Dalrymple’s prophetic 2002 essay “The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris“ received quite a bit of attention after the 2005 riots by young Muslims in France. Now he adapts the title for a Wall Street Journal op-ed on England’s own riots:
The rioters in the news last week had a thwarted sense of entitlement that has been assiduously cultivated by an alliance of intellectuals, governments and bureaucrats. “We’re fed up with being broke,” one rioter was reported as having said, as if having enough money to satisfy one’s desires were a human right rather than something to be earned.“There are people here with nothing,” this rioter continued: nothing, that is, except an education that has cost $80,000, a roof over their head, clothes on their back and shoes on their feet, food in their stomachs, a cellphone, a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, an electric stove, heating and lighting, hot and cold running water, a guaranteed income, free medical care, and all of the same for any of the children that they might care to propagate.….The culture in which the young unemployed have immersed themselves is not one that is likely to promote virtues such as self-discipline, honesty and diligence. Four lines from the most famous lyric of the late and unlamentable Amy Winehouse should establish the point:I didn’t get a lot in classBut I know it don’t come in a shot glassThey tried to make me go to rehabBut I said ‘no, no, no’This message is not quite the same as, for example, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise.”….So several things need to be done, among them the reform and even dismantlement of the educational and social-security systems, the liberalization of the labor laws, and the much firmer repression of crime.David Cameron is not the man for the job.