Belfast Telegraph

I’d love an iPad too, but I’m not going to nick one

By Robert McNeil

Scenes in riotous England have been compared to the Third World. Which is precisely where England would be, were it not for Scottish oil.

Their anal whingeing that their taxes bail out everybody else in Britain is a whopping great fib, concocted to disguise the facts that they have few natural assets and are running out of empire to rob.

While, at the time of going to press, there’s every chance that looting could spread to more civilised parts of Britainshire, that can’t detract from the fact that the main problem lies in the domination of the pampered and useless southern English economy, which is based entirely on usury. The controversial shires produce nothing, and the rest of the country has no manufacturing base beyond the old, traditional industries of pub ashtrays and garden gnomes.

The smoking ban had a catastrophic effect on the pub ashtray business, ultimately leading to the current riots. God save us all if the economic crisis leads to garden centres closing.

The usual siren voices say the country has “gone to the dogs”. But this is a load of shihtzu. The country has gone shopping — with bricks for currency.

I feel for the rioters. I feel they should be imprisoned. But I know where they’re coming from. For I, too, feel I’m not getting my share of shopping.

I feel disenfranchised from £2,000 tellies, iPads, and diamond-encrusted toasters. But do I riot, comrades? No, I pacify myself by watching DVDs of the first series of Star Trek on my old TV.

Also, I’m not really constitutionally disposed towards crime. Maybe it was the way I was brought up. Even in that secret laboratory we were taught the difference between right and wrong.

One of them gets you imprisoned.

The riots, alas, are merely wanton criminality. Had the rioters some moral agenda — bring back hanging; down with VAT on tracksuits — one might have sympathised. But it’s basically just the Neds’ Liberation Front.

One rozzer blamed everything on a computer game called Grand Theft Auto. I’m not familiar with the thumb-based amusement in question, but I get his drift. Frequently I’ve railed against violent computer games.

Then, having lit my smoke-bomb of outrage, I stand back and watch the illuminated faces of slack-jawed intellectuals denying such activities have a deleterious effect on the nation’s young oafs.

Watch my lips: if you spend all your leisure time simulating violence, then, well, you do the mathematics.

Meanwhile, the riots have provoked a frenzy of recriminations among the babbling classes. Rightwing people have complained about left-wing people blaming the example set by greedy corporate executives and sundry capitalist crooks. I agree with the rightwing nutters that the effect is not causal. But these decent, tax-avoiding citizens — executives and rioters all — are on the same continuum, linked to each other by a greasy band of greed, selfishness and total disregard of ordinary, boring citizens.

As a law and order man myself, were I a judge and found myself faced with a top executive pocketing a £5m ‘bonus’ and a rioter nicking a Blu-ray player, I know which one would get the stiffer sentence.

The chap in the hood could go home and beam his blu-rays at the original Star Trek.

Belfast Telegraph

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