Just when you thought Cameron’s Coalition couldn’t get any more lame along comes its announcement that Nick Clegg has appointed the panel which will investigate the riots. And guess what their conclusion is going to be. No, really, I can tell you already. It’s going to read something like this:
In a very real sense, the riots were the result of an outpouring of rage and frustration by disaffected youth who feel alienated and disenfranchised by a materialistic, racist society which they feel offers them no hope and no future. Therefore what the government must do is appoint an Inner City Cohesion Czar, on a salary of not less than £500,000 pa,to oversee a series of regional initiatives in which swarms of technocrats and social workers and other civic professionals with third class degrees in sociology and media studies can descend on affected areas to empathise with their pain, nurture their grievance and stoke their sense of entitlement through the targeted application of wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of taxpayers money.
How do we know this? Well look, for example, at the CV of the apparatchik chosen to head the enquiry, one Darra Singh.
Career July 2005-present: chief executive, Ealing council; 2001-05: chief executive, Luton council; 2000-01: regional director for best value, Audit Commission: 1996-2000; chief executive, Hexagon Housing Association; 1993-96: chief executive, ASRA Greater London Housing Association; 1991-93: regional director, North British Housing Association; 1989-91: senior policy officer, London Housing Unit; 1987-89: campaign worker, CHAR housing charity; 1984-87: housing adviser, SHAC homelessness charity; 1984: volunteer case worker, Tyneside Housing Advice Centre.
That was from a Guardian profile of 2006. And of course you have to go to the Guardian to find anything about Singh and his fellow enquiry members because they’re all Guardian people and, indeed, have almost certainly hopped from one job to the next through the Guardian’s recruitment pages. Very few of them have done a day’s work in the productive sector of the economy. These are all professional members of the Quangocracy: left-leaning specialists in such parasitical fields as international relations and human rights law who’ve spent virtually their entire careers doing very nicely thank you working on committees and advisory groups and steering panels and local councils and diversity initiatives, their ringfenced salaries and pensions paid for by you the taxpayer.
Darra Singh, the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus and former chief executive of Ealing and Luton councils, will chair the panel, which will also include Simon Marcus, the founder of the Boxing Academy in London, Baroness Sherlock, previously chief executive of the National Council for One Parent Families, and Heather Rabbatts, a former barrister.
Was that really the best they could come up with? Actually that’s a rhetorical question. Of course it wasn’t. About the only name on the list that inspires a glimmer of confidence is Simon Marcus. The rest of the panel just smacks of liberal tokenism. And I don’t mean a skin colour thing. I’d welcome a panel with still more black people on it but why not black people who actually understand the nature of the problem Tony Sewell, say; Katharine Birbalsingh rather than ones more likely to tread on eggshells rather than engage with it.
Here for example is what Tony Sewell said in the aftermath of the riots:
“…..for, despite the attempts of some apologists to dress up the looting as a political act against an oppressive Tory establishment, the fact is that the ethos of materialism — or ‘bling’ to use the street term — that pervades urban black youth played a major part in the widespread criminality perpetrated by rioters of all races.
That is why the looters targeted specific stores that are cherished in this culture, such as those selling mobile phones, trainers, sports clothes or widescreen TVs. Let’s face it, there were no reports of the vandals looting bookshops or public libraries.
What motivated the troublemakers was not genuine poverty but rather a raw acquisitiveness that is fuelled by so much in this black-led youth culture, from the imagery in rap videos to the lyrics of hip-hop music. The twin central themes of this world are sex and material possessions….”
As Rod Liddle noted, the BBC’s Robert Peston would no doubt loved to have poured scorn on this kind of “nasty ignorance”, as he did with David Starkey. Tragically he couldn’t because Sewell is black.
Here was the perfect opportunity for David Cameron to demonstrate that he wasn’t all mouth and no trousers, that he genuinely understood that the riots were a game changer: the point where years of ingrained political correctness, welfarism and state-endorsed grievance came to a head in a petulant outburst of wanton destruction and naked greed, and the point where the law-abiding majority in Britain realised that they’d had enough of this socialistic hell and wanted a government that would do the right thing and give them their country back.
Ain’t going to happen, clearly.
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