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76 responses to “London burning IV: Tory authoritarianism triumphant”

  1. David Irving (no relation)

    I heard Cameron riffing on moral collapse, entrenched criminality, and looting last night and briefly fantasized he was talking about the financial industry.

  2. adrian

    Great post, Kim.

    I guess what we are witnessing is the true version of the trickle-down effect.

  3. Debbieanne

    Makes you want to cry, doesn’t it (Cameron’s speech). What a truly sad thing.

  4. tssk

    Given though that the Tories have always wanted to demolish the welfare state and replace it with Dickenesian bootstrapping can you blame David Cameron for taking the opportunity he has been presented with?

    They could either study what happened and try to fix it or avoid it in the future or you can put it all down to welfare culture and use it as an imputus to accelerate to forward their aims and policies.

    Shorter version, of course he isn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when he’s not at the kicking end.

  5. Dr_Tad

    A good post except a weird title.

    It is too early to call this response “triumphant”. There are many reasons to believe that, apart from hundreds of outrageous sentences (four years in jail for “incitement on Facebook” that led to no actual disturbance), this response may well cause more problems for the Tories.

    The response is so vicious because the state temporarily lost control of the streets in many, many localities around the country. Now is time to mete out revenge and create fear. But prior to the riots the authority of the political class and the police had both been seriously damaged by Hackgate, on the background of a deeply unpopular austerity drive and the long history of unpunished outrages by the police. There is good reason to believe that some of the initial inability by the Met to contain the Tottenham riot came down to the problems they have internally, in managing the departure of senior chiefs in the hacking scandal, rather than there being “not enough police”. The resultant loss of fear of the state by young people across the country is the real reason the Tories want to create fear now.

    But the cracks are everywhere. The police and Tories continue to squabble over who was to blame and what to do now. The Lib-Dems, suffering from being the Tories’ electoral human shields, are upset at the Tory hard line. Despite his generally pathetic response prior to the riots, Miliband has been openly speaking of a social agenda. And it is clear that even sections of the middle class are recoiling at the severity of the state response.

    And, whatever we may think of the raids and sentencing, the fact remains that the police never managed to inflict a defeat on the rioters on the streets. Most of those who rioted (maybe tens of thousands or more) have not been caught, and are unlikely to be.

    The other problem is that the riots were so large and widespread that it will not be easy to parcel them off as part of this or that isolated, “dysfunctional” group or layer. The Tories are having to attack all of “society” at some level. But that can also produce a bitter response as people feel increasingly angry that everyone but the elite is being blamed.

    One of Thatcher’s great strategic successes was her use of “salami tactics”, isolating particular groups of workers (or rioters or the unemployed) for attack while allowing reforms elsewhere. Cameron is attacking on many fronts at once, and with the riots the situation is the same. His authority (and that of the state in general) is badly weakened. According to Richard Farmer, the last YouGov poll had the Tories steady since the 2010 election at 36%, Lib-Dems down from 23% to 9% and Labour up from 29% to 43%; enough for a big Labour victory.

    Lucky for Cameron that Hackgate has gone away, then… 😀

    PS I also thought Hatherley and Rundle’s pieces were very good.

  6. Katz

    In too many cases, the parents of these children – if they are still around – don’t care where their children are or who they are with; let alone what they are doing.

    I wonder how Cameron proposes to cure this problem.

    How about this?


    “Don’t panic and carry on.”

  7. John D

    A depressing post Kim.
    Blame everyone else! Whack a great big band-aid on! (While cutting back on band-aids?) Appeal to the dark forces in the English psych! Send in the gun boats! Mount a punitive expedition! Send the scum to Botany Bay! (Whaat? Not an option any more?) ARRRGHH!
    You really wonder what those who voted Liberal Democrat in the last election think of their party’s pact with the devil.
    Wonder too what a first world government would do if it was in power.

  8. Katz

    The LibDems could bring down the Coalition.

    They won’t of course, because they want to spend as much time as possible in ministerial limos before they are consigned forever to political oblivion at the next election.

  9. Tim Macknay

    Nice perspective from Hatherley. I’d actually forgotten about the massive MP rorts scandal prior to the last election. Unsurprising that public confidence in the UK institutions of government is so low.

  10. jules

    I have said before that there is a major problem in our society with children growing up not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

    This is not about poverty, it’s about culture. A culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities.

    – Cameron

    What the fuck is the Bullingdon Club you aristocratic vandal?

    I think the clear message from this clown is the difference between right and wrong is how much money you have got and how inbred your ancestors were.

  11. Debbieanne

    Sorry if this is o/t, but with regard to ‘Hackgate’, a couple of letters have been published , which may see the Murdochs and And Coulson appear before the parliamentary committee. http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/08/16/of-course-they-knew-about-it/

  12. tssk

    Oh Jules Jules Jules.

    It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

    Apples/Poor Kids Rioting Because they’re poor/frustrated/have no future=criminals.
    Correct reponse : Lock them up, evict their families and punish their entire social class.

    Oranges/Rich kids smashing things up for kicks.
    Correct reponse : Tut-tutting about lads being lads and a ruffling of the hair.

  13. jules

    It masquerades as a philosophy of individual responsibility, but its truth is one of collective exclusion and social control.

    – Kim

    BTW This is probably the most succinct, accurate description of the response to these riots yet. (And of the mentality that spawned them.)

    Nice one.

    It also remined me of this.

  14. Debbieanne

    Sorry Kim.

  15. jules

    “I’d also remind people of what I said about the mote in our own eye – the self same philosophy of collective exclusion and social control is well and truly alive and well in this country.”

    Joe Hockey on tv last night talking about the evils of the indigenous anti smoking program. Its hardly the only example, or even the most glaring. Just the most recent I can think of.

  16. Lefty E

    yes, floundering UK elites resort to collective punishment. (much like the NT intervention here, I hasten to add).

    No doubt at considerable expense to their already battered legitimacy. Wonder how Lib-Dem voters are going with this?

  17. Marisan

    Dr Tad

    “The resultant loss of fear of the state by young people across the country is the real reason the Tories want to create fear now.”

    This is the nub of the issue. The rioters have proved that the state cannot stop them.

    As I said in other threads on this subject, there are rough cruel people watching this with interest.

  18. wilful

    It’s quite remarkable the absolute refusal to consider this on logical, evidence based grounds. In which country have there been riots? in the most unequal ones. In which countries haven’t there been riots? In the most equal ones. What is the solution? Less equality. I mean, WTF?

  19. Occam's Blunt Razor

    To summarise then:

    Rich people get drunk and break things therefore everyone should be allowed to do so with impunity.

    Rioters and looters should be treated with absolute leniency and a custodial sentence is obviously totally absurd for anyone involved.

    The break down of self-discipline and moral decline, including respect for Civil Authorities, has absolutely nothing to do with social welfare policies and the decline of two parent families.

    The Tories are rich bastrards who are therefore responsible for everything and no-one else should accept any responsibility for their own actions.

    Did I miss anything.

  20. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @25 – Car burning is very French, you know. The Poms should be proud of their closer social ties with the EU.

  21. Lefty E

    ‘Did I miss anything.’

    Yeah, the bus to reality.

  22. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @29 – Well, if you’d like to counter argue, be my guest.

  23. Marisan

    If there were criminal gangs involved in the looting well they now have a proven modus operandi.

    Sacrifice a low level drug dealer to the police and then do whatever you want during the subsequent riots.

  24. Occam's Blunt Razor

    OK then:

    @13 – “What the fuck is the Bullingdon Club you aristocratic vandal?”

    How does the fact that the PM was part of an Oxford University Undergraduate Dinner club in anyway excuse killing 4 people, burning cars and businesses – throwing rocks at Police and Firemen and stealing whatever they can lay their hands on?

    It doesn’t.

  25. jules

    ‘Did I miss anything.’

    Yeah, the bus to reality.

    Its ok tho OBR there’ll be another one along in a few years. Till then you can carry on as normal.

  26. Marisan

    Occam’s Blunt Razor

    “How does the fact that the PM was part of an Oxford University Undergraduate Dinner club in anyway excuse killing 4 people, burning cars and businesses – throwing rocks at Police and Firemen and stealing whatever they can lay their hands on?

    It doesn’t.”

    Cos us peasants tend to emulate the conduct of our betters.

  27. tssk

    That’s not what people are saying Occam.

    But hey. If you want to take it that way sure. I just think it takes mega cajones for someone who was allegedly part of a group that used to think it was fun to steal and damage the odd small business to turn around and lecture other people for doing the same (and using it to justify collective punishment.)

    And before we go off on a side topic I don’t think I’ve seen anyone argue that the murderers of at least four people should be let off the hook.

    And as for that little aside dog whistling that a lot of societies ills can be blamed on single parent families…I’d be rude to you at this point but I don’t wish to add to the moral decline.

    The problem is that the poor are expected to live up to a higher moral standard with less resources and dreadful examples from their ‘betters’.

    I certainly don’t want the unemployed and disempowered to loot at whim. What I want is for the higher classes to stop looting.

  28. Sam

    Did I miss anything.

    Yes, the question mark.

    Ironically, this shows the Tories are right about educational standards. Even one of their own doesn’t know about punctuation.

  29. jules

    OBL You are a joke.

    How does the fact that the PM was part of an Oxford University Undergraduate Dinner club in anyway excuse killing 4 people, burning cars and businesses – throwing rocks at Police and Firemen and stealing whatever they can lay their hands on?

    It doesn’t.

    Did I excuse all that did I?

    You’re sad and desperate OBL.

  30. Occam's Blunt Razor

    OK – let’s put things another way.

    Given the abject failure of the nannyism of the welfare state – exactly how would you guys build a better society, because so far your prescriptions have failed miserably and apart from criticising the well justified responses to the rioting and looters yo ahve offerednothing except justifcations that the rich are drunken thieving bastards as well.

  31. Marisan

    This reminds me of why the Catholic Church bought in confession in the 13th? Century.
    Back then ursury was a mortal sin and the only way to get to heaven was to expiate that sin. This was done by making good on that sin. ie: repay all the interest.
    Then they bought in confession and that sin could be made good as soon as you could get to a priest.

    That opened the floodgates to all we see today.

    So what is the difference between the ruling classes saying “What we do is legal” and the lower classes saying ” Stuff your rules, we’re doing what we want”

    They are both obeying their own Gods (Both are the God of Consumption)

  32. tssk

    @40. Oh gosh, when you put it like that there is only one thing to do. Rescind all forms of welfare and bring back the work houses. That”ll learn ’em!

    I’d also be warning all socialist European countries who think their welfare benefits are working. Beware and heed the lesson of London!

    I remeber the bad old days when some bearded hippie ranted about hypocrisy in the upper classes. even wrote a book on it once!

  33. tssk

    I’d also like to congratulate Occam for driving this thread off topic, I’ve fallen for it hook line and sinker.

    Either that or I’d missed the posts where people were saying ‘society is to blame. Free pass for everyone involved!’

    Seeking to finding out why something happened does not mean you support what has happened.

  34. billie

    How do the London Riots and the punishments meted out to the rioters and looters compare with the methods described by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine? Is the UK moving closer the Chicago school small government nirvana with the population being cowed into submission by tactics developed in Chile and Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s

  35. Marisan

    So now stealing a bottle of water will result in you being jailed and your family being made homeless and destitute.

    Remember draconian measures will beget draconian measures.

  36. jules

    Given the abject failure of the nannyism of the welfare state

    thats not quite right tho is it?

    exactly how would you guys build a better society,

    With lego and the blood of patriots.

    because so far your prescriptions have failed miserably

    Thats not right either. The last 30 years – a the neo liberal wet dream and it led to this state of affairs. Perhaps an end to those policies might be a good start. Lets nationalise everything and seize all bank balances over a million bucks.

    and apart from criticising the well justified responses to the rioting and looters yo ahve offerednothing except justifcations that the rich are drunken thieving bastards as well.

    Well justified? You are joking aren’t you? Its been ridiculous. Riot panic. For a start instead of costing the taxpayer more money in prison, many of these people could be put into community service programs to try and rebuild the place. Secondly, decentralise council housing, so people are part of the community not confined to a seperate ghetto.

    Sell Buckingham Palace and reinstate all welfare cuts and then rebuild the met from the ground up.

  37. Marisan

    The harder the top pushes down, the harder the bottom will push up.

    Then it will become a numbers game and we all know who will win that.

  38. Dr_Tad

    Interesting post-riots interview with A Sivanandan:

    Everyone is clutching at explanations for the riots—gangs, greed, family breakdown, lack of respect. But I would like to go into their deeper causes.

    Society is completely polarised between rich and poor, mediated through a culture of consumerism and quick fixes. Almost a third of the population is mired in poverty and deprivation.

    And this affects the younger generation much more directly and violently than any other section.

    Directly, through unemployment, cuts in education, youth facilities and mentoring schemes—they are neither socialised by work nor by community.

    Violently, because they are policed over and criminalised by stop and search laws and an anti-youth surveillance culture.

    They have nothing to look forward to—no economic mobility, no social mobility. And they have nothing to look back on, disconnected as they are from the previous generation.

    The system is trying to blame the parents but they themselves have been deprived of the wherewithal to bring up their children in a decent environment. (The only thing that trickles down is poverty.)

    Hence the rebellion of the youth is neither community-based nor politically-oriented—which is what distinguishes them from the disturbances of 1981 and 1985. Those were uprisings based on community organising. These are riots mobilised on a Blackberry.

    I have been asked if this has happened because multiculturalism has failed. On the contrary, multiculturalism has succeeded at the point of riot: the rioters came from all communities.

    We have a political culture which has been manipulated by Rupert Murdoch and the press.

    We’ve got a feral elite of politicians, press, police and banks running the whole system. And there’s so much anger right across society—not just in these kids.

    This is not the end of rebellion, it is the beginning.

    From http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=25716

  39. Marisan


    It seems to be an inchoate rage at where they find themselves.

    Someone is going to use that rage. Think of the BNP in Britain, the Tea Party in the USA and even One Nation here.

    That anarchism is not going away. The question is ” Where is it going to?”

  40. Russell

    “they are neither socialised by work nor by community”

    and perhaps even not much by family – as OBR suggested.

    So how are they being socialised? Where are the role models? Rap singers? Sports stars? Sluts parading in the streets?

  41. Marisan


    “and perhaps even not much by family – as OBR suggested.

    So how are they being socialised? Where are the role models? Rap singers? Sports stars? Sluts parading in the streets?”

    By the cruel rough people that would have you shaking under the covers Russell.

  42. alfred venison

    dear Jules (at 46)
    you’re right! these recent riotous events in england are emphatically not the outcome of “welfare state nannyism”, but are in fact the product of unbridled/unregulated “neo-liberalism” – the unwholesome spawn of chicago school economic theory.

    but i’m not certain that its necessary, yet, to “nationalise everything and seize all bank balances over a million bucks”. though it may well come to that if/when push comes to shove, like it or not, unless key people smarten up & soon.

    i’d like, first, to try simply taxing the rich & see how far that gets us. give it a few decades. the rich have not paid their fair share of taxation since reagan & thatcher kicked off the mantra of “lower the taxes, lower the taxes!” consequently, for the four decades since, there has simply not been enough money for good, 1st class, first world government. plain & simple.

    so i say make the rich pay their fair share of tax & let’s have a real welfare state, instead of the present pathetic “potemkin welfare state” we have now. then the conservatives will have something real to complain about & the rest of us will have something to real to defend.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  43. Marisan

    Sorry Kim

  44. Marisan

    Hi Albert

    I come to this site for two reasons.
    1: To express my views and:
    2: To learn from those that are better educated than me and also more erudite.

    That said can you tell me what “potemkin welfare state” means. Google doesn’t know.

    Sorry if this is off topic.

  45. alfred venison

    dear Marisan (at 24)
    hail! back with your intimations of william butler yeats’ “cassandra cry” from The Second Coming – bravo & i second you in drawing what attention i can attention to the thrust of that poetic warning.

    for however unconscionably they have been treated, the english “rioters” are not self-conscious politically – poor soil for the growth of organic intellectuals.

    No, au cointreau, it behoves conservatives & liberals alike to give heed to yeats’ warning – watch out that this population/demographic does not fall under the sway of unpleasant/unscrupulous demagogues. but with the present prime minister sounding more like henry root every day, i despair & fear a situation like yeats warned of is more likely that not. what rough beast, indeed.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  46. alfred venison

    dear Marisan
    i too come to speak out & hear/read what better informed (sometimes) people think & people who people who think & speak directly. i’m not surprised you didn’t find “potemkin welfare state’ at wiki. try ‘”potemkin village” instead.
    [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potemkin_village ]

    in short. potemkim was a russian aristocrat in the time of the tsarina catherine the great – the famous battleship was named after him. catherine decided to make a visit to crimea (i think it was) & see her some of her realm along the way in the process. potemkin arranged the tour for her & prepared phony prosperous villages, with phony happy peasants, all along the royal route, so catherine would perceive her realm was well run & prosperous. such phony fronts are derisively called “potemkin villages”.

    by using potemkin in the context of welfare state, i mean to imply that the welfare state since reagan/thatcher has been one in name only – hollowed out. and the management (so-called) of it, has been more about appearance of welfare than the actual delivery of real welfare. and because the money is not there.

    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  47. Dr_Tad

    And here are the Lib Dems, freaking out at the harsh response, calling it “bonkers”. At 9% in the polls I’d be worried too: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/aug/16/tories-riots-bonkers-liberal-democrat

  48. Marisan

    I will return to this thread tomorrow.
    Now to bed ” to sleep perchance to dream”

    See you all later

  49. Joe

    Cameron is saying that the riots are the result of declining family values. The breakdown of the family unit is due to welfare agencies “interfering” in the “natural” order of the family.

    But it’s not too difficult to recognise the similarity to free-marketism. “Interfering” in markets effects their ability to set prices and operate efficiently– Welfare has the same effect on the ability of the family to set the correct moral standards, etc.

    Seen in this light, there doesn’t seem to be anything conceptually new in what Cameron is saying. There is, however, a development, with respect to the magnitude that this government is prepared to blame essentially it’s own institutions for its nation’s problems. What is the welfare state other than the public institutions tasked with providing welfare to the state’s citizens?

    Cameron seems to have forgotten that he is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and not just a private citizen. It is significant that he’s now behaving as if he is separate from the institutions which are used to govern the country, when he is in fact their head.

    If he truly believes that social housing is responsible for social disorder it is not his place to criticise social housing as some detached outsider but to investigate the exact nature of the problem and to offer a solution for it — working together with the appropriate institutions. Otherwise, it’s quite likely that we will see a continued breakdown in government.

    That Cameron’s government is putting political pressure on the legal system (something which John Howard wasn’t afraid to do) is a very questionable tactic. Legal systems need to be public and dependable — they should not be reactionary or arbitrary. They should certainly not only reflect what a government decides that the people want (populism) or need (authoritarianism) without going through a process to ascertain the outcome(s) of their introduction.

    But the significant issue for me is the Torie government’s change in intensity with respect to their willingness to blame their own government institutions for the problems of the country. This is a significant new dimension in political divisiveness because Cameron is forced now to try and push on and “purge” the public service and not just at the upper management level. I can’t see how this is possible in the current political climate.

  50. Dr_Tad

    Kim @60

    Too quick for me. Or too long ago. Or something. 😀

  51. GregM

    What is the welfare state other than the public institutions tasked with providing welfare to the state’s citizens?

    They’re warehousing them joe.

    That’s the problem.

    They are providing them with minimal benefits, enough to get by on, and then cutting them loose.

  52. Joe


    my point is that Cameron is actually in charge of the particular institutions providing welfare for the citizens of in the UK. I’m not making a judgement, in the comment above, as to whether or not social housing in the UK, for example, is a good policy, I’m just pointing out, that Cameron as the head of government is responsible for the policy. It’s not acceptable for a Prime Minister to simply spruik the evils of welfare, he needs to make the government work. Cameron’s basically treating this like an advertising campaign, it’s retail politics.

    (Family, for example, is one of the holy cows of German politics. A bit like immigration is in Australia. Elections are won and lost on this issue. The family’s importance is enshrined in the constitution. We have joint marriage taxation — a very practical reason to get married. If you are the parent of a German child, you automatically receive a resident visa and unemployment benefits etc. At local government level, there are a whole raft of laws effecting your rights as a family. The legal responsibility binding parents to their children is very great and is more significant than the marriage relationship. And while these policies, in general, are bipartisan, they are a fundamental part of the conservative platform (more so than the SPD, or the Greens.))

  53. Joe

    A Quote from the page in front of me seems apt:
    “Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves”– R. Feynman

  54. Marisan
  55. Katz

    They’re warehousing them joe.

    GregM is correct.

  56. sg

    I agree with GregM about the benefits issue in the UK. I don’t think it’s welfare by itself – Britain has a different attitude to work to Australia or Europe, and this attitude needs to be addressed – but welfare interacts with these cultural factors very badly.

    There’s also the issue of class barriers. In many countries you know that it’s possible to get some kind of respect and build some kind of future even if you work in a pretty crappy job. But I think in the UK people in the lowest rungs of the working class can’t get ahead through doing their job well. I noticed too when I was in the UK that there was a tendency for the managerial class to leave work earlier than their underlings, which I certainly think is a different culture to Oz. There was a real feeling that once you reached a certain level you had “made it” and could expect to do less work, not more. So everyone is cheating – people at the lowest level doing as little as possible because they know striving does not bring rewards or respect, and people at the top level kicking back because they feel they’ve earnt or bought that right. And there is very much a feeling in London that the role of the British middle class is a cushy managerial job telling hard-working foreigners what to do.

    I think this explains why a lot of businesspeople in the UK are such grafters – especially small businesses – and explains the lack of attention to customer service or private investment in the big ones. e.g. British people accept queuing as a fact of life but it doesn’t have to be. It’s just that the coffee shop owner doesn’t want to invest in a second espresso machine, because it would mean employing a second staff member and thus lowering profits, and the attitude in Britain is that your business exists to fleece people, not to serve them.

    So when you combine these barriers to progress and cultural disincentives to work with a welfare system that makes it possible not to work long-term, but also entrenches you in areas that are economically and socially devastated (through housing benefits), you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The answer to that disaster has been, since Thatcher, to police the devastated areas harshly, rather than to address the barriers to cultural involvement and the warehousing policies simultaneously.

  57. Marisan

    ‘They’re warehousing them joe.’

    Now they’re changing the warehouse from housing estates to jail.

    Bit more expensive though.

  58. Marisan

    Alfred Venison @ 56

    For those of us not as well read in William Butler Yeats poetry here it is.
    Seems appropriate

    TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  59. jules

    What do magic mushrooms have to do with this Marisan?

  60. alfred venison

    dear Marisan
    why not a bit of pertinent yeats at the end of a thread? good call. in the spirit of intellectual counterpoint, i’ll offer in return a few lines set down by yeats’ one-time secretary (a very short appointment), friend & admirer, ezra loomis pound:-

    The thought of what America would be like, if the classics had a wide circulation,
    The thought of what America would be like, if the classics had a wide circulation,
    The thought of what America would be like, if the classics had a wide circulation,
    Troubles my sleep.

    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  61. akn

    Marisan, you unrepentant radical. Yeats! Except “slouches” needs to be replaced with “hallucinates”. We have our Yeats who gave us ‘Blade Runner’. Hourses for courses.

  62. tssk

    Vigilante justive has begun.


    Williamson’s flat in Salford was damaged by fire while he was on remand in Forest Bank prison; he lost all of his possessions and is now homeless. He suffered panic attacks after he was targeted by other prisoners who taunted him about what he had supposedly done.

    Ha! Serves him right! But wait!

    A teenager who spent nine days in prison after being charged with setting fire to Miss Selfridge during the Manchester riots has been cleared after new evidence emerged confirming his innocence.

    Dane Williamson, 18, said he had had a nightmarish ordeal after he was charged with being involved in causing £500,000 damage to the Market Street store during the riots, despite having five alibis.

    Oh dear. I wonder if the idiots who decided to ‘do it for the community’ will step forward and take responsibility?

    And this is why we shouldn’t resort to vigilante justice.