UK Riots: Dalrymple weighs in

Throughout the recent riots in the UK, I have been waiting for Theodore Dalrymple to comment.

It was his superb book “Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass” 1 that alerted me to the culture of the underclass, the engine that is producing the hoodlums and scum we have seen parading violently this week.

Today my feeds picked up this comment in the superb City Journal:

The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor—quite likely—any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognize this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude. On the contrary, he would simply feel that the subventions were not sufficient to allow him to live as he would have liked.At the same time, his expensive education will have equipped him for nothing. His labor, even supposing that he were inclined to work, would not be worth its cost to any employer—partly because of the social charges necessary to keep others such as he in a state of permanent idleness, and partly because of his own characteristics. And so unskilled labor is performed in England by foreigners, while an indigenous class of permanently unemployed is subsidized.

The culture of the person in this situation is not such as to elevate his behavior. One in which the late Amy Winehouse—the vulgar, semicriminal drug addict and alcoholic singer of songs whose lyrics effectively celebrated the most degenerate kind of life imaginable—could be raised to the status of heroine is not one that is likely to protect against bad behavior.

Finally, long experience of impunity has taught the rioters that they have nothing to fear from the law, which in England has become almost comically lax—except, that is, for the victims of crime. For the rioters, crime has become the default setting of their behavior; the surprising thing about the riots is not that they have occurred, but that they did not occur sooner and did not become chronic.


Some of the writings he mentions are:

Austerity in the U.K. Britain discovers that shrinking government is a lot harder than expanding it. Summer 2011

Riots Present and Future The recent unrest in Tunisia and Algeria could well come to Western European nations. 11 January 2011

Still Open In Britain, an ethnic group’s social mobility depends on its own culture, not government largesse. 29 January 2010

The Quivering Upper Lip The British character: from self-restraint to self-indulgence. Autumn 2008

Childhood’s End Britain, land of bleak houses and low expectations – Summer 2008

No Contrition, No Penalty Britain barely punishes even the most psychopathic behavior. 8 April 2008

No Security Britain is failing in its most basic duty to its citizens. 20 November 2007

See also: The Dark Figure of British Crime Despite government reassurances, Britons feel under siege-with good reason. Spring 2009

See also:

Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters – Max Hatings

Riots Stoke British Ethnic Tensions – WSJ

Race and murder amongst teenagers in London

The recent violence in London got me interested in murder in London. The riots were sparked by the black community protesting about the shooting of an armed black man by police.

Since 2005, 3 black people have been shot by the police in the London ( ) . During the same period, 26 teenagers (under 20’s) were shot and killed in London. The vast majority of those victims were black ( ) .

In fact, the overwhelming majority of the 126 teenagers killed in London since 2006 were black.

But here is another nasty fact, of the 19 identifiable white victims,  here is the breakdown of the race of perpetrator(s)

White: 5 cases
Asian: 1 case
Black or mixed race: 12 case
Turkish: 1 case
Undetermined: 1 case

Black and Mixed race people make up under 30% of the population, yet they are the killers in 63% of cases where the victim is white. The majority of the other cases involve females killed by lone psychopaths .  Almost all the white males were killed by non-white gangs in possible race crimes.

No black or mixed race teenagers were murdered in London by white killers since 2005.

Political consequences of the riots

We are now starting to see political point scoring. The leftists are predictably blaming deprivation, social exclusion, police racism and government cuts. The rightists are blaming pure criminality, underclass culture and 15 years of socialist government under Labour. The far right is highlighting the racial elements and the fact most of the London rioters were black, whilst some minority communities are also emphasising race, but they argue the rioting by black youths is frustration and resentment towards the police and society.

It seems form the Blackberry message quoted on the Guardian, that race certainly played a part in the London riots. Messages in Jamaican pidgin called for “colour war”.

“Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London (central) OXFORD CIRCUS!!, Bare SHOPS are gonna get smashed up so come get some (free stuff!!!) fuck the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! >:O Dead the ends and colour war for now so if you see a brother… SALUT! if you see a fed… SHOOT!


I am not convinced. The reason that most of the rioters were black in the first few days were that the trouble was in overwhelmingly black areas. As trouble spread, we saw that all races were involved.

My opinion is that our society that has created a violent and restive underclass. These hooligans – at least as I have seen them in London up close – are arrogant, hedonistic, mocking, violent, criminal, disrespectful, and nihilistic.

Add to that a sense of grievance that for many is a justification for their criminality and aggression.

There is no basis for their grievances. The black rioters probably have the most justification, but even their anger is mostly unwarranted and aggravated by media and social services that fuel their alienation by insisting they are victims when the are not. You black people are brought up when it is an unchallenged “fact” that  the police are racist, society is racist, etc.

Kids do not know nor care that most blacks people are are killed by black people. Take a minute to look at the teenage murder victims in London. The vast majority are black. And all the black victims were killed by black people – often violent gangs who beta and stabbed them to death. The same gangs now cavorting through the streets rioting.

Katharine Birbalsingh a teacher in  inner city London, recounts this story:

At school I remember watching a presentation given to the kids by Trident, the Metropolitan Police Service unit set up to investigate and inform communities of gun crime in London’s black community. I didn’t know what Trident was then, and it struck me that all of the photos of people shot (the idea was to scare the kids) were black. So at the end, I approached one of the policemen and asked him what percentage of those involved in gun crime were black. I kid you not, but my question made this thirty-something white man who was, after all, trained to deal with the black community and its issues, turn pink.

He explained that about 80 per cent of gun crime took place in the black community. I smiled uncomfortably. But no, he said, it was worse than that. Then he told me that 80 per cent was black on black gun crime, and that of the remaining 20 per cent about 75 per cent involved at least one black person: black shooting white, or white shooting black. I pushed to know more. While he kept saying his stats were crude and he didn’t have scientific numbers, on the whole the whites who were involved in these shootings tended to be from Eastern Europe.


Most victims of gun crime are black. Every gun criminal arrested saves black lives. Operation Trident – the taskforce that shot and killed Duggan – saves black lives. But these facts are irrelevant, because all that counts are what people believe, and thanks to being indoctrinated by a Politically Correct establishment, they believe the police are out to kill them and whites are all racists.

Perception and reality are divorced. Some rioters may think they are justified but they’re not. And anyway, in their own words, it’s class war and pure police hated .The rioters claim noble motives, but we are not seeing ideological rioting, we are seeing a restive underclass flex its muscles, a hapless police force struggle to contain them, and a public slowly realising that they have made monsters – and the monsters rule the streets.

Why rioters beat the police

The media and members of the public keep expressing shock and frustration that the police were unable to protect them, unable to stop the looting, did not even show up until it was too late.

What people may not realise is that the police are no longer able to maintain public order under the circumstances we have in the UK today.

They are massively outnumbered by hooligans. Citizens are timid and leave all law enforcement to the authorities. The police are politically hamstrung by racial politics, poor leadership, human rights legislation, a soft judiciary, full prisons and increasing number of lawsuits and prosecutions against them. The upshot is that their already difficult job is almost impossible.

What tips matters from almost impossible to losing control of the streets, are the asymmetries between the police and rioters in public order situations that favour the rioters.

  • The rioters can coordinate better, and securely thanks to encrypted one-to-one and one-to-many mobile communications devices like Blackberry Messenger.
  • The rioters are highly mobile, and fluidly flowing around police positions. They  composed of small autonomous units that outflank and outrun the police. We saw the cops literally chasing rioters around Birmingham last night. The police earned their nickname, plods, as they cou8ld not move fast enough to track and contain the hooligans. Maybe they need Korean style lightly armed highly mobile running police to tackle the hooligans and coral them until backup arrives.
  • The police have an infinite number of things to defend, with the mere act of trying to prioritize defences sapping resources and energy, leaving them too thinly spread out. This allows the rioters to exploit their strength in number to overwhelm the police. In Woolwich 8 pubic order police were facing 100 rioters who nearly overran them.
  • The rioters use emergent tactics, adapted to the situation, exploiting known police tactics and weaknesses. The rioters are cynical, they know the police are instructed to defend certain territories (leaving others unguarded). They know the cops have been ordered to contain rather than stop looting. They knew the police would be non-confrontational, seeking to avoid escalation or more justifications for violence. In short the cops were static targets for rocks, whilst shops were fair game for thieving.
  • The police tactics were timid and static. Until last night were contain to contain the trouble (there was trouble in 10 out of the 30 odd boroughs) , then arrest the identified rioters the following day. Justice is served, but its too late. The damage has been done, and hooligans are now convinced that of they simply achieve critical mass, the streets are theirs.



London Riots spark ethnic warfare

Yesterday, when I saw the footage of the young Malaysian student being robbed after being assaulted by rioters, I thought he was Chinese. I thought that if he did turn out to be Chinese, it would be a serious escalation if Chinese gangs sought to take revenge.

Today on Twitter I saw this (On a list usually devoted to hacking and infosec):

From @TeaMp0isoN_ , the guy who hacked Blackberry yesterday to protest about their collaboration with UK authorities:

” three innocent Muslims killed by black looter in west-midlands – whr was the police? protecting the buildings of big corporations..”

and then

“More Riots have started… Muslim Youths have hit the streets looking to attack looters in reply to 3muslims getting killed in #Birmingham”

None of this is verified, but it does look like the UK Riots now may lead to race riots.

We have already seen Turkish Kurds protecting their shops and restaurants from largely black looters in Hackney.

The murdered Asians were apparently protecting a mosque.

We saw this in the 1992 LA riots with the Korean shop owners eventually taking the law into their own hands and shooting looters.

Similarly in Egypt. When law and order breaks down, and the police are preoccupied by street violence, then criminals take advantage.

In Ealing on Monday night there were home invasions as mobs marched on wealthy neighbourhoods and targeted mansions.

I think it would be hard to overstate how terrifying it is to be subjected to a mob attack on your home. People in Ealing were utterly shocked that they were on their own, them against a violent mob. They quickly organised into neighbourhood defence units, something common to these situations.

So let’s see if this escalates into ethnic conflict. I doubt it, but it’s always a risk in the UK, where there are many cohesive ethnic communities who will not submit to being attacked by rioting yobs.

Update: Just saw the BBC report on the “spontaneous” defence mob that formed in Eltham. They were all white. Then it showed a confrontation between whites on the street and a group of black men on a bus. Eltham is a notoriously racist area, where Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993.

So we see the social divisions and cracks exposed, ethnic and social class.