The picture that tells you everything you need to know about the Great Faker
20 August 2011
This is Peter Hitchens’ Mail on Sunday column
It is now clear that we have learned nothing from seeing our cities in flames and our streets ruled by violent thieves.
The governing elite have decided to respond by pretending to be fierce for a few weeks.
But they will do nothing to change the policies that brought us to this state. Those policies will continue, and so will the consequences.
The Prime Minister, who has a great talent for faking anger and concern over things he couldn’t care less about, gave a speech on Monday that could have been delivered by his idol Anthony Blair. It even contained several of Mr Blair’s favourite verbless sentences.
We had the usual lies, told now for more than 30 years by politicians of all parties, about scrapping police paperwork, putting constables back on the beat, replacing rights with responsibilities, and distinguishing right from wrong again. Nothing will happen.
We had the curious confession that ‘you can’t say that marriage and commitment are good things – for fear of alienating single mothers’. And, lo, the word ‘marriage’ was not mentioned again in the entire oration. Why not? Because of that very fear.
We will continue to subsidise the fatherless families that create the conditions for gangs and feral youth.
There was praise for the few exceptional state schools that work. But there was no commitment to build the new grammar schools that would spread such standards to the whole country. Why not? New grammar schools are currently illegal – yes, illegal – under an Act of Parliament.
The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, made a commitment to stick with the tried, tested and utterly failed egalitarian stupidity of comprehensive schooling more clearly still. He delivered his thought-free post-disorder speech at a comprehensive school which was presumably opened up specially for him.
Mr Cameron’s choice of location was also significant. By that I don’t mean it was near the expensive house in the country which he could have afforded himself but which we taxpayers kindly helped him to buy with the (now discontinued) special housing benefit for MPs – though it was.
I mean that the place was picked to send a careful message to the liberal elite that he remains one of theirs, and that they can ignore his claptrap about the ‘broken society’.
He chose to deliver his words at Base 33, a ‘youth centre’ in Witney, a solid symbol of the failed policy of appeasement towards vandalism and feral behaviour.
Behind him, plainly deliberately selected for the purpose, was a wall vividly covered in graffiti – that ugly, hateful and aggressive blight that law-abiding people rightly see as a sign of menace and a warning that the neighbourhood is troubled. It is loutishness rendered in spray-paint.
Mr Cameron also declared that ‘government cannot legislate to change behaviour’. This is both defeatist and untrue. The whole Fabian socialist project, which revolutionised our nation throughout the 20th Century and which eventually took over the Tory Party itself, was intended to change behaviour, and did so. So is the new programme which has replaced it, the politically correct drive for ‘equality and diversity’.
The 1969 Divorce Reform Act completely changed the nature and standing of marriage. The Children Act of 1989 sharply reduced adult authority.
The consequences of the Human Rights Act are limitless. The Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 decriminalised cannabis, with huge results for behaviour. So did the abolition of the old alcohol licensing laws.
Numberless Criminal Justice Acts have robbed the courts of power. What does he mean, ‘government cannot legislate to change behaviour’?
It can, and it does – but always in the wrong direction.
Gripping day that changed the world
It is 20 years since I woke up to find tanks trundling down my Moscow street, gun barrels aslant in the early morning sun. It was, in a way, what I had been waiting for and expecting during my entire time as a correspondent in what was then the capital of the Evil Empire.
I had hurried back from the Black Sea coast the day before because of rumours that something of the kind was about to happen.
Yet the actual sight of naked force near my home was still a fearful shock, and I have never claimed to have understood fully the world-changing events that followed.
There’s still a tremendous unsolved mystery in the supposed suicides of several
people at the heart of the failed communist putsch – especially those of Nikolai Kruchina
and Georgi Pavlov, the chief treasurers of the fabulously wealthy Soviet Communist Party, who both ‘jumped’ from high windows in the days after the coup.
But we now have a clear and exciting account of these momentous times, written by my old friend Conor O’Clery of the Irish Times, one of the great reporters of our age.
Crammed with fascinating and telling detail, it describes Mikhail Gorbachev’s final evening as President of the USSR, with a series of flashbacks to the events that led
to the hauling down of the Red Flag from the Kremlin.
It also explores and illuminates the bristling personal rivalry and loathing that crackled between Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.
It is a marvellous read and would make an unmissable TV docu-drama. It is called Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day Of The Soviet Union.
Please read it.
Pull the plug on Child Power
Those who seek to blame or indeed punish parents for the misdeeds of their children should heed the painful cry of one such parent this week, a respected TV cameraman.
‘I am heartbroken and totally ashamed,’ he said of his daughter’s criminal actions.
‘This is the end product of a society that tells you that you can’t discipline your children.’
Those who do, he said, risked being reported to police or social services.
He concluded: ‘Children now have the power over their parents, not the other way round.’
I think all modern parents will recognise the truth in this. Except for David Cameron and Ed Miliband.
News that watching too much TV can shorten your life comes as no surprise. It certainly makes us more easily fooled and more conformist, and is the only explanation for the electoral success of the Blair creature – surely a form of mass mental illness.
I think it’s worse than that. You can, of course, argue that it’s the slumping in the armchair and the grazing on junk food that actually kill people. But what if TV, by switching off our imaginations, weakens important parts of the brain?
Could it be the explanation for all this dementia and Alzheimer’s which are afflicting the first generation to be exposed to lifelong TV-watching?
If so, then expect these scourges to strike at younger and younger victims in decades to come.
If the courts always behaved as they are doing now, we wouldn’t have many of the problems we have. But the current frenzy of ‘toughness’ is a public-relations gesture and will not last.
Suspects who would normally be given bail are being held in custody. Magistrates, who normally send two per cent of convicted criminals to prison, are now sending 70 per cent there. Sentences are up to 40 per cent longer than average.
Within weeks, things will have settled back to where they were before, not least because the jails will be bursting.
The absence from public view of the Injustice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has been one of the most interesting features of the past week. He is biding his time.
14 August 2011 12:39 AMPolice water cannon and plastic bullets? After 50 years of the most lavish welfare state on earth? What an abject failure Bitter laughter is my main response to the events of the past week. You are surprised by what has happened? Why? I have been saying for years that it was coming, and why it was coming, and what could be done to stop it.
I have said it in books, in articles, over lunch and dinner tables with politicians whose lips curled with lofty contempt.
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.
Just look and see how many shops are protected with steel shutters, how many homes have bars on their windows. This is not new.
As the polluted flood (it is not a tide; it will not go back down again) of spite, greed and violence washes on to their very doorsteps, well-off and influential Left-wingers at last meet the filthy thing they have created, and which they ignored when it did not affect them personally.
No doubt they will find ways to save themselves. 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’.
Take our Prime Minister, who is once again defrauding far too many people. He uses his expensive voice, his expensive clothes, his well-learned tone of public-school command, to give the impression of being an effective and decisive person. But it is all false. He has no real idea of what to do. He thinks the actual solutions to the problem are ‘fascist’. Deep down, he still wants to ‘understand’ the hoodies.
Say to him that naughty children should be smacked at home and caned in school, that the police (and responsible adults) should be free to wallop louts and vandals caught in the act, that the police should return to preventive foot patrols, that prisons should be austere places of hard work, plain food and discipline without TV sets or semi-licit drugs, and that wrongdoers should be sent to them when they first take to crime, not when they are already habitual crooks, and he will throw up his well-tailored arms in horror at your barbarity.
Say to him that divorce should be made very difficult and that the state should be energetically in favour of stable, married families with fathers (and cease forthwith to subsidise families without fathers) and he will smirk patronisingly and regard you as a pitiable lunatic.
Say to him that mass immigration should be stopped and reversed, and that those who refuse any of the huge number of jobs which are then available should be denied benefits of any kind, and he will gibber in shock.
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’?
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.
The loping, smirking, shuffling creeps who eventually appeared before the courts were the ultimate losers – the ones who came late to the looting and who were too slow or too stupid to run before they were put in the bag.
And what courts they are. In the one I sat in last week, self-confessed thieves are courteously addressed by magistrates and clerks as ‘mister’ and asked politely to stand up or ‘accompany the officers’ back to the cells or – more often – out into the street on bail. In the part of the dock reserved for those already free on bail, nobody has bothered to clean up the scribbled and disrespectful graffiti.
Why should anyone respect or fear this chamber of indifference? The wall-hangings behind the magistrates are scruffy and scratched. 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’.
All this piffle enshrines the official (and hopelessly wrong) view that crime is caused by circumstances and background, not by unleashed human evil. It is precisely because of this windy falsehood that the cells are crammed with young men who broke the law because they felt like it.
Hulking louts – black and white, for this was an equal-opportunity crimewave – are accompanied before the bench by alleged ‘parents’ who are obviously afraid of their broods. Nothing is said or done to express official disapproval of crime. The accused are treated more like patients than like wrongdoers.
Many in this rogues’ parade are still trying to qualify for prison, but are only, as it were, at the GCSE stage. They have sheaves of previous convictions, no doubt a tiny sample of their many acts of spite, selfishness and cruelty.
You can bet their neighbours hate and fear them. Some are on bail for other offences, a state of affairs so common that it is almost funny. At least one is subject to a ‘suspended’ prison sentence, one of the many fake penalties handed down by the courts to fool the public into thinking that something significant happens to criminals.
They have all learned what most British politicians somehow cannot grasp – that the more encounters you have with our justice system, the less you fear it. A few ‘exemplary’ sentences – none of which will be served in full, or anything near it – will only help to spread the word that arson, robbery, violence, spite and selfishness are not punished here any more. Indeed these are the things we are now famous for around a world that once respected us.
And that is why we have many more nasty surprises waiting for us, here in The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain.
It was like a blasted revolution…the peasants going out on the rob. The police were told to do nothing-sorry thats a fact.
If only the public were able to defend themselves legally it would be a better country. Like the USA.
PS I also detest the Fabian society. They are agent provocateurs across the globe. Dangerous individuals who like to conspire against systems they don’t approve of. When it comes to marxists, Fabian members etc always remember the old “see, hear be silent” motto. Keep a close watch on those devils.
Posted by: DEUSMEUMQUEJUS | 07 November 2011 at 01:41 PM
What’s the bet this entire pathetic island, particularly its politicians, will carry on dancing around the issue of what the cause of these riots actually were.
People complain about materialism. Then what about the Christian faith? But no, God and Christianity are the ultimate taboos in 21st century Britain. Problem unresolved.
Breakdown of the family and fatherless households. How about support for the traditional family unit? But no, it is a taboo to criticise single parent households and is contrary to the public and elite’s obsession with egalitarianism. Problem unresolved.
Distinction between what is right and wrong? But no, these youths were angry because they live in ‘poverty’ and the government ‘cuts’ are not helping and abolishing ‘EMA’ caused a lot of anger, moral relativism runs deep it seems because postmodernism dominates. Problem unresolved.
Then how about discipline? But no, these thugs have rights too, send them to a social worker. Problem still unresolved. Why did things have to come to this?
Posted by: Jake | 14 September 2011 at 01:02 AM