"we carry death out of the village"

The Solution

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

–Bertolt Brecht, The Solution

Some fucking youth clubs

Forgive my scornful laughter when told that what caused the mob to raze our cities to the ground was nothing more than–deep breath–wait for it, wait for it–the closure of some fucking youth clubs in Haringey!

On the other hand, at least know how to create an instantly hostile insurgent force, should Adolf Hitler ever invade.

Agents of Satan

The Guardian helpfully inform us that the riots can still be blamed on police brutality–even though the police look congenitally incapable of being mean to children, let alone strangling great swathes of the criminal population like some Victorian serial killer.

At least 333 [deaths in police custody] since 1998 and not a single conviction of any police officer for any of them.

A strange thing: at least 333 deaths and not a single conviction. Notice as well that around 800,000 people die every year in toto in the UK, but only about 500 people are convicted of homicide—evidence of a deeper conspiracy, no doubt, though I’m sure the Guardian will join us in demanding that the number of convictions is increased arbitrarily. That or, given that people die, and that the people in police custody are people, people dying in police custody is a statistical inevitability. But who can say?

I don’t see any resurrections either. And not only do we see a statistically impossible lack of resurrections from death in police custody, but 333 is exactly half of 666: the number of the Beast; signifying, according to the Hebrew numerologists, none other than the demoness Choronzon, Lord of Hallucinations and Obscene Gardener of Bitterness herself.

Is this not evidence enough that the police should be replaced by Jesus Christ, or at least His earthly representatives, at the first available opportunity?

Blind Boy Fuller

The Ideal City

Every public passion was thus wrapped up in philosophy; political life was violently driven back into literature, and writers, taking in hand the direction of opinion, found themselves for a moment taking the place that party leaders usually hold in free countries… Above the real society… there was slowly built an imaginary society in which everything seemed simple and coordinated, uniform, equitable, and in accord with reason. Gradually, the imagination of the crowd deserted the former to concentrate on the latter. One lost interest in what was, in order to think about what could be, and finally one lived mentally in the ideal city the writers had built.

–Alexis de Tocqueville, The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

The Guardian report that the IPCC have just released a statement in response to an inquiry by one of their journalists:

Analysis of media coverage and queries raised on Twitter have alerted to us to the possibility that we may have inadvertently given misleading information to journalists when responding to very early media queries following the shooting of Mark Duggan by MPS officers on the evening of 4th August.

The IPCC’s first statement, issued at 22:49 on 4th August, makes no reference to shots fired at police and our subsequent statements have set out the sequence of events based on the emerging evidence. However, having reviewed the information the IPCC received and gave out during the very early hours of the unfolding incident, before any documentation had been received, it seems possible that we may have verbally led journalists to believe that shots were exchanged as this was consistent with early information we received that an officer had been shot and taken to hospital.

Any reference to an exchange of shots was not correct and did not feature in any of our formal statements, although an officer was taken to hospital after the incident.

Shock! Horror! Who could have predicted such a thing, etc, etc, etc.

Before we draw a veil over the whole sorry affair, let us briefly recap: The public is apparently told by the police that Mark Duggan was killed resisting arrest and firing at an armed police unit. The IPCC, the public’s champion, then contradict the police and release a statement saying that, on the contrary, Duggan never fired a shot. The public, understandably rather miffed at being led astray, very reasonably smash and burn London to the ground in a weekend long festival of violence and destruction. The pigs lied; people died. We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take this any more!

Only now it appears that the IPCC were the source of the rumour that the police were fired on first, as well as being the source of the statement that they were not. So far from protesting against a police cover-up, the rioters were, at best, protesting against the IPCC contradicting and then correcting itself. Oh, noble cause! Oh, noble work!

Update: The Guardian adds,

Many of the first media reports specifically attributed the line about Duggan firing first to the IPCC. And our crime correspondent Sandra Laville tells me that Scotland Yard did not on any occasion brief her that officers were fired on first…

The first trouble began in Tottenham on Saturday evening after a vigil in support of Mark Duggan outside the local police station. One of the Duggan family grievances was poor communication from the authorities in the early stages. They were particularly upset at suggestions in media reports that Duggan had fired first.

Let them handle us robustly

Has any word been more abused this week than “robust”? Politicians, journalists and senior policemen queued up to deploy it before a shell-shocked population. “Our response will be robust,” they announced impressively, while somewhere off-camera, England’s major cities burned. “Our view of what the police should do to the rioters is understandably robust,” they told us: a robust view of a robust response. (A robust view—does such a thing even make sense? Trouble yourself not with sense or reason my friend; what is important now is that we come together under one banner, that of robustness). “Robust policing shown to work”, the newspapers exclaimed.  And how!

It is a fortunate thing, is it not, that as well as a method of policing that does not work, our leaders thought to keep in reserve one that does? Such foresight! All deserve badges, at the very least.


Wise fools

What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.

—Lord Melbourne

The slowly boiled frog

If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

–Daniel Quinn, The Story of B

Anarchy in the UK

Hey man, wtf just happened here? Well, lemme tell ya’ll wtf just happened here: The mostly teenage children of London’s underclass—joined eventually by sundry opportunists from every walk of life—took over our capital city and looted it for four days and nights in a saturnalian orgy of destruction.

A similar pattern was repeated in many of our Northern cities, but on a smaller scale.

And on the fifth day—the rioters just melted back into the population.

There is no sense in which the authorities won. There was no defeat of the rioters. There was no unambiguous imposition of order. The authorities—including the police—stood by and watched. The rioters ended the riots spontaneously and unilaterally.

The street kids will have learnt—unless they are, like our leaders, human vegetables unable to respond to external stimulus—that they can take the city whenever they like, that no one dares to stop them from doing whatever they want.

In short, they discovered who is scared, and it isn’t them.

The response of our thinking class is already that “like Norway we need more democracy”—give them more of anything and maybe they won’t hate us. Why do they hate us? Nobody knows. This event stands before them like an inexplicable mindboggling mystery. They wheel out inarticulate teenagers to mumble and mangle the stock phrases they trained them in: “it’s, like, they don’t have nothing to do cause its summer”; “the youth feel, like, no one listens”. They dissociate themselves from the events via the magical soma of the Youtube upload. Watch, do not think or feel—you might accidentally understand the truth.

Anyway, whatever it is, this thing must be made to go down the memory hole as soon as possible. “The fight back starts here.” “England fights back.” “Robust policing.” “Robust responses.” Robust this, robust that. We’re in charge! We’re not scared! Everything is normal!

Our future slouches a bit closer towards us.