So far, 111 police officers and five police dogs have been injured. Many people have been left homeless, and many shops have been destroyed. Some buildings have been totally gutted by fire – including some of landmark significance, like a 1930s building in Tottenham which housed a carpet store below and flats above, and a large furniture retailer in Croydon, run by five generations of one family since 1867.
What the Blitz did not destroy, thuggish criminals bent on looting, mayhem, and destruction have. Police, their manpower thinly stretched, have been no match for these thugs (an eyewitness reported that 300 or 400 youths gathered outside the Lavender Hill police station in Croydon last evening taunting the police to come outside. Of course, they never did).
Seemingly disengaged, the one senior government minister not overseas on holiday, Foreigh Secretary William Hague, uttered not a word about the mayhem. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg remained on holiday until yesterday. Home Secretary Theresa May, who was overseas and invisible until yesterday, brushed aside suggestions that police be equipped with water cannon to dispel the rioters, and loftily pronounced some drivel about police liaising with local communities! Prime Minister David Cameron (who intends to cut 30,000 police jobs!) remained on holiday in his Tuscany villa until today, and hadn't the guts to meet local residents of areas affected. London's buffoon of a mayor, Boris Johnson, only surfaced today as well.
The youths, some leftwing pundits will say, are depraved because they are deprived. Strange, then, that so many seem to be in possession of a not inexpensive brand of mobile phone - Blackberry messenger has evidently been their method of communication. A forthright ex-policeman interviewed on the BBC a day or two ago observed that they don't have jobs, don't want jobs, and are probably unemployable. He added that reporters should stop referring to them as "protesters" because it had become clear that looting was their intent.
Another apt if unpolitically correct description was coined this morning by a shopkeeper whose babywear shop had been ransacked overnight, some its contents taken away for "resale", some torched, and some strewn amid the branches of neighbouring trees – she told of the frightening experience of seeing carloads of "feral rats" coming into the area, and she rightly declared that this is no time for "namby pamby" responses.
But for all the belated tough talk from Cameron and from the Acting Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police about these miscreants being made to account for their actions (to "feel the full force of the law" in Cameron's words) it's difficult to envisage what punishments will fit these crimes, Britain's prisons and young offenders' institutions being already full!
The initial trouble, of course, began on Saturday evening in Tottenham, when a peaceful protest over the death of a local man shot by police in controversial circumstances was hijacked by troublemakers, who were largely from outside the area.
Some local Chasidim kindly handed out challah to some of the camera crews reporting on the unrest, as shown in this brief video clip (which was uploaded by someone with malice aforethought and which has prompted sick antisemitic comments):
Later, following advice from the police that being seen in the vicinity of the rioting can give the wrong impression, a rabbinical authority told the Chasidim to stay away.
Like the man who was shot, the majority of the rioters, especially, it seems, in the initial stages of the unrest, have been of so-called Afro-Caribbean background.
The politically correct BBC could not hide that fact from our screens, but its soulmate among newspapers, the Guardian, was cagey. On Monday, the paper which has become notorious for its demonisation of Israel and, at times, its descent into antisemitism, stated in a report by Paul Lewis:
"The make-up of the rioters was racially mixed. Most were men or boys, some apparently as young as 10..."It then identified Jews – and only Jews – as being among the troublemakers:
"But families and other local residents, including some from Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police."
Somebody to whom I read the sentence, and who habitually gives the benefit of the doubt to comments perceived by many others as judeophobic, declared unhesitatingly:
"That sounds like sheer antisemitism to me!"What a gratuitous reference on the Guardian's part. What a slur! Why would Chasidic Jews jeer at the police? They know only too well that the police are the thin blue line protecting them and their businesses from mob violence of the kind we're now seeing for the fourth night running. The BBC showed brief footage of several Chasidim hastening away from the trouble, and either the BBC or Sky (I can't recall which) showed a young Chasidic couple with an infant looking in bewildered amazement on Sunday morning at the damaged shops in Tottenham.
Indeed, among the Tottenham stores broken into and looted was Jewish-owned H. Glickman Ltd, ironmongers and tool merchants, established in 1932. Co-owner Corinne Lewis said that the rampaging mob "targeted the shop for tools to do more looting with". Only swift action by local residents prevented it from catching fire when a rubbish bin was set alight and deliberately thrust against the premises.
Not surprisingly, the website that monitors the Guardian's hostile attitude to Jews and Israel, having noted that the paper's Editorial Code states
"In general, we do not publish someone’s race or ethnic background or religion unless that information is pertinent to the story. We do not report of the race of criminal suspects unless their ethnic background is part of a description that seeks to identify them or is an important part of the story (for example, if the crime was a hate crime"'justifiably observes:
'So, the rioters – who have torched, ransacked and looted shops, pubs, banks and even residential properties, and have attacked journalists, police, and firefighters for the past three days – are characterized by Lewis as merely "racially mixed", yet he somehow deems it relevant to note that some of Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community were among those who allegedly watched and "jeered" police.
To the Guardian, the particular race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation of the rioters is of no particular significance, but the religion of a few of those who reportedly witnessed the police response to the riots is apparently worth noting.
What possible relevance, per the Guardian’s own code of ethics, does the religious background of some of those who reportedly jeered police have?
Why wasn’t the race, ethnicity, or religious background of others who witnessed the riots and/or jeered police mentioned?
Is there really any question that Lewis’s report represents a flagrant violation of the Guardian’s Editorial Code? '
And (perhaps helped by the fact that the Jerusalem Post picked up the story) it's got results, for the Guardian has now shamefacedly amended its original report of 7 August to read:
"But families and other local residents – black, Asian and white, including some from Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community – also gathered to watch and jeer at police." http://cifwatch.com/2011/08/09/the-guardian-revises-story-about-uk-riots-which-singled-out-hasidic-jews/As the Jerusalem Post reports, British Board of Deputies spokesman Jon Benjamin, has stated:
"The Jewish community, like all right minded people, will have been shocked and appalled at the wanton destruction and criminality witnessed on our streets over the last few days. Attacks on businesses and property are also assaults on the lives and livelihoods of decent hardworking people, trying to get by in difficult times, and the perpetrators are beneath contempt." http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=233113
I really think that Cameron will have to reconsider that decision to axe 30,000 police jobs. But how, in these straitened times, will he pay for them?
Well, perhaps he could begin by diverting into the kitty all the British tax payers' money that's at present, as the Daily Mail reported this week,being sent overseas to line the pockets of families of Palestinian suicide bombers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023604/Families-suicide-bombers-given-5m-British-aid-cash.html