Causes of the riots?

Moral breakdown of society   3 votes - 21 %
Economic factors   10 votes - 71 %
Mark Duggan shooting and police statements   6 votes - 42 %
Insufficient police numbers   7 votes - 50 %
Ethnic tensions   2 votes - 14 %
Single parents   2 votes - 14 %
-   1 vote - 7 %
More riots are likely in future   11 votes - 78 %
More riots are not likely in future   1 vote - 7 %
14 Total Votes
Glad to see you're ok by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #1 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 08:14:29 AM EST
Not just ok but apparently on top form :)

One more police tactic cause variant floating around is an over reliance on CCTV by the Met.

Like many of these articles there is no doubt a degree of barrow pushing, but as a technological explanation I thought it made more sense than Twitter.

Iambic Web Certified

I was lucky that... by Metatone (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:56:16 PM EST
no rioting where I live or work, although it came close.

One friend's house was right in the middle - what I take from his experience was that in many places, it wasn't about a lack of tear gas or baton rounds, it was a lack of numbers. If there's 5 of you and 35 of them, then it's not an obvious tactical win to pull out the baton charge - especially if doing so might aggravate the community who haven't joined in yet...

Moving on from the inflammatory early paragraphs, I can see how CCTV culture may be partly to blame... but the reality is CCTV culture is a second order effect, the first order being the impulse to reduce costs by reducing the numbers of people. (That was the impulse behind patrol cars too... efficiency...)

Baumol at work, I guess. 

[ Parent ]
I lived in Clapton for a while by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 10:33:13 AM EST
Didn't have any issues, though the sign about a rape at 3pm on a Sat did give you pause. Strange to read about it this way even if it was always rough.

I liked the point about the NYPD hiring office staff and the Met getting para-police to walk the streets ...

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 3) #2 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 08:29:41 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky

Also reminds me by Herring (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 12:54:38 PM EST
that Melanie Phillips is batshit insane.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Who ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:25:04 AM EST

[ Parent ]
+1FP! by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 09:00:24 AM EST

Vive le Montréal libre.
LA Riots by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #5 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 12:57:38 PM EST
This jumped out to me as something that was straight from the LA riots:

For instance Asian or Turkish shopkeepers defended their shops against white or black rioters...

This was also essentially the plot of Do the Right Thing.

In terms of causative factors, I think that large populations of unemployed young men are a huge one.  (And by "unemployed", I don't mean "poor" but simply rather young men with nothing to occupy them.)   This has been true throughout human history, and in older times was solved by employing those young men as an army against neighbors.  This is no longer an option.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

best analysis anywhere by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 03:13:19 PM EST
You should get a job at al-Jazeera (because while they're slanted, no one else does serious news).


Jesus Christ you're a tool -- Dr Thrustgood

ProPublica does serious news by lm (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 04:14:58 PM EST
But I do agree that al-Jazeera English is one of the better news sources in the Anglosphere.

My biggest beef with them is that they don't caption. Or at least the local OTA affiliate doesn't caption. That makes it hard for folks with hearing disabilities to follow.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Moral responsibility comes in degrees by lm (4.00 / 1) #8 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 04:25:55 PM EST
First, the division between moral responsibility and ontological causation is great stuff. Conflating a person's moral responsibility with the material causes of various situations is a real problem in public discourse.

My chief quibble with the way this dichotomy was presented is that it seems to presume that moral blame is a binary state of affairs. The rioters are presented as entirely morally culpable and the people who have their property broken or looted are presented as not morally culpable at all. But it could be the case that some of the rioters are more morally culpable than others and even that some are not morally culpable at all. Moreover, some of the victims could be morally culpable for treating the folks that rioted as means to an end rather than as real persons and, as a consequence, are somewhat morally responsible for the rioting.

That said, I think that such a discussion about degrees of moral culpability is mostly irrelevant for precisely the resons you point out. Human nature isn't likely to change. Assigning moral blame, even if in a nuanced and rational fashion, doesn't tell us much about how to avoid future riots. But it is possible that focusing on behavioral triggers might.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
^This^ by Breaker (4.00 / 6) #9 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 05:14:35 PM EST
An excellent analysis and very well written.  I'd like to see you offer this to the newspapers, it far surpasses anything I have read to date.

Top work, TE.

Indeed by R343L (4.00 / 1) #10 Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 07:41:15 PM EST
It might be too long for some forums so make a short version and long one and submit it in more than one publication.  it's a very clear message that could actually move public discussion somewhere useful.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
your faith in human nature surpasses mine by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #14 Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 08:16:33 AM EST
People see events through a lens of preconceptions, it's all the fault of the [welfare state|immigrants|filthy chavs|tory cuts|moral decline].

If the goal was to influence public discussion I'd probably split it into a series and tighten things up a bit. The first section is probably the most powerful and important, if that could be boiled down into a 2 or 3 paragraph "parable"  it could conceivably go viral.

My own pessimism aside, great work TE.

[ Parent ]
After throwing it at a grammar/spellchecker by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 12:39:31 AM EST
of course.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Excellent analysis and well written indeed by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #12 Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 08:08:24 AM EST
Exactly why no newspaper would ever print it.

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Top work, thanks by priestess (4.00 / 1) #13 Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 08:10:31 AM EST
I was away abroad and mostly cut off from media for the last two weeks, so a well timed analysis such as this is dead handy. You rock Mister Escargo.

Chat to the virtual me...

Don't worry by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #16 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:25:23 AM EST
David Cameron is going to singlehandedly reprogram the moral compass of the nation.

The difference betweeen causal and moral responsibility really rings true for me. I went to school in a rural ghetto where a council estate had been placed on top of a village with no way in or out and nothing to do. There were some horrendous people there as well as some good and some who were just lost, but in the boom period, where there was some investment in the area and jobs to go around there just wasn't the insanity of behaviour that existed in the 80s when there was absolutely no hope.

Brilliant by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #17 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:15:04 AM EST
I have different opinions but recognise I've got a bit of a political axe to grind; I think this is more level headed than anything I could have come up with.


It's political correctness gone mad!

You should really consider journalism as a career by Tonatiuh (4.00 / 4) #19 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:33:34 PM EST
The differentiation between moral and causal responsibilities encapsulates what many people feel in the gut but have not been able to articulate. Your posting would put a stop to all the people knee jerk reacting in the heat of the moment (I read a vile article in the ES this afternoon from Charles Clarke, former Labour Home Secretary, and he is an intellectual pygmy in comparison to your post, as for Melanie Phillips and her ilk, they would be pitiful if they weren't so dangerous).

You can present this conclusion with clarity because are a properly educated and enlightened modern person.

Sir, I salute you. All people intending to tackle the problem should read this posting, by posting only in Hulver (for which I am really grateful) your insight is not receiving the widespread dissemination it really deserves.

If you ever decide to switch to journalism point them to this posting when you apply for a job, you should not need any further references.

Journalism as a career? by dmg (4.00 / 1) #21 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:32:08 PM EST
The job of a journalist is not to present facts or encourage rational debate, rather it is his job to propagandise on behalf of his paymasters, the corporate advertisers, and to kiss the collective asses of his regulators, the government.

Haven't you read any Chomsky?
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

[ Parent ]
Journalism by ucblockhead (4.00 / 4) #22 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:25:33 PM EST
But this article is thoughtful and accurate.  What on earth does that have to do with journalism?
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
the new yorker publishes those by infinitera (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 09:52:40 AM EST

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
He's too good by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #23 Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 05:05:29 AM EST
Every publication I can think of is too dumb or has too much of an agenda.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
+1 FP by littlestar (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:10:39 PM EST
 Very interesting, good rundown for us on the other side of the lake. 

Excellent comment by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #25 Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 01:30:25 PM EST
What is this country coming too that we've so forgotten our ancient and noble british traditions of murdering members of the clergy en mass and hanging their corpses off the side of bridge that the total casualty figures from 4 nights of rioting amount to a guy who was randomly shot for reasons unrelated to the rioting and an old man who overexerted himself while fleeing a burning building and suffering a heart attack?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)