'Britain Needs to Ask Itself Why it is so Hated' says New York Times
by JAMES DELINGPOLE
August 17, 2011
Croydon burns: Tea Party values to blame?
Well you could argue, I suppose, that it’s payback for the nauseating apologia for terrorism written by the Guardian’s resident Wykhamist Trot Seumas Milne the day after 9/11 (“They can’t see why they are hated”).
But I surely can’t be the only Londoner for whom it sticks, ever so slightly, in the craw to be told by a Chicago-born professor of sociology and his Dutch sociologist wife in the New York Times is that the riots are kind of our fault because Britain has become such a hotbed of Tea Party values.
The American right today is obsessed with cutting government spending. In many ways, Mr. Cameron’s austerity program is the Tea Party’s dream come true. But Britain is now grappling with the consequences of those cuts, which have led to the neglect and exclusion of many vulnerable, disaffected young people who are acting out violently and irresponsibly — driven by rage rather than an explicit political agenda.
I’d love to know where American liberals get their misinformation. (The NYT’s resident faux-conservative David L Brooks labours under similar misapprehensions about the Cameron administration). Certainly they would have more of a convincing case if these “cuts” of which they speak actually existed. But as Fraser Nelson has pointed out, they don’t.
Not, of course, that the New York Times is the only decaying left-liberal organ to try to pin the blame for the riots on capitalism, inequality, conservative values, etc. Here, for example, is our old friend Seumas Milne (educated Winchester College, fees: £30,350; son of former BBC director general Sir Alasdair Milne, in case you were interested), explaining the real reason why those hungry, oppressed, disenfranchised hoodies felt obliged to pop down to their nearest Currys to help themselves to the several new 50in plasma TVs they so desperately needed in order to lift themselves out of poverty:
Most have no stake in a society which has shut them out or an economic model which has now run into the sand. It’s already become clear that divided Britain is in no state to absorb the austerity now being administered because three decades of neoliberal capitalism have already shattered so many social bonds of work and community.
What we’re now seeing across the cities of England is the reflection of a society run on greed – and a poisonous failure of politics and social solidarity. There is now a danger that rioting might feed into ethnic conflict. Meanwhile, the latest phase of the economic crisis lurching back and forth between the United States and Europe risks tipping austerity Britain into slump or prolonged stagnation. We’re starting to see the devastating costs of refusing to change course.
We are, of course, going to see plenty more such attempts by the left to pin the blame for riots on social deprivation, Tory cuts and all the progressives’ other favourite culprits. After all, if Harriet Harman (St Paul’s School For Girls; Fees nearly £19,000 PA) can be so brazen as to try it on on Newsnighteven while the riots are still happening, they’re hardly going to hold back in the coming weeks as public rage begins to abate and a sense of uneasy normality returns.
Our job is to make sure they don’t get away with it, and, most importantly, to make sure that the Government doesn’t let them get away with it. For all of its existence, Cameron’s Coalition has behaved as if it’s far more interested in what the BBC and the Guardian thinks than in what real people outside metropolitan bien-pensant tofu-eating circles think.
This can’t go on. Our world is on the edge of a precipice. The last thing we need right now is to let the very media institutions which helped bring us to this pass – that means YOU, Guardian, BBC, New York Times, etc – drag us over the cliff with their irrelevant values, falling audiences and failed, suicidal ideologies.