Eleven

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

-Wilfred Owen.

Private

I am separately consulting on how best to tackle the escalation of executive pay which, in many cases, has lost any connection with the value of shares, let alone average employee pay.

It is hard to explain why shareholders can vote to cut top pay but the managers can ignore the vote.

And surely pay should be transparent; not hidden from shareholders, and the public. – Vince Cable’s Speech To the Lib-Dem Conference

Governments attacking things that don’t concern them is not news, the private business here of the pay of empoyees of companies (yes, CEOs are employees too) being one such example.

More private business that is of no concern to anybody are the events surrounding Dale Farm. I’ve been keeping half an eye on the news surrounding this battle -and battle it is- and I’m watching C4’s Dispatches programme as I write this. Predictably, the programme is focusing on the ‘Human Rights’ of Travellers, showing doe-eyed children crying over their lost swings, and the plight of the Travelling Community (perhaps one of the only justifiable uses of the suffix -community) in general.

What I haven’t seen is the defence of Dale Farm based on that most basic human right- property rights. Dale Farm is private property, the section threatened with eviction belonging to one of the families that live there, and it is filled with the private property of all the families therein. Their caravans, bought with the sweat of their brows, their buildings, built by their own effort with materials purchased with their earned money will be, if Basildon Council gets its way, moved or destroyed. What Basildon Council intend to do is (to put it in a nutshell) to trespass on private land and destroy private property- actions which would be, if undertaken by you or I (quite rightly) crimes, and very serious ones at that.

And the justification for this is that it’s the Gypsies who don’t have to abide by the same rules as the rest of us!

In actuality, it is the planning laws themselves that are the travesty. What people choose to do with their private land is no concern of the State! If you are really siding with Basildon Council because you are not allowed to build whatever you like on your land, maybe you should start asking why that is, before pointing a finger at those who dare to defy the beast.

Tracy Crouch- Good Egg?

Since the election I haven’t really noticed Tracy Crouch, my MP, but today she posted something really heatening on her blog:

On Thursday, I intervened on the Home Secretary during her statement in the Commons about the use of social networking during the riots and disturbances in London and elsewhere. I wanted to make the point, in the confines of a short interjection, that there is a difference between open networks (Twitter, Facebook etc) and closed networks (Blackberry Messenger) and that future consideration of their advantages and disadvantages to public order should be distinguished as such. However, and I can not be clearer than this – not for one second do I think they should be closed down. Monitored, yes; accessible to the police in certain circumstances, yes; shut down, no and especially if we want our voice heard when we condemn the practices of other regimes that restrict access to social networks or a free press.

Now, while I do NOT agree with the ‘monitored’ part of that: as a free net junkie, free speech advocate and libertarian I can in no way condone RIPA and the anti-encryption powers it represents -yes, even when scrotes are using it to organise looting- this whole post is a breath of fresh air considering some of the statements that have been coming from politicians this week. The calls to allow shutdowns of Twitter and BBM have been coming thick and fast, but my MP, my Conservative MP -member of the party who’s government was brought to crisis by last weekend’s events- not only disagrees but publishes her disagreement for all to see.

Many police forces, my local Kent police being one, used technology to great effect earlier on in the week. Clearly open networks allowed for arrests to be made for inciting public disorder, as well as providing the police with a means of monitoring potential targets. But they also enable the police to get clear messages out to the public. With rumours flying around the social networks about looting and rioting, police forces and other authoritative sources, were able to dispel the myths using the same networks that were propagating them. If networks were closed, as some suggest, then the rumours would still be flying around via other means of communication (dare I mention via good old fashioned oral communication) but without the instant truth also being known, and in a bitesize 140 characters.

Again, I cannot agree with any crime that includes ‘incitement’ in the title -to do so is to forgo belief in moral, independent human beings with the capability to make choices- but the fact that so many people used the same social networks to dispel the rumours of what was going on in Kent over those few days (the square root of fuck all, as it happened) while not justifying their not being turned off (this being self-evident) do go in some way to show the use they have in times of crisis, and may have gone some way to preventing the same scenes happening in Medway that we saw elsewhere around the country. After all, nobody wants to be the first one to a riot, it is not fashionable!

Tracy Crouch, MP, seems -on this issue- to get it. There are wider issues at stake than rioters using Twitter and BBM to organise- issues of freedom that TPTB seem intent on using this tragedy to cuteil. Tracy Crouch has thrown her hat into the ring, and she’s thrown it into the right corner.

Bravo.

#Riots – The Best Of Times, and The Worst Of Times

Well, now the disorder seems to be over for now, and I’ve had a chance to organise my thoughts it is time to put electron to transistor and broadcast them, such as they are, to the rapt gazes of both my readers.

Without dwelling too much, it is pretty obvious that last week’s events are one of the end-results of socialism. The Third Class rose up and bit the hand that feeds them, leaving death, destruction and mess in their wake. We saw scenes normally only found in motion pictures on the evening news and for a couple of days it almost seemed like the end was nigh. Indeed, without a serious scaling back of the creed that dominates our public ‘servants” beliefs such scenes are likely to happen again, and more often, and probably in a catastrophic fashion once the money finally runs out. This much should be obvious, and if it isn’t then frankly you are part of the problem and should not concern yourself with reading any further.

Being Themselves, With The Volume Turned Way Up

Still here? Good. Ok, so the looters have burned themselves out. The Met has flooded the streets of London with very tired coppers from all over the country, and decent people affected have started to count the cost and grieve their dead while the oiks and the opportunists count the eBay cash flooding into their PayPal accounts. So what did we learn?

For one thing, we learned that for all its databases, surveillance cameras, ‘safety wardens’ and ‘intelligence-led policing’ the State itself is a paper tiger. In stark contrast to the efforts that even basket-cases like the Zimbabwean regime can muster -let alone States like Syria and Libya- the British State showed itself unable to prevail against a few thousand kids armed with nothing but smartphones and without any ideology whatsoever except a nihilistic desire to smash and grab. Although peaceful protestors and students get a full show of force, when things turn nasty the Police have shown themselves singularly incapable of positive action. Indeed, the stories of families having picnics being hassled by the law while drunks with staffs drink happily nearby were writ large, and in flames over that weekend. The State was forced to stand impotently by for three days and wait out the storm. Make no mistake: the Met was spent and could in no way have kept that police presence up for any protracted period. Had they the wherewithal to do so the rioters could have waited it out and carried on from where they left off- they may still do so. Faced with organised insurgents with an agenda, the sobering conclusion is that short of recalling the Army from abroad, the government would be held by the short-and-curlies. While we may argue until the cows come home whether the State is, in fact, the root cause of the riots and looting (it is), the vast majority of people must surely now be aware that the State cannot even fulfil the function it purports to do- namely to keep order within its boundaries and to keep the people that pay for it safe from harm. The germ must have been planted in many minds, this week, and at least in some the idea may grow that less State, not more, is the solution.

Turkish People Defending Themselves

Happily, we also learned some very good things about the nature of the British People. Old Holborn spent almost the entirety of the first night of the disturbance tweeting examples of people looking to themselves to protect their persons and property and that of their families and communities from the looters. By the second day stories were starting to percolate through the MSM (albeit predictably tarred with the vigilante misnomer) and before it was all over there were dozens and dozens of cases of the people, of all colours and creeds coming together to defend themselves. The police naturally didn’t like it, after all the State is not just about force, but monopoly of force and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. The Police, unable to do the job would rather you got raped, murdered, stolen from and burned than defend yourself. In one particular case:

Ironically, it was an apparent attempt at community protection which ended in London’s only major confrontation with police overnight.

Around 100 local men in Eltham took to the streets, warning that they were willing to confront anyone planning to riot in the borough.

When challenged by the police and asked to go home, officers were pelted with bottles and cans. After a tense two-hour stand-off, the group eventually dispersed.

The British people are far from the cow-like supine consumers and infantile adults I read about in a lot of commentary. It seems, when the shit hits the fan the people of these cold, windy islands are just as stoic and just as ready to get the right fucking arse as their recent ancestors who are so often lamented. The national character, if such a thing can be said to exist, is still alive and kicking beneath the duvet ready to bare its fangs just as soon as the comfortable bedclothes are pulled off. Just imagine, thugs run unhindered in the streets and when your neigbourhood turns out the Old Bill finally manages to turn up and all they do is tell you to go home?

“`Oodoyafink yoo ARE, copper? Where was you LAST night?! We ain’t avin THAT! Get the bottles lads!”

If the events of last week showed how useless Westminster is, how impotent the State’s paramilitaries are and how fragile society can be when push comes to shove it also showed, in tragedy, just how strong the bonds that unite the law-abiding, working, business owning majority are. We’ve seen hairdressers, shopkeepers, residents, football fans, Sikhs, Turks, Moslems, the EDL and others turning out to do the job themselves, and doing it well. We’ve seen people reject the disarmament the State forces on them, grabbing golf clubs, cricket bats and hockey sticks and refusing to be the victims the State wants them to be. There is a cause for hope, a hope that, when the money finally runs out and the looting begins in earnest -this time out of desperation rather than for shits and giggles- the honest, hardworking people with something to lose in this place will be more than up to taking care of business.

Is This Why The Police Held Back?

image

Never let a crisis go to waste, after all. Let’s face it, tighter internet regulation is something every government wants and an excuse like the Capital in flames doesn’t come along every day.
We could also point out (and many have) that the Police are very good at getting tough on drunks and students, but chicken out when it comes to actual criminals- they do it every day so when the criminal element is out en masse it is hardly surprising… however, rumours abound on the -shall we say- less reputable websites that the Met were ordered to hold back.
More on the civil disorder from me later, when I’ve organised my thoughts.