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Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, August 13th, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags:

This editorial by Peter Oborne in today’s Telegraph on the riots and moral decay in Britain is up to 3370 comments. It’s worth a read.

35 comments on “3370 comments”

  1. aerobubble 1

    A kid comes on tv and says its about respect.

    Murdoch papers tapped a kids phone, deleted text, led police to believe she was still alive.

    Sorry, but all the harping on, its true, its about the moral decay of the elite.

    Why would youth think police could not be trusted? Duh

  2. MikeG 2

    Great article and I’m absolutely stunned that it appeared in the Telegraph.

  3. ropata 3

    Another 200 comments in the last hour (up to 3600 now).
    You can always expect a few bad apples in government but it seems the whole damn apple cart is rotting

  4. vto 4

    Brilliant and obvious.

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    The local example I keep coming back to is the recent revelation that David Henderson, the Auckland property developer, paid a total of $17k tax over 17 years – less than a person on a minimum wage would have paid over that same time. And this is a guy who lived in penthouses and jet-setted around on a millionaires lifestyle and feted as a minor celebrity. That is just despicable when you think about the minimum wage factory worker who gets up at 5am and goes to work and contributes more to society than this guy.

    Of course I know all the stats about how the bottom X% pay no net tax and the top Y% pay most net tax etc, and I know all about how the accounting works, and that this is just one example of many, and there are much worse examples etc etc etc, but this one really got me mad, and confirms that something is very corrupt and grossly unfair in the way we do things (regardless of who’s in power).

    • KJT 5.1

      Bit different from that arch lefty, Adam Smith, who reckoned that workers, and entrepreneurs, should not be taxed. “They produce the wealth”.

      He said that taxes should be paid by landowners and owners of money capital. “To put it to more productive use”.

      Most of the new right havn’t got past Machiavelli, or the Marque de Sade, in their economic education.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        The wealthy realise that its more money faster if you break a country down and sell it off, not build it up over generations.

        I too am stunned this appeared in the well known lefty rag The Telegraph. /sarc

  6. Only problem with this view is that this moral bankruptcy was there from the start. The original capitalist looting was the slave trade. Its nice that the descendants of the slaves are now revolting against the descendants of the old Etonian slave traders. But its true that capitalism today is manifestly morally bankrupt with no clothes and nowhere to hide except behind a baton, CS gas and tanks.

    • Afewknowthetruth 6.1

      You are correct to identify the unearned wealth that was acquired through the slave trade but the original [British] capitalist looting took place before that when the colonists stole the [Native American] land to set up colonies; they found that the English ‘peasants’ they transported to the colomies died too quickly.

      The moral bankruptcy commenced with the changing of interest on loans, and really took off when the money-lenders began creating loans out of thin air via fractioanl reserve banking.

      I like that expression. Yes, the empire has no clothes and is hiding behind batons, CS and tanks.

      As peak oil, population overshoot and unravelling of fiat currencies take their toll we must expect those who benefit the most from present arrangements to become ever more vicious in their use of ‘security forces’ the prevent a more equitable distribution of the ever-shrinking ‘cake’.

  7. johnm 7

    “Things got out of hand & we’d had a few drinks. We smashed the place up, and Boris set fire to the toilets.”
    No, not the words of a looter, but of David Cameron about his fellow Bullingdon hooligan , the London Mayor, Boris Johnson in 1986.
    HAHAHA ! Exactly… David and Boris are thugs too. Don’t seem to see it mentioned anywhere in the press.
    The young rioters are just a blue collar amateurish flock compared to the white collar organized professional syndicate of the filthy banksters, politicians in charge of the UK economy.
    Morality comes from the example of those in charge. The kids CAN NOT be virtuous if the leaders are THUGS themselves and get away with it.
    The rejection of the ten commandments, moral absolutes and the gospel of Jesus Christ in our education system is coming back to bite us. What do we expect from this generation, or any other section of society, if we teach them that the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest reigns supreme. The New Age idea that we are all little gods precludes the imposition of any type of morality.

    If it is not wrong to steal, why should these youths not take what they want from the people around them? Why shouldn’t these bankers deal dishonestly with their clients and pocket whatever they can? Why shouldn’t politicians fiddle their expenses?

    If it is not wrong to kill why shouldn’t the driver of that car plough into a crowd of people? Why shouldn’t the futures marketeers cause the death of thousands by inflated food prices?
    Let’s remember, this is in a country that has witnessed increasing dispossession of the masses over the past 30 years – something that is accelerating following the 2008 banking crisis? In this context, young people may very well become the neoliberal entrepreneurs that Max ironically alludes to. In form, their actions are not that different from those of the elite albeit at the ‘risk’ of pompous condemnation from the likes of posh twats like Cameron.
    .These neoliberal rioters are Thatcher’s legacy. She should be proud of herself.
    the looters are also, in large part, doing what they are doing BECAUSE of the shit that has rolled down from the top. No opportunities, hope, future and more and more debt imposed upon them by the ‘stars’ of the political and financial gangs.

    • johnm 7.1

      LiKe Cameron’s days in the Bullingdon club the leader of the LIB DEMS has done some genteel property damage as have the young “rioters” some of whom are being sent to prison for quite trivial property offences but caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
      Cleggs criminal record! :
      As a 16-year-old exchange student in Germany, Mr Clegg was convicted of arson and given a community service sentence after he and a friend set fire to two greenhouses of cacti belonging to a professor. He recalled the misdemeanour during the recent party conference.

      A bit like when Boris set fire to the toilets on a Bullingdon rampage! EH CHAPPIES!

  8. johnm 8

    It is the height of hypocrisy to castigate London’s looters while simultaneously appeasing and coddling bank terrorists at Goldman, JP Morgan, HSBC, RBS, etc. Britain’s Got Riot Talent and hopefully many of these riot-preneurs will start hedge funds and investment banks and provide much needed competition. In other words, Cameron needs to decide if he’ll continue to foster a UK economy driven by larceny in the banking sector – Or, try something else. Since he isn’t doing anything about financial rape and apartheid in the the City, he should be aware that what goes around comes around.
    I wonder what our banker leader think about all this?

    • johnm 8.1

      Banker Fraud too big too sort out-and of corse they’re our chappies who cut us in on the lolly too, they deserve to get away with it-they have style and image.

      UPDATE: Notice that due to PUBLIC wrath, the justice system is working overtime through the weekend to lock up rioters. The wheels of justice can move if the people demand it. So name me one single banker in London that has been arrested and tried for the fraud that saw TRILLIONS stolen from pension funds around the world? The fraud that directly caused the financial collapse that has resulted in millions losing their livelihood? London is THE beating heart of this global financial fraud, so why have none of those responsible been arrested? Why have the population not demanded their expenses-cheating politicians at least give us a whitewash inquiry? Even Lord Hutton will do! The fact is, however, that the British people are mindful of the fact that banker looting benefits them at the expense of hundreds of millions of other people around the world who have had their national wealth and sovereignty transferred to the safe haven of London. [News today: Russian banker steals billions and flees to . . . London, of course.]

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Hmmm. Putin is not going to be pleased, and Putin has ways of executing justice which does not rely on extraditions or the court system.

  9. jackal 9

    I couldn’t agree more with Mr Osborne. I particularly liked this bit:

    Our politicians – standing sanctimoniously on their hind legs in the Commons yesterday – are just as bad.

    Although I would argue that many politician’s are worse than animals.

  10. johnm 10

    More details about posh David Cameron’s Bullingdon Club
    A little bit of Genteel rioting was quite acceptable at times old chap.

    A number of episodes over many decades have become anecdotal evidence of the Club’s behaviour. Famously, on 12 May 1894 and again on 20 February 1927, after dinner, Bullingdon members smashed almost all the glass of the lights and 468 windows in Peckwater Quad of Christ Church, along with the blinds and doors of the building. As a result, the Club was banned from meeting within 15 miles of Oxford.

    While still Prince of Wales, Edward VIII had a certain amount of difficulty in getting his parents’ permission to join the Bullingdon on account of the Club’s reputation. He eventually obtained it only on the understanding that he never join in what was then known as a “Bullingdon blind”, a euphemistic phrase for an evening of drink and song. On hearing of his eventual attendance at one such evening, Queen Mary sent him a telegram requesting that he remove his name from the Club.

    Andrew Gimson, biographer of Boris Johnson, reported about the club in the 1980s: “I don’t think an evening would have ended without a restaurant being trashed and being paid for in full, very often in cash. A night in the cells would be regarded as being par for a Buller man and so would debagging* anyone who really attracted the irritation of the Buller men.”

    Dinners in recent years, being relatively low key, have not attracted press attention, though in 2005, following damage to a 15th century pub in Oxfordshire during a dinner, four members of the party were arrested; the incident was widely reported. A further dinner was reported in 2010 after damage to a country house.

    In the last few years the Bullingdon has been mentioned in the debates of the House of Commons in order to draw attention to excessive behaviour across the British class spectrum, and to embarrass those increasingly prominent MPs who are former members of the Bullingdon. These most notably include David Cameron (UK Prime Minister), George Osborne (UK Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Boris Johnson (Mayor of London). Hansard records eight references to the Bullingdon between 2001 and 2008.

    *That’s a bunch of chaps ripping of the trousers of the offending party-“Teach you to be arty round real men!”

  11. johnm 11

    I thought this so meaningful I have copied all of it

    Life In An Age Of Looting: “Some Will Rob You
    With A Sixgun And Some With A Fountain Pen”

    By Phil Rockstroh

    12 August, 2011

    As the poor of Britain rise in a fury of inchoate rage and stock exchanges worldwide experience manic upswings and panicked swoons, the financial elite (and their political operatives) are arrayed in a defensive posture, even as they continue their global-wide, full-spectrum offensive vis-à-vie The Shock Doctrine. Concurrently, corporate mass media types fret over the reversal of fortune and trumpet the triumphs of the self-serving agendas of Wall Street and corporate swindlers…even as they term a looter, in ill-gotten possession of a flat screen television, fleeing through the streets of North London, a mindless thug.

    According to the through-the-looking-glass cosmology of mass media elitists, when a poor person commits a crime of opportunity, his actions are a threat to all we hold dear and sacred, but, when the hyper-wealthy of the entrenched looter class abscond with billions, those criminals are referred to as our financial leaders.

    Regardless of the propaganda of “free market” fantasists, the great unspeakable in regard to capitalism is its wealth, by and large, is generated for a ruthless, privileged few by the creation of bubbles, and, when those bubbles burst, the resultant economic catastrophe inflicts a vastly disproportionate amount of harm upon those — the laboring and middle classes — who generate grossly inequitable amounts of capital for the elitist of the fraudster class…by having the life force drained from them by the vampiric set-up of the gamed system.

    Woody Guthrie summed up the situation in these two (unfortunately) ageless stanzas:

    “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a sixgun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

    “And as through your life you travel,
    Yes, as through your life you roam,
    You won’t never see an outlaw
    Drive a family from their home.”
    –excerpt from Pretty Boy Floyd.

    Although, at present, U.S. bank vaults contain little tangible loot for a Pretty Boy Floyd-type outlaw to boost. How would it be possible for an old school bank robber such as Floyd to make-off with a haul of funneling electrons?

    Here’s the lowdown: The Wall Street fraudsters of the swindler class want to refill their coffers and line their pockets (that is, offshore accounts) with Social Security and Medicare funds. That’s the nature of the unfolding scam, folks. Oligarchic rule has always been a system defined by legalized looting that leaves a wasteland of want, deprivation, and unfocused rage in its wake.

    Consequently, in the U.K. (and beyond): When poor people’s hopes dry up, cities become a tinderbox of dead dreams, and we should not be stricken with shock and consternation when these degraded places are set aflame, nor should we be surprised when the bribed, debt-beholden and commercial media propaganda-bamboozled middle class (who helped create the wasteland with their arid complicity) cry out (predictably) for police state tactics to quell the fiery insurrection.

    There have been incidents in which a fire has smoldered for years in an abandoned, sealed-off mineshaft, and then the fire, traveling through the tunnels of the mine, and up the roots of dead, dried trees have caused a dying forest to bloom into flames. The rage that sparks a riot can proceed in a similar manner — and the insular, sealed-off nature of a nation’s elite and the willful ignorance of its middle class will only make the explosion of pent-up rage more powerful when it reaches the surface.

    We exist in a culture that, day after day, inundates its have-nots with consumerist propaganda, and then, when the social order breaks down, its wealthy and bourgeoisie alike express outrage when the poor steal consumer goods — as opposed to going out and looting an education and a good job.

    Under Disaster Capitalism, the underclass have had economic violence inflicted upon them since birth, yet the corporate state mass media doesn’t seem to notice the situation, until young men burn down the night. Then media elitists wax indignant, carrying on as if these desperate acts are devoid of cultural context.

    A mindset has been instilled in these young men and boys that they are nothing sans the accoutrements of consumerism. Yet when they loot an i-Phone, as opposed to creating economy-shredding derivative scams, we’re prompted by the corporate media to become indignant.

    When the slow motion, elitist-manipulated mob action known as our faux democratic/consumerist culture deprives people of their basic human rights and personal dignity — then, in turn, we should not be shocked when a mob of the underclass fails to bestow those virtues upon others.

    The commercial mass media’s narrative of narrowed context (emotional, anecdotal and unreflective in nature) serves as a form of corporate state propaganda, promulgated to ensure the general population continues to rage against the symptoms rather than the disease of neoliberalism. The false framing of opposing opinions — of those who state the deprivations of neoliberalism factor into the causes of uprisings, insurrections and riots as being apologists for violence and destruction is as preposterous as claiming one is an apologist for dry rot when he points out structural damage to a house due to a leaking roof.

    Because of the elements of inverted totalitarianism, inherent within the structure of corporate state capitalism, and internalized within the general population by constant, commercial media re-enforcement, one should not be surprised when a sizable portion of the general populace is inclined to support police state tactics to quell social unrest among the disadvantaged of the population.

    Keep in mind: When watching the BBC or the corporate media, one is receiving a limited narrative (tacitly) approved by the global power elite, created by informal arrangements among a careerist cartel comprised of business, governmental and media personality types who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, even if, in doing so, they serve as operatives of a burgeoning police state.

    Accordingly, you can’t debate fascist thinking with reason nor empathetic imagination e.g., the self-righteous (and self-serving) pronouncements of mass media representatives nor the attendant outrage of the denizens of the corporate state in their audience — their umbrage engineered by the emotionally laden images with which they have been relentlessly pummeled and plied — because their responses will be borne of (conveniently) lazy generalizations, given impetus by fear-based animus.

    Through it all, veiled by disorienting media distractions and political legerdemain, we find ourselves buffeted and bound by the predicament of paradigm lost…that constitutes the onset of the unraveling of the present order.

    “The kings of the world are growing old,
    and they shall have no inheritors.
    Their sons died while they were boys,
    and their neurasthenic daughters abandoned
    the sick crown to the mob.”
    –Rainer Maria Rilke, excerpt from The Kings of the World”

    Yet, while there is proliferate evidence that, even as people worldwide are rising up against inequity and exploitation, the economic elite have little inclination to do so much as glimpse the plight of those from whose life blood their immense riches have been wrung, nor hear the admonition of the downtrodden…that they are weary of life on their knees and are awakening to the reality that the con of freedom of choice under corporate state oligarchy is, in fact, a life shackled to the consumerism-addicted/debt-indenturement that comprises the structure of the neoliberal, global company store.

    “The rotten masks that divide one man
    From another, one man from himself
    They crumble
    For one enormous moment and we glimpse
    The unity that we lost, the desolation
    …Of being man, and all its glories
    Sharing bread and sun and death
    The forgotten astonishment of being alive”
    –Octavio Paz, excerpt from “Sunstone”

    Accordingly, the most profound act of selfless devotion (commonly called love) in relationship to a society gripped by a sociopathic mode of being is creative resistance. Submission is madness. Sanity entails subversion. The heart insists on it; otherwise, life is only a slog to the graveyard; mouth, full of ashes; heart, a receptacle for dust.

    Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: phil@philrockstroh.com . Visit Phil’s website http://philrockstroh.com / And at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100

  12. Bryan 12

    No less true here…

  13. Sanctuary 13

    Most of the NZ right, and practically all of the online right, are intellectual pygmies who have abandoned the troublesome requirement of thought to some half arsed Russian women. The funny thing about a Tory article such as this is it belongs to another age of small c conservatism, hopelessly out of place in the world of right wing idiocy that makes up the right mainstream these days.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I’m struggling to see where the russian women are involved?

      • grumpy 13.1.1

        Me too, most Russian women I have seen could never be called “half arsed”

        • Colonial Viper

          The two or three that I know are stunningly gorgeous…and can probably use an AK to get a three round grouping on a 50 cent coin at seventy five metres.

          • ChrisH

            I think Sanctuary must have meant Ayn Rand (woman with an a), I hope there aren’t more than one of that ilk, Russian or otherwise.

            • Colonial Viper

              Ah yes the plural threw me out there, thanks.

              • gnomic

                Ayn Rand. Surely a pseudonym?

                ‘Rand was born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum . . . .

                She was the eldest of the three daughters of Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna Rosenbaum, largely non-observant Jews.’

                see the wikip

                Not a Slav as such. Not today’s Russian blonde beauty stereotype as email bride.

  14. Drakula 14

    LET’S STAY IN BED ! ! !

    That was a very good article by Peter Oborne another good one was by Laurie Panny at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

    The fuckin amazing thing about this is that our own National government are going to continue regardless with their austerity measures, bashing the unions and beneficiaries rights and thinking that there is not going to be a backlash!

    I hope that Key and Bennett are taking a good hard look at what went on in Britain over the last few days.

    The tragedy is that the top banksters and swindlers will get away with impugnity while the looters who are cought will feel the full force of the law.

    Socialist world had a good angle on this the large education cuts demonstrations a few months back could have had more backing from the unions if it had the backing and enough people went out on strike the Tories would be OUT!!

    Looting only plays into the hands of the elite and will give them the perfect pretext to bring in a more totalitarian regime.

    A nationwide strike where appox 1,500,000 workers stay in bed for a few weeks and not bother going to work will achieve more in halting the NAT/ACT in their tracks.

    If a figure like 1,500,000 workers should stay in bed then how would the police deal with that?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Haha a general strike which isn’t a general strike.

      It’d be better just to have a mass mental health day off, arrange some activities in the parks, picnics and a few concerts.

      See how much actual ROI the “wealth producing” capitalists can make without the input of labour eh. My guess is sweet FA.

    • mik e 14.2

      The serious fraud office hasn’t got enough money to deal with all the fraudsters it says. But when it comes to the peasants THEY WILL FEEL THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Very interesting. The historian was making good points in general; the other two guests seemed to rush to accuse him of pinning the blame on black culture.

      I believe what he was doing was attempting to understand a group mindset and identity from a sociological perspective.

      The game has indeed moved away from obvious superficial skin colour.

      It explains again how the Mp and National can fit together so easily, hand in glove.

  15. gnomic 16

    Certainly a rather amazing comentary from the Daily Telegraph. To give them their due they do have a few off (right wing) messages. I haven’t followed Mr Oborne’s career in depth but he has published a couple of columns lately that weren’t the usual sclerotic rghtist crap.

    As for Cameron, how pathetic.

    ‘In his strongest comments yet on the perpetrators of the violence, Mr Cameron said: “There are pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick it is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to feel that the world owes them something.”

    He added: “The sight of those young people running down streets smashing windows, taking property, looting, laughing as they go – the problem with 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. That is what we need to change.” ‘


    “There are pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick.”

    “a lack of proper ethics, a lack of proper morals. That is what we need to change.”

    How does that relate to your bankster mates Mr Cameron, or for that matter your dodgy journalistic mates? Or the entirety of your globalist coterie? Are you by any chance yet another hollow man? And doesn’t your finance minister have gangsta connections on yachts in the Med? Resign now.

  16. Jenny 17

    Here is another good commentary on the causes of the riots by British Labour MP John McDonnell.

    Many of the media commentators were particularly struck the large number of very young looters.

    This prompted the torys to go into lengthy diatribes in parliament about bad parenting and the teaching of proper moral values in the home – blah, blah, blah.

    I thought that John McDonnell’s quote from the young woman who commented that she had never seen her parents together for months due to their working such long hours just to pay the bills, very telling.

    See McDonnell’s speech on youtube, here.

  17. John D 18

    Peter Oborne, the man that wrote this obsequious piece of flesh-crawling drivel recently?

    David Cameron has the makings of a truly great prime minister
    Many of those in No 10 end up as essentially irrelevant figures, but a small few attain genuinely heroic status, says Peter Oborne.


    While you’re at it, check out Deputy PM Nick Clegg getting quizzed about his “form” for arson

    Delingpole’s article seemed to be well received too

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