This England

Observations on life in England in the new millennium from a grizzled middle-aged leftie. Not recommended for 'patriots'…

Reasons to leave England, part 4

Posted by hamstair_toilichte on December 21, 2011

Part 4 in an occasional series featuring news stories that just make me want to pack my bags and escape across the Border to a civilised country.

Cameron should forget about compassion – what people clearly want is the nasty party back

Alexander Chancellor, The Guardian, 8/12/11

David Cameron once preached “compassionate conservatism” to make his party seem nicer, but that’s not what people want at all. What they actually want is “the nasty party”; and the nastier, the better. The latest report on British Social Attitudes, published annually by the National Centre for Social Research, reveals a sharp lurch to the right in public opinion. Most Britons, it finds, believe that the unemployed are deterred by excessive state benefits from looking for jobs, child poverty is the fault of parental indolence, and global warming is a myth. The amount of people willing to pay higher taxes to spend on health and education has fallen in nine years from 63% to 31%. And while people agree that Britain needs more housing, 45% don’t want any new houses built near them (and the percentage is higher – for example, 58% in outer London – in areas where the housing shortage is greatest).

The full, and highly detailed, report is available to download from the NCSR website, and makes depressing reading for liberals and socialists, or indeed anyone who values compassion and solidarity over hatred and self-interest.

Bubble trouble at South Coast derby

Football Supporters Federation, 15/12/11

Fans of Portsmouth and Southampton are unhappy with Hampshire Police thanks to their decision to force a so-called “bubble match” onto supporters this Sunday. Bubble matches place severe restrictions on fans’ freedom of movement and supporters of both sides say the move is unnecessary. [...] Bubble matches are games where ALL away fans must travel on designated transport – usually club coaches – from specific pick-up points. No independent travel is allowed and fans are usually given match tickets en route to the game, which guarantees compliance. It is a tactic that police forces around the UK have used – fans from Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, and Wolves have all been on the receiving end in recent years.

Now police can shoot rioters

Daily Express, 21/12/11

POLICE should be prepared to shoot arsonists during riots to save innocent lives, one of the UK’s senior officers has said. An official review of police tactics during the shocking summer disturbances has found that officers should be ready to use “extraordinary measures” if yobs endanger lives by attacking homes and businesses.

The Super Soaraway Scum also led on this ‘story’:

COPS could shoot rioters who start fires that threaten life, a watchdog said yesterday. Water cannon and rubber bullets could also be used to stop a repeat of the summer disturbances. Live rounds could be used by gun cops against arsonists who torch businesses and homes with people inside, reported HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. It stated: “In extreme circumstances, where life is threatened, (police) commanders must also be able to use extraordinary measures.”

Shooting unarmed people is ‘oppression’ when it happens in Egypt or Syria, but just an ‘extraordinary measure’ to safeguard ‘life and property’ when it happens in the UK. Same old, same old – when under threat on the streets, all States are the same. You might say that the rioters in the UK were just ‘criminals’ and ‘yobs’ with no political aim, whereas ‘protesters’ in Egypt are revolutionaries aiming at removing dictatorship, and many (especially in the chattering classes) said precisely that during the 3 nights of rioting across England. Perhaps we now have two types of rioters, as we now (again) have two types of poor these days: deserving and undeserving.

London Olympics security to be boosted by 13,500 troops

The Guardian, 15/12/11

Up to 13,500 military personnel will be on duty in London and across the country during the Olympic Games next summer, the government has revealed, including 7,500 to boost the number of security staff inside Olympic venues. The number is greater than the 9,500 deployed in Afghanistan, although the defence secretary, Phillip Hammond, insisted the large call on the armed forces would not affect operational capabilities elsewhere. Hammond also revealed that the Royal Navy’s largest ship, 22,500-tonne helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, would be based in Greenwich for the duration of the Games, while assault vessel HMS Bulwark would be moored in Weymouth, where the sailing events will take place. An “appropriate and scaleable” air security plan includes Typhoon aircraft at RAF Northolt, helicopters operating from HMS Ocean and “appropriate” surface to air missile systems.

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