Friday, 12 August 2011

Peter Oborne in the Telegraph - expenses misuse and rioting ?

Peter Oborne has written a passionate piece about the looters and saying, amongst other things, that he can find little ethical difference between the looters and the MPs implicated in the expense 'scandal'. I wrote the following comment which has been lost in 3000 others.

The article has attracted great popularity in Twitter, which is something of a leftist stronghold these days. Guardian readers have popped by to register their astonished delight. It's a good piece of work, but I don't really agree with it. Here is my comment:

"I don't agree at all that there is no ethical difference between rioters/looters, and the expenses fiasco. Guardian readers and tweeters love this piece - I don't

I think there was a feeling of "bending the rules" and "everyone's at it" for the MPs. Whereas the looters' and rioters actions contained a good deal of anarchic and personal malice, also disrespect for property, law, and the right to do business, disrespect for peace and order, and joyfully creating fear.

Also the mindset of the looters was quite different, this has all got to count for something.

I do agree that the atmosphere of sleaze and corruption with which the public now view politicians and journalists, due to many stories, and partly the expenses row, has led to some of the disrespect for the law, authority, and the 'establishment' that led to this criminality.

But many other things did too, the lack of good male role models (not just fathers, who have been legally discriminated against, but we havent given boys a way forward), knowledge that they wouldn't go to prison etcetc"

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