TOTTENHAM RIOTS: The connection between looting and tooting

Be it black rioters or white powder, the blind eye simply won’t do

Having lived in Brixton for seven years ( an experience that included two riots) I was faintly amused reading the Telegraph this morning to note that setting two police cars, a bus and a wheelie bin on fire passes these days for the West Indian community ‘voicing concern’. One is put in mind of a fire-eating act walking about, voicing inflammatory concern about the shooting of a black, armed Yardie – 29 year-old Mark Duggan.

I am, by the way, allowed to be amused by this sort of thing, because unlike most commentators around these days, I have first-hand experience of living in a violently unstable community, in which I helped bring up two kids. During this spell in Shakespeare Road (a molotov cocktail’s throw from Railton Road, the infamous Front Line) I suffered three burglaries, witnessed two instances of pimps beating up prostitutes sorry, sex workers, had my car stolen three times, suffered almost constant news nuisance via full base reggae and all-night parties, and was once locked out of my own street by a police cordon.

The Tottenham unpleasantness last night had all the hallmarks of a classic inner-city riot, the key catalysts for which are the police doing their job, black youths feeling their livelihood is being threatened, and the bourgeois Hard Left seizing the opportunity. Thus, we read – respectively – that the police car involved in the shootout wound up with a bullet in its radio, trolleys full of hifi equipment were wheeled from the scene after umpteen shop windows had been smashed, and molotov cocktails were in abundance. (Setting light to a wheelie bin and then rolling it blithely towards the police line has SWP Trot ‘direct action’ written all over it.)

The tragedy these days is that, sadly, the Left will have a comeback against observations such as those above. Apart from the standard “You’re a racist dinosaur”, the shout will be “It’s the cuts”, followed by “The People are showing their disgust at social unfairness” and, very probably, “What, and you believe the police do you?” The greedy and corrupt in society have thus given this rabble and their sympathisers such excuses. There is, however, no excuse at all for West Indian gun-based lawlessness: it’s been with us for twenty years, and the profound social problems that derive from loose familial structures therein have been part of inner-city British life since the mid 1970s.

The difference now, I suspect, is that the days of fluffy tolerance are almost gone. And as the depression gets worse over the next year or so, it will disappear completely. But when it comes to gun-crime specifically, this is really a smokescreen for ‘hard-drugs dealing’. And in this area specifically, the British Establishment most certainly does have a case to answer.

The reality is that casual – ‘recreational’ – powder-sniffing is a major facet of our culture. Even in the highest circles of power – witness dead Tories in toilets (still no Coroner’s decision on that one, by the way) and nicknames like Tooting Norton. Which is why I have often said and written in the past that the Colombian marching powder may yet bring down Camerlot. Just as with white-collar techno-crime, and the embarrassing nasties it occasionally reveals, cutting off the supply of white powder lacks the Establishment determination required to make things happen.

Although this is not a trendy view, legalisation of the stuff is a profoundly silly idea: we need fewer forms of mind-altering escape, not more of them. Legalising something  horribly toxic which promotes irresponsible behaviour would be a classic political response, but the real solution is to remove the attitudes and conditions which breed the ingestion of it in the first place. This applies as much to manic Cabinet ministers as it does to hopelessly depressed sex workers, sorry prostitutes.

At its core, riots like those in North London last night result from the “Yeh well Ize entitled innit?” belief system. Whitey has been horrible to me so now it’s payback time and the police are the forces of etc etc etczzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Overly tolerant multicultural bollocks is going to have a lot to answer for before we’re finished…as is the Chipping Norton set.