Saturday, April 16, 2011

30 years since the riots

It is thirty years ago that rioting began in Brixton in south London. It was triggered by a black man who had been stabbed by another black man running into the arms of a policeman and covering him with blood. Then a rumour spread that the police were killing black men at which 3000 young men of Caribbean origin took violent action against householders and the police as a front for looting of TV shops and jewelry shops, often owned by their own parents.

This is what Mrs Thatcher had to say at the time, "What aggravated the riots into a virtual saturnalia was the impression gained by the rioters that they could enjoy a fiesta of crime, looting and rioting in the guise of social protest. They felt they had been absolved in advance. These are precisely the circumstances in which young men riot, and riot again."

At the time the government asked a left-wing judge, Lord Scarman, to report on the causes of the riots and the Scarman report led to a soft pedalling of police activity in Afro-Caribbean areas. As a result, the stabbings continue, gun crime is rife and the whole thing is fueled by the use of illicit drugs.

I remember bumping into Lord Scarman. He was traveling on a crowded London Underground train. These days Left wing leaders travel with more style. The current Labour leader was interviewed on a train. The leader's aides carefully removed the anti-macassars from the seats before filming began lest the poor public should realize that he was traveling first class.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Lord Scarman, he who " upheld the blasphemy conviction of Gay News (1979), punctured the GLC's "Fare's Fair" low-cost public transport policy (1981), and supported the banning of trade unions at GCHQ (1985)." That left-wing judge!

Terry Hamblin said...

You would have to be part of the Socialist Worker's Party not to have done that.