In response to the riots, a petition has been set up to remove benefits from those involved in the riots. At the time of writing, it has amassed 115,436 signatures. Some people have argued against this move, saying it will disillusion those people further from society. Whilst not necessarily advocating to removal of benefits myself, some seem to be under the impression that everyone is entitled to a place in society, which is something I don’t agree with. A place in society is earned by adhering to the unwritten social contract we have, i.e. respecting others and the laws of the land. It is this contract the keeps society functioning smoothly.
Some are under the impression that it is the job of the Police to keep the population in check, which is of course not the case. If everyone decided not to adhere to the law, the Police would be overwhelmed and could do nothing about it. Luckily, most people respect this social contract, but there those who choose to ignore it. These people should not necessarily gain the advantages that functioning members of society receive. When events of these nature occur, there is always the attempt to excuse the actions due to societal factors, as Nina Power in The Guardian has tried to do here. However, it is unfair to blame society as a whole for criminal elements that have always existed, and always will.
There is absolutely no justification for the actions and conduct of the rioters. People can go on all day about the reasons why this happened and the underlying causes, but simply put, these people have committed criminal acts. It is sheer criminality and it cannot be tolerated. There is ALWAYS a choice when it comes to such acts, the choice between doing what is right and what is wrong. If one were to come home and find their wife in bed with another man, and then they shot her, people might understand their reasoning behind it. But is it the right thing to do? Of course not.
Some quarters have pointed to the cuts as a catalyst for the riots, which is what Harriet Harman did on a shameful display on Newsnight where she tried to score political points from the events. This is absurd, and not even the New Statesman could agree with Harman. It is unlikely that a 13 year old stealing a widescreen TV is making a statement to the cuts to the EMA. If there is any underlying cause to all of this, it is a culture that has fostered this sense of entitlement from society for nothing, and a breakdown in the identification between right and wrong in people. A good way to establish the difference is to show the consequences of doing wrong. Punishing these rioters to the full extent of the law would be a good start.
Posted in Law and Government, Rants, Society
Tagged benefits, david cameron, EMA, harriet harman, london riots, michael gove, new statesman, newsnight, nina power, police, society, the guardian, uk riots
Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat Minister, has been stripped of his responsibilities after declaring ‘war’ on Rupert Murdoch. The comments were made by Cable to two Telegraph journalists posing as Liberal Democrat supporters.
In a statement, a Downing Street spokesman said: “Following comments made by Vince Cable to The Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister has decided that he will play no further part in the decision over News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB.
I have to confess that I am slightly disappointed in The Telegraph here, using a News Of The World style sting to get these revelations.
Cable also made the comment that he could ‘bring down the Government’, at a time when cracks are starting to show in the Coalition. As they celebrate their first Christmas in power, one has to wonder whether they will see another one.
So, the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups have been announced. I hate to cast accusations at anyone, but everyone else is doing it.
Russia and Qatar are interesting choices, especially considering the bid process was fraught with corruption allegations levelled at FIFA. Russia I can deal with. It is a big country (in more than one sense of the word) and has never hosted the tournament before, which is a plus. It has several problems to overcome before 2018, but I am sure that they can manage to put on a decent show.
Now Qatar, I am not so sure. They have many problems to overcome, not least the fact it can get up to 50° in the summer. Then there are the infrastructure problems. Qatar is a relatively small country with a population of just 1.6 million, and it is questionable whether they will be able to cope with the influx of people that the World Cup will bring. One has to wonder how much money Qatar put into their bid. Australia spent $45m and managed to get one vote for their troubles, but one feels their bid was probably hampered by this awful video.
England will be disappointed. Despite all their efforts, they only managed to get two votes. British Prime Minister David Cameron was criticised by some for travelling to Zurich to support the bid instead of attending climate change talks in Mexico. But hey, why trade one corrupt bunch for another? Luckily, Ed West is on hand to put his own perspective on things:
Sepp Blatter, after telling us that the Chinese invented football (???), then explained that football teaches us how to accept defeat.
Wrong – for the English football teaches us that foreigners always cheat us out of everything, and we have never fairly lost in anything, ever.
Although he probably expressed it the wrong way.
“We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive, but for those on benefit there is every incentive,” said Howard Flight.
Using the word ‘breed’ when talking about the lower classes can only come with negative connotations, especially when it has come from a millionaire peer. But, in essentials, Flight is correct. There are incentives for those on benefits to carry on unsustainably, while the middle gets squeezed and squeezed, as Ed West notes in The Telegraph:
It is not eugenics – a movement that was, incidentally, dominated far more by socialists than by conservatives – to lament that the nation’s middle-class are being squeezed out of existence. It’s a fact, and a sad one because many loving, intelligent people are put off from becoming parents and bringing more loving, intelligent people into the world. If the tables were turned I’m sure it would even be called “social cleansing”.
David Cameron has moved to stop the controversy over this by asking people just not to talk about it, presumably because it does not fit in with the new image of the Tories he has tried to create. Indeed, the idea is not new to the Conservative Party, as noted in The Independent. I think Winston Churchill puts it best:
“I am convinced that the multiplication of the feeble-minded… is a terrible danger to the race.”
Despite Cameron’s wishes, it does not appear to be an issue that will be going away any time soon.