Lessons From the British Riots

Since I first wrote on this topic two days ago, a lot more light on what exactly has taken place has been shed, and a lot more informed commentary has been penned as well. All the new information and revelations simply confirm what I said in my original piece.

In particular, three major lessons can be adduced from all this, as I suggested two days ago. The first is the harmful effects of family breakdown. Many commentators have rightly noted how a half-century of family breakdown, the erosion of marriage, and an assault on two-parent families is now bearing ugly fruit, big time.

Many analysts and commentators have highlighted this issue. Melanie Phillips put it this way: “As I have been writing for more than twenty years, a society that embraces mass fatherlessness is a society that is going off the edge of a cliff. There are whole areas of Britain (white as well as black) where committed fathers are a wholly unknown phenomenon; where serial generations are being brought up only by mothers, through whose houses pass transitory males by whom these girls and women have yet more children, and whose own daughters inevitably repeat the pattern of lone and utterly dysfunctional parenting.

“The result is fatherless boys who are suffused by an existential rage and desperate psychic need, who take out the damage done to them by lashing out from infancy at the world around them. And all this is effectively condoned, rewarded and encouraged by the welfare state which conceives of need solely in terms of absence of money, and which accordingly subsidises lone parenthood and the destructive behaviour that welfare fatherlessness brings in its train.”

Theodore Dalrymple concurs: “British youth leads the Western world in almost all aspects of social pathology, from teenage pregnancy to drug taking, from drunkenness to violent criminality. There is no form of bad behaviour that our version of the welfare state has not sought out and subsidised.

“British children are much likelier to have a television in their bedroom than a father living at home. One-third of them never eat a meal at a table with another member of their household — family is not the word for the social arrangements of the people in the areas from which the rioters mainly come. They are therefore radically unsocialised and deeply egotistical, viewing relations with other human beings in the same way as Lenin: Who whom, who does what to whom. By the time they grow up, they are destined not only for unemployment but unemployability.

“For young women in much of Britain, dependence does not mean dependence on the government: that, for them, is independence. Dependence means any kind of reliance on the men who have impregnated them who, of course, regard their own subventions from the state as pocket money, to be supplemented by a little light trafficking.”

The second and related lesson is the debilitating impact of the modern welfare state. This simply tends to increase dependency, irresponsibility, and apathy. The very virtues needed to maintain a strong and tight-knit community tend to be unravelled in the welfare state.

In another important article Phillips also looks at this issue: “And this breaking of the family was further condoned, rewarded and encouraged by the Welfare State, which conceives of need solely in terms of absence of money, and which accordingly subsidises lone parenthood and the destructive behaviour that fatherlessness brings in its train.

“Welfare dependency further created the entitlement culture that the looters so egregiously display. It taught them that the world owed them a living. It taught them that their actions had no consequences. And it taught them that the world revolved around themselves. The result of this toxic combination of welfare and non-judgmentalism was an explosion of elective lone parenthood and dysfunctional behaviour transmitted down through the generations at the very bottom of the social heap — creating, in effect, a class apart.

“Once, children would have been rescued from their disadvantaged backgrounds by schools which gave them not just an education but structure and purpose to their lives. But the liberal intelligentsia destroyed that escape route, too. For its onslaught upon marriage — the bedrock institution of society — with a tax system that penalises married couples with a wife who doesn’t work, was replicated by an onslaught upon the understanding and very identity of that society. Instead of transmitting knowledge to children, teaching was deemed to be an attack upon a child’s autonomy and self-esteem.

“Thus it was that teachers adopted the ‘child-centred’ approach, which expected children not only to learn for themselves but also to decide for themselves about behaviour such as sexual morality or drug-taking. The outcome was that children were left illiterate and innumerate and unable to think. Abandoned to wander through the world without any guidance, they predictably ended up without any moral compass. All of this was compounded still further by the disaster of multiculturalism — the doctrine which held that no culture could be considered superior to any other because that was ‘racist’.”

Victor Davis Hanson speaks of “Paralytic Western Society”. He writes, “We seem able to admit that massive federal and state entitlements have created a sense of dependency, a loss of self-respect and initiative, and a breakdown of the family, yet we still seem to fear that trimming the subsidies would lead to some sort of cold-turkey hyper-reaction. We assume that society is to blame for disaffected youth and therefore are hesitant to use commensurate force to quell the violence or even to make it clear that perpetrators are responsible for their own conduct. Yet at some point — when the violence reaches middle-class communities or, in serial fashion, downtown or suburban stores — we likewise assume that sufficient force will be used. Sociological exegesis will go out the window. Reality has a way of dispelling such cognitive luxuries.”

And a third lesson is this: it is time to lay to rest the old leftist clichés about such situations. We have seen again the folly of those on the left rehashing old Marxist analysis of such riots. The old leftist claims that these troubles are reflections of a war between rich and poor – the old class struggle, in other words – just don’t wash here. The left has been pushing this line at least since Lenin, but it really is beginning to wear a bit thin.

Indeed, I have had people pushing this line on my own site. I replied to one such person this way: “The typical leftist/Marxist line on this (it is all due to poverty and the class struggle) is simply not the case. The evidence is quite the opposite. We did not see poor starving rioters and looters stealing milk and bread to survive. We saw well-heeled young people stealing IPods, designer sunglasses, plasma TVs, and expensive footwear. Many of those arrested were university students, or children of wealthy CEOs and businessmen.”

I cited from an excellent piece which makes this quite clear. Andrew Gilligan begins his article this way: “They were, some said, the alienated poor, those without hope, lashing out in rage and despair. But as the accused London rioters started appearing in court they included university students, a wealthy businessman’s daughter and a boy of 11….

“Among the accused was Laura Johnson, 19, daughter of a successful company director. She lives in a detached converted farmhouse in Kent, with extensive grounds and a tennis court. She is an English and Italian undergraduate at Exeter. Before that, she attended St Olave’s Grammar, the fourth-best state school in the country, where she studied A-levels in French, English literature, geography and classical civilisation. On Wednesday, at Highbury, she was accused of looting the Currys superstore, in Charlton, of electrical goods worth £5000 ($7800).”

Ann Coulter speaks of how “The Sun Never Sets on the British Welfare System”. Her entire article is well worth reading, but consider this snippet: “Britain has a far more redistributive welfare system than France, which is why France’s crime problem is mostly a matter of Muslim immigrants, not French nationals. Meanwhile, England’s welfare state is fast returning the native population to its violent 18th-century highwaymen roots.

“Needless to say, Britain leads Europe in the proportion of single mothers and, as a consequence, also leads or co-leads the European Union in violent crime, alcohol and drug abuse, obesity and sexually transmitted diseases. But liberal elites here and in Britain will blame anything but the welfare state they adore. They drone on about the strict British class system or the lack of jobs or the nation’s history of racism.”

Jonah Goldberg speaks about “left-wing pundits both there and here who insist that the new Tory government’s budget cuts have led to widespread violence, even though most of the relevant cuts haven’t even gone into effect. Of course, they always manage to say ‘there’s no excuse’ for violence. But there’s always a ‘but’ that leads a long parade of excuses.

“Invariably, these rationalizations amount to a license to spend ever more on the social programs that have, at the least, helped to produce the sort of ‘youths’ who will burn homes and cars and beat people to death should the programs be even moderately curtailed. Indeed, according to liberal logic, the mere threat of reforming such programs is enough to cause wholesale violence. In other words, the cuts don’t justify the violence, but the threat of violence justifies avoiding cuts. It’s a clever rhetorical trick, but policy-wise it’s both appeasement of and appealing to thuggery, pure and simple.

“This helps to clarify how economic inequality has come to replace poverty as the most cited ‘root cause’ of social unrest. Poverty, while a more slippery concept than you might think, is still a definable thing. If you lack adequate housing, food and clothing, you’re very poor. Western democracies don’t have much of a problem, comparatively speaking, with that kind of poverty. But we do have income inequality. Inequality is a statistical artifact, an aesthetic offense. Its chief advantage as a bogeyman is that it will always exist and thus always justify programs to reduce it.”

Plenty of other lessons can be learned from all this, but if policy makers, the ruling class, and the opinion makers would just get their heads around these three, we could perhaps prevent such rioting from occurring in the future, at least to some extent.


[1730 words]

25 Replies to “Lessons From the British Riots”

  1. G’day and goodonya again, Bill,

    The last chapters of Judges describe a time when ‘Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.’ (21v25). The whole book is about what happens when people turn from God. But the last chapters are particularly exemplary. They are chapters of spiritual apostasy (chapter 17); moral degradation (chapters 18 and 19) and political chaos (chapters 20-21). That’s what we’re seeing in England. You have, and many others, documented the English departure from Biblical Christianity. They’ve rejected a thousand years and counting of the Christian faith. Now they’re reaping what happens when a nation turns from God and His right ways. Our only hope is to live like Naomi, and Ruth and Boaz in such terrible days (Ruth 1v1) and through our quiet godliness and faithfulness, like them, we may see, as they did, Lord, please, a great revival as they did through their descendant, David.

    Thanks again

    Andrew Campbell

  2. Thanks Andrew

    Yes quite right. I just finished reading Judges again last week, and it certainly seems very relevant to what we find happening today.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. “The old leftist claims that these troubles are reflections of a war between rich and poor”

    The Left are saying that the cause of all this is poverty, disadvantage, hopelessness etc. I think they are partly right, but the key thing is that entrenched poverty and hopelessness are the product of family breakdown, divorce, absent fathers, mothers pursuing careers over family, moral relativism, teenage pregnancy, sexual liberation, welfare dependence, drug abuse and self-pity — basically, all the things that come with rejecting Christian morality and conservative values.

    Jereth Kok

  4. Thanks Jereth

    Yes exactly so. Many of these problems are the direct legacy of decades of leftist social policy. And then an ever-expanding state welfare system has to be manufactured to deal with all these problems.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch



    “In 1923, inspired in part by Lukacs, a group of German Marxists established a think tank at Frankfurt University in Germany called the Institute for Social Research. This institute, soon known simply as the Frankfurt School, would become the creator of cultural Marxism. To translate Marxism from economic into cultural terms, the members of the Frankfurt School- Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, to name the most important- had to contradict Marx on several points. They argued that culture was not just part of what Marx had called society’s “superstructure,” but an independent and very important variable. They also said that the working class would not lead a Marxist revolution, because it was becoming part of the middle class, the hated bourgeoisie. Who would? In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question: a coalition of blacks, students, feminist women and homosexuals.”

    If people have not lost the will to live by now read the publication, a pdf document, that can be downloaded from Stonewall, entitled Different Families. Allow me to quote from it:

    “There’s no such thing as a typical family. What makes a family differs from child to child. Some children have a mum and dad, some live with just their mum or just their dad, or with grandparents, or uncles and aunts, or foster parents or carers. Some children have two mums or two dad. Or some have two mums, a dad and grandparents. Families come in lots of different shapes and sizes. The children who talked to us come from lots of different sorts of families too. There’s no such thing as a typical family. What makes a family differs from child to child. Some children have a mum and a dad, some live with just their mum or just their dad, or with grandparents.”

    (under the second black heading, “Attitude Research” click on the last link “Different Families.”


    David Skinner, from a Mental Institution somewhere off the European Mainland

  6. http://www.stonewall.org.uk/education_for_all/news/current_news/2043.asp



    David Skinner, Disintegrate, Deluded and Degenerate Kingdom (UK)

  7. Bill,

    You haven’t mentioned population pressure, which is particularly acute in British cities. The cramming together of poor families in tenement projects is everywhere a recipe for disaster. Too many idle people in too small an area.

    The answer of course is to question the incessant demands for growth that governments and corporations preach. We need to get back to a simpler life and encourage smaller families, even it means lower incomes and fewer worldly goods.

    Melanie Jamieson, Melbourne

  8. Thanks Melanie

    Sorry but I am not at all with you on this one, and that for several reasons. One could mention hundreds of large cities around the world which are crowded and densely populated, even far more so than London. Yet they are not breaking out into riots and looting. And if you read my article links, you would have seen that it was just as likely that it was privileged kids from rural England who happened to be studying in London and other cities who took part in the mayhem. These were young people who were morally deprived, not space-deprived. For documentation of the myth of over-population, see the 31 articles in my section, “Population Issues”. There I provide plenty of facts and stats on why the calls to radically cull the human population are far more part of a radical leftist agenda item than anything having to do with demographic realities.

    While I am all in favour of living more simple and uncomplicated lives, not based on materialism and greed, you are again amiss here. What was it the looters were hauling away? Was it groceries to feed starving families? Not at all. They were making off with laptops and designer sun glasses and the latest fashion shoes and clothing, and plasma TV etc. This has absolutely nothing to do with over-crowding and population density, but everything to do with criminal activity and young thugs who think the world owes them a living.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. As I prayed about these riots I realised that our Lord loves all of these people and gave His life for them, no matter how much sin they have in their lives.
    Then I had a vision: a great cloud of darkness swept across and over the rioters. Then just one child of the Light stood still in the midst of all this darkness and then a wave of bright white light spread out in all directions from this one child of the Light and covered all the darkness. These rioters began to drop to their knees as the love of Jesus reached deep into their souls. Some had never been loved before – certainly not as deeply. (End of vision.)
    David, I always look forward to your posts, so the following is mainly for you. God bless you faithful brother.


    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
    Be at peace with yourself;
    The Prince of Peace dwells in you,
    And in Him you have peace.
    Be at peace with each other
    And live in peace with each other,
    For Jesus himself is our peace.
    Make every effort to live in peace with all men.
    Yes, live at peace with everyone
    For God has called us to live in peace.
    God is a God of peace,
    Therefore you must seek peace and pursue it;
    So guide your feet into the path of peace.
    The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
    Found also by following the gospel of peace.
    Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.”
    Therefore we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Remember, there is peace in heaven and glory in the highest.
    Grace and peace to you from God our Father
    And from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    God bless you all.
    Paul de la Garde, Sydney

  10. Melanie, one could get the whole of the world’s population onto the British Isles. Admittedly it would be a bit of a tight squeeze but ergonomically, compared with getting man on Mars, this would be child’s play. But what you suggest with regard to thinning the numbers and culling of children is already happening right across Western Europe with families producing less and less children. Indeed world wide, since 1960 nearly a billion babies have been exterminated. Indeed if prizes were to be awarded for those families, coming in all shapes and sizes, that produce the least children, the queers would take first prize. They do not produce any, apart from stealing them from adoption agencies or cheating by either being artificially inseminated, or artificially inseminating others. According to you the optimum solution would be for everyone to become queer. In the meantime Muslims who are not too fussed about political correctness, except to encourage it in the rotting corpse of the host nation they happen to inhabit, are breeding very nicely thank you very much.

    There is no hope for any of us except to repent for the hell on Earth we are creating and cry for mercy from God whom we have rejected. I can think of no more powerful image of someone escaping from the flames of hell by jumping into the saving arms of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, than this:


    David Skinner, UK

  11. Paul, peace be to you, brother in the Lord. You and I know, no doubt, what that means, but there may be some who misunderstand what you and I mean by peace.

    C.S. Lewis, talking about the Christian message, said:
    “It does not begin in comfort; it begins in dismay…and it is no use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay. In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end. If you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.”

    I am also minded of Matthew10:34 where Jesus Christ says, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” or where Paul in Ephesians tells us to get kitted out for warfare.

    The first bridgehead onto enemy territory was won at Calvary. We are now invited by Jesus Christ, not to sit around enjoying canapés but to press on, into enemy occupied territory, until the enemy becomes trapped in his bunker. Each of us has been given us a commission in this army. I love the imagery of Sarah Hey’s “Little Stone Bridges and Why We Fight For Them.”


    And let us not become confused by the enemy to become like Tommy Cooper:

    David Skinner, UK

  12. The BBC radio programme, Any Questions, fielded the question as to whether is there an underlying moral deficit that led to the rioting on our streets. This was posed by the Archbishop of York’s wife, Mrs Sentamu. The beginning of this part of the programme can be heard by sliding the bar to precisely 22 minutes 37 seconds. Just listen to the slathering, left wing, jackernapes, in the audience, foam and bark like dogs suffering from hydrophobia, when a Christian journalist, Peter Hitchins makes his voice heard.

    Listen also to rabid feminist, Labour MP, Harriet Harmen, (or ‘Harm – men,’ as previous commentator, Rachel Smith, in the thread, On British Riots, said), who in 2007 was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and served in the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for Women and Equality from 2007 to 2010 and who following the resignation of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister and Labour Leader on 11 May 2010 became interim Party Leader. In my opinion, she alone could be accused of treason and waging war on the British families.


    David Skinner, UK

  13. “On the first Feminian Sandstone we were promised the Fuller life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost their reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “if you don’t work you die.”

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man —
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began —
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire —
    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”

    From “The Gods of the Copybook Headings.”
    By Rudyard Kipling

    Raymond Cox, US

  14. Theodore Dalrymple is a doctor who has worked with these sorts of people for decades in England, so he is well placed to offer comment here:

    “Three men were run over and killed as they tried to protect their property in the very area of Birmingham in which I used to work, and through which I walked daily; the large town that I live near when I’m in England has also seen rioting. Only someone who never looked around him and never drew any conclusions from the faces and manner of the young men he saw would have been surprised.

    “The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor—quite likely—any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognize this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude. On the contrary, he would simply feel that the subventions were not sufficient to allow him to live as he would have liked.”


    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. And a great line from Andrew Bolt:

    “Take away a religion to awe them, punishments to scare them, shame to shrivel them, examples to inspire them, traditions to bind them, families to train them and a shared history to make them loyal, and … well, London’s ferals have shown you what comes next.”


    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  16. Thanks Bill for an excellent and timely article that should draw attention to the dangers of the Government’s Family Law Amendments currently in the Senate which will deprive 40% children the guidance of fit and loving fathers.

    The “Hate Men” law which takes the “he said” out of “he said/she said” and removes all penalties for lying is social policy disaster waiting to happen.

    The “underlying” agenda is to increase the numbers and welfare dependence of unmarried/divorced women, 70% of whom vote Left, while decimating the traditional conservative voting powerbase – the middle class family – packaged as protecting children.

    There is no evidence of pervasive family violence to support this Bill. How could there be – the number of court ordered shared parenting arrangement increased by only 3% to 17 % after the weak shared parenting amendments of 2006.

    The independent AIFS study involving 60,000 cases over 3 years found no evidence of any increase in family violence. The Govt and lawyers “reports” that mothers are afraid to make allegations is unsupportable and more likely related to their loss of income after the presumption of (weak) shared care reduced litigated divorce by 22%. It was 55% in nations implementing equal shared care.

    Nevertheless to encourage “victims” to come forth family violence is redefined to be non-violence, fear no longer has be reasonable and the protections against poisoning/alienating the child, the most insidious and long term damaging form of child abuse, are repealed supposedly to protect children.

    If there is any doubt of the “underlying” purpose of this bill then ask why “interim” protection orders, the main tactic for sole maternal custody repealed in 2006, are being reinstated without explanation. Even Chisholm & Parkinson recommended against this.

    The underfunded State courts will be overwhelmed with frivolous AVO applications for custody advantage to the detriment of real victims and the creditability of justice.

    Most mothers want their children to have a relationship with their father. However, in the turmoil of divorce with fear, uncertainty, and retaliations rife, these family law amendments effectively bribe the Mother to legally seize the house, assets, children & future income by alleging family violence. Any objections are silenced by threat of gaol by a “temporary” AVO obtained ex parte in a three minute hearing. The Father rarely recovers his children after this pre-emptive strike and it costs him a $100K trying.

    Such law which presumes guilt without evidence is persecution masquerading as protecting children.

    The Govt misrepresents itself as champions of motherhood and family for green female votes knowing that it puts the majority of children at increased risk of child abuse. The Family Violence Bill manufactures and perpetuates the child harming conflict it purports to redress. Why?

    80% of all reported child abuse occurs in single parent homes – one parent is inevitably overwhelmed and underscrutinised – yet this bill increases sole custody outcomes. Why?

    Demographics show 70% of unmarried/divorced women vote for the economic & social protections of Big Brother govt. They vote for welfare and social justice – wealth [power] redistribution from the “dominant class” (men) to the “subordinate class” (women)

    Since 52% of marriages and 68% of 2nd marriages end in divorce this is the preferred tool for reducing the traditional conservative powerbase of middle class family. Further, litigated divorce costs on average 100K which effectively transfers family wealth into a multibillion dollar family law-domestic violence industry so crooked that it is little more than organised crime. Nevertheless it knows the hand that feeds and hence implements and funds the Left re-election agenda.

    Far Left power follows the family tax benefit Part A. They want more divorced single parent families and this is exactly what the family violence bill will achieve. Then we never get them out.

    Taxpayers pick up the tab for $billions thrown away in massive increases in welfare, the mass criminalisation of men, and dealing with all the social pathologies directly related to mass fatherlessness – delinquency, addictions, poverty, crime, mental health, dropouts… – which ironically creates a self-perpetuating cycle of family dysfunction and abuse. And electoral dependence on the far Left. This Bill is little more than politically correct child abuse.

    At the same time that government is forced to become the financial provider for millions of children and their caregivers, it also reduces the govt’s revenue by destroying the basic income generating unit of our modern society – the two parent working family – to pay for the handouts. Millions of men are criminalised or otherwise destroyed into unemployment.

    Income tax day now divides us into two almost equal classes: those who pay for government services and freeloaders. In 2009, 47 percent paid no federal income taxes, and the bottom 40 percent receive cash or benefits financed by the 53 percent who do pay income taxes.

    We must learn from the USA where this “Hate Men” law was introduced for the same election reasons and with the same consequences “Time to defund feminist pork – the “Hate Men” law at

    and the massive costs to taxpayers of family breakup

    The DV industry’s wilful deception of policymakers and the public is exposed in the Fifty Domestic Violence Myths http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-50-DV-Myths.pdf

    The greatest risk to child safety is the irresponsible politician and greedy lawyer – not their own fathers.

    Howard Beale

  17. I wouldn’t be surprised if the socio-economic make up of the rioters will prove to be more diverse than first assumed, which in my mind points to general lawlessness (monkey-see-monkey-do), rather than anything particularly connected to the welfare state, etc.

    I think the most immediate lesson is to do with policing. Why were the police unable to maintain law and order? The dispersed nature of the rioting would certainly be a more difficult circumstance for the police but still, 4+ days of rioting doesn’t fill you with confidence.

    Lee Herridge

  18. Thanks Lee

    Sure, the police force has proved to be a police farce. But with experts on the ground from all along the political spectrum singling out the welfare state and its disastrous effects – including Marxists like Brendan O’Neill – I think I will run with their expertise on this, rather than armchair commentary from those far removed from the scene. Indeed, ignore everything I have to say as well: these experts can speak for themselves, and they make a very strong case indeed.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  19. You’ll never have any argument from me that the welfare state is disasterous! And it certainly will be a contributing factor.

    The way many of the commentators pin down the welfare state/inadequate parenting/etc as the reason is just a little too neat for my liking. I agree wholeheartedly with their positions, which is why I personally want to make sure my biases don’t trap the way I think about the situation. Reality is usually much more messy than that, and unfortunately most of the articles aren’t able to cite any hard statistics (which would be some feat if they could already) so much is left to assertion. I guess I would be more comfortable if the various commentators left some more room for other reasons other than the ones given.

    Ironically, I think conservative commentators have done a better job of showing up that the rioters weren’t all poor kids than the lefties. Lefties make a knee jerk reaction that it is an uprising of the poor against the evil conservative government and guys like Andrew Bolt (and probably many many others) are able to point to girls schooled at posh private schools.

    Long term welfare dependence and the hobbling of enterprising culture in the UK and Australia is a big problem. I just think we should be a little cautious at this stage about letting the riots reconfirm our existing views because there is a chance we could be wrong (unlikely but possible), something the Left is as guilty of if we are.

    Lee Herridge

  20. Why were the police unable to maintain law and order?
    Law and order begins in the hert of each individual person making up a society through the rule of Godly values in their hearts, through training in safe and caring families. For years this has been destroyed in Britain through multiculturalism – intimidation of traditional christian heritage and values. Is it any wonder that at one stage the police because of shear numbers and scale of lawlessness was not able to maintain law and order? Amazing lack of logical thinking ability to be surprised at this.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  21. Excellent article Bill.
    One thing I take you to task on, however. The root cause of the wayward children is the xenophobia of the Family Division judiciary, who (despite Parliamentary intent – as outlined in House of Commons Guidance – and Hansard) have decided not to implement shared residence arrangements as the norm when mothers use a calculator to split the family. The outcomes for shared residence children are at least the same for those in intact families.

    The socio-legal professions have taken advantage of the pathetic drafting of the Children Act 1989 to carry on as they did beforehand. Many dads of the riot children may have applied for dozens of hearings to gain contact to them.

    Also, one quiet clause which lurks in the 1989 Act abolishes the legal presumption of a father’s natural guardianship – mother’s never did have such presumption.

    So, the state legally ophans our children and fails to fill the chasm. Then, a(nother) wasted generation later, parents are blamed for not controlling children they do not own. The Government cannot have it both ways.

    Where is the education for youngsters about how to raise children? Why aren’t expert child development psychologists guiding policy, and legal procedure, as they do in other countries? Perhaps because of economics…we now feed 727 ‘ticket holding’ family court judges, obtained after their three day course. They will do a bankruptcy in the morning, and deny contact to a perfectly fit father or refuse to enforce a contact order in the afternoon.

    If you achieve the destruction of families by providing big financial incentives, who guides the children? (If not the family). Instead, we have maze of interlocked and inter-dependent industries causing and feeding off family breakdown. Even the schools you speak of obtain more money for the traumatised children of family split by labelling them as ‘special needs’ instead of inviting dad to spend time with the child.

    CAFCASS and the local services hate spending time with dads because time is money, see research paper no.23 on http://sharedparentingresearch.info (Leslie Brown et al , 2008; Manufacturing Ghost Fathers).

    So far as unemployment is concerned…..well…..no wonder when we have to import the youth of other nations because our own can’t speak properly except to deal dope . 3 out of 4 jobs to foreigners in 2010. Way to go. It could only happen in secret courts. It could only happen on an island.

    Stu Graham

  22. Dear Bill A brilliant article which everyone should read and which I agree with entirely. I was born at the end of the Great Depression in England. My father only worked three days a week and my mother went to work outside the home for the first time when war broke out. We had a rented roof over our heads, a few clothes and we didn’t starve but there were no luxuries. We had a good education which was designed to help us live a useful, working class life. We went to Sunday school and learned about the love of Jesus, the parables and the Ten Commandments and the Christian message was reinforced at school with assembly every morning and scripture classes. There were also youth clubs like the boys and girls Life Brigade and the St John’s Ambulance Brigade which also reinforced the message. We lived in a safe Labour constituency but that was when Labour had an arm which was based on Christian Social Justice and social welfare was wisely ministered. Modern Labour parties have no such wisdom. Tony Blair’s New Labour destroyed Britain. England has changed beyond my recognition! My parish priest in my village who used to write to me every Christmas after I emigrated in 1968 once wrote of his observation that England was returning to paganism. How right he was! Many have never heard of the Ten Commandments let alone live by them and those that have have been lethargic in their support of their Judeo-Christian heritage. Even those who were brought up with it like I was rarely enter a church or chapel and many beautiful old churches are crumbling through lack of maintainance. The dwindling congregations have done their best but it has not been enough. England will be lucky if it doesn’t end up a police state. By the look of the early morning raids that is already happening. It is very sad but at least some journalists are waking up to reality and beginning to see what is the cause even if they are calling it by a fancy name. [a lack of moral compass] I would be more direct and say it is a simple lack of religion. A failure to recognise and worship God and obey His very reasonable laws which were laid down for our happiness and well being.
    Patricia Halligan

  23. Great article, Bill.

    An elderly British preacher David Pawson recently gave a one hour fireside chat on the “Lessons of the UK Summer Riots” which can be watched at http://christfaithmedia.co.uk/Pawson/index.html

    He makes a number of interesting points. One is that ‘experts’ tend to to see one of the symptoms of the problem as the cause of the problem which leads to wrong conclusions.

    Matt Vinay

  24. Someone will have to explain something for me. If the lefties say the problem is the divide between rich and poor, how do the rich lefties in academia and the media who live in Brunswick, Fitzroy, Carlton and other inner city conclaves of neo rich explain themselves?

    Surely they are condemning themselves aren’t they?

    Sorry about the late response but I have acquired a new ministry at my fellowship that is stretching me to the limit. I am loving it but I am a bit like the dog that has been thrown the ball to chase one time too many.

    Roger Marks

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