Wednesday, 10 August 2011


It's the word of the week, and for once the journalists, and some members of the public, have nailed it.  It means wild, or even better, reverted to the wild, and that's exactly what's happening.  For the people  in question, there wasn't far to go.  I'll come back to that.  First, four frontline suggestions:

1.  Be like the Turks.  I'm not particularly proposing vigilantism, but those Turkish shopkeepers who just stood up in front of their property and said 'bring it on', and got a result, had the right approach.
2.  Parental responsibility.  Any child, that is someone under eighteen living at home, who intends to go out without a very good reason has to be grounded.  If they refuse, then the parents must tell them that the locks will be changed and they will not be allowed back in the house, ever.  If the child calls the bluff, follow through.
3.  Car boot sales or equivalent.  We all know that there's a vibrant hidden economy built upon stolen or dodgy goods.  (It's not as bad here as it is in Greece or Spain or Italy, but it's rife.)  So downgrade all that.  All that looted stuff is going somewhere.  There's a limit to how many HDTVs or Imodium capsules you can steal for your own use.  The police should be prowling those places over the next few weeks. 
4.  Arrests.  Two people were openly interviewed on BBC TV this evening, effectively defending the violence and looting.  They must be arrested and charged with incitement.

But of course none of that cuts to the quick.  The trouble is that looting is the cultural norm.  A letter to today's Guardian expressed it better than I can, but just consider: bankers, MPs, media slags, police, kids ... they're all looters.  The more that moral decline persists and blooms, the less chance there is of us getting back to decency and compassion and fairness. 

We're all going feral.  'Agenbite of inwit'.  That's what we're losing.  Remorse of conscience.


  1. I was surprised to see a documentary a few weeks ago about the criminality and lawlessness which existed during the Blitz in London in 1944, so it's not exactly new.
    The difference now is that the lawless, underclass and the piss-taking lawless overclass have squeezed the hard-working middle to the point where there are only about 27 of us left.

  2. Oh yes, that behaviour has always existed (the Blitz tended to be 1940-41 rather than 44, but your point stands). But two things - One, it wasn't mindless thuggery. Those criminals were out for a profit, and were widely if covertly supported by the population who felt they were being cheated. And two, we were in a declared war, in which many rules of civilised behaviour were obviously suspended, so it's hardly surprising that some people took advantage. But I don't think they murdered innocent bystanders.
    My point is that that stuff was still underpinned by a fundamental morality, and that is what is being eroded here and now, at both ends of the spectrum.
    There are at least 28 of us, by the way, and counting.

  3. "looting is the cultural norm" yes.
    I'm just stunned.
    Another frontline suggestion might be to put the police back on their feet and on the streets but perhaps it's too late for that.

  4. 29. Unless Rog was kind enough to include me from the start.

    It's no different here in France. We expect the jacquerie at our gates by the hour. There are far, far too many people. (I won't be troubling the census-takers all that much longer.) People at all social levels behave like this when they can get away with it. Large numbers breed anonymity, anonymity is a fertile field for weeds and parasites to prosper in. Eventually they take over.

    I may be going to found a new pantisocratic colony on St Kilda (Scotland, not Australia). I hope Rog and you, Tim, will join me. We may need some womenfolk. Should I advertise?

  5. Well, now that I know what pantisocratic means, that sounds like an excellent idea. But have you read the National Trust for Scotland's byelaws for St Kilda?

  6. Please may I join in?
    It amazes me that more shopkeepers weren't arming their family and employees with staves and axe handles and defending their property against the looters. As the police now seem unable to defend us, I think we have a clear moral duty to do the job ourselves.
    By the way Rog. The number is now 30.

  7. You're very welcome, Mike and Ann. The only trouble is, our amazing police would probably feel obliged to arrest the shopkeepers too, for threatening behaviour or something.