London from 4,000 miles away...
Londoners are rallying en masse to clean up their city - but it's a terrible shame we let it get to this state at all.
I’m currently holed up in an office block in downtown Orlando. No, I wasn’t so scared of the rioters that I fled four thousand miles across the Atlantic – believe it or not I’m here on business.
Nevertheless the proximity, or lack thereof, to London means I have somewhat of a unique perspective on the unfolding situation. It may be less informed, for a start, as I scramble to keep up with the news. Funnily enough US broadcasters aren’t dealing with the issue that much – I think there are big fish to fry here too.
But who watches television nowadays anyway? We’re all following Twitter and online news for updates and this allows us to get an idea of the situation on the ground and reactions from our peers.
Firstly – I’m in shock. Everyone here is. People are asking me, “Is your city alright? Are your family ok?” It seems to me that while the events unfolding are deplorable and the streets are indeed dangerous, London isn’t quite in as much peril as people here are assuming. After all, these rioters are just kids, right?
Another thing that I keep hearing is, “If your police had guns, this wouldn’t happen!” Well – that’s mostly nonsense.
If our police had guns you can be sure that even removing them from a holster would trigger countless Independent Police Complaints Commission investigations. Officers would be charged with ‘intimidation’ and ‘threatening behaviour’ as they struggled to keep the peace.
In parallel with the stark moral poverty that courses through the arterioles of British society (that’s right parents, spank your children) – we have for the past few decades, tended to under-react rather than over-react when it comes to defending our country internally.
Human rights concerns trump the safety of the public and legal battles discourage government from acting. I pay my taxes – I expect defence. I expect lawfulness enforced by our police. They are our police. Not some fascistic extension of a rampant police state. This isn't 1984. This isn't Equilibrium. No, it's not V for Vendetta, either.
No doubt there are people reading this thinking, “What a crazy right-wing ideologue! I bet he wants a police state!” Absolutely not.
I want a country where the institution we endow with the ability and (ostensibly) the resources to defend us, well – use them.
I certainly want a country where the police are accountable for their actions, but not one where they are afraid to act – not one where the Prime Minister must call Cobra meetings and recall Parliament and assemble all manner of other bodies together before the police can use something as simple as water to deter rioters. This is simply not effective.
We’ve had huge riots over the past year, egged on by the far left and their centrist fellow travelers. We’ve had strikes and demonstrations, with pseudo-journalists and former Communist politicians stirring up the vitriol for political gain. It’s time the British public said "enough."
If we are to stop bringing great embarrassment upon ourselves, then people must be held to account for their actions. Incitement to violence, hyperbole that causes distress to property and communities as it has done for the last few days must be called out and shamed.
I’m looking at Ken Livingstone, I’m looking at the unions, I’m looking at Laurie Penny and I’m looking at the self-righteous newspapers who encourage the abdication of personal responsibility which means the unwitting youth of Britain fail to think their actions through.
Human beings are impressionable. Let’s stop using their own fears against them – and against ourselves.
Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor of The Commentator and tweets at @RaheemJKassam
We are wholly dependent on the kindness of our readers for our continued work. We thank you in advance for any support you can offer.