Saturday, August 13, 2011

R.I.P. Richard Mannington Bowes

When Richard Mannington Bowes was born in 1943, the ethnic minority population of Britain was a few thousand people.

When he was eight years old, in 1951, Churchill's cabinet debated immigration into the UK.

David Maxwell-Fyfe, the home secretary, reported that the total of "coloured people" in Britain had risen from 7,000 before the second world war to 40,000 at the time of writing, with 3,666 of those unemployed, and 1,870 on national assistance, or benefits.

It's almost impossible for anyone growing up today to imagine what a peaceful and orderly (and staid) place post-war Britain was. The American anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer, in his 1955 "Exploring English Character", compared the post-war English with their early Victorian forebears of 120 years previously* :

"One of the most lawless populations in the world has turned into one of the most law-abiding; ...a fiercely and ruthlessly acquisitive society has turned into a mildly distributive society; general corruption in government has been replaced by an extraordinarily high level of honesty... in public life today the English are certainly among the most peaceful, gentle, courteous and orderly populations that the civilized world has ever seen. ... you hardly ever see a fight in a bar (a not uncommon spectacle in most of the rest of Europe or in the U.S.A.)... football crowds are as orderly as church meetings.."

If you had told Mr Mannington-Bowes' parents that, sixty years later, their child would be beaten to death, in Ealing, by a mob of strangers bent on looting and arson, they would have thought you were mad.

They'd have thought you were mad if you predicted that he'd be fined in the local magistrates court - "for confronting youths for urinating outside his home".

This was England. The law was on the side of the law-abiding, and people were killed in riots in far-away countries, not here.

UPDATE - I would be interested to see a report of his trial and conviction, and who the magistrate was. I trust it wasn't this one. I don't want to come over all Polly Toynbee, and the people who beat him to death ARE savages, but the wholesale criminality (mixed with plenty of assaults just for the fun of it) is a product of an assault on the principles of criminal justice that's been going on for fifty years. Fifty years of mass immigration may arguably have been a necessary condition for his murder, but certainly not a sufficient one - and as I've said many a time and oft, there are plenty of native youth who'll beat a man to death for being a good citizen.

As I argued here and here, something in the water of post-Cultural Revolution UK seems to turn the children and grandchildren of previously law-abiding people into bad boys and girls. What could it be ? This Polly Toynbee column - or a read of the Magistrate's blog - may hold an answer.

* to be fair, the peacefulness of the English puzzled him greatly, John Bull being traditionally a pugnacious sort of chap, always ready to scrap when offended by a foreigner of any description.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Night Music

It's a repost, but seems apposite :

Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers

Michael Meacher at Left Futures (he's aged 72 - I don't think they do irony at LF) :

"The lesson surely is that a quarter century after the Broadwater Farm riot in 1985 the community in Tottenham still remains so disadvantaged and broken that a significant group feels no local pride, has no real deep sense of local identity, and has no instinct to safeguard what they do not see as their own. The explosion of rage and anger which was directed inwardly into inter-gang warfare on the streets of London has now erupted outwardly with terrible destructiveness. But it will not be fully quelled until all the underlying causes are acknowledged, faced up to and redressed."

Laban responds (I doubt it'll pass moderation, mind - diversity of everything except opinion) :

“it will not be fully quelled until all the underlying causes are acknowledged, faced up to and redressed”

Absolutely. But there is disagreement about the underlying causes. The dominant narrative of the last 40 years is that the underlying causes lie without, and must be addressed from without – more youth clubs/arts centres/social workers/5-a-day anti-racist smoking cessation co-ordinators, lots of diversity training for public servants, more social housing, lots of money to buy off agitators and turn them into responsible ‘community spokespeople’.

This dominant narrative has been reinforced with vast quantities of taxpayer cash, and has produced the situation we see today. It was described pretty accurately forty years ago by Tom Wolfe, in an essay called “Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” – worth a read.

Tom Wolfe's 1970 essay (or a hefty chunk of it) is here. Here he describes the dilemma of a white establishment in a post-black-riot world, and incidentally explains why all the black 'community workers' interviewed by the BBC since Monday (and that's quite a few) have a shared rhetoric and a shared belief that the answers lie, inter alia, in more funding for more community workers.

Whites were still in the dark about the ghettos. They had been studying the "urban Negro" in every way they could think of for fifteen years, but they found out they didn't know any more about the ghettos than when they started. Every time there was a riot, whites would call on "Negro leaders" to try to cool it, only to find out that the Negro leaders didn't have any followers. They sent Martin Luther King into Chicago and the people ignored him. They sent Dick Gregory into Watts and the people hooted at him and threw beer cans. During the riot in Hunters Point, the mayor of San Francsco, John Shelley, went into Hunters Point with the only black member of the Board of Supervisors, and the brothers threw rocks at both of them. They sent in the middle-class black members of the Human Rights Commission, and the brothers laughed at them and called them Toms. Then they figured the leadership of the riot was "the gangs," so they went in the "ex-gang leaders" from groups like Youth for Service to make a "liaison with the key gang leaders." What they didn't know was that Hunters Point and a lot of ghettos were so disorganized, there weren't even any "key gangs," much less "key gang leaders," in there. That riot finally just burnt itself out after five days, that was all.

But the idea that the real leadership in the ghetto might be the gangs hung on with the poverty-youth-welfare establishment. It was considered a very sophisticated insight. The youth gangs weren't petty criminals ... there were "social bandits," primitive revolutionaries ... Of course, they were hidden from public view. That was why the true nature of ghetto leadership had eluded everyone for so long ... So the poverty professionals were always on the lookout for the bad-acting dudes who were the "real leaders," the "natural leaders," the "charismatic figures" in the ghetto jungle. These were the kind of people the social-welfare professionals in the Kennedy Administration had in mind when they planned the poverty program in the first place. It was a truly adventurous and experimental approach they had. Instead of handing out alms, which never seemed to change anything, they would encourage the people in the ghettos to organize. They would help them become powerful enough to force the Establishment to give them what they needed. From the beginning the poverty program was aimed at helping ghetto people rise up against their oppressors. It was a scene in which the federal government came into the ghetto and said, "Here is some money and some field advisors. Now you organize your own pressure groups." It was no accident that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale drew up the ten-point program of the Black Panther Party one night in the offices of the North Oakland Poverty Center.

To sell the poverty program, its backers had to give it the protective coloration of "jobs" and "education," the Job Corps and Operation Head Start, things like that, things the country as a whole could accept. "Jobs" and "education" were things everybody could agree on. They were part of the free-enterprise ethic. They weren't uncomfortable subjects like racism and the class structure--and giving the poor the money and the tools to fight City Hall. But from the first that was what the lion's share of the poverty budget went into. It went into "community organizing," which was the bureaucratic term for "power to the people," the term for finding the real leaders of the ghetto and helping them organize the poor.

And how could they find out the identity of these leaders of the people? Simple. In their righteous wrath they would rise up and confront you. It was a beautiful piece of circular reasoning. The real leaders of the ghetto will rise up and confront you ... Therefore, when somebody rises up in the ghetto and confronts you, then you know he's a leader of the people. So the poverty program not only encouraged mau-mauing, it practically demanded it. Subconsciously, for administrators in the poverty establishment, public and private, confrontations became a ritual. That was the way the system worked. By 1968 it was standard operating procedure. To get a job in the post office, you filled out forms and took the civil-service exam. To get into the poverty scene, you did some mau-mauing. If you could make the flak catchers lose control of the muscles around their mouths, if you could bring fear into their faces, your application was approved.

"“People need to ask, why are they not in school?"

Hazel Blears is childless.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bad Journalism

"The historic Roman city of Gloucester, on the edge of the Cotswolds, was turned into a “war zone” on Tuesday night as rioters launched copycat attacks on shops and cars."

The headline on their front page is "Mobs on Rampage In Cotswolds" ! The Telegraph sub-editors are bigger morons than the rioters, and that's saying something.

How about

"The formerly historic city (until the 60s redevelopment**) of Gloucester, fifteen-odd miles from the edge of the Cotswolds, had some arson attacks on Tuesday night as a mixture of the Tredworth 'youth'* and a few local wannabes launched copycat attacks on shops and cars."

I can't wait for their next headlines.

Trouble in Southampton - "New Forest Burns"
More trouble in Brum - "Avon Runs With Blood As Shakespeare's County Ignites"
Leeds - "Yorkshire Dales Torched"

* Gloucester has an Afro-Caribbean community - big enough to have had a reggae programme on Severn Sound - presented by the late and much lamented Ivanhoe Campbell (not forgetting the sister Evadne with the Jamaican recipes).

** Dalrymple :

"Gloucester is a small cathedral city of about 100,000, where the city council has conclusively demonstrated that with the right combination of 1960s urban planning and an undiscriminating welfare policy, the degraded inner city conditions of much larger conurbations may be successfully reproduced in small country towns."

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Death of the Moledias

In March last year I finally found the names of the two people killed in the Handsworth riots ('uprising' if you're from the BBC) of 1985 - Kassamali Moledia, 38, and his brother Amir, 44 - subsequently airbrushed from history (someone finally updated Wikipedia about three weeks ago).

If they'd been killed by white people half of Handsworth would have been named after them by now. Instead they were forgotten.

In September last year the Birmingham Post finally told the story. Not pretty. When people like Harpy celebrate the riots they should know what arson and looting means.

Months after the tragedy, transcripts of the brothers’ calls for help were released.

At 8.58pm on September 9, the first dramatic plea was heard: “They are smashing their way in – they are going to kill us.”

Then at 9.36pm the final call came through: “Please come now, they are in the shop trying to kill us. Please...”

And 'they' did kill them - 'they' being young black men. The dynamic of the Handsworth looting was Asian shopkeepers being targeted by black attackers.

Madan Lal, 55, who runs Annu Fashions, was in his shop on the night of the siege, but he found a way of keeping his business safe – by paying off the looters.

I was with my two brothers at the shop when it all kicked off. We saw the other businesses getting looted, so we stood at the door handing out £50, £20 and £10 notes to the ringleaders so they wouldn’t damage our shop. I think we ended up paying out at least £700 to protect our business. It worked and no one took anything from us.”

But the demographics and street powers have changed in Brum. When Handsworth 2.0 was attempted in Lozells in 2005, it was innocent black people who ended up getting murdered.

While some opportunist whites and Asians have joined the looting and general mayhem, these riots have been driven by black youth. Bradford, Oldham, Blackburn, Burnley, Tower Hamlets are the dogs that haven't barked, if I can use what's probably an inappropriate phrase. Instead Muslims of varying ethnicity have defended 'their' turf in Bethnal Green, Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington. Sikhs in Southall did likewise - I'm pretty sure a white crowd with those weapons would find the police after them, riot or no. Even whites in Enfield and Eltham have done the same (and the pro-riot left blogs as one cry "EDL!").

But it's not 1985 any more. I'm not sure that the deaths of three Muslims in Winson Green last night, killed by a car deliberately driven at them, will be forgotten like the Moledias. Anyone wanting to riot in that neck of the woods tonight will need their head examining - in every sense.

UPDATE - had to go to Brum today, stayed there late. As quiet as can be. Surprise surprise. There are a lot of very cross people just itching for someone to start something.

I keep hearing from the BBC and Guardian that repressive violence won't work, it only provokes the bad boys to worse deeds. It all seems to depend on the degree of repressive violence - faced with the prospect of Met Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin asking their parent(s? perhaps) to keep an eye on them, the London "community" went on a massive orgy of looting and arson. Faced with the prospect of being chased down by a crowd and beaten or stabbed to death, the yout' of Lozells, Handsworth and points east seem to have decided that a quiet night in front of the telly is better than a trip down the Soho Road this evening. As Machiavelli put it : "Men avenge slight injuries, not grave ones".


Theresa May, 15 September 2010 :

"We can cut police budget without risking violent unrest"

UPDATE - Laban, back in December, on our "Justice" Secretary, Ken Clarke - a man conspicuously absent at present :

He's been given a job to do - to cut the cost of the Prison Service and the criminal justice system - and by God he's going to do it. That's what makes him the reliable chap that he is, and such a useful man to have in Government. A lesser - or shall we say less useful - man might have argued the toss, pointed out that defending the lives, property and liberty of the citizens is the primary duty of any state, reminded Cameron of the association (however undeserved, if we look at the 1980s) in the public mind of the Conservative Party with a robust attitude to crime and criminals, dug in his toes and defended his budget. Not Ken. It doesn't matter that

a) the costs will be transferred from the State to individuals - in the form of burglaries and assaults for many, rape, bodily harm and homicides for the unfortunate, insurance premiums for householders, quality of life for everyone.

b) these costs will in total be much greater than the amount saved.

c) they will fall most heavily upon the poor and vulnerable. I doubt Ken will be troubled by too much anti-social behaviour in whichever expensive village his mansion is located.

This Just In From The BBC

In a series of incidents last night, a drawing room was severely damaged.

Our reporter at the scene :

"Well, I can tell you this morning that this drawing room has been almost totally destroyed. The china cabinet has been destroyed and its contents smashed, all the furniture looks as if it's been sat on by something heavy - even the doors are smashed off their hinges. Witnesses have spoken of scenes of mindless violence. It almost looks as if some large animal had been in here wrecking everything ..." (noises of trumpeting and cries of 'it's coming!') ... "I'm afraid I have to go now because the situation looks dangerous."

Monday, August 08, 2011

Still Feeling Comfortable, Dave ?

We have to change and modernise our culture and attitudes and identity.

When I say change, I’m not talking about some slick re-branding exercise.

What I’m talking about is fundamental change, so that when we fight the next election street by street, house by house, flat by flat…

…we have a message that is relevant to people’s lives today, that shows we’re comfortable with modern Britain, and that we believe our best days lie ahead.

Our best days lie ahead, do they ?

At this rate it won't be the next election that's being fought street by street and house by house.

UPDATE - via Gadget's comments :

"This is ***** terrifying me now. Looters now targetting HOMES in Ealing. That’s some escalation."
The good news is that you can always shoot people who break into your home ... oh, sorry. Wrong country. This is the one where you call the police - who can't help you 'cos they're engaged in pitched battles on Haven Green and Ealing Broadway...

Police living quarters at Stavely house, Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton attacked by IC3 mob ( … hmmmm now theres a shock!) windows put in, officers personal motorvehicles attacked and a large fire has been started outside the building …. Trumpton have just turned up put it out .

Youths massing in other areas of Wolverhampton.

Officers just told over the air ‘do not wind anyone up or antagonise youths’

…. You honestly couln’t ******* make it up!!

Trouble in Chapeltown, Brum, Scallyland (Toxteth - I was only hearing this morn some yoof worker all over the BBC, explaining why Toxteth wouldn't go up), and large areas of what used, only 50 years ago, to be the capital of England. Croydon. Bromley. Places that within living memory were shorthand for respectable suburbia - as was Ealing.

It looks as if the demographic tipping point may have been reached in London. England was a famously peaceful place mostly because it was full of English/British people with an English/British culture. Cultural integration is impossible now in the capital - there just aren't enough English left to integrate with - and the night's events will trigger another exodus. London is now a third world city with great but increasingly isolated chunks of what was a mighty first world capital - the City and Whitehall, Buck House and St Paul's, Kensington and Chelsea, Fulham - left behind.

In Third World cities this sort of thing is prevented by Third World law and order, lethal, capricious, corrupt and not given to apologies.

Nonetheless, in some areas London's citizens are defending their lives and property - apparently Turks and Kurds are defending the kebab houses of Green Lane, and Muslim men are guarding Finsbury Park mosque. So let's not say the capital's totally lawless - alternative structures are arising.

I wonder how this will play out for the future of London as a financial centre ? And I was reading just the other day about how Central London property prices are soaring as homes in the capital's richest areas are increasingly seen as a 'safe haven' for capital.

Now the financial centres and the central luxury belt are full of rich people who can buy their way out of a lot of London's nastinesses - the schools, public transport. But as the safer areas become fewer, they'll start to feel increasingly like islands of wealth marooned in a resentful and lawless sea. I'd feel happier with my millions in Wiltshire farmland than in London terraces, no matter what the postcode.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Lazy B***ers

Indie :

Others arrived on foot and piled shopping trolleys high with looted televisions and other electronic goods, a woman who has lived locally for 10 years but did not want to be named said.

A member of staff at The Carphone Warehouse next door said every phone in the shop had been stolen.

The contents of the stock room were spilled across the pavement outside from the smashed in door.

Outside JD sport shop, broken mannequins lay on the ground, plastic legs and torsos scattered here and there.

The front window of Currys electrical store was smashed and smithereens of glass covered the ground outside.

Next door, Argos's door had been smashed in and broken glass covered the floor inside and out after looters apparently raided the stock room.

Discarded flat screen television boxes and other unwanted packaging covered paved areas outside the electronic goods stores.

The looters had evidently removed the products from their boxes to create more space in their shopping trolleys and cars, which were said to number up to 100.

Fragments of glass from the smashed in door of PC World littered the ground.

The scene outside Comet was similar and outside B&Q - one of the few stores that did not appear to have been looted - staff stood uncertainly, waiting to hear from head office whether they would be working today.

If employed white men had been rioting B&Q's power tool section would have been the first to go.