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Why looting has returned to London In a city plagued by disunity, raw power reigns

(Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


August 15, 2023   3 mins

Lockdown reportedly returned to Bexleyheath on Saturday. As rumours about an impending wave of “TikTok-fuelled looting” circulated on social media, shopkeepers debated whether it was safe to unlock their doors. Eventually they did, but only after a dispersal order was issued, handing the police additional powers to snuff out antisocial behaviour. No doubt the Met’s officers hoped to avoid a repeat of the carnage that had unfolded earlier in the week, when gangs of children ran amok on Oxford Street, allegedly in the hope of ransacking a JD Sports.

Central London isn’t “safe anymore”, led one report after the mayhem. Countless others carried a similar message: that lawlessness had returned to the capital’s streets.

You will forgive me if I reserve my shock and outrage. I was born in Hackney, east London, in the early Seventies, when such scenes regularly played out in working-class communities to little or no media fanfare. My inner-city state schools were more like prisons, and by the time I was 18, I had seen more acts of violence than I care to remember. I have been stabbed, witnessed numerous muggings, and seen first-hand the effects of extreme violence, usually meted out on the most vulnerable. I often think back to my grandmother’s elderly neighbours on both sides. Both were widows; both had husbands who were decorated war heroes; both were brutally mugged as they collected their pensions from the local post office.

During the Eighties, shootings became more common, adding to the chaos which had already escalated after the mental health wards of Hackney Hospital threw their confused patients onto the streets as part of a “care in the community” scheme. I left the area in my mid-twenties and lived and worked in early post-war Bosnia. It was still violent, with guns widespread. But the irony was that I felt safer there than in Hackney; the former paramilitaries that ran the local bars at least had a social code.

Despite the horrors, my memories of Hackney remain mixed. As violent and poor as it once was, there was always a sense of solidarity. The settled white working-class communities were nearly always at the sharp end of the policies imposed by successive post-war governments, almost all without democratic consent. Mass immigration radically altered those communities, but they largely muddled along as best they could, forming cross-cultural social norms. At my grandmother’s funeral, mourners from every race gathered to commemorate the life of a white working-class cockney matriarch. Born into desperate poverty to a widowed mum with seven kids in the Thirties, she formed deep bonds with the first-generation Afro-Caribbean mums who, as they grew older, would look out for each other.

Over the past decade, however, such multiracial harmony has slowly been replaced with new cultural norms centred around self-expression and hyper-individualism. The civilising nature of national identity and shared values — precisely those that held together the long put-upon British working class, black and white — are now viewed as gauche and unreconstructed concepts. In their place, today’s cultural narratives divide society along identity lines. If it erases the agency and “lived experience” of long-established working-class communities and casts the UK as a racist hellhole, so be it.

And so, our media and political classes shifted their focus, falling back on racial battlelines that had already inflamed the US but bore little relation to the reality of day-to-day life in Britain. Last August, the researcher David Rozado revealed how extensive this shift has been. He found that, between 2010 and 2020, “terms such as racism and white supremacy in popular UK media outlets increased on average by 769% and 2,827%, respectively”. During the same period, “mentions in BBC content of terms suggestive of racism have increased by over 802%… hate speech (880%), 
 or slavery (413%)”.

What impact is this likely to have in Hackney, which remains one of London’s most dangerous boroughs? My time there and in Bosnia taught me that while human beings naturally tend towards tribalism, the steady cultivation of tolerance and mutual respect can be learnt and transmitted anew to each generation through our institutions and broader culture. But in London, these principles have since been erased, replaced with a moral evaluation of human nature that is determined on ahistorical levels of oppression. As egalitarianism fell out of favour, the bonds which held a community together, encouraging certain behaviours and outlawing others, started to fray.

Perhaps with this in mind, we can interpret the entrenchment of crime and anomie in London as the beginning of the end for our political and cultural elites’ long-held luxury beliefs. It is all too easy to destroy the organic evolution of human neighbourhoods; a fragile, chaotic and precious process that must be nurtured from generation to generation. From its ruins, we do not get a top-down corporate utopia of “diverse and inclusive” communities. Instead, we get a society in which the fragile ties of human solidarity are rendered ever more vulnerable, the strong prey on the weak, and raw power reins.


Doug Stokes is the Director of the Strategy and Security Institute, University of Exeter and a fellow of the Council on GeoStrategy and the Legatum Institute. His new book, Against Decolonisation: The Campus Culture Wars and the Decline of the West, is due in September 2023.

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Max Price
Max Price
9 months ago

Wonderful article Doug, thank you. The class aspect of this whole thing is not spoken of enough. Upper middle class progressives denouncing the white working as racist when it’s the working class of whatever race that have lived in multi racial communities for generations. I lived in East London when I was there and now live in Western Sydney high is hugely racially diverse. What I see in these diverse communities are different racial communities getting on just fine, for the most part. These progressive freaks just need to leave us alone.

Last edited 9 months ago by Max Price
Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

What exactly are these progressive freaks doing to you, Max?

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
9 months ago

Oooh, where to begin. Dividing society via re-racialisation of everything, stoking resentment between men and women, teaching queer theory to school children, demonisation of the working classes, demonisation of national pride, demonisation of all men, demonisation of women who don’t want to see a d*ck in their changing rooms, sterilising emotionally vulnerable children. How’s that for starters? There’s more but it’s early and I haven’t had a cuppa yet.

Andrew H
Andrew H
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

That’s a fantastic and entirely justified list for starters – excellent work!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

Thanks for dealing with Champagne Fascist.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Champagne Fascist = UnHerd’s official troll – lol

Last edited 9 months ago by Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Champagne Fascist = UnHerd’s official troll – lol

Last edited 9 months ago by Cathy Carron
Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

So actually nothing other than making you a bit angry because you like being a racist and don’t want to be told that its not great?
Go get yer cuppa, sunshine, see if you can do better after that!

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

Well said. But why are they doing this? It’s slap dash and ill thought out, so it can’t be planned. Also it comes from a strata of society who have proven time and time again that joined up thinking and sensible planning are outwith their skill set. Maybe Chesterton was right with regards to believing anything once faith is removed, although I’ve never had faith; but I do consider christian society to have moulded my and our societies values (which, by and large, at core, seem reasonable. – but of course it moulded my mindset
.). I’m not convinced that it’s as base as merely siding with the most powerful tribe, though I’m probably wrong, bemused as I am that a seemingly educated and stable society could go so batshit crazy in so short a period.

Andrew H
Andrew H
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

That’s a fantastic and entirely justified list for starters – excellent work!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

Thanks for dealing with Champagne Fascist.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

So actually nothing other than making you a bit angry because you like being a racist and don’t want to be told that its not great?
Go get yer cuppa, sunshine, see if you can do better after that!

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

Well said. But why are they doing this? It’s slap dash and ill thought out, so it can’t be planned. Also it comes from a strata of society who have proven time and time again that joined up thinking and sensible planning are outwith their skill set. Maybe Chesterton was right with regards to believing anything once faith is removed, although I’ve never had faith; but I do consider christian society to have moulded my and our societies values (which, by and large, at core, seem reasonable. – but of course it moulded my mindset
.). I’m not convinced that it’s as base as merely siding with the most powerful tribe, though I’m probably wrong, bemused as I am that a seemingly educated and stable society could go so batshit crazy in so short a period.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago

Pimping for sadistic paedophilia, Champagne.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
9 months ago

It does not have to be done to you personally to be corrosive to society, maybe a little less of the champagne and and just a passing knowledge of socialism might be wise perhaps


Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
9 months ago

Oooh, where to begin. Dividing society via re-racialisation of everything, stoking resentment between men and women, teaching queer theory to school children, demonisation of the working classes, demonisation of national pride, demonisation of all men, demonisation of women who don’t want to see a d*ck in their changing rooms, sterilising emotionally vulnerable children. How’s that for starters? There’s more but it’s early and I haven’t had a cuppa yet.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago

Pimping for sadistic paedophilia, Champagne.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
9 months ago

It does not have to be done to you personally to be corrosive to society, maybe a little less of the champagne and and just a passing knowledge of socialism might be wise perhaps


Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

Well said.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
8 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

I will beg to differ, having been part of the “white flight” of the working class from London in the 1960s and 1970s. They wanted nothing to do with the incomers and anyway the worthwhile work was gone or rapidly going.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

What exactly are these progressive freaks doing to you, Max?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

Well said.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
8 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

I will beg to differ, having been part of the “white flight” of the working class from London in the 1960s and 1970s. They wanted nothing to do with the incomers and anyway the worthwhile work was gone or rapidly going.

Max Price
Max Price
9 months ago

Wonderful article Doug, thank you. The class aspect of this whole thing is not spoken of enough. Upper middle class progressives denouncing the white working as racist when it’s the working class of whatever race that have lived in multi racial communities for generations. I lived in East London when I was there and now live in Western Sydney high is hugely racially diverse. What I see in these diverse communities are different racial communities getting on just fine, for the most part. These progressive freaks just need to leave us alone.

Last edited 9 months ago by Max Price
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago

“Why looting has returned to London”
Because of black privilege.

Marissa M
Marissa M
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Yeah.
And you better get it under control, England. I am in California and am witnessing firsthand the demise of San Francisco. It is being cheerfully and systematically destroyed. And a governor telling the black community they will soon receive reparations. From a state that has already gone out of its way to help the black community. Black privilege indeed.
It is madness.

Last edited 9 months ago by Marissa M
ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
8 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

The most intractable aspect of all this, is that the sanctimonious, self-satisfied white liberals driving this policy forward, believe that they will somehow stand in the winds that will then blow.

They would do well to remember Sir Thoms More’s aphorism about “allowing the Devil the benefit of law, for his own safety”

They might consider Solzhenitsyn’s description of Party loyalists in the Gulag, protesting “there is some mistake” as they starved and died.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
8 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

The most intractable aspect of all this, is that the sanctimonious, self-satisfied white liberals driving this policy forward, believe that they will somehow stand in the winds that will then blow.

They would do well to remember Sir Thoms More’s aphorism about “allowing the Devil the benefit of law, for his own safety”

They might consider Solzhenitsyn’s description of Party loyalists in the Gulag, protesting “there is some mistake” as they starved and died.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Why don’t you explain that to us, Richard?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Presumably you are too young to remember Enoch Powell,MBE?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago

I’m not too young to know that he was a racist scumbag. No doubt you are sympathetic…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Tut, tut, such passion in one so young!
Incidentally what am I supposed to be “sympathetic” about? You describing the late Enoch Powell, MBE, as a “ racist scumbag” perhaps?

You must choose your words more carefully if don’t wish to be thought of as a juvenile cretin, must you not?

William Cameron
William Cameron
8 months ago

Except he was nt he correctly forecast the racial division caused by mass immigration.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
7 months ago

Actually Mr Powell was neither a racist nor a scumbag. he was a highly educated & principled man who spoke many languages, including many of those spoken by the immigrants of the time. He may have overestimated the cultural education of those in the Media at the point where ‘woke’ behaviour was just being born but I suggest you listen to his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech & then look round the world today. You may have taken it to refer to all Black/ Asian people but that was never the case & the proof of his words are on the streets of London today! In fact, to someone of my generation who grew up in a multiracial area which had seen waves of previous immigrants arrive, take advantage of the abilities offered to better themselves & prosper all in a peaceful way, he now seems to have spoken the words of a prophet! He was talking about MASS IMIGRATION not immigration per se.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Tut, tut, such passion in one so young!
Incidentally what am I supposed to be “sympathetic” about? You describing the late Enoch Powell, MBE, as a “ racist scumbag” perhaps?

You must choose your words more carefully if don’t wish to be thought of as a juvenile cretin, must you not?

William Cameron
William Cameron
8 months ago

Except he was nt he correctly forecast the racial division caused by mass immigration.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
7 months ago

Actually Mr Powell was neither a racist nor a scumbag. he was a highly educated & principled man who spoke many languages, including many of those spoken by the immigrants of the time. He may have overestimated the cultural education of those in the Media at the point where ‘woke’ behaviour was just being born but I suggest you listen to his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech & then look round the world today. You may have taken it to refer to all Black/ Asian people but that was never the case & the proof of his words are on the streets of London today! In fact, to someone of my generation who grew up in a multiracial area which had seen waves of previous immigrants arrive, take advantage of the abilities offered to better themselves & prosper all in a peaceful way, he now seems to have spoken the words of a prophet! He was talking about MASS IMIGRATION not immigration per se.

John Solomon
John Solomon
9 months ago

It’s obviously reminiscence day! I distinctly remember one day in 1977 or 1978 sitting on the tube (Central line, I think) and when I looked up I was sitting opposite Enoch Powell. I was too young, too shy and too polite to say anything, but I remember thinking even then how wonderful it was to be in a country where someone that eminent was ‘in and among’ the plebs (whether you agree with his politics or not, he was eminent.)
I doubt that would happen now.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Why?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

I had the same experience once when I sat next to Anthony Wedgwood Benn in MacDonalds in Victoria. We had quite a convivial chat, as one might expect fellow Englishmen, regardless of political conviction to do.
Those were the days,

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago

I can remember when the Agenda Page in The Guardian had an article by Enoch Powell next to one by Michael Foot. To me that was Liberalism in practice. It was also a time when the Labour Party had scholars as MPs.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
9 months ago

I can remember when the Agenda Page in The Guardian had an article by Enoch Powell next to one by Michael Foot. To me that was Liberalism in practice. It was also a time when the Labour Party had scholars as MPs.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Why?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

I had the same experience once when I sat next to Anthony Wedgwood Benn in MacDonalds in Victoria. We had quite a convivial chat, as one might expect fellow Englishmen, regardless of political conviction to do.
Those were the days,

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago

I’m not too young to know that he was a racist scumbag. No doubt you are sympathetic…

John Solomon
John Solomon
9 months ago

It’s obviously reminiscence day! I distinctly remember one day in 1977 or 1978 sitting on the tube (Central line, I think) and when I looked up I was sitting opposite Enoch Powell. I was too young, too shy and too polite to say anything, but I remember thinking even then how wonderful it was to be in a country where someone that eminent was ‘in and among’ the plebs (whether you agree with his politics or not, he was eminent.)
I doubt that would happen now.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Presumably you are too young to remember Enoch Powell,MBE?

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Partially true but far more to do with the source of immigrants now on our streets. No longer the the West Indian immigrants who shared both our culture (in the main) & the mainstream religion or members of the Commonwealth who had given good service to the UK in various forms & who came here to bring prosperity UK but people from different parts of the world who had no ties to this country & came here, often illegally, having been told that they would be given everything they wanted &, if it wasn’t given, they could judt take what they wanted because they were off a superior faith & it was their duty to bring the world under one rule even though it was alien to Western thought, beliefs & principles.

Marissa M
Marissa M
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Yeah.
And you better get it under control, England. I am in California and am witnessing firsthand the demise of San Francisco. It is being cheerfully and systematically destroyed. And a governor telling the black community they will soon receive reparations. From a state that has already gone out of its way to help the black community. Black privilege indeed.
It is madness.

Last edited 9 months ago by Marissa M
Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Why don’t you explain that to us, Richard?

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Partially true but far more to do with the source of immigrants now on our streets. No longer the the West Indian immigrants who shared both our culture (in the main) & the mainstream religion or members of the Commonwealth who had given good service to the UK in various forms & who came here to bring prosperity UK but people from different parts of the world who had no ties to this country & came here, often illegally, having been told that they would be given everything they wanted &, if it wasn’t given, they could judt take what they wanted because they were off a superior faith & it was their duty to bring the world under one rule even though it was alien to Western thought, beliefs & principles.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago

“Why looting has returned to London”
Because of black privilege.

Waffles
Waffles
9 months ago

Defund the BBC. It spreads racial intolerance and division.

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
9 months ago
Reply to  Waffles

Have you had the misfortune to see any of channel 4 news recently? If they’ve run anything that wasn’t race or gender related in recent memory I’ll eat my shoes.

Jonathan N
Jonathan N
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

That’s true, but I think it has improved markedly since they finally persuaded Jon Snow to leave: they actually challenge their leftist guests more than you get on the BBC. Also, their foreign coverage from conflict zones is generally excellent.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

I Freudianly misread your “recent” as “racent”, which just goes to show!

Jonathan N
Jonathan N
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

That’s true, but I think it has improved markedly since they finally persuaded Jon Snow to leave: they actually challenge their leftist guests more than you get on the BBC. Also, their foreign coverage from conflict zones is generally excellent.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

I Freudianly misread your “recent” as “racent”, which just goes to show!

William Rice
William Rice
9 months ago
Reply to  Waffles

Since when did looting stop in any major city worldwide when there is racial or political tension???

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor
9 months ago
Reply to  Waffles

but if we do that who is going to intimidate and shake down the vulnerable and pensioners for tv licence money? we have parasitical enforcement agencies to think about.

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
9 months ago
Reply to  Waffles

Have you had the misfortune to see any of channel 4 news recently? If they’ve run anything that wasn’t race or gender related in recent memory I’ll eat my shoes.

William Rice
William Rice
9 months ago
Reply to  Waffles

Since when did looting stop in any major city worldwide when there is racial or political tension???

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor
9 months ago
Reply to  Waffles

but if we do that who is going to intimidate and shake down the vulnerable and pensioners for tv licence money? we have parasitical enforcement agencies to think about.

Waffles
Waffles
9 months ago

Defund the BBC. It spreads racial intolerance and division.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
9 months ago

Three decades of promoting multiculturalism has merely left us with a multiplicity of monocultures.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
9 months ago

Excellently put! I shall quote that a lot.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
9 months ago

Excellently put! I shall quote that a lot.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
9 months ago

Three decades of promoting multiculturalism has merely left us with a multiplicity of monocultures.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

I used to work in Hackney, and people would get mugged in the company car park – as a car-less Zone 1 person who could run fast, I didn’t much care, and I still liked the place – overall.
I think this article nails what has happened in this century:
“The civilising nature of national identity and shared values — precisely those that held together the long put-upon British working class, black and white — are now viewed as gauche and unreconstructed concepts. In their place, today’s cultural narratives divide society along identity lines.”
Spot on – and a wonderful article, thanks.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

“Divide society along identity lines” means, divide society along tribal lines.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
9 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

“Divide society along identity lines” means, divide society along tribal lines.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
9 months ago

I used to work in Hackney, and people would get mugged in the company car park – as a car-less Zone 1 person who could run fast, I didn’t much care, and I still liked the place – overall.
I think this article nails what has happened in this century:
“The civilising nature of national identity and shared values — precisely those that held together the long put-upon British working class, black and white — are now viewed as gauche and unreconstructed concepts. In their place, today’s cultural narratives divide society along identity lines.”
Spot on – and a wonderful article, thanks.

Ken Charman
Ken Charman
9 months ago

Having been born in Dagenham and worked for my Dad roofing across east London before becoming socially mobile, I used to take the District Line once a week from Cannon St to Hornchurch to visit home. Today I feel like an outsider. I have never trouble travelling in the rush hour but I couldn’t help observing that the Londoners I grew up with are now ethically absent. From 95% when I was born in 1956 the white British in Barking and Dagenham have declined to 30%. They never voted for this. With change on this scale, in an identity defined culture, can this be called cleansing?

Last edited 9 months ago by Ken Charman
Ken Charman
Ken Charman
9 months ago

Having been born in Dagenham and worked for my Dad roofing across east London before becoming socially mobile, I used to take the District Line once a week from Cannon St to Hornchurch to visit home. Today I feel like an outsider. I have never trouble travelling in the rush hour but I couldn’t help observing that the Londoners I grew up with are now ethically absent. From 95% when I was born in 1956 the white British in Barking and Dagenham have declined to 30%. They never voted for this. With change on this scale, in an identity defined culture, can this be called cleansing?

Last edited 9 months ago by Ken Charman
Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
9 months ago

Agree completely except with the characterization of these violent looters as “children.” That term simply doesn’t apply and tends to trivialize the felonious behavior of these aggressive and dangerous hyena packs.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
9 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

Agree.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
9 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

Agree.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
9 months ago

Agree completely except with the characterization of these violent looters as “children.” That term simply doesn’t apply and tends to trivialize the felonious behavior of these aggressive and dangerous hyena packs.

Andrew H
Andrew H
9 months ago

Marvellous and heartfelt article. I have no way of checking the author’s statistics on the patently inflationary use of terms such as white supremacy and slavery, but they certainly sound about right. Anyway, this is an outstanding piece.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

The sad thing is that propaganda works. So a recent study in the US shows that black people are much more likely in the US to say that the US is racist that they were 20 years ago. This isn’t surprising when you governments, media, and the school system have been telling them this for years.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

The sad thing is that propaganda works. So a recent study in the US shows that black people are much more likely in the US to say that the US is racist that they were 20 years ago. This isn’t surprising when you governments, media, and the school system have been telling them this for years.

Andrew H
Andrew H
9 months ago

Marvellous and heartfelt article. I have no way of checking the author’s statistics on the patently inflationary use of terms such as white supremacy and slavery, but they certainly sound about right. Anyway, this is an outstanding piece.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago

It is all too easy to destroy the organic evolution of human neighbourhoods; a fragile, chaotic and precious process that must be nurtured from generation to generation.

Very true. Yet this holds no interest for our governing class with their socialist and egalitarian instincts. This is one area where ‘organic’ is unwelcome. In fact, the need for social engineering is assumed to be urgent – lest ‘wrong’ social structures and relationships prevail.
Political activists who gain the power to create their dream of a better world inhabited by improved, morally reconstucted people are like those urban planners who have the power to impose their creative vision. We are supposed to celebrate what they’ve done for us yet so often it is cold and alienating.

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I was going to quote the same part for similar reasons 🙂
There is a whiff of promise I would like to add via those who came to Western countries from various parts of Asia, Mauritius, etc. – who cannot be mistaken for whites, and hence cannot be cancelled simply for expecting our countries’ values upheld / reason to keep prevailing. They themselves migrated to Western countries, or their parents did – uprooting families is no mean feat, and they consider what’s left of our cultures worthwhile to fight for. Their “fight” is often far more subtle and persistent than those of us, who came from previously communist countries and carry flags and placards for causes readily.
I have high hopes for Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman and especially for Katharine Birbalsingh. Katharine Birbalsingh is my hero..
Their Australian counterparts are being savaged into near-irrelevance, as they are occupied with being constantly forced into pig wrestling, unless they parrot woke ideology.

Last edited 9 months ago by Katalin Kish
Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
7 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Socialists are not egaliteran. They use the divide & rule method to keep people in smaller groups whom they can award and punish at their pleasure.

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I was going to quote the same part for similar reasons 🙂
There is a whiff of promise I would like to add via those who came to Western countries from various parts of Asia, Mauritius, etc. – who cannot be mistaken for whites, and hence cannot be cancelled simply for expecting our countries’ values upheld / reason to keep prevailing. They themselves migrated to Western countries, or their parents did – uprooting families is no mean feat, and they consider what’s left of our cultures worthwhile to fight for. Their “fight” is often far more subtle and persistent than those of us, who came from previously communist countries and carry flags and placards for causes readily.
I have high hopes for Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman and especially for Katharine Birbalsingh. Katharine Birbalsingh is my hero..
Their Australian counterparts are being savaged into near-irrelevance, as they are occupied with being constantly forced into pig wrestling, unless they parrot woke ideology.

Last edited 9 months ago by Katalin Kish
Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
7 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Socialists are not egaliteran. They use the divide & rule method to keep people in smaller groups whom they can award and punish at their pleasure.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago

It is all too easy to destroy the organic evolution of human neighbourhoods; a fragile, chaotic and precious process that must be nurtured from generation to generation.

Very true. Yet this holds no interest for our governing class with their socialist and egalitarian instincts. This is one area where ‘organic’ is unwelcome. In fact, the need for social engineering is assumed to be urgent – lest ‘wrong’ social structures and relationships prevail.
Political activists who gain the power to create their dream of a better world inhabited by improved, morally reconstucted people are like those urban planners who have the power to impose their creative vision. We are supposed to celebrate what they’ve done for us yet so often it is cold and alienating.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
9 months ago

Another problem surely is so-called ‘aspirational’ culture and hyper mobility. People are never meant to be content now; we’re always going onto something, someone or somewhere else, all fuelled by fantasies of some have-it-all mythical better life.

The housing market has also turned homes into assets with no other value than their cash convertibility value and of course our elites have made jobs far more insecure.

But with all the future dislocation from more technology, I wonder how things can be at least be slowed down.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Good point no doubt. But I’m alway curious to know how this could have been stopped if not by heavily interventionist (lefty) policies which if actually spelt out would be getting as many down-ticks as this comment has up-ticks. The right is completely bereft of actual policies now that the ‘free – market’ solution to everything has been shown to be the nonsense it always was. Remember it was Liz Truss who went on about ‘aspiration’ – the ‘aspirational’ culture referred to above is the child of Thatcherism.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Good point no doubt. But I’m alway curious to know how this could have been stopped if not by heavily interventionist (lefty) policies which if actually spelt out would be getting as many down-ticks as this comment has up-ticks. The right is completely bereft of actual policies now that the ‘free – market’ solution to everything has been shown to be the nonsense it always was. Remember it was Liz Truss who went on about ‘aspiration’ – the ‘aspirational’ culture referred to above is the child of Thatcherism.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
9 months ago

Another problem surely is so-called ‘aspirational’ culture and hyper mobility. People are never meant to be content now; we’re always going onto something, someone or somewhere else, all fuelled by fantasies of some have-it-all mythical better life.

The housing market has also turned homes into assets with no other value than their cash convertibility value and of course our elites have made jobs far more insecure.

But with all the future dislocation from more technology, I wonder how things can be at least be slowed down.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
9 months ago

TikTok, owned and controlled by the CCP, remember. Why wouldn’t they incite looting in London?

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
9 months ago

TikTok, owned and controlled by the CCP, remember. Why wouldn’t they incite looting in London?

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
9 months ago

Sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn’t that be “raw power reigns”?

michael harris
michael harris
9 months ago

Just be pedantic. Who cares if you’re sorry about it?

michael harris
michael harris
9 months ago

Just be pedantic. Who cares if you’re sorry about it?

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
9 months ago

Sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn’t that be “raw power reigns”?

Christopher Mahoney
Christopher Mahoney
9 months ago

Homogenous societies divide on the basis of social class. Diverse societies divide along the lines of ethnic identity. The more that the Left plays the race card, the higher the level of white ethnic identity and the lower the level of intra-ethnic class conflict. My working class neighbors love Trump a lot more than I do.

Last edited 9 months ago by Christopher Mahoney
Nell Clover
Nell Clover
9 months ago

Feeling guilty about your upper class privilege? Yet worried about social mobility and meritocracy displacing you from your upper class privilege?

Why not try Identity Based Politics!

– Marvel at how social disorder distracts everyone from your very real and very large privilege!
– Laugh at the irony of your cleaners defending themselves against accusations of privilege!
– Enjoy flashing your very own VictimCard (TM) including virtue and righteousness.
– Pleasure yourself lecturing the rest of world knowing you are protected from all charges of hypocrisy.
– Relax knowing real social mobility is cancelled.

Small print: Benefits are for a limited time only. Civilisational stability will be weakened. Security will be reduced. A private policing policy (sold separately) is recommended. Ensure you have alternative residency in case of civilisational malfunction. Full benefits including wealth inflation require the additional Net Zero package. Eligibility subject to Coutts Bank political approval.

Last edited 9 months ago by Nell Clover
Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
9 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Fabulous! Thanks!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover
Last edited 9 months ago by Derek Smith
Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
9 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Fabulous! Thanks!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover
Last edited 9 months ago by Derek Smith
Nell Clover
Nell Clover
9 months ago

Feeling guilty about your upper class privilege? Yet worried about social mobility and meritocracy displacing you from your upper class privilege?

Why not try Identity Based Politics!

– Marvel at how social disorder distracts everyone from your very real and very large privilege!
– Laugh at the irony of your cleaners defending themselves against accusations of privilege!
– Enjoy flashing your very own VictimCard (TM) including virtue and righteousness.
– Pleasure yourself lecturing the rest of world knowing you are protected from all charges of hypocrisy.
– Relax knowing real social mobility is cancelled.

Small print: Benefits are for a limited time only. Civilisational stability will be weakened. Security will be reduced. A private policing policy (sold separately) is recommended. Ensure you have alternative residency in case of civilisational malfunction. Full benefits including wealth inflation require the additional Net Zero package. Eligibility subject to Coutts Bank political approval.

Last edited 9 months ago by Nell Clover
Christopher Mahoney
Christopher Mahoney
9 months ago

Homogenous societies divide on the basis of social class. Diverse societies divide along the lines of ethnic identity. The more that the Left plays the race card, the higher the level of white ethnic identity and the lower the level of intra-ethnic class conflict. My working class neighbors love Trump a lot more than I do.

Last edited 9 months ago by Christopher Mahoney
glyn harries
glyn harries
9 months ago

The direct consequence of Neo-liberalism then, with a side serving of post-modernism. Thatcher, Blair and the 2010 rabble are to blame.

glyn harries
glyn harries
9 months ago

The direct consequence of Neo-liberalism then, with a side serving of post-modernism. Thatcher, Blair and the 2010 rabble are to blame.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
9 months ago

This is a great, if incredibly depressing, article. I think a lot of this is a reflection of how globalized culture and politics are really just the export of American culture and politics. This is not a good thing for most of the world, because America is very different from most other places. There has really never been a point where Americans were united as one people in the sense of the British, French, or Germans, or other groups for whom ‘nationality’ is a meaningful adjective. Declaring oneself an American is more a statement of residency than anything else, begging as it does the follow-up question of descent, Anglo-Saxon, German, Irish, Scotch, Italian, African, Mexican, or any of the other adjectives that are now or have historically been attached as prefixes to ‘American’. There are admittedly some families, such as mine, that have been American so many generations that it has become difficult to answer that question, but we are probably in the minority, and when we intermarry, it is as likely as not to be to someone who does have an identifiable line of descent, which will probably take precedence over our amalgamation of German, English, French, and whatever else. My brother, for example, married into a family that is very much Irish Catholic, and I presume his children likely will consider themselves such as well. One of my nephews asked about our side of the family, presumably because her family does talk about their Irish heritage, and I said basically we’ve been American for so long nobody really knows or cares at this point, and implied that it doesn’t matter so you may as well consider yourselves Irish as you won’t find anything consistent over here. It’s a blank page so feel free to write whatever you want in it. Much of the American ‘melting pot’ rhetoric is propaganda made up to fill in that blank, but it’s nonsense. The waves of immigrants bringing in their cultures probably had a far greater effect on America than America did on them. My experience and my reading suggests the rest of the world however, does not work this way. Trying to put America’s system into most of Europe would be like imposing chaos upon an order that is largely sustained not by governance but by culture (note the problems of the EU, an obvious attempt to copy the American system as it existed pre-1865). The founding fathers were tasked with the peaceable governing of a disunited group of people from disparate cultures, English, French, Dutch, Catholic, etc, including a few distant branches of my own family tree. Internal conflict, religious, cultural, economic, and political was the assumed default state of the system, and they planned accordingly. They largely succeeded, by creating a system that divided powers between branches of government horizontally and between states and the federal government vertically, thus creating a system where top-down governance European style was very much impossible to achieve. The arcane complexity works BECAUSE of our disunity, not in spite of it. They assumed correctly that high levels of conflict would be the default state. That’s why America can continue to thrive despite political chaos that would destroy many states. America can survive Trump and worse because a few people a few hundred years ago possessed remarkable foresight far beyond their times, or they got incredibly lucky, depending on your perspective. The states are now, as they often have been, quite at each other’s throats. The Congress is divided, the President is historically unpopular, the Supreme Court is considered to have been packed by one of the political parties, yet economically and in terms of geopolitical power, the behemoth continues to roll right along. As the author points out, this won’t work in the UK, nor most anywhere else in Europe or the world. It’s no accident that globalism is an invention of the hubris of American elites (and not a particularly recent one, it was Woodrow Wilson who pushed for the League of Nations in the Versailles treaty and made huge concessions to get it). They assume because America has managed to succeed with tribalism being mostly an internal force to manage with political machinery rather than an external force to project toward enemies, that anyone can, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. What they miss is that America never had to try to fight an existing dominant culture, just manage a hodgepodge of transplanted ones carried by people who voluntarily abandoned their home countries, or in other words, it’s far easier to overwrite a blank sheet of paper than one already filled with the centuries of shared history, culture, religion, and beliefs that shaped societies and communities into their current form. I truly hope that the ancient cultures of the world, including that of the UK, are able to resist this Americanization. The world would be a far drearier and less interesting place without its vibrant native cultures.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
9 months ago

This is a great, if incredibly depressing, article. I think a lot of this is a reflection of how globalized culture and politics are really just the export of American culture and politics. This is not a good thing for most of the world, because America is very different from most other places. There has really never been a point where Americans were united as one people in the sense of the British, French, or Germans, or other groups for whom ‘nationality’ is a meaningful adjective. Declaring oneself an American is more a statement of residency than anything else, begging as it does the follow-up question of descent, Anglo-Saxon, German, Irish, Scotch, Italian, African, Mexican, or any of the other adjectives that are now or have historically been attached as prefixes to ‘American’. There are admittedly some families, such as mine, that have been American so many generations that it has become difficult to answer that question, but we are probably in the minority, and when we intermarry, it is as likely as not to be to someone who does have an identifiable line of descent, which will probably take precedence over our amalgamation of German, English, French, and whatever else. My brother, for example, married into a family that is very much Irish Catholic, and I presume his children likely will consider themselves such as well. One of my nephews asked about our side of the family, presumably because her family does talk about their Irish heritage, and I said basically we’ve been American for so long nobody really knows or cares at this point, and implied that it doesn’t matter so you may as well consider yourselves Irish as you won’t find anything consistent over here. It’s a blank page so feel free to write whatever you want in it. Much of the American ‘melting pot’ rhetoric is propaganda made up to fill in that blank, but it’s nonsense. The waves of immigrants bringing in their cultures probably had a far greater effect on America than America did on them. My experience and my reading suggests the rest of the world however, does not work this way. Trying to put America’s system into most of Europe would be like imposing chaos upon an order that is largely sustained not by governance but by culture (note the problems of the EU, an obvious attempt to copy the American system as it existed pre-1865). The founding fathers were tasked with the peaceable governing of a disunited group of people from disparate cultures, English, French, Dutch, Catholic, etc, including a few distant branches of my own family tree. Internal conflict, religious, cultural, economic, and political was the assumed default state of the system, and they planned accordingly. They largely succeeded, by creating a system that divided powers between branches of government horizontally and between states and the federal government vertically, thus creating a system where top-down governance European style was very much impossible to achieve. The arcane complexity works BECAUSE of our disunity, not in spite of it. They assumed correctly that high levels of conflict would be the default state. That’s why America can continue to thrive despite political chaos that would destroy many states. America can survive Trump and worse because a few people a few hundred years ago possessed remarkable foresight far beyond their times, or they got incredibly lucky, depending on your perspective. The states are now, as they often have been, quite at each other’s throats. The Congress is divided, the President is historically unpopular, the Supreme Court is considered to have been packed by one of the political parties, yet economically and in terms of geopolitical power, the behemoth continues to roll right along. As the author points out, this won’t work in the UK, nor most anywhere else in Europe or the world. It’s no accident that globalism is an invention of the hubris of American elites (and not a particularly recent one, it was Woodrow Wilson who pushed for the League of Nations in the Versailles treaty and made huge concessions to get it). They assume because America has managed to succeed with tribalism being mostly an internal force to manage with political machinery rather than an external force to project toward enemies, that anyone can, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. What they miss is that America never had to try to fight an existing dominant culture, just manage a hodgepodge of transplanted ones carried by people who voluntarily abandoned their home countries, or in other words, it’s far easier to overwrite a blank sheet of paper than one already filled with the centuries of shared history, culture, religion, and beliefs that shaped societies and communities into their current form. I truly hope that the ancient cultures of the world, including that of the UK, are able to resist this Americanization. The world would be a far drearier and less interesting place without its vibrant native cultures.

Marissa M
Marissa M
9 months ago

Organized religion fell out of favor as well.
I went to a small Lutheran school in Chicago in the 1960’s and both my neighborhood and school were diverse. I had friends and companions of every color and the neighborhood was not free of issues either. Old ladies mugged? Check. Vandalism? Check. Petty theft? Constant.
But even though I was a Catholic going to a Lutheran school, the school taught basics about how to treat one another.
I am no longer a practicing Christian. And neither, it seems, is anyone else except those in the mega churches of the Evangelists.
Did the Catholic priest molest children? Oh, yes. With abandon, it seems. And were the other protestant religions overly strict and full of contradictions and hypocrisy? Yes. So are the born agains now.
But…..we threw the baby out with the bathwater. Rather than having something else in place to create unity, we just all came cynics, or members of inclusive Christian Nationalist churches for the wealthy. And there is very little in between.

Marissa M
Marissa M
9 months ago

Organized religion fell out of favor as well.
I went to a small Lutheran school in Chicago in the 1960’s and both my neighborhood and school were diverse. I had friends and companions of every color and the neighborhood was not free of issues either. Old ladies mugged? Check. Vandalism? Check. Petty theft? Constant.
But even though I was a Catholic going to a Lutheran school, the school taught basics about how to treat one another.
I am no longer a practicing Christian. And neither, it seems, is anyone else except those in the mega churches of the Evangelists.
Did the Catholic priest molest children? Oh, yes. With abandon, it seems. And were the other protestant religions overly strict and full of contradictions and hypocrisy? Yes. So are the born agains now.
But…..we threw the baby out with the bathwater. Rather than having something else in place to create unity, we just all came cynics, or members of inclusive Christian Nationalist churches for the wealthy. And there is very little in between.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
8 months ago

Those who actually remember Enoch Powell, and have actually read his speeches (rather than learnt to parrot the vituperation visible, two or three comments below) will know that he actually predicted the present situation accurately.

The famous “Rivers of Blood” speech sums up Justin Welby exactly. Its critique of the use of “anti-racist” legislation to persecute the white British population, whilst exempting populations of migrant origins is spot on; its criticism of the anti-democratic nature of this policy, succinct and precise.

His less well known “Enemy Within” speech forecasts the politicisation of the Civil Service from the top down, which we see about us every day.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
8 months ago

Those who actually remember Enoch Powell, and have actually read his speeches (rather than learnt to parrot the vituperation visible, two or three comments below) will know that he actually predicted the present situation accurately.

The famous “Rivers of Blood” speech sums up Justin Welby exactly. Its critique of the use of “anti-racist” legislation to persecute the white British population, whilst exempting populations of migrant origins is spot on; its criticism of the anti-democratic nature of this policy, succinct and precise.

His less well known “Enemy Within” speech forecasts the politicisation of the Civil Service from the top down, which we see about us every day.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Has that chap in the caption photograph just fallen off his bike does anyone know?

John Solomon
John Solomon
9 months ago

Possibly, but more likely is that he is a victim of gratuitous and senseless police brutality.
Many years ago, I was in my town centre on Christmas Eve, and as the pubs chucked out it was getting a bit lively, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was with a group of acquaintances, one of whom was a sociology lecturer at the local HE college. Suddently a young black man came running through the town centre at full speed, pursued by two coppers, hatless, also running, trying to catch him up. The lecturer guy turned to me and said “That’s typical, isn’t it – that’s how the police start trouble.” At the time, I was a bit shocked, being naive about the mindset of sociology-oriented morons, but with the benefit of hindsight I can see that this was the start of the rot in society : prejudice based on ‘wokeness’ (I don’t think it had been invented then) with no thought of what the wider circumstances might be.
I now lament my innocence : I believed at the time that the police did not usually chase people without some sort of cause, but I now realise that they do this because of institutional racism and all round perversity and wickedness. Silly me.
Mind you, I still find it difficult to take anyone who declares themself to be a sociologist seriously.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Thank you, I rather tend to agree!
Looking a little more closely at the photograph it appears that someone with a remarkable resemblance to the BBC’s Huw Edwards was an onlooker! What an extraordinary coincidence.

David Smith
David Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Perhaps you should try reading some sociology instead of using one example as representative. Not all are lefty woke leaning (admittedly most are) but a good sociologist knows to question and critque all dogma whichever ideological flavour it takes.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

I’m not sure. I’ve seen the textbooks used in college. They are atrociously politically biased and divide people into groups of allies and enemies (the usual suspects, of course). I hadn’t opened a sociology textbook in years so was extremely taken aback by how much the academic landscape has changed. it’s less a study and more an instruction manual.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago
Reply to  David Smith

I’m not sure. I’ve seen the textbooks used in college. They are atrociously politically biased and divide people into groups of allies and enemies (the usual suspects, of course). I hadn’t opened a sociology textbook in years so was extremely taken aback by how much the academic landscape has changed. it’s less a study and more an instruction manual.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Thank you, I rather tend to agree!
Looking a little more closely at the photograph it appears that someone with a remarkable resemblance to the BBC’s Huw Edwards was an onlooker! What an extraordinary coincidence.

David Smith
David Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Perhaps you should try reading some sociology instead of using one example as representative. Not all are lefty woke leaning (admittedly most are) but a good sociologist knows to question and critque all dogma whichever ideological flavour it takes.

John Solomon
John Solomon
9 months ago

Possibly, but more likely is that he is a victim of gratuitous and senseless police brutality.
Many years ago, I was in my town centre on Christmas Eve, and as the pubs chucked out it was getting a bit lively, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was with a group of acquaintances, one of whom was a sociology lecturer at the local HE college. Suddently a young black man came running through the town centre at full speed, pursued by two coppers, hatless, also running, trying to catch him up. The lecturer guy turned to me and said “That’s typical, isn’t it – that’s how the police start trouble.” At the time, I was a bit shocked, being naive about the mindset of sociology-oriented morons, but with the benefit of hindsight I can see that this was the start of the rot in society : prejudice based on ‘wokeness’ (I don’t think it had been invented then) with no thought of what the wider circumstances might be.
I now lament my innocence : I believed at the time that the police did not usually chase people without some sort of cause, but I now realise that they do this because of institutional racism and all round perversity and wickedness. Silly me.
Mind you, I still find it difficult to take anyone who declares themself to be a sociologist seriously.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

Has that chap in the caption photograph just fallen off his bike does anyone know?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

There were signs with 200 recorded deaths from stabbings one year that politically London was heading towards the complacent liberal order seen in Chicago, for instance.
Mostly that is continuing, if to a slightly lesser extent, but the message has sent out and now city hall can focus on being like San Francisco which has decriminalised shoplifting.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

There were signs with 200 recorded deaths from stabbings one year that politically London was heading towards the complacent liberal order seen in Chicago, for instance.
Mostly that is continuing, if to a slightly lesser extent, but the message has sent out and now city hall can focus on being like San Francisco which has decriminalised shoplifting.

R E P
R E P
7 months ago

And so, our media and political classes shifted their focus, falling back on racial battlelines that had already inflamed the US but bore little relation to the reality of day-to-day life in Britain…
This is the 51st state – the BBC aches to be PBS/NPR with its naked politicization – they are the ultimate bubble people.

R E P
R E P
7 months ago

Is the aim is that we all beg for a bigger state? Or that we claim capitalism is failing? In the US MSM readers have been trained to equate looting with systemic racism and poverty…

Giles Toman
Giles Toman
7 months ago

Packs of what are euphemistically known as “teens” “youths” or more recently “brutes” are almost always the culprits for mass violent shop looting. We all know who they are.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
9 months ago

“But in London, these principles have since been erased, replaced with a moral evaluation of human nature that is determined on ahistorical levels of oppression. As egalitarianism fell out of favour, the bonds which held a community together, encouraging certain behaviours and outlawing others, started to fray.”
Have they though? You live in the West Country now right! You’re the very definition of a “cultural elite”. Maybe the core values and behaviours that you remember from your childhood remain, along with the propensity for violence. Maybe you need to get your news from somewhere other than the places that have increased the use of words by such a high percentage that you’re going with the narrative they’re giving you rather than your ‘lived experience’?

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
9 months ago

“But in London, these principles have since been erased, replaced with a moral evaluation of human nature that is determined on ahistorical levels of oppression. As egalitarianism fell out of favour, the bonds which held a community together, encouraging certain behaviours and outlawing others, started to fray.”
Have they though? You live in the West Country now right! You’re the very definition of a “cultural elite”. Maybe the core values and behaviours that you remember from your childhood remain, along with the propensity for violence. Maybe you need to get your news from somewhere other than the places that have increased the use of words by such a high percentage that you’re going with the narrative they’re giving you rather than your ‘lived experience’?

David Collier
David Collier
9 months ago

Poor old Hackney! I too grew up in Hackney, in the 50s and 60s, and that coupled with stories from my parents’ generation I can tell you that Hackney was always somewhere you could get robbed. Though day-to-day you won’t, or are unlikely to. Go there and wander the streets, the people are jolly and friendly – those that is that aren’t so tired retuning from work that the last thing they’ll be interested in is you. The poor have always stolen from the poor, who else have they to steal from? That has doubtless been exacerbated as the difference between money and the lack of it has become more in-the-face and the me-me society more culturally acceptable among the increasingly influential. This was less of a visible problem in previous decades as the rich and poorer lived in separate localities; now they don’t, or do much less so. The author’s final paragraph kind of suggests what the solution might be, as does his reported observations on popular UK media outlets. Whether any political party or pressure group has a plan or even an inkling of how to go about dealing with this problem I’m less sure about. Anyone got any ideas?
And please don’t answer immigration! Hackney has had immigrants in abundance ever since the houses that were built for the lower middle classes in the nineteenth century began to be vacated by them in favour of Acacia Avenue, i.e. long before any go us here were born!

David Collier
David Collier
9 months ago

Poor old Hackney! I too grew up in Hackney, in the 50s and 60s, and that coupled with stories from my parents’ generation I can tell you that Hackney was always somewhere you could get robbed. Though day-to-day you won’t, or are unlikely to. Go there and wander the streets, the people are jolly and friendly – those that is that aren’t so tired retuning from work that the last thing they’ll be interested in is you. The poor have always stolen from the poor, who else have they to steal from? That has doubtless been exacerbated as the difference between money and the lack of it has become more in-the-face and the me-me society more culturally acceptable among the increasingly influential. This was less of a visible problem in previous decades as the rich and poorer lived in separate localities; now they don’t, or do much less so. The author’s final paragraph kind of suggests what the solution might be, as does his reported observations on popular UK media outlets. Whether any political party or pressure group has a plan or even an inkling of how to go about dealing with this problem I’m less sure about. Anyone got any ideas?
And please don’t answer immigration! Hackney has had immigrants in abundance ever since the houses that were built for the lower middle classes in the nineteenth century began to be vacated by them in favour of Acacia Avenue, i.e. long before any go us here were born!

j watson
j watson
9 months ago

Err what bit of gentrified Hackney is the Author referring to?
London also remains one of the least violent cities in the World. Why do people flock to it? Because it’s a warzone every evening?
Of course some less savoury parts. And as ever it’ll be the poorer much more subject to crime.
Nonetheless were the Author to reflect also on what impact 13 years of austerity including cuts in policing may have had we might have the semblance of balance. But unfortunately just a bit of red meat journalism instead.

Mark Turner
Mark Turner
9 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Speaking as someone who lived and ran a sucessful residential construction businesss there for the last 30 years ( managed to get out 2 years ago, thank the lord, but our sons still have a flat there though..) I can tell you that a very significant amount of Hackney is extremely gentrified. Most of our work was in London Fields, and jobs starting at ÂŁ250 – ÂŁ500K were commonplace. However, these houses were always cheek by jowl with social housing with decidedly “vibrant” occupants and there was a constant problem with low level crime, such as street robbery of phones or bikes ( all carried out by black kids) , vehicle crime, and burglary. And yes, many parts could resemble a warzone sometimes. However, it was the poor subjecting the rich to crime, not the other way round. Austerity is not the issue, if the Police were properly managed and allowed to do their job properly without fear of being labelled racist there is plenty of manpower. The author articulates the situation pretty well actually, so its a shame you cant see past the end of the massive student politics chip on your shoulder to appreciate that…..

j watson
j watson
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

If it was that bad would the gentrification have happened and would property prices be way above national average? I think not. All cities have some crime but it’s concentrated in the poorest areas. Hackney may have been one of those once. Not anymore.

j watson
j watson
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

If it was that bad would the gentrification have happened and would property prices be way above national average? I think not. All cities have some crime but it’s concentrated in the poorest areas. Hackney may have been one of those once. Not anymore.

Mark Turner
Mark Turner
9 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Speaking as someone who lived and ran a sucessful residential construction businesss there for the last 30 years ( managed to get out 2 years ago, thank the lord, but our sons still have a flat there though..) I can tell you that a very significant amount of Hackney is extremely gentrified. Most of our work was in London Fields, and jobs starting at ÂŁ250 – ÂŁ500K were commonplace. However, these houses were always cheek by jowl with social housing with decidedly “vibrant” occupants and there was a constant problem with low level crime, such as street robbery of phones or bikes ( all carried out by black kids) , vehicle crime, and burglary. And yes, many parts could resemble a warzone sometimes. However, it was the poor subjecting the rich to crime, not the other way round. Austerity is not the issue, if the Police were properly managed and allowed to do their job properly without fear of being labelled racist there is plenty of manpower. The author articulates the situation pretty well actually, so its a shame you cant see past the end of the massive student politics chip on your shoulder to appreciate that…..

j watson
j watson
9 months ago

Err what bit of gentrified Hackney is the Author referring to?
London also remains one of the least violent cities in the World. Why do people flock to it? Because it’s a warzone every evening?
Of course some less savoury parts. And as ever it’ll be the poorer much more subject to crime.
Nonetheless were the Author to reflect also on what impact 13 years of austerity including cuts in policing may have had we might have the semblance of balance. But unfortunately just a bit of red meat journalism instead.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago

Doesn’t take too much imagination to forecast the depths that the bigots comments on this article will plumb.

Please prove me wrong, Unherd commenters. Even though I know you won’t….

Andrew R
Andrew R
9 months ago

Oh I get it now, this is a parody account.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

It is a parody mind.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

It is a parody mind.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago

As far as the depths of bigotry is concerned, you’re setting a very low bar; one which Gordon Brown might only dream of.

You may think you’re living amongst the stars, but in fact you’re looking up at the gutter.

Last edited 9 months ago by Steve Murray
N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago

…and it doesn’t take much imagination or intelligence to heckle. Just utter a piffling put-down then sit back and enjoy the fun when the easily provoked take the bait.

Last edited 9 months ago by N Satori
Paul T
Paul T
9 months ago

Bobbing back to the surface flush after flush; here you are.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago

And of course I am proven 100% correct!

John Solomon
John Solomon
9 months ago

You are proven 100% something – I can think of several adjectives, none of which is close to ‘correct’.

Andrew R
Andrew R
9 months ago

How? you’ve haven’t offered any argument only the lamest ad hominen, just what I’ve come to expect from a “champange socialist’ 😉

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Pay attention, sonny!
I said that there would be predictably racist replies to this article.
See above – I am 100% correct!

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Pay attention, sonny!
I said that there would be predictably racist replies to this article.
See above – I am 100% correct!

John Solomon
John Solomon
9 months ago

You are proven 100% something – I can think of several adjectives, none of which is close to ‘correct’.

Andrew R
Andrew R
9 months ago

How? you’ve haven’t offered any argument only the lamest ad hominen, just what I’ve come to expect from a “champange socialist’ 😉

Bruce V
Bruce V
9 months ago

Actually this is great scientific news. We finally have proof of an alternate universe. One with different physical laws of reality and at least 1 denizen.

Andrew R
Andrew R
9 months ago

Oh I get it now, this is a parody account.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago

As far as the depths of bigotry is concerned, you’re setting a very low bar; one which Gordon Brown might only dream of.

You may think you’re living amongst the stars, but in fact you’re looking up at the gutter.

Last edited 9 months ago by Steve Murray
N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago

…and it doesn’t take much imagination or intelligence to heckle. Just utter a piffling put-down then sit back and enjoy the fun when the easily provoked take the bait.

Last edited 9 months ago by N Satori
Paul T
Paul T
9 months ago

Bobbing back to the surface flush after flush; here you are.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago

And of course I am proven 100% correct!

Bruce V
Bruce V
9 months ago

Actually this is great scientific news. We finally have proof of an alternate universe. One with different physical laws of reality and at least 1 denizen.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
9 months ago

Doesn’t take too much imagination to forecast the depths that the bigots comments on this article will plumb.

Please prove me wrong, Unherd commenters. Even though I know you won’t….