Thursday, 11 August 2011

Victims of the UK Riots

Apparently the BBC is now calling them the English Riots so as not to offend the Scots and Irish. Oh brother.

A Hackney shopkeeper who was pictured in tears amid the ruins of his ransacked grocery store today revealed he has just 25p to his name.

Monika Konczyk, 32, came to Britain in March to join her older sister, Beata, 37, and intending to improve her English, but her narrow escape from a fire in Croydon has left her badly shaken. "She is incredibly traumatised as she feels she narrowly escaped death," said her sister. "'We are appalled.

The police never did appear, although they followed up nine hours later with a phone call. "Everything we pay here—taxes, rates, rents—it's all so expensive. And we can't even get the police when there are people robbing our shop." Mr. Raif pauses as a string of patrol cars and a fire truck speed down the street, heading north to a rougher neighborhood. "They were busy. I know."

Finally a great write-up in the WSJ - do read the whole thing:
This week's chaos might signal an even more important moment for Britain than many people realize: Either the radical left's lies about the country—namely its economic and welfare system—will finally be exposed, or they will be reinforced by politicians eager to rewrite history. The leaders that helped bring us to this pass seem intent not merely to repeat their mistakes, but to deepen them.

Murray goes on to point out two politicians who have wasted no time seizing an opportunity to blame the riots on government cuts: Ken Livingstone and Diane Abbott. (Not entirely unrelated - Livingstone and Abbott are both vocal supporters of anti-Israel movements in the UK).

Labour's Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott meanwhile made sure to garnish her condemnation of the violence with the reminder that in her constituency, "Haringey Council has lost £41 million from its budget and has cut youth services by 75%." Whether her constituents ever raised this issue as they looted through luxury-goods shops, Ms. Abbott did not say.

SMW and the husband lived in Hackney (the borough, not Hackney central) when Diane Abbott was an MP for the area and I will never forget one of the newsletters she sent out. Amongst gloating pictures of herself at anti-Israel rallies was a small note about crime in Hackney. It stated that gang-rape was the #1 violent crime committed in the borough. This was back in 2009, prior to the big cuts which, according to her, turn otherwise civilized people into raging savages. If government cutbacks (most of which are not even in place yet, as several journalists have noted) compels people to commit crime, would Abbott care to explain what policies under the Labour government (which was in power at the time of this newsletter) cause gangs to run about the borough attacking and brutally raping women?
Saying that cutbacks cause crime is the left's card for absolving all responsibility and is a direct contributor to the current disorder across the UK. Criminals cause crime. Period.

I have yet to read any story about young men stealing diapers and formula to provide for their families. No stories of girls loading bags with produce at the local shop to feed their siblings. Instead, we see story after story of individuals texting their buddies to come down and pick up a new flatscreen, some Lacoste trainers, booze and cigarettes.

But these aren't the only political conclusions we can draw from this week. One is also tempted to point out that during Labour's 13 years in power, it raised public spending to record levels to fund a massive increase in the welfare state. By the time the current government came to power last year, it had no fiscally sane choice but to reduce these unsustainable spending levels. Hence, the "cuts" (which actually still entail nominal spending increases) that leading Labourites are now blaming for all that ails Britain.

Did the country at least get anything for its money under Labour? Only a generation of young Britons who consider work not merely a "lifestyle choice," but a crummy one at that. Under Labour, a life on welfare appeared the best life to live.

It is no surprise that the north London borough of Islington has been among the riot scenes of this week. Prosperous and left-wing, it is also scattered throughout with the welfare beneficiaries that Labourites have created. To that extent the borough was the picture-postcard exemplar of leftist Britain. And now it's up in smoke.