Responsibility for riots rests with - the rioters

The death of Mark Duggan must be fully and impartially investigated. And it will be.

Those who have concerns about this have every right to organise peaceful and law-abiding demonstrations. They do not have the right to riot, burn, or loot.

I have been rather irritated by those on both sides of the political divide who have sought to blame their political opponents for the riots which have been taking place.

The riots are not the responsibility of David Cameron. They are not the responsibility of Gordon Brown. Or Tony Blair, John Major, Maggie Thatcher, Jim Callaghan, Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, or Robert Walpole.

They are the responsibility of the rioters.

Madsen Pirie in his book "How to win every argument" defined a logical fallacy which he called "Thatcher's Blame" and which he described as follows:

* if you want to blame your political opponents for civil disturbance during a period of wealth, you claim that their policies have led to a celebration of material wealth which has lead to a breakdown of morality and hence to riots:

* alternatively, if you want to blame your political opponents for civil disturbance during a period of poverty, you claim that the rioters are motivated by despair and desperation, and that your opponent's policies have led to the deprivation which has lead to a breakdown of morality and hence to riots.

He was inspired to put this forward after riots during both the recession of the early eighties and the boom of the late eighties were ascribed these diametrically opposite causes and yet both were blamed, often by the same opposition politicians, on the Thatcher government using these rather inconsistent arguments.


Jim said…
Listening to the radio (BBC Radio Cumbria) on the way into work this morning. They were doing various interviews with many people on the riots and the cause, though by far the most disturbing was the comment by a 14 year old rioter. I can not remember the exact quote, however, He was basically saying for as long as he can take what he wants, why should he not, there is no price to pay, other than he may get shouted at when he gets home and even if they (the police) do come for him they cant do anything but give him an ASBO as the prisons are full.

So you see there is no basis of respect. No respect for parents, police, politicians, law, property, or people. So where do they lose respect, or rather why do they fail to ever establish it in the first place?

Well to start lets remember that respect is never given, it’s earned. Parents are no longer allowed to discipline children, so respect is never established, “There is nothing they can do, so I will do what I like”.

The police are no longer seen for what they are, they are seen as an army and a representative of the political class. So as long as the political class, regardless of rosette colour, are seen as dishonest, untrustworthy, and viewed with utter contempt, so too are the police.

The political class don’t seem to have noticed that they are really too much a part of the problem. They are viewed with absolute and utter contempt, in some cases even hatred (also worth pointing out that this view is not limited to the rioters). With, large bonus payouts, inflated wages, broken promises. Following the expenses scandal they are literally seen as thieves. “Do as I say, not as I do” does not really cut much ice to today’s youth.

Now I do agree that the people responsible for the riots are ultimately the rioters. But as with any aircraft accident there is always a chain of events leading to the final break down.

We really need to fix the core of the problem, regain respect throughout society, respect for parents, law, property and above all other people. Once that foothold is re-established then the rest will naturally follow.

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