London Burning

nomix

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Yeah, people on this forum will be rioting someday.
That, or they might be on their way to the off licence to buy a bottle of the Arran Single Cask. It might be someone who just wondered out for a smoke (as in cases where police in Northern Ireland just jumped fucking fences to go and beat up women standing in their front yard, looking on).

If you do not leave your house the next week, I will take your statement as anything BUT bullshit. If you go out for a fag, to the pub or just to have a walk (Keep Calm and Move On, wasn't it?), you should eat your words.

Fucking hell, you know, and I know, that there will be loads of completely innocent, daft silly people getting thumbed over the head by angry and frustrated cops. I'm just saying, let's not automatically condone EVERY single head-bashing by the police just because some people are being nasty. More innocent people being hurt doesn't really help.

/Rant
 

Spectre

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Fucking hell, you know, and I know, that there will be loads of completely innocent, daft silly people getting thumbed over the head by angry and frustrated cops.
Stupidity should be painful. If there's a riot going on (literally) outside and the police or military are advancing up your street, you should maybe, you know, NOT BE OUTSIDE.

Or do you also have sympathy for similar idiots that stand up in the middle of a gunfight between criminals and police "to see what's going on" and catch a bullet? "But I wanted to see what was happening!" :rolleyes: Sorry, I don't. Unlucky is one thing, stupid is another.
 
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MWF

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Stupidity should be painful. If there's a riot going on (literally) outside and the police or military are advancing up your street, you should maybe, you know, NOT BE OUTSIDE.

Or do you also have sympathy for similar idiots that stand up in the middle of a gunfight between criminals and police "to see what's going on" and catch a bullet? Sorry, I don't. Unlucky is one thing, stupid is another.
You had me at Darwin! :wub:
 

jmsprovan

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That, or they might be on their way to the off licence to buy a bottle of the Arran Single Cask. It might be someone who just wondered out for a smoke (as in cases where police in Northern Ireland just jumped fucking fences to go and beat up women standing in their front yard, looking on).

If you do not leave your house the next week, I will take your statement as anything BUT bullshit. If you go out for a fag, to the pub or just to have a walk (Keep Calm and Move On, wasn't it?), you should eat your words.

Fucking hell, you know, and I know, that there will be loads of completely innocent, daft silly people getting thumbed over the head by angry and frustrated cops. I'm just saying, let's not automatically condone EVERY single head-bashing by the police just because some people are being nasty. More innocent people being hurt doesn't really help.

/Rant
For that video the police had likely been informed that there were youth looters rolling around on bmxes with dark hoodies and caps.

Do you go get whisky on a bmx, wearing a cap and dark hoodie while in the middle of a riot? seriously?
 

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For that video the police had likely been informed that there were youth looters rolling around on bmxes with dark hoodies and caps.

Do you go get whisky on a bmx, wearing a cap and dark hoodie while in the middle of a riot? seriously?
And in support of the police, note that there was another pedalbikist who at least partially fit that description there that slowed and stopped when approached by the police, offered no resistance, appeared to answer questions directly and was therefore allowed on his way unmolested.

Also note the two pedestrians that were left alone by the police.

It's all in the video.
 
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nomix

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Stupidity should be painful. If there's a riot going on (literally) outside and the police or military are advancing up your street, you should maybe, you know, NOT BE OUTSIDE.

Or do you also have sympathy for similar idiots that stand up in the middle of a gunfight between criminals and police "to see what's going on" and catch a bullet? "But I wanted to see what was happening!" :rolleyes: Sorry, I don't. Unlucky is one thing, stupid is another.
Stupidity might be painful, but let's not fucking encourage penalising people for being pig headed. In that case, there are people in this thread that need to keep their heads down. That was uncalled for, but fuck it. I'm starting to sound like Malcom Tucker.

For that video the police had likely been informed that there were youth looters rolling around on bmxes with dark hoodies and caps.

Do you go get whisky on a bmx, wearing a cap and dark hoodie while in the middle of a riot? seriously?
Oh, well that changes everything. They MIGHT have looted.

So.. what's the trouble with, I don't know.. placing them under arrest? Instead of going to a default setting of head-bashing?

Really? Are they that thick? It's like the G20. They acted without thinking, and that was not good. Yes, this is a riot. Yes, there is looting and arson. Yes, it's wrong and yes, for once, I'm on the side of the police. But what the fuck is wrong with people who start talking like it's the role of the police to go around beating suspects to teach them a lesson? If they're violent, that's one thing, but these kids were riding bikes down the street, and were, in essense, just hit over the head by police. If they are suspected of comitting a crime, then arrest them. It's like those bloody super injunctions where celebs got them because someone had blackmailed them. So arrest the person for blackmail, that's the correct way of doing it.

If you want to see these guys beat as a punishment, bring back birching. At least that's a court mandated penalty, not just some police officer randomly hitting people in the streets.
 

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Oh, well that changes everything. They MIGHT have looted.

So.. what's the trouble with, I don't know.. placing them under arrest? Instead of going to a default setting of head-bashing?
From the video it doesn't look like they did go to a default setting of headbashing. It looks like they gave the punks the option of surrendering, the punks decided not to. If you look at it in HD the punks continued to resist arrest for a time, thus meriting some strokes from the baton. Stop resisting, the beating stops.

I'd also point out that if it *were* the police's default setting, that pedalbikist who showed up to the scene late would have also been beaten. He wasn't. Neither were those two pedestrians, and that wasn't due to a lack of manpower on scene either.
 
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nomix

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One officer takes a b-line towards one of the bikers, and starts to hit him. That was uncalled for. I am not on the rioters side, I am on the police side. But what I am trying to hint at is that most people tend to get very angry and accept pretty much anything from police forces when the shit hits the fan like now. I'm saying that we shouldn't just automatically accept every cause of action by every individual officer just because there's a large number of shitbags in London.

There will be officers out there that will hit everyone they see over the head. There will be innocent, peaceful people being assaulted by the police, and in almost none of those cases, it will lead to any concequences for the offending officer.

Listen, this is like Abu Graib. Most US soldiers in Iraq didn't do what happened there. And most US soldiers were heroes in their own right. But that didn't mean we condoned what happened in that prison. Because it wasn't right. Don't let your moral compass get skewed by the context, that's what I'm hinting at.

(Not comparing, just trying to illustrate the point, that extreme context will almost always impact moral compass.)
 

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One officer takes a b-line towards one of the bikers, and starts to hit him. That was uncalled for. I am not on the rioters side, I am on the police side. But what I am trying to hint at is that most people tend to get very angry and accept pretty much anything from police forces when the shit hits the fan like now.
If so, you're using a pretty bad example. Sadly, there's no audio (I'm a big fan of the concept of requiring uniformed officers to be recorded at all times, more on that in a moment); I'm just about certain that the officer was yelling "GET ON THE GROUND NOW! GET ON THE GROUND NOW!" or similar at that guy (if you are talking about the one guy left in center at 0:26). He drops the bike, tries to run with whatever it was in his hand, gets hit, goes down, keeps moving, gets a few more strokes then lays still and stops resisting. Note that the police instantly stop hitting him with batons. If he had followed commands and not tried to run, none of that would have happened. It's that guy's own damn fault.

Notice that another officer makes a similar beeline for the pedalbikist that turns up late. No beating ensues because the guy (?) complied, didn't try running and did what a law abiding citizen should.

One of the interesting things that's happened over here with the spread of devices to monitor police officers is that while the rate of complaints of police brutality haven't declined, the actual numbers of 'valid' complaints allowed to proceed took an immediate and precipitous drop in areas where recording devices were introduced due to the recording proving what did or didn't happen. Turns out that recording traffic stops and other activities can save the careers of good officers and can get the bad ones caught. Also turns out that police brutality claims were grossly overblown. Real police brutality turns out to be maybe 1/10th of what it was said to be by the media and academic figures.

Edit: By the way, I HAVE seen some video coming out of the London riots that would better support your position, but I'm not going to make it easy for you - you'll have to go look for it yourself. :evil:
 
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nomix

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If so, you're using a pretty bad example. Sadly, there's no audio (I'm a big fan of the concept of requiring uniformed officers to be recorded at all times, more on that in a moment) or I'm just about certain that the officer was yelling "GET ON THE GROUND NOW! GET ON THE GROUND NOW!" or similar at that guy (if you are talking about the one guy left in center at 0:26). He drops the bike, tries to run with whatever it was in his hand, gets hit, goes down, keeps moving, gets a few more strokes then lays still and stops resisting. Note that the police instantly stop hitting him with batons. If he had followed commands and not tried to run, none of that would have happened. It's that guy's own damn fault.

Notice that another officer makes a similar beeline for the pedalbikist that turns up late. No beating ensues because the guy (?) complied, didn't try running and did what a law abiding citizen should.

One of the interesting things that's happened over here with the spread of devices to monitor police officers is that while the rate of complaints of police brutality haven't declined, the actual numbers of valid complaints allowed to proceed have. Turns out that recording traffic stops and other activities can save the careers of good officers and can get the bad ones caught. Also turns out that police brutality claims were grossly overblown.
We agree on the part about recording officers actions at all times. I think that's a great idea, and it will do as much to protect them as it will protect the public. It is great.

As for police brutality, I believe it's less common today than it was just a few years ago. It's not long since it was quite common for people to "slip" in a stairway or to "walk into a door". But that's less common today, both because it's less acceptable and because there's a lot better training and another culture in police forces. It still didn't stop the Met police from hiding their ID tags during the G20 protests, and as we know, those were riddled with police brutality. Even the uncalled for type.

Now for the situation. It might be that he got that order. But people react differently under pressure. It's not exactly unatural to panic if you think you're about to get hit. Riot police are scary. Their equipment, while designed to be effective, durable and give good protection, are also designed to be intimidating. If what I'm reading is right, there's kids down to 9 years old on the streets. It's impossible to tell how old these guys were, but let's for arguments sake say they're 16. Most 16 year olds will get the instinct to run in a situation like that. So it's not exactly hard to understand it if the guy were trying to get away.

However, I don't see any sign of this kid doing anything else than a normal person might do. And he did get clubbed.

Anyhow. I am not really too focused on that exact situation, even if I have argued about it in length. I guess it just turned out that way. Now, what I am talking about isn't specifically this situation. I'm talking about the general mood in this thread, the feeling a lot of people have that the best thing to do will be to hit as many people as possible, so they learn a lesson. The video in question had the word "justice" in it. That's a false statement. Justice is the pervue of the courts and the prison system. It's not the role of riot police to punish criminals. Their role is to control a crowd, to apprehend suspects and protect life and property. In the pursuit of that, they may use force. But using it as an arbitrary mean of punishing whole groups of people just doesn't fit in my book.

Hrm. I think we've been misunderstanding each other a lot the last hours. I'm sorry about that.
 

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I'm encouraged by the way people of all parties are postponing political point scoring until the riots subside. It's the responsible thing to do.

Anyone care to guess what each side will blame? My guess is that the right will point the finger at multiculturalism having not worked. Meanwhile the left will talk about about the austerity measures being too draconian.

Unfortunately, both sides will be right to some degree.
 

nomix

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That's true. Policing tactics might also be a relevant factor, at least in some areas.
 

Spectre

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A couple of points to offer up on the above:

I think that while believing that the police are perfect defenders of civilization who can do no wrong is a colossal error, believing that the police are all jackbooted thugs to start with and that they are automatically suspect in everything they do is also a colossal error.

The objective of the force that I am advocating be used is not as a de facto punishment but a means to get the rioting to stop in the most rapid and effective way possible. You can't fix the underlying problems while modern barbarians are running around raping, pillaging, looting, murdering, etc., etc. over wide areas and there are a limited number of means that are known to be effective at quelling such riots. Many of them tend to be lethal, yes - but they also tend to be less costly in terms of human lives than letting the rioting go on. Check the history books for that one. One example is the New York Draft riots; more people were killed and injured by the rioters than were killed by the military advancing at bayonet point, shooting looters and shelling the city with artillery. It's a simple if cold calculation and it's been proven for centuries.

I would also disagree with you on 'a normal person's reaction' - most normal people when told to stop will actually stop and put their hands up in the air. Sure, riot armor is threatening, it's supposed to be. But so's a mugger, and most people don't actually try to run from them either. They stop and surrender.
 
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nomix

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A couple of points to offer up on the above:

I think that while believing that the police are perfect defenders of civilization who can do no wrong is a colossal error, believing that the police are all jackbooted thugs to start with and that they are automatically suspect in everything they do is also a colossal error.
I think one of the underlying issues when we discuss this is that I tend to argue like you think police are perfect defenders of civilization and you tend to argue like I think all police are jackbooted thugs. Am I right? :)

For the sake of information, I've worked along cops in a number of occations, and I'm quite well aware that they are, in 99 out of 100 cases, good, proper people. I'm after the 1 out of 100 who aren't. Those who slip through the net. Those who ruin the reputation of the police forces and good cops. They're the only force in society who's alloved to use violence (outside clear cut cases of self defence), so it's important to make sure they do behave.

I've got a huge amount of respect for police, but it's important to keep in mind that there are dirty eggs in the vaffles, and they do a lot of damage.

In situations like this, the bad ones, the ones who don't care in normal day to day policing, will know that the chances of being caught are impossibly small. So they'll care even less about what amount of force they use, and wether or not the persons on the recieving end have warranted such use of force.

Some weeks ago, I told an idiot who wanted to ban islamophobic expression in Norway that he was an idiot. I swore a lot and got quite a red face. Because it's in crisis we really need to keep our heads calm. That's when we need to remember what values we're trying to protect. That's all I'm saying.

The objective of the force that I am advocating be used is not as a de facto punishment but a means to get the rioting to stop in the most rapid and effective way possible. You can't fix the underlying problems while modern barbarians are running around raping, pillaging, looting, murdering, etc., etc. over wide areas and there are a limited number of means that are known to be effective at quelling such riots. Many of them tend to be lethal, yes - but they also tend to be less costly in terms of human lives than letting the rioting go on. Check the history books for that one. One example is the New York Draft riots; more people were killed and injured by the rioters than were killed by the military advancing at bayonet point, shooting looters and shelling the city with artillery. It's a simple if cold calculation and it's been proven for centuries.
Proved and proved. That's debatable. Generally speaking, it can go both ways. And it has. So I'll really leave it at that.

I would also disagree with you on 'a normal person's reaction' - most normal people when told to stop will actually stop and put their hands up in the air. Sure, riot armor is threatening, it's supposed to be. But so's a mugger, and most people don't actually try to run from them either. They stop and surrender.
Most normal people are completely unpredictable in a heated situation. Some will lie down and cry, some will run and some will get agressive. It's impossible to call this an abnormal reaction.

As long as he didn't pose a threat, I feel it unwarranted to hit him. There are less dangerous methods of subduing people. Let's not forget that people do, from time to time get killed by blunt trauma. They're trained to hit meat, but you can easily hit the wrong part of the body. As we've seen before. And that's ruling out the number of serious injuries that might result from heavier, riot truncheons in particular.
 

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We have to remember that police are people too, if they are from that area and see rioters and looters running amok, they are as capable of seeing red as anyone else and overreacting. If they have then they will be disciplined for it. There is no need to read too much into one mildly debatable video and use it as evidence of widespread police brutality.
 

nomix

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jmsprovan, I am not reading too much into one video. I've said repeatedly that I'm talking about more than one video. What I'm talking about is the dangerous nature of a mentality where people start to see almost everything as okay because rioters need to be stopped.

When people start talking about kids needing to be beaten up, I get frightened. So I'm not just talking about a video, even if it ended up looking like that. (Sorry.)
 

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jmsprovan, I am not reading too much into one video. I've said repeatedly that I'm talking about more than one video. What I'm talking about is the dangerous nature of a mentality where people start to see almost everything as okay because rioters need to be stopped.

When people start talking about kids needing to be beaten up, I get frightened. So I'm not just talking about a video, even if it ended up looking like that. (Sorry.)
one video, more than one video, how many police is that out of the 16,000 on the streets of London yesterday? maybe a half dozen who are going too far. Hardly a representative number.

I do agree with you on the mentality though.
 
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Dr_Grip

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Except there are whole loads of skilled labor positions in industry that aren't going to get roboticized any time soon, that youdon't have to go and get a college degree to be competent or marketable in, and that you can actually go to a vocational school and get your certifications in a relatively short amount of time. One thing that some people in the US have been saying for a long time that many are starting to realize the validity of - college isn't for everyone, nor should it be, and there are plenty of vocational schools for out there begging for students to fill positions in industry even now.

A skilled welder or tool and die man, for example, can make in excess of $250,000 per year. That's more than many doctors make; it's more than many lawyers. No college necessary, and there are distinct shortages of personnel in those fields.

Of course, Western Europe has long denigrated vocational training and the like or at least such is my understanding; there's apparently some sort of social stigma over there (which I just don't understand) for people like welders and fabricators.
Hear that sound? It's me agreeing.

Apart from this I am hugely impressed by the Guardian's live blog. Instead of going into full-blown left wing "blame society" mode they offer a balanced coverage of what is happening and letting a variety of people voice their opinions.
 
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Couldn't agree more.

Plus it is such a shame that the country that spawned the Industrial Revolution now has such snobbery towards skilled artisans of all disciplines.

Whenever I have to employ a skilled tradesperson of any discipline to me it is paramount to engage them in conversation, get as many hints and tips from them for the future and get to know them as people. To me a guy who drives a van and uses tools more often that not has much more worth and integrity than the Audi-driving Gavin with a Sociology degree who plays squash, does "blue sky thinking" and "runs ideas up flagpoles".
The man with the wrench and the street sweeper get way more respect from me than the lawyer or white-collar worker. Not to say I don't respect anyone in the dental trade or corporate work but it's something else altogether to have a trade.

Sure, the lawyer takes years to have experience at his trade and the dentist takes around 6.5 years to qualify as a dentist but the man in the overalls fixing my pipes or doing a skilled trade... I take my hat off to that. Plus I actually enjoy talking to such people. My plumber was so eager to show me what the problem was with my boiler just by me showing interest in the work he was doing. And you could tell he had pride in the repair work he'd done. Most of the time he'd just walk in, fix the problem, get the money and walk out.

They appreciate that much more people who actually take interest in what they do for a living.
 
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I'm encouraged by the way people of all parties are postponing political point scoring until the riots subside. It's the responsible thing to do.
That has been good so far, I agree. Let's see what happens tomorrow in the Parliamentary debate.

(I doubt that any of the MP's will bring up the topic of extra expenses incurred at having to come back to London six weeks early. :lol:)


Anyone care to guess what each side will blame?
A wide variety of reasons, I suspect and probably a bit too early to say for sure. Whatever data that can be got from those arrested will help some. I also suspect a "Public Inquiry" will be announced by the PM tommorrow.

My guess is that the right will point the finger at multiculturalism having not worked.
Hmmm, from the reports of the varieties of people arrested and witnessed doing the "retail rioting", looks more like "Equal Opportunities" riots to me. All ethnic origins look to be involved. The extreme right may try and sell that, but it doesn't look like it from what has been going on.

Meanwhile the left will talk about about the austerity measures being too draconian.
Harriet Harman has already been trying to pedal that idea, not really going to fly since the cuts haven't really had much impact yet. In the Met Police, they stopped external recruiting last year and are retiring 30 year officers, but that is all so far.

Unfortunately, both sides will be right to some degree.
Lots of reasons probably, but I wasn't surprised when I saw the video of the masked young Manc saying he was doing it for the money and because the police "can't do noffing" to stop them and the police keep nicking & hassling them "over noffing".

They are paying the police back, apparently. :rolleyes:

* * *

Any reports from this evening, the TV News seems to be just rehashing old stuff. Seems like it is all quiet. Has the PM won? :lol:
 
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