Friday, December 10, 2010

Reflections on yesterday's riots

All violence is wrong, right?

1) The attack on Prince Charles and Camilla's car.
I understand it's a massive media story and I don't think anyone can remember within living memory an instance of a British royal coming under some form of attack. But excuse me if I spare my outrage for the stories of totally innocent demonstrators being battered by the police (click here for a collection of stories about what the police did yesterday). Why should an egg on Prince Charles' car matter more than an innocent 20 year old bleeding on the brain?

2) The media focus.
Obviously it's daft to expect the same tabloids who for weeks defended the indefensible in the wake of Ian Tomlinson's murder to manage even a sprinkling of objectivity when reporting yesterday's events.
But it's amazing that while the Sun shouts "How dare these thugs insult the country" and the Daily Mail makes it top news that Camilla was prodded in the ribs (though the headline says "HIT", of course), hardly a mention is made that 43 students were taken to hospital (some extremely serious) and that thousands of people were kettled for 6+ hours before any violence started.

3) Kettling.
Which begs the question. What possible good can come from kettling for more than 6 hours thousands of peaceful demonstrators in freezing temperatures - and that's before any violence had kicked off? How can anyone in their right mind think that this is not going to pour petrol on the flames?
Remember that kettling means being penned within a confined square, literally squeezed against hundreds of other people without any access to food, water or toilets and not knowing when the police is going to grant mercy.

4) Violence is wrong.
And that's all violence, both policemen battering students already lying on the pavement and excitable demonstrators vandalising public property and damaging the students' cause. Thanks to them, yesterday's vote in the Commons is now totally overshadowed.


Jackart said...

I am NOT a supporter of the police.

Class war, SWP etc were there, everyone there KNEW it was going to kick off, every demonstration in the last month has kicked off.

If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't be there.

The british police do not have
-water cannon
-Baton rounds
-CS Gas
All of which would have been used in most other democracies. In non democracies and some democracies you can add
-Live rounds
Can you immagine any other country where a bunch of "students" could attack the supreme court or treasury or attack the future head of state without someone getting shot?

This is bleating in defence of people who got what they deserved, and demonstrates the restraint of the police.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I think it's best to ignore the brazen ignorance of Jackart, who lists things that could've been used against the demonstrators as a marker of what they could've got, 'so be grateful'. Vile thinking.

I care not for comparisons to other countries either, they are worthless because there is always some awful place where all kinds of nasty things are allowed to occur, are we supposed to be grateful we don't live there and thus, keep our mouths shut?

Yesterday was a horrible shambles for many reasons, I popped down in the afternoon before it all went Pete Tong but it was clear that something was going to go wrong.

Fundamentally, the police, again, over reacted, again the police used drastic measures seemingly in blind ignorance of how they escalate a situation rather than calm it and then, backed by media that oddly prefers police injuries to civilian ones, keeps portraying the demonstrators as feral.

To be expected.

In our cynical and jaded age, stuffed and sedated as we are with modern convenience and technology, the sight of people actually getting off their arse and protesting and feeling and hurting and wanting to enact change directly as their voice is not being heard clearly makes us uncomfortable; so we draw on cliched and worn-out ideas.

All I know is at the next demo, I will be there all day and I will be joined by a good few friends who found the sight of horses charging children and young people, as well as the continued use of the illegal tactic of kettling, stomach churning.

Jackart said...

DHG. Stop being so po-faced. The other thing I should mention, is that I am indulgent of rioting, because rioting is fabulous fun. The downside is not getting hurt (It happens - sort of like rugby in that regard) but in being arrested from time to time.

I see this kind of riot not as "democracy in action" (that looks like this") but as political theatre combined with contact sport.

Both sides played their parts admirably for those of us spectating, without a dog in the fight, in this glorious and entertaining piece of physical theatre.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm not getting in a pointless to and fro with someone who is clearly an idiot and seems to want to make jokes about people getting hurt.

Your comment has no substance and the facile nature of your attitude is only there to cover up the aforementioned lack of substance.

Jackart said...

You ever been to a riot?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

My last comment was your cue to leave.

In answer to your silly question:

Yes and fight and a knife fight and a fight with a length of scaff and fight for my life.

Now go sell glib elsewhere.

Jackart said...

I'll ignore the "I don't like what you say, go away" fingers in the ears Lalalala nonsense.

Face it. Everyone at the demo yesterday was there for a ruck. It may suit your political ends to pretend otherwise, but the fighting suited everyone. Either to take part or to witness, and that includes the media, and the "non violent protesters". They all secretly loved it.

So. "Police Brutality". When things like treasuries and supreme courts are getting smashed up, and no-one's dead, I think the police can pat themselves on the backs for their restraint. I think Britain's got it about right. So a few people who went to a riot got hit a few times. Who, really, honestly cares?

Seeing laurie penny describe a "field dressing station" for the protesters rather made this old soldier think she should go and see a field hospital in Afghanistan. But it's another example of the left LOVING the hyperbole.

You've been in a fight, you didn't feel exhilirated afterwards? You must be a strange and bloodless individual. I rather pity you.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Are you really still doing this to yourself?

I address your silly ideas in your first comment, you offer nothing back and then continue to bluster. What is it about Claude's blog that it attracts right-wingers whose sole aim is to be contrary?


Your statement that everyone at the demo was there for a ruck is opinion only, unsubstantiated with fact.

You accuse people of secretly loving it, now, even someone as thick as you must grasp that this is a vague, silly and vacuous statement to make, again, your fevered imagination thinks it so but has no basis in fact. As for the fighting suited everyone, there are plenty of parents and their children who disagree with you. Again, you presume much and your sweeping generalisations are clearly wrong.

When the marker for successful police work is "no one died" I think you're setting the bar so low it has little value and again, by doing so you expose your own prejudice.

As for who cares, plenty of people do, not that you have but you have to stop confusing your own blinkered opinion for fact.

Also, drawing in comparisons with medical centres in war zones (something you've just done) is daft and serves no point, aside from to make you look hysterical.

As for pity, you have plenty on your shoulders, you seem to get sexual kicks from violence, no doubt your life is an empty one and thus, you have to puff yourself up with such acts, I think the EDL have a place for you.

Bye now!

Jackart said...

I saw the pictures. If you wanted no part in the violence, just stay away from the "front line" the "kettles" weren't that tight. You lefties make it sound like My lai!

A lot of damage was done to property, but no-one was irredemably hurt this time. That's a mercy for all concerned. I might put it differently, principally to wind up the righeous, but to expect NO violence from the police is pretty naive.

Especially as what's on offer from the Labour party and even the NUS is not so very different from that proposed by the coalition.

No-one's saying what they would do instead.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Back for more?


Well I was there, pictures are selective, some show some police doing unsuitable things, some show some demonstrators doing unsuitable things.

Best if you go next time so you can speak from experience, rather than the Daily Mail.

Also, many protestors who weren't being violent were hurt because police violence is indiscriminate in such a situation.

Fact is, until the horse charge, the demo was fine, now having been charged by horses before it is a provocation.

As for saying the kettles weren't that tight, you base that on opinion not fact, also kettling is not just about the tightness of the enclosure but freedom of movement, food, drink, temperature and sanitary facilities. The kettle on Westminster Bridge was a shocking example of this.

"but no-one was irredemably (sic) hurt this time."

Not true, there is a boy critically ill in hospital with serious head injuries.

You say to expect no violence from the police is naive, again sweeping generalisations serve little purpose in a decent debate. Use of force has to appropriate, yesterday, again, it was not.

It's clear that you support that kind of violence, which is fine, that paints you in a most delightful way but do stop confusing your own embittered opinion with fact, it's tiresome.

asquith said...

Saw this:

UTTER shite which anyone would condemn. This is, in my view, what happens when the police are politicised. I will slag the coalition off even though I normally defend them. But of course, no one escapes blame, Labour helped create this culture.

Which is NOT to slag off your coppers patrolling the streets, but their political masters, whose orders the rank & file must be cringing at.

As for the policy on fees itself, I probably would have voted for it because higher education has to be paid for, these are not the days in which only 3 people went to university every year & the expansion must be funded one way or the other.

I've often thought that it would be better for the state to fund fewer university places, to focus on the intellectual curiosity of the brightest (not necessarily those with the best A Levels) & stop having a system whereby virtually all middle-class kids go to "uni" regardless of ability or genuine interest. (Far fewer from backgrounds like mine, I was definitely a rarity).

But I know that this is too unpopular & politically incorrect, in these times, to be a starter as an idea.

These 16 & 17 year olds saying they are being deterred from going to university, is that an actual consequence of the policy or of the reporting of it scaring them?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


Police threatening children again.


claude said...

"the expansion must be funded one way or the other."
There is now ample evidence that the new policy will cost the taxpayer way more. This is in short what I'm talking about. The new law does nothing and I mean NOTHING to address the deficit for the next decade at least. It's just a badly thought out policy.

to say that in other countries yesterday's protesters would have faced stoning to death is, frankly, daft. I thought you wanted to export democracy. Not use China or Iran as the bogeyman that would grant you licence to batter civilians. From a Professional Libertarian like you I'd expect better than that.

"I am indulgent of rioting, because rioting is fabulous fun"
And muggings me thinking that we'd evolved a little along the way...

You're not one of the "you're looking at me pint and you're spilled me bird" sort of type are you by any chance?

Whenever I have been involved -or witnessed- a fight, I've just felt extremely depressed afterwards. If you really mean what you said ("feeling exhilirated afterwards"), then i think I really do pity you.

"Everyone at the demo yesterday was there for a ruck."
Yeah. Sure. And your scientific evidence is?
It's just like saying that everyone who's a professed one-way Libertarian is so coz is a GEEZAH who comes from a loaded family? You wouldnt like a sweeping statement like that, would you?

I'm with Daniel on this one. All the way.

claude said...

"just stay away from the "front line" the "kettles" weren't that tight. "

Wrong, Jackart. Again. Like when girls as young as 16 where repeatedly forced to stay in even after they were taken to the police unconscious.

And to think that when the Countryside Alliance got a few heads smashed in by the bizzies, you lot were wailing like pussies!
Objectivity, where art thou?

Jackart said...

I'm very pleased there was no-one seriously hurt. But to pretend that the police were "brutal" and kettling is illegal is ridiculous. And I was there when the CA got attacked by the police. I don't recall me whining like a bizzie. Sure EVERYONE tries to play the victim for political ends. Yeah Yeah isn't it terrible some people got hit. Boo Hoo.

After days of rioting, everyone there KNEW 1) it would kick off and 2) they would be kettled. Anyone who can't take a joke shouldn't have been there.

THat said I am a little disturbed by the 2-minute hate from the right against charlie Gilmour this morning. The flip side of my attitude is indulgence of youthful high jinks, which may include fighting the pigs or swinging from inappropriate flags. Being a poncy left-wing twat is part of Uni life.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

But someone was seriously hurt, you seem to be ignoring that.

You are also ignoring that evidence that police violence was brutal from eyewitness sources nd that horses charging children is acceptable.

You are also ignoring the moot status of kettling as a large proportion of it is detaining people with no right to do so and also, placing restrictions of leaving the kettle that are illegal.

Your opinion that it is a matter of not being able to take a joke it weird at best and at worst, deluded. There was no joke, such forced flippancy in the face of violence shows a forced disconnect between fact and reality.

Your jaundiced and narrow-minded generalisations reflect a person trapped in an ancient mind-set.


thepatriot said...

Cold, Daniel Mothman, and fuqwith >>>
Alright Wackers: where are your tears for the policeman was pulled off his horse by protestors? He was rushed to A&Es you know. Where are your wet cries of animal rights when horses became the target of those middle class anarchist thugs chuckin alley apples and avin a barney.

Oh and also,now the mask has slipped. Yews can no longer pretend those demonstraters aren't a bunch of College pudden and rich kids. That Gilmore lad will never do an hours graft in his life yet there he was. Pathetic.
Yews still hold onto the delusion that there are masses of working people following that warped socialist ideal of yours. Schtum!

Stan Moss said...

Kettling is the unlawful detention and deprivation of liberty of a person. What happened the other day was not 'proportionate' and certainly 'longer than is reasonably necessary', therefore in violation of Article 5 paragraph 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

And if it's not strictly illegal, it should be made so a.s.a.p.
As a tactic, it certainly doesn't work. As others rightly said before this comments, all reports show the only violence kicked off after the police forcefully detained the protesters.
I mean if what we all saw on Thursday night was a 'success' in policing term than I dread to think what a 'failure' would be.

It's ridiculous how the tabloid dunderheads (or probably scumbags like thepatriot or shall I call you 'theidiot', given your brand-new love for playing with names) moan at the aftermath of the square: graffiti on monuments, litter and mess. They don't tell you, do they, that that's where 3,000 people had been forced to stay chock-full for hours and hours on end.
Even a low IQ would be able to register that it wouldn't look pretty after.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


You're the live-in joke round here, kept as an amusement and a perspective on idiotic thinking, to remind us all, even Jackart, what we could become.

First up, the policeman in question fell off his horse and was not pushed, the horse then bolted and trampled him, you can go and see the video yourself, no protestor was near him.

Looks like someone doesn't know their facts.

No surprise there.

Also, you seem to be trying to place varying levels of value in relation to to hurt inflicted, for example, horses to you have more value than humans, which is weird. No idea why. Your argument seems to be that the pain of police or horses is worth more than civilians.

You then use one of the demonstrators as a means to hoist all of them up as upper class, which even someone as thick as you must see is an epic fail. Gilmour's son is not representative and he has a full right to protest if he sees fit.

You also keep making up things we've said, no surprise there, you always do it because you argue with yourself mainly as in any real face to face debate, you'd be quickly proven wrong and outwitted.

And glad to see Aston Villa are still doing shite.

Much love!

Jackart said...

"Rioting is fun" Quote from someone who was there.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Do I really need to provide a whole raft of quotes from people who had a horrid fucking time?

You div.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Also, the quote is: "Riots happen because they are exciting, because they are fun" which is clearly not true, riots happen for numerous reasons, this not being a main driving force for them, other factors and conditions need to be in place.

Also, it wasn't a riot but a demonstration.