Writing in City Journal, Dalrymple takes on a recent article by novelist China Miéville, who claims that last year’s riots in London were forms of social protest and that the judicial penalties handed out to rioters are evidence of “panicked reactions”. The title of Miéville’s article? “Oh, London, You Drama Queen”. Dalrymple will have none of it:
This is the statement of a typical intellectual whose indifference to the actual lives of the urban poor masquerades as compassion for them……[T]he class of victim is much larger than the class of perpetrator. Leniency toward criminals is not therefore a form of sympathy for the poor, but a failure to take either their lives or their property seriously. For Miéville to talk of “panicked reaction” in these circumstances is a form of moral exhibitionism. He is showing off in front of his peers.