris.

      Bratton himself said this week that you can’t arrest your way out of such criminality but it’s certainly part of the solution. The point solution to rioting is a much tougher response from the police and courts but it can only be within the context of a political will to push through other structural changes. I don’t think that political will exists in this country yet but if civil unrest starts to become routine, then it will have to because the electorate will demand it.

      For readers outside Britan, it’s important to note that despite the spin being put on events by our media, people here are really angry both at the police (undeservedly) and politicians (deservedly) and are pretty tired of the “something wrong with our society” discussions.

      If they lose control of the cities again, I think people over here will have no problem with the army regaining it.



  3. Pointman says:

    “David Attoh, 18, this week admitted stealing two designer T–shirts in Hackney, east London. A magistrate told him that the two days he had spent in a cell awaiting his hearing was adequate punishment and freed him. ”

    Crime without punishment …



  4. Lesley says:

    Agree with every word of this article


  5. Blackswan says:


    Another well-considered analysis of the social dislocation occurring in many parts of the world, none moreso than in Australia. Maybe this will explain it …

    “MORE than 93 per cent of car thefts and break-ins go unsolved each year, with an understaffed police force admitting it doesn’t have the resources to successfully combat crime.”

    When feckless youth and criminals in general can ride rough-shod over communities without fear of consequences they feel entitled to assume that the ‘turf’ is theirs and they behave accordingly. After thirteen years of Labor Government in New South Wales police numbers have been decimated and hundreds of officers are on stress leave, leaving operational staff even more depleted.

    It becomes a vortex of failure and recrimination.

    Meanwhile law-abiding people remain behind barred and grilled windows, prisoners of their own failure to hold politicians to account by demanding change. The “I’m alright Jack” and “Look after Number One” attitude has consequences unforeseen by the average apathetic and/or complacent voter. They are continually being told they have the freedom of living in a Democracy, yet they don’t realise the power is within themselves to decide the kind of community they will live in.

    When the people abrogate their responsibilities because it’s easier to let someone else take the reins, tell them what to do and how to do it, by the time they wake up to the fact that corrupt forces have filled that vacuum, the Nanny State is entrenched.

    There is no easy road back.


  6. Blackswan says:


    As you rightly state “……the breakdown of law and order with a criminal class running rampant. They got away with it once so, unless things change, they’ll do it again.”

    It is not only black/ethnic criminals who are teflon-coated. Try this scenario, exactly as you described, and he is only one of many….

    “Detectives have repeatedly warned in court that he is ”an extreme danger to the community” who is going to kill himself, an innocent member of the public or a police officer. According to police, he has breached his bail conditions, or failed to appear at court, a staggering 32 times. Despite that, and much to the anger and absolute exasperation of police, he has been granted bail by magistrates and judges time and again, only to go on and commit even more serious offences, sometimes within hours.”–a-tsunami-20110813-1irri.html

    We are destined to reap the whirlwind.


  7. orkneylad says:

    Great peice Pointman.


  8. Pointman says:

    I don’t go in for heroes much but for Tariq Jahan, I’ve got a lot of respect. A deserved winner of an award, for once.



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