Britain, Chavs, Crime, Culture, Education, Israel, London Riots 2011, Police

Thugz Mansion – Manchester and the Riots

Manchester riots

A scene from the Manchester riots

Reporting from Manchester, Alex Patnick examines the rioting that has broken out in the North West. 

By now, you may be bored of reading about the riots but I would like to ‘throw in my two cents’ as the Americans say. This site, and most of the press, has been concentrating on the London riots, but what about the rest of the country? There were riots in Birmingham on the last two nights, Manchester and Salford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

The riots in Tottenham started out as the residents had legitimate anger and frustration against an unhelpful local government and police. While the way they went about venting the pent up fury was abhorrent they at least had reasons, at least when it started. As the people in and around Tottenham rioted over the death of Mark Duggan, and unprepared, understaffed and underfunded Metropolitan Police lost control of the streets. As the rest of London saw this, even in ‘trendy’ areas with a large professional population such as Camden Town rioted. This soon spread across London and we have seen and heard the results in the last few days. These riots soon spread like wildfire northwards through to the West Midlands and parts of Greater Manchester.

I do not know too much about the West Midlands but living in Manchester I can safely say what went on in the city centre was abhorrent and, as they said about the riots in London, mindless thuggery. The Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan of Greater Manchester Police stated late last night of the riots and rioters that
“This is nothing more than senseless violence with no absolutely no regard for people, their property or livelihoods. These criminals have also attacked some of my officers and other emergency services who are simply trying to do their job to keep the public safe and restore order.”

There have not been any shootings by the police here, no heavy-handed response to crime this is, violence for violence sake and crime for crimes sake. Throughout the country, there is no reason now for people to be rioting. No political, economical, financial, or moral reason. This is most evident in Manchester when one looks at the shops that were targeted – JD Sports, Foot Locker, Primark etc, The posher shops, such as Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and designer ones such Louis Vuitton, and Armani, weren’t targeted. It was what the Victorians called “the criminal underclass” that did this, we know them as Chavs but it is the same sentiment. The Manchester community at large is shocked by the acts and on the whole is being supportive of the police. I only hope that they arrest enough of them tonight to prevent further violence. Chief Constable Shewan said that officers will be going through CCTV today and arresting anyone they can who was involved and we can only pray that they catch every one involced.

The people rioting are probably people who would not be able to say who the PM is and probably think Adolf Hitler was a German Football coach such is the education in some schools. One could blame lack of education funding, lack of jobs, youth centre’s and other such things but this is not the case. If you take part in crime for fun and ‘kicks’ then there is something seriously wrong in your upbringing. Those arrested should face the full force of the law, with jail time and withdrawal of any and all benefits for life.

AP Schrader in his earlier article says that he is loth to encourage the government to deploy the Army to quell the riots, and I agree but this is needed if it goes on any longer. If we look at the USA for example, within an hour of rioting they would have deployed the National Guard on the ground and had helicopters flying overhead. From my flat, I hear more helicopters when Man United is playing Man City than I did last night! The riots in America would have been over quickly, the National Guard would remain deployed for a further day or two then the streets would return to normal.

In Israel there is currently a protest over high costs of living but the people aren’t rioting. 250,000 people marched in Jerusalem last week in protest and I have not heard of one act of criminality yet in this country a few thousand people protest and all hell breaks loose. The parents of this country need to be forced to take responsibility for their children instead of blaming it on “the rich who own the businesses” as one London youth put it.

I applaud the efforts of the police throughout the country and wholeheartedly support the bravery and professionalism of the many young men and women who have probably never experience anything like this before. I also feel sorry for them as, at a time of economic stringency they are facing redundancies and cuts that mean they will be even less able to cope next year. I urge the George Osborne, the Government and Parliament to stop the police cuts now before they are too weak to cope with this. If this happens next year, will they be able to cope and will forces be able to help each other? I only hope that these riots end now and that the police have the resources to help if they happen again.

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About Alex Patnick

Alex currently works in IT and has a degree in History. He enjoys computer gaming, reading non-fiction, current affairs, and relaxing with friends. He was active in student politics and was Anti-Racism Officer at MMU in 2004-2005. He considers himself on the right-wing of the Conservative party, opposing the UKs membership of the EU, and supporting the death penalty. Te NHS is as a good institution that is full of bureaucracy in his eyes and he supports the military action in Libya and Afghanistan. He is also very pro-Israel but not anti-Palestinian believing that a Two-state solution is the only option but that it is not viable at the present time. His main interest for politics is international affairs, mainly th e Middle East, EU and the UN.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Thugz Mansion – Manchester and the Riots

  1. An engaging piece, Mr Patnick (and thanks for referring to my piece), but I disagree with on certain important points in your article. Firstly, you refer to the “legitimate anger and frustration” of the rioters in London and I flatly refute that they have any such legitimacy. As I say in my own piece, the looting and widespread mayhem in London (and elsewhere) stopped having anything to do with the late Mr Duggan some time ago. This is now purely what Nick Clegg called ‘acquisitive crime’. I also disagree with your comments about the Met. “Unprepared” – almost certainly. But “…understaffed and underfunded”? I’m less convinced. Even with the cuts to police numbers (which have been relatively small) the Met, as I said in my own article, still rivals the NYPD in size. Also, talk about police cuts still obscures the fact that it is chief constables that decide where to make the cuts in their forces. If they don’t want to cut the number of officers then it is simply up to them to find savings elsewhere.

    Don’t forget, HM Government is – quite rightly – committed to deficit reduction. If we reverse the police’s share of the burden then we have to find the savings elsewhere. Which department would you chose? (Of course, I will qualify my remarks by saying that, if the Coalition were prepared to make some cuts to International Development or the bloated and apparently untouchable NHS then I’d be only to happy to see the police cuts reduced – in point of fact, the cuts to all departmental budgets would not have needed to be so severe had the Coalition not insisted on ‘ringfencing’ the DfID and DoH budgets).

    Just finally, on the comparison with America, it’s not really comparing apples with apples. The United Kingdom does not have a version of the US National Guard. As a frontier culture, Americans are used to the concept of a ‘militia’ that can be called in under extreme circumstances. We have no such cultural acceptance of soldiers on our streets. Unless we’re proposing using the Territorial Army in a similar way? Ultimately, I would still be very uneasy about sending in the Army. Our boys are simply not trained for this sort of thing. A politician said this on the telly the other day and a squaddie mate of mine posted on Facebook: “Not trained??? What does he mean I’m not trained???” I replied, “I think what he means is, you’re not trained to NOT shoot people who are attacking you”. He replied with a smiley and the words “Fair point”.

    Posted by A.P. Schrader | August 11, 2011, 12:40 pm
  2. Thank you for the critical analysis Mr Schrader.

    In order to answer some of yourr criticisms, I should maybe have been clearer in some of my points. I meant to say that the riots started as legitimate frustrations but then became general disorder and “mindless thuggery. As for the Met being understaffed, I feel that if they were more prepared, they would have had more staff, more equipment and more funding with which to pay for these extra officers and equipment.

    As for police cuts, and deficit reduction I very much agree with you on International Development Aid. By all means, give money to Somalia, and other drought affected countries but not to a counmtry like India who spend more money on space than on their own poor. As for the NHS, I think the govt were right in ring-fencing that,as “the first duty of government is to protect its citizens” and this goes for health, as well as military, threats.

    And, maybe comparing it to the US isn’t ideal, but culturally, they are closer to us than any other English speaking country I have been to. As for militarising the streets, I agree that the army isn’t ideal but when the police can’t cope and are forced to stand idly by for one reason or another what should you do? Maybe training the TA in countering civil disobedience would be the answer? This was one of the points raised in Parliament yesterday, maybe change the Army’s role. Remember, the TA are descended from the Yeomanry who were responsible for civil issues in the past (such as Peterloo!).

    I hope this clarifies the points for you.

    Posted by Alex Patnick | August 12, 2011, 10:57 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: A review of the August riots « Politics on Toast - August 14, 2011

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