These riots...

Examples of social decline, especially in the UK

Re: These riots...

Postby Elliott » 06 Jul 2012, 21:42

Gavin, I hope nothing happens and that you're safe.

But why tonight? Is there any particular reason why things should be "bad" tonight?
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 06 Jul 2012, 22:36

Thanks, Elliott. I guess it's just a typical Friday night. Sometimes I go over to the pub (always on my own) for a quiet read, but I'm not often out on the streets that time. When I see it in this little town I reflect that this is the picture across every town centre in the UK!

I suppose we have to remember that there are millions of suburban houses where this is not going on, but this almost seems beside the point when our town centres are virtually no-go zones!
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Re: These riots...

Postby Paul » 07 Jul 2012, 14:38

Oh dear yes, Gavin.

I mentioned a few weeks ago how threatening has become my town centre, another little town in Lancs. I haven't driven through the main street since, except once or twice in the afternoon. I approach at evening time, or later (say 10pm - shudder) but take the diversion just on the point of entry to the main street. I can see the bottleneck zone though, 50 yards further, where the main street (utterly foolishly) constricts at the behest of our glorious town planners. This is precisely where three (yes) fast-food outlets vie for competition from the neighbouring pub - one of the few left that itself seems to attract the thuggish elements (though don't they all?), and from whence there is an overspill of these louts onto the pavement and into the narrow roadway. Drunk. I've already described how they are willing, even eager, to challenge road users for daring to wish to pass, even a 2 ton van.

So I divert away from travelling the most efficient route and instead negotiate 2 sets of traffic lights and a couple more turns. The last set of lights are foolish too. They could do with not being there but since the re-jig of the entire town centre (at a cost of £3 million) and the two-way of what was once an adequate double one-way system, they've become necessary. But they don't work properly in the filtering of traffic. There has been an excuse of a right filter lane added (tiny) but no right filter to the lights. So when the lights change, for those turning right (me), you have to put your foot down and jump into the right turn before oncoming traffic intervenes. The opposing traffic is admittedly set back a little but just permits one vehicle to turn right before it is upon you. If you wait till all oncoming traffic has passed the lights change back to red and you're back to square one. You may be lucky and there is no oncoming traffic. A filter arrow to the lights would solve much, but 6 years later we're still waiting. (They had no filter lane at all for 2 years and had to belatedly add one after several near misses and one hit ...... a Police van that ended up on its side! I don't know how. It's maniacal).

It's as if the town planners are doing it for the very first time and making mistakes that only hindsight reveals. But the road system worked extremely well for decades. It's not as if town was an accident blackspot, hard to enter for trade or difficult to drive through. It was good for all those things (except accidents). Now it's worse in every possible way. The Romans could have taught our current councillors more about town planning, let alone the Borough Engineers of a century ago.

It's slightly off topic but then again another indicator of modern town life. How it's all laid out now. Nannified almost, but in such a way as to be more dangerous, less negotiable, etc.

There's a 'Bargain Booze' in the next town. It's a Mecca (a turn of phrase I mischievously enjoy given all the foreign takeaways) for chavs, thugs and general drunks. Also scantily clad young women. Exactly the atmosphere you describe. In and out continually are the customers. The place is a goldmine. The proprietors are..... Asian. What else? I don't know if they're Muslim and so anti-alcohol but we'll make a safe bet they have friends or family that are. It's also a Paypoint and Payzone centre, for paying utility and other bills. I've made the unfortunate choice of going in there a couple of times to pay a bill. The first time had to be aborted because the machine that scans the bill wasn't working properly. I went back the day after, foolishly I now think. I could have easily been robbed I think. £100 cash is a whole lot to a thug. Besides, the young chap who seems to be serving all the time was at first visit, I thought, surly or cocky. He's white by the way and wears a large floppy woolen hat (indoors in summer), whilst the Asian proprietors flit around the shop, nervously and constantly eyeing the situation whilst fiddling needlessly with the stock on the shelves, as they slink surreptitiously between the shoulder high stacks of beer cans. One can't blame them I suppose. The second time I went in, I decided the young counter assistant was cocky and whilst not confrontational he is mocking and derisory. Cheap jokes. Mention of 'lots of money' (for the bill). I eyed him coldly I'm afraid. I won't be returning anytime soon.

Needless to say, one never sees a Policeman at all, in either of these two neighbouring towns. Gavin is exactly correct.

By the way, for our foreign members, there are now, and have been for some years, many places on the UK high streets where one can pay one's utility, and local council bills. There are 2 systems operating. One is Paypoint (the most common in this area). The other is Payzone (quite a rarity here). They're obviously (?) two 3rd-party organisations who broker the deal between the establishment operating on their behalf, the payee (the utility co) and the payer. They must be getting a small percentage cut for doing so, and so must the establishment. I haven't bothered to unravel what's exactly going on. To some degree they are convenient but......

They're only convenient now because of the closure of so many Post Offices, a national institution which comprises the Royal Mail service and the Post Office counters that have forever dealt with financial transactions. The Gov't, the people, the Post Office. Royal Mail. Trustworthy and the place to pay your bills if not at or through the bank. Now fast disappearing.

Utility companies (some of them) now actually CHARGE extra for the 'privelege' of one paying at a Post Office. So we are being steered away from using the Post Office all the more. You can pay such bills for 'free' however at a Paypoint ........... but not the water bill. That has to be at a Payzone. Hence Bargain Booze that operates both schemes. Both these schemes are 'cash only' payments.

Most of these Pay centres are in exactly the kind of places we describe. Corner shops and lots of late night liquor stores. Some supermarkets. Gas stations. Almost all of these establishments (except supermarkets) are owned or run in franchise by Asians. They're just the kind of places that attract the underclass. To me, they aren't necessarily safe places to be turning up with a bundle of cash in hand and a utility bill.

Maybe it's just the modern way and I'm complaining about loss of traditional methods. Besides, why not pay by debit through the bank? Old people don't wish to do this of course. However I've cancelled a lot (almost all) direct debits at the bank quite some time ago, and prefer to pay for things traditionally - at the Post Office (or bank), cash or cheque, where possible. This is because of reasons of sheer incompetence now by almost all institutions in the UK, if now downright fraud - impossible to prove of course. Where it is incompetence it always seems in their (the payee's) favour. I have a couple of amusing, and profitable stories too, regarding going back to basics with how I handle bills. A matter for another thread however.

I've commissioned a survey recently of these two towns for my own dark purposes. Rather I've mentioned it in ranting and a friend of mine has undertaken the research for me. He's unemployed at the moment so has the time. (I forgive him - he's a Gulf War veteran (1990), a postman for 6 years and a mental health care worker for a few more years. Had enough of the UK and moved to Brittany about 8 years ago. Now he's changed his mind and come back - for his family really - and wonders what madness he's embarked upon. He's already at loggerheads with the Council ......... about litter! Good luck with that one!)

Anyway our survey has determined that there are 62 places where one can buy ready-to-eat food (not counting supermarkets) on the high streets alone of these two towns, about 1 mile apart from centres. There are no places on the intervening link road, this is just two town centres of say 100 yards each. Fifty of them will be fast-food outlets. There might be 3 or 4 traditional 'chippies' and 3 or 4 pastry (Pie) shops. One or two breakfast and lunch-time cafes. There have always been these places. But now added to that there are at least 50 more outlets, all predominantly (or all) foreign and most of them evening hours and magnets for 'street people'. All junk food. McDonalds of course too. Do they count as 'foreign'? Most of the employees seem to be young whites. Not that I ever go there. I just know these things. To be fair, if I must, they are on the link road in-between.

Apart from all these eateries, and several nail and tanning studios and the inevitable charity shops, there's hardly anything else in town. Except menace at nights, and possibly during the day too.

The towns are now awful, soul-less places. Garish neon lights or aluminium anti-burglary shutters. No atmosphere, not benign anyway. Riots yes. They'll be very bad next time round.
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 07 Jul 2012, 17:00

Paul, great post, covering a lot there - including:

  • Bad town planning
  • The duplicity of Muslims selling alcohol to underclass natives
  • The invariable rudeness of shop staff these days
  • Town centres being no-go zones
  • The state of British high streets
  • The standard British diet

It's sad there is so much that is wrong with our society, but it is wrong and the first step is for this to be stated unequivocally.

The high street around here, typical of most towns in the UK now, I suppose, consists principally of:

  • Betting shops
  • Tanning salons
  • Nail salons
  • Kebab shops and other fast food takeaways
  • Pound shops
  • Rough pubs
  • Budget supermarkets
  • Small casinos

In other words, on the whole, the ingredients for a dysfunctional society. Sometimes the betting shops simply stand on their own in residential streets. People go into these places to spend the money they are given by the state.

It may not have been formally announced in any way, but really any civilised person knows that our high streets have been lost to vulgarity now, and after dark town centres are no-go zones.

One more thing caught my eye in your post, that being your observation of the way in which people cross roads now. This is something I've been meaning to mention for a long time now, actually. You're quite right: the routine way a member of the underclass crosses the road now is by not looking either left or right at any time, and walking very slowly, such that the driver must slow down to avoid running them over. Sometimes it's really hard to press on the brakes on such occasions! You know the tracksuit-attired thug has seen or heard you approaching and is deliberately making you slow down to avoid a legal case.

On occasion, when faced this this game of "chicken", I have disengaged the clutch and revved as if to be accelerating towards the delinquent - but not often, as this will generally result in them standing their ground (this being the middle of the road), fingers aloft, face contorted in hatred, angered at your your taking exception to their deliberate snail's pace gait. Actually this gives them what they want: a fight.

Step into the gutter when passing them on pavements, and just slow down and wait for them when they are owning roads. This is our place now at street level in the modern UK, unless of course you want to be attacked.
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Re: These riots...

Postby Caleb » 13 Jul 2012, 01:48

Where does the money the mini-casinos get go? Are the establishments state run or private enterprises?
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 13 Jul 2012, 09:46

They're private companies. The government encourages gambling through the National Lottery but it doesn't run these. Likewise the bookmakers (betting shops) are private firms.

Here's a brilliant article by Dalrymple on gambling in the UK.
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Re: These riots...

Postby Paul » 14 Jul 2012, 09:25

Ha ha yes, what a brilliant article, darkly amusing.

This story is in his book 'Life at the Bottom' which I do possess (along with Junk Medicine) and is accurate to my knowledge at least in respect of the betting shops. There are several on the main streets of my twin towns of infamy and I've seen the clientele going in and out and parking their cars (complete with 'disabled' badge) on the single yellow line (parking restriction for the able bodied) of the roadway outside. The type of men who haven't worked for decades, if at all and who will no doubt blame the gov't for 'destroying industry'. In reality they are cock-a-hoop about this.

I haven't perused a Casino at all. There isn't one immediately local but will be one or three in Bolton I presume, six miles or so down the road.

Bingo halls seem to have diminished a little. I know there was one in the next town that had been there for ever it seemed, but now it has closed. Maybe the generation have passed on and there hasn't been quite the uptake as new blood gets to that age. For all the social pathology of the masses, there is an increased sophistication these days even amongst the underclass. Fancy mobile phones, i-pods, cars full of electronic gadgetry and fantastic devices in the home (comparative to decades earlier). Maybe the sheer tedium of Bingo isn't something that grips the newer generations and the relative tameness of the elderly Bingo Hall isn't exciting enough. Plus there's a certain mental aptitude and sharpness to playing multiple bingo cards as TD observes and this may prove too much for the current incumbents.

I will write a review of 'Life at the Bottom' later which is written darkly but with inescapable humour attached, in TD's own style. Hilarious in some parts in fact. Junk Medicine is a good read too, a little more technical and more sobering and liable to infuriate the reader.
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 14 Jul 2012, 21:10

I will look forward to your review of Life at the Bottom, Paul. The the cover of this book always strokes me as inappropriate. It is not about doss houses and people living a hard life with no money, at all. It is generally about the underclass of the UK. Several TD titles have covers which do not properly reflect their contents: Spoilt Rotten comes to mind too.

I agree with you about the reason for the decline in bingo. People prefer to rely on pure chance for their profit now.

Junk Medicine is one I haven't read yet - I'll get round to it one day!
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Re: These riots...

Postby Damo » 04 Aug 2012, 13:19

Almost half of those held over the riots have been re-arrested for a catalogue of crimes including rape, threats to kill and robbery.

Days before the anniversary of the disorder, official figures show that 44 per cent of riot suspects have been arrested on suspicion of committing fresh offences within the last 12 months.

The statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, have raised serious questions over the penalties handed out to offenders.


Why am I not surprised.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z22aDRQmmC
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 06 Aug 2012, 11:05

I was just listening to the liberal James O'Brien on LBC. A young black teenager phoned up and told him that many people he knew enjoyed the thuggish lifestyle, and that ultimately, if you wanted something, there was nothing to stop you working for it.

Even then, O'Brien told him he was wrong, and I thought to myself, this is the kind of liberal superiority we are up against. Even when looters say to cameras that they are doing it for "LOLZ" or when a young man phones up and explains this, the liberal thinks he knows better and seeks to excuse them.

There were many reasons for the riots, least of all the shooting of Mark Duggan. That was simply an excuse. The reasons ranged from shocking examples in music culture, unfettered parenting by stupid and incapable parents to human greed and laziness. Also in there was a complete lack of fear of the law in our lax country, though I am pleased to say that, for once, people were given some proper jail terms.

People didn't steal food, they stole designer items and they burned down factories for fun. The argument that "they had nothing to do - society provided nothing for them" is just idiotic and absurd beyond words. What about children in wartime, what about in my own childhood? It also suggests, of course, that teenagers are like vegetables, needing everything handing to them, or they will riot. Pathetic. There is more to do, to learn, today, than ever before!

It's just incredible that a person can tell a liberal why they are doing something and still the liberal doesn't believe them. Talk about superiority. Liberals: people can do wrong, do evil, if they do not fear consequences, just through human weakness. Stop aiding and abetting them!
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Re: These riots...

Postby Paul » 06 Aug 2012, 20:19

Depressing isn't it?

I read this the other day, written by a black resident of Hackney. It starts well but then very quickly descends into hand-wringing liberalism and outright criminal statements of her own. She thinks the riots began with the 'right intentions'. It's rather worrying to know that there are people who consider there is such a thing as a well-intentioned riot. And to realise how naive they are (though they aren't really) to believe (pretend to believe) those good intentions will not morph into something much darker and that very quickly.

She's also bewailing the fact that convicted rioters will end up with a criminal record. Surely she realises that convicted rioters are criminals and hence - end up with a record of criminality? It's hardly rocket science. But she seems to be saying the courts should 'let them off'. Brilliant - that'll stop them rioting in the future then....?

We then learn she is a convicted drug smuggler herself and does not work. She walks with a stick indeed. Does anyone hear the till ringing? Hardly a surprise of course. But she wants to work and wouldn't mind working in some capacity advising would-be or ready-blooded rioters. All she needs is a building! A free building of course, in London no less. I don't recall ever getting a free building in which to practise my (lawful) trade. Quite the opposite in fact.

Finally, we hear about the pinnacle of her recent success. She's appeared on the Britain's Got Talent show!

One can only but despair:


Pauline Pearce, The Hackney Heroine Of London Riots: 'I Hope People Remember Mark Duggan'



Pauline Pearce, dubbed the 'Hackney Heroine', shot to fame after footage of her berating rioters was watched by thousands on Youtube.

The 46-year-old grandmother was filmed waving her walking stick in rage at looters, shouting "I'm ashamed to be a Hackney person.

"Because we're not gathering together to fight for a cause, we're running down Foot Locker and thieving shoes."

Thousands applauded the grandmother for her tirade at the youngsters destroying their own community. Yet a year later Pearce insists not much has changed in Hackney.

“After the riots there were lots of promises,” she told the Huffington Post UK

“Hackney has changed a little but there’s no wow factor.”

Pauline Pearce was described by the Lib Dems as a "true community heroine"

Despite berating the looters, Pearce thinks the riots began with the “right intention.” The police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham which sparked the unrest is the subject of an ongoing police inquiry. Duggan's mother, Pam told The Guardian she is still waiting for answers.

On the anniversary of his death, Pearce hopes people will remember the 29-year-old.

"I hope people don’t forget about Mark Duggan.

"The riots started with the right intention, and then it all went very wayward. The fact they spread across Britain shows there are many upsets across the country.

Handing out tough prison sentences to looters was a “ridiculous” solution, she insists.

“They could have tagged them, they could have given them a caution or a curfew, there are so many alternatives they could have used,” she told the Huffington Post UK.

“But they locked them all up. And now, because of the unfair sentences people have criminal records. They say to youngsters: ‘go get a job’, but if you’ve got a criminal record it’s twice as hard. “

Pearce should know. She has spent three years behind bars herself. She told The Guardian in December "I was used as a drug mule. I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of."

Yet since that YouTube video, Pearce claims her life has “changed immensely.”

She has appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, stood as a Lib Dem councillor candidate and been described as a “true community heroine.”

“There are those that think I’ve sold out,” she admitted.

“But I’ve got all the fame and no protection. I still live in a one bed flat in Hackney. Some of the attention has been bad. I was encouraged to get a Twitter account but then one person commented saying I’m 'grotesque'. One minute I’m a heroine, next I’m grotesque?

“I don’t see I’ve done any different, I’m true to myself and the people. I’m not saying I’m a saint. I’m real and if they can’t deal with a real person then there’s something very wrong with society.“

Whilst she looks for work (“there’s not much I can do with a stick,” she explains) she continues to support community projects. Her main priority is to find a building that will function as a “community hub.”

“I just need a building!" she exclaims.

"I want to put workshops, community information and support systems under one roof. And bring elderly people in. They are so much fun and have great stories to tell, but people forget them.“

Pearce is also working with fashion label the Dalston Coathanger “to keep the memory of the riots alive, in a good way.”

The clothes, called the “riot range” will be printed with pictures of the unrest as well as thought-provoking slogans.

Pearce says that though she’s glad people saw her shouting at rioters, it's nothing new for her. Her passion has always been the community.

"When Agnes [Sina-Inakoju, a 16-year-old who was shot dead outside a takeaway shop] was killed, a long time before the riots, I was down in Hoxton collecting signatures against guns and knife crime. It wasn’t just one random day that got uploaded onto YouTube. “
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Re: These riots...

Postby Andy JS » 18 Sep 2013, 00:07

I'm almost lost for words over this:

"A judge took the highly unusual step of leading his court in a moment’s silence to commemorate Mark Duggan, the alleged gangster whose death sparked the 2011 riots which scarred Britain.

Judge Keith Cutler, sitting at Duggan’s inquest, asked everyone inside the courtroom to fall silent and to acknowledge the ‘regrettable loss of a young life’."
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 09 Jan 2014, 00:17

Let's hope these don't start again, following the disgraceful behaviour by members of the public as the police officer tried to discuss the Duggan case today. Meanwhile, a member of his own family, defending him, said that the gun-toting gangster was "no angel" and only had a minor criminal "for being young".

You live by the gun, you can die by it, even if by accident - especially in a country where it is illegal to carry one.

The family of Mr Duggan seemed to me to issue veiled the threats to the police today, saying that while they themselves had no need to hide, others did. They are correct though that nothing will happen to them, of course - unless of course they are buying illegal firearms too, then they might be mistaken for carrying one of them.
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 09 Jan 2014, 00:24

p.s. Good timing for the announcement: it's probably a bit cold for the rioters. Had they announced this in the summer then they would no doubt have taken their opportunity. You know, being "deprived" and all.
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Re: These riots...

Postby Gavin » 09 Jan 2014, 23:19

I just happened to put the BBC on while Left-wing Time was on. It's astounding how PC it is - most of the panel and all of the audience. It's like the polar opposite of this forum or of the Telegraph Blogs. There are so many logical errors it's hard to handle when you are accustomed to a more intellectual standard of discussion.

I must admit that Nadine Dorries probably spoke best of all. She actually spoke as a Conservative, but was very much out of kilter with her party for doing so.
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