Dalrymple has another piece on the English riots today in The Australian, in which he calls England “a society in full decomposition” and trains most of his fire on the country’s leaders:
THE riots in London and elsewhere in Britain are a backhanded tribute to the long-term intellectual torpor, moral cowardice, incompetence and careerist opportunism of the British political and intellectual class.They have somehow managed not to notice what has long been apparent to anyone who has taken a short walk with his eyes open down any frequented British street: that a considerable proportion of the country’s young population (a proportion that is declining) is ugly, aggressive, vicious, badly educated, uncouth and criminally inclined.Unfortunately, while it is totally lacking in self-respect, it is full of self-esteem: that is to say, it believes itself entitled to a high standard of living, and other things, without any effort on its own part.….…the riots are a manifestation of a society in full decomposition, of a people with neither leaders nor followers but composed only of egotists.
Interesting that his first two pieces on these events are in foreign newspapers.
After four nights of barbarism, only NOW does Cameron say that they’ll break out the water cannons (real cannons would be better). The elites won’t get serious until the barbarians are burning down their own houses.
The authorities talk about the water cannons as though they were 50-caliber automatics or something. Aren’t water cannons the absolute minimum that should be used – immediately, without hesitation, deliberation or self-consciousness – when people are burning buildings and murdering en masse?
I live in Texas, and we will never have rioters here going randomly door-to-door smashing people’s businesses and apartment buildings. The consequences would be deadly – for the rioters.
I’ve learned a bit about these measure over the last few days. Water canons are very difficult to manoeuvre so are suited to large stationary crowds that are busy fighting. What we have seen here is cowardly “guerilla” looting, goading of the police then running off. Nothing some well placed bullets (plastic, I guess) wouldn’t stop immediately. But I heard a police chief saying they would only use them when live rounds are being fired at police. (I kid you not! I couldn’t believe this.)
It must be very hard for Americans to comprehend the soft touch of the UK. I expect we are the laughing stock of the world. Even the Germans, with all their post WW2 sensitivity, are harder than us. I read today that riot squads would like to be much harder, they know we think they are being soft, but they are literally more afraid of losing their jobs than of being fire bombed.
It beggars belief and it’s terrible to see a country dying through political correctness.
By the way, here’s an excellent Dalrymplesque analysis:
Gavin, I’m reminded of something my father once said to me: “Conservatism never wins until bombs and plagues have done their work.” In other words, things haven’t yet become painful enough. All in due time….
Unfortunately the entire British elite regard the State of Texas as an extreme right-wing fiefdom and the prime example of what should be avoided in civilised Europe in terms of its justice system. Most ordinary British people, on the other hand, would strongly welcome anything resembling Texan justice.
It doesn’t help that the so called upholders of Conservatism are really only slightly right of centre liberals and their over riding concern is the promotion of fiscal conservatism. The promotion of social conservatism isn’t even on their agenda because it requires so much more effort. Urging the populace to reign in its appetites and the encouragement of self denial as a virtue in itself are not popular causes.
I live in Scotland, and I have found it notable that the violence hasn’t affected any Scottish cities – yet. This is not because of any superiority in the general behaviour of young Scottish people – far from it. Young Scots, in general, are just as uncouth and prone to violence as their English counterparts. So why have Scotland’s cities been spared so far? Surprising as this might sound, I suspect one of the reasons that the riots haven’t spread to Scotland could be to do with anti-Englishness. During the 1980s and 1990s, when English football hooliganism was a major problem, Scottish football had very little trouble. The Scottish fans even won a ‘fair play’ award for their behaviour at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden. (I should perhaps point out that their behaviour, although good natured, could hardly be described as civilized. I know this because I have travelled abroad to watch Scotland play football and have witnessed the supporters’ behaviour at first hand.) The main reason that Scottish supporters behaved relatively well was to distinguish themselves from the English thugs. Whatever these English fans did, Scottish fans would do the opposite. Bigotry, in this instance, happened to have a positive effect, and I suspect that the same reasoning might account for the different reactions in the two countries just now.
Most people won’t be aware, however (because it was reported only locally), that the Scottish city of Dundee was the scene of mob violence only a few weeks ago. The disorder wasn’t on the scale of what has happened over the past few days in several English cities, but it was nevertheless so serious that it necessitated the closure of one of the city’s main shopping centres. What is interesting to note is that the perpetrators were not Scottish, but Polish.
I mention this principally because Dr Dalrymple extols – again – the virtues of young Polish people, which is something of a mystery to me. I have met several pleasant young Polish people (just as I know many pleasant young British people), but I have also met large numbers of boorish young Poles. My own experience leads me to believe that there is very little to distinguish British youth from Polish youth. The recent trouble in Dundee only confirms this impression.
I would not be surprised if your analysis is spot on, Mike. A rare pleasant side-effect of the Scots’ notorious hostility towards the English. (Let’s get the disclaimer in, I have Scottish family!)
I will never forget a time I was in a pub abroad during a World Cup match. We heard some people speaking a variant of English. England then made some mess up, as they are prone to do, and that side of the pub erupted in cheers. Hitherto being unacquainted with the hatred the Scots commonly have for the English, I couldn’t understand why they were cheering. Even when told they were Scottish, I still couldn’t understand it as I naively thought that a country close to us would be inclined to support us, since they themselves didn’t even qualify.
So I think you’re right: far from being any more civilised (as Alex Salmond tried to suggest), they wanted to be contrary, fortunately for their shops and businesses.
Perhaps TD overstates the civility of the Poles a little too.
If they are going to use water canons they better make sure they use warm water as if they don’t, they’ll be going against some human rights convention. I kid you not.
I don’t think it’s to do with PC. They were perfectly prepared to use rubber bullets and water cannon in Northern Ireland but never on the mainland. You could read something into that. How was the Los Angeles/Rodney King riots eventually quelled? Perhaps we could learn something from that.
They sent in the National Guard. These are part-time military reserve units (a militia) who spend one weekend per month plus two weeks per year training. IE, they are regular people who hold full-time jobs, and are called out for domestic emergencies (usually floods, fires, tornadoes, etc). Not sure if you have anything like that over there.
Yep, I think he does. On the topic of the hooligan element in football, Polish fans (Legia Warsaw in particular) are absolutely notorious for it…and the (genuine) racism which is gradually disappearing from the British scene – bananas thrown onto the pitch in the presence of black players, and so forth – is still rampant in Eastern Europe, and Poland in particular.
A better example might have been Czechs. When I was teaching English to foreign students here in Sydney, I met quite a few Poles who fitted the above description, but the Czechs were polite and civilised, every single one.
I know a Texan Fulbright Scholar who wanted his state to secede from the union.
Is that common?
Thankfully, it is not!
Texans’ pride in their state has always been massive, absurd, sometimes comical, the stuff of legend and a source of irritation for non-Texans. Every American at some point has heard the old phrase “Everything is bigger in Texas” and rolled their eyes.
Growing up in Oklahoma to Texan parents, our father liked to tell us when we were very young that a rattlesnake bite would not make him sick because of the Texas blood in his veins. This is the half-serious, good-natured attitude of many Texans to the obvious superiority of their state. For example, here is a style of car license plate one sees often…
…just to distinguish themselves from those who were not born there!
Eventually I had to admit my parents were right and moved here. I have lived in 6 states, and it really is my favorite by far.
Lately, this idea of Texas superiority has taken on new meaning as the state leads the country year after year in job growth (6 years in a row I believe), manufacturing exports, migration from other states, and many other things. More than half of all new jobs in America in the last decade have been in Texas. People are streaming in here from across the country (especially from the high-tax, high-regulation states), especially as California’s economy and government finances have fallen off of a cliff.
But no one wants to secede and only the usual impractical thinkers you find everywhere.