Monday 15 August 2011


Cameron will, he says, not be found wanting when it comes to mending Britain’s broken society. It is, he insists, his fundamental aim in politics.

Well, I suppose when your last big idea was the Big Society” (you’ll remember that was, until the holidays, the reason he came into politics), it’s not a bad idea to look around for something else to hang your hat on.

This comes as another day passes with police and Cameron and his minions trading insults. (And parts of the Tory party falling out with other parts).

In a way, of course, the rioters in England have played into the hands of the Conservatives. There’s nothing a certain brand of Tory politician likes better than having a kick at the poor. It’s a breed that they do not understand. Why, they puff, I got on in life; they should pull themselves together, get on their bike, get a job, get over their unfortunate birth, and vote Tory?

Cameron says that to do the job he will bring in a range of new policies (doubtless ill-thought-out, knee-jerk, Daily Mail-inspired initiatives) to stick Britain back together. If his record is representative of what is to come, most of them will be reversed before, during or directly after their implementation, having been found to be impracticable, too expensive, and generally crap!

Apparently he is going to promise to ‘reassign’ policies on schools, welfare, families, parenting, drug addiction and communities, all while saving billions and reducing the deficit (something he has so far singularly failed in his attempts to do without any of this new stuff). Thankfully many of these policies will not affect Scotland...and why should they? It’s not Scotland’s fault he had to come back early from his holiday and his wife is monumentally cross.

In other Tory news Iain Duncan-Smith, one of the huge disappointments of this government, has lectured Boris Johnson for failing to deal with gangs in London. He wants him to harass them on a daily basis...and all with fewer police. Pfffff. Idiot.

Cameron’s new police advisor Bill Bratton (thus appointed because Theresa May stood in the way of him being offered the job as head of the Met... so, no tensions there then) has said that policing has been too soft and sentencing too light. Good points, but, when Bratton ran the New York police, he deployed an extra 5000 officers. Whoever sorts out London’s mess will have to do so with far fewer police, not more. And Cameron’s mistake here is assuming that an American city can be compared with an English city. As Hugh Ord said, Cameron should look to European cities for examples. They are nearer to England than America, no matter how much the Tories hate that idea.

Johnson has said that the reason for the riots was that the police lost control in the first few hours. I think I can see what he is saying, but this is not the reason for the riots; instead it’s the reason the riots escalated so badly. The reasons for the riots are far more complex. But, it is true that once people saw that the police couldn't deal with the totally unprecedented situation, some took advantage of it to get themselves some of the action. It’s hard to see how reducing the funding for policing, and the numbers of police on the streets will assist in efforts to avoid a repeat performance.

However, with the usual amateurism of this government, revisiting the reduction in police funding has been ruled out. Why, in the white heat of the moment, did they not have the wit to say: “We will look at every policy to see what we can do to keep people safe”? Answers on a postcard.

Pic from 2007, when the Tories were hugging hoodies, even if the hoodies weren't hugging back... isn't that assault?


  1. Just seen the plump old Etonian giving his speech. He said that the rioters were just common criminals and there was nothing more to it. So how come first offenders are getting 6 months in jail for stealing a bottle of water ? And their parents are being evicted and there benefits are being stopped etc.. Dave's making it up.
    Everyone knows the reasons for the riot.
    60 years of cultural destruction by the lefties. Dumbing down of education. Cuts due to greedy bankers crashing the economy. Open door immigration policies turning sleepy neighbourhoods into 3rd world shitholes. Penalising the conventional family in favour of single parent families. A benefits culture that discourages work. Etc...

  2. The sort of knee-jerk quick fixes usually favoured by Tories, (and by that I mean the normal Tories, not this bunch of cack-handed half-wits) just wont work! They never do. Witness their last big policy to fix England, the Big Society! It was dumped by the wayside when fiasco after fiasco hobbled it before it got started. And that was going to be Cameron’s legacy. But now it seems he has a new one. That’s two legacies in less than two years!

  3. Och... is that all, Monty?

    Posh Dave will have it sorted in no time at all, and then get back to Tuscany.

    I wouldn't agree with you that it's only "lefties" that have ruined English society. The “me me me” and “Loadsamoney” society encouraged by Thatcher had an effect on people's values. People (or most people) are instinctively greedy. Suddenly the state was telling them it was OK to be greedy. It was Thatcher that did that, and she was no leftie.

    People also discovered over these years that the royals and the ministers are just human beings. The royals have red blood like the rest of us and politicians are just ambitious people elected by us to do a job, for which we pay them.

    From a having exaggerated respect for them, to seeing that many of them are a bunch of lying cheating greedy fools meant that people lost respect. That may be considered to be leftie. I dunno.

    I agree with much of what you said though. There has been a dumbing down of education; England has had too much immigration (not so in Scotland); I'm wary of saying that immigrants turn sleepy neighbourhoods into shitholes. After all I can take you to several of these in Dundee where there are few immigrants. But our massive teaching hospital is populated largely by immigrant doctors (presumably due to our dumbed down education) and these immigrants do not live in shitholes. They live in desirable suburbs.

    I don't think families have particularly been penalised, but single parenthood has been normalised, and put on a par with it. Some men have a far too casual attitude towards fatherhood which somehow we have to reverse; and some women seem to be content to sleep around, often when so drunk they can barely stand...and without taking suitable precautions (mad in today's world) and to churn out babies on a regular basis... Babies whom they didn't much want and certainly can't care for properly, the fathers having long since disappeared.

    I think if we could find some work that was suitable, many of the ‘benefit culture’ people would work. Of course Mrs Thatcher reduced levels of benefit and they have fallen further and further behind wages, except for the period when Mrs Thatcher abolished the minimum wage. Wages must go up to make work pay... benefits are now at a level where they cannot fall farther.

    There are too many people claiming extra benefits like DLA, but the government is taking steps to deal with that...unfortunately in their haste and eagerness to do so, they have allowed some people to die.

  4. I reckon, Munguin, that he may soon have to find something else to have as a legacy. The likelihood of Dave being able to fix Broken England is decidedly remote.

  5. Tris..
    I think the left / right in politics is pretty much redundant. For all the bluster about immigration/ the EU etc you couldn't get a cigarette paper between the parties on major policy. The integration into the EU goes on irrespective of who is in power. Same with immigration, global warming scams, destruction of the family etc.
    To get maximum benefits it's often beneficial for the father to move out and allow the mother to get maximum benefits rather than allow a father on low income to live with his wife. The father's low income stops many benefits being allowed. It's an onward march into a Harriet Harperson utopia of asexuality and the redundancy of the male role model in society.
    Every 5 years we get a new set of suits in power who quickly revert to the modus operanda of keeping a compliant rump of culturally barren and scared people ready to jump through hoops to satisfy the state.

  6. Yes Monty. The two main English-based parties have the same, or nearly the same, policies on most things. The recent benefits changes, for example, were made by Brown, but backed by Cameron.

    In some ways Cameron tried, in opposition, to be left of Labour. Of course, now that he's in he has headed back down the road he knows. And in some ways, Labour is more right wing than the Tories.

    The best thing for us to do the dump the useless rapacious nobs in both parties. In Scotland we could do this and start again.

    They are all discredited, loathed and despised, laughed at... and I don't know anyone who trusts a word they say. We all think they are all out for what they can get and if it's not money, it's legacy.

  7. This article implies that only the rich vote Tory, and the less well off do not. But given that the Conservative Party is currently the largest in the UK - that implication is trival as well as daft.

    As for mending the broken society, well, good. Something must be done to include the excluded, and also to ensure the swift enforcement of due process of law. This isn't knee-jerk reaction at all. This is a coalition government which has inherited the New Labour generation, which was brought up according to anti-family values ethos which the left often pushes.

  8. I seem to recall that after the riots in the early 80s the then Government made exactly the same response and promised to address the situation. In a short while the riots were forgotten and the situation leading to the riots were not addressed but faded into the background. There is no reason to believe that the situation for those involved in the riots has not deteriorated since then and I suspect that there will be more riots if the necessary spark occurs.

    What puzzles me is why now? If the riots started when some-one got shot by the police why not when the Brazilian guy got shot or when the guy carrying the table leg got shot?

  9. Brownlie makes good points (as usual)

    Why not when a Brazilian guy got shot? Because the vast majority of these looters weren't thinking of the dead man who was shot...they saw an opportunity to get something they otherwise couldn't afford...if anything, this was an unconscious violent protest against the consumerist system...if anything...but not about someone who may or may not have been killed wrongfully.

  10. Dean, by and large the poor don't vote Tory. If they do, I'm not sure what they hope to get back for that vote... better housing, better minimum wage, better public transport, cheaper necessities, like utilities, food, pensions, care of elderly, hospitals...?

    If they do they are going to be disappointed. The Tories sold off council housing so there is hardly any left, utilities are flying through the roof, food likewise, VAT ( a tax that Cameron himself described as unfair) was raised on everything bar food and electricity/gas. The last time the Tories were in the abolished minimum wages and jobcentres could demand that people took jobs at as little as a pound an hour. Nope Dean, the poor get very little out of the Tories. Poor pensioners in fact just lost a chunk of necessary income in the winter from Cameron, despite a very explicit promise pre-election not to do it. He's a liar on that one, plain and simple.

    So yeah, maybe some poor people may vote Tory, but I'm damned if I can work out why.

  11. The reason nothing will really be done, JB is that most of what they promise would be impossible to do, and would probably spark off other riots.

    They talk tough to get the Daily Mail on-side, but as you say, something new will come along and grab the attention of the comic press, and the government will slowly shelve most of their plans.

    Sorting broken Britain as a legacy is a fool's venture. Without vast investment in infrastructure, job creation, health, education, training, industrial revival, etc., none of it is going to happen. The place is falling down; they wasted the oil money on wars, unemployment, WMDs, creeping to the USA, vanity projects, mainly in England (eg Millennium Dome and Olympics).

    On top of all these things someone somehow has to restore respect for the institutions of parliament, the state church (an English one), the police, the civil service and the monarchy, not to mention the individuals who have stolen, cheated, buggered choirboys, bribed, taken bribes, crawled and lied to get a title... etc, etc.

    People no longer even have affection for, or loyalty to their employment or employers. They know they aren't valued any more and are disposable.

    Bloody mess. I wish we were out of it.

    Good luck if that's what you're up for Dave... You'll fail.

  12. Cameron's reactionary action plan. apologies to Crinkly.

  13. Dean, Mr Brownlie always makes good points... well, at least when he's sober.

    You know, there are many individual reasons for taking past in last weekend's riots.

    And certainly criminal and violent thuggery rank amongst them. But without going into a great long list of possible motivations, I think that you have to ask yourself, whatever the motivations were... Do people in a happy society riot and burn down the places where they live?

    Even if you take the two idiot girls, interviewed by a BBC reporter, who said that it was "like a bit of fun really, yeah, like". Do happy ordinary teenage girls call arson and rioting a bit of fun?

    I don't think so. Now an intelligent thinking government that wanted to get to the bottom of this problem (as opposed to getting good headlines in the Mail and the Sun [which is just relieved that the spotlight is off it]) would look at why people are so bloody miserable that they have to do this... to their own places.

    I don't understand it. I could have perhaps understood the motivation for torching Mayfair, or Downing Street, Clarence House, Chelsea... but they burned down their own places.

    Until someone works out why people are so unhappy, it won't go away; it will come back.

    But Cameron knows best. He's obviously an expert in crime and punishment.

    He certainly knows a lot about smashing up premises and going on rampages through town centres, as does Osborne and Johnson... and their friend Clegg knows about arson.

    As my old boss used to say:

    There's always trouble where there's arson about... boom boom.


    Is a good article on the riots.

    One of the points he makes about the punishing of the "feral youth" is that many of them simply don't care any more. Put them in prison; it's coming up to teh cold weather, there's some heat in there.

    They have nothing to lose. They weren't going to get a job anyway. Life is horrible on the outside; violent, scary, dirty, unrewarding... why not go in prison. 3 square meals, some work, something to do with your day...

    When the punishments don't mean anything, you're in trouble.

    Unless of course you are like the Chinese, and you bring in hard labour. Maybe even that wouldn't bother them.

    Maybe for punishment to actually be something that is worse than life on the outside, you might have to do some torturing. Fortunately we seem to have experience of that.

  15. Tris.

    I think you have hit the nail on the head with this article. Although the riots are totally unacceptable and those who took part in them should be punished, Cameron has used this as an attack on the poorer societies in England. This is the smocking gun he has been waiting for.

    Ever since Cameron came to power I have given him the benefit of the doubt and thought he was different but now the nasty old Tory party are back..BIG TIME!!

    He labeled parts of society as "Sick" after the riots!!..Urinating on war graves, smashing up the Tory party HQ, almost killing a policeman and attacking the Royal family...the work of Oxford, Cambridge and Eaton educated students but where was the "sick" society label then?

    Iain Duncan Smith wants to take away council homes and benefits from those who are found guilty!! Why single out those in Council houses and benefits? Why did he not single out those in Uni education will have their funding withdrawn? those who are in employment will be made to pay back a % of their wages back into society for up to 10 years etc etc!!

    But do you know what pissed me off most? The spivs who are Scottish Labour MP's who sat in the commons and attacked the First Minister for sticking up for our tourism industry in light of the riots when Germany was advising its citizens not to travel to the "UK"

    I would still rather have 10 Cameron's to one single Scottish Labour MP, they are very problematic for Scotland's future prosperity.

    I like what Ed Miliband is saying but what did he do about gangs etc in his 13 years of Gov?

  16. tris

    No one seems to note the oppressed freedom fighters who took to the streets in response
    to Camerons attack on their family and homes.
    Caused not one thousandth of the wilful chaos brought about the white male middle class created banking crisis.

    Yet not one of camerons guilty class has been arrested tried and put in jail ...nor will they bastards

    Long may the poor and oppressed rise up against the tyranny of the English Tory's reign of terror...

    Ps weather is atrocious here in Mauritius be back in a few days ready to lend my support for the rebellion against the English Torys bastards

    for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under Tory rule...

    summat like that

  17. Cameron a truly miserable and underwhelming Prime minister

  18. Nikostratos said...
    Cameron a truly miserable and underwhelming Prime minister

    I bet your wife says the same about you in bed.

  19. Alex Salmond - Nikos wife says the same to me about him in bed.

  20. True Allan...

    They have two legal systems, two codes of behaviour. One is for the rich and one for the poor.

    Cameron has led from the rear in this. He has turned a situation that might have brought people together into the opposite.

    Punishing people dependant on their station in life is bound to cause more resentment; upsetting the police by appearing to say that he could have done better, at the same time as he is cutting their budgets is also guaranteed to make things worse.

    To be lectured on vandalism by someone (indeed more than one person) who, in his youth, was a vandal is quite sickening. Criticism by someone who was an arsonist in his youth is no more acceptable.

    The Scottish Labour MPs were disgusting. They don't represent Scotland. They have one aim in life and that is to revenge their colleagues who lost seats in the election because they were crap.

    They don't give a stuff about Scottish business. They will happily damage our tourist trade as long as they can be critical of the SNP. They are a hateful, pathetic, shallow bunch of no-hope chancers.

    We need our own international identity, otherwise whatever Cameron does to England will be reflected here.

    Unlike you I never gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was always, for my money, a broken reed. He thought that he deserved to be prime minister because of his wealth and background and the palace was complicit in this.

    I knew he would be a failure, and I predicted these riots. What is more I predict more of them ere long...

  21. Niko: I thought you'd disappeared.

    Actually someone did comment on the costs. Here they are:

    Highest estimated cost of riots: £100m

    Tax avoidance by Vodafone: £6 billion

    Tax spent on Libyan intervention: £1 billion

    Tax avoidance in 2010 by richest people in the UK: £7 billion

    Tax payers bill for banking crisis: £131 billion

    Tax money spent in Iraqi conflict: £4.5 billion

    Tax money spent on Afghan conflict (up until 2007): £7 billion

    Total MP expenses bill (2007) £87.6m...

    (Chapeau Dark Lochnagar)

    I too have nothing but disgust for this business and political class that puts money before everything else.

    We have moved back in time to a regime where there are the monied people at the top, who own this country, and then there are the rest of us who are here to ensure that they have everything they need.

    It stinks on ice. But mark you, Labour courted these people too Niko, and to a certain extent it seems that even the SNP courted that foul old Australian baboon Murdoch). The shame of it.

    As for Cameron being underwhelming, yes. I think he underwhelms me even more that Gordon Brown did, and that is saying something.

    So ... the weather is rotten in Mauritania is it? You should have stayed at home. Didn't Mr Cameron tell us we should all holiday in Britain?

    You should come and join the SNP Niko and fight for independence from Toryland.

  22. Alex Samond: Wash your dirty mouth out with soap and water... you too Anon!

  23. tris. I think Niko yearns for the economic brilliance that was Gordon who opened up the financial markets and let them fill their boots with no comeback. Oh and when they failed he bailed them out to carry on as usual. Even giving Fred a knighthood for his genius. He also ended 'boom and bust' and got rid of all our gold before it became too expensive for people to buy ( $1800 an oz now while he managed to shift it at $220 - crafty beggar). Emptying all of the private pension schemes of their savings was a master stroke as well. Useful cash to help flatten Iraq and employ an extra million public sector outreach workers and lesbian gypsy trapeze artist awareness workers. Brilliance !
    I see Coulson is back in the frame re hackgate. I wonder if Dave will honour another of his 'cast iron' guarantees and apologise for hiring Coulson and promise to look at a prosecution. It may be unecessary of course if Coulson has a mishap in a portaloo or 'tops' himself in a leafy woodland.

  24. Clive Goodman's letter to News International

    "Goodman states in the clearest possible terms he agreed to carry the can for phone-hacking in exchange for keeping his job in a deal negotiated by Crone and Coulson"

    When will Cameron resign?

  25. Tris.

    I take it Cameron is not on your Christmas card list lol. Yes you were right about Cameron and I should has seen through him but I think I was blinded by my disgust of Gordon Brown I would had even taken ET as PM.

    I do want to see all those who took part in the riots punished but as you also pointed out, taking away benefits will only make the situation worse. All that would do would create an underclass and in any case, who is he to dictate what punishment people are dealt?

    Totaly agreed Tris. Cameron could had brought everyone together but instead he has actually made the situation worse by his ill thought out knee jerk innuendos.

    As you say he has really got up the backs of the police. I watched the BBC lunch time news and the head of the Manchester police federation was very critical of Cameron and his silly curfew policies.

    I think you said it all on the Scottish Labour MPs. Spot on!.

  26. cynicalHighlander.

    When will Cameron resign?

    Soon I hope but what would be the alternative? Not Boris lol.

  27. CH:

    My money is on, he won't resign, they never do.

    In the old days people of his class would have gone into a room with a bottle of malt and a revolver having shamed themselves so badly.

    I'd even pay for the whisky... But no chance.

  28. He's such a dimmo, Allan. Thatcher was bright enough to give the police a massive pay rise when she got in. She knew she'd need them on side when she shut down industry and mining.

    This half wit thought it was a good idea, to make the police look stupid and big himself and his second rate team up. Way to go Cameron.

    They seem to have taken their roles in the "ruling class" a bit too far, assuming the rights to things that are nothing to do with them, trying to make it look like decisions on policing rest with them.

    They are a bunch of vandals and criminals themselves.

  29. I'm not going to stick a pin in any of them... I think maybe a hand grenade.

  30. Very good Monty...

    You've almost written a biography of Brown.

    I think Cameron should go. I mean either he was complicit or he's a complete bloody fool.

    In either case he's not prime ministerial material.

    Now, who can we have instead....

    Answers on a post card.

  31. (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron's promise to fix Britain's "broken society" prompted heckles from a teenage audience in his rural powerbase on Monday, underlining the deep divisions about what caused the country's worst riots in decades.

    In speech at a youth club in the picturesque town of Witney, Oxfordshire, Cameron blamed the trouble on a society where fathers abandon families, gangs flout the law and people refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

    But the young audience was unimpressed, heckling the Conservative leader and pointing the finger at public spending cuts, inequality and higher university fees which they fear will widen the gap between society's haves and have-nots.

    "He is blaming everyone but himself," said Jake Parkinson, 17, unemployed. "The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. I'd love to go to university, but it's the money that is putting me off."

    Cameron, wearing a crisp white shirt and blue tie and sporting a suntan after a Tuscan holiday cut short by the rioting, stood in front of graffiti portraying two hooded and masked youths striking a gangster pose.

    The cartoon-like characters fitted the stereotype of those who took part in four nights of rioting that triggered a bout of soul-searching about the state of British society.

    There were whistles when Cameron entered the stuffy, cramped room and "chicken" noises at the end from teenagers who accused him of leaving early and being too scared to answer all of their questions.


    Many in Witney said they thought the biggest threat to public order came from a government austerity drive that they say will inevitably lead to the closure of social services funded by the state or third parties, such as charities.

    "He wants people to get in touch with their families, but for some people their families aren't there and the youth centre is the only place where they can talk to people," said Ryan Clayton, 15. "But he's shutting all the youth centres."

    With its honey-coloured stone houses, antiques shops and historic church, Witney is a world away from the city streets where looters wrecked shops. Cameron represents the area in parliament and has a house nearby in the Cotswolds countryside.

    In the town's main street, unemployed father-of-two Martin Lawson Smith said the wide gap between the rich and poor had fuelled the discontent.

    "I don't think broken families and morals are the problem," he said. "It's more the inequality that there is in society."

    The debate over the many possible causes of the rioting has divided voters, political parties and media commentators.

    In Tottenham, the north London neighbourhood where the riots began after police shot dead a suspect called Mark Duggan, there was some support for Cameron.

    "I think he's right," said Nicola Pastore, 26, who lives next to a carpet shop gutted during the disorder. "At the beginning it had something to do with the funeral (of Duggan) but after that it was just people wanting to rob."

    Giuseppe Delgiudice, 48, painting the front door of a boarded up law firm beneath a flat destroyed by fire, said he backed stronger police powers and action to tackle gangs.

    "It was too lenient at the beginning," he said of the initial police response to the riots. "The first riot might have had an issue. But from Monday it was just looting."

    Others highlighted a lack of apprenticeships for young people, an over-generous system of state benefits and a breakdown of family values.

    George Akolbire, 50, who moved to Britain 14 years ago from Ghana, said family discipline was a problem.

    "It's the government, the politicians who don't allow the parents to sort out their children," he said. "My father used to beat me. Here the government say 'don't touch your children,' so you are scared of smacking them when they do something bad."