Friday, 12 August 2011

Extreme Shopping: Politicians Speak Out

After England's urban riots, politicians have spoken out against the feral youths who've ignored common decency as well as breaking the law.

These vocal people include
Cabinet minister Francis Maude, who's made tens of thousands of pounds by habitually breaching the spirit surrounding MPs’ allowance claims. Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has roundly condemned the looters yet under his allowances claimed £5,900 for eight laptops, their purpose never explained. Veteran left-winger Gerald Kaufman, who on Wednesday asked the Prime Minister to consider how the rioters can be “reclaimed” by society, previously submitted three months’ expenses totalling £14,301.60. This included £8,865 for a Bang & Olufsen television.

Salford MP Hazel Blears has been particularly strident in calling for draconian action. But it's not straightforward to distinguish between the Red Dwarf’s previous record - expense cheating and tax avoidance - and the robberies carried out by rioters.
If some sections of youth seem oblivious to decency and morality so do the venal rich and powerful, despite their comparative advantages in life.

It's beyond me to make any suggestions as to what might be done about the riots. I don't have personal experience of the problems which allegedly caused them, nor am I a Daily Mail reader. But a couple of observations:

During Clapham's riots the only shop untouched was Waterstones.

In the news clips of youths arriving at court, none seemed to be accompanied by parents.

Yesterday a thirteen-year-old was released from custody, despite previous form considered too young to face the charges brought against him. What message does this send to the boy, and to all his little friends?

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