Rioting in the UK

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:27 am

Tax avoidance is a tricky one for me. In principle I agree it is the same as theft not to. You are taking from the society you should contribute to its upkeep. On the other hand whilst I pay tax off my wages I have been in arrears on my Council Tax for years. This is not out of a desire on my part ot avoid the law but an inability to pay it for long periods. On minimum wage once I pay my regular bills (Electric, gas, food, internet, tv licence I have nothing left to pay more tax- or as commonly minus something left) the result being I have been paying my Council Tax in arrears for a long time now. And there is a moral side to paying taxes. My taxes also help fund wars, in the case of Iraq a war I fervently believed was not just illegal but stupid and illplaned.
And when the press is full of stories about the rich and their varies schemes of tax avoidance and the whole professional class in society whose job it is to help the rich get around tax laws you have to question why should I be paying them when I have so little to start with? This perculates down through society I believe and is in the background somewhere to why these riots took place. There is a growing sense that the poor and the middle classes are being shafted in order that the rich can become richer.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:51 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Tax avoidance is a tricky one for me. In principle I agree it is the same as theft not to. You are taking from the society you should contribute to its upkeep. On the other hand whilst I pay tax off my wages I have been in arrears on my Council Tax for years. This is not out of a desire on my part ot avoid the law but an inability to pay it for long periods. On minimum wage once I pay my regular bills (Electric, gas, food, internet, tv licence I have nothing left to pay more tax- or as commonly minus something left) the result being I have been paying my Council Tax in arrears for a long time now. And there is a moral side to paying taxes. My taxes also help fund wars, in the case of Iraq a war I fervently believed was not just illegal but stupid and illplaned.
And when the press is full of stories about the rich and their varies schemes of tax avoidance and the whole professional class in society whose job it is to help the rich get around tax laws you have to question why should I be paying them when I have so little to start with? This perculates down through society I believe and is in the background somewhere to why these riots took place. There is a growing sense that the poor and the middle classes are being shafted in order that the rich can become richer.

Too true, I see your drift. I think a poor worker is a greedy capitalist out of luck. Corrupted individuals are only as corrupt as their station allows. Ethics, in that case, don't matter - or do they? If they're not ethical why should I be?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:02 am

"I think a poor worker is a greedy capitalist out of luck." - Orwell

There is a lot of truth in that. Reminds me of an episode of Star Trek DS9 in which the subject of Unions comes up in the context of the captalist Ferengi. Turns out they don't have them, not because they cannot see the inequity or the exploitation, but because deep down every Ferengi wants to become the boss and therefore the exploiter. A more honest approach perhaps.
What are ethics? I suppose at base they are merley an unspoken agreement between individuals on which we rest our society. But it only works if it is applied at all levels of society, as soon as one group opts out of ethical choices what reason do the outher groups have to continue them either?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:40 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"I think a poor worker is a greedy capitalist out of luck." - Orwell

There is a lot of truth in that. Reminds me of an episode of Star Trek DS9 in which the subject of Unions comes up in the context of the captalist Ferengi. Turns out they don't have them, not because they cannot see the inequity or the exploitation, but because deep down every Ferengi wants to become the boss and therefore the exploiter. A more honest approach perhaps.

I did time as a Union Shop Steward (I was around 23 years old at the time). I was amazed how capitalistic workers really are. An eye opener.

TANGENT: An interesting thing happened (to me) one day: I was at a Uniion Stewards Meeting. A young firebrand (about my age) got up and said we needed a pay rise because there were people in our Union that could not pay their gas bill or even put adequate food on their table the previous payday. Naively, I got up and did my first (short) speech. A question, actually, rather than a speech. I asked if these poor souls would be exempt from striking. Losing a days pay at that juncture was surely not an option for them. I was young and single and could afford to lose a days pay. I might have even donated money to needy unionists if asked. One person among the other shop stewards said, "Yes. That's right." Or something like that. It came across as someone who had never thought that before but could suddenly see it as a relevant consideration for her (that was my impression anyhow). No one else even debated or discussed my point. I fear, and I might be wrong in my interpretation, but I fear that the idea was so novel it didn't even register with the militant band of Worker Protectors gathered there.


Pettytyrant101 wrote:What are ethics? I suppose at base they are merley an unspoken agreement between individuals on which we rest our society. But it only works if it is applied at all levels of society, as soon as one group opts out of ethical choices what reason do the outher groups have to continue them either?

Yes. If anyone gets caught out, there should always be legal ramifications. Laws are for the folk who can't abide by our basic ethical beliefs (which are remarkably consistent worldwide btw). You're right, everyone should be judged for what they do, though things would get a bit silly if the unethical always judge the unethical.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:24 am

Cameron it seems has decided to turnn the riots into an excuse for some politics. The Tory party have lng been in opposition to the HUman RIghts Laws that came out of the European Parliament and seems this has provided them with the perfect excuse to get rid of it;

""There are deep problems in our society that have been growing for a long time: a decline in responsibility, a rise in selfishness, a growing sense that individual rights come before anything else.
"So though it won't be easy, though it will mean taking on parts of the establishment, I am determined we get a grip on the misrepresentation of human rights."
Mr Cameron said the government was looking at creating a British Bill of Rights and would attempt to change the way the European Court functions.
And he said a planned scheme for National Citizen Service, a non-military and voluntary scheme available for teenagers after they finish their GCSE exams, would be expanded in the wake of the riots.
This would see youths involved in projects that benefit the community such as sports coaching or helping the elderly."

And why are the 'elderly' treated as some sort of charty case that youth should be foisted upon as some sort of punishment or work scheme. Can you imagine if Cameron announced theyd be helping pregnant women or some other potentially vulnerable group in society. Care is not something to be farmed out this way- they are people too you know Mr Cameron!

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:44 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:And why are the 'elderly' treated as some sort of charty case that youth should be foisted upon as some sort of punishment or work scheme. Can you imagine if Cameron announced theyd be helping pregnant women or some other potentially vulnerable group in society. Care is not something to be farmed out this way- they are people too you know Mr Cameron!

Who? The Youth or the Elderly?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:11 pm

Looks like the sentencng for the rioters might not all be above board. And certainly questions are raised over police influenicng sentencing (be interesting to hear your take on that Orwell!)

"The Guardian has published a leaked document, called Operation Withern: Prisoner Processing Strategy, which was circulated among Met officers investigating the disturbances at their height.
It suggested using certain phrases to help secure a charge, including: "A strategic decision has been made by the MPS [the Met] that, in all cases, an application will be made for remand in custody both at the police station, and later in court."
Another suggested line was that cautions and other means of judicial disposal were not considered appropriate in these cases.
The courts decide whether to grant bail, but the document suggests the strategy had been to ask for it to be refused in all riot cases resulting in charges in order to prevent further disorder.
It also appears to show police had been using their powers to charge suspects before gathering all the evidence because of the time required to examine CCTV footage."

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:56 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Looks like the sentencng for the rioters might not all be above board. And certainly questions are raised over police influenicng sentencing (be interesting to hear your take on that Orwell!)

"The Guardian has published a leaked document, called Operation Withern: Prisoner Processing Strategy, which was circulated among Met officers investigating the disturbances at their height.
It suggested using certain phrases to help secure a charge, including: "A strategic decision has been made by the MPS [the Met] that, in all cases, an application will be made for remand in custody both at the police station, and later in court."
Another suggested line was that cautions and other means of judicial disposal were not considered appropriate in these cases.
The courts decide whether to grant bail, but the document suggests the strategy had been to ask for it to be refused in all riot cases resulting in charges in order to prevent further disorder.
It also appears to show police had been using their powers to charge suspects before gathering all the evidence because of the time required to examine CCTV footage."

I'm always curious about "police" influence on judges. In Victoria, Australia, we seem to have none, but over in Europe you seem to have too much. I have no "take" on this because I just don't "know".

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:01 am

I don't think its supposed to happen here either. I am bit unsure as this is English law but in Scots law as far as I am aware the Judiciary is entirely independant of politics and police. The police job ends with bringing the case to the Prosecutor Fiscal who decides if it goes to Court or not- after that the police are merely viewed as reliable witnesses but should have no other influence.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:03 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:after that the police are merely viewed as reliable witnesses but should have no other influence.

Huh? Is that "cynicism" on your part of such subtlety it's actually evil? Laughing

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:04 am

Damn you picked up on that!! Not subtle enough it seems! Embarassed

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:07 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Damn you picked up on that!! Not subtle enough it seems! Embarassed
Not to another cynic of commensurate evil, it aint! Mad

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:51 am

I assume they're over?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:43 am

Yeah but not sorting the aftermath. Latest is that a high percentage of those arrested have previous convictions- leading to a lot of arm flapping and paper waving over the effectivenness of prisons.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:35 am

Well, it seems flapping might be what's needed!

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:37 am

There's nowhere quite like the House of Commons for arm flapping and paper waving! Its what they have instead of debate.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:39 am

I thought your government got burned in the riots! Shocked Well, that was a waste of time then! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:34 am

Perhaps we could organize another one... cyclops

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:09 pm

No sadly the usual rule for mobs applies. Find the lowest IQ in the mob and then divide by the number of people in the mob and you have the IQ of the mob. They burnt their own local shops down and left all the rich houses, parliament and banks alone. Complete idiots.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Kafria on Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:33 am

Noticed this about the sentencing guidelines. In light of this recne t discussion I thought it made interesting reading.

The council, which is charged with promoting consistency and transparency in sentencing, said jail terms should reflect the harm inflicted upon the victim rather than just the blame that can be attached to the offender.

But in the incoming guidelines, it also said that public disorder should be a relevant sentencing factor for judges if wider events play a part in somebody's decision to break into a property.

"Although the consultation closed before the disturbances in England in August, and responses did not therefore reference these events, the definitive guideline does take these events into consideration," said the council.

"The council recognises the damage caused and consequences of such events, especially for small businesses and shop owners living above or near premises, and has therefore included the context of general public disorder as a factor indicating greater harm caused in any burglary offence."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15281574

Two things struck me,

1 Little was made of the damage and distress caused for those whose property was attacked when all the complaints about sentences was around. I must confess that it was particularly at the forfront of my mind when we talked about it.

2 The guidlines, although recently released come from a consultation before the riots this summer, so it isn't simply a knee jerk reaction to the summer!

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:01 pm

The truth will out is seems. After the Tory government made strong suggestions, even claims the rioters were largely gang influenced, with Ian Duncan Smith saying in his speech at the Tory party conference, "gangs played a significant part" in the riots.

However, 'BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said: "One of the key, surprising statistics is the one relating to gang members because there was much talk of the involvement of gangs after the riots.
"These statistics seem to reveal that, relatively speaking, a small number of those involved were gang members, and most police forces are reporting that to be the case."

and,

Even in London where the figure was highest, fewer than one in five of those arrested were gang members.

A government spokesman said: "In terms of the role gangs played in the disorder, most forces perceived that where gang members were involved, they generally did not play a pivotal role."

So who were the rioters?

"It is clear that compared to population averages, those brought before the courts were more likely to be in receipt of free school meals or benefits, were more likely to have had special educational needs and be absent from school, and are more likely to have some form of criminal history.
"This pattern held across all areas looked at."

Some 90% of those brought before the courts were male and about half were aged under 21. Only 5% were over the age of 40.
Some 35% of adults were claiming out-of-work benefits, which compares to a national average of 12%.
Of the young people involved, 42% were in receipt of free school meals compared to an average of 16%.

So in other words the people taking part where exactly the people the government at the time claimed it was not- the poor and disfranchised. Prefering as the government did to claim it was gangs and opportunnistic greed and was not in anyway related to poverty or social conditions or the government policy of cutting soial services. Yeah right. Mad


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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Eldorion on Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:21 pm

You mean politicians has been caught in a blatant lie in which they attempted to deflect blame and attention away from their failed policies? No way. Next you'll be telling me that no one in power will learn from this event and that they'll just continue with the same rhetoric and policies they've always had. Laughing


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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:24 pm

Well ok it is a bit of a dog bites man story, but always nice to see when they get caught out lying so blatantly.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Eldorion on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:54 pm

Honestly I don't know whether to laugh at these policymakers' blindness or cry because this sort of thing happens and will continue to happen. pale
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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Ally on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:41 pm

The media generates considerably more social division and harm on a daily basis than these rioters ever did. Nothing surprising with the stats- obviously the rioters were poor. Generally, rich people don't riot to get what they want: they don't have to. As Bob Dylan put it:"Some people rob you with a fountain pen"!

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