back to article Will the looters 'loose' their benefits?

The coalition government's e-petitions website is having a bit of a fail again today. Presumably everyone is trying to sign up to the petition calling for all convicted rioters to "loose all benefits", including use of spell-check we assume. We did manage to sneak in earlier and the vote stood at just short of 95,000. Should …


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  1. ZapB


    Perhaps the government need a more scalable web-hosting solution. 95k POST requests is not really a large number to process. Or maybe the politicians didn't want to come back from holiday so they sent in the colour-blind work experience lad to do some Ethernet cable re-routing...

    1. Marky W

      Every f*cking time

      Every, and I mean *every* time the government puts up a shiny new website it falls over due to 'unexpected demand'.

      If you can't see the problem with that statement I can only assume you are a government IT provider.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What problem?

        Government employees specified the load - they built it to that and didn't question (probably because anyone who questions such is too experienced to work at their rates and they'd sack anyway for killing the goose), now Government has to pay more of their suppliers astronomical costs to solve it.

        So not a problem for IT suppliers until Government wise up - which is likely to be when Hell freezes over

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A cynic might think

        If it gets to 100,000 the government do something. It has reached 90,000 and oh, dear, something is stopping it getting to 100,000. How unfortunate.....

        1. BorkedAgain
          Thumb Up

          @Tarquin - Colour me cynic...

          ...that's exactly what I was thinking...

      3. fajensen

        The Normal is "Unexepected" for morons.

        Same thing with the economy: Every downturn is "unexpected".

  2. Matthew 17

    there just thugs


    1. Adrian Jones

      Where just thugs?

      (Are just thugs better than unjust thugs?)

    2. Danny 5

      i don't believe that

      not this large a number.

      We tend to forget that most of us, if the circumstances are right, would be part of the looting masses, we just think we wont because we have a good life. it's easy to judge from your comfy chair.

      And how would taking their benefits help? these are people who mostly have very little already, taking what little they do have, will only fuel the fire.

      now obviously i'm a lefty, hippy treehugger, so my point of view is slightly biased.

      1. Justin Clements

        very simple

        The majority of them will surplant lost benefits by getting a job.

        And please don't tell me there are no jobs.

        Why is it that an Afghan or Iraqi can travel 3,000 to the UK on next to no money and still find employment in this country? Yet our own feckless can't even be bothered to get on a bus and look for work.

        1. Danny 5

          easy explanation

          Those people coming from abroad are seen as hard working and eager, while your local punks are "a bunch of thugs", who would you rather hire?

          they will get a job to get money? how's about they'll commit even more crimes? what do YOU think is more likely?

        2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


          Because us natives usually have a family to look after/neglect, and are not prepared to earn min wage for 50-60 hrs a week work and to rent 1/2 a room to sleep in.

          Plus all those heart rending guardian readers would throw a hissy fit if they had to pay extra for 5lbs of organic potatoes at waitrose to cover the extra cost of hiring british labour to dig them up

          1. Paul was already taken


            If you want to earn more than minimum wage then get an education. Otherwise stop bleating about not being able to get a decent job. Either way don't try to blame the world for your fecklessness.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Sadly not

              "If you want to earn more than minimum wage then get an education".

              That turns out not to be the case. It seems you are parroting the politically correct mouthings of the establishment (T. Blair, et al).

              In fact you will find that most of the people who worked hard and got themselves deeply in debt to get an education never made much money. Whereas almost all the rich people in Britain today did so without any education - or at any rate without using what education they had. Alan Sugar? Richard Branson? David and Victoria Beckham? J.K. Rowling? The spud-faced nipper, whatever his name is? Not to mention the hordes of singing, dancing, acting, whatever "stars".

              What you need to get rich is not education. It is (1) the ability to schmooze successfully and sell ice to Eskimos; (2) a fixed determination to get rich.

              No less an authority than Mark Twain told us, over a century ago: "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence".

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Ivory Towers

                How's the view from up there?

                Anyway, we need people like the looters and the unemployed scum, because to quote Pacino,

                'You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your f***in' fingers, and say "that's the bad guy."'

                Because we could never be like 'them'. No, we're the good guys. We're so much better. Not because of environment or anything else like that.

                If I was born to a single mother who has never had a job in her life. A mother who thinks drugs are more important than food. If I never knew who my father was. If I don't even know anyone who's even had a job. If all my friends are in gangs. If the only people I know who have money are drug dealers. And then I see bankers getting million pound bonuses for fucking economies up. I see MPs getting grands for duck ponds and moats. Yeah, I would never think about looting something. No, I would just get myself a perfect job and a perfect lifestyle. Because those who don't, its because they're scum. Simple as that.

              2. James Micallef Silver badge

                @Tom Welsh

                To get stinking rich, yes you're right, all that is needed is confidence verging on the arrogance and determination. However that's just a minority of people who will actually do that, even if they know how to, because it's feckin' hard work.

                To get well off enough for a decent life, education is required, which is also in most cases hard work.

                Most of the rioting scumbags, however, are allergic to work

              3. Andus McCoatover

                "No less an authority than Mark Twain"

                "Counted twice"? I wouldn't exactly describe Mark Twain as "An authority".

                Thought he just wrote books.

          2. David Neil

            So what your saying is...

            The benefit system should be overhauled so that it is on a sliding scale so that going out to work means you are actually better off?

            We then won't hear any more bleating from people saying "why should I work a 40 hour week to end up £10 ahead but have to pay full rent and council tax"?

            Sorry that won't happen, we have a society that has been raised over generations that the state will provide and if you stamp your feet and throw a tantrum the worst that will happen is a stern look - listen to the consistent message coming back from those who were involved over the past week, we cannot be touched, theres nothing you can do about it.

            A whole generation of people who have grown up with the moral compass of a 5 year old at his grans.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "please don't tell me there are no jobs"

          Why not? Does the truth hurt?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: very simple

          "The majority of them will surplant lost benefits by getting a job." - I doubt it, more likely they'd just rob more.

          I completely agree with your other point - I get served my cup of coffee on the way to work by a Ukrainian, and the cleaners in the building are from a variety of African / Eastern European countries. The fact that these people grew up in a poorer country than ours, and yet can learn a foreign language & travel 1000s of miles looking for work, in less time than the locals can get off the couch to apply for a job.

          Perhaps it's time for a one in, one out immigration policy. Much to the BNP/UKIP/etc's disgust I'm sure, but there's a huge swath of English people I'd gladly swap for any variety of foreigners who actually want to provide for themselves and their family.

        5. vic 4

          And please don't tell me there are no jobs.

          There are not enough to go round. Simple, anyone who really thinks that the majority of the unemployed are layabouts who have no idea of what society is like beyond their blinkered and closed social outlook. Look at any area that has had some major industry closures, entire towns are been devastated by the impact. My area has seen unemployment got from around 5% to about 11% since this crisis started, you seriously suggesting an extra 5-6% of people just decided to go on benefit? For people to just off declare that people don't get a job because they are lazy is very offending and stems from ignorance (I hope rather than the alternatives).

          Also, if you think the jobs that are taken by people working illegally in this country are available to people who are legitimately able to work then you are once again misled.

          I'm going to get voted down here by every daily mail reader here

          1. Figgus

            Jobs went 'round

            "There are not enough to go round. Simple, anyone who really thinks that the majority of the unemployed are layabouts who have no idea of what society is like beyond their blinkered and closed social outlook. Look at any area that has had some major industry closures, entire towns are been devastated by the impact. My area has seen unemployment got from around 5% to about 11% since this crisis started, you seriously suggesting an extra 5-6% of people just decided to go on benefit? For people to just off declare that people don't get a job because they are lazy is very offending and stems from ignorance (I hope rather than the alternatives)."

            Seems there were lots of jobs to go 'round before there were more taxes to fund the welfare programs to cover the people without jobs, thus obliterating more jobs, thus needing more taxes, thus more jobs gone, repeat ad nauseum.

            Same thing is happening in the states, the people with money who make the jobs are having it confiscated to pay for a welfare state, and thus the jobs aren't being created... so we need more welfare money, which kills off more jobs, etc...

            It's a stupid vicious cycle powered by the greed of weffies and the purchase of elections by one of our political parties. The only way to effectively break the cycle is to stop doing it.

        6. Giles Jones Gold badge


          Exactly. They will resort to crime and get locked up or will have to clean toilets. Maybe then they will realise how privileged they were sitting about watching daytime TV.

      2. Danny 5


        in a few minutes no less then 4 thumbs down? you people are delusional!

        I mean, come on people, are you really so arrogant as to say that you wouldn't be a part of the looters if the circumstances are right? you are lying to yourself.

        at least i have the objectivity to admit that i could be one of them.

        I'm not religious, but i feel a need to quote the bible "he who is without sin, cast the first stone"

        you people should be ashamed of yourself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: unbelievable

          @Danny 5

          It's not objectivity, you idiot. Your only saving grace is that you're aware you have no respect for other people's property. This is cancelled out by the cowardice that you'll only nick stuff if think you can get away with it.

          I don't doubt that you would join the masses of morons but please don't judge us by your (lack of) standards.

          1. Danny 5


            so you're saying all the nazis where scum in WWII?

            that's just one of many examples of mass hysteria. Are there scumbags in with the looters? of course! are they all scum? i hardly think so. is it possible that i could've been one of them? under the right circumstances, yes. Could you be one of them? indeed you could be, but you fail to see.

            i don't judge you, i urge you to judge yourself, many studies have shown that even the most docile, friendly people can turn into torturing monsters given the right circumstances. given this fact, it should be simple deduction that if a person with pacifistic nature could turn into a monster, so could most people. most people including you, me and 99% of people replying here. to deny that is to deny your own human nature and that's sad.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Thumb Down

              @Danny 5 NO.

              The circumstances of the Nazis in WWII are different. Given that I had been born German, gone thru' the Wiemar republic etc. who knows. Just as other commentators have compared this to the Arab Spring these aren't comparable circumstances.

              These looters took an event (the shooting of and armed drug dealer) then used it as an excuse for creating mayhem and theft.

              1. Danny 5


                i suppose i should be happy about the response i'm getting, as i do love a good discussion, but i personally feel the replies are rather embarrassing. I never said both situations are the same, i merely pointed out an example of mass hysteria, many other explanations could've been made.

                it's appalling to see how little people are willing to reflect on the current situation, i always thought left wing and right wing where quite evenly spread on el reg, but i guess this is a right wing party afterall.

                so go ahead, call me an idiot and deny all i say, dismiss the factual information i post as bollocks.

                I'm proud of having the empathy to understand what goes on in other people's minds and i'm proud of my objectivity, it enables me to view myself in a way most people would rather not and i'm a better person for it. I know it's unsettling to think that you could be such a monster, but it's the truth.

                1. Liam Johnson

                  @Danny 5

                  Your arguments all fall flat when you consider the people living in the same streets as the rioters who somehow managed to resist peer pressure and NOT go out and rob a TV.

                  They are the same sort of people who can down vote your comments without somehow being delusional.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Thumb Down

                    @Danny 5

                    I am really struggling to understand your point? What have your comments really proved, other than your inability to use paragraphs, punctuation and capitals?

                2. Scorchio!!

                  Re: sigh

                  "so go ahead, call me an idiot and deny all i say, dismiss the factual information i post as bollocks."

                  But, little furry creature, it is bollocks, and considerably embarrassing bollocks too; you made a category error in comparing the recent looting to the desperation of German people paying off reparations from WWI, where inflation was so fast and so bad that a wheelbarrow of Marks would pay for a loaf in the morning, yet be insufficient in the afternoon. A situation where, having started and lost a war with no observable signs of conflict (occupying powers) opportunist grubby creatures like Schickelgrüber were able to hijack a nation claiming they'd been stabbed in the back, even though they did not have a majority in their equivalent of parliament, Schickelgrüber browbeat Hindenberg into giving him power, in the same way that he browbeat Chamberlain into giving away Czechoslovakia; whilst we have been giving for the past decade or so this is not the same post war apocalyptic scenario of a country in shreds; it is our lack of standards which give people the feeling of entitlement to do that which they now do, especially when their role models in parliament do so with expenses, while telling them that immigrants who send their benefits home are 'heroes'. This is made all the more worse by the fact that they do not fear punishment and thus with impunity seek easy rewards (not barrowloads of Marks to buy bread), because the system that teaches them that offences are followed by punishment now does not demonstrate what was once a self evident truth.

                  You may not understand this, but I am referring to the subtleties of the Dopaminergic reward-punishment and thus learning substratum of the brain in young, maturing individuals who, being able as children to hold parents, teachers and other authority figures to ransom, assault them and demand 'respeck', feel able to do what the fuck they want.

                  It is rather sickening to see apologists like you showing faux empathy for what is, without the slightest of doubts, crime, much of it violent and terrifying to the victims, including the man who this morning died. That you then attribute a desire for justice and regulation, the imposition of law, to 'right wing' people is both tragicomic and insightless; what you have done is to occupy the terrain that all sloppy thinkers do when you have been defeated in an argument.

                  Go and watch the original Mad Max. There is enough parody there on political correctness and survival to show you what you look like.

                  Empathy has no place in the administration of justice, except perhaps where sentencing takes place. Even then a crime is a crime; the offender offends willingly, the offender has the choice whether to or not to offend. Offenders who make the wrong decision must receive a message about this, or they will become recidivists, meaning they will learn that they can get away with their crimes and reoffend.

                  As to your claim that you have posted facts, I see none. I do, however, see a lot of willing individuals correcting you on your inadequate recall of history. Did you ever go to school and learn about Germany between the wars? I think not, or you would not have committed the howlers and category errata that you have.

                  Right wing my arse. 'Please sir, the nathy right wingers want the looters to be punished, that's wrong'. Spare me from sloppy thinkers please. They are the reason why we have come to this very pass.

              2. CD001

                Tough on crime...

                Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime... (from the previous bunch of incompetents)

                Which by my calculations means we should have gallows up in the city centre filled with rioters/looters (criminals) and politicians, bankers and the odd copper - for their part in creating the criminals.

                The politicians made it too easy for the feckless to drop sprogs, claim income support and sponge - we now have a generation where, in some families, nobody has ever worked. Dropping sprogs and "going on the benefit" IS the way of life. We have kids who feel that they're entitled to a living, handed to them by the government.

                The bankers for fecking up the economy - high unemployment always leads to crime.

                The odd copper for vastly overstepping the margins - from harassment by (repeated) stop and search through to abusing section 43 of the anti-terror act and shooting people who look a bit swarthy (from Brazilian plumbers onwards).

                This gives us pretty much the same backdrop to what caused it all to kick of in Brixton in '81 and '85... those who cannot learn from history and all that...

            2. Paul was already taken

              Danny 5 Wtf

              As far as I can see, the circumstances were right and I managed not to pick up a new pair of trainers/TV. I managed not to destroy my area or wreck a business. I even managed not to beat up a Police officer.

              Just what circumstances are you making up to justify your assertion looting in Britain is acceptable? and are these circumstances in any way applicable to what happened this week or are you restricting yourself to the script of 28 Days Later.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "the circumstances were right and I managed not to pick up a new pair of trainers/TV"

                Yes but you're not an ill-educated 14 year old boy living on a run down council estate full of other ill-educated children with single teenage mothers. If you were, you probably would be looting.

                The looters are certainly not blameless, but to say that their cirmumstances play no part whatsoevwer in their behaviour is monumental bullshit. Of course they are the product of their terrible upbringing. Unless you want to tell me that looting is in their DNA, in which case I would love to hear your solution.

            3. Juillen 1

              @Danny 5

              The documented circumstances of behavioural change are significant and bounded; premeditated choice also enters the equation to find yourself in a situation where it could happen.

              For rioting and looting: If the country were to grind to a halt, and we were all starving to death (literally), the I strongly suspect that I may be part of a mob in the end (after all, civilization is just a few days full feed from anarchy).

              However, with no good reason to riot, and choosing to take luxuries (even kids from the riots have been saying "We're just doing it to prove to the rich and the police that we can"), theyr'e showing they're nothing less than oportunistic scum. There were no great modifiers and circumstance to this; it was premeditated choice.

            4. mark 63 Silver badge

              re scum

              but Danny,

              Those scum are living comfortable lives on the dole at the taxpayers expense. There is no need for any of this , they are not protesting anything ie living conditions or some other noble cause.

              Its just robeery with the added bonus of millions of pounds worth of collateral damage. Therefore I condier them ALL scum.

              Having said that there are certain circumstances I would be with them - mainly if it was THE END OF THE WORLD , (due it metior strike od oil run out ) .that propertys then up for grabs

              But siociety would have to be on its way out permanently

              As it is , like I said , these are just scumbag theives and vandals.

              1. Anonymous Coward

                "Those scum are living comfortable lives on the dole"

                What's the alternative? Are you seriously suggesting that you WANT them to live UNcomfortable lives on the dole? Why? To enact some petty ego trip, so that you can feel big and powerful compared to them? That's so sad.

                I want all people to live comfortable lives, whether they have any money or not. Whether they're in prison or not. Why the hell not? It's a lofty goal but at least it's a goal damnit. What are your goals? How many people have to suffer before you will finally feel happy about yourself and your community?

                Will you be happy when 1000 people are living uncomfrotable lives?

                Will you be happy when 10,000 people are living uncomfrotable lives?

                What's the number damnit.

                1. KrisMac

                  The problem with your utopia is that...

                  ... there just IS NOT enough wealth in the world to go round....

                  If you take the estimated amount of currency in the U.S., Asia and Europe, and then round it up to the nearest hundred billion (to account for the fact that a lot of nations don't actually know how much money is in their country), and then turn it all into U.S. dollars, you'll come up with $34,370,000,000,000 dollars. That's $34 trillion. And if you divide that by the number of people on the planet, which is over 6.6 billion, you get $5,203.60. That means there there's only five thousand dollars available for every man, woman and child on the planet!

                  How comfortable to you believe YOU would be living on a little over $5,000.00 per annum?

                  Given that most people access their share of the $34 trillion out there via some form of credit, (VISA anyone?), the accumulated interest on the debt comsumes upwards of 20% of their annual 5 grand.. So the world's wealth is quietly dissappearing down a rabbit hole.

                  The only saving grace to that is the productivity of a very small percentage of the planets surface which continues to generate wealth in the form of minerals and food. Should the supply of new wealth ever begin to drop off, (Peak Oil comes to mind), we are all going to be in pretty bad shape.

                  The only way EVERYONE can have comfortable lives if is there are fewer of us. So, until people stop having more babies, the concept of EVERYONE living comfortable lives will remain a sad self-delusion that is only affordable to those who ALREADY HAVE comfortable lives.

            5. Jonathon Green
              Big Brother

              Title? We don' need no steenkin' title...

              Danny 5:

              "that's just one of many examples of mass hysteria. Are there scumbags in with the looters? of course! are they all scum? i hardly think so. is it possible that i could've been one of them? under the right circumstances, yes. Could you be one of them? indeed you could be, but you fail to see."

              I refer the dissenters to:




              All of which suggest that ordinary, decent, honest types (like, say, the average El Reg Commentard) are capable of doing the most astonishing things when placed in the appropriate environment. Given that the Stanford prison and Third Wave experiments were able to produce the results they did in under a week and that Milgram had people quite happily administering apparently fatal electric shocks within about 20 minutes it is left as an excercise for the student to work out what spending a few years in (let alone growing up in) one of our nastier inner city environments might be able to achieve...

              1. Danny 5


                someone to back me up! thanks for that.

                it's not even that i'm giving the looters a free pass, they should be charged for those crimes, even if they did it under the guise of mass hysteria. i was merely pointing out that there's a lot of yous and mes in between the thugs. That doesn't mean only the real thugs should be punished, they ALL should be punished, i'm just trying to put some things into perspective.

                Having said they should be punished, punishment should be effective and fit the crime, taking their benefits will only make things worse. let them keep their benefits, but cut them to pay for the damages sounds like a much better punishment to me.

                and in regards to another comment stating you wouldn't loot a plasma tv, would you still not do that if you where standing in front of a broken window, see people running out with tv's by the dozen, no cop for miles around?

                i think i wouldn't, but i'm not 100% sure, i don't know how i would act in that situation, because i've never been in that situation.

                1. Andyman

                  Danny 5 - Would you?

                  So basically you are saying that if in a situation where you have the choice to commit a crime with the knowledge you would not face consequences, you are unsure of what you would do.

                  That sounds like the theme behind The Invisible Man, the idea that if you we not have to face the consequences our moral compass will degrade and we will become monsters. An interesting theory to discuss.

                  Do I believe it? No. Here at my desk at work there are many things I could steal, of high value, and be quite sure I could get away with it.

                  Ignoring looting in the 'end of the world' scenario I think your argument shows a very real moral weakness, rather than objectiveness.

                  I would also recommend to your employers that you be trusted with nothing more than a pencil.

                  1. Danny 5

                    close, but no

                    what i meant to say was that if i where dirt poor, had a bleak outlook on life and had no job, THEN i don't know if i'd still be such an upstanding member of society, there's a good chance i'd steal one of those plasmas too. I like to tell myself i'm a decent human being too, that i would never resort to these crimes under any circumstance, but i'd be deluding myself, i just don't know. I have a great job, a nice warm place for myself and many friends, my outlook on life is great, i have too much to lose. How i would act if i had nothing to lose? i cannot be 100% sure and nor can you.

                  2. fajensen

                    I know what I would do!


                    if in a situation where you have the choice to commit a crime with the knowledge you would not face consequences, you are unsure of what you would do.


                    If I could get away with crashing the economy while making out like a bandit all the way; Hell YES I would. Fucking A.

                    If I would get paid millions in bonus for running a business into a hole in the ground - SURE - it beats working, you know, and I would also buy some derivatives on the outcome via my numbered account in Brussels for added incentive.

                    If someone gave me the root password and the location of the datacenters used by the IRS ... well ... I guess we all deserve a break.

                    Would I nick a telly, nah. Not worth it. But if I could retire forever on the proceeds from my dastardly deeds AND be safe from retribution? Yeah, why not?

                    We serfs must learn from our superiors example, after all they are better people than us!

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  You don't have to do what an experiment says could happen

                  My parents told me not to steal, and I think this is correct. I believe you should earn money and buy what you need and want. I acknowledge the power of peer pressure and social pressure, but unlike the experiments in US, in real life when not playing along with an experiment, you have the option to not bow to social pressures and stick to your ethical beliefs and abide by the law.

                3. heyrick Silver badge

                  @ Danny 5

                  Broken window, looters, no cops around, would I be tempted?

                  Strangely enough, no. I see value in things that friends give me, and I see value in things that I save up to buy. I'm not so keen on my job, but when the latest "ooooh shiny" arrives, it reminds me why I go to work in the first place.

                  Perhaps I have a better set of morals than you that I can answer no with certainty. But, then, I don't see myself being in such a situation as to have that as my options. As far as I'm concerned, the best place to be when the looters and thugs arrive is... somewhere else.

                  1. Anonymous Coward


                    Another one completely missing the point.

                    The point isn't whether you'd be tempted right now. The point is whether you'd be tempted if you'd been brought up in the same sort of environment some of these people have.

                    And yeah I know, you would never be in that kind of environment for long anyway. Because, no matter how bad the environment you were brought up in might have been, your morals and hard work would see you through it to a nice happy successful career.

                    1. heyrick Silver badge

                      @ AC 2011/08/11 22:07

                      Missing the point? I could have sworn the first post I replied to was suggesting that in a similar situation, a fair number of us commentards would get involved in the hysteria and join in (try the movie links quoted), while the second asks if we saw looters walking out with goodies and no police in sight, would we be tempted to join in?

                      You're right that the real question should involve the situation of upbringing, though this was chosen to be overlooked as Danny 5 was asking us, here... There's no scientific basis for what I'm about to say, which is that I do not believe that your average scum looter would be reading Reg, never mind commenting. Actually, given some of the "interviews" on TV, I wonder if they'd even understand much of it.

                      I wouldn't describe my situation as "a successful happy career". How I would describe it is "adequate". Don't pretend to know me, you don't.

                      The point that you appear to have missed is, quite simply, how much looting was looting for the sake of looting. Little of the stuff nicked is necessary in life. Mobiles, widescreen tellies, designer clothes, maybe nice to have as convenience or status items, but not essential. Or are you actually suggesting that being brought up in a hopeless situation makes this sort of behaviour acceptable?

                4. Mike123456

                  Title? Really?

                  Quote Danny5

                  "and in regards to another comment stating you wouldn't loot a plasma tv, would you still not do that if you where standing in front of a broken window, see people running out with tv's by the dozen, no cop for miles around?"

                  No, No I would not.

                  because I have a core belief in upholding social standards, and because IT"S AGAINST THE LAW.

                  You, sir are a part of the problem if you would steal just because those around you are.

                  Look! There's a load of lemmings, lets' leap off a cliff.

            6. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Danny 5

              You need to quit whilst you are only very far behind.

              Of course the looters are all scumbags. They are looting after all. If you are calling out those who have tarred all those on the streets as scumbags then you have a case, but not when you are talking about looters.

              Now, as to the point about the rest of us looting "given the right circumstances", I hardly think that the circumstances seen here are "right" for a bit of moral looting. No-one looting is starving, no-one looting is being tortured to death, no-one looting is being forced to work down a Zimbabwean diamond mine until they are either beaten to death or gang raped to within an inch of their life.

              Grow the fuck up and get with the programme, sure if there was a complete collapse in society or a nuclear war and the options you were presented with was either take tins of food from the local ASDA or watch your family starve to death then yes we would all go in for a spot of looting. But given that the worst-off person in the UK [able to go on a riot] is better off* than probably 3-4 billion other people in the world means your argument is so big a load of bullshit that it is at risk of becoming a core tenet of Scientology.

              *even on the lowest form of benefits you are guaranteed somewhere to sleep, a roof over your head, more food per day than half the world will see in a week, warmth, a longer expected lifespan than most, free healthcare and many other things most people in Africa, Asia, India and the surrounding areas would kill for.

              1. Danny 5


                the replies backing me up are so chock full of win that i seem to be moving to the front again. ;)

            7. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Danny 5

              "so you're saying all the nazis where scum in WWII?"

              I call Godwin's Law.

              Incidentally, I bet the Nazis could at least spell. They were grammar Nazis, you see.

              1. Danny 5
                Thumb Up

                fair enough

                the godwin was actually unintentional, it was the first example of mass hysteria that came to mind

                as for spelling, i'm not native, so you should cut me at least a little slack.

            8. Scorchio!!

              Re: blind

              "so you're saying all the nazis where scum in WWII?"

              The difference between Nazi [1] Germany then and UK now is that a) what you saw recently was freedom of choice, b) what you saw recently was not a political party, and c) war reparations of an unbridled and stupid nature caused the reaction in Germany that Lloyd George (the last Liberal prime minister) predicted, namely a war.

              Before you open your virtual mouth it would pay you dividends to think of the monstrosity that you inflict on the debate when you do not consider the data, which include the conviction of a millionaire's daughter for these offences, a postman, an organic chef and so on. Yet you have the damned cheek to make the comparison that you do? You have clearly not lived outside of your playstation/activity centre, but I would not suggest to you that you join the armed forces, because that sort of insightlessness and hubris is not welcome. Take it from me. I'm an ex soldier, and there is a strong dislike for silly civvies.

              I see that you refer to the Milgram prisoner/guard experiment, yet you once again fail to see the difference and make a category error. There is *no* comparison between the free choice to loot and the behavioural relationship between prisoners and their (yes, that's 'their') guards. Take it from me, I do have qualifications in the area. That is why I cite the Milgram experiment, which also could not control for the authority vested in the experiment, thus giving it a veneer of respectability, whilst offering no training, ethics and the sort of professional development required in prison services. N o c o m p a r i s o n a t a l l.

              However, one thing that I note from your expressions; that your locus of control is not internal. That's psychology speak for not having much of a self image, not much self confidence, not much self assertiveness, not much ability to apperceive and then act on the truth and on ethics.

              One last point; if you are going to pick on points of style and expression, then learn to spell. It is 'were' not 'where'.

              [1] Godwin once observed that the longer a thread grows the probability that this and related topics will arise. There are corollaries; I don't know if this is one of them, but it is a clear matter of fact that the closer the start point of a debate to the nameless subject, the greater the probability that it will ultimately be raised. Some people think that Godwin said the topic is dead when the subject is raised; he did not.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down


          You can accuse me of being arrogant. But given the circumstances of the last couple of nights I would never take part in the looting.

        3. djs

          Re: unbelievable

          If the circumstances were right, I would be a looter. I'd be among them. I freely admit it.

          I wouldn't be looting jesus phones, crackberries and plasma televisions, though. I can live quite happily without that crap, and so can they,

          Food. I'd loot food, if I were starving (or the world had just ended and I felt a sudden need to stockpile for the future.)

          Things would have to be pretty damned hairy for me to take something that I have no right to, though, and I can imagine no situation so dire that I would go out on the rob for a new telly.

          1. Andus McCoatover

            Loot food?

            You should read or watch "The Road".


            Might change your mind a bit...

        4. heyrick Silver badge

          Who's a looter?

          You're right (or should that be "your right"? ;) ), I would loot. I would loot in the total breakdown of civilisation when there is nothing left but that or certain death. Most of us reading this, downvotes aside, would. Especially if we have a family to try to keep alive.

          I would loot food, and maybe weapons. I would not give a crap about mobiles, widescreen tellies, jeans, or setting fire to a dress in the window of a Selfridge.

          The reason for all your downvotes is simple. We would loot in the aftermath of a devastating war, or maybe zombie apocalypse. What happened this week is simply no comparison whatsoever. Can you not see the difference?

        5. fritsd

          not arrogance, nuance

          @ Danny 5: the Dutch ex-bishop of Breda, mgr. Muskens, was completely chewed out in the media because he had said, that under certain circumstances it would be OK if a poor person stole a bread.

          But these looters are not stealing a bread which they need to live: they've got Blackberries (sp?), they are stealing luxury items, and burning the shops. If they would have non-violently stolen basic foodstuffs from those shops because otherwise they'd be starving from hunger in the streets of London then I, being a left-wing hippy treehugger myself, would maybe have some sympathy (but also for the pissed-off shop personnel).

          It's real simple: you *NEED* bread (or unemployment benefits etc.). you don't *NEED* a TV. So don't steal one. There's the nuance.

          If Muskens were not senile by now, he'd probably say that the fact those yobo's felt they "needed" those luxury things was a societal disease in and of itself.

        6. Scorchio!!

          Re: unbelievable

          "[...] you people should be ashamed of yourself."

          No, that responsibility lies with you and the people who put such enabling thoughts in your head. Do not make the mistake of judging others on the basis of anecdotal experience and personal thoughts, generalising from the particular is a very hit and miss basis for making statements about other people.

          FWIW I have, among other things, helped a shop owner arrest drug dealers who then escaped and, when the police finally arrived, I ditched my car, stopped the police and assisted the arrest process by identifying them, face to face. Also, outside the pub where I used to live (a tough depressed area of sarf London), when I got off my bike suddenly a small army of early teens appeared, surrounding a man of pensionable age, whom they were about to assault. I think that he would have died, had I not roared at them, stopped them and bought him time to escape.

          Do not ever measure other people by the standards and laxity that self evidently typify your thoughts. You should be ashamed of yourself, unless of course you are delusional; for delusions there are fairly potent Dopaminergic anti psychotics, psychiatric wards and multi disciplinary psychiatric teams.

        7. sabba

          @Danny 5

          No doubt there are responses to your posts further down but I haven't got to them yet...

          I think you have a few issues mate. Were you out there robbin' and burnin' with the other idiots? I came from what might these days be termed a deprived background but the difference was that, from a very early age, I was instilled with a very strong sense of right and wrong. Along with a very clear indication that crossing the line would not be tolerated (under any circumstances). As a result, despite the fact that we had very little, and others had a whole lot more, I never exhibited any inclination to go and re-appropriate someone else's property (or perhaps even worse: simply destroy it).

          Is there an icon for dickhead?

      3. oddie

        If the circumstances were right...

        yes, I would resort to obtaining food and drink without paying for them, not stealing them out of the arms of other people in the same situation as me, but I probably wouldn't have a moral problem with 'stealing' basic provisions from abandoned shops during a crisis (as oposed to nicking crisps, trainers and jewelry because I don't have any cash on me)...

        The key here is crisis, a fully functional society with shops and basic services still running isn't a crisis.

        I would never think 'omg', the police have their hands full, lets see how many trainers I could put in my closets or how many plasma's would fit on my walls. These people were scum, pure and simple.

        claims that this is because of 'cuts' or because their social workers aren't giving them enough handjobs anymore just doesn't cut it. Britain DOES have one of the best social services in the world, I know this because I have had to make use of them. and yes, I have been homeless*, after that (and getting a job) I lived in a flat without carpets on the floor (chipboard flooring that is, not wall to wall oak), I had to cook my food in a kettle using some sort of ingenious tupperware submerged in hot water solution, I have slept in my clothes during winter because I didn't have money to buy gas for the meter, but I never tried looting or commiting crimes as a 'way out'. I got a job, then a better job, 7 years later bought a flat, sorted myself the fuck out.

        I have however seen the entitlement in the eyes of some of these scum, the expectancy that the state will provide them with everything, that housing isn't something that you pay for but is provided for you, that new trainers is a human right that shouldn't be denied them, that you should be able to keep pets without having the money to pay for them (hello PDSA), that raising a family doesn't mean having to hold a job.

        Britain's social services are an amazing safety net when people fall on hard times (like I did, and that I will always be thankful for), but those that don't see it as a help to get back on their feet and better themselves but in stead see it as a right to have 'richer' people pay taxes so the state can carry their lazy asses on a small gold pedestal are, in my mind, fully deserving of the title 'scum'.

        Those that think there is a problem with 'social inclusion' and people 'not feeling part of society' are fucking missing the point. The problem isnt them feeling like they are ignored by society, it's that they expect the state to pick up where their parents stopped, and throw tantrums when someone won't make their jam sandwhiches for them anymore.

        I don't know if the thing started off as a protest against the man that was shot or not (or if he was killed unlawfully as they call it), I guess in time we will find out. If it did, people had a right to be angry, to feel targeted, they certainly had a right to protest (peacefully). However, the people that started looting because 'bankers are rich, so are shopkeepers, I'm not, but I still think I deserve a fucking flat screen telly' don't deserve any sympathy.

        If they want to feel like part of society then start by making them understand how they owe society, not the other way around.

        *Technically homeless, that is not having anywhere to live, thanks to friends that were able to take me in I never had to sleep rough.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Gotta be a world record

        Well done Danny - I'm pretty sure that's a record for the most number of downvotes accumulated in the shortest amount of time. Kudos!

        Definitely a contenter for "troll/most-out-of-touch-commentator of the year" award at the end-of-year El Reg knees up.


        PS - does the El Reg track who this sort of thing? Can I suggest this as part of razzy-style award ceremony, where we can all vote for best-in-category type stuff?

      5. Mme.Mynkoff


        "now obviously i'm a lefty, hippy treehugger, so my point of view is slightly biased."

        now obviously I'm a lefty, hippy treehugger, so my point of view can be discounted as sloppy, irrational, and morally bankrupt.

        There, Danny. I fixed it for you.

        1. jimmy

          keep level headed

          surely it's a politicians job to prevent this happening again which involves working out what went wrong in the first place as well as calming the law abiders by talking tuff on punishments etc. i think it generally accepted that people aren't born 'scum' and can be rehabilitated away from being 'scum' once they've reached that status. But something causes people to become 'scum' and that needs to be put right. This idea of stopping benefits could make things worse and needs to be thought through. i think that's probably what Danny5 was on about.

          Civilised society is much more brittle than people realise. I think the saying is something like any civilisation is 3 meals away from anarchy. Which i can believe. Imagine waking up tomorrow with no food or access to it, no money and no fuel. what will you do in 24hrs or 48hrs when you're very very hungry? before you go mental, I'm not saying these yobs are in this position, i'm just trying to demonstrate how brittle society actually is.

          The Proles will always outnumber the policing authorities and that is why making the situation worse could be a whole lot scarier than it is now.

          looting and destruction is terrible. the perpetrators need to be caught and dealt with in a sane way. knee jerk reactions could quite conceivably make things a lot worse. that's all.......

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ danny5

        im sorry you you are talking out of your arse, im am in no way in a "good position" very very far from it, and there isnt a single micro second of my whole life that has ever considered doing such acts and their will never be

        why? because i know right and wrong, now i dont steal at all because there is always a way to get by, the question is can you get by without having the extra things in life, like sky , cars etc, but there is a stark difference in someone stealing a loaf of bread to feed their family and someone breaking in to a shop, stealing seveal 42in plasma TVs then torching the place

        No what happened there has absolutely nothing to do to with benifits or surviving, it was pure and simple greed and selfishness.

        To even consider that you would do the same is something i personally would be ashamed of.

        1. Willington

          Mass Hysteria

          I find it ironic that all the people decrying Danny5 for stating that mass hysteria is the probable cause are actually now suffering from mass hysteria. It's a bandwagon thing - the looters got caught up in it and did some wrong things, the commentards on this forum are now caught up in it and are frankly talking bollocks.

          They all now love the Met and support them wholeheartedly for stopping the riots when in fact they did absolutely fuck all. They've already forgotten that poor chap who was killed by the Met during the G20 protests (and for which nobody has ever been prosecuted). They've already forgotten the suspicions about the Met taking bribes from journalists for information about ongoing cases.

          Danny5, you're an idiot! You are a free-thinking idividual who believes that everyone has your capacity for intelligent thought. I hate to be the one to tell you but you're wrong. We are all victims of the Dunning Kruger theory. Don't try to reason with the Daily Mail crowd, hysterical people follow the masses, they lose the ability to think rationally - commentards and looters alike.

          Oh the irony!

          Flame on to prove me right.

          1. Liam Johnson


            >>all the people decrying Danny5...are actually now suffering from mass hysteria.

            Really, all of them? No, I don't think so.

            >>It's a bandwagon thing

            There is one big logical problem with saying mass hysteria caused all those poor people to do bad things and that is all the people who resisted the urge. Was everybody out on the streets looting, or was it just a minority? What did the others do to resist the urge - sit inside a pentacle?

            >>They all now love the Met

            No, not really. They have don't plenty of dubious stuff over the years. Being out on the streets trying to stop riots, looting and arson is what they are there for, so it at least gets them some plus points on the balance sheet. I don't recall seeing anybody saying that balances out everything else.

            >>Flame on to prove me right.

            Complete bollocks.

            1. Willington

              @Liam Johnson

              "There is one big logical problem with saying mass hysteria caused all those poor people to do bad things and that is all the people who resisted the urge. Was everybody out on the streets looting, or was it just a minority? What did the others do to resist the urge - sit inside a pentacle?"

              The people who didn't go out looting didn't have any urge to resist, they were not caught up in the hysteria. Anyone who felt the urge and resisted it was a very strong individual but there are few of them around. Do I really have to explain this? Wouldn't it be easier for all of us if you looked up "hysteria" in a dictionary before posting?

              Mob mentality is not the same as any the mentality of any individual within that group. You may believe (I think that you do) that you are immune to this effect and yet here you are on the other side of the coin caught up in a similar (you may say righteous*) mass hysterical outburst.

              Did I mention the irony?

              *in fact, I'd put money on it that you do.

              1. Liam Johnson


                To recap

                The original assertion from Danny 5 was that the people were caught up in this mass hysteria, and this could happen to anybody. A number of people responded that they did not think they would get so easily caught up in this and were told they were delusional.

                >>they were not caught up in the hysteria

                That is exactly my point. Sure the rioters themselves were caught up in hysteria. But what of those looking on, why didn't they join in? What causes one person to look at a riot and join in but another to turn away? You say - they "didn't have any urge to resist [because] they were not caught up in the hysteria". But that is very convenient and sounds rather circular - they didn't have to resist the hysteria because they had not succumbed to hysteria? It still doesn't explain why they were not involved.

                Many people above have posted that regardless of the situation, they would not have become involved. They were called delusions.

                My assertion is that plenty of people saw the riots and looting and made a conscious decision not to become involved. Proof, as I see it, that it is possible to resist the urge to join the riot.

                >>mass hysterical outburst.

                Complete bollocks - how can disagreeing with Danny5 in any way be considered hysteria - maybe you should be the one looking it up in a dictionary.

                >>I'd put money on it that you do.

                You would lose - a lot (or was that loose :-)

                1. Willington

                  @Liam Johnson

                  "What causes one person to look at a riot and join in but another to turn away?"

                  Well you tell me. What causes one person to be righteously indignant about the actions of the rioters when another can approach the entire situation with an open mind?

                  1. Liam Johnson


                    You must have got a great deal "Straw Men R us".

                    1. Willington

                      @Liam Johnson

                      Liam, I've already grown tired of this conversation. I don't care that you don't understand my argument, it doesn't matter to me one iota that you think you know what's going on here, subjectivity can be tough to fathom, but I still find the irony mildly amusing. I realise that I should have taken my own advice from my first post. I'll let you have the last word if you wish, all you have to do is type a suitable riposte and hit submit.

                      1. Liam Johnson


                        I am not bothered about a last word, but I will reply.

                        You say, "I don't care that you don't understand my argument:", but actually I do care. I would like to understand, but rather than explaining, you have simply posted a string of insults.

                        "Closed minded"

                        "righteously indignant"


                        The one explanation you did make sounded very much like circular reasoning to me, like I said at the time, but you have provided nothing further apart from the above mentioned insults.

                        You have said I am "righteously indignant about the actions of the rioters", yet I have made not comment about the rioters themselves. I have not made any calls for stocks, hangings or deportation which could earn the title "Hysterical".

                        My point as previously stated is simply that the term "Mass Hysteria" implies some kind of majority and I see the rioters as a minority. I asked the question "who joins the riot and who turns away", which I see as central to supporting your mass hysteria argument, but rather than answering sensibly, I get another insult.

                        Finally, to being closed minded. You have continually misrepresented my posts as mentioned above, although none of them could be considered hysterical by a normal person. The only reason I can see for this is that you yourself are so closed minded that you that you cannot engage in rational conversation with anybody whose views diverge even one iota from yours.

                        If you do care to continue the conversation, I am open minded enough to listen to your rephrased arguments, perhaps even answering some of my previous questions, but I would prefer it if you could avoid the insults next time.

          2. jimmy
            Thumb Up

            @ mass hysteria

            The most sane post on here. There are many hysterical commentards.

            Why don't people get it? We are taught to act the way we do in civilised society. We respect property and life. We are not born this way. I suspect anyone could become a looter given the wrong upbringing and experiences in life. compare citizens of Sparta to those of the mongols? were they distinct primate species that were programmed to act that way or just followers of their own particular rules?

            What most adults forget is that a teenagers* mind is a whole different cup of tea to ours. They are different creatures. Very easily influenced with no experience to fall back on. They have brilliant but untrained minds. Please try and think back to when you were this age. how easy was it to not follow the latest fad? how much do you understand now that you didn't then? did you break a law? if so what made you do it?

            Yes they did wrong, yes they should be punished but what should not be assumed is that they are unfixable evil individuals. something went wrong to make them this way and that should be put right otherwise it could be my or your children acting like this in 5 or 10 years time.

            other than to satisfy our deep desire for revenge i really don't see how cutting benefits is going to deal with the long term problem.

            *and by teenagers i mean any immature mind which is probably anyone under the age of 25.

            1. Liam Johnson


              Ah, caveats. I have no doubt that <25s are more likely to go out and do something stupid and also get caught up in the hysteria. Been there, done that. But why should a group of probably >25 IT professionals (*) be called delusional for saying that they would not join in the fun?

              (*) I am aware that not everybody here is >25 and not all are IT professionals but I will go out on a limb and assume that describes fair number of people here.

    3. english_police


      where just thugs? oh, you mean "they're" just thugs

  3. Winkypop Silver badge

    Sorry, something went wrong.

    Civilisation has left for a holiday.

    Please come back later when the hoards are asleep and civility may return.

    1. english_police


      that'll be "hordes"

      1. Another One


        whores then?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Done on purpose

    Am I being paranoid, or could they have done this on purpose to prevent the magic 100K number being reached? I can imagine it's the sort of thing they wouldn't want to get to the commons - it would have to, if the backbench committee turned it down for debate there'd be...rioting? Oh dear ;)

    1. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

      Am I being paranoid...?

      you work in IT, have some idea of how well government IT projects work...

      failure is unimaginable in your mind?

      yes, you are being paranoid

      1. Sooty

        Remember the IT vredo

        Never attribute to malice, that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

        And that holds doubly true for the government

  5. Just Thinking

    Ideal solution

    Kick them out of their homes, take away all their money. Let them roam the streets in packs, starving hungry and completely detached from society.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Justin Clements

      Very simple

      Because most will actually get a job. All of a sudden they will discover that MacDonald's, far from being below them, is actually a job worth keeping.

      They will learn real fast to say "do you want fries with that?" with a smile. Real fast.

      1. Scorchio!!
        Thumb Up

        Re: Very simple

        "They will learn real fast to say "do you want fries with that?" with a smile. Real fast."

        Oh, and "Missing you already!"

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Cheap bio diesel for all?

      Sorry, you asked what could go WRONG! My mistake, ignore the above.

      1. a cynic writes...

        Tut tut...

        If you are going to do "A Modest Proposal" at least do a vaguely credible one...

        I mean what's the point of turning them into diesel (@£1.40/litre) when they're worth £400,000 if you broke them for spares...sorry...organs?

        Joking aside, I'd favour making them do 2 years community service in the form of charity work somewhere it's actually needed - a refugee camp in North Eastern Kenya say. They'd be off the streets, do a sod of a lot more good than picking up rubbish and might even gain a sense of perspective.

        Admittedly we might lose the odd kleptomanic to the local community justice system but that'd just be evolution in action.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    who to blame

    I realised last night that it's the MPA(A)'s fault.

    For years they've been equating copyright infringement with theft and assault.

    The ne'er-do-wells have simply accepted this, only not in the way TPTB intended.

    1. jm83

      Re: MPA

      'You wouldnt steal a car...' - Thats a bit of a presumption.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        But if you could copy a car...

        ...that's another proposition entirely.

    2. Cameron Colley

      But I bet you wouldn't kill a policeman, then steal his helmet.

      Then go to the toilet in his helmet and give it to his grieving widow.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Then steal it back again!

        +1 for the IT crowd reference!

      2. CD001

        RE: But I bet you wouldn't kill a policeman...

        How MUCH are you betting? If you're going to bet me say... upwards of ten million quid? Obviously payable once I'm out of nick.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Freetards & Looters UNITE!

      No, copyright infringement isn't the same as stealing. But both cause damage:

      In both cases it's a minority.

      In both cases people are looting what they can afford, but don't want to pay for.

      In both cases people think they're entitled to something for nothing

      In both cases people blame the system and avoid taking personal responsibility

      In both cases taking without paying damages the businesses affected - with internet parasites it just takes longer.

      But if you're feeling brave AC, why not knock on the door of one of the indie labels affected by the Enfield fire and tell them infringement doesn't harm them.

      Please - go and do it.

      1. Cameron Colley

        @AC 15:28

        I think that may have been the OPs point...

        The MP Ass of America seems to equate copying films with theftvand robbery. i tould have thought,as someone who buys films, you would knlw this. Freetards don'te see the FBI warnings the MPAA sponsor because they dln't pay for the films somdon't get accused of robbery.

        1. Mme.Mynkoff

          @Cameron Colley

          Could you try and post that again in English?

  7. Christoph

    Hell with the law, let's go for revenge

    The law is supposed to apply to everyone evenly, and you are supposed to be able to know what the laws and punishments are. There didn't use to be anything about adding extra punishments on after the offence was committed. There is no provision in law for this.

    The standard punishments are laid down, and the magistrates and judges can vary them according to circumstances. So they will already have taken into account all the background to each individual case and set the penalty accordingly. Cutting the benefit is then an extra punishment *after* everything has been taken into account.

    It punishes those who were out of work and rioted, but not those who had a job and still rioted.

    It takes no account of individual circumstances, family members, etc.

    It leaves people with no way to survive except to commit further crimes.

    The comments I've seen don't have any reference to reform, rehabilitation, deterrence, or even punishment. They're all about REVENGE. Do we really want such a fundamental change to our legal system?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It already happens..

      > There didn't use to be anything about adding extra punishments on after the offence was committed.

      Commit benefit fraud and you can be convicted AND lose your benefit.

      Steal from your work and you can be convicted AND lose your job.

      Harass your neighbours and you can be convicted of a criminal offence AND lose your council home.

      Commit a criminal offence unrelated to your work and you can be convicted AND lose your job.

      There are many examples of those convicted suffering consequences beyond those imposed by the courts.

      This is no different.

      > It punishes those who were out of work and rioted, but not those who had a job and still rioted.

      And? Just because the DWP does not have the power to punish everybody does not mean they should not punish those they can.

      1. John G Imrie

        Commit benefit fraud and you can be convicted AND lose your benefit.


        But you knew, or are presumed to know, that *before* you commit benefit fraud.

        This is the equivalent to dropping litter, getting a fine, and then being told that because of the amount of litter in the rest of the street you hand is forfeit.

        This isn't justice it's just another braying mob.

        1. Juillen 1

          @ John G...

          I call straw man on that.

          The law works (sort of) because it's mainly reasonable. If you had a hand lopped off for littering, I can guarantee you there would be a huge outcry, and possibly even full civil unrest.

          This is more equivalent to "You have to pay a fine for littering", and knowing that. Then someone tells you "Because you dropped so much, this is now under this type of offense, and you now have to pay 5 times the amount".

          To the average person, they'd look at the offender and go "You ass. Serves you right, having to pay for the clean up.". You knew there were consequences of a particular nature, and you've just learned a valuable lesson; You up the ante, and so do other people.

          As a general rule for getting through life without too much hassle, or falling afoul of the law, I find "Try not to be a dick" works for me.

          1. John G Imrie

            @Juillen 1

            Except this is not what's happening here.

            There are laws, with know penalties, against riot and looting.

            There are a separate set of laws that can have you evicted from your council house, mainly due to annoying your neighbors.

            The two sets don't intersect. This partition is trying to force them to.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: John G

              "There are a separate set of laws that can have you evicted from your council house, mainly due to annoying your neighbors."

              If rioting, looting and destroying the property of your neighbours does not count as "annoying your neighbours" then what does?

      2. Richard IV

        @AC 10:05

        >> There didn't use to be anything about adding extra punishments on after the offence was committed.

        >Blah blah blah.<

        >There are many examples of those convicted suffering consequences beyond those imposed by the courts.

        >This is no different.

        Yes it is. Those additional consequences were known about (at least in principle) when the crime was committed. To take a random perjuring peer such as Lord Archer as an example, there was a campaign to strip him of his peerage after he had been convicted. However, at the time he committed his offence, there were no circumstances under which this could be done. And so the convicted liar is still a peer of the realm.

        Not being able to apply laws retrospectively is a very important feature of our legal system. As you would be very glad to find out as and when the death penalty is reintroduced for Anonymous Cowards...

        1. Mark 65

          @Richard IV

          "Not being able to apply laws retrospectively is a very important feature of our legal system."

          Yet it sadly seems not to apply with regards the law on matters of taxation as those fucked over by HMRC will attest.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        "Just because the DWP does not have the power to punish everybody..."

        "...does not mean they should not punish those they can."

        Since when was it the DWPs job to punish people?

        That is some bizzarre reasoning there buddy. I guess by your logic maybe the guy who paints road markings should punish motorists, you know, just because he can.

        But I guess you are just a glutton for punishment.

    2. Juillen 1

      There's an old law on the books..

      From medieval times that states:

      If a froup of more than 35 people gather together for the purposes of destruction, they can be considered an army, and hung for treason.

  8. Richard Porter

    Government + IT

    What do you expect?

  9. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    How about..

    I'm not so sure removing benefits or making them homeless is the best way to deal with these people. Doing that will only make them more disadvantaged. If they have nowhere to live and no income, how are they going to feed themselves ? You'll only make a bad situation worse.

    I think a far better solution would be to get them to make good the damage they've caused whilst wearing, say, bright pink overalls.

    That way society

    - sees them being punished for their actions

    - gets some free labour to help clean up the mess

    - the public humiliation will help deter them in the fututre

    - and maybe they learn some new skills in the process.

    Of course, I know my suggestion won't/can't be taken up: It'll infringe their "Human Rights"

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. John G Imrie

      bright pink overalls.

      I'd suggest a uniform of the following.

      Yellow T-shirt with a Genesis album cover on the front.

      Blue knitted jumper with pink buttons.

      Light green corduroy trousers.

      Bright red braces.

      Florescent pink socks.

      Open toed sandals.

      No sun glasses

      White knotted hanky may be used as a hat if the temperature is above 24C

      This to be warn by both sexes.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Perhaps remove the benefits to be replaced with clothing and food vouchers to the same amount which cant be used for drink or cigs. Instantly helping the high street sales, improving nutrition, reducing the binge drinking culture and punishing at the same time.

    4. I Like Heckling Silver badge

      doesn't wlways work like that

      A Non e-mouse wrote

      "I think a far better solution would be to get them to make good the damage they've caused whilst wearing, say, bright pink overalls.

      That way society

      - sees them being punished for their actions

      - gets some free labour to help clean up the mess

      - the public humiliation will help deter them in the fututre

      - and maybe they learn some new skills in the process."

      Community service has been around for donkeys years and this is what can and does often happen...

      I ran a childrens centre, the community service offered to come in and redecorate and duly turned up every morning for a week with some crimis doing their bit to redeem themselves... who then jimmied a window lock, and came back over the weekend and stole all of the kids toys, videos, games and so forth.

      Yeah... that'll work.

      1. Mark 65

        @I Like Heckling

        Community service works for the repentant, more civilized or more intelligent members of society. For the others it's just free labour to clean up their mess.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @I Like Heckling

        Good list.

        Can we extend it to:

        - Freetards

        - Daily Mail commenters

        - People who shout into their phones on trains?

      3. Scorchio!!
        Thumb Up

        Re: doesn't wlways work like that

        Road repair gangs and other forms of 'strenuous' labour. Councils are short of money, wage bills are expensive, pot holes are not being repaired. They could come out of it with a basic labouring qualification, CV and perhaps some genuine 'respeck', as opposed to the 'are you dissin' me' variety. (spit)

    5. Jim Morrow

      crime and punishment

      you just don't get it. like all the other commentards spouting the daily fail's cliches and "simple" solutions to complex problems, you just don't have a clue.

      the rioting scum are utter morons, just like the overwhelming majority of criminals. they do not think or act rationally. they can't be reasoned with because they're feckless idiots. in fact, they probably don't think at all. so they have no idea of the consequences of their actions. or the concept of cause and effect. or punishment . this is because they (a) don't expect to be caught; (b) don't have a clue how their crimes affect anyone; (c) can't work out if it's better to be banged up than nick a telly or torch the local asda. expecting them to behave out of fear of your favourite "simple" solution is ridiculous.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Millionaire's Cabinet: total IQ ?

    "Nick Clegg yesterday suggested local councils should have the right to evict convicted rioters from council accommodation. The rioters would then have to declare themselves homeless to the local council which would then be obliged to re-house them."

    Quite. Our Nick's not the brightest star in the Millionaire's Cabinet, is he?

    Mind you, joking apart, I suspect different procedures apply to those who have made themselves "voluntarily homeless", and with luck these folks will be classed as voluntarily homeless, and then without a secure roof over their heads they will perhaps understand what life has been like for some people for a while.

    Purely 'pour encourager les autres', you understand.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Be careful what you wish for.

      Becoming 'voluntarily homeless' is one of those regulations built on shifting sands.

      The way that the rules are altered at whim to provide 'good figures' for the ministry bears no relationship to those who actually need assistance.

      Once without a 'secure roof' there are the options of becoming mind-numb via legal or illegal substances, asking strangers if they wouldn't mind awfully to empty out pockets or examining the contents of a car having just invoked the window replacement policy.

      Or - once you've taken it all away there are not many choices left to those abandoned, oddly enough they even reflect the reasons for removal of benefits etc. in the first place.

      The current evening activites closely resemble those in other partsof the world - Egypt anyone?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Elmer Phud

          Egypt pt 2

          Yup, it's standard format - a day or so of yer actual protesting then it's all down to the shops.

          Your problem is that the 'scrotey mates' are not necessarily just in the U.K., they are global. We don't have the market wrapped up in barely teenage looters.

          A few hundred miles away does not change things, just the clothes and language.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Voluntarily Made Homeless

      I'm afraid the lunatics have already taken over the asylum.

      I once had a tenant who burned my rented house down - he went to prison for it, the only part of the whole event that makes me glad!

      The day after he'd burned it down, and been bailed by the police, he trundled down to the local council offices to declare himself homeless. I was harranged on the telephone shortly thereafter by a council employee because I'd evicted him without providing due notice!

      I shared the circumstances of the "eviction", and it cut no ice. Apparently the tenant commiting arson isn't a good enough reason to override the provisions of whatever law appliced to tenancy agreements and notice.


      I told her to sue me, and mentioned the conversation to the police dealing with the arson. Never heard anymore.

      Still makes me cross.

      Oh... I signed the e-petition BTW... my "social DNA" must be different to some of the folks here... It wouldn't even cross my mind to loot some store just because I thought I might get away with it, but then I'm of a generation that has a sense of social responsibility I guess.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Spelling is optional...

    I see that they are now saying:

    Sorry if you're experiencing problems accessing e-petitons. There is currently a much higher level of demand than we expected.

    What is a 'petiton' - is it something climbing-related like a crampon?

    1. MarkieMark1

      similar to a crampon, it needles

      more petty though :-D

  12. jm83

    re: How about

    You were onto something until you started having a pop at the human rights act.... you shouldnt believe everything you read in the Daily Mail.

    There is nothing controversial in the act and before you start railing against it you probably ought to understand the act in detail... given they are rights that apply to you also.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: re: How about

      "You were onto something until you started having a pop at the human rights act.... you shouldnt believe everything you read in the Daily Mail."

      One does not have to be a Daily Mail reader to know that we cannot deport terrorists because the human rights act has been invoked. Also, not only is the truth the exclusive property of no individual or group, the corollary is that the argumentum ad hominem - smearing people and saying what they say cannot be true because they read the Grauniad/Daily Mail/Torygraph etcetera - is piss poor epistemology. I give you 1 out of 10 for effort. This is purely a mercy point.

  13. ratbert

    Pedantry alert

    The phrase "loose all benefits" contains valid words, and thus wouldn't be picked up by a spell-checker. Even a grammar check would allow it, though I'm unsure as to why rioters might have tight benefits...

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      actually ...

      A grammar checker should find fault with "rioters should loose their benefits" on the grounds that "the sentence no verb". (Yes, I know "should" counts, but the embedded part describing what they should do is missing a verb). Change it to "loosen" or "let loose" and it does become grammatically sound, though obviously that's the wrong fix.

      It's been a while since I used a grammar checker, and I don't have one installed on my machine right now so I can't check this, but I suspect that most checkers would flag "loose" to the user as being a frequently-confused word.

      In fact, this online grammar checker (the first one I found in a web search) definitely flags the error:

      1. Cameron Colley

        I thought "loose" was a verb?

        Websters online (the only dictionary I can be arsed checking) agrees.

        It makes sense as a sentence too -- as long as you interpret it as metaphorical.

        1. DanceMan


          is not a dictionary. It's a guide to Merkin misspelling.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: Websters

            "is not a dictionary. It's a guide to Merkin misspelling."

            That is odd. I didn't think that Merkins could even speak, type or think:


  14. handle

    Spell checking...

    ...won't correct the spelling of "loose" to "lose".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can understand the reaction to put at a disadvantage those who have transgressed against society, but I suspect this would turn around and bite them if it went through.

    You are unemployed, still have bills to pay, and the welfare is cut off. What do you have to turn to in order to survive ? I'd not want to be living near where these folk are.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    "It'll infringe their "Human Rights"

    Rights don't come for free, they come with responsibilities and other matching obligations.

    You don't have to be a genius to see that there is a long standing problem with the "justice" system though. It seems unlikely that this week's events would have happened if the justice system had not for decades set the example that persistent low level criminality doesn't matter and largely goes unacknowledged and almost always goes unpunished (exceptions apply, e.g. high profile custard pie incidents making the security police look stupid).

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Blame the judges ?

      I suspect the problem isn't so much the act, as the way it is interpreted by judges (& lawyers).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      are an 85 year old war verteran who commits the heinous crime of recording court proceedings and is currently serving 6 months in leeds prison.

    3. Elron Hubward

      Rights don't come for free?

      Rights do indeed come for free.

      If they aren't free then they are privileges, not rights.

  17. TakeTheSkyRoad

    It's ok at the moment

    The count at 11:10 am (uk) is 97,189

    1. Elmer Phud

      Empty, toothless gestures.

      This is the site set up to give people the impression that they will be listened to.

      It's there for the mutterers, the 'something must be done' brigade. This is no 'petition' but a bunch of villagers with pitchforks up in tentative arms ready to slay the beast.

      The circuses have left town and the bread has been knicked - noting left but empty gestures to make the populace feel they have a voice as long as that voice is in line with Cameron's ideals, if not -- yer fucked.

      In the meantime we'd prefer it if Boris does not employ any more senior police officers - his record speaks loudly for itself. The rot is not at the lower end but wth the Bullingdon Boys - corruption and looting that the lower orders can only gasp at and admire.

  18. TakeTheSkyRoad

    Facebook Event

    Interestingly this morning I was hit with an invite to "Anti-Riot Operation Cup Of Tea" which encouranges everyone to stay in tonight (events starts at 8:30pm) and drink Tea (or other "mugged beverage).

    Scam or not I couldn't say but it's collected 292,887 people "Attending" so far.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A solution to benefit almost everyone?

    1. The rioters deserve some sort of punisment that does good to Britain not harm in the long run.

    2. Those degenerates have been complaining there are no jobs available to them.

    3. Britains roads are fooked; crumbling and full ot ever-increasing pot holes.


    1. Elmer Phud


      'PFI' = grab it and run.

      Now councils have been asked to identify anyting they can sell to prop up the Tory dream - they still boast about no increase in council taxes while watching the world crumble.

      Was there anything else?

  20. dr No

    cry havoc…

    …and loose the benfits of war!

  21. Zog The Undeniable
    Thumb Up

    It's not completely impossible

    You can't allow them to starve, but you could certainly downgrade anyone on the sick to standard JSA (fit enough to loot, fit enough to work) and take benefits away from any younger people living with family.

    Ironically a lot of people are going to lose their jobs and *start* claiming benefits as a result of being convicted. I don't think that 31-year old teaching assistant's feet will touch the floor once his headmaster sees the news.

  22. bitmap animal

    Good initial idea, but not appropriate

    As has been mentioned, the removal of benefits will affect only those on benefits and will also remove their income forcing them to find an alternative source on their own. I suspect that is highly unlikely to happen leading them into even more dubious income streams.

    There are lots of roads to be repaired, lots of litter to be picked up, lots of graffiti to be cleaned and many more jobs that would give them something to do and also help make the UK a much nicer place. As far as I can see this would be a very big win for us all.

  23. Neverwas

    It's an advert for the "agile" methodology

    AIUI the site was developed using the new "agile" methodology by the Skunkworks team. It's a brilliant advert. "Look Minister, we developed the site quickly and cheaply; *and* built it so it falls over as soon as it looks as if it might embarrass you."

  24. Guus Leeuw
    IT Angle

    RE: AC 09:46

    "which would then be obliged to re-house them"

    Not quite. Once a counciltenant has become untenable by his own behaviour, the council has no obligation to house the tenant.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    "lots of roads to be repaired, lots of litter to be picked up"

    "31-year old teaching assistant"

    What kind of a CRB check do you need for a teaching assistant's job?

    What normally happens if you get into trouble after you get the job?

    Does it make a difference if 'everyone' (your boss, your colleagues, your "customers") knows you got into trouble?

    "There are lots of roads to be repaired, lots of litter to be picked up, lots of graffiti to be cleaned"

    Have you ever seen anyone out and about doing that kind of work wearing "Community Payback" boiler suits? No, I thought not.

    Such a scheme does exist, it just isn't used enough, in part because 'low level criminality' hasn't been of much interest to the justice system. Community Payback is even less likely to be visible in future because it's run by the Probation Service, and the Millionaire's Cabinet has decided to slash the budget for the probation service. Makes sense to someone, I'm sure.

    1. Elron Hubward

      Oh dear...

      Most posts which bring a worker into contact with children or vulnerable groups require an enhance CRB check.

      I've worked within the Youth Justice system in the past and there are indeed groups of young offenders out and about doing work to benefit the community to offset some of the damage they have caused (Restorative Justice and all that). Sometimes they're out cleaning up graffiti, sometime doing gardening for old dears, distributing leaflets on crime prevention or community safety initiatives (free smoke alarm schemes and the like) and that sort of thing.

      There is a very simple reason why they aren't wearing "Community Payback" boiler suits and/or yellow stars and tattooed serial numbers which should be obvious to even the most limited mentality.

      Sadly, not everyone believes that due process of law and whatever sanctions and reparations are imposed on offenders (of whatever age) are enough.

      There have been cases of young folk (and indeed their CRB checked supervisors - mostly volunteers who are usually guilty of nothing more than wanting to make a difference) being assaulted in the street by members of the public under the influence of a near lethal overdose of Daily Mail, and labouring under the missaprehension that what is really needed is a beating and ritual humiliation administered by a random member of the public with no connection to the criminal justice system other than seemingly wanting to be subject to it for assault.

      You are indeed correct about the budget cuts though; these affect all areas of the criminal justice system, not just probation. This is one of the reasons why there is less community work being done by criminals of whatever stripe - the government doesn't want to pay the costs incurred.

      Just FYI.

  26. Guus Leeuw

    RE: AC 10:05

    The previous poster made abbundantly clear that in his opinion the law should state such punishments, so that you can be aware of them at the moment of committing the crime.

    As is the case with all of your stated situations. The punishment is known before you commit the crime.

    "not so much brains as earwax" I hear somebody say...

    At any rate, we (society) can cut off one hand: It still allows the person to feed himself / hold up his hand, allows everybody to see what a person it is, etc. whilst it disallows successful engagement in any form of battle... Problem solved, all around. Oh, and the person would still get benefits, of course. Human rights? It doesn't say that you have to have a fully normal body to be counted as human, therefore, even if you have one hand less... oh... :D Well maybe there is a loophole somewhere to allow this sort of thing...

    No, I am not a Muslim / Islamist. I just think that good ideas can be copied.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The concluding comment says it all

    "The rioters would then have to declare themselves homeless to the local council which would then be obliged to re-house them."

  28. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    I have heard...

    that Gadaffi has just recognised the rioters as the legitimate Government of the UK......

    That is all...

  29. Zog The Undeniable

    Criminal records and jobs

    Most employers have a provision allowing them to sack employees who are convicted of a criminal offence if it has any relevance to their job (otherwise everyone who had picked up a speeding ticket would be out of work). There are ACAS guidelines around this.

    I would expect a member of teaching staff convicted of looting, or in fact of almost any non-motoring offence, to be summarily dismissed due to their influence over children. And yes, they are CRB checked to the hilt, including members of their family, and this has to be renewed every (I think) 3 years, or whenever they move to a different school.

  30. Morteus

    Cloud 9

    The more coverage I see and comments made, I can't help feeling that governing bodies are distancing themselves from the situation. They are good at pointing their fingers and condeming the actions (which of course they should) but it's a case of "look at what THEY are doing - they need a jolly good thrashing". Like it or not, THEY are members of OUR community.

    While there is some debate as to the source of the match that touched off the blaze, isn't it also true that to a degree this is a symptom of the errosion that has slowly degraded community standards? The successive goverments of the past few decades seem more interested in removing local community control and incentives for the sake of convenience. Coupled with international policies (which they appear more interested in until something like this happens) they have made a pretty poor show of keeping their own house in order. Our own goverment members seem to routinely flout the virtues which they compel us to uphold without serious consequence.

    The rich are richer, the poor are poorer. Fat cats who were at the helm of banking institutions when they failed recieve millions, while humble workers below them face redundancies. There is no investment in our youth in either community or education. Their circumstance seems to rely on the funds they can produce rather than their willingness to achieve, and the power to change their curcumstance is virtualy non existent.

    Is it any wonder then that our respect for the status quo is somewhat deminished? It is not an excuse for the actions that took place. But even 2000 years ago, the roman senate new all too well that if you don't give the plebs at least the illusion of prosperity or self worth, eventualy there will be trouble.

    For the people, by the people? We can but hope that this may be a wakeup call for Mr Clegg and Co... albeit a folorn hope.

    Phew! I need a beer...

  31. SJRulez

    How stupid are the government

    Take their benefits...... Big assumption that everyone rioting is on benefits, secondly don't you think that if we do take the only bit of money they get that they are just going to go out and commit even more crime.

    As for this:

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday suggested local councils should have the right to evict convicted rioters from council accommodation. The rioters would then have to declare themselves homeless to the local council which would then be obliged to re-house them.

    What a brilliant way to waste even more money, throw them out just to rehouse!! Stupid amounts of administration which costs, moving people around more costs to end up in exactly the same situation they were in!

  32. advocate


    I say stick em all on an island with deadly things everywhere and let them fend for themselves....

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Yes please, send us more

      The last load was delicious!

    2. John G Imrie

      Only if

      Its broadcast 24 hours a day on Freeview.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    People should do community work for the benefits they receive...

    There is no good reason why most of the unemployed should not work (at minimum wage) for any benefits they receive. This would effectively be part-time employment. They could be organised into teams to repair fences, clear litter, improve park areas, clear graffitti from walls, etc.

    Then everyone would be 'employed', and if they wanted a better paying job with more hours, then they have every incentive to go and look for a job.

    Being kept occupied with work would mean they couldn't be off commiting crimes elsewhere, and they would feel included in society, rather than excluded.

    Maybe two years of military service for school leavers would knock these people into shape and instill some respect.

    Society sets a bad example to our youth, the way bankers get away with causing a crisis and then continue to award themselves huge bonuses. Same with crooked company directors and other criminals who manipulate things to make a lot of money, and get away with it. It all sets a bad example to our youth.

    1. CD001

      alsdaskdjasda hsd


      Maybe two years of military service for school leavers would knock these people into shape and instill some respect.


      Or would it just train them in being better thugs?

    2. Brezin Bardout

      Excellent idea

      So, instead of just giving people benefits, we could get them to do work and give them money for it instead.

      We could call the work we give them 'jobs', and so we can differentiate them from people who aren't getting benefits for nothing, we could even call them 'employed'.

      So, that's nice and easy to do. All we need are enough jobs for everyone in the country and away we go.

    3. Mark 65

      Working for benefits

      Not sure about military service, but I've always thought that long-term benefit recipients should offer something in return for living off of the state. Getting the time cutoff right could be a PITA though.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    It's the solution - dump anyone convicted of taking part in the riots o Svalbard - with just the clothing they have on now and no weapons. Doubt the Norwegians would mind that much and it's entertainment (food) for the polar bears.

    1. oddie


      as a norwegian living in the UK I oppose this idea :D

      whenever people tell me we should gather all the criminals and pedo's and people they just don't like and put them on an island somewhere to fend for themselves I usually answer a bit tongue in cheek that they already did ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      why ?

      Is australia full ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: why?

        Yes. We are. Why do you think we're deporting boatloads of refugees to Malaysia? :D

  35. Andy Enderby 1

    Looting, jobs, benefits....

    looting - Sod plasma screens, I'd defy most humans not to feed their family in extremis by any means necessary, and even the best can join the mob in desperation in the right circumstances. This lot though take the biscuit. Nothing to do with survival, arseholes each and everyone, helping themselves, much as bankers and politicians did a year or two ago..

    Jobs - yes jobs are available for immigrants, jobs paying illegally low wages or at best minimum wage.... I suggest some of the right wingers here think on that. Consider tryiing to pay rents,bills, food, the whole shebang. I also suggest you give thought to the prospects of the morons rioting when it comes to employment....... You gonna employ 'em with a nice fresh criminal record ?

    Benefits - ok, cut their benefits to zero..... How many square meals do you reckon that would put them from desperation and looting for food ? It doesn't take much to see what would happen in those circumstances...... what you gonna do ? Fence off the inner cities ?

    Difficult questions and reducing them to these terms is muppetry of an order rivalling the rioters, but hey, the mob has spoken.

    Satan, as frankly we're all going to hell if we follow some of the suggestioins here.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    People out of work should have to do community jobs

    I agree - people out of work should have to do community jobs for their benefits. 2-3 days 'working' and 2 mornings applying for jobs - the rest of the time they should be going to interviews etc.

    Would also stop people claiming and having second jobs as well (for which they are probably being paid cash / no tax).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      They already do that

      The long term unemployed are sent on 'work/community schemes'. Companies like the Co-op make use of this slave labour. The working conditions are dire. You are treated like dirt and are NEVER offered a job no matter how well you perform. They say they have no jobs but are quick to get the next lot of 'slaves' in to work. It does not inspire anyone to work, as anyone forced into slavery will rebel against it.

      How about real companies employing people and paying the wages due for a days work, rather than benefiting from slavery? People who suggest such schemes should try it for themselves. They won't last an hour.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps we should say 'rioting' = 'terrorism'.

    Perhaps we should say 'rioting' = 'terrorism' and charge them under those laws rather than criminal damage / burglary.

    1. farizzle


      @£30K/person to put them all in prison per year, the 1000 arrested so far would cost oh, £30 million-ish per year?

      Probably the cost of setting up some sorta scheme to determine and resolve whatever it is that made them feel the need to lash out like they did...

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Consequences - regardless of employment status

    I don't think it actually matters if the general assumption is that all the looters are unemployed on benefits is true or not.

    I'm sure I'm not alone in having a clause in my contract of employment regarding as gross misconduct (=instant dismissal) anything that, in the opinion of the Directors, brings the company into disrepute.

    Unemployed Looters on benefits... lose them.

    Employed Looters, become unemployed real quick... can't claim benefits.

    That's consequences!

  39. NedSeagoon

    I would not be much good at looting....

    I would be the only one found reading a book in Waterstones. Well you have to check out the first chapter before you take it.

  40. SpaMster

    Making it worse?

    So there punishing the people who feel they have to steal to keep themselves going, by making them homeless and even more deprived, is it just me or does this make no sense at all?!?

    1. oddie


      there's plenty of good reasons to not make people who have to steal to eat any more desperate (like taking all their benefits away without offering them an alternative), but I'm not entirely sure the riots over the last few nights were people out trying to get their hands on basic substinence.

      setting fire to things, stealing luxury items and fighting the police seems a weird way of 'keep themvelves going'.

  41. TonyJ

    Am I the only one...

    ...that's seen this coming for some time?

    Sorry but this is a bit of a long one.

    Without politicising the issue overly, surely we need to be taking a closer look at the complete breakdown of any kind of discipline, morals or respect these people have been brought up with.

    Kids are being taught that whatever they do, it's ok - it's not their fault: there's always someone to blame. Success and aspiration aren't really necessary because you can make benefits a career choice and hey - it's everyone else's fault for letting you down.

    Come on! I was brought up in a loving family with two parents. My old fella went out to work and my mum stayed home to cook, clean and look after my siblings and I.

    You know what? We were quite poor. But then, so was the community we lived in and so were all of my friends.

    I was taught right from wrong. If I did wrong, I got punished. And of course, being a typical boy I did a fair few things wrong.

    I pinched a packet of sweets once. My mum found out and marched me to the local cop shop where I was given a very stern talking to and shown into a cell. At about 8yo that's frightening - well it WAS back then.

    When my old man got home, I got a wallop - not a beating, just a slapped arse and sent to bed.

    My dad worked from the age of 15yo to 65 - he retired recently. I was supported in my choice to study and get a job.

    Oh and my first "real" job was a kicker - I mended electronic typewriters in what was little more than a sweat shop for what wouldn't even make minimum wage now (£75 a week, for 10 hours a day) - yep...£1.50 per hour.

    Nor was this the 60's or 70's where that'd buy you a night out, a meal and change for a bus home but the early 90's.

    I have worked my nuts off to get better positions to eventually find myself finally comfortable and able to enjoy small luxuries in life, and to ensure my kids are well looked after.

    I started at the bottom of the career ladder and climbed. I didn't - ever - expect to walk into a senior job before I'd earned the right to.

    I wasn't a model student at school, but again if I did wrong I was punished. I didn't query it - I accepted it as a direct result of my actions.

    My own ethical mindset is, I think, fairly simple:

    What consenting adults do to/with each other in the privacy of their homes is their business and shouldn't be inttruded on by the authorities;

    Benefits should be a safety net, not a career. They should be in the form of tokens that can only be used to buy specific goods.

    Ditto, teenage pregnancy should not be a career choice.

    If you break the law you should be punished. Not cruely, not without cause, but the punishment SHOULD fit the crime.

    If little Johnny commits crimes, and is too young to be punished - apply it after they become old enough. If it keeps happening, punish the parents.

    There IS work. Most people are just too bone idle, or as one recently moved neighbour pointed out "we get waaaay too much from the state to make it worth my while getting a job..." Hmm...see my point about it not being a choice of career.

    Restore discipline. Teachers and police and parents should not only be working together, but unless there is good evidence to suggest otherwise should be given the benefit of the doubt. If a student or parent assaults a teacher then they should go to jail. End of.

    Liberals...smacking a kids arse really doesn't turn them into mindless slobbering victimes. There's a huge difference between abuse and punishment.

    Restore accountability - if you want to take risks/break the law that's fine. But it's YOUR fault when things go bad, not everyone else's

    Teach kids that not only is failing a part of life, that actually helps to build one's character but that not everything you do can be a "win". Nor, believe it or not, do you know everything.

    Make people who have received long-term benefits perform community jobs for further receipt.

    Teach these numbnuts that "I want it" does NOT equate to "I have earned it" and that destroying someones livelihood is NOT ok just to get a new telly that you cannot be bothered to go out and work and save for.

    Let's teach them, that "being famous" isn't a viable choice of career. Or that footballers really aren't role models on the whole, but overpaid twats with the morals of gutter snipes (Ashley Cole can shoot a kid with an air rifle in a club changing rooms and not even face the sack?)

    Take away their housing? No, probably not but make them repair their damage and pay them in vouchers. Let's see how long it is before they realise they have to work for their fags, booze and Jeremy Kyle fix.

    I don't want a return to Victorian moral ideas, but a bit of common sense, common decency and respect.

  42. Anonymous Coward


    "So there punishing the people who feel they have to steal to keep themselves going"

    Hardly - they are just being criminal - stealing mobile phones and trainers is not about 'keeping them going' - you make out as if they were stealing to survive.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Satey net.

    "I suggest some of the right wingers here think on that. Consider tryiing to pay rents,bills, food, the whole shebang. I also suggest you give thought to the prospects of the morons rioting when it comes to employment....... You gonna employ 'em with a nice fresh criminal record ?"

    Ever thought that at least if you work you are contributing rather than taking. I have heard far, far too many times "it's just not worth me working / doing more hours as I'm no better off".

    Benefits should be there as a safety net, not forever and they should encourage (reward) people who do work and not be open-ended.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    it loaded

    Number of signatures:


  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's use our brains for a change

    The media and public discourse is crammed chock-full of false dichotomies. Is intelligence ONLY inherited or ONLY environmental? Should we NEVER go to war or ALWAYS be at war? Do men ALWAYS exploit women, or NEVER? All nonsense, of course, because the truth is always somewhere in between.

    Just so with the false dichotomy presented by the "right" and the "left" (that's another false dichotomy, by the way). Conservatives traditionally argue that, if you give people a "comfortable" life for nothing, more and more people will gradually accept the deal. Eventually, a whole lot of passengers will be getting pulled along by a fairly small number of workers.

    Radicals argue that a civilised society can't let anyone be deprived of the many rights that everyone is supposed to have. So there is no choice: we must give everyone what they consider to be the minimum standard of living. (Which the Pharaohs and Caesars, and even Napoleon, would have envied).

    Obviously (well, after about 5 seconds' thought) the truth lies somewhere in between. And that's where the problems arise, because no one can apparently decide where to draw the line. And wherever you try to draw it, there is always a large minority of con artists and blaggers who can milk the system to make out like bandits, while the naive and ignorant are still in real want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      "...large minority of con artists and blaggers..."

      When I first read this post, I read:

      "...there is always a large minority of con artists and bloggers who can milk the system..."

      Too right!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Get off your arse.

    Too many people want it handed to them on a plate - they expect someone else should pay for the roof over their head, their mobile phone, Sky TV, cigs and alcohol etc. etc.

    I'm sure everyone thinks they deserve their dream job right away - but there are jobs out there, there is training available - have some self-respect and get off your arse and do something to better yourself.

    Don't expect other people to pay for you - unemployment benefits should be short term (not open ended) and designed to reward people for working and not for sitting at home / not working.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about not all benefits?

    Just a portion going to pay for the damages. This can also be applied to those with jobs.

  48. Ross 7


    "Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday suggested local councils should have the right to evict convicted rioters from council accommodation. The rioters would then have to declare themselves homeless to the local council which would then be obliged to re-house them"

    You say that like it's silly. Guess you don't understand that all council housing isn't equal ;) You evict them from their decent housing, they claim they are homeless, you put them in the god awful housing that nobody wants. Job done.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back 'stocks''

    Bring back 'stocks'' and get Tesco to donate some old / rotten vegetables.

  50. Zot

    Looting the internet all the time

    An increasing number of people loot films, music and software off the internet without even caring, because they think it's highly unlikely they'll be prosecuted for it.

    I wonder how many people on this forum loot on the Internet, and consider it as theft?

    "Oh, but that's different" will be the reply.


    1. Steven Roper


      so we can add Zot to the list of known El Reg RIAA shills, currently consisting of PirateSlayer, JimC, and Doug Glass.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        OK, Steven

        Maybe they're not shills but people sick of leechers ruining their small businesses, then blaming society or Da Man for their leeching.

        Actions have consequences. Do you get that?

      2. Maurice Shakeshaft

        Add me as well...

        if that is your view.

        If a person has duplicated somebody else's property and made it available to me to down load and make a copy for myself am I not, effectively, stealing it if I take a copy without payment?

        Free will tells me I don't have to steal. I can go and buy a copy, resentfully paying what to many is an abusive premium, and use that within the law.

        Maybe, and I don't know, but the proliferation of web sites were folks can place and access, with almost untrammeled impunity, stolen material is a contributor to an attitude that was evidenced over the weekend.

        Are you from the 'Thatchers Children' generation? Maybe, I am just too old or ignorant to understand the illegal argument?

        However, The media companies and their backers in high places had better wake up soon and find a better way of distributing their product or the only people who will benefit are lawyers and thieves - or are they one and the same.....

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Surely you mean Australia?

    "whenever people tell me we should gather all the criminals and pedo's and people they just don't like and put them on an island somewhere to fend for themselves I usually answer a bit tongue in cheek that they already did ;)"

    Surely you mean Australia?

    1. oddie

      @ AC

      no, not australia, a bit closer to home...t does usually take them a few secs to catch on to the fact that they do in fact live on an island themselves :)

  52. Pahhh

    This vote on benefits and housing is futile

    This vote on benefits and housing is futile. Where do you think these scumbags will go? How will they survive without handouts?

    Will they get jobs? I doubt it. Sure some will have a bit of life rethink and try to compete with the immegrants but I suspect most will just turn to crime. Drugs / Muggings / Theft.

    To get most of out of people you need to have a Stick and Carrot approach. For many of us the fear of doing wrong is enough for us to do right. The carrot is we know if we work hard we will generally get our just rewards.

    These people have neither the stick or the carrot to guide their lifes. The state cannot offer them the discipline they deserve and they dont have any belief they can succeed and generally think the dice is loaded against them (which with their attitude, it is).

    Probably the only thing tha will get us out of this is a more authoritarian approach to dealing anyone that doesnt want to play by what we define as civilized. At schools, in the street, in pubs, etc. This will be draconian and goes against the very fabric of liberal beliefs. It will also take more than a generation to turn this around. As someone that leans to the left, it dont sound to good but I at a loss to alternatives....

  53. Anonymous Coward

    You trying to defend looters?

    "Oh, but that's different" will be the reply."

    You trying to defend looters or say both are wrong - it's not clear?

    1. Zot

      Looting the internet

      > " "Oh, but that's different" will be the reply."

      > You trying to defend looters or say both are wrong - it's not clear?"

      They are both wrong and I'm pointing out that looting on the Internet is the same as in an actual shop. It's all about 'knowing' that they won't get caught.

      I sell my own software on the internet and it feels like my shop is being looted all the time.

  54. Disgruntled

    @ Danny 5

    I know there's been plenty of responses already, but I had to add to the view of sanity.

    There are plenty of people up and down the country that come from disadvantaged backgrounds and aren't in gainful employment, or have minimum wage jobs and are subject to the worst of the current economic climate who don't feel the need to go on a rampage of thievery and asshattery. Indeed I'm sure there were many such people in the ranks of those taking part in the clean-up activities following the scum fuelled activities.

    To suggest there is any justification for this behaviour is insulting to the great majority of people who are appalled at the behaviour of the tiny element of society showing themselves to be sub-normal scumbags.

    "We tend to forget that most of us, if the circumstances are right, would be part of the looting masses..." What circumstances are the graphic designer and teaching assistant that have been in front of magistrates in to justify joining in?

    Call me an ambulance, my heart's bleeding! Innit!

  55. ThatGuy

    Lord of the flies

    So you allow your youth to run rampant and protect them from any form of effective punishment. You are then surprised by these events?

  56. Anonymous Coward


    "To get most of out of people you need to have a Stick and Carrot approach. For many of us the fear of doing wrong is enough for us to do right. The carrot is we know if we work hard we will generally get our just rewards."

    Depends if you mean 'carrot on a stick' (as some regard is the origin of this idiom) or 'carrot or the stick'. It's true you need to offer a reward for good behaviour / hard work - the problem is too many of these donkeys just want to steal the carrot (and the stick).

    Or - (as some people think) why bother working when the gov't will chuck you other peoples carrots for free!

  57. Anonymous Coward

    Give them a tent and stick them on Taransay.

    "This vote on benefits and housing is futile. Where do you think these scumbags will go? How will they survive without handouts?"

    Give them a tent and stick them on Taransay - with no Sky TV or mobile coverage.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of self-absorbed middle class twats you lot

    The amount of downvotes for people speaking sense on here is ridiculous. Probably all analysts. Seriously, you're all crying out for Martial Law and disproportionate sentencing for the unemployed! Cast them out! Why not stone them too!?! Bunch of fucking pricks!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      I suppose there's a good reason they're on here with their solutions to the world's problems rather than anywhere near the people who actually do run the country.

      Scariest thing is though, these people get to vote and the politicians like to try and keep everyone happy.

    2. semprance

      @Anonymous Chav

      "The amount of downvotes for people speaking sense on here is ridiculous. Probably all analysts. Seriously, you're all crying out for Martial Law and disproportionate sentencing for the unemployed! Cast them out! Why not stone them too!?! Bunch of fucking pricks!"

      Congratulations on posting such a trite piece of hyperbole.

      Now do shut up.

  59. Anonymous Coward


    Number of signatures:


  60. Anonymous Coward


    "Bunch of self-absorbed middle class twats you lot"

    So you sympathise / condone looting and want it to continue then?

    What should we do - give them MORE benefits, ASK them kindly not to loot and burn and a 'bit of a telling off' if they get caught? There is NO justification for what happened - we're not Greece for gods sake.

  61. TonyG

    Councils don't have to re-house

    If you're convicted of anti-social behaviour the council doesn't have to rehouse you - they can refuse to put you on a waiting list and as a lot of social housing has a "good neighbour" clause there's a chance that some people will be finding themselves homeless in the near future.

    This also applies if you've been found guilty of serious anti-social behaviour even if you weren't a council tenant at the time (assuming that rioting and or looting count as anti-social behaviour these days).


  62. Anonymous Coward

    I don't agree with the looting However

    I come from a working class family and have worked my way up through various courses and qualifications, laid off through no fault of my own and struggle to find employment as "overqualified", "under experienced" (without naming in what way), and a myriad of other standard HR excuses, even when applying for retail work and making it clear I'm willing to accept the lower wage and put in an effort and use the skills I have to benefit the business...rejected as overskilled, overqualified and "too likely to seek other work", Yet have I looted, rioted? no, have I complained to various political parties....yes, do they care?, nice words, promises of discussions with others and then nothing.

    Society is broken, Thatcher started most of these issues with the "no such thing as society" "Good Samaritan is only remembered as he had money"

    Right there are 2 very strong reasons for the problems in Britain, too much focus on making money money money and stuff everyone else.

    Its visible in the way companies treat their customers, the way shop stuff (especially those 40-50) grunt and scowl at customers, the number of companies who disregard basic laws on H&S as it "damages profit margins" and "HR thinks they won't dare sue", the way people shift the blame rather than admit responsibility, the creation of so called "indigo children" (ie many of those interviewed by the news while looting) who think the world revolves round them and they "deserve respec innit".

    That feckless teachers fill kids heads with nonsense that fits their world view rather than the curriculum.

    That no one hardly talks to their neighbours, that too many are all prepared to phone the council or the police rather than go next door and discuss things rationally.

    Cops who are all to ready to make up a story or make a threat when a member of the public complains about the attitude and lack of interest of said "officer" or "force", Cops who also are all too ready to tell you about the rights of child than deal with said child lobbing stones, setting fires or committing vandalism, Cops who then inform you not to "use bad words within earshot of children" or face arrest, despite said comments not being made and said children turning the air blue with profanity, racial slurs, threats and lewd gestures (including teens of both genders baring genitalia in public)

    Britain needs some strong medicine, sadly all that will happen is the return of Mary Whitehouse and all the other loonies, rather than dealing with the issues at hand like piss poor "parenting", lack of community involvement, corrupt cops who know they are on the whole safe from any consequences, horrifically poor teaching standards, lack of support for kids who stay out of trouble (ie all these schemes like karting etc only open to kids referred by the court, why? Surely well behaved kids should be the ones given these opportunities, not little hellians who then get rewarded for bad behavior), drug abuse (drugs are illegal so why are drug addicts regularly put on probation despite being caught with deals of heroin (one mother locally claimed her large stock of heroin was to "detox" her hooligan child, despite living next door to a known drug addict and having said heroin cut into deals and making lots of late night trips all over the town...the court let her off with a warning after swallowing her fairytale hook line and sinker)

    Also the lack of employment opportunities and support for those trying to start new small and medium businesses, I know locally of several strong opportunities, however no one has been able to take advantage due to lack of initial funding, whether that be loans, grants, etc despite being told their business case is bank wanted a minimum of 40% of the loan amount before even considering the many can plonk down tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash?

    Alongside employers who prefer to look overseas than consider local candidates, factories who use agencies who bring in cheap labour from overseas and refuse to consider local candidates, corporations who offshore rather than promote internally or provide training to a candidate.

    The easy option has been taken for far too long, we need to train people, and at the same time give people a good work ethic, though that does mean employers have a responsibility not to take the piss at every opportunity (such as changing shifts 2 hours before, cutting wages for no reason, providing training to support staff, listening to staff to identify opportunities to make improvements and efficiency increases, treating staff as people and not "resources" to be "managed" etc)

    Social Housing which is warm, dry, insulated and well maintained, rather than chronically affected by damp, condensation and outrageously expensive to heat, housing designed for people not property moguls profit margins, removal of poor housing and concrete abominations such as the much maligned "multis" of the 60s.

    Sadly this country will likely descend into anarchy or a victorian distopia, the latter being the most likely given the upper class background of the majority of parliamentarians.

    On the other hand of the coin I see the frustration in some quarters, where people work hard and still get crapped on, people would like a job, but get turned down in favour of using an agency, or get hired on a tiny number of hours per week and minimum wage and treated like dirt. I've seen many with talent thrown on the scrapheap as they don't have the right connections, don;t come from the "right" background or lack the experience (which they did their damndest to try and get)

    We need to train people, get kids who are not academically minded into skilled trades, teach them to do a good job not bodge as many as possible to save time and cut corners as all too many are eager to do it seems.

    IF we are training too many graduates then retrain some elsewhere who are graduating, cut the intake numbers and boost the courses which are in demand.

    Force employers to clearly set out what they are looking for, not just vague advertisements, make them consider trainees and force them to justify why they can't train someone (less profitable not being a reason), if they use trainees then offer tax incentives to encourage them but make sure said trainee is kept on and not fired as soon as they are trained as so many employers have done in the past.

  63. palinurus

    Useful occupation for the currently unemployed.

    Judging by the number of spelling mistakes in these posts, be they never so worthy,( never mind the ludicrous error in the e-petition which has occasioned them), perhaps all those unemployed looters whose IQ is high enough could be re-trained as adult literacy teachers and spend useful, fulfilling and very busy lives ensuring that the unlettered hordes ( not "hoards") can communicate properly.

    1. oddie

      but wasn't one of the early ones who were caught...

      already a teaching assistant? :S

  64. RyokuMas

    Not surprised...

    ... that the site has gone down - in fact, I'm reckoning it's deliberate. Makes sure that the petition deadline expires so that the ministers don't have to debate it. Once again, they're trying to squirm away from their responsibilities.

  65. Ted Treen

    Not so, IIRC

    "The rioters would then have to declare themselves homeless to the local council which would then be obliged to re-house them."

    If they're deemed to have intentionally made themselves homeless by their actions, said local council is relieved of its obligation(s), IIRC.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    Spell checker?

    surely you mean sense checker, "loose" is a perfectly valid English word.

  67. Ben 56
    Thumb Up


    Here's what the now offline site says:


    HM Government

    Sorry, e-petitions is temporarily unavailable.

    The e-petitions site is having problems at the moment. We need to temporarily suspend the creation and signing of e-petitions to allow us to make sure everything is working properly for you.

    We aim to re-open the e-petitions site by Friday morning (12th August).

    We're very sorry for the inconvenience this causes you.

    The e-petition entitled “Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits” has now passed the threshold of 100,000 signatures and has been passed to the Backbench Business Committee to consider for debate. It will continue to be available for signature once the site is re-opened.


  68. Paul_Murphy

    It has now passed the 100,000 threshold.

    From the site:


    HM Government

    Sorry, e-petitions is temporarily unavailable.

    The e-petitions site is having problems at the moment. We need to temporarily suspend the creation and signing of e-petitions to allow us to make sure everything is working properly for you.

    We aim to re-open the e-petitions site by Friday morning (12th August).

    We're very sorry for the inconvenience this causes you.

    The e-petition entitled “Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits” has now passed the threshold of 100,000 signatures and has been passed to the Backbench Business Committee to consider for debate. It will continue to be available for signature once the site is re-opened.


    My view on this is that the sentiment may be in the right place (punishing the offenders and stopping a re-ocurrance), but most measures such as stopping benefits wil make the situation worse.

    Other ideas, such as national service, citizenship (as per Starship Troopers), community payback, ASBOs, restitution etc. all have their own pitfalls.

    If a loser decides to live outside of societys' rules then it will be difficult to punish. What is needed is a real deterrent - it seems that prison is not an effective deterrent - so what is?


  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, until...

    The European courts cry foul play over 'human rights'.

  70. Blubster


    "We tend to forget that most of us, if the circumstances are right, would be part of the looting masses, we just think we wont because we have a good life"

    Speak for yourself you thieving bastard.

    I was brought up in the 50s & 60s where we were taught right from wrong and were disciplined if we stepped out of line. I would never even dream of stealing from someone else - my old mum didn't raise me to be a thief.

    1. Danny 5

      wasn't going to do anymore replies, but you made me!

      there have been studies proving my point, are you going saying those studies are bullshit? i'm not making this up myself you know, i'm getting my info from well documented studies that clearly show that even friendly, docile people can be turned into monster in mere minutes. If you say that these studies don't apply to you, because "your mother didn't raise you to be a thief", then you're a complete idiot.

      To end my last reply, This thread has been most informative. i willingly took the unpopular stance and may pushed it a little bit, but i do stand by what i said. We're all entitled to our opinion and i will respect the opinions of those opposing me, but i do urge you to check back on those studies that where posted, it really is rather shocking to see how little it takes to turn pretty much any decent human being into a monster.

    2. Willington


      I was taught black from white but it doesn't mean I'm blind to all those shades of grey.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mindless thuggery

    Didn't Cameron and his friends in the Bullingdon club smash up restaurants for fun - I think maybe he should be evicted from downing street and he should be sent to prison...... Mindless scumbag....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But didn't Bullingdon types pick up the bill?

      I see where you're coming from, but the Bullingdon story I've read says that, being stinking rich, the Bullingdon types paid for the damage the same night, and via that and their other contacts (?), nothing ever came of it. Does that make it better, or worse?

      Fwiw, I was at Oxford shortly before Cameron, and whilst the actual Bullingdon members may sometimes have paid for the damage they caused, there were plenty other wreckers who never paid anything either financially or in any other way, just pick a random selection of the rugger and rowing clubs and you'll soon find a few.

  72. Salamamba


    If occupants lose their council or housing association accommodation due to criminal/ASB activity, then there is NO obligation to rehouse, they count as having made themselves intentionally homeless.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "declare themselves homeless to the local council which would then be obliged to re-house them"

    Can you clarify? We were recently evicted from private rented accomodation in revenge for complaining to env' health over the state of the place.

    South Cambridgeshire council stuck to the line that rehousing is not an obligation but done at their discretion.

    In our case the discretion was to not rehouse and leave a law abiding, previously well employed couple with nowhere to live. They also stripped us of benefits because we were subsiquently unable to access any of our paper records (having no house in which to keep them)

    -it didn't escape our notice that the next guys in line got housed, despite one of them boasting to me outside that he'd bitten someone's ear off to get a short prison stay so he could be rehoused in a nicer area.

  74. Anonymous Coward

    How about this...

    Give them a choice, job or no benefits, give them 2 months to find a job, if they dont they lose their benefits, in the mean time any further criminal activity results in instant imprisonment, meanwhile in prisons stop being so nice to the bloody inmates, theyve commited crimes why make things easy in there. Fair enough if its the first time try to rehabilitate them as normal law abiding citizens into society but if they repeat offend why should we bother with them, they obviously dont care themselves and no dont give me this ooooh they have no choice spiel, thats the sort of thing id expect from a watered down softy race of beings who think that being nice to people will gain them respect and priviledges in the next lifetime, grow up, smell the coffee and get with the program people, they are thugs they dont care what you think about them.

  75. Brian Miller 1

    From Wikipedia "french revolution"

    Economic factors included hunger and malnutrition in the most destitute segments of the population, due to rising bread prices (from a normal 8 sous for a four-pound loaf to 12 sous by the end of 1789),[3] after several years of poor grain harvests. Bad harvests (caused in part by extreme weather from El Niño along with volcanic activity at Laki and Grímsvötn), rising food prices, and an inadequate transportation system that hindered the shipment of bulk foods from rural areas to large population centers contributed greatly to the destabilization of French society in the years leading up to the Revolution.

    Another cause was the state's effective bankruptcy due to the enormous cost of previous wars, particularly the financial strain caused by French participation in the American Revolutionary War. The national debt amounted to some 1,000–2,000 million[citation needed] livres. The social burdens caused by war included the huge war debt, made worse by the loss of France's colonial possessions in North America and the growing commercial dominance of Great Britain. France's inefficient and antiquated financial system was unable to manage the national debt, something which was both partially caused and exacerbated by the burden of an inadequate system of taxation. To obtain new money to head off default on the government's loans, the king called an Assembly of Notables in 1787.

    Meanwhile, the royal court at Versailles was seen as being isolated from, and indifferent to, the hardships of the lower classes. While in theory King Louis XVI was an absolute monarch, in practice he was often indecisive and known to back down when faced with strong opposition. While he did reduce government expenditures, opponents in the parlements successfully thwarted his attempts at enacting much needed reforms. Those who were opposed to Louis' policies further undermined royal authority by distributing pamphlets (often reporting false or exaggerated information) that criticized the government and its officials, stirring up public opinion against the monarchy.[4]

    Does anyone here see some worrying similarities? Financial Crisis, Destitution, Bankruptcy from running expensive unpopular wars, Government indifference and isolation from the poor?

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 08:40

    Wait so you were in privately rented accommodation, you were evicted.. which means you were given notice. If you were renting, then how exactly were you unable to find replacement rented accommodation in the notice period? Why were you at the housing office?

    When I fell out with my landlord I said fine, I'll clear out by end of the month, went on and found a new place within a week. You say you were "previously employed" - so you were unemployed?

    Then the council took your benefits away because you couldn't store "the papers" - what papers? How much paper did you need to store? If my entire income were reliant on a few pieces of paper, I'd keep those bits of paper stored somewhere safe or in a bag or such that I keep with me on the street or wherever I were sleeping.

    Something here doesn't add up, your story is incomplete. Probably by intention.

  77. Dele-Himself

    @Danny 5

    Good troll, A+, Would read again

  78. trafalgar

    De Yoof

    I saw a video interviewing the feral yoof (made a couple of weeks ago). How youth clubs and centres closed and that with bored hoodies there will be more trouble on the streets.

    I thought "I don't need a youth club to stop me from being a rioter. Why don't these kids do some homework, study, hobby etc." Then I realised why, I wouldn't be a rioter. I had a good home and family. I read about one kid who would get daily beatings from his mum's pimp. How would he turn out I wonder? A youth centre would at least offer an alternative to his home life, an adult who cares and maybe a way out from his situation.

    This is the issue here. How can the government and the schools, compensate for a poor home life? A lack of a good family? Best chance is when kids are in primary school, because by the age of 12 their brains are mostly set. In a way they end up like animals not knowing right from wrong. I pity them and I'm no longer angry at them when I first saw and experienced the riots.

    Taking a way benefits, kicking them out from their homes, is not the answer, we'll just have more angry youth with nothing to lose. To deal with the curent crop of youth/rioters we need both punishment and rehab, otherwise it will be an endless cycle billed to the tax payer. Bring back forced labour, have them build prisons, roads etc.

    If riots break out and small business and homes are threatened with burglary and arson, passers by being beaten up, this is where the police need to be with rubber bullets and water canon, tasers and cs spray. If Tesco and Currys are being looted, just take pictures and use CCTV to get them later.

    First came the thugs in suits, vandalising the economy (the ones in parliment looting their expense accounts) and now dumb thugs in tracksuits riot and burn their community.

  79. M 6

    @Danny 5

    Do Not Feed The Trolls

  80. M 6
    Thumb Up

    Looters Debt

    Each and every one of them should have to repay the damages caused, I doubt anyone would disagree with this (unless you're one of them).

    "..but they don't have any money to repay it"

    Get a job. If you don't get a job, the government will give you one doing shitty jobs that pay even less and you will be forced to do it.

    If you think you can't be bothered to do that even, you'll lose your home and basic benefits. So you'll think you'll live on the streets after that? Think again. You'll find yourself in a military style camp for 6 months where you WILL learn respect.

    Something like the above needs to be introduced to stop these lazy bastards from living off the state.

  81. trafalgar

    People please get a clue

    Person 1. Me. I grew up poor but I had great parents. I did get a beating when I did something bad.

    Person 2. Middle class friend, no beatings or smacking. Great loving parents.

    Person 3. Neighbourhood friend. Beaten every day by his mum and no dad around. Always getting into trouble. Now an adult, he's still getting into trouble. He's not a nice person to be around (but his sister is hot)

  82. Anonymous Coward

    Its a bloody stupid idea


    1. Andus McCoatover

      "Its a bloody stupid idea"


      Or, did you mean a job "in IT"? Aha.

  83. trafalgar

    Stop wishing them on the military!

    1. They will make bad soldiers, killing civilians, disobeying orders etc.

    2. They aren't scared of police or prison officers or military officers. One guy regularly does a f*** you to police and prison screws, and he gets regular beatings by them. He's too dumb to know about human rights etc. The more beatings and clashes he has with authority, the more cred he feels he has.

    EG - military camp national service:

    Sargeant: hit the floor and give me 20 pushups!

    Thug on national service: F*** you.

    <Thug gets beats>

    <Thug one day finds gun and grenades and goes on rampage>

  84. M 6


    I never said they would become soldiers, the military camp is for them to learn respect. 6 months in a camp and there's no way you'll be insulting the office to his face. 20 pushups? More like 200 and there wouldn't be any beatings but you will be running 10/20 miles, cleaning up shit or scrubbing the entire courtyard clean with a toothbrush.

    1. trafalgar

      National service nostalgia and delusion

      They stab each other with pens in school, they'll stab the Sargeant with the toothbrush.

  85. max allan

    @ Danny 5

    The scary thing about reading "Danny 5" is that he seems to believe that himself.

    I am less surprised about the riots, if people like Danny, who have at least got enough brains to spell most words, think that they would have joined in the rioters.

    I think we need an urgent dose of "community" lessons in school.

    I like the book of "Starship Troopers" and the concept that only people who put something into society were able to get anything out of it. It did at least seem to recognise that some people were less able to contribute than others.

  86. Anonymous Coward


    I hope all these poor hard up scum can afford a TV licence for their new tellys...

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