Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tariq Ali on riots in England: Why here and now?; Neoliberalism’s chickens coming home to roost

By Tariq Ali, London

August 9, 2011 -- Why is it that the same areas always erupt first, whatever the cause? Pure accident? Might it have something to do with race and class and institutionalised poverty and the sheer grimness of everyday life?

The ruling Conservative Party-Liberal Democrats (Con-Dem) coalition politicians (including new New Labour, who might well sign up to a national government if the recession continues apace) with their petrified ideologies can’t say that because all three parties are equally responsible for the crisis.

They made the mess.

They privilege the wealthy. They let it be known that judges and magistrates should set an example by giving punitive sentences to protesters found with peashooters.

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  1. Yes, I can see how the growing frustration with income inequality could cause these poor blokes to lose it, and beat this defenceless kid bloody and steal his belongings. Doesn't everybody do that when they get frustrated?
    Tariq Ali is full of it.

  2. "If we don't want our young people to tear apart our communities then don't let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together." - A nice little take on the riots <span>(</span>
    Dismissing rioters as mindless is futile rhetoric. However unacceptable the UK riots, we need to ask why they are happening

  3. Tariq Ali:
    "Might it have something to do with race and class and institutionalised poverty and the sheer grimness of everyday life?"

    There are thousands, perhaps millions of Britains who are struggling, on the dole, or stuck in low paying jobs. They were not out rioting and looting their neighborhoods. They did not beat up innocent students or elderly men trying to protect their property, or set fire to their local stores. I read an article yesterday about the profile of many of the people who were arrested. They have jobs. One pair was a Postman and his Son!!!!! Ah, a family that loots together! Another was a student at an elite school. Most of these rioters are  valueles creeps who seized an opportunity to steal and destroy. Most did not care about Mark Duggan. The Duggan protesters were peaceful.
    Yes, ask the question about why they are happening, but Tariq Ali answered with the usual tripe.

  4. Tariq Ali, dirty red. Don't listen, don't read.

  5. Can I comment? Not sure I can. I think Tariq is a sectarian racist. [See I love Britain. I am defending Britain from Tariq.]

    :)   :)   :)

  6. I ALWAYS read, sir. I don't always agree, but I will read anyone's point of view. I have learned from experience reading Ali, that a lot, not all, of what he writes is tripe. That's my opinion.
    The assumptions you make with that little taunt are rather narrow-minded, don't you think?

  7. <span>"I think Tariq is a sectarian racist"</span>

    Any proof of that allegation, you piece of slandering crap? How his aricle is reflecting a sectarian and racist views again?

  8. <span> "Looters did to the streets what our state has done to the rest of the world for over a century". Lowkey</span>

  9. <span><span>"Looters did to the streets what our state has done to the rest of the world for over a century". Lowkey</span></span>

    I didn't say it ;)   TGIA said it. I am pro British. :) It is concievable that perhaps Lowkey might not be completely wrong. Again, I am pro British!!!

  10. TGIA, Tariq Ali and the patriotic nonsectarian Iraqi Mojo were once at the same event. This is pre 9/11 I believe. Tariq was asked about Saddam oppressing the Kurds. Tariq gave an anti Kurdish response.

    Have read many of Tariq's articles. While this one may not betray sectarian bias, many of his other pieces do. For example Tariq's anger against the Najaf Marjeya and Sayyed Ali al Sistani, may peace be upon him. [Perhaps some of it came from Tariq's strong bias against organized religion?]

    Tariq has a pro ISI directorate perspective in many of his comments about South Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban. He hates the ANA for example. [Implying that they are not authentically Pashtun when about 42% of the ANA is Pashtun. About 41% of all Afghans are Pashuns. Therefore the ANA is nonsectarian and ethnically balanced despite Tariq's innuendos. Musharraf has said that all Pashtuns are not Taliban, but that all Taliban are Pashtuns. Why is it so hard for Tariq Ali to publicly acknowledge what even Tariq Ali's Musharraf has acknowledged?]

    TGIA, maybe you will claim that Tariq Ali is a Pakistani citizen and naturally sympathizes with his country's "national interests;" and that much of Tariq's hatred for the ANA comes from the fact that many [truth be told, really most] ANA hate Pakistan and don't hide it.

    You would have a point. But TGIA, how can you expect me to forget how Tariq has taken an anti Shiite, anti Tajic, anti Uzbek stance on Afghanistan? How can you expect me to forget how Tariq implicitly supports the Taliban against Pakistani citizen Shiites.

    I understand that Tariq feels the need to support attacks against Afghan Shiites. After all they are his country's "Shatru" [means enemy in Urdu.] But to implicitly support attacks against patriotic Pakistani citizens known for their loyalty and love for Pakistan?

    Look I am trying to be reasonable. VZA loves America and takes a pro American perspective. Naturally Tariq loves Pakistan and takes what he thinks is a "pro Pakistan" perspective. But Tariq sometimes goes over the line.

  11. <span>Rush Limbaugh offered some comments on the London riots yesterday. His first point was that the target of the rioters is the "rich," and "self-reliant" individuals who own businesses. By contrast, the rioters are poor, lazy bums who only survive by sucking on the teat of the welfare state. (Note how this tracks the lies told </span><span>after the devastation of New Orleans</span><span>.) Limbaugh went on to say that this is the mentality of "Obama voters" in the United States. For Limbaugh, Obama is a "socialist" who seeks to destroy the rich -- and he thus disregards every critical fact about Obama and his record, which compels the conclusion that Obama is the perfect embodiment of the authoritarian-corporatist system, who enthusiastically seeks to increase the power and wealth of the ruling class. And Limbaugh ominously went on to warn that we in the United States aren't far at all from what's happening in England. In other words, and almost in Limbaugh's exact words, the primary target of the rioters, present and future -- and, much more significantly for Limbaugh, the primary victim -- is rich whitey</span>
    <span>There, vza, onan, all summed up for you.</span>

  12. Limbaugh produces even more tripe than Ali. 

  13. <span><span>"Looters did to the streets what our state has done to the rest of the world for over a century". Lowkey</span></span>

    I think both Lowkey and you would be singing and rappping a diffrent tune if those looters (oops! I mean fighters for social justice!) attacked your home, or your child, or your works of art.

  14. <span>Again, I am pro British!!!</span>

    Anan, you sound retarded. You really do!

  15. Does the Lowkey statement imply approval of the actions of looters or state? I don't read it that way.
    Who called these people fighters for social justice? On my blog I called them consumers (government approves) without the wherewithal (government is enraged).
    English city councils are now evicting the families of convicted looters from their social housing, something I call collective punishment.

  16. When I read the Lowkey statement, I'd never heard of the geezer, thought it was a surname. Now I've found the words in context -
    <span>"Looters did to the streets what our state has done to the rest of the world for over a century. "Might is right" is all we as citizens have been shown. Capitalism has taught our children to be motivated by instant gratification, ego worship and respect only violence. No person is born wanting to steal and fight police. Call them animals if it makes you feel better. Look at the reasons if you care about finding a solution."</span>
    <span>I don't recognise any incitement to attack homes, children or works of art - or approval of such acts.</span>
    <span>Works of art? First I've heard of any attacks on them. If it's anything by Damien Hirst or Tracy Emin I won't be losing any sleep.</span>

  17. <span><span> First I've heard of any attacks on them. If it's anything by Damien Hirst or Tracy Emin I won't be losing any sleep</span></span>
    <span><span>.</span></span> :-D
    My response was to Tgia, who posted the comment. That is what I meant by works of art.

    Sorry, It's always the State, its always capitalism. The same old b. s. Abdication of personal responsibility. If large numbers were out rioting and looting, I would start looking at the State and capitalism. The percentage of people who participated in the riots is extremely small.

    Lowkey said, "Capitalism has taught our children to be motivated by instant gratification, ego worship, and to respect only violence"

    Capitalism should not be teaching your children anything. Parents and families TEACH children the values they need to live a decent life and counterbalance the souless consumerism.  How insulting to all those good kids and their families, both poor and middle class, who were not out rioting and destroying. How did they escape the destructive and selfish lure of capitalism? Lowkey sounds reasonable to you because he says look to the reasons, but he already knows the answer: The STATE and CAPITALISM.
    I agree, ask why they are rioting, but England, and the U.S., for that matter, do not need the same tired old excuses from the lions of the Left to explain away this mess.

  18. <span>English city councils are now evicting the families of convicted looters from their social housing, something I call collective punishment.</span>

    What is social housing?  Subsidized by the taxpayers? Then the residents of those houses should have a social contract that requires them to be responsible parents or guardians. Yes, there should be consequences for irresponsible conduct that affects the rest of your community, especially since the community is helping to pay for your basic needs. I wouldn't throw them out for one offense, but I would have high expectations and consequences.
    What should the State do? You are against collective punishment, but you do like the collective responsibility of taxpayers to support everybody regardless of whether or not they do anything to improve their own lot in life?

  19. Yes, the taxpayers are supporting employers who refuse to pay their workers a living wage. I dare you'd sooner the money went to the military-industrial complex.
    "Lions of the left"? You're beginning to write like the fool onan as well as thinking like him. Soon you'll be telling us that capitalism "rocks".

  20. <span><span>As I was writing my comment above, I knew this would be your response.  Anan and the military. The only thing missing is you saying I sound like fleming. You use that trope often. Only approved Leftist ideological answers allowed, You mean to be insulting and that disappoints me, because I respect you, and think you are a very witty commenter, even though you have a chip on your shoulder, the size of a house and are anti-American.    
     My argument for responsibilities and consequences for residents of social housing does not preclude the need for improvement in other areas, whether its in wages or a more fair execution of justice. Your MPs who cheated on their expense accounts have a hell of a lot of nerve bleating in Parliament about the looters, when they basically did the same thing. They should have had the book thrown at them and spent some time in jail.    
    Inequaltiy and unfairness do not give any of us an excuse to run amok and destroy, especially when the very people who are in the same boat as us, will suffer the most from our actions.    
    Besides, as my dear mother would always say, "I don't care if everybody in the world is doing______, WE don't!    
    Both my parents were raised in abject poverty. I never heard any whining about the unfairness of it all from them. And they never used or accepted poverty as an excuse for destructive behavior.    
    Your country, as well as mine to an extent. have become places where its all about "rights" and what the STATE owes ME and nothing about responsibilities.</span></span>

  21. You shouldn't respect me, vza, I'm a dirty red.
    Anyone who rails against injustice and inequality can be dismissed as a leftist with a chip on their shoulder. Too easy. You are not going to admit that people have a right to fight for social justice, to speak or write against the glaring inequalities that daily see off people in this world we inhabit? Come on! If that is having a chip on one's shoulder measure me for a bigger chip.
    I didn't say you are like fleming? I thought that comparing to our token idiot was a big enough burden. I do see a common theme though; any criticism of capitalism is taken by you to be criticism of the USA. You must unlink the two, vza, or you give the impression of carrying the proverbial chip.
    I don't think I'm anti-American, but I will continue to snipe at the American imperialists and their misdeeds (the State Department trembles). You can take that personally if you like. The pursuit of equality and social justice calls for exposure and restraint of the biggest bully. That bully today is the USA.
    Your parents didn't whine about their abject poverty. I suggest they could have waxed indignant about it without losing any self-respect. Perhaps if more Americans had done so the USA wouldn't have a population, forty percent of which is surviving with aid of food stamps.
    Those grasping, cheating employers sponging off the state again.

  22. <span><span>You are not going to admit that people have a right to fight for social justice, to speak or write against the glaring inequalities that daily see off people in this world we inhabit?</span>  
    Where did I ever say that people do not have the right to fight for social justice? How silly.  
    I just do not see that most of the rioters in England THIS  Week were consciously or unconsciously fighting for social justice and equality. Sorry, do not buy it. Most of the rioters were self-centered little pigs. Yes, by all means, let's find out how they became self-centered little pigs.  
    My parents waxed indignant aplenty...they did not WHINE. There is a difference. They were involved with practical efforts to change the situation and always stood up for the weak among us. They did not blame every thing that was wrong on the State and sure as hell never expected the STATE to give their children direction, a meaning in life, or to motivate us.   
    40 percent of Americans are NOT on food stamps! More like 15%.  
    Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in May, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.  
    When I saw the immigrant communities bravely defending their hard earned businesses from the thugs, I wanted to break out singing, "There'll Always be an England".  
    The Lefties probably hate that song.</span>

  23. Some women were taking diapers and formula...

  24. You are right, capitalism should not be teaching our children anything, but with its influence on government, Hollywood, education, etc, it is teaching them very much.  

  25. The governmet is planning on kicking out mothers whose teenage sons were looting.  What does that solve?

  26. Those guest comments were from me.  England has the lowest levels of social mobility than any Western country.  I think that might've had a wee bit to do witht things.


  28. Welcome back Molly.. :)

  29. I don't know about you, vza, but I'm tiring of this exchange that's going nowhere, so I'm replying to your last comment and moving on.
    You didn't write that people don't have the right to fight for social justice, but let anyone attack the obstacles to social justice and you will dismiss them as out of date leftists. Nothing brings a response from you more quickly than criticism of capitalism.
    But let's get one thing straight, I have never written one word in defence of the looters. I have never tried to justify or explain what they did. Now I will say this, the master criminals commit their offences where there's no cctv (they own the cctv) so the outpourings of righteous indignation are not about them. But let some snotnose kid nick £1.5O's worth of water and the legal system that allows a millionaire's son to walk free after he has mown down and killed two people while drunk, will throw the lad in among hardened criminals to further develop the skills he'll need as a jobseeker with a criminal record.
    In a world full of governments made up of criminals, right-wing dictators and kleptocrats it's Hugo Chavez that has you foaming at the mouth. I wonder why. I'm no admirer of Chavez but when I look at the people lining up against him I wonder when you'll have a word to say against them.
    40 percent, 15 percent? More research needed, eh? I won't be taking your and CNN's figure as the last word.
    The reason those young Asian lads were out defending their family shops was because they knew the cops weren't going to do it. Their job was to defend the stores with names you'd recognise, the ones that wouldn't notice their losses in the riots. If the cops had seen a bunch of Asian youths standing around in the street they'd have arrested them. 

  30. Addendum and (it looks like) corrigendum -
    I got the figure 40% on food stamps from the TV , but maybe I should have heard 14%. I'm old and somewhat deaf.
    I'm not often wrong, but when I am I'm the last to admit it.