Tuesday, 9 August 2011

From the Mirror

YOU do not make your ­neighbourhood a better place by burning down your ­neighbour’s home.

You can’t scream about social justice when what you would really like is a free high definition TV.

You do not make this country a better place by terrorising ordinary men, women and children, or by setting fire to their streets, or by destroying businesses that have served communities and provided jobs for over a hundred years. The riots have no moral authority.

Those involved – or their ­apologists – can bleat that it is about unemployment, or police violence, or the cuts in public services.

But that is all rubbish.

The people who are out on our streets robbing, burning, looting, throwing bottles and putting people of the minimum wage out of a job are self-pitying scumbags.

There is no justification for what they do. This is beyond all politics – and beyond all special pleading.

The people who are the very backbone of this country – the folk who work hard, who always do their best for their families – are the ones who suffer.

They run for their lives. They see what they have worked for burned down by jeering mobs. They lose their businesses, their homes. It might not look like much to the outside world, but it is everything they have worked for – gone in a night of stomach-churning, mindless violence.

It is so hard to build something.

It is so easy to smash something up.

But even as the rioters post their triumphant pictures of booty and mayhem on the social networking sites, they are building the next generation of ghettos.

Do they imagine that the shops and stores which they pillage and smash will be coming back soon?

And I feel desperately sorry for all the hardworking black people in this country.

Those images of black youths looting and pillaging will not soon fade from the national consciousness. They have set race relations back in this country by 30 years.

It is sad beyond belief – nothing less than a national tragedy.

Not merely because firemen and policemen have had to stand back and let the rioters have their way.

Not because so many innocent families have watched all they love get smashed to pieces.

But because of what these riots say about the rioters themselves.

I know they whine about ­unemployment and a lack of ­opportunity – but why would anyone want to employ these witless morons? Who would want to give them a job? And what job could they possibly do?

They are lost forever. The 14-year-old in his pair of looted trainers should make the most of them – he will be wearing them when he is 40.

In these riots everything that ails us comes together in a perfect storm. Schools where education is despised. Illiterate, swaggering thugs who have sucked up benefits like their mother’s milk.

And a gang culture that is a ­corrosive substitute for families that were broken before they were ever really made.

One government tip – as Cameron put down his semi-skimmed latte in Tuscany and hurried home – was that parents should know where their children are.

What a bitter irony – because of course, many of those masked thugs would have had absolutely no idea where their fathers were.

And in their pathetic swaggering, we see the very limits of society’s attempts to be understanding, to be soft, to be compassionate.

In the end – softened up with their human rights, pampered with a benefits system that was meant to protect the vulnerable – we get this shabby shower.

We have produced a generation that is good for nothing but, paradoxically, is afraid of nothing.

How shameful to watch images of policemen who appear afraid to strike out in case they get dragged before some human rights tribunal.

How hard to watch firemen who can’t put out a blazing business, or home, because goons are pelting them with bottles.

How it breaks the heart to see the very best of us – the quiet families who go to work, the small shopkeeper who serves some poor working class community, the family with the business that was started generations ago – tormented and tortured by the mob.

And for all their looted booty, for all the HD TVs and trainers, the mob have nothing. No family beyond the gang. No home that they have built with their hands. No job that gives them pride and a sense of worth and a few quid to save up for the things they want.

The rioters are not made of the same stuff as the quiet, decent families they have terrorised and robbed and burned from their homes. They are not made of the same stuff – and they know it.

Yet inside the heart of every single one of those rioters, there beats a certain warped pride.

Perhaps for the very first time in their lives, they can forget that they are worthless.

These riots are a crime against all the people who live their lives with quiet decency.

They are a crime against the working class of this country.

Because whatever those rioters truly are, they have done nothing to deserve being called the “working class”.

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/08/10/london-riots-tony-parsons-on-a-flashpoint-in-broken-british-society-115875-23333279/#ixzz1Ub9GO1d4
Go Camping for 95p! Vouchers collectable in the Daily and Sunday Mirror until 11th August . Click here for more information

Getting your taxes back

Social network

Londoners are taking to the social networks to mobilise a clean-up operation after the third night of rioting and looting.

"Artist, writer, photographer and explorer" Dan Thompsonstarted the Twitter hashtag #riotcleanup late last night after watching news reports from his home on the Sussex coast. He told Wired.co.uk that he has been up all night co-ordinating clear-up operations, letting people know where to head if they want to help; and also relaying requests from local business owners who need support clearing debris.

Thompson added that the first person to volunteer was musician Kate Nash and the overall response has been "phenomenal". He said: "Teams of volunteers have been out since the early hours and we are already getting responses back saying that areas are clear."

The creation of the #riotcleanup hashtag, along with others including#riotwombles, # liverpoolcleanup and #solidarity, was followed by the launch of the Twitter account @Riotcleanup. Instigated by Sam Duckworth, the founder of the Facebook group Get Cape, it now has 28,378 followers.

Over on Facebook, a page has been created called "Post riot clean-up: let's help London" where, much like on Twitter, people armed with brushes and bin bags, are co-ordinating meet-ups. And there are also pages calling for support for the Police and pages co-ordinating clean-ups in specific areas.

People, including actor and comedian Simon Pegg, have also been referencing the Riot Cleanup website, which was immediately inundated and suspended by its hosting company, 34SP.com. The hosting company has confirmed that it has now found "a more powerful hosting solution" and the website is back online.

But the social networks are also being used to vent anger with two sites launched already to name and shame the looters. Using the vast amount of video footage and photographs that people have captured whilst out on the streets, or simply trying to get home -- members of the public are being asked to identify looters. Metropolitan Police officers are now trawling social networks for photographs of looters or for looters boasting about their hauls, but they are also urging members of the public to send images and footage in. They are posting them online to their Flickr account.

For those who want to get involved in the clean-up, the social networks are buzzing with information and messages of good will; but should the very same networks be used to track down looters and to what end?


Friday, 5 August 2011


now read this:

Week-end History Homework

From the History DVDs:


The Nazis: A Warning from History (2 Discs)

The ideology and murderous excesses of the Nazi Party's 12-year reign of terror is examined in "The Nazis: A Warning from History".

Write 200 words summarising this disc and put the words here...

"The Road to War" considers the build-up to the conflict and explains how the major nations found confrontation inevitable.

Summarise this in 200 words and put the words here


Dunkirk (1 Disc)
War of the Century - When Hitler Fought Stalin (1 disc)
Battle of the Atlantic (1 Disc)

The drama-documentary "Dunkirk" tells the stories of the miraculous evacuation of thousands of servicemen from France.

What did you think about the drama documentary? Put 100 words here.

"War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin" reveals the true horrors of the war on the Eastern Front.

Summarise this disc and put your words here.


"Battle of the Atlantic" details German U-boats' attempts to starve Britain into submission.

Summarise the disc in 150 words and put your words here.


Pick ONE of the following discs and summarise it here...

Horror in the East (1 Disc)
Battlefields (1 Disc)
D-Day (1 Disc)

The 'barbaric' psychology of the Japanese forces is examined in "Horror in the East" and the inimitable Professor Richard Holmes uncovers the conflict's major campaigns in "Battlefields", while dramatic reconstructions and personal testimony of the Allied invasion make up the compelling D-Day.

D-Day to Berlin (1 Disc)
Auschwitz - The Nazis and 'The Final Solution' (2 Discs)

"D-Day to Berlin" documents 'Operation Market Garden', 'The Battle of the Bulge' and the discovery of the concentration camps, a horror analysed in detail by the acclaimed documentary "Auschwitz: The Nazis and 'The Final Solution'".