MOAR (on) RIOTS

The latest proposals are things like cutting benefits and council housing for people involved in rioting…

You can’t just mass-evict thousands of people who likely have no income and no savings. It is not sensible. Where will they go? Unless you have an island you can ship them all off to then they are just turned into a different new problem the country has to deal with. It is a ludicrously stupid idea which appeals to high levels of emotion, with no regard for the practicality of the matter. It is a justified reaction, but that is all. Hopefully, evicting them obliges the state to re-house them, and if not, the state is a failure. I’m not sure what the right solution is, but making people homeless is never it. As well as the ethical considerations, it clearly exacerbates the problems that made this happen in the first place: the underclass, as they are referred to, are under-educated, under-privileged and generally under-developed. In a nutshell: they are fucking morons. You can mess about with benefits, withdrawing benefits, whatever, all you like, but what needs to happen is to bring their personal social development in line with that of the rest of the country. How you do that I have no idea, and I guess that anyone over 15 is probably a lost cause anyway, but that is the root of the problem.

The problem with these rioters and looters, well, I am referring only to the looters I suppose, is that the punishments now are not likely to be proportionate to the crimes. If someone is walking past a shop being looted and decides to pop in and get something then they clearly have a very distinct role from the people who smashed the windows and instigated the whole thing. There is little practical ethical conundrum for the passer by: if they don’t take something then someone else will; the shop loses out either way. A savvy person will resolve this pretty quickly and realise the only important question is “will I get caught?”. The truly savvy person won’t take the risk, because at the very least they’re going to have to endure weeks/months of paranoia, but it’s moot from an ethical perspective. We had a report earlier of someone walking back to his house who entered a looted shop to get a bottle of water, who has been given the maximum sentence for what under normal circumstances would be a very minor shoplifting offence. To say he deserved this because he was involved in looting that has ruined some areas of the country is a neat simplification, but it’s not one which is fit for purpose.

There is some amount of irony in seeing Dave and chums taking the moral high ground. This is unacceptable, our society is sick! etc. Are you the same David Cameron who used to smash up restaurants with Boris and George Osborne? Oh right. “Things got a bit out of hand and we’d had a few drinks. We smashed the place up and Boris set fire to the toilets” — David Cameron*, Oxford, 1986. Somehow I can’t imagine Boris successfully setting fire to anything on purpose. Although I could believe he set fire to a plumbing system by accident. I feel a little sorry for George Osborne. It’s never just “George”. There’s Boris, there’s Dave, then there’s George Osborne. Boris is a fucking idiot but let’s be honest, he’s quite endearing with it; Dave is generally charismatic and good looking, and then … ah yes, George Osborne. Nobody really knows who he is other than the funny looking one who hangs around with Dave and Boris. He’s the chancellor but everyone really knows the only person in the government who has any clue at all about economics is Vince Cable. Every time I hear him speak it mildly surprises me that he has a voice, so used I am to him merely standing slightly behind Dave, and that it sounds like that. And the other important point he has against him is that he is frightfully strange looking.

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* I’m getting Google traffic for this quote now, I think it’s a slight misquote, but if anyone knows the original source of it please post in the comments.

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