Thursday, August 11, 2011

Riot statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London

The tragedy of the events of recent days is that those who will pay the heaviest price are those who most need stability and encouragement in local communities – people who run small local businesses, people who need efficient emergency services, people, old or young, with limited mobility. In no imaginable sense does the violence we have seen help anyone; those who have been involved have achieved nothing except to intensify the cycle of deprivation and vulnerability.

That being said, we now have a major question to address, which is how to combat the deep alienation we have seen, the alienation and cynicism that leads to reckless destruction. The Government has insisted on the priority of creating stronger, better‑resourced local communities. This priority is now a matter of extreme urgency. We need to see initiatives that will address anxieties and provide some hope of long‑term stability in community services, especially for the young. Meanwhile the Church will maintain its commitment to all communities at risk, and is ready to offer its help and solidarity in every possible way.

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from visiting Enfield and Tottenham to see something of the wreckage left behind by the riots and to meet policemen and women who are in the front line of protecting our communities.

It is obviously vital not to stigmatise a whole generation. There are huge numbers of hopeful and high achieving young people in London but we do have a problem with a minority. Behind the opportunists who joined in the disturbances there is the reality of a criminal gang culture.

One of the difficulties for the police has been dealing with street violence, while under the cover of the disturbances and the arson, which could so easily have cost lives, highly mobile groups of looters have been on the rampage.

What has occurred should be condemned unequivocally and as the first of those arrested appear before magistrates and as stolen property is already being recovered, it is right to pay tribute to the bravery of the police who have regained control of our streets.

I am also immensely proud of the response of the church. In Edmonton and Stepney under the leadership of Bishop Peter and Bishop Adrian [who has had a challenging start to his ministry in the Area], the church has played a large part in reclaiming the streets for the overwhelming majority of responsible citizens by prayer vigils and public demonstrations of solidarity with other Christians and community groups.

At the same time our network of parish churches – real community hubs – has once again proved its worth. I visited St Mary’s Lansdowne Road which has been open fifteen hours a day with volunteers from the parish helping local residents who have lost their homes and serving refreshments to the police and council workers who are clearing up the mess in Tottenham High Street.

Opposite St Mary’s there is a block of flats reduced to rubble after being torched. One of the most appalling aspects of what has happened is the utter disregard for life and livelihoods shown by a minority of those who went on the rampage. They seem to lack the restraint and the moral compass which comes from clear teaching about right and wrong communicated through nourishing relationships. The background to the riots is family breakdown and the absence of strong and positive role models.

This once again underlines the vital importance of the work that the church has been doing through its schools where we share the responsibility for educating 50,000 young Londoners a day. In recent years there has also been an increase in youth provision in a number of our parishes including especially testing work with hard-to-reach youngsters. I have mentioned the work of the Christian charity XLP in many parts of London in this connection but I was especially glad on my visit to meet Charlie who operates from St Ann’s Tottenham. He is an ordinand and an ex–Marine whose gym classes on various housing estates are one of the ways in which he is offering a strong and positive role model through which Jesus Christ is touching the lives of alienated young people. The police spontaneously expressed their admiration of what he and other church based workers were doing.

Clearly we need to get the situation under control but after the guilty have been sentenced there is a long road ahead in creating hope for people subject to financial and emotional poverty and educational failure.

I know that many of you have been praying with renewed fervour for peace on our streets and “that we may honor one another and seek the common good”. Prayer is always at the heart of any Christian response to challenging situations. The Facebook page Pray4London created by two of our young clergy, Gavin Cooper and Richard Bastable, already has over 3,200 followers committed to pray and there are a number of prayer vigils which have taken place or which are happening over the coming days.

In addition to many special services, this Sunday 14 August at 6pm, the Eucharist will be celebrated at St Paul’s Cathedral with a special intention for peace and justice in London and the other towns and cities affected.

In addition to the churches and parishes in the eye of the storm there have been many encouraging examples across the Diocese of churches wanting to support them. Thanks to the generosity of a City donor we have been able to make £15,000 immediately available to Area Bishops to enable frontline parishes to respond to immediate needs without having to worry about finance.

A number of churchwardens and individual parishioners have been in touch wanting to give and have suggested retiring collections this Sunday. Any who wish to respond in this or other ways are asked to claim Gift Aid locally and send a cheque payable to ‘London Diocesan Fund’ for the gross amount to Diocesan House marked ‘Emergency4London’. This money will be used for immediate contingencies as well as to help parishes in reaching out to young people, and making the love of Christ visible especially to those caught up in gang culture. We are a people of hope and we want our children and young people to grow up with a sense of hope for themselves and for our world.

I have been deeply impressed by the vibrancy and generosity of some of our ‘poorest’ parishes and not least those in Edmonton and Stepney I have visited recently. By standing together as a Diocese and by mutual support and encouragement we can have a presence in every street in our eighteen boroughs and at every level in the life of London. One of the lessons of recent events for example has been the importance of the developing network of police chaplaincies under the leadership of the newly appointed Chaplain to the Met. Jonathan Osborne. We can all have a share in this work by prayer and generosity through the Common Fund.

I am so grateful for the many clergy and believers who have helped those in pain, bewilderment and loss over the past few days. It is our calling to be salt and light in London and I am proud of our church for responding to mostly mindless anarchy by lighting candles rather than torching buildings and by offering loving, practical help in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

73 Comments:

Anonymous TJ said...

Where are all the other denominational leaders' statements in response to what has happened? We expected Dave and Boris to come home and lead...

11 August 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Not a word about the fact the policies being practised in parlaiment where designed to do this to England.

But clergy don't like to get political, unless they are supporting the leftists.

11 August 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger HampsteadOwl said...

O goodie, more compare and contrast. I trust we'll have a tweet soon to look at from the grand imam, blaming the Jews.

But it's interesting isn't it that the AoC soon enough gets round to leathering the Government with some subtle digs about spending cuts while the Bishop of London's longer, and much more hopeful, message, is focused on the practical things the Church is doing to help. For a supposedly wise and thoughtful man, Rowan Williams seems remarkably unable to get beyond a banal call for government "initiatives", by which he means spending money.

11 August 2011 at 15:32  
Blogger Deadman said...

“In no imaginable sense does the violence we have seen help anyone”!

I suspect that, in at least one case, the Archbishop knows not the meaning of the word he uses.

11 August 2011 at 15:36  
Blogger Diezba said...

Your Grace:

I'm underwhelmed by the statements of your successor. The Lord Bishop of London is a little bit closer to having the right tone, pointing out that the violence is a result of, as the PM has said, "sheer criminality."

As far as religious leaders' statements go, however, I was impressed with both the promptness and the content of the statement by His Excellency, the Archbishop of Westminster.

Of course, being an American, perhaps I'm missing some sort of subtle English subtext that is too sophisticated for my poor colonial ears.

11 August 2011 at 15:41  
Blogger huffward said...

I think the difference between the two is the AoC talks in terms of government funding and initiatives, while the BoL talks about individuals, parishes, and the community as whole.
Surely the BoL is right, he seems to be fully aware of the problems and identifies with the communities. On the other hand the AoC seems to be sitting back and saying, "the government should do something". What a sad and deplorable stance for a leading churchman to adopt!

11 August 2011 at 15:44  
Blogger Bob Gibson said...

More waffle from Archbishop - such a disappointing leader for someone with so much natural academic ability - but alas no ability at all to lead or manage anything.

Bishop of London much more on the mark - we really need a change at the very top.

11 August 2011 at 16:52  
Anonymous tony b said...

I strongly suspect this may have been written ' On behalf' of the ABC.

11 August 2011 at 17:31  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

The above critics miss the point. Huffward comes closest before attacking ++Rowan Williams.
There would be little point both saying the same thing. The Archbishop of Canterbury looks at the wider perspective while the Bishop of London looks to his own patch describing where the church should be. Nothing wrong with that.

The sad part is that the Church of England has played its part in social upheaval by turning the church into a politically correct institution with ever declining numbers. The Commandments "Thou shalt not steal" and "Love thy neighbour" now have little meaning for many people in this country.

11 August 2011 at 17:42  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I dont expect the church to lose hope , but it can hardly claim surprise when our whole economy and values have been changed and in some ways become unsustainable by mass immigration .
of course one reads the statements and senses somthing of a sentence including the words , door , horse ,after,shutting and bolted.

Whilst not out of touch of the doctorine of the faith ,I appreciate saying i told you so incurres a fall from grace penalty.

The talk of returning morality in parliament is interesting , as I wonder if the church is prepared for rebuilding ,from an intellectual position , such a thing will not be just a matter of default or filling pews , there are whole aspects of the way we live that aid and abet the rot .
I might add that the archbisop should consider which country under sharia law , he believes had the same quality of culture that pre 1960 Uk had .

11 August 2011 at 17:54  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Dr Williams calls for a government approach that focuses on:
"... creating stronger, better‑resourced local communities (a) priority ... now a matter of extreme urgency (and) initiatives that will address anxieties and provide some hope of long‑term stability in community services, especially for the young.""

Now that's a sharp analysis of the ahead from Canterbury. Why call on the government? Ask for the Big Society to come into effect and for funds to be directed to community groups.

The Bishop of London hits the mark. Personally, I am inclined to trust local church groups, church schools and church outreach projects far more than local authority services with thier 'equal opportunity' and 'politically correct' recruitment.

11 August 2011 at 18:09  
Blogger HampsteadOwl said...

@AncientBriton

The Archbishop of Canterbury does not "look at the wider perspective" - that is the point that you are missing. After routine set of secular platitudes, he narrows in on just one point, which is that the answer is for the Government to spend more money. There is no sense of faith or spirituality or, heaven forbid, God, in his comments. He is expressing a political perspective, no more or less.

The Bishop of London also mentions prayer. Would that have been too much to ask of the clerical head of the Church of England? Or did his PR people cross it out on the grounds of it being too samey?

11 August 2011 at 18:17  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

That being said, we now have a major question to address, which is how to combat the deep alienation we have seen, the alienation and cynicism that leads to reckless destruction.?

No such question needs to be addressed. Riots are not an anguished cry of distress from an oppressed population. This is riot for fun and profit. People loot and pillage because the want and do not have and so feel entitled to use violence to take what they want by force. The mob feels secure in its actions by virtue of its size. It provides a level of anonymity that makes any individual looter feel secure from arrest and prosecution.

Instead of treating the mob as victims, treat them as criminals. One bullet through the skull of a looter would do more to quell riots than 1000 community centers. A "Shoot to kill" order removes from the looter the security he feels as he steals and burns and kills. It's hard to catch and prosecute a looter. But it's easy to see and shoot him as he walks out of a store with a TV set or sets a building on fire. A man who is splattered with the particulate brain matter of what was once his friend will sober up right quick and go home. Being shot is neither profitable nor fun.

The problem is not found in externals. The problem is found in the poor character formation of the looters. Externals are never an excuse to riot and pillage and kill. If such people will not restrain their own behavior voluntarily, then it must be restrained by compulsion. If that compulsion must needs be a bullet, then so be it.

carl

11 August 2011 at 18:45  
Anonymous Toby the Jug said...

HampsteadOwl

Perhaps mentioning the Christian God isn't considered politically correct.

11 August 2011 at 18:53  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

HampsteadOwl I think you should re-read what Archbishop Rowan said. There are only two paragraphs neither of which makes the point you suggest. That is something you appear to have read into it.

11 August 2011 at 18:56  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I agree the BoL's realistic hands on approach it is what is required. The Church will have to become the father figure for these wayward feral children. There is talk of taking away the benefits of those who rioted well I think that they ought to have to attend Church in order to receive it. The local clergymen can monitor their attendance on computer input via a clients bar coded UB40 card and results can be instantly updated on the JSAPS system if a jobseeker or ISCS or whatever they call the system for lone parents nowadays.

The West Indians who came here just after the war were Church going God fearing people with similar values whom we had educated/influenced during the Empire days. Whereas the third and fourth generation of offspring and newer waves of immigrants have no values or respect other than for material possessions. We are at fault to a degree as we have abolished physical punishments in schools and even taken away a parents right to smack little Johnny incase it traumatises him. Well what utter rot. How many children have been traumatised for life solely through having the cane or the dap at school or at home? I would think there would always be other circumstances involved in causing any trauma. This is the woolly liberal lefty Nancy boy thinking.

The Officer Inspector General 10th Aug 11 @ 18:41 goes some way to an explanation.

“The Inspector General has done some research into the origin of Black Gang Culture...

The prime allegiance of the African child is not his immediate family, it's the Tribe. The Tribe of course is his extended family. Everything is communal, for example child care. When the African has his own children, he will not be involved in childcare. He's a warrior with spear and knife. It would unbecoming of him, so he lives away from the childs' mother(s). Everything really is shared, so when a case of AIDS enters the tribe - everybody gets it.

When you take the African out of Africa, he brings with him his inherant instincts. He will join a gang, it's expected of him to belong to a 'tribe'. If he doesn't, he's victimised. The gang will do his thinking for him. Useful when you've only have an IQ of around 90 to get by. The problem is, if you let others do your thinking, you are never going to develope a higher IQ !

He will be in the gang until his early to mid 20s. then he's out - the young bloods have moved up and taken over. However, he's still around. He becomes a 'Black Youth Worker' (at public expense). When he's on TV, he's introduced as a 'former gang member' as if he is a reformed character doing society a favour. The ugly truth is that he NEEDS gang contact. It's all he knows and it's all he has...

There you have it...
10 August 2011 18:51”

Yes, the more bling and expensive possessions they have the more women they can impress and have. Why can't they adopt the Church as their gang to be influenced by instead?

11 August 2011 at 19:12  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

carl jacobs said ...
"Instead of treating the mob as victims, treat them as criminals. One bullet through the skull of a looter would do more to quell riots than 1000 community centers. A "Shoot to kill" order removes from the looter the security he feels as he steals and burns and kills."

Your mixing your arguments. Yes treat them as criminals. But shoot them through the skull!

Does such brutality and lack of restraint work in the USA? Remind us what your crime statistics are.

I think we can do without this sort of advice. The last thing we want is running gun battles on the streets of England.

11 August 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

after the guilty have been sentenced

Many of the guilty, of both governing parties, whose social and immigration policies have left us with a divided and dispirited land are no longer with us. We can but hope they are gently roasting in Hell. As for their living counterparts, may their day of justice dawn swiftly.

11 August 2011 at 19:29  
Anonymous uk Fred said...

A Canadian Christian woman makes the point that the biggest problem is poverty of relationships at http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/?s=poverty+relationship

Perhaps Rowan Williams will consider what his sect is doing to prevent and cure such relationship poverty

11 August 2011 at 19:32  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The Bishop of London's visits and letter are far more stirring than the Mayor's or the Prime Minister's, and will be encouraging those in the Parishes, and working with the suffragans of Edmonton and Stepney.

It would have been good to hear that the Archbishop and Bishop had been in communication, and for Abp to send a message of encouragement to the diocese through its Bishop.

(Needless to mention, I hope: I concur here with Mr Dodo the Dude 19:28. But Dude has become associated with Dude Ranch, and perhaps Mr carl jacobs was misled about implied attitude.)

11 August 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger HampsteadOwl said...

@AncientBriton

I am no fan of comment rallies, so rest assured that this is my last forehand wallop, and if you want to reply again, and have the last word, so be it.

Whether or not you agree with my interpretation of "initiatives" as code for government spending, you cannot make a claim for there being any substance to Dr Williams' statement. The first paragraph condemns the violence - fine, but so what - and the second does nothing except throw the onus onto the Government to sort the problem out. Coming from a second-rate Labour backbencher this might be expected, but from our leading churchman?

Where is there any recognition of, or even reference to, right or wrong, or of morality or of the role of the family, which I always understood to be important to Christian teaching? Where is the sense that faith or belief has anything to offer in these troubled times? If you take away the last sentence, where he offers the Church's support, there is nothing in this statement that would identify it as coming from a religous leader at all.

Your defence of the Archbishop is noble in its way and, believe it or not, I would like to think well of the man myself. It is just such an empty statement and profoundly disappointing. We might expect from a man of assumed Christian conviction and reported immense intellect rather more.

11 August 2011 at 20:23  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Carl Jacobs for Home Secretary?

11 August 2011 at 20:59  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

@Dodo, when the law abiding subjects of Her Majesty's Realm are threatened by wanton acts of criminal activity, mindless violence, murder, mob rule, arson, theft, loss of property and general mischief, we must for the time being put aside any liberal instincts to allow the police to restore order to our streets. If that had meant issuing the police with sub-machine guns,water cannons, swords, pistols etc, then so be it.

(My wife disagrees, so I suggested as a compromise -'shoot to wound', but then my mother suggested that would create an intolerable burden on the NHS, but there you go).

One of the functions of the state is to protect us from what Thomas Hobbes called 'the state of nature' (or in modern parlence what we have seen in our cities over the past couple of days), so the moment the police (the physical authority of the state) loose control, then we are in danger territory, for if they did/do not restore order then we shall see the rise of vigilanties and the move towards the rule of the jungle, every man for himself and not the rule of law.

So the path ahead is quite clear in my mind;we must qwell this violence, deal with the criminals according to law and all will be well.

Perhaps bringing back the village stocks as punishment might provide enough reason for these rats not to do this again ?

11 August 2011 at 21:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "A man who is splattered with the particulate brain matter of what was once his friend will sober up right quick and go home. Being shot is neither profitable nor fun."

Well, our riots have stopped ... at least for the time being anyway. The courts appear to be taking a very hard line so far pour encourager les autres I imagine.

In fact, if a student with no criminal record who stole some water worth £3.50 from a lidl store on his way home, pleaded guilty, and showed remorse gets a 6 month prison sentence then a violent rioter who attacked the police and is on remand now ought to be very worried.

Compare this with (say) the LA riots when the national guard, the army and the marines were on the streets, a curfew was imposed, dozens killed, thousands injured, and about $1billion damage was caused.

11 August 2011 at 21:41  
Blogger huffward said...

Hampstead Owl, I completely agree.

11 August 2011 at 21:45  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Paul Twigg said ...

" ... put aside any liberal instincts to allow the police to restore order to our streets. If that had meant issuing the police with sub-machine guns,water cannons, swords, pistols etc, then so be it."

"If" a littel word with so much meaning. My mother, God rest her, used to say, "If "ifs" and "ands" were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers."

"If" the mobs were running around shooting "and" maining people or killing others, I might agree. Apart from the appalling incident in Birmingham, this was not the case.

Reasonable and sufficient force in the circumstances was seen in London last night. Adequate numbers of (unarmed) Police under clear instructions to actively intervene rather than sit back and watch. If that had not worked then 'rubber bullets' would have been considered. Even in Northern Ireland the use of deadly force was never considered against civilians, only the armed paramilitary.

It's not being Liberal to advocate proportionality - it's being moral. Would you seriously want to risk shooting an 11 year old in the head as he emerged from Curry's with an X-Box under his arm?

I think you should listen to your wife!

11 August 2011 at 21:45  
Blogger Manfarang said...

If you have a part time PM what do you expect?
If you have a Home Secretary who is out of touch what do you expect?
If you have a two party system where neither political party can solve the UK's economic problems what do you expect?

11 August 2011 at 21:55  
Blogger huffward said...

I can't see how submitting three begged questions contributes to anything.

11 August 2011 at 21:59  
Blogger huffward said...

Dodo, absolutely. Surely maintaining peace and the observance of the law is a matter of balancing the stick against the carrot. Our progress (?) over the past few decades suggests to me that we have applied too much carrot and not enough stick, and some rebalancing is required. But we should not abandon all our notions of civilised conduct and descend into mediaeval barbarism over a few nights' admittedly very serious misconduct.

11 August 2011 at 22:10  
Anonymous MrJ said...

It's a question of knowing where to stop.

On Mr Twigg's reasoning (21:14), Mr Assad (of a place abroad) might make a better Home Secretary than our fellow-commentator Mr carl jacobs.

But I am consoling myself that if Mr jacobs (18:45) was serious it was in the manner of Dean Swift or a "shock-jock".

In the case of those mentioned by Mr Manfarang, it's a question of knowing where to start.

11 August 2011 at 22:11  
Blogger Manfarang said...

I can't see how these bishops statements contributes to anything.
I suppose they are very nice men but the Church of England is largely irrelevant in the inner cities of England.

11 August 2011 at 22:13  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Dear Dodo,

May I wind you up even further?

"It's not being Liberal to advocate proportionality "

So does this mean that we can go to the criminal's houses and start to loot from them, beat them up and set fire to their property (?) thus obtaining the "proportionality" (punishment fits the crime) you advocate?

"Would you seriously want to risk shooting an 11 year old in the head as he emerged from Curry's with an X-Box under his arm? "

Firstly, it would appear that most of the criminals were of adult age and therefore responsible for their actions, with a very few minors somehow whipped up in all of this frenzy.

Second As Carl Jacobs suggested the mere threat of shooting would have been enough to get these criminal elements off our streets, although as I have said a compromise would have been to 'wound' and not to kill.

I wonder if those wonderful Sikhs in Southall,could have been made into deputies- I think a couple of Sikhs armed with their swords would have seen the thugs off!

The hypothetical 11 year old you mention should :

1)not be undertaking an act of theft

2)Should be with their parent(s)

3)Should be acting as a child and not like a criminal, i.e. care free and learning about the world around them

4)Should be saving for the X-box with his/her pocket money, if that is what he/she wanted,rather than committing a criminal act-if the parents could not afford that then quite simply you go without and perhaps do something as radical as being allowed to read books (rather than burning them), learn and develop into a balanced adult

5)Should not have been allowed out late at night without parental permission or supervision.

Finally, as I said above, the state's primary role is to protect the subjects/citizens within its own borders (and indeed beyond- look at your passport) by any means necessary.

The alternative is for our country to become a place of lawlessness, a European Somalia, a failed state, in which the strong prey upon the weak; a situation which I personally do not agree with- the rich heritage of England, the culture,the history, the learning, the science, the parliamentary system, the rule of law, should not be brought to a close by the rule of a mob.

Simple as that.

11 August 2011 at 22:18  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Mr J

An insane comparison. The criminals in our country were looting for no other reason than to loot. In Syria, the people are actually trying to FIGHT for something- i.e. the rule of law and democracy. See the difference??

11 August 2011 at 22:21  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Paul Twigg
You just got back from Syria?
Its a sectarian conflict,they are no more fighting for rule of law and democracy than the IRA were.

11 August 2011 at 22:36  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Mr Paul Twigg 22:21_

Have you heard of Dean Swift? Have you understood the allusion? Are you saying that he was "insane"? If not, your remark was too ellipitical for an answer to 22:11, or to be worthy of your goodself.

Would you rejoice in the appellation "wind-up merchant" which one commenter was foolish enough to use of another some months ago?

Are you to be trusted with a lethal weapon of any kind, and if so, which kind?

11 August 2011 at 22:38  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Manfarang said

"Paul Twigg
You just got back from Syria?
Its a sectarian conflict,they are no more fighting for rule of law and democracy than the IRA were."

Presume you just got back from Syria (to Thailand) too and therefore gives you greater knowledge to your view than my own?

Mr J- Will respond to you in another post.

11 August 2011 at 22:50  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Mr J,

No, I am not trying to use satire. In this case I am being quite serious. My remark to Dodo about 'winding him up' is because he is quite a passionate little bird and I didn't want to cause him to have a fit with my reply. Which was in ernest.

In respect to your question about leathal weapons, I can only say that I do not own any guns and consider the sword to be the weapon of a gentleman.

Cherry pip.

11 August 2011 at 22:59  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Paul Twigg
When and where did you live in the Middle East?
My knowledge is based on living there but of course you may have worked there too as many British expats do.
Not much belief in western style democracy amongst the Arabs. Allah be praised.

11 August 2011 at 23:06  
Anonymous Jonas Quinn said...

Paul Twigg- you are a right wing m0moron of the 'tea party' variety who needs to be locked up, next you'll be agreeing with English Viking!

I think Dodo is quite right- we need to let the protestors loot and we shouldn't do anything to stop them- and heaven forbid anything that smacks of force! Good Lord no, that is not the Christian way (even though Dodo's Church was responsible for the Crusades, the Inquisition, the forced conversion of the natives of south america).

We are a liberal country and we don't "do" America (Carl Jacobs is a beast of an American so we can ignore him).

The only solution is for Britain to convert en mass back to Roman Catholicism and we'll be OK after that.

11 August 2011 at 23:12  
Anonymous Arab Christian said...

Manafrang-

'Allah be Praised'.

No, may Jesus Christ be praised.

11 August 2011 at 23:17  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Actually there are a lot of Christians in Syrian but they don't want regime change as they know what happened to the Iraqi Christians.
Of course these Middle Eastern Churches are not like the starchy Church of England there is real life there.

11 August 2011 at 23:19  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Jonas
The only solution is a Methodist revival.

11 August 2011 at 23:23  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Jonas Quinn is clearly a "wind up merchant" to quote Mr J.

Manfarang- so you are a Methodist-yet you say "Allah be praised"- i.e. you salute the Islamic god?

Interesting given that I am a great advocate of an Anglican-Methodist merger.

In respect to my living (or not) in the Middle East, I will confess that I have never physically lived there, although I do have friends in that region.

The point I was trying to make was to rebutt the view proposed by Mr J that I was some how advocating a response to our current criminals to be like that of Assad of Syria, which is not correct,especially since I do know that Assad senior did practically destroy an entire city during his rule- something which I was not suggesting to Dodo, if you read the post.

Then you say :

"Of course these Middle Eastern Churches are not like the starchy Church of England there is real life there"

Actually there is real life in the Church of England. God loves the Church of England and is doing great things in it; indeed I would not be a Christian if it were not for the Church of England and I would still be an atheist, as I was some 16 years ago.

The good work of the Church of England goes on day in day out ,but it is just not reported by the mainstream media, who prefer instead to write about the 'gay' and 'women bishops' issues and the debates these cause.

I would also say that the Church of England is far from 'Starchy'.

In fact the more I have read the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, the more I see how rich and wonderful the Anglican Church's worship and liturgy actually is and I say this as a 'low church- Evanglical-Charismatic'.

If belonging to the Church of England, with its three fold approach to faith- The Holy Bible-(Evangelical)-Reason (Liberal)-Tradition (Catholic) makes me 'Starchy' then so be it.

11 August 2011 at 23:51  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Mr Paul Twigg 22:59_

Your intention to be

- "quite serious" noted

- kind to the flightless one, ditto.

But not clear whether or not you imply a claim to be considered a gentleman, or claim to be so entitled but choose to disclaim. Perhaps you have been a NS or other officer in one of Her Majesty's armed services, or a chaplain, or in the Diplomatic Service, or of armigerous descent. It doesn't really matter, but I wonder why you mentioned it. You leave me baffled: perhaps as intended.

Pleased to note (23:51) "the more I have read the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, the more I see how rich and wonderful the Anglican Church's worship and liturgy actually is". The Thirty-nine Articles often appended to the BCP is also a masterly composition in its own way.

12 August 2011 at 00:17  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Paul Twigg

You live in a world of "shoulds". My world is made up of what is, what will be possible and what to do in an imperfect, fallen world. A world that can never be perfect and morally ordered until the end of time.

From your justification I take it you do think it acceptable to shoot an 11 year old who "should" have been at home with his parents, "should" have been at home at night, "should" have been saving his pocket money and "should" have been behaving as a child and not a as criminal.

You misunderstood my reference to proportionality. I was making the point that the use of force in defending the realm has to be proportionate to the risk faced. It has to be reasonable. Clearly to indiscriminately mow down young men with bullets because of looting and rioting when other means are available, is morally wrong. I would say it is an offence against God's law.

Punishment too has to be reasonable and proportionate to be just. It will be a combination of restorative jusice, retributative justice and rehabilitative justice. It will consider the individual, the victim and the crime. It will also take into account the need for deterance.

A civilised Criminal Justice system is not based on an 'eye for an eye'. So no we cannot go to a criminal house and loot, assault them or set fire to their property.

12 August 2011 at 00:21  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Mr J

You have a good memory and I do genuinely apologise for calling you a "wind-up merchant".

I'm new to blogging and just write what comes into my mind at the time. You are more measured, use allusion and, to the less well educated, often difficult to understand. I took this to be smugness and self satisfaction. But it's your style. I have mine and their different.

Mind you, I still think you gently take the rise from time to time and enjoy doing so.

12 August 2011 at 00:26  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

A couple of comments about the riots in LA.

1. I lived in Southern California during the 1992 riots. I wasn't particularly close by California standards - some 40 miles. But it is a night I shall never forget.

2. The riots started when police made a conscious decision to flee from a mob instead of using lethal force. The mob saw the police run away and concluded the Law and Order had departed. It had.

3. The police abandoned a large part of the city to the mob. Residents quickly figured out they were on their own and organized militias to protect themselves. Those who had weapons, anyways. Those without weapons hid inside for two days and hoped the mob would pass them by. They knew that no help would come if called.

4. Order was restored by the introduction of military personnel. The presence of heavily armed soldiers intimidated the mob into dispersing. Soldiers after all weren't there to read Miranda warnings, and the mob knew it.

5. The damage and death occurred between the moment when the mob saw the police run away, and the moment when the mob saw the military arrive. It was the implicit threat of lethal force that stopped the riot.

6. The percentage of those convicted as opposed to those who rioted is very low. It always is for a mob. Most rioters got away with their crimes.

7. Every one who died, and every building that burned can be directly attributed to the failure of the Police to apply deadly force to a dangerous mob. If they had intervened forcefully and severely at the initial location, the riot would not have spun out of control.

Mobs are basically composed of cowards. They are people who wouldn't ordinarily break, but feel empowered in numbers. The mob gives them strength, and the mob gives them invisibility. That is the critical component that must be attacked, or the mob will act with impunity, and largely get away with its crimes.

So what then was the point of your comment?

carl

12 August 2011 at 01:00  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Dodo

you are a p*@t, who totally distorts what I had actually said.

I think I owe English Viking and Len a public apology for attempting to protect you against their views. I see now that I was in the wrong and they were quite correct about you.

You claim to live in the real world, yet via your world view you would have given the city centres of England to the mob. I have no idea where you live, but I suspect it is not in a city. I live in a village which has thankfully avoided the mob rule of the past few days .

But my family do not :

*Why should my elderly Father and mother be afraid to visit Birmingham for fear of the mob? You would surrender to the mob, like Chamberlain appeasing Hitler?

*Why should my sister be in fear when she drives to the university of birmingham to go about her job?

*Why should my preggers sister in law be afraid to go to work to her hospital in Liverpool because of the mob?

Why should I worry about my own dear wife who goes to London every day to work in the NHS?

You might want to appease the mob Dodo, but I do not.

I will not have my family or any other Briton feel fear or be threatened by the mob , because they have got off their bums and got and education, got their degrees, MA's and PhD's and do/have done a days work for a days pay- you and your left-wing allies take the side of the criminal mob. Enough is enough.

PS- your last post toally flies in the face of Roman Catholic teaching. So shame on you.

12 August 2011 at 01:04  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

@ Carl Jacobs

Would you consider being Home Secretary?

12 August 2011 at 01:12  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

carl jacobs

LA 1992 - London 2011

Different countries.
Different situations.
Different circumstances.
Different actions required.

I can well appreciate how your experiences have influenced your thinking.

12 August 2011 at 01:13  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Mr Dodo the Dude

_00:21 Broadly agree.

_00:26 "...to the less well educated, often difficult to understand..." I dare to think you will agree that there is always the possibility to aspire, which is the character of all education in infancy, childhood, youth and onward into adult life, parenthood (including in loco parentis) and further to the end, not merely in things useful and worldly, but in things godly and of the spirit. That is how the "better educated" (formally or in the university of life) become so; how anyone becomes "wiser".

Comments at Cranmer's Blog show, sometimes expressly, that it is acknowledged that, for those willing to aspire, the Blogmaster offers the opportunity for educative discussion after the example of the Socrates of Plato's dialogues and mindful of Thomas Cranmer's failings and achievement.

It is not merely for asserting an opinion or scoring points for its own sake.

"...take the rise from time to time and enjoy doing so". Perhaps time will let you see otherwise.

12 August 2011 at 01:19  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Paul Twigg

You really haven't read my posts, have you?

What I've said is that the degree of force used to maintain law and order must be proportionate and that shooting young people, in the circumstances of the London riots, was unnecessary and immoral.

And, actually, as far as I am conderned, this is very much in line with current Catholic social teaching which, in any event, I am free to accept or reject.

Law and order will be restored without resorting to turning sub-machine guns on youths who "should" be at home with mummy and daddy, saving their pocket money and getting ready for University and their future careers in the public sector.

There's no comparison to Munich or appeasement.

12 August 2011 at 01:34  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Mr J

Points taken and duly noted.

12 August 2011 at 01:37  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Paul Twigg

Would you consider being Home Secretary?

Depends. Does it pay well, and are there sufficient opportunities for graft and corruption? ;)

carl

12 August 2011 at 01:43  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Dodo

There are some important factors to consider that are common to all riots:

1. Most looters are not punished for the crimes they commit. This is why the participate. If you don't punish them immediately, you likely will never punish them at all.

2. You are trading potential victims of the mob against the use of lethal force against the mob. Mr Biber the barber could have been killed. How many rioters would his life be worth?

3. The first responsibility of a government is the maintenance of public security. If the gov't is going to strip people of firearms, it is incumbent upon the gov't to use deadly force in the defense of those people. It can't very well say "Sorry about that, but your victimization is a necessary cost for maintaining our civilized society. I realize your son's killer will never be caught, but that is a small price to pay."

carl

12 August 2011 at 01:55  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

@Carl Jacobs

Yes (cira £135,000 -that's about $200,000 plus benefits) and yes in answer to your questions about the job spec-Now when can you sign?

Also as your not an MP , we would have to make you into a Lord- arise Lord Jacobs of Palm Beach etc

12 August 2011 at 02:09  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Dodo- I have read your posts.

"And, actually, as far as I am conderned, this is very much in line with current Catholic social teaching which, in any event, I am free to accept or reject. "


Not according to your infalliable Pope you can't- I thought as a good Catholic you would have had to stick to the dogma of your Church, but given that you seem to want to pick and choose then you seem to be in conflict with youur own faith?.

"Law and order will be restored without resorting to turning sub-machine guns on youths who "should" be at home with mummy and daddy, saving their pocket money and getting ready for University and their future careers in the public sector. "


So you think it is morally acceptable (and in line with your own Church teaching) to allow children to not only be wondering around city centres at night, but also to be involved in criminal activity?! If YOU had read my own posts then you would clearly see that the minors involved in this criminal activity were minimal and most were of age in which the law allows people to be responsible for your actions. They way you present this, it is as if the whole rampage were constructed by minors across the board. Something which is not factually true.

Regarding the last sentence your really are below the belt and quite smug. It is almost as if you want this underclass to remain forever a part of our society? Do you not agree in people bettering themselves via education? Clearly not.

"There's no comparison to Munich or appeasement."

Yes there is , in so much that you would wilfully give the keys of state to a mindless mob of fools and idiots.

12 August 2011 at 02:19  
Blogger Dodo the "Troll" said...

Paul Twigg

The social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is neither doctrine nor dogma and is not infallible teaching emanating from the Pope.

Where on earth did you get that idea from?

As for the rest, the question is how have we arrived at a situation where children are running riot around the streets of London late at night. The answer is not to use lethal force against them.

12 August 2011 at 02:34  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Paul Twigg

Manfarang- so you are a Methodist-yet you say "Allah be praised"- i.e. you salute the Islamic god?

I said a Methodist revival would be a good thing for England.
I didn't say I was a member Methodist Church.I just happen to like Methodists.I like their recognition of the evils of alcohol.
There is only one God-the same one which Christians, Muslims and Jews worship.

12 August 2011 at 03:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "So what then was the point of your comment?"

The point was that the riots in this country have been stopped without the use of deadly force by the police or deploying the military. Unlike in LA back then.

There are parallels between the two situations. It seemed to me that the police tried to contain the violence hoping it would exhaust itself. In both cases, I think there may have been a reluctance to intervene very heavily at first given the initial reason for violence.

I think the issue of guns is what really divides Americans from British. I know it bewilders some of you that for the most part we really do not want armed civilians and lots of people when they think about it coolly do not want the police armed across the board.

Really, guns are not a panacea and the use of deadly force by the State often just raises the stakes in my opinion.

12 August 2011 at 06:07  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Mr Twigg. I fear the use of machine guns against children would result in the UK becoming he kind of nation that the UK has traditionally abhorred and fought against. And you are misrepresenting Dodo most wickedly. There's more than a whiff of plain old anti-Catholic prejudice there.

12 August 2011 at 09:59  
Anonymous Tony B said...

*the* kind of nation.

12 August 2011 at 09:59  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

It seemed to me that the police tried to contain the violence hoping it would exhaust itself.

In other words, the police deliberately chose to shift the risk to the victims of the riot in order to avoid employing violence. "A few burned buildings. A few dead people. Let them get it out of their system and then they will go home."

Of course that is not at all what happened in the LA Riots. Two dozen police confronting a mob decided they couldn't safely intervene without the use of deadly force. So they piled in their cruisers and left the scene. I am sure the people who were dragged out of cars and beaten at that intersection would be glad to know that their victimization served the greater good of "containing the riot."

The issue comes down to who bears the cost of the riot. I want to use overwhelming force to stop it at the beginning in order to reduce the potential for innocent victims. You want to let it burn itself out in hopes it will produce fewer innocent victims in the long run. The cynicism of that attitude is appalling - especially since you have a disarmed population. You are deliberately abandoning people to the mercies of the mob. If you wish to keep your disarmed police and disarmed population, you had best not simply abandon people in this way. Fear changes people.

btw, in case you didn't notice, the mob got away with it. Most of the rioters will never be punished. Most of the victims will never see justice. So it will happen again. And next time it will be a little worse.

carl

12 August 2011 at 13:33  
Blogger huffward said...

DanJ0

Sure, but if we want the police to intervene we must back them up. If they had gone in hard at the outset and nipped it in the bud they would have been condemned from all sides for overreaction. The officers involved would have been suspended and subjected to a witch hunt that might have gone on for years. There would have been public enquiries, massive compensation for the families of the "victims" and a general orgy of hand wringing.
When Raol Moat shot himself, it was the fault of the police. When one of them thumped a man on the leg and he died during a protest he was prosecuted (perhaps justifiably).
The police simply cannot win, and they're only the bloody foot soldiers.
Those to blame for the negative approach to the initial lawlessness were the PC brigade, the human-right lawyers, and the politicians who take their instructions from self-appointed pressure groups. Most particularly I blame Mr Blair, who imposed EU "human rights" on us without caveats. So much flows from that, and the police are just the fall guys.

12 August 2011 at 13:49  
Anonymous Jack Flash said...

If I remember rightly, the excuse for the riots originated when a man known to the police and believed to be armed, was shot and killed by a marksman with a dum dum bullet that had such velocity that it nearly killed a fellow officer.
surely it's obvious that the use of firearms in confused and crowded situations will result in: firstly , criminals arming themselves and willing to shoot first to save their lives and avoid capture.
Secondly, innocent casualties from police rounds fired at suspects, and either missing or penetrating the target then going on to kill a bystander.

Personally I don't wish to live in the Wild West of Ealing, as a bullet doesn't discriminate about its target no matter who fires it.

Riot control with rubber or plastic rounds, more trained police and Tazers O.K, followed by tough sentences such as hard labour to deter would be future offenders. Seems to me the best answer, sufficient force to be effective, without open warfare on the streets.


Jack.

12 August 2011 at 15:34  
Blogger huffward said...

Jack Flash.

Yes, and how effective is tough policing? Look at France where the police are brutal (I've seen them in Paris literally kicking handcuffed suspects into waiting vans). But it doesn't seem to have much of a deterrent effect there. They get more rioting and burning than we do.

12 August 2011 at 15:39  
Anonymous Jack Flash said...

huffward.
Indeed, and let us not forget that the society we currently inhabit is the result of war, revolution and grasping greed.
Since the fall it has been so, and until the end it will remain.
The grasping Barons of feudal times, the crusades, civil wars, would be World Emperors. And all those yet to come. Time will erase them but others will follow.
Such is sinful man!.

Jack.

12 August 2011 at 16:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "The issue comes down to who bears the cost of the riot. I want to use overwhelming force to stop it at the beginning in order to reduce the potential for innocent victims. You want to let it burn itself out in hopes it will produce fewer innocent victims in the long run."

Well, hold on a minute there. What I actually said was: "It seemed to me that the police tried to contain the violence hoping it would exhaust itself." That's what the police did in my opinion, not what I particularly want. The choice is not only between the police blowing looters' brains out as you said (in a John Wayne drawl, in my mind), or letting people run amok on the streets within a containment and bugger the other occupants. I'll take the third option thanks: move in with sufficient numbers to overwhelm rioting groups.

"The cynicism of that attitude is appalling - especially since you have a disarmed population. You are deliberately abandoning people to the mercies of the mob. If you wish to keep your disarmed police and disarmed population, you had best not simply abandon people in this way. Fear changes people."

It must be very exhausting on a day to day basis, your being an American and so easily appalled. I think you need to prepare a sweetened drink for my next sentence to counter the shock of it. Out police are not routinely armed and they get by rather admirably. :O

The policing decisions and details of this riot are coming out slowly but I think it will show that the escalation was very rapid and in diverse areas. I don't think the police abandoned people deliberately or for extended periods of time at all. This was not Los Angeles. In the daytime, people moved through the areas in relative safety.

Also, you're not seeing the potential long-term issues in your Wild West approach. The police essentially operate by public consent in the UK. When they have made mistakes such as going in fairly hard during the violent G20 demonstrations, they lost the support of the general public as huffward said.

It's almost unimaginable that the police could open fire on looters without our society going into hideous convulsions. We eat cucumber sandwiches over here and watch cricket, you know. It's just not us, I'm afraid. But please, feel free to shoot your own citizens over there as you wish.

12 August 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "btw, in case you didn't notice, the mob got away with it. Most of the rioters will never be punished. Most of the victims will never see justice. So it will happen again. And next time it will be a little worse."

This is why it must be discouraged in future, not by Dirty Harry but by a change in police tactics and a very heavy hit in the courts. No doubt we'll see that in the first case and we're seeing that now in the second case. There are almost unprecedented sentences being passed in the magistrates courts at the moment and the number being passed onto the crown courts suggests more surprises to come. The magistrates courts have been sitting all night for the last two nights to process the large number of cases. Yes, many will get away with it but a large number will not and the message will get out. I'm not sure you have the actual sense of it over there.

12 August 2011 at 17:38  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

The choice is not only between the police blowing looters' brains out as you said (in a John Wayne drawl, in my mind), or letting people run amok on the streets within a containment and bugger the other occupants. I'll take the third option thanks: move in with sufficient numbers to overwhelm rioting groups.

Well, sure. If you have sufficient police presence at the right location at the right time. But this almost never happens. And what do you do if you have insufficient police presence at the right place and the right time? Then what do you do? Or what happens when there is insufficient police presence to cover the scope of the riot? Mobs are amorphous transient things. They appear here and fade away there as people realize law and order has taken a vacaion.

Suppose two police officers turn a corner and encounter a gang of 40 teenagers looting an electronics store, beating and robbing an old couple, and burning their house. What should they do? Do they shout "Stop! In the Name of the Law" in their best 'Jacques Clouseau' voice? Do they call for back-up that night not be available, and won't arrive in time in any case? Do they stand there, and do nothing? Do they charge ahead and compromise officer safety to no purpose whatsoever? Are there any special 'police tactics' that would apply to this situation? At least any that don't involve firearms?

carl
who thinks you should be a might more careful about besmirching the character of a Great American Icon like John Wayne. You should watch "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." Then you would understand.

12 August 2011 at 19:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl, we have armed response units if necessary. However, the police in the UK are required to only use justified and proportionate force. On the whole, that's the way we want it I think it is fair to say.

If my property were burgled tonight and I called the police who were unable to respond due to another crisis then that would be that. Shit happens. Your example is just a version of that. It's the nature of our society that we don't choose to employ enough police to always adequately respond. We probably cover the typical situation plus a bit more as contingency.

If the police carried assault rifles and were prepared to use them on people disproportionately then criminals would probably up their game to suit. We don't want that in the UK.

Really, you ought to look at the level of murder and other violent crime in the UK where the police and our citizens are not normally armed, and compare it to the USA where the police are armed, citizens may be armed, and the death penalty exists in some states. It tells its own story I think.

There may come a time when the police need to be armed as a matter of course but I'm pretty sure most people would rather we have the system we have here now than shift to an American one.

12 August 2011 at 19:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl, my current understanding of the riots here was that the police took a containment approach to the Tottenham disturbances due to the sensitive nature of the situation ie. that it followed from the killing of a local black man by the police. They treated it as a 'public order policing' incident which I think in hindsight was a mistake. Of course, if they treated it as a riot straight away then we would be complaining now about heavy-handed-ness I expect.

However, it was a nice warm evening, people are on holiday or out of colleges, and the media has been talking up the austerity issues for a year or more. When the TV footage showed people involved in disorder and looting without the police intervening, the word went out on social media and gangs kicked off elsewhere. The incidents escalated around London and in inner city hotspots around the country as it was reported. The police temporarily lost control of the streets.

The images looked terrible on TV as the extent of it became known. The politicans then came on TV threatening consequences and publicising the number of arrests. The police shifted from 'public order policing' to full-on riot handling and flooded London with police. The rioting there stopped. This has been followed by flooding elsewhere and the riots have stopped.

What we now have is around 1500 people arrested. The courts have been sitting all day and night. Sentences for the initial guilty pleaders have been severe, suggesting that the next level will be very, very severe. The media has been knocking on the doors of the perps' families together with film crews to name and shame and this will get worse I think. CCTV pictures are continually rolling out of wanted suspects. The police have been arresting people throughout the day as they are shopped in by local people.

And no police guns, except for the initial incident which, well, actually involved gun crime for which an armed response unit was justified and proportionate.

12 August 2011 at 19:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Police need a few golden guidelines 1) demonstrations need to keep slowly moving ahead people are demonstrating so police should line along sides of roads and leave alone. I've seen this being successful. 2) people committing criminal acts of violence and looting, hands on with the batons and the the water spray like that from a fire engine rather than cannons, but laced with Persil to stop the coloureds running!

Of course in His Grace's day Children had a 12 hour school day learning Latin and Catechisms young boys were kept in line with the birch and the rod, there was no time for rioting and if they hadn't learnt their Catechisms by a certain age the parents were fined. How about we fine the parents if the kids fail to pass their exams now? Extend the school day and the academic year, far too many holidays where the devil creates work for idle hands.

They don't know just how lucky they are today.

12 August 2011 at 22:38  

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