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Saturday, September 3, 2011


Over four days in August 2011 the UK’s febrile multicultural and indigenous underclass rioted on a scale and with a ferocity that had never been seen before. Beginning in the borough of Tottenham on a Saturday, and culminating with widespread looting, arson, and general criminality across much of London on the following Monday, the underclass vanquished the police and evoked fear and chaos among the rest of the population. On that night Democracy was found wanting and vulnerable, while the chattering classes beloved liberalism collapsed as its champions temporarily ditched their faith in political correctness, cried out for the police and faced off hooded thugs whose rioting threatened to devalue their gentrified mansions, invaded their shops and restaurants and shoved a knife deep into their human rights. This wasn’t protest, it is was brutalism without rules; Capitalism at its most base and basic:  ‘I want what you have and I’m taking it now’. Simples...
The BBC, SKY and many in the wider media initially tried to give the rioters a veneer of respectability by calling them protesters and speculating that the riots were directly linked to cuts in social services, student grants, unemployment and the shooting dead of a young black man armed with a gun in Tottenham. This was all nonsense of course and as the violence and destruction escalated and with it footage of people being robbed or attacked in the street, of peoples homes and businesses burnt down even the most politically correct commentators reluctantly started to use the words ‘rioters’ and ‘looters’.
However there was also a palpable sense of relief among those same commentators when among the first rioters in Tottenham, a few white faces were spotted. Thank goodness! This wasn’t a ‘race riot’ in the sense that it was all black rioters, it’s a mixed, multiracial riot, so that’s alright. Politicians, police leaders, community groups, the chatterijng classes and Polly Toynbe et al, rejoiced. The riots in the 1980s “now they were ‘race’ riots”, but now thanks to our wonderful inclusive society the children of the white underclass are throwing petrol bombs and looting too. How proudly must the likes of David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Shirley Williams, Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone and co looked on as their theoretical offspring brought their ‘cry of rage’ to England’s milticultural never never land. 
And because most of the rioters had their faces covered and surprisingly weren’t taking part in round table discussions on Newsnight, commentators and politicians could attribute any views they liked to them. In fact a media intent on finding the ‘right’ answers for the riots has been only too happy to attribute a conventional malaise to the riots rather than hint at a darker and more nihilistic cause. So not only, as the passing of days lessened the shock of the riots, were the chattering classes warming to the rioters and their attacks on the ‘coalition’s cuts’ or whatever appropriate cause they wished to attribute, but, safe again for now, they could also begin the process of defending and finding causes for the riots that would put them back nicely into the ills that the UK’s massive welfare depended and bloated public sector are set up to deal with. The Coalition of course, keen to be seen as tough, but caring, concurs and we are all happy again.
Of course some commentators have broken the mould and spoken outside of the box, most noticeably, historian David Starkey who dared not only to evoke the words and memory of Enoch Powell but cited black gangster culture as another possible cause of the riots. This was Heresy! Powell’s now infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech, made 43 years ago in 1968, predicted a time in England when, if immigration was allowed to continue unchecked, that, “like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’. and that:

“There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last fifteen years or so, many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endevour is bent in that direction. But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one to boot.

....Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial religious differences, with a view to the exercise of action and domination, first over fellow immigrants and then over the rest of the population.”
Powell’s speech, as with Starkey’s now, challenged the Establishment’s orthodox view that immigration and a multicultural society are desirable and such views when uttered by mainstream figures are not only rubbished and censured but where possible the figure that  spoke them is either destroyed, or humbled to the extend that he or she will recant their views and, like a sinner, beg forgiveness. Thereafter that person will do their best to 
reingratiate themselves with the mainstream, though like the sinner, forever tainted by their earlier utterances.
Starkey to his credit neither recanted or apologized and as such is to be ostracized by his peers and pushed to the margins of respectable society. The day after his appearance on Newsnight the Establishment reacted with fury to his words, with the Labour party leader Ed Miliband calling them “disgusting and outrageous” and that they were “racist comments”, and that “there should be condemnation from every politician and every politcial party”, the Guardian’s ghastly Dreda Say Mitchell felt that Starkey had “complete ignorance about the social dynamics of urban life in Britain” and that to understand the riots and their “causes”, we need “informed and articulate comment (even in Jamaican slang) from people who’ve lived life on the streets”. 
Even more hysterical was the reaction of 100 fellow ‘historians’ who felt that Starkey should never have been asked on to Newsnight given that he was a celebrity historian more suited to commenting on Elizabethans. Presumably there are now at least 100 historians with suitably diversity friendly views waiting in the wings should there be more riots to comment on. These historians also felt that Starkey’s views had “disgraced the academic world” and want the media to stop putting the word ‘historian’ next to his name.
This is our new Democracy at work, now any political party, politician, academic, celebrity or individual who dares to question, challenge or criticise the wisdom of a multicultural society is shunned at best, at worst they are ostracized and cast-out into the wilderness. There is no “frank discussion” or “informed and articulate comment”, there is only diversity hyberbole and multicultural zealotry where any criticism of our racially engineered utopia is crushed. In our new Democracies there is no protesting, no commenting, no discussion, no debating, no voting or any form of dissent allowed when it comes to multicuturalism and race. The State is right and everyone else is wrong.
The riots may have given pause to the multicultural zealots and a few of the chattering classes in Clapham and Camden may have doubted their beliefs momentarily. But a few soothing words from the BBC and the sight of hundreds of their fellow Cabernet Sauvignon drinking chums waving brooms around as they ‘bonded together’ to clean up the mess have reassured them. We love our culturally diverse, multicultural city and we’re going to understand why these riots happened and make sure that they don’t happened again. Hurrah! Which is great of course because if after our ‘understanding’ of the ‘causes’ the riots do happen again, and they will, then they be more violent and more destructive than anything so far and the people that bond together in future won’t need brooms to clean up their city, they’ll need guns. 
© Nigel Wingrove 2011