South East London Updates Wednesday

UPDATE 22:11: In badass minimalist fashion, the Met Police have drawn a line under tonight's proceedings in Eltham:

Missiles thrown at officers in Eltham. Incident dealt with and group dispersed. Police remain on scene.

And the good news is that Beaver Falls can still be caught on E4+1. It's almost as though someone up there's looking out for Brockley.

UPDATE 21:57: Alex Thomson, C4 News says 1,000 police were deployed in Eltham, which probably explains all the sirens heard going through Lewisham. He also says:

Locals furious at what they say are outsider vigilantes coming in to fight anyone - particularly the cops

UPDATE 21:43: Meanwhile, lest we forget, a Brockley man was among the first to go in the dock in relation to the week's riot. He doesn't fit the 'futureless child' stereotype that has been most often described this week. South London Paper says:

Barry Naine, 42, of Foxberry Road, Brockley, who works for a St Mungo's homeless hostel in Lewisham, is alleged to have burgled the Primark store on Rye Lane on Monday.

UPDATE 21:39: BBC Five Live reports:

Scores of police vans, riot police now closing entry to #Eltham High Street - crowd dispersing. Policeman tells 5 live they are not EDL

UPDATE 21:32: Earlier today, Greenwich Council offered the following statement, which rather contradicts the idea that this is just local people defending their area:

Regret Eltham Town Centre pubs closed.Decided so as to deter outside groups from diverting police resources.Robust police presence already.

UPDATE 21:30: The Guardian has a very good short video made last night, with interviews with some of the Eltham protectorate. Meanwhile, we're missing Beaver Falls on E4.

UPDATE 21:25: C4's Alex Thomson claims 200 EDL members are on the streets of Eltham and are being dispersed.

South East London seems determined to wring every last drop of notoriety and sadness out of this week. A large crowd has collected in Eltham (the scene of last night's Millwall vigilante army gathering) and are busy squaring off with police. Sky News is reporting live.


Anonymous said...

its not the english defense league, EDL as in Eltham Defence League (Local eltham residents protecting where they live) It has been confirmed by EDL that the people there today and yesterday are not anything to do with them. But of course it's a large group of white people so why wouldn't it be associated with some kind of racist movement. ridiculous

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Currently some helicopters and police car sirens going off in the Honor Oak Park/Crofton Park area - I assume this is power projection as the streets were empty when I walked to the off-licence 10 minutes ago.

Anonymous said...

Yes but just because 20 people are chanting BNP/EDL, doesn't make the whole group affiliated to one of those organisations.
Tarring them all with the same brush is exactly the same as someone watching sky news for the last few nights and saying it's just black people that are rioting.
I know that trouble is happening in the Eltham area but why does it have to be about it being a racist movement. Not saying I condone what these people are doing in Eltham right now but why does it always have to relate back to race.

Danja said...!/EDLOFFICIAL/statuses/101358244945076225

Where's this then?

Monkeyboy said...

Yep, just like the last few days. Not just criminality, not just unemployment, not just greed, not just hysteria, not just bad parenting, poverty, alienation.... Perhaps a complex mix of all the above and more. That's why our politicians trying to sum it up in a headline is depressing, but we like simple answers so perhaps we get the politicians we deserve.

Matt-Z said...

Unconfirmed reports of Millwall fans chanting 'No one loots us, we don't care'

Anonymous said...

well seeing as you have just posted a link that doesn't even exist where's your proof that it is the EDL?! Watch the Guardian video and see for yourself. Like I said not condoning anything that is happening in Eltham today or yesterday but is it really fair to brand all these people as racist thugs affiliated to these organisations without evidence or proof?

Monkeyboy said...

The idea that someone can be a looter AND a charity worker for a charity that deals with some of the more challenging clients will cause some on here to explode in confusion. Don't screw with our lazy stereotypes, your messing with my venn diagram

Anonymous said...

If the riots were a race thing then the cleanup was as well.

Hoummus eater said...

Is St. Mungo the patron saint of Brockley?

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, I have to give you that one. Very funny.

Anonymous said...

well the main clue to me that the eltham 'protectorate' are suspect is the complete absence of any non white faces amongst them

cos we surely are not going to be kidding ourselves that only white people live or work in eltham, or want to protect their eltham homes and business.

are we?

Danja said...

The link works for me (although I guess it could be in cache).

What it says is:

100'S of lads on the streets tonight, 400 yesterday just in London, these riots must stop !!!

Could be elsewhere I suppose, but it isn't exactly compatible with the claim that they had disclaimed any involvement in Eltham, of which nothing of the sort is to be seen from their Twitter feed.

You don't have to look very hard to find other circumstantial/self-reported evidence that certain Millwall elements were claiming to have instigated it (this was last night, and could have been bravado).

That said no doubt others were involved without the same agenda, whether before or after. But id the EDl were involved that would have been much the point, no.

torz said...

to the person saying about sterio types and the guy from brockley being a care worker or something, look at the one on the news they got from some footage .. a primary school teacher! Wtf is going through these people's minds? otherwise normal neighbours? I do not understand it at all x

gibby said...

Anyone know why the road closed at the bottom of Loampit Vale at the main Lewisham roundabout? Had to come the back way home.

kolp said...

As I said the other day these were RAGE riots. Rage and anger is about the only unifying factor i can see, but it's anger at a range of things; society, police disrespect/brutality and personal grievances.

The stealing from shops was lashing out, mindless lashing out whilst gaining, not really thinking of the consequences.

It's very sad, that there so many people angry people around, simmering with rage.

Danja said...

There is "please exercise self-restraint"/D-Notice written all over the news on this.

NAT said...

Sad perhaps but hardly unexpected. Hoummus sic, St Norbert is Brockley's patron saint.

Anonymous said...

@Kolp-Don't you think we feel like lashing out at a range of things also?
Like disrespect from these scumbags?
The fact that children are regularly mugged by other children-a disproportionate of the offenders being black?
The fact that idleness and living off the state is a lifestyle choice?
The fact that children are being brought up by drug addict parents who are not made account accountable for their bad parenting and selfish lifestyle choices?
God, I'm angry and so are many other people-millions in fact.
Would we like to riot-get a mob of likeminded citizens and go after these people-of course we would.
The thing is, we realise that this isn't the way forward even if it may solve some of the problems in the short term.

NAT said...

And then theres the bankers

Anonymous said...

Heard on the One Show tonight, Greenwich Council might throw out any Council tenant who is found guilty of looting.

kolp said...

I think loads of people are angry in society but that anger is restrained by having other positive things that offset it. Things like good jobs, strong family background, sense of shame, sense of perspective etc that the rioter/looters lack.

Disgusted by the self-righteous said...

St. Mungo is the patron saint of Glasgow.

@ Anon 23:05, I suggest you join your brothers in arms in Eltham. I'm sure you share many opinions.

kolp said...

"Greenwich Council might throw out any Council tenant who is found guilty of looting."

Great so they'll end up homeless and will probably end up living in a hostel on Manor Avenue!

Anonymous said...

Kolp: There are lots of people out of work who don't go around blaming "society" for it and lashing out at other people's property.

I'm not sure if you were giving that as an excuse or not, but it isn't.

Anonymous said...

"Greenwich Council might throw out any Council tenant who is found guilty of looting."

Would you want a looter as a tenant of yours?

That said, unless it is in the terms of the tenancy agreement that they can do this, I don't see how they can. And I am not sure they should do it retrospectiviely if it isn't.

That said, maybe all Councils should make it quite clear to their tenants that if they are found guilty in future, their housing is in jeopardy. In fact, maybe all landlords should do it.

Most of the looters looked too young to be tenants in any case, but for the few older ones, it might just make them think twice if they were putting their home at risk.

Kolp said...

They're probably more emotionally mature than the rioters for some, all or none of the reasons I've cited so much so, they can hold things together and can keep the rage beast leashed.

Think of the Raoul Mout's of this world, 30 something bloke had got into a spot of bother, but for him his problems were everyone else's fault including the police, his ex-partner her new boyfriend and he was going to be make them PAY.

There's loads of people like that with simmering rage for whatever reasons and these gave them a context to attack, burn buildings, steal from shops, goad & attack police.

But anyway I must stop as I have one of those pesky job things that I have to get up early in the morning for.

MattyinSE9 said...

People in Eltham mainly local but a few EDL were there yesterday. There is a video interview at the Telegraph site with someone called Jack England who said that the EDL had brought down 50 people to help guide the protest. So that probably meant about 10 people but still a worry. Also, late yesterday a small group of about 10 threw things at a bus seemingly just because there were a few black lads on it which illustrates the dangers. Probably right for the police to disperse the people there tonight. There has been no rioting in Eltham anyway, just one window broken in at Argos on Monday.

Anonymous said...

I think Greenwich is doing the right thing, the school teacher and hostel workers should loose their job. This is what would happen to anyone working in the private sector, I do not see why public workers should always be saved. Generations of peaople are learning that the state provides,

Victorian Dad said...

Most lease agreements contain an eviction clause related to the tenant doing anything illegal.
So yes Greenwich probably can chuck them out.

Lets hope they go home to their parents as its their fault anyway

Anonymous said...

Parents! probably half of them dont know who there dads are.

Anonymous said...

People dont forget to sign the pertition....


I am sure some of you will agree, some of you wont... I dont see why they should be let of lightly while we keep paying. I would rather put my taxs in paying for a jail then a house for them to roam free and complain its society's fault.


Anonymous said...

This is like cliche corner. No wonder Gove and Harriet were swapping inane soundbites. We complain about our politicians but they are only responding to the fatuous nonsense we lap up.

Lou Baker said...

Absolutely - sign the petition.

Looters to lose all benefits, to be kicked out of councils homes, to be fired if they're employed by the state.

If you don't want a hard time, don't do the crime.


Anonymous said...

In Brockley we also have
St. Mary Magdalen´s,
St.William Of York
and probs a few i´ve missed out

THNick said...

Perfect Lou, because what better solution to people feeling disconnected from society than to throw them on the streets and cut off any legal method of support.

Tamsin said...

@ Kolp 22.27. What was happening at JD Sports in Catford was not "mindless lashing out" but organised opportunism. Hatchbacks in relays being loaded to the gunnels with goods that could readily be re-sold at Car Boot Sales.

Anonymous said...

Beaver Falls worth a watch then?

kolp said...

Tamsin there's a myriad of reasons why people were doing what they were doing.
It started off as protest against the police, then violence against the police, then arson -rage against society, then looting- which comprises many things including but not limited to thrill seeking, criminal opportunism, etc, but it's anger, at boredom, at not having normally being able to easily access advertised consumer goods allsorts of motivations, but I doubt that logical thought about the consequences was not amongst the chief factors going through peoples heads.

Anonymous said...

Kolp "but I doubt that logical thought about the consequences was not amongst the chief factors going through peoples heads."

BUT it should be. And our society needs to ensure that that is what happens in future: that these hooligans and opportunists realise the consequences before they embark on their mindless violence. Deterence before the event is better than punishment after the event.

kolp said...

Impulsive behaviour is the stuff we typically see in small kids: I want x and I want it now.

Think why you are not like that? Then think why other adults are.

D said...

I don't think I saw a single 'angry' face on the news coverage that I watched. They were all one of 3 things:

1. Laughing and joking.
2. Utterly devoid of emotion, almost bored looking as if this is something they do all the time.
3. Covered up.

Lou Baker said...


I'm glad they feel disconnected from society.

If you think it's okay to burn cars, loot shops and bring terror to the streets then you ARE disconnected from society too.

The vast majority of people - rich and poor, deprived and wealthy - did not riot.

Those that did riot should be made to face the consequences - whatever their background.

There will always be pinkos coming up with all sorts of excuses for criminality and anti-social behaviour. Never has a sandal wearer ever had the thought that maybe the criminals should take some responsibility for their own actions - rather than seeking to blame everything and everyone else.

kolp said...

there's daggers in men's eyes D...

Everyone's talking about this at work & speaking to a colleague, the one thing I haven't mentioned so far, came up, was 'fear of God' lack of religion plays a part for some of these people. Loving the stuff. Also religion gives a sense of community that for some is replaced by gangs.

But there's so many issues at play here. Are there enough decent jobs going round, by decent I mean well paid, a bit of status?

Yes there's callcentre work, waiteressing, does it pay? Is it respected, for some it's better to be 'self employed' as a wheeler-dealer, and when the choas of riots, come up, its a looting opportunity.

Getting medieval on your ass! said...

Lou's parenting guidelines #1

If your child comes home from scholl crying, having been slapped by another child. Tell him to track down the child, punch him forcefully in the face. Hopefully splitting his lip or loosening a tooth. That way the child will realise that bullying is not acceptable and will LEARN A VALUBLE LESSON. The other child will grow and mature with the knowledge that violence and agression are not the way to solve things....or are the way to solve things, I can never remember.

Lou Baker said...


mormon fundamentalist said...

what can we do to make you feel disconnected from this blog Lou?

Brockley Nick said...

@kolp - I have to disagree with you about religiou. I think it shows religion's absolute uselessness.

The areas and communities affected by the rioting will be amongst the most god-fearing in London. I'd lay money that the majority of those arrested would probably describe themselves as religious and church attendance rates are likely to be quite high. And yet what has religion done to instill a sense of responsibility or hope? Nothing.

Brockley Nick said...

The community tensions in Birmingham that boiled over this week also have a lot to do with religious division. So much for building a sense of community.

Lou Baker said...

Well said Nick.

Religion - far from being a cause for good - is too often a rallying cry for hate.

Believe what you like. Just don't look down on others who choose not to believe in the same god or gods (or lack thereof) as you.

fist of god said...

it's nice to see Nick and Lou forming a bond - I always knew you couldn't get a fag paper between 'em

Brockley Nick said...

It's amazing, isn't it, that the world is a complex place. Not always binary, in spite of how hard people might try to force issues in to one box or another.

Lou Baker said...

It is my mission to rid Nick of his inner pinko.

Though, to be fair, he keeps it well hidden most of the time.

Except when it comes to the East London Line.

love your neighbour said...

You're very blinkered about religion, Nick. Religious friends of mine have built schools and orphanages in developing countries, supported AIDS victims and sex workers in this country and elsewhere, helped women in poverty to learn skills that enabled them to start their own businesses and become self-sufficient, and done numerous other things in their own communities and elsewhere which have had a positive impact in the world - much of it driven by their religious convictions. And for the avoidance of doubt, they don't require those that they help to convert to Christianity, attend church etc. They don't shout about their actions, so you never hear about them.

For sure, there are plenty of people who label themselves as belonging to a religion but don't live according to it, but they can hardly be called "god-fearing", can they? To make the sort of sweeping statements you have made on here is not worthy of you. You show balance in your approach to most topics, but seem to have a blind spot with this one.

forgotten what name I used last said...

I don't believe that Nick has an 'inner pinko', if he has he's never shown it here - perhaps it's just an online personae, but that said Lou, good luck with your self-appointed task - your effort is equalled by Nicks resistance . . . you'll both be dogging 'hand in hand' on hilly fields before long

Brockley Nick said...

@love your neighbour

I don't doubt that any of that is true, but it's not really relevant to this argument. Someone suggested that more religion might have prevented the riots. I'm saying that the facts suggest otherwise.

I don't mind if someone wants to be religious, that's up to them. But when it's suggested as an answer to something then the argument needs to be closely examined. In this case, it seems obviously untrue if you give it a moment's thought.

Lou Baker said...

@love thy neighbour

Plenty of non-religious people do those sort of things too. They do it because they are decent moral people - not because they believe in some arcane manuscript which is too often used as an instrument of hate.

I have no time for religion at all. It is a learnt behaviour which, invariably, brings out the worst in people.

Brockley Nick said...

Oh and your suggestion that a true religious person cannot be a bad person therefore anyone who is bad cannot really be religious despite of what they say is awfully convenient.

One of the main problems with religions, is that their sacred texts are so open to interpretation that two people can be devout followers of exactly the same religion and use it to justify completely opposite opinions.

'Good Christians' can oppose gay marriage or support it, turn the other cheek or demand an eye for an eye. You can believe the earth was created in seven days or it's all a metaphor.

It's not only renders religion fairly useless as a guide to how to live your life, it allows a lot of objectionable opinions to be perpetuated, by acting as a crutch for whatever prejudices the devout person carries.

Whatever, man said...

Hmmm...I read Kolp's remark as basically reportage of what he/she had overheard rather than explicitly advocating a position, but hooray for you Nick/Lou for using the blog as an excuse to slag off "religion".

Religious charities do provide services for the urban poor and many see religion as the only refuge from the very hostile environment that is the "inner city." Right or wrong, this is a big part of how religion functions in these communities, and sometimes it just happens to help.

Can I (atheist, but really REALLY none of your business) say that without being called a bible beater?

And by the way, if it's such hard factual pragmatism that floats your boat there should be very little on this planet to satiate your appetite for truth given how very speculative (and rightly so) even the hardest of sciences are.

name said...

"it seems obviously untrue if you give it a moment's though"

nick, do you realise what an unbearbly patronising thing this is to say?

Do you honestly think that everything you 'think' is right and if people don't 'think' as you do they are in some way lacking or unable to form an opinion themselves?

love your neighbour said...

"I'd lay money that the majority of those arrested would probably describe themselves as religious and church attendance rates are likely to be quite high."

Give a dog a bad name....religious people are not the only ones with prejudices.

Brockley Nick said...


"Hmmm...I read Kolp's remark as basically reportage of what he/she had overheard rather than explicitly advocating a position,"

Whether it was Kolp's view or one that Kolp was simply reporting, it's still an idea that is worth debating surely?

"but hooray for you Nick/Lou for using the blog as an excuse to slag off "religion"."

I'd rather not speak for Lou, thanks, but my intention is not to criticise religion per se, but its practical applications in this case.

"Religious charities do provide services for the urban poor and many see religion as the only refuge from the very hostile environment that is the "inner city." Right or wrong, this is a big part of how religion functions in these communities, and sometimes it just happens to help."

Agreed - I think I agreed with the other person who made a similar point.

"Can I (atheist, but really REALLY none of your business)"

Erm, I didn't ask and I don't care.

"say that without being called a bible beater?"

Yes, I haven't called anyone that, least of all you.

I think part of the problem here is the broad brush term "religion". Are there some religious people and organisations that do good? Of course. Does "more religion" help communities? Not usually and clearly certainly not in this case.

@name - yes, I'll concede it's a bit patronising. Do I honestly think that everything I think is right? No, but I choose not to have those arguments.

I do think I am right sometimes and that not everything is subjective, so sometimes I argue my case and I encourage other people to do the same.

Danja said...

Is there an equivalent of Godwin's Law? Hitwin's law?

Welcome to 2011 said...


Do you think that's UNlikely then?

Wendy said...

People express strident political views on this site all the time and no-one seems to mind, it's all part of the cut and thrust we enjoy.

Name, I've even seen you post a few strong opinions of your own from time to time.

So why is the topic of religion any different? Why do people get offended when religious views are challenged, but not when Danja and George Hallam go at it?

Not special pleading for religion I hope.

name said...

"and I encourage other people to do the same."

you can't can't control it can you?

Brockley Nick said...

oh jebus

Anonymous said...

I see the Jolly Farmers had there windows smashed.

Whatever, man said...

@ Nick 16:12

"Does "more religion" help communities? Not usually and clearly certainly not in this case."

Pure speculation. Until you verify your hypothesis on the religious profile of the looters, why not hold back on the absolute certainty of this opinion? Ridiculing the cultural practices of groups I suspect is more likely to result in alienation rather than assimilation.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, fair enough, it is pure speculation. I did start by making the point that it was a guess, but surely not an unreasonable one? The majority of people from white and black communities self-identify as being religious.

love your neighbour said...


So now you're simply saying that the looters will be representative of society as a whole in terms of their religious affiliation? That's a distinctly different assertion from the one you made about the looters coming from the most god-fearing communities.

You say: "Does "more religion" help communities? Not usually and clearly certainly not in this case."

As the other person said, it's pure speculation. And how do you get from: "most people call themselves religious" to "more religion is bad"?

Your definition of religion is not just broad brush, it's so wide as to be meaningless, and therefore saying that "more" of it is a good thing or a bad thing is also meaningless.

More religion of the "love your neighbour as yourself" and "turn the other cheek" variety would patently be a good thing.

"Religion", on the broadest definition, has been instrumental in the development of education and healthcare, and in warfare and oppression. How do you decide which side of the scales is heavier? If you base your definition on what you see in the media, you can only arrive at one conclusion, because the news is mainly about people doing bad things. If you look at the real world, it's a bit more complex.

Brockley Nick said...

"Your definition of religion is not just broad brush, it's so wide as to be meaningless, and therefore saying that "more" of it is a good thing or a bad thing is also meaningless."

Not my definition of religion, THE definition of religion is so wide as to be meaningless.

If someone had initially asserted that "what we need is for more people to remember the phrase "love thy neighbour", I would have agreed.

However, the point I took issue with was that bad stuff like gangs and violence had rushed in to fill the void left by the absence of religion. For example, this report says that religion is a "defining factor" for gangs in London:

So, the answer to this problem isn't "more religion". Maybe it's "more of the right kind of religion", but really what it boils down to is more good role models, teachers and mentors, whether they happen to be religious or otherwise.

Danja said...

If they knew they were going to be subjected to the wrath of Lou, Nick Ferrari and Kelvin McKenzie in an afterlife, they wouldn't riot and loot. It wouldn't even need any physical torture - just having to listen to them out-ranting each other non-stop for eternity should be enough.

Brockley Dogging Society - Metaphysics and Religious Engagement Group said...

We at the BDS have been loving our neighbours on tuesdays and thursdays for years. Try as we might all attempts at official recognition has fallen on deaf ears. Now we have no wish to bash the Bishop but its only polite to return a call even if it is with a negative response.

All we want to do is to show how to develop REAL connections between communities. After all in Northern Ireland two slightly different flavours of white Christian, neighbours both metaphorically and literally, have been slaughtering each other for generations? Obviously not "real" believers. Dogging can heal the rift.

love your neighbour said...


Thanks, that's better. Having looked at that article, I'd repeat my earlier point about conflation of cultural groupings and actual religious beliefs. A lot of "Catholics" and "Muslims" I know don't actually have any religious beliefs (though of course lots do). If someone joins a Catholic/Muslim gang it doesn't necessarily mean they have religious beliefs, and therefore the extent to which such a gang can be held out as evidence that "religion is useless/bad for society" is uncertain, to say the least.

I agree wholeheartedly with your point re mentors etc.

Monkeyboy said...

As as always, not clear cut. A variety of reasons why they were there, Unaccountable and uncontrollable - that's the problem with "communities" doing it for themselves.

Brockley Nick said...

Well I don't want to open a whole new can of worms, but I think the vast majority of religion isn't really about adherence to the sacred texts, but about cultural belonging.

So you say there are lots of Catholics who aren't "really" Catholics. I'd say that's you imposing your own views on what constitutes real faith on others.

You could say the same thing of most people in a CoE congregation. Or a Synagogue. Or a Hindu temple.

Out of duty I sometimes go to Catholic church. They don't tell you a thing about what's actually in the bible. It would be possible to go to Church week-in, week-out without being any the wiser about the teachings of Christ, other than some vague sense that Jesus loves us and God is good.

A recent Pew study in the US found that:

"Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions."

In other words, "religion" is often not very good at all at imparting values of any kind, less still the right ones.

Again, that's not an attack on people with religious views, I'm just doubting the practical value of religion to address social challenges.

name said...

"Well I don't want to open a whole new can of worms"

yes you do, why do you deny it?

you love opening cans of worms

Brockley Nick said...

Sometimes, yes. Nowt wrong with that, but I have work to do.

love your neighbour said...


I have a very different experience of church, but I don't doubt what you say, and it is sad to hear that that is your experience. Most of my family is Catholic (I'm not) and quite a lot of them feel like you do about religion.

BTW, when I talk about Catholics and Muslims with no religious beliefs, I mean that's what they've told me - I'm not imposing anything.

Brockley Nick said...

"BTW, when I talk about Catholics and Muslims with no religious beliefs, I mean that's what they've told me"

What, gang members? All of them?

Considering you pulled me up on making generalisations, that's a big one.

Be interested in your response to the Pew study.

name said...

"but I have work to do"

no you don't Nick, anyone with 'work to do' wouldn't be fannying around on a blog - unless one had a pathological (look it up) need to do it

Brockley Nick said...

Well then I have a pathalogical need

Lou Baker said...

Even on a blog religious people are annoying.

No wonder they're unbearable in real life.

Particularly those who stand in places like Peckham with a megaphone telling me how I'm going to hell because Jesus says so.

If that's their attitude then Jesus, and his followers, can bog off.

name said...

you'd do well to seek an understanding of it Nick, if for the sake of your family, at the very least

you can deny it now, you won't in later years

Brockley Nick said...

@Name - for someone whose primary beef with me was my patronising tone, that's an ironic comment. And I have no idea why anything I've said has earned such personal attacks from you. Peace be with you.

love your neighbour said...

Nick, no, none of them are gang members so far as I know!! I'm saying that there are a lot of people who would call themselves Muslims or Catholics (or Jews) but for whom it's a cultural/racial label that doesn't involve holding particular religious beliefs - and since that's true of the people I've met in society at large, it's likely to be true of gang members. It's impossible for ANY of us to know what beliefs are genuinely held within a gang that has a religious label.

I COULD also argue that since all major religions teach that stealing is wrong, participation in looting or other criminal activity is prima facie evidence that a person's religious beliefs are not particularly strong. That's just common sense and logic, isn't it? If you genuinely believe something is wrong, you try not to do it. You won't always succeed, and that is why I wouldn't dream of saying that gang members or looters can't hold genuine religious beliefs - but I would say that they are very misguided about the values of their own religion if they really think it's OK to steal.

I haven't had time to look at the pew survey, so can't comment on it. If it's a factual test on the tenets of world religions, then I really don't see how you arrive at the conclusion in your next paragraph:

"In other words, "religion" is often not very good at all at imparting values of any kind, less still the right ones."

The only way to arrive at that conclusion would be to test assess people's behaviour in their day-to-day life, which I assume the survey didn't do?


"Well I don't want to open a whole new can of worms, but I think the vast majority of religion isn't really about adherence to the sacred texts, but about cultural belonging."

Having re-read this, you appear to be saying that a lot of people who call themselves Christian, Muslim etc. don't actually have religious beliefs (i.e. belief in God/Allah) - they just go along with the cultural aspects? Well, we're in agreement because that's what I mean when I talk about labels.

If someone is brought up a Catholic, still calls themselves a Catholic, but doesn't actually believe in God, then if they go out looting I don't think that you can blame that on religion, can you?

Anonymous said...

I happen to know that Nick, Headhunter and Patrick 1971 are members of the Mormungs.

Anonymous said...

ok, I will accept Mormungs as one of the few funny mung jokes on here.

well done.

Danja said...

If someone is brought up a Catholic, still calls themselves a Catholic, but doesn't actually believe in God, then if they go out looting I don't think that you can blame that on religion, can you?

We go back around to where we started (and what BDS in one of the occasional non-tedious BDS posts said).

It's a bit self-selecting this, isn't it. We need more religion among rioters because the religious by definition do not riot. Agreed. We also need more rioters to be potatoes for the same reason.

Anonymous said...

Just seen 10(ish) police vans including the hardcore armoured jeeps going down new x rd in the direction of peckham, does anyone know what's going on?

exposed said...

We have two people posting as "name"

Mb said...

Just been to the pub, have missed anything?

kolp said...

I saw how a passing reference to religion became a full of slanging match and I baulked at this thread. But I would urge the Lou Baker's, Headhunters etc who post on this blog to read this by the right wing Peter Oborne then comment back in view of what they've read

drakefell debaser said...

Headhunter? I might have missed it but I don’t think he has even posted on this thread, Kolp.

Shame that baulking feeling didn’t last, eh.

max said...

I am missing the link between the article in the Telegraph and religion. Is it implied in the comment?
The article itself is just awful.

It is either pure banality (you could almost say that Peter Oborne himself is also stealing for getting paid to write that tripe) or that Peter Oborne has joined those that make excuses for looters ("bankers get aways with murder and MPs fiddle their expenses, it's only naturaal that kids break into Curry's and help themselves with whatever they fancy before torching the place").
Which one is, steal or excuse?

kolp said...

With respect these commenter's views interest me, not you guys, but thanks for the contributions.

quick brown fox said...

I think it's a good article.
Why is it banal to point out hypocrisy on the part of our politicians? Is it banal to suggest that they, and the rich, have obligations beyond strict adherence to the letter of the law (which in the case of tax legislation, is to an extent written by the rich, for the rich)?

To suggest that he has joined those making excuses for the looters suggests you haven't read the first paragraphs of the article.

max said...

Ha yes, the first paragraph, where he say he's not making excuses for the looters. Only to then write:

"But the rioters have this defence: they are just following the example set by senior and respected figures in society."

quick brown fox said...

I agree the word "defence" is questionable, but I think it's fairly clear that he's using it for rhetorical effect rather than actually suggesting that it absolves them from blame (which would directly contradict what he'd just said).

He's saying that politicians and the rich should lead by example, and that their failure to do so makes them partly responsible for the rioting. Do you disagree with that?

max said...

I don't disagree with that at all, I'm only saying that it's a banal argument, and not very deep either.

Even just confining the analysis to that of role models, just as there are people on top the pile that fill their boots with all sorts of loot there are plenty of postive role models and people that are not fixated with excessive materialism, and they are in every walk of life.

Monkeyboy said...

This is disgusting! It's all kicked off in Brighton...

See what I did there.....

max said...

On reflection, that Peter Oborne's article, although not particularly original, is anyway something that Telegraph readers needs more exposure to, so thumbs up for that.

kolp said...

It appears that the assessment of religion's role in the disturbances this week are contingent upon already held views of religion.

Nick: @kolp - I have to disagree with you about religiou. I think it shows religion's absolute uselessness.

Nick went on: The community tensions in Birmingham that boiled over this week also have a lot to do with religious division.

Then Mr Jahan who lost his eldest son 'I’m a Muslim. I believe in divine fate and destiny, and it was his destiny and his fate, and now he’s gone,’ he said. ‘And may Allah forgive him and bless him.’ "

As A.N. Wilson described it a straightforward declaration of faith. This man with his wise words and spiritual strength, had an positive impact.

quick brown fox said...


Yes, we can agree on that at any rate!

I heard Ed Miliband talking later in the same day, and saying pretty much the same thing as the article. I expect it will be water off a duck's back to most of the people at whom it is aimed.

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