Wednesday, 10 August 2011

"The Peasants Are Revolting"

There is an overwhelming amount of commentary on the riots taking place in the United Kingdom, firstly in London and spreading out to the provinces of the country. What is taking place is truly shocking and thoroughly depressing. Brighton is yet to 'kick off' but it wouldn't surprise me if at some point it did.

So, what is really happening? Here are my thoughts...

A Perfect Storm

What we are seeing is a perfect storm of a number of factors contributing to rioting youth in the country.  This is a storm that has been brewing for a long time and while each of those taking part in the riots is personally responsible for their own actions before God and man, it has to be said that this is a crisis forged primarily by successive Governments who have failed abysmally to tackle social problems in the country and it won't surprise anyone incredibly that I believe the largest factor in all of this is the country's abandonment of Christianity.

The Welfare State

A day or two ago, my friend George told me of a young man of 21 who has been kicked out of the bed and breakfast in Worthing because social services have severed their ties with him now that he is of the cut off age for State involvement in his care.  He'll have to present himself to the Council as homeless. The State has taken on a parenting role in the life of its citizens unseen in previous generations. The State is also, unfortunately, a terrible parent, incapable of showing concern or love. It is cold, faceless and often over-bearing and brutal. Only parents, real parents, are able to raise children and to teach them to stand on their own two feet. The State has willingly and quite deliberately made its citizens dependent upon it, often for whole lifetimes, but there can be no relationship with it. Nothing is expected of citizens and work is an optional extra. Readers will be aware of my own dependency upon the charity of my own parents and employment is something I am trying to address, but at least real parents are able to encourage responsibility as well as provide a 'safety net'. I'm well aware that I may have found myself on the street or in Grand Parade if I were not so privileged.

William Beveridge: Proponent of Welfare State
Now, the State has usurped the role of the family to such an extent that it is expected to provide income, housing, education (and not a good education at that), pensions, healthcare, and a whole gamut of responsibilities which hitherto were not expected of it. Families are breaking down and the State has become the parent. This was a process enacted quite deliberately.

The socialist architects of the welfare state believed that the family was a roadblock in the path to creating a 'just' and 'equal' society, just as religion is a dangerous concept that hinders citizens' ability to see the glorious State as the sole object of their worship. An 'equal' society, meanwhile, is a goal that is utopian in outlook and, like all utopias, is and always will be thoroughly unachievable in practise. Even Heaven itself is not an 'equal society'. The same State that has, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI pushed God "out of the public sphere" has made the State to be God-like in power and in responsibility for our 'welfare'. If the State is a terrible parent, then it is an even worse 'God'. Another factor is that the State has not taught these children well. It hasn't been able to pass down moral values because its moral values are so arbitrary, incoherent and relativistic.

The State abandoned Christian moral teaching and now it is paying a heavy price. Instead of teaching children about marriage, family and sexual ethics, it instead threw condoms at the children and gave them sex education lessons. Then, the State is surprised when STIs go through the roof, teenage pregnancies and abortions are rife and children behave as if there is no consequence to sexual immorality when that is exactly what the State taught them. This is something that has been supported by the media and Hollywood, and let's face it, when was the last time you watched a Hollywood movie in which the leading protagonists search for a condom before the love scene? In all ways, the State has been unable to build a morality that replaces Christianity which yields a return of objectively moral behaviour. Instead, it has egged children on to believe that there are no consequences to objectively bad behaviour and glorified sexual licence.

Could they not see there was a sale on?
The Glorification of Materialsm

Never has a country's culture been so materialistic and artificial.  We can look at the images of teenagers happily walking away from Currys with plasma screens and, if we want, and mock them, but at the end of the day, nearly every organ of the mass media has glorified earthly riches and material possessions as the key to human happiness, from technological toys and goodies, to video games, to clothes, cars and alcoholic drinks. Never has a society been so enrapt in materialism and worshipped it so much that it presents itself to society as the only thing for which to live.

In other countries in Europe and certainly the Arab world, looting has taken place, but it has been largely for food amid rising prices.  In this country, teenagers are looting for Playstations and raiding JD Sports, presumably because they think that £120 trainers and computer gamestations will make them happy. They won't, of course, but society has, both subliminally and overtly, been telling these children that these things will make them happy. Of course, we know that only Jesus Christ can make people young and old happy, but successive Governments have told us that "we don't do God". It is ironic that these are not even 'Thatcher's children' but the children of the vastly wealthy owner of homes and, presumably, cars in many countries, Tony Blair, who, while doing his best to undermine the role of Christianity in the country with distorted 'equality laws' had a track record of voting pro-abortion, making it obvious that his priority was not God but mammon. These children find themselves locked out of the party, which they sense is nearly over with coming 'cuts' promised, and so are taking what they believe belongs to them and setting fire to shops in the process.

The Loss of the Moral Authority of the Establishment

These children may be so poorly educated that while looting they give Waterstones a miss, but they are, undoubtedly 'streetwise', so streetwise, in fact, that people don't want to be on the street when they are around. They may find it difficult to express their anger in words - I haven't seen any placards for instance - but they might sense that the establishment has lost the moral authority that it may once have had. The expenses scandal might just have been a tipping point, for instance and the Arab Springs may have planted a seed in some minds. These children are running around looting and thieving from shops, while MPs have been running around looting and thieving from the treasury on second homes, duckhouses and the rest. Bankers and investors have, quite obviously, looted the country for whatever it was once worth and nobody has been called to account, but that is okay because it is just ' high risk trading'. It is going to be hard for MPs to moralise in future, though they will give it as a good stab as they can.

Many commentators have pointed to the absence of fathers being key to why these children are running riot, but few have pointed out that the abandonment of Christian values and fatherhood is not just something which has afflicted the poor, but the rich also.  It is universal. How many Telegraph and Daily Mail readers, for instance, have had more than one wife, or girlfriend, or committed adultery and have children with more than one woman? Many of the rich who behave as the poor do are even glorified in the mass media. Footballers who have affairs, who pay for abortions, musicians and well-known actors and stars who have strings of women or men as sexual partners are lauded as heroes. Divorce and marital break-up is a huge problem in the country but it seems to be okay for the rich to do it because their wealth protects them from any public criticism. When the rich are wild and reckless and act without restraint, they are just 'searching for the right person', but when the poor are wild and reckless and act without restraint they are 'feral youths' and fathers of multiple children.

These children may be, as I said, poorly educated, but they are not blind. They can see that the 'moral degradation' or 'moral decay' is not something confined to their deprived communities, but something that runs through society, from the rich to the poor like a stick of Brighton rock. The rich would love the poor to embrace Christianity because that would solve a lot of problems, but they would rather not do it themselves because they are having a great time and never fall into public criticism, because the rich who misbehave are even glorified for doing so while their wealth protects them. The children of divorced rich couples will have problems forming relationships. The now rioting children of the absent fathers will not be comforted with money after the custody battles and here we are today. The sins of the rich are imitated by the poor and with devastating consquences for society and so the question is who is really to blame? Telegraph readers will hate it, but maybe we really are all to blame after all, since nobody in authority is anymore able to claim the moral high ground - Politicians, parts of the media and even the police themselves are corrupt and everybody now knows it.

All of society tells children that sex is a commodity and that material possessions make people happy. These children have been taught to value both sex and materialism in the same unrestrained manner as the rich do. The result is anarchy on the streets of London and provinces around the United Kingdom and the main reason that these riots are taking place is because Christianity has been rejected by society as a whole. The words of many who are condemning these children ring hollow because sex, drugs, money and possessions are the false gods not just of the poor, but of the rich as well. They want these teenagers to repent but are unable to do so themselves. Christian morality and moreover, Jesus Christ, has been promoted to neither the rich or the poor and result is that, as George said to me last night, "the peasants are revolting". It is without doubt, however, that the rich are pretty revolting too...


Clare said...

I'm not sure about this bones.

"the largest factor in all of this is the country's abandonment of Christianity." There is really no evidence for this. To be honest, I would hazard a guess that the atheist league are well out of these riots, particularly as most of them are white middle class. These riots are in (forgive the prejudice) predominantly black areas, and my experience of the poorer parts of London (yup, former social worker) is that young black men and women will at least pay lip service to Christianity. For instance, one British black Christian organisation claims that 'between 50 - 68%of Britain's black population regularly attend church' []. I presume a large proportion of the remainder are Muslims. While it certainly can't be said that these events are solely confined to the black community (and the fact that tehy are is to be located in poverty, not race), there is zero evidence that secularists, as a whole, are represented here.

Related to this then, we have the point about the Welfare state. Surely the same criticism can now be levelled against Christianity. If the welfare state is not showing people the love they need (which isn't its job), then why not also blame the church? If young people are crying out for love and spiritual redemption to the point that they riot, surely this is a huge condemnation of the church's lack of vision, not of the state. Also, you directly contradict yourself. You are unhappy the state has taken over tasks that it didn't previously concern itself with (in the good old days of Dickensian factories), but you also accuse it of not plyign people with the Catholic ideology you are drawn to. Since when was the job of the state indoctrinating people into your favourite ideas? Also, I am at a loss to understand how any previous riots that broke out in more religious times can be explained. How about the St Scholastica Day riot of 1355? Or any other riot where young people rebelled in times of good solid moral education.

Loss of moral authority. Well, again, why aren't middle class or aristorcatic kids with no moral authority rioting? They are morally dissolute too. they're not rioting because they aren't crapped on by the police and the state. You yourself point out that the absence of fatherhood is not something that only hits the poor, so it's pretty tricky to explain why the riots are only amongst the poor. If it was some deep-rooted theological and moral problem I would expect to see Kensington High Street full of the vastly more secular middle-class kids smashing things up. They don't because they are listened to and have a future to look forward to. We need to give kids a future, not another bloody tedious lecture about family.

It's not to say there aren't moral problems with society, but jumping on any and every band wagon discredits the thesis. You're a bit like an old Marxist who trots out the 'revolution is coming' each and every time some youth demo kicks off. Or the BNP member who wistfully ignores racial harmony and points out that a race war is coming at moments like these.

Clare said...

No, but Toxteth is a Catholic area, so it's not atheists doing the rioting either (rubbishing your decline of magic hypothesis). It is a poor area though (hence the only consistent explanation is that riots are related to urban poverty). Are you getting many riots down there in affluent middle-class yet secular Brighton? Thought not

Clare said...

And like I said, the riots are only largely confined to areas with high black populations in London because those are the poor areas (rather than the secular areas)

The Bones said...

It might happen.

Moulsecomb and Whitehawk are just down the road. They are the deprived estates and I expect that they see themselves in the many rioting elsewhere.

Clare said...

Right, so it will happen in the poor areas then. Middle class students at Sussex uni (probably none of whom believe in God) will be well out of it. There is no big decline of society present here, just some frustrated kids. If they had a church to go to they might still riot, if they had jobs to go to they almost certainly wouldn't

Clare said...

And I bet George was happy at the riots wasn't he? I bet his 'the peasants are revolting' line was said with a touch of joy. Why dampen the enthusiasm of the dispossessed then? Why react to it with a moral sermon? Surely the poor are intelligent enough not to need sermons from the better off. Let the poor have a riot (and a fag, and a beer), they don't get much else to enjoy

The Bones said...

I don't think many Toxteth kids go to Mass, do you, or say the Rosary?

Even the Catholic Church in England and Wales could be described as a Church that has largely abandoned Christianity.

Clare said...

Right, so the initial point didn't hold water, so now let's just move the goal posts. So your point is that even if a church attending Catholic like yourself goes on a rioting spree then that still wouldn't discredit the theory that it's all to do with the decline of religion because the Church in the UK is also morally bankrupt (rolls eyes), right. So any explanation what so ever will work just as well then. It's the decline of smoking. I know lots of them were smokers, but they're not smoking the old timey stuff. No wait, it's the decline of 60s style flower power.

This reminds me of what Pat Buchanan said about that Norwegian nut job. 'The media shouldn't say he was a Christian because, even though he was a Christian, a real Christian wouldn't murder, so he can;t be a Christian'. Impeccable removal of cause and effect from any explanation there. If the theory is shown to be unfounded, just sever the link between cause and effect by saying 'yeah but they're not real Christians'.

Look, my point is that if this is due to the decline of religion, then you have to explain why in particular it isn;t affecting those who are the most secular, not those who are (in terms of british society) more or less religious (even if they don;t pray the rosary every day). Secondly, if your only solution is to say 'if they did develop a sincere Catholic attitude of not resisting those who oppress them and of praying the rosary there would be no violence', then why factor in religion at all. You could just as easily say 'if they were convinced not to be violent', since the same standards of proof would hold. Anyway, the biggest point is you are behaving like a boring CofE school outreach officer by trying to give angry young people some Robinson's fruit cordial, a chorus of kum ba yah, and a lecture on the decline of marriage and love for Christ. It obviously didn't convince them at school (where, incidentally, my children still are forced to pray each day by law, hardly the hall mark of a secular society) why would it convince them now?

The Bones said...


Where were you when the student riots hit Parliament?

It seems you have a lot to say. Why not start your own blog?

The Bones said...

And by the way, I don't do riots, neither does George. What George is saying is that the 'underclass' and there is an underclass have no hope, no future, no hope in the future, no job prospects, they get treated like dirt by Government and are now treating the Government like dirt.

If any man ever had any reason to riot it is George, but I don't think George would even if it kicked off here in Brighton. He's too busy trying to take care of Diane.

You're very judgmental of him aren't you?

The middle classes aren't rioting because the middle classes don't need to. They have money and wealth and the nicer things in life and they are comforted.

They also have a political voice and they are able to express themselves. The poor working class don't have a political voice and nobody gives a crap what they think.

Just as a matter of interest, what do YOU think, is the main reason for the riots?

The Bones said...

BTW the Norwegian killer was a Freemason.

Clare said...

I'm not being judgemental of him at all! I'm saying he would have every right to riot and that he was probably comforted by the fact that you can only push people so far before they snap. My point wasn;t to criticise the fact that he liked it, my point was to criticise the fact that instead of seeing the humanity in what's going on you turn into a tedious RE teacher and start banging on about respect for family etc (rather like Boris Johnson)

You ask what I think the reason is for the riots. Well, you have already stated what I think the reason is yourself. You say:

"The middle classes aren't rioting because the middle classes don't need to. They have money and wealth and the nicer things in life and they are comforted.

They also have a political voice and they are able to express themselves. The poor working class don't have a political voice and nobody gives a crap what they think."

Right on brother. That's why we have riots. Hence my initial point, it's got the square root of sod all to do with religion, family, morals, or any other cheap answer that doesn't explain why only poor and deprived urban communities are rioting at the moment.

p.s., the Norwegian killer WAS a Christian. He said so several times in his blog (and in his suicide/murder note).

p.p.s., the current pope is a mason (as was the last pope)

The Bones said...

The Pope is not a mason.

The idea that morality has no role to play in these riots is silly. They've been poor a long time so why now?

The Norwegian killer was a Freemason.

Clare said...

Britain hasn't been a Catholic nation for a while so why now? Same argument works in reverse. An event sparked the powder keg of underlying social tension related to poverty. A moral person can still be legitimately angry at their poverty you know.

Norwegian guy... He might have been a mason, I didn't read him mention it in his suicide/muder note/on his blog. He was definitely a Christian though - he mentioned that quite explicitly. Morality and belief in God didn't stop him doing something horrible did it? (nor did it stop those priests who molested....oh why bother, you aren't basing your views on reasoned debate anyway)

Clare said...

And I know you've seen all this before, but there is plenty of evidence the pope is a mason (every single anti-mason web log lists him as the head of the masonic order). See in particular the videos at:

It's well documented and anyone with an internet connection can see that there is abundant evidence (of course suppressed by the Vatican) that the current pope is indeed head of the masons. That's why rank and file altar polishers like you are told not to attend the lodge - you're not supposed to know the Truth! That's why they didn't want you to read the bible or even translate it (before the Lutherans made it so widespread they had to back down and pretend it had always been official policy). Face facts, the Norwegian killer was a Christian and the Pope is head of the Masons, there is evidence for both cases

The Bones said...

The killer may have described himself as a Christian but he was a mason. George Bush described himself as a Christian, remember? Both the killer and most likely George W Bush are Freemasons.

It is a MORTAL SIN, according to the Church, to be an active Freemason. It is highly unlikely therefore, that the reigning Pope is nipping down the local lodge every Friday or, indeed, plays any role in the secret society.

That is not to rule out that it is not impossible that Cardinals, Archbishops, Priests have been masons or still are. I expect that since the 1960s it has been quite rife, but I do not believe that this Pope is one.

Pope Benedict XVI is not a Freemason. Prior to becoming Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger issued a document in 1983 forbidding membership in Masonic bodies for members of the Catholic faith. Here is the text:


It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church's decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

Therefore the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L'Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981).

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.

Joseph Card. RATZINGER

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, attached this to the wrong blogpost...

Good stuff. I particularly like your point about the rich being as bad as the poor. In my experience they are just the same and maybe even worse. Drug taking, multiple relationships, arrogance you name it they are on the same level. A friend of mine has coined a new phrase for them shavs (stately home and violent).

Lets not forget that secular holy joe Ken Livingstone as well. I think I'm right in saying he's got three families with three separate women. Quite the feral youth.


Richard said...

Not a bad article.

One minor bit of pedantry though - you've got the wrong man for your picture. It was Beveridge who was father of the welfare state, not Keynes.

Beveridge was a eugenicist (like many Fabians of his generation); he thought that the unemployed should be supported by the State, but that in return they should suffer "complete and permanent loss of all citizen rights — including not only the franchise but civil freedom and fatherhood."

I suppose that would have avoided the problem of families who are unemployed for generations, but not in a way that we would like.

The Bones said...

Clare, I think you've defamed the Successor of St Peter quite enough, so enough.

The idea that someone who as Cardinal instructed that Catholics are not to be masons and that membership is gravely sinful is the kingpin of the masonic society is taking conspiracy theories to extremes.

I like a good conspiracy but really...that takes the biscuit.

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