Aug 14 2011

Britain R.I.P.? Part six

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:22 am

The previous post in this series is here.

A Telegraph editorial makes the case that the causes of Britain’s current unrest are very much related to the USA’s own problems, in that they spring from common roots, in A palpable change in the national mood

More than 20 years ago, the American sociologist Charles Murray wrote a series of articles about the emerging British underclass. He identified in some of our towns and cities the same trend that had been seen in America: a rapid rise in the number of children born into homes with no resident father and where the principal source of income was welfare benefit.

Murray predicted that this growing phenomenon would be concentrated in certain inner-city communities, creating a value structure largely divorced from mainstream society. Several consequences would follow: the children brought up in these circumstances would be poorly educated and lack the desire and wherewithal to work; and the communities themselves would be prey to high levels of crime.

What Murray foresaw has come about. Indeed, Britain did not change this week when the rioters took the streets to burn and plunder, it changed a long time ago. Despite the varied social backgrounds of many of those now before the courts, most of the youths who were at the heart of the appalling scenes of lawlessness will have come from the communities that Murray described. They are not the product of bankers’ rapacity or high-level political venality, although the moral context for bad behaviour is, as Peter Oborne observed in these pages yesterday, a matter for the wealthy and powerful to consider as well as the poor.

This crisis has been building for years. It is the result of a major cultural shift that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, and the long-term decline of the conservative values and institutions that had underpinned British society since the late 19th century. This process was marked by a collapse in the belief in marriage, a retreat of the police from the streets, a move away from tough penalties for property crime, the rise of moral relativism and rampant consumerism, the diminution of stigma as a restraint on bad behaviour and the entrenchment of welfare dependency. It was not about poverty, but a collapse in values. Today, the benefits system sustains the underclass and poor state schooling is unable to compensate for the harm caused by broken homes and absent fathers. Inadequate policing cannot suppress the symptoms of crime and disorder. These communities are trapped in a vicious circle, where violence, crime, intimidation and hopelessness are quotidian. It is a world from which most of us are insulated until it spills into the wider community, as it did so nightmarishly this week.

So what is to be done? It is not true that politicians have been unaware of or indifferent to what is going on. The last government’s “respect” agenda tried to tackle the anti-social behaviour that blights so many inner-city areas; but Labour woefully failed to get to grips with welfare dependency or take up a consistent moral position on the fecklessness of many in receipt of benefit. As was evident during the emergency session of Parliament on Thursday, the party still fails to grasp the extent of its own failure in this regard or understand how public opinion has hardened against the failed nostrums of the past four decades.

Here, then, is an opportunity for David Cameron to seize a rare moment in recent British history when the cacophony of liberal voices has been silenced by a palpable change in the national mood. Since he broke off his Italian holiday to take control of the response, the Prime Minister has shown an ability to articulate a sense of outrage, even if the harsh penalties he promised are unlikely to be visited upon many of the culprits. He has been more surefooted than most, including Boris Johnson, who after his tardy return to the capital needs to show that his political strengths are not limited to the good times.

Others have also been found wanting this week. Nick Clegg appeared unable to comprehend the gravity of the situation when he was temporarily in charge of the Government on Monday; police chiefs, such as Sir Hugh Orde, continued to defend tactics that patently failed to stop the unrest spreading, notwithstanding the bravery of the front-line officers, and firefighters, themselves; Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was spoken of only a few weeks ago as a rising star, but has seemed somewhat uncertain; and a host of Labour politicians from Ed Miliband downwards still think that yet more public spending is the answer. In fact, the one thing that has been tried, to no avail, is throwing money at the problem.

What Mr Cameron must now do is unambiguously pursue the remedies that have been available for years, but which successive governments have been too frightened to adopt for fear of offending a vocal progressive minority which no longer has any credibility. These include a tough policy on welfare, whereby recipients accept a job or lose their benefits; police reforms to ensure proper democratic accountability and the imposition of the order that communities need to see on their streets if anything is to improve; and an overhaul of schools to offer an opportunity denied to so many children in the sink estates. None of these ideas will be sufficient on its own, but taken together they might at least begin to undo the damage of the past 40 years.

Will Britain take the hard steps necessary to reclaim the shards of its national heritage that still remain salvagable?  Honestly, I really, really doubt it.  So does that perceptive pundit, Mark Steyn, whose new book has some comments exactly on point (actually, pretty much a whole chapter, it seems).  The problem, when the majority line up at the public trough for three squares, lodging, and entertainment, is that even politicians who are very determined to change things must stand for the next election.  Can Britain summon up a generation’s worth of electoral will to turn things around?  It doesn’t seem likely to me.  The dominant media are too left, and it’s just too easy to demonize politicians who cut spending and introduce reforms that actually require people to make better decisions, reforms that don’t essentially subsidize bad behavior.

It is not clear to me that the USA will fare better in this regard, in the long term, painful as it is to acknowledge.

Aug 11 2011

Britain R.I.P.? Part five

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:45 am

The previous post in this series is here.

The nation that refuses to allow people the means to defend themselves is also the nation that refuses to defend itself, it seems.

During the Los Angeles riots, many shopkeepers armed themselves and defended their property, often with great effect, in the sense that the rioters simply went to destroy and loot stores where the shopkeepers didn’t shoot at them.  Reports widely circulated at the time repeatedly revealed police decisons NOT to defend property and people for fear of “escalation.”  They literally abandoned the residents of many neighborhoods to their own devices.

One Korean businessman’s report:

Jong Min Kang, president of the Korean American Business Association, was president of Korean Young Adult Team of L.A., when the riots erupted.

“THERE was a lot of activity to protect Korean businesses, especially in Koreatown. A lot of young Korean people had weapons. There was every kind of weapon, AK-47s and Uzis.

“I have two businesses, one downtown, which is general wholesale merchandise, and another in South Central, a discount retail shop. My store in South Central is in a strip mall and there were more than 100 merchants there and more than 20 security guards to protect the Korean stores. So (the rioters) couldn’t come in. Nothing happened to those stores but a lot of other stores were burned. It was a terrible situation.”

Britain’s experience shows what happens when a disarmed populace is confronted with amoral looters and thugs. On the other hand, far from increasing the chaos, the presence of firearms is wonderfully clarifying. People who are determined to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property do not make good victims.  Even ARMED thugs simply choose to go elsewhere (the LA riots experience), let alone cretins whose primary weapons are rocks and bats.  The criminals are not brave.  They are looking for easy victims at low risk to themselves.

Britain may be abdicating as a nation.  I hope not.  But the signs are all there of an aging society that can’t rouse itself to take necessary action to defend itself, a society that just seems not to care if it survives or not.  On the other hand, there are many elements of current British society which, even if they are not directly behind the unrest (an open question, in my judgment), will surely be happy to take advantage of it to push their own agenda for Britain.

The next post in this series is here.

Jun 11 2010

Britain R.I.P.? Part four

Category: guns,justice,libertyharmonicminer @ 8:00 am

The previous post in this series is here.

The extreme nature of British gun bans has still not protected the people from the occasional mass murderer with a gun.  In fact, even in the USA, they only tend to happen where virtually everyone is known to be disarmed by law, like in schools, government offices, universities, post offices and military bases [go figure, but they’re disarmed].  When was the last time you heard of a mass murder at a gun show?  Or a gun range?  Of course, in Britain, everyone is disarmed all the time everywhere, by law…  so mass murder can happen anywhere at all.  According to Peter Hitchens, Perhaps these deadly rampages aren’t so ‘inexplicable’ after all:

Yet another gun massacre is followed by yet another typhoon of psychobabble,
sentiment and bogus declarations that ‘this must never happen again’, when everyone knows that it will.

It’s difficult to argue for tighter gun laws, since they’re already so tight, though I’m sure the authorities will think of something suitably irrelevant and futile, as they did after Hungerford and Dunblane.

They are determined to make sure nobody in this country is armed, apart from criminals and terrorists, the invariable effect of ‘tough’ gun laws that trouble only the law-abiding and have no impact on illegally held weapons at all.

The truth is that until 1920, Britain’s gun laws were so relaxed they made Texas look effeminate, but we had virtually no gun crime. That only really began to increase here after we abolished hanging.

But that truth doesn’t fit the Leftist dogma which has ­everyone, including the Tories, the media and the police, in its grip, so the facts will be ignored.

What can we learn from the Cumberland murders? Well, first of all that the police are no use to anyone once a crime has been committed. They never were and they never will be, except if they can do first aid.

It’s such a pity they’ve forgotten their job is to prevent crime rather than hold verbose Press conferences afterwards and festoon the countryside with silly scene-of-crime tape copied from American TV shows.

It’s possible an old-fashioned village constable, on the spot, might have done something to halt Derrick Bird, or have realised something bad was going to happen before it did.

It’s ­certain that the modern fire-brigade approach to policing with its sirens, helicopters, computers and flash cars was no use.

This is another area where the “mother country” of the USA has simply lost its mind.  Hitchens goes on to conjecture that anti-depressant drugs are at the heart of some of these mass murders.


The next post in this series is here.

Jan 14 2010

Britain R.I.P.? Part Four

Category: Europeharmonicminer @ 9:35 am

The previous post in this series is here.

I’m not the only one who thinks Britain is doomed.

UPDATE:  Let’s be clear.  When you no longer have the right to the means for self-defense, the so called “right to self-defense” is meaningless.  When you no longer have the right to defend yourself and your family, you no longer have the right to live.  When you no longer have the right to live, you are a thing, a slave….  or just nothing, a cog in a social machine in which you are totally expendable.

Which is probably not a bad definition of a British citizen these days.

Nov 20 2009

Britain R.I.P.? Part three

Category: societyharmonicminer @ 10:45 am

The previous post in this series is here.

This is simply unbelievable.  The British have lost their minds, along with any semblance of common sense.  And the American Left wishes we were more like them.

But the once great nation, whose Glorious Revolution was the seed of American freedom, is dying, fast.  There may always be an England.  But it won’t be the England we knew.

Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for “doing his duty”.

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday, after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year’s imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Clarke said: “I didn’t think for one moment I would be arrested.

“I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets.”

The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden.

In his statement, he said: “I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges.

“I didn’t know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him.

“At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall.”

Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells.

Defending, Lionel Blackman told the jury Mr Clarke’s garden backs onto a public green field, and his garden wall is significantly lower than his neighbours.

He also showed jurors a leaflet printed by Surrey Police explaining to citizens what they can do at a police station, which included “reporting found firearms”.

Quizzing officer Garnett, who arrested Mr Clarke, he asked: “Are you aware of any notice issued by Surrey Police, or any publicity given to, telling citizens that if they find a firearm the only thing they should do is not touch it, report it by telephone, and not take it into a police station?”

To which, Mr Garnett replied: “No, I don’t believe so.”

Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a “strict liability” charge, therefore Mr Clarke’s allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

But despite this, Mr Blackman urged members of the jury to consider how they would respond if they found a gun.

He said: “This is a very small case with a very big principle.

“You could be walking to a railway station on the way to work and find a firearm in a bin in the park.

“Is it unreasonable to take it to the police station?”

Paul Clarke will be sentenced on December 11.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: “This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

“The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant.”

The next post in this series is here.

Oct 15 2009

Britain R.I.P.? Part two

Category: justiceharmonicminer @ 9:32 am

A previous post pointed to big problems in Britain’s defense of itself.    And now, in the once proud cradle of democracy, if you attack people who are not part of a “protected group,” It’s Only Anti-Social, not as bad as a hate crime

A single case sometimes shines a lurid light on an entire country, and the case of Fiona Pilkington does just that for contemporary Britain—both its population and its officialdom. A coroner’s inquest was recently held in the case, two years after the events in question.

On October 23, 2007, Pilkington, a single mother of low intelligence, used gasoline to set fire to her car, with herself and her 18-year-old, severely handicapped daughter inside. They both died in the conflagration.

The reason that she killed herself and her daughter was that local youths had abused them for years. They taunted her and her daughter for hours on end, standing and shouting outside their home, pelting it with bottles and stones, and repeatedly intruding into the garden. Pilkington, who was inoffensive, shy, and retiring, called the police a total of 33 times, but they did absolutely nothing, though they knew what was going on. The local chief of police issued an apology at the inquiry into the affair. If he had meant it, of course, he would have immediately resigned his post.

The deep spiritual sickness of contemporary Britain is evident in the following comment on the inquiry in the liberal newspaper, The Guardian: “Although much of the abuse centred on the taunts about the children’s disabilities, police failed to recognise it as a hate crime rather than simple antisocial behaviour, which would have made it a far higher priority.”

In other words, the seriousness of an offense committed in Britain now depends upon who the victim is. If a person is not of an identifiably protected group, he or she is not entitled to police intervention against abusive stone- and bottle-throwing youths. He is not entitled to protection at all.

The Guardian’s article appears to accept that such behavior, so long as it targets a member of an unprotected group, is merely undesirable—”anti-social” rather than obviously criminal. The rule of law is fast evaporating in Britain; we are coming to live in a land of men, not of laws.

Why is it that the phrase “social justice” means practically anything except actual justice?  And why are victims of “hate crimes” deserving of more attention than other crime victims?

Of course, if she’d dared to defend herself with anything more effective than a hat pin, she would have found out the real meaning of justice in Britain.

The next post in this series is here.


Jul 14 2012

Britain, R.I.P.? Part Eight

Category: Europe,freedom,government,justice,legislation,liberty,race,racismharmonicminer @ 5:52 pm

The previous post in this series is here.

John Terry, a soccer player, has been found “not guilty” of racist speech in a criminal trial in merry old England.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle delivered his verdict after a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

He said the case was not about “whether Mr Terry is a racist in the broadest sense of the word”, telling the court he had heard “a great deal of evidence to show that he is not”.

“It is understandable why Mr Terry wants to make this point – his reputation is at stake,” he said.

He was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand during a match between QPR and Chelsea at Loftus Road in October. He was investigated and charged after a complaint from an off-duty policeman.

Riddle said Terry was a “credible witness” and “nobody has been able to show that he is lying”. He told the court: “There is no doubt that John Terry uttered the words ‘f****** black c***’ at Anton Ferdinand.

So, it seems that losing control a bit and uttering an epithet or two in the heat of battle is a criminal offense in the land that brought us the Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution, not to mention John Locke and Edmund Burke.

Details are here, but the reason for the not guilty verdict, given that Terry did say the words, is that he claimed to be repeating back an accusation from the “victim,” Anton Ferdinand, and this produced just enough question about Terry’s intent and motivation to create “reasonable doubt.”

I have reasonable doubts that Britain is any longer anything remotely resembling a free nation.  And consider:  the USA’s founding fathers thought of themselves as fighting to keep “the rights of Englishmen” which they thought they had been denied.

It would seem that Englishmen lost them some time back, too.

In the meantime, consider that this five day trial has to have cost the state considerable money, which might have been better spent other ways, perhaps not withholding necessary treatment to the elderly and infirm.

Just call it an informal death panel.



Aug 19 2011

Britain, R.I.P.? Part Seven

Category: government,guns,justice,left,liberty,societyharmonicminer @ 9:09 am

The previous post in this series is here.

Powerline has a brilliant article by Professor Malcolm from George Mason University Law School.  Normally, in these series, I don’t merely link, and I try to provide some original content and analysis.

But this article so perfectly captures the supine British attitude towards evil that I had to include it here.





Sep 03 2009

Britain, R.I.P.?

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:15 am

Once it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire, because it was worldwide. Soon, perhaps, the sun will never rise on it, either.

Britain Succumbing to Islamic Supremacism

Britain is sinking fast, and in too many ways its government is its people’s worst enemy.

Read it all.

The next post in this series is here.

Mar 10 2009

Other Series

Category: harmonicminer @ 4:47 pm

While you can always search for posts on a topic using the CATEGORY flip menu, about half-way down the right side on the home page, or do a direct search of the blog in the title bar on the upper right, this page also links to other groups of posts on particular topics.  In each case, there are two links for each series.  The first link takes you to the first post in the series, which links to the rest.  The second link takes you to a page showing all the posts in the series.


The Spiritual Poverty of Socialism

The Spiritual Poverty of Socialism. All posts.


Britain, R.I.P.?

Britain, R.I.P.? All posts.


Misusing Scripture

Misusing Scripture.  All posts.


Prosperity Gospel for Christian Institutions?

Prosperity Gospel for Christian Institutions?  All posts.

Hey, What About MY Choice?

Hey, What About MY Choice?  All posts.

As time permits, I’ll put links to more series here.