• And badly said, Tallboy. Aggressive responses satisfy primal instincts, but produce even worse results. Read 'The Spirit Level', a properly researched investigation into the consequences of inequality in society. Scandinavia and (pre-tsunami) Japan score well. The UK scores second worst, after the USA. Nuff said.
  • So what happened on SGR last night?

  • It will be interesting to see what the equivalent of Lord Scarman makes of all this. Does this sort of thing not happen in Paris occasionally with the disenfranchised people who have been priced out of the centre to live in the not nice estates on the ring.
    It is a bit depressing to see BBC reporters wearing hard helmets to report from the streets of London. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the government this morning ie Voluntary Curfew keep your kids in parents sort of stuff. I guess the adults need to rise up a bit like in Northern Ireland to stop it. I have not seen a politician or anybody yet who has good explanation for why this is going on and why it is being allowed to continue. It was really bad that the government had no one available to go on Newsnight last night and they must be running scared as they don’t know what to do but arrest everyone. Andy has hit the nail on the head above. I bet Boris keeps his head down until it looks like it is stopping and then get his photo opportunity like he did on is drug raids a couple of weeks when he was “cracking down hard on” crime !

  • 'The children now love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.

    Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers'.

    This comes from Plato - possibly quoting Socrates, so we are not dealing with a new phenomenon here. Youth are prone to behave like this. We need a strong deterrent, not just society showing unbderstanding.

    The police need to be able to exercise their powers to clamp down on civil unrest. We are extraordinarily liberal in this country, the French would have had the high powered water cannons out on day one. And it really isn't just the 'underclass' that are out on the streets causing mayhem as is evidenced by Charlie Gilmour (son of multi millionaire parents) and his pals - stars of another riot.

    If you grew up in a nice family, with enough money and then went off to have your nice university education and well paid job, own home in a nice area etc. I can see why you would perhaps feel some guilt about what's going on and maybe feel that we created this mess ourselves.

    If, however, you spent your early years on a rough east London council estate with a single mum and no money, then went to an average comprehensive, no university and then spent your life just about making your rent payments and doing without things that others take for granted you might see things differently.

    Whichever it is you are still a human being and you still know right from wrong from a young age. Stealing is wrong, hurting people is wrong, burning down other people's houses is wrong. If you choose to do these things you should be punished - hard.

    I'm in favour of the police using paintball guns full of indelible ink so that they, and other members of the community, can easily identify these immoral individuals later. Although no doubt that would contravene the criminals human rights to be a thief or something.

  • does anyone know what happened last night in SGR?

    All i could see out of my window was lots of fire engines and police cars wizzing about around tesco, I guess. i couldn't see any damage really today... so I guess SG was lucky... when you see what happened elsewhere.
  • I did a module at uni called "The geography of rioting" which was about identifying the socio-econimic conditions of an area and the trigger points which make it a hot spot for unrest. By doing so you could apply the model around the country to see where it was most likely to kick off next. As a police force you could then map your resource to the model. Hot spots in the north of england based on the Bradford model were places like Oldham, Dewsbury, inner Leeds etc. As it transpired, they all kicked off.

    So the model identified where it was probable a riot would take place. But how would you remove the socio-economic conditions that create its liklihood? You may as well ask the question "how to we alleviate poverty in the uk?" or "how do we stop the gap between rich and poor". You can stop/prevent rioting by changing your approach to law and order, or you can be softer and invest at grass roots. The latter requires a lot of trust that people will respond positively. My feeling is that anyone over the age of 14 involved in the riots we've seen is not retrievable. They've made their angry choice in life. Lets invest in their younger brothers and sisters.

  • I hope you feel better now you've got all that off your chest, Miss Annie. But it contributes nothing to an understanding of what is going on. Aggressive responses are normal. We all have them, but they make a difficult situation worse in the long run, if acted upon.
  • SGR was very quiet. Either because it is an ocean of tranquility and community cohesion, or we haven't got a JD Sports.

  • Well said Andy,

    A decade-and-a-half of letting the rich get richer and the poor getting no fucking hope, while living right next door to them and craving their consumer riches, delivers a dangerously potent cocktail.

    It's not about left, right or centre, Tory, Labour or Liberal, all sides have failed the increasing problems that have been growing on the estates right under our slowly gentrifying neighbourhoods' noses.

  • I hope you feel better now that you've patronised someone checkski. I don't think that my post was particularly angry. What is going on is that groups of people have got together to steal things and destroy things. If they wanted to make a genuine protest why not set fire to their own houses?

  • @miss annie - Personally, I don't think it's about guilt. My desire to work out why these kids think this sort of behaviour is acceptable comes from a healthy dose of self interest. I prefer it when the streets aren't on fire.

    @tallboy - I don't think "my way" has failed. I'm not describing a "way". In fact, I think we're seeing a failure of your way.

  • I would not say it was very quiet.... if you live close to SGR it was pretty noisy last night, but compared to other places like Croydon, yep its very quiet.
  • Oh go on, Miss Annie, you can do better than that. We had all that hate stuff in the never-ending Tesco circus thread. It gets us nowhere.
  • This shows an interesting view on this from the rest of the world

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-14456635

  • @andy - my "way" was to shoot, hang or drown them. We haven't tried that yet so it can't have failed.

    Your "way" (your desire to work with these kids and find out why they think this way) is not new. Spend millions trying to talk and understand them. But you won't change them.

  • @ PapaL well put. I didn't used to subscribe to any kind of 'broken Britain' scenario - I think I do now. Not in any party political, point-scoring, Daily Mail scare-mongering sense - politicians of all parties, our leaders, powerful influences in business, the media and society across the spectrum have been contributing to this for years.

    We have politicians who think it's OK to steal, corrupt police chiefs who cosy up to power and influence, front line police who don't answer calls for help, teachers who are afraid to teach, businesses that don't pay their taxes and hide profits offshore...the list is endless, football clubs that exploit their followers, phone companies and utilities that treat their customers like shit and on and on. Criminality and the moral low ground are most definitely not just confined to kids stealing televisions, guys.

    All the same, there are still lots of good things out there that have nothing to do with exploitation and greed. Like this site. Or well mintained open space. Or jobs, not robots. Or proper education.

    You can bring in the water cannon all you like and that might stop some the rioters in their tracks for a time, but until you fix some of these core values, nothing is going to change. I doubt if it ever will. But I think it's time for society to take a long, hard look at itself. (And I'm not a Daily Mail reader, by the way - just the opposite.)
  • Oh - and I forgot the bankers!
  • All this talk of kids looting mobiles and trainers. It makes it sound like some naughty boys causing a bit of a ruckus.

    My friend lives in Clapham. She couldn't leave her flat last night. From what she could see, it wasn't a bunch of teenagers. It was adults. They brought their cars so they could loot bigger items than they could carry. This isn't a spontaneous outburst of anger. It's premeditated burglary.

    I've spent years studying poverty and social exclusion. I've taught 15-year-olds in Hackney. I've mentored a 14-year-old boy from Peckham. Being young and black and poor doesn't make you set your neighbour's house on fire. Let's not equate disenfranchisement with selfishness, greed and a complete disregard for other people.

    These guys aren't doing this because they're poor. They're just assholes.
  • Do we really need to ‘understand’ the root causes of this lawlessness? Did we have all this angst during the MP expenses scandal when elected officials were looting the public purse? No. We know why it happened -- greed and people who think the rules don’t apply to them. Why is the rioting and looting any different?

    Right know we need the police to stop it. People are being burned out of their homes and losing everything. The hows and whys can wait until later.
  • From the archives:

    The home secretary, Theresa May, has dismissed fears that deep spending cuts could undermine the ability of the police to tackle possible civil unrest, and insisted the British did not respond to austerity by rioting on the streets.

    The Guardian, 15 September 2010

  • I heard the following this morning from a friend "Apparently there was a gang of about 50 around Finsbury Park station yesterday. But all the shops on Stroud Green Road put their shutters down and the police were there so it didn’t develop. They did try and set fire to Tesco but it was put out straight away." Does anyone know if that's definitely true?
    And I did hear a report of some disturbance on Stroud Green Road last night on 5live at about 8pm so it does seem something might have nearly happened...
  • @hoofck: A disturbance near the station pretty early on might fit. All was quiet what I was there around 7.30pm, and SGR appeared normal, but the Budget Supermarket & Off-Licence on the corner of Florence Road already had it's shutters down. SGR seemed pretty normal apart fro that.

  • Do you mean the Offie on the corner of Albert road? It was open when I went past at 10pm.

    Really seeing the benifit of not having any chain stores on SGR apart from Tesco and Sainsbury's

    It's like a haven in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse

  • I knew one day I'd be glad we don't have a Sports Direct and Carphone Warehouse on Stroud Green Road.

  • "Like a haven in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse".

    Thanks for that R&J, that's the description of SG I've been looking for all these years.

    I hobbled into WLM at around 6.45 yesterday and it was full but edgy - what amused me was most of the old topers were huddled round the TV sets watching riot coverage. I wondered if they might be thinking of kicking off and doing Tesco.
  • My username stands for 'stroud green-curious' (because that phrase tickled me) and I was very glad to be able to use my SG connections to stay well away from my home in Hackney Central last night - apart from the scary stuff on the telly in Wetherspoons, all seemed pretty normal. (Also, in fairness to my borough, was very impressed at how quickly they cleaned up the aftermath - hardly any signs of trouble when I came home today.)
  • @tallboy You won't reason with people, and then you condemn them because they won't be reasoned with. See the irony? My bet is that you won't.

  • Can i just highlight a personal observation connected to all of this...

    In the grand scale of things, as individuals we have not really been affected by these events, yet a quick surf of the twitter feeds suggests that everyone in the entire capital is barricaded in to their houses and that its a war zone. We have individuals letting the world know that they got home safe to war torn Crouch End and that Highgate is on a knife edge…..someone could throw a chair through High Tea any minute. People not even slightly affected by this event are sensationalising it and are trying to become associated with something to derive attention and sympathy. When I got into work this morning (I don’t work in town) my colleagues were surprised that I hadn’t been murdered and that my house wasn’t burnt to the ground. Some of them were quite serious. Overhearing some conversations to people outside of the M25, we’ve had “no it hasn’t spread to Hertfordshire yet, but we’re on our guard”. I mean for gods sake.

    It’s a bit like the Princess Diana effect. We crave and are addicted to attention from others, and when there's an opportunity to derive some sympathy from someone we track it down. In this case I sure some people will be disappointed that the rioting misses their community as they can’t truly say they’ve been affected. Its like those pathetic status updates on facebook like Joe Bloggs is "really annoyed with it all" that invite comments like "whats up hun"..."everything ok hun" and it turns out they missed Eastenders cos their Sky plus was broken. After all the mass hysteria of Princess Dianas passing, how many people probably thought “good grief, I mean I liked her, but I’ve no idea why I got in my car drove 300 miles and signed a book of condolences”.

    If you’ve ever seen Fight Club it’s a bit like how Edward Norton attends self help groups because he’s addicted to grief and sympathy.

    Spread useful information please but don’t get involved if you well and truly aren’t. It’s driving me crazy.

    For the record, I don’t consider myself even slightly involved even with Tescos getting a slight alleged charring.

  • @andy - my point is that the time for reasoning is over. We've tried reasoning and it doesn't work.

    And do you really need to be so patronising all the time?

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