Ed Driscoll

The London Riots and 'The Human Right to Suspend Reality'

As Christian Adams writes at the Tatler, “The photos coming out of the ‘budget cut’ protests in London are frightening:”

CNN has given powderpuff coverage to the violence.  “The march was largely peaceful apart from isolated skirmishes between protesters and police, authorities said,” they falsely report.  The “largely peaceful” march saw masked thugs going wild in Oxford Circus smashing shop windows and attacking the police.  Americans should take careful note of events, for the London mob has American cousins who share similar attitudes about budget cuts.  Americans should also note the soft coverage of outlets like CNN.  The wild violence of the Euro-left is legendary, whether their fellow travellers in the USA will go as far remains to be seen.

Linking to the London Daily Mail’s coverage, Hot Air dubs the protesters “Anarchists” — as in, “Anarchists go nuts in London during massive protests against spending cuts.” But is it possible to be a big government reactionary anarchist?

Mark Steyn arrives in London, just in time to witness today’s riots:

I went to a favorite coffee place hoping to enjoy a beverage outside on a pleasant spring day as the massed ranks of British layabouts marched by. Instead, the Polish and Balkan baristas were hurriedly dragging in all the sidewalk tables and chairs before the Socialist Workers’ Party chaps showed up in search of projectiles. Nobody in the Socialist Workers’ Party actually works, which is one reason why it’s Mitteleuropeans frothing your coffee rather than any of the natives.Still, on balance I prefer the class-war thugs trashing the joint, who at least have the courage of their convictions. The “nice” people bussed in from the shires struck me as some of the most stupid people I’ve ever met anywhere on the planet. One elderly lady from Yorkshire told me she was there because her grandson’s university fees were likely to go up. I was in a cranky mood because I hadn’t had my coffee. “You can protest all you like,” I said. “But this country’s broke, so all you’re doing is postponing its reacquaintanceship with reality, and ensuring that your grandson and his contemporaries are going to be stuck with the tab because you guys spent their future.” I pointed out that in her part of the world – northern England – as in Wales and Northern Ireland, the state accounts for three-quarters of the economy. And it’s still not enough for the likes of her and her pals.

She stared at me blankly. “Well, I don’t want to argue,” she said politely. “I just think it’s a disgrace.” In a democracy, there are not many easy ways back from insane levels of “social” spending, and certainly not when the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition panders to the mob by comparing them to anti-apartheid activists. Judging from the many marchers partial to robotic, pseudo-ethnic West African drumming, the British left’s plan is presumably for the entire country to relaunch itself as the world’s least rhythmic percussion ensemble.

I love that “Well, I don’t want to argue” response in the midst of a riot — “Gentlemen, you can’t argue here, this is the riot room!”

And speaking of “The ‘nice’ people bussed in from the shires,” back in the States, Ann Althouse notes how Wisconsin’s pro-big government protests are beginning to morph into a lefty tourist attraction. She links to this:

Spend Sunday, April 10th, and the previous Saturday afternoon and evening, in Madison with hundreds if not thousands of other Wisconsinites as we convene the first in a series of meetings of the Wisconsin People’s Assembly. By participating in the Assembly, you will have the opportunity to meet, learn from, and build lasting personal connections with Wisconsinites coming from all trades, communities, and backgrounds.

I guess for those lefties who can’t afford a week in Cuba, that could be a fun alternative.

It took World War I to finish off the 19th century and metastasize its successor century, at least in Europe, into something far worse. We’re watching the socialism-oriented 20th century in its death throes — where does the cradle to grave welfare state go from here?

Whatever it morphs into next, as Jon of the Exurban League tweets, between the riots in London and the protests in Wisconsin, “Buckle up, GOP. This is how socialism ends.”