The most news-worthy events in the UK recently are the riots in a succession of major cities throughout England, and it is difficult for him to hold back on the topic . . . so he doesn’t.
Labeling the anaemic response of the government as “an abject failure”, he explains the real source of the barbarity, and why the puffery of the government and their shocked (shocked!) pronouncements about the contempt that the rioters show to civil authority is laughingly ineffectual and likely to cause more harm in the future, as the barbarians are taught that the government bureaucracy is truly venal when it comes to the ‘compassion’ that it expends on them.
Hitchens starts at the source:
So yes, I am deeply sorry for the innocent and gentle people who have lost lives, homes, businesses and security. Heaven knows I have argued for years for the measures that might have saved them.
But I am not really very sorry for the elite liberal Londoners who have suddenly discovered what millions of others have lived with for decades.
The mass criminality in the big cities is merely a speeded-up and concentrated version of life on most large estates – fear, intimidation, cruelty, injustice, savagery towards the vulnerable and the different, a cold sneer turned towards any plea for pity, the awful realisation that when you call for help from the authorities, none will come. . . .
No doubt they will find ways to save themselves [the elite liberal Londoners]. But they will not save the country. Because even now they will not admit that all their ideas are wrong, and that the policies of the past 50 years – the policies they love – have been a terrible mistake. I have heard them in the past few days clinging to their old excuses of non-existent ‘poverty’ and ‘exclusion’.He next moves on to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and lists the variety of ways that he condescends to the outcry from the vulnerable public, then:
Yet he is ready to authorise the use of water cannon and plastic bullets on our streets (quite useless, as it happens, against this sort of outbreak) as if we were a Third World despotism.
Water cannon and plastic bullets indeed. What an utter admission of failure, that after 50 years of the most lavish welfare state in the solar system, you cannot govern your country without soaking the citizenry in cold water and bombarding them with missiles from a safe distance. Except, of course, that it is because of the welfare system that this is so.
Here is an example of how little he knows about Britain. He says that the criminals of August will face the ‘full force of the law’. What ‘force’?
This provides an excellent segue to discuss the police:
The great majority of the looters, smashers, burners and muggers have not been arrested and never will be. Our long-enfeebled police were so useless at the start that thousands of crimes were committed with total impunity.
Now we know why they don’t call themselves ‘police forces’ any more. But they aren’t ‘services’ either, for they certainly don’t serve us or do what we want them to do, preferring to arrest us for defending ourselves. The criminals, who are cunning without being intelligent, all know this. They will wait for the next chance.
And the courts:
Why should anyone respect or fear this chamber of indifference? . . .
There is no sense of awe or determination or of much purpose. There is only a strong sense of going through the motions for the sake of appearances.
Nobody is directly punished for what he has done. Excuses must first be sought, and indulgence arranged where there should be cold rage. There will be ‘social inquiry reports’ and ‘youth offender teams’ who bustle smilingly in and out ready to start work on yet another ‘client’.Two visions are foremost in my mind about this series of riots. The first is footage of a phalanx of police, standing immobile in front of a crowd of masked rioters, frolicking about as if they are completely unaware of the presence of the constabulary, and they might as well be. The other is an interview by a reporter with a collection of masked self-professed participants -- an effort to understand their mind-set. He asks one of them if he stays awake at night as a result of the guilt he must feel. The rioter replies, "No. I stay awake at night watching my new plasma telly!"
You may know, gentle reader, that I am retired from the military, but my present remunerated avocation is as a counselor with corrections, dealing with youth of the sort who perpetrated these riots. All of the opinions expressed in the article, frustrated as they are, are ones which I can certainly understand. Here we see generations of people who live off the largess of bureaucrats who compassionately spend other peoples’ money. The bureaucracy in turn is dependent on a constituency of the masses (yes, I have heard them referred to as such) in thrall to the benign despotism of the Anointed, who use the lumpen proletariat (if you’re up on your Marx – I’ve heard those terms too; that would loosely imply people who work, but I expect that you take my meaning). After all, the masses help ensure the sinecure of the social workers and politicians, who are quite explicit that it would be perfectly understandable for the masses to riot if they didn’t receive their Danegeld.