Everyone, all over the world, seems to be sitting down and firing off opinions on the London Riots (now expanding), their causes, and appropriate responses. Oleg Volk, as usual, makes an insightful point or two, and the Financial Times offers an interesting viewpoint. And then we have Winston Smith, offering a view from the British common subject.
I might as well chime in with my own oddball views.
Britain is rapidly approaching the status of a failed nation, a status purchased through years of socialist policy undermining concepts of personal responsibility and consequences attaching to ones own actions combined with a heady broth of class warfare - what, heaven help us, the current administration attempts to foist on us, with likely the same long term result.
If Bratton can advise, so can I.
First off, once you lose control of a city the time for policing in the ordinary sense, is done. It is time to impose a curfew and bring in the regiments on a street by street sweep with fixed bayonets and live ammunition. The gloves are off on the side of the rioters - attempting to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules in dealing with them is merely a certain recipe for failure. Burning down the capitol city is not, typically, acceptable behavior and merits returning to old school solutions.
Not nice, not PC, but damned effective.
To causes. Ladies and gentlemen of Britain - the way you do things is not only broken, but it's been broken for a very long time, and fixing it is going to hurt. When the breakage is based on fundamentally faulty assumptions, repairing the damage hurts.
"The state will be there", and particularly "the state will be there to protect you and yours, thus you don't need those tacky self-defense tools" are two such assumptions.
The money is running out. The cost of social and governmental programs now exceeds what tax revenue can support, and the goose with the golden eggs has already been put to flight - those who aren't fleeing the country for tax purposes are giving it serious consideration (at least those with a shred of either sense or self-preservation).
In the face of the recent riots, your so-called conservative government is still reducing police staffing. Your government is still busy *thinking* about sterner measures to protect you...while your cities burn. Your nation has become so concerned about the feelings and well-beings of miscreants that those of the law-abiding and hard-working have become naught but hollow assumptions based on a foundation of molded sugar on a sandy beach with the tide coming in.
You can reverse this. But it will involve difficult choices, and the re-growth of the long-dormant yet just famous British backbone. You will have to reign in social programs. The NHS, in all its dystopian glory, will need to be privatized. Industry will have to be promoted, as will entrepreneurs. You cannot have peace without at least the HOPE of opportunity, and a stranglehold on business - even in the name of safety, fairness, and smurfhood - tends to quash such hopes. Desperate folks tend to do desperate things.
You will need to re-introduce the notion of consequences for bad acts. Both immediate, by allowing your citizens to exercise the fundamental right of self-defense against criminal assault with all the tools modern technology affords us, and long term through the use of meaningful and effective punishments.
There will be consequences to your good acts, as you will be breaking with generations of state-encouraged parasitism and irresponsibility. There will be riots. And they will need to be suppressed. Vigorously.
To rioters and protesters? You start burning down cities, getting to play with the big kids is the risk you take. The gloves come off at that point, as you are endangering civilization. If it's important enough to you that you're willing to take that risk - go for it. If not, don't whine when the regiments show up.
To parents and co-residents? If you want to keep your subsidized or outright granted housing, you need to keep criminals (even those related by blood) out of your homes.
Granted, this is just an off the cuff overview, the very worst of armchair quarterbacking. But, if we're all to comment, that's about what I'm willing to spend on it.
You have my best wishes for good luck, and my regrets that I cannot offer you much hope. From where I sit, you look to be on an irretrievable downward spiral to failed nation status.