Tag Archives: #ukriots

Pauline Pearce – the ‘Hackney Heroine’ – standing as Lib Dem candidate in May’s elections

Pauline Pearce’s outspoken and down-to-earth condemnation of the London rioters at the height of the violence last summer gained the attention of the nation, and she was dubbed the ‘Heroine of Hackney’. Now she is standing for the Liberal Democrats in this May’s local elections.

For those who don’t remember or have never seen Pauline’s most famous moment, here’s the video footage. (Please note there is strong language throughout.)

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Opinion: Riots, prisons and us

The speeches this week by David Cameron and Ed Milliband made for a very interesting bit of bed-time reading. For me, both the Prime Minister and the Labour leader were pretty wide of the mark. Ed, as he often does came across as being reactionary. Too scared to be seen to defend looters and join the dots toward massive social injustice but too hidebound by his party to talk about throwing away the key, he was left very much floundering somewhere in the ether; neither talking about the roots of the problem (possibly because they lie a little close to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Brian Paddick interviewed in the Guardian

The Guardian’s ‘Saturday Interview’ last week featured as its subject Liberal Democrat mayoral contender and former Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick.

Unsurprisingly, much of the interview concerns the recent riots and the police reaction to them, but Brian’s political ambitions are also covered.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Four years retired, Paddick remains remarkably relevant to the Met’s current predicament. The grandson of a policeman, he climbed the ranks to become commander of Lambeth, south London, where he famously initiated a pilot in which officers cautioned, rather than arrested, those in possession of cannabis. Despite falling victim to untrue tabloid

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LibLink: Simon Hughes – Profits must no longer go to the few at the top

Over the weekend, Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Simon Hughes, penned a piece for the Guardian’s Comment Is Free site arguing that Britain needs to become a more equal place both in terms of the distribution of wealth and of opportunity.

Here’s a sample:

We must now focus on the redistribution of wealth. But this will not succeed by means of greater hand-outs. Financial benefits must seek to engage people positively. The redistribution of hope and opportunity means the redistribution as well as the creation of work. Co-operative and mutual businesses and social enterprise should be prioritised. The private sector, like the public

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Opinion: UK riots – the mystery of the David Willetts’ rule of post-war baby boom peaks

We’ve seen and heard from dozens of pundits wheeled out over the last week to explain the riots we saw on the streets of some of England’s cities last week. But here’s an unasked question: did a Coalition minister unwittingly predict these riots with amazing precision, and in doing so offer up an explanation that has not as yet been suggested by any of the experts on our TV screens?

I am currently reading The Pinch, a book by universities minister and Conservative MP for Havant, David Willetts. It was published in hardback last year, and in paperback this …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Opinion: the big society broken record

Our society really is big. And it suffers from no lack of definition. It’s a big society. It’s a broken society. It’s a big and broken society. The big society needs to save our broken society. There is such a thing as society, but it’s not the same as the state. And once, there was no such thing as society at all. There’s as good a choice of societies as you’d find at a student freshers’ fair.

Cameron’s election campaign was fought on his two favourite societies – the big one and …

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Meral Hussein Ece writes: my contribution in the Lords to the riots debate

This is the speech Meral made last Thursday as part of the Lords debate on the public disorder.

Baroness Hussein-Ece: My Lords, I, too, would like to associate myself and these Benches with the sentiments that have been expressed and to extend our condolences to those people who have lost so much in the terrible events from Saturday onwards. I thank my noble friend the Leader of the House for repeating the Prime Minster’s Statement today.

There is absolutely no excuse for the terrible scenes that we have witnessed on the streets of London and beyond in our cities over the …

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Searching for the cause of the riots is asking the wrong question

When events like last week’s riots and looting occur, we assume that something that was previously working must now be badly broken. What has changed in the last few years that has brought the rioters and looters onto the streets?

Government cuts? MPs expenses? Greedy bankers? Broken society?

Maybe.

Or perhaps there’s less need to panic and more need to take a measured view.

Might it be that this sort of trouble – relatively common in societies – is similar to earthquakes? Tiny earthquakes and tremors occur across the world most of the time and we barely notice. …

Posted in Op-eds | 65 Comments

The Independent View: Not in my Name

The events of the last few days have been alarming and have raised many questions about our society. If you’re like me, you’re still trying make sense of the violence that we’ve seen in communities across England. As the leading independent voice for voluntary and community groups working with young people, my organisation has been inundated with calls and messages from our members expressing concern about the impact of the riots on young people, their image in the media and the programmes that are needed to support them.

There’s no escaping the fact that young people have been involved in …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack – Is it simply a question of politicians and pundits always trying to ban technologies they don’t use?

Over on the MHP blog, Mark Pack makes a good point about the calls from some politicians to ban or restrict the use of social networking in response to the riots.

Here’s some of what Mark has to say:

Yet from some commentators and MPs there were immediate demands to suspend, curtail or otherwise regulate social networks. This was echoed today by David Cameron who promised that the government will look into this very question.

However, the number of communication technologies in the firing line is far short of the number involved in the events. Rolling TV coverage gave the events wall-to-wall coverage.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Jo Swinson MP writes: Determination, courage and kindness in response to riots shows true British society

Everyone across our country has been horrified at the scenes unfolding on our TV screens, and, for some, outside their homes and workplaces.

Watching from Glasgow, I was certainly relieved that the riots did not spread to Scotland, but I think it is unhelpful for anyone, especially the First Minister, to express any feeling of superiority about that. My constituents are feeling solidarity with the victims of the violence, and with everyone who is afraid in their own community as a result of the riots, not gloating that this hasn’t been happening in Scotland.

The question that everyone is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Clegg: “You simply cannot go around breaking the law”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has again emphasised the critical importance of retsoring law and order to the streets of Britain after the widespread rioting of the past few days. However, he also noted that — once calm is fully restored — there will be a need for a proper debate about ensuring young people in deprived areas feel they have a much greater stake in their own communities. Here’s what Nick said on the BBC this morning:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 25 Comments

What caused the riots? It’s more than just the economy, stupid.

Aditya Chakrabortty has a pretty compelling article in today’s Guardian scrutinising the political responses to the past few days’ rioting under the concise headline, UK riots: political classes see what they want to see. He summarises the binary analysis that has dominated:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 55 Comments

Opinion: Leading Labour figures guilty of the worst kind of opportunism

London burns and communities reel from successive nights of violence and looting, rumour is rife, facts are scare. All we know that peaceful vigil held for Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police on Thursday night, somehow was hijacked by an angry mob and his death became the catalyst of nights of violence, which have now spread to other parts of the capital and country.

What do we hear from Labour politicians? Calls for calm? Space for the IPCC to carry out their investigation into the shooting? No, instead we have them lining up to link the violence to the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 84 Comments

Opinion: Lessons learned the hard way will have to be re-learned following the riots in Tottenham

As a young research assistant I was in Northern Ireland on the day of the June 1987 General Election, campaigning for the re-election of my boss the Rev Martin Smyth, Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast and head of the Orange Order.

Elections in Northern Ireland were always conducted in a way mindful of possible violence or terrorist attack, and an RUC patrol intercepted a car in the vicinity of a school being used as a polling station. The IRA occupants of the car were found to be armed and an explosive device was also found. Mr Smyth was in the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments
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  • User AvatarSIMON BANKS 17th Dec - 9:16pm
    LIVE? After his silence on and in the Clacton by-election, I thought he must have secretly died.
  • User AvatarSIMON BANKS 17th Dec - 9:13pm
    Here goes again. As someone who was active in the Westcountry in the early to mid 1970s, I know well how important to Westcountry Liberal...
  • User AvatarMark Pack 17th Dec - 9:10pm
    Thanks Chris for the response. Good to hear too from Mary about the progress on openning up the FCC. The FPC also debated its secrecy...
  • User AvatarSIMON BANKS 17th Dec - 9:01pm
    On the contrary, David, if we left the EU we'd lose all European co-operation, including French, over illegal immigration from outside the EU. The funny...
  • User Avatarrefitman 17th Dec - 8:54pm
    Dear god, can you imagine the damage the Tories (with Lib Dem help) would wreak in 6 or 7 years. There would be no public...
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Dec - 8:51pm
    I get the distinct feeling we'll end up with a confusing mix of devolved and regional assembles that will look a bit like the LibDem...