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The Moral Decay Of Our Society Is As Bad At The Top As The Bottom

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http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100100708/the-moral-decay-of-our-society-is-as-bad-at-the-top-as-the-bottom/

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and the entire British political class came together yesterday to denounce the rioters. They were of course right to say that the actions of these looters, arsonists and muggers were abhorrent and criminal, and that the police should be given more support.

But there was also something very phony and hypocritical about all the shock and outrage expressed in parliament. MPs spoke about the week’s dreadful events as if they were nothing to do with them.

I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. So have the feral rich of Chelsea and Kensington. A few years ago, my wife and I went to a dinner party in a large house in west London. A security guard prowled along the street outside, and there was much talk of the “north-south divide”, which I took literally for a while until I realised that my hosts were facetiously referring to the difference between those who lived north and south of Kensington High Street.

Most of the people in this very expensive street were every bit as deracinated and cut off from the rest of Britain as the young, unemployed men and women who have caused such terrible damage over the last few days. For them, the repellent Financial Times magazine How to Spend It is a bible. I’d guess that few of them bother to pay British tax if they can avoid it, and that fewer still feel the sense of obligation to society that only a few decades ago came naturally to the wealthy and better off.

A pretty damming read.

However only the proles will be blamed.

Although I tend to suspect that if you look back through history the elite have always been morally corrupt it's just easier to see with modern communication technology.

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http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100100708/the-moral-decay-of-our-society-is-as-bad-at-the-top-as-the-bottom/

A pretty damming read.

However only the proles will be blamed.

Although I tend to suspect that if you look back through history the elite have always been morally corrupt it's just easier to see with modern communication technology.

The difference is Fred Goodwin is not kicking people to death in the street or torching people's homes and businesses.

I do believe there is a difference.

:blink:

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The difference is Fred Goodwin is not kicking people to death in the street or torching people's homes and businesses.

I do believe there is a difference.

:blink:

No he's torched people's homes and businesses in a slightly different fashion and caused more damage than the idiots that went looting.

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http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100100708/the-moral-decay-of-our-society-is-as-bad-at-the-top-as-the-bottom/

A pretty damming read.

However only the proles will be blamed.

Although I tend to suspect that if you look back through history the elite have always been morally corrupt it's just easier to see with modern communication technology.

Good post.

The riots were caused by government policies/failures IMO - and they must be ultimately responsible. But what do we see splashed across our screens? - another shameless bout of self righteous indignation - by those that ripped off their electorate in the expenses scandal - allowed the financial sector to disastrously self regulate and even congratulated them on their 'innovation' - by those that pursued a multicultural agenda with little fore thought other than the possible benefits of a largely de-unionised cheap and compliant labour force. The recent furore over phone hacking - could it be that the politticians were fearful of being discovered in other scams? - this was played to the gallery with full on inclusion - and in my view - brazen exploitation of particular victims. Our politicians are largely scum - we should expect nothing less than the brutal crushing of riots and the blame placed anywhere but with them. The inequality that exists in this corruptly led land will be preserved with the same ferocity as any middle east dictator - while the partners in maintaining this imbalance - financials - corporations - remain free to continue their wholesale rape of society.

The media is playing its part also - how often have we seen the crushing of the Bahraini people on our screens? Not at all I'd say. The disgusting treatment of palestinians by their illegal occupiers? Couldn't be anything to do with the US 5th fleet located in the region and the close relationship between the UK and the US with the 'only democracy' in the area.

The recent riots are not new except in scale - communities have suffered for years - real victims of disfunctional neighbourhoods have taken their own lives because of the misery caused and lack of police action. The government really couldn't care less about who has suffered - only in what these events spell out to the world about them - it shows the UK for what it is - class ridden and repressive. A 'let them eat cake' attitude comes to mind

I remember the case of a young student who was convicted of throwing a fire extinguisher from a roof towards police officers below - none were hurt - the student got 15 years after his law abiding mother compelled him to own up - what was her reward for such a selfless civil act? visiting time to a son in prison and potentially productive futures wiped out. While at the same time the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich continues - with bankers and fraudulent mortgage brokers rewarded instead of being punished - such a corrupt model of society has to bear some responsibility for recent events.

The government is worried - they sense they may be the next victims of an uprising - the crushing of the masses must be swift and brutal - as they see it - a strong signal must be sent. While expressing phoney empathy before the cameras for the residents affected - they have their eye of the big picture and how essentially it affects them and their interests. The police were blamed for letting the riots get out of hand - but only because there was global media coverage - the image of a happy content multiracial Britain was visibly destroyed in front of the world. The game is up - the UK is socially shattered - but like Gaddafi those that presided over its ruin will resist till the end.

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No he's torched people's homes and businesses in a slightly different fashion and caused more damage than the idiots that went looting.

No one is now living in terror or had all their personal belongings and memories destroyed by Fred Goodwin

Geat a grip for goodness sake.

:blink:

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No one is now living in terror or had all their personal belongings and memories destroyed by Fred Goodwin

Geat a grip for goodness sake.

:blink:

The banks have not exactly been falling over themselves to help riot victims.

Barclays has apparently refused to defer paymments for even a month to allow people to get their insurance claims processed

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2025083/Tottenham-riots-victims-told-banks-You-pay-mortgage.html

On edit - I see that they are backtracking like fury following the Mail article and pressure from Lord Harris, Still yet another PR disaster for the finance sector.

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No one is now living in terror or had all their personal belongings and memories destroyed by Fred Goodwin

Geat a grip for goodness sake.

:blink:

Sorry how many are rioting in middle east because food prices have gone up? Clearly nothing to to with the central bankers.

How many in America have lost their home with all their family memories in because of the banks and had to destroy their belongs because they have nowhere to put them because of the banks?

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Britain contains two opposing groups, those that seek to pull things apart, and those that will pull together in a crisis. It is important that we know who is who.

What would happen if a natural disaster were to befall us, such as the earthquake and flooding that struck Japan?

Would we be faced with a large section of society turning against their neighbours, looting, burning and killing?

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The difference is Fred Goodwin is not kicking people to death in the street or torching people's homes and businesses.

I do believe there is a difference.

:blink:

They also hide behind the business vs. individual demarcation.

Obviously, the processes and systems in place in the business are wot ran it into the ground. Thanks to the separation of management and ownership, the fact that the boss of HBOS fired the risk department and replaced them with sales staff has nothing to do with short term greed...

1) why are people allowed to start business after business. Defraud everyone in every sense of the word? How many business failure's has Grant Bovey presided over?

2) Why would anyone want to get involved in Grant Boveys businesses? Banks, suppliers, they know theyre going to end up with a big hole in their balance sheet.

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http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100100708/the-moral-decay-of-our-society-is-as-bad-at-the-top-as-the-bottom/





The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom


David Cameron, Ed Miliband and the entire British political class came together yesterday to denounce the rioters. They were of course right to say that the actions of these looters, arsonists and muggers were abhorrent and criminal, and that the police should be given more support.

But there was also something very phony and hypocritical about all the shock and outrage expressed in parliament. MPs spoke about the week’s dreadful events as if they were nothing to do with them.

I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. So have the feral rich of Chelsea and Kensington. A few years ago, my wife and I went to a dinner party in a large house in west London. A security guard prowled along the street outside, and there was much talk of the “north-south divide”, which I took literally for a while until I realised that my hosts were facetiously referring to the difference between those who lived north and south of Kensington High Street.

Most of the people in this very expensive street were every bit as deracinated and cut off from the rest of Britain as the young, unemployed men and women who have caused such terrible damage over the last few days. For them, the repellent Financial Times magazine How to Spend It is a bible. I’d guess that few of them bother to pay British tax if they can avoid it, and that fewer still feel the sense of obligation to society that only a few decades ago came naturally to the wealthy and better off.

Yet we celebrate people who live empty lives like this. A few weeks ago, I noticed an item in a newspaper saying that the business tycoon Sir Richard Branson was thinking of moving his headquarters to Switzerland. This move was represented as a potential blow to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, because it meant less tax revenue.

I couldn’t help thinking that in a sane and decent world such a move would be a blow to Sir Richard, not the Chancellor. People would note that a prominent and wealthy businessman was avoiding British tax and think less of him. Instead, he has a knighthood and is widely feted. The same is true of the brilliant retailer Sir Philip Green. Sir Philip’s businesses could never survive but for Britain’s famous social and political stability, our transport system to shift his goods and our schools to educate his workers.

Yet Sir Philip, who a few years ago sent an extraordinary £1 billion dividend offshore, seems to have little intention of paying for much of this. Why does nobody get angry or hold him culpable? I know that he employs expensive tax lawyers and that everything he does is legal, but he surely faces ethical and moral questions just as much as does a young thug who breaks into one of Sir Philip’s shops and steals from it?

Our politicians – standing sanctimoniously on their hind legs in the Commons yesterday – are just as bad. They have shown themselves prepared to ignore common decency and, in some cases, to break the law. David Cameron is happy to have some of the worst offenders in his Cabinet. Take the example of Francis Maude, who is charged with tackling public sector waste – which trade unions say is a euphemism for waging war on low‑paid workers. Yet Mr Maude made tens of thousands of pounds by breaching the spirit, though not the law, surrounding MPs’ allowances.

A great deal has been made over the past few days of the greed of the rioters for consumer goods, not least by Rotherham MP Denis MacShane who accurately remarked, “What the looters wanted was for a few minutes to enter the world of Sloane Street consumption.” This from a man who notoriously claimed £5,900 for eight laptops. Of course, as an MP he obtained these laptops legally through his expenses.

Yesterday, the veteran Labour MP Gerald Kaufman asked the Prime Minister to consider how these rioters can be “reclaimed” by society. Yes, this is indeed the same Gerald Kaufman who submitted a claim for three months’ expenses totalling £14,301.60, which included £8,865 for a Bang & Olufsen television.

Or take the Salford MP Hazel Blears, who has been loudly calling for draconian action against the looters. I find it very hard to make any kind of ethical distinction between Blears’s expense cheating and tax avoidance, and the straight robbery carried out by the looters.

The Prime Minister showed no sign that he understood that something stank about yesterday’s Commons debate. He spoke of morality, but only as something which applies to the very poor: “We will restore a stronger sense of morality and responsibility – in every town, in every street and in every estate.” He appeared not to grasp that this should apply to the rich and powerful as well.

The tragic truth is that Mr Cameron is himself guilty of failing this test. It is scarcely six weeks since he jauntily turned up at the News International summer party, even though the media group was at the time subject to not one but two police investigations. Even more notoriously, he awarded a senior Downing Street job to the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, even though he knew at the time that Coulson had resigned after criminal acts were committed under his editorship. The Prime Minister excused his wretched judgment by proclaiming that “everybody deserves a second chance”. It was very telling yesterday that he did not talk of second chances as he pledged exemplary punishment for the rioters and looters.

These double standards from Downing Street are symptomatic of widespread double standards at the very top of our society. It should be stressed that most people (including, I know, Telegraph readers) continue to believe in honesty, decency, hard work, and putting back into society at least as much as they take out.

But there are those who do not. Certainly, the so-called feral youth seem oblivious to decency and morality. But so are the venal rich and powerful – too many of our bankers, footballers, wealthy businessmen and politicians.

Of course, most of them are smart and wealthy enough to make sure that they obey the law. That cannot be said of the sad young men and women, without hope or aspiration, who have caused such mayhem and chaos over the past few days. But the rioters have this defence: they are just following the example set by senior and respected figures in society. Let’s bear in mind that many of the youths in our inner cities have never been trained in decent values. All they have ever known is barbarism. Our politicians and bankers, in sharp contrast, tend to have been to good schools and universities and to have been given every opportunity in life.

Something has gone horribly wrong in Britain. If we are ever to confront the problems which have been exposed in the past week, it is essential to bear in mind that they do not only exist in inner-city housing estates.

The culture of greed and impunity we are witnessing on our TV screens stretches right up into corporate boardrooms and the Cabinet. It embraces the police and large parts of our media. It is not just its damaged youth, but Britain itself that needs a moral reformation.

Tags: andy coulson, Crime, David Cameron, Denis MacShane, Ed Miliband, Financial Times, Francis Maude, George Osborne, Gerald Kaufman, Hazel Blears, justice, London, london riots, moral reformation, MPs' expenses, Sir Philip Green, Society, Switzerland, tax, Tottenham, uk riots





Whats most interesting is the sheer number of comments - 4000+ and rising.

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The other side of the equation is getting more and more coverage. I'm not surprised this won't appear in the print version, I suspect most DT readers simply don't want to read this as it would mean looking at themselves in the mirror and not liking what they see.

I suggest you put 'Daily Telegraph' as a sub header of this thread. Lots of hpc readers won't bother reading it at all discounting it as some more left wing liberal gibberish but they should.

Thanks for posting.

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I suspect most DT readers simply don't want to read this as it would mean looking at themselves in the mirror and not liking what they see.

definitely

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Our politicians – standing sanctimoniously on their hind legs in the Commons yesterday – are just as bad. They have shown themselves prepared to ignore common decency and, in some cases, to break the law. David Cameron is happy to have some of the worst offenders in his Cabinet. Take the example of Francis Maude, who is charged with tackling public sector waste – which trade unions say is a euphemism for waging war on low‑paid workers. Yet Mr Maude made tens of thousands of pounds by breaching the spirit, though not the law, surrounding MPs’ allowances.

I saw an interview of Cameron yesterday, his only argument for harsh treatment of the rioters as compared to bankers or MPs was 'they're law breakers'.

The hypocrisy of this point is I hope clear for all to see as laws are made to suit those worst offenders in society. These animals today have enough influence to make their own laws.

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I saw an interview of Cameron yesterday, his only argument for harsh treatment of the rioters as compared to bankers or MPs was 'they're law breakers'.

The hypocrisy of this point is I hope clear for all to see as laws are made to suit those worst offenders in society. These animals today have enough influence to make their own laws.

I think you misunderstand his conservative view

the first thing they have to do is uphold the law and stop the rioting, this is imperative

after this you can address the reasons, but they HAVE to get a grip on the law breaking first, no matter how understandable the motivations, the underlying problems can never be addressed if we have anarchy

he is being as strict with the looters as he has been with the striking teachers

(and as the previous Labour government was never strict or consistent with anyone)

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These double standards from Downing Street are symptomatic of widespread double standards at the very top of our society. It should be stressed that most people (including, I know, Telegraph readers) continue to believe in honesty, decency, hard work, and putting back into society at least as much as they take out.

But there are those who do not. Certainly, the so-called feral youth seem oblivious to decency and morality. But so are the venal rich and powerful – too many of our bankers, footballers, wealthy businessmen and politicians.

And half of the nation's middle and working class trying to emulate those most morally bankrupt at the top.

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I think you misunderstand his conservative view

the first thing they have to do is uphold the law and stop the rioting, this is imperative

after this you can address the reasons, but they HAVE to get a grip on the law breaking first, no matter how understandable the motivations, the underlying problems can never be addressed if we have anarchy

he is being as strict with the looters as he has been with the striking teachers

(and as the previous Labour government was never strict or consistent with anyone)

I agree, restoring order is the priority but you can also admit to the deeper problems that afflict the nation as a whole at the same time. No need to pretend these kids were any different.

The "everybody deserves a second chance" statement about Andy Coulson in the current context is telling IMO.

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I saw an interview of Cameron yesterday, his only argument for harsh treatment of the rioters as compared to bankers or MPs was 'they're law breakers'.

An opinion I've held for over a decade is that the basis for what is and is not legal has effectively collapsed. My most effective illustration I can give for this surrounds a conversation I had in the early noughties with an army-man (sorry, I don't remember his rank) - he came across as 'old school' - buckets of conviction and self-confidence... moustache and solid demeanour... and he claimed he'd never done anything that is illegal. He seemed serious... so, I started by asking him if he thought he'd never exceeded the speed limit, for example: "No"; never copied a document without permission using a photocopier - or "taped" some music:"No". Fledgling at someone whose obvious day-to-day seemed angelic... I asked him if he he'd practised shooting arrows in a public space recently... "No".... "Ah-ha, got you! It's a local-by-law that's been ignored for centuries - but it still requires every able bodied man to practice archery on the Downs every Saturday for the imminent Welsh invasion." "That's not a proper law..." he protested "It's the same status as a whole host of other laws..." I pointed out "I'd not worry about it, if I were you, but it's a technical breech." "It's just stupid!!!" "Yes," I admitted, "it is stupid - but who has the authority to declare some laws stupid and the others important?" "It's obvious" - he retorted.

This sums up the problem nicely, I think. The law is no-longer a guide for what is and what is not acceptable... it's no-longer possible for an individual to be confident that their behaviour is within the law - if they're honest and intelligent... no individual can realistically have read all the laws that bind them - and even if one tries... what emerges is a mass of self-contradictory gibberish. The law is a sophists dream - a mass of incomprehensible inconsistent codswollop. The law is not homogeneous - from each person's perspective the law states something subtly different - and, worse, there's a massive grey area where there's no clear distinction between right and wrong. The only thing that really matters - if (like many) you feel yourself disadvantaged by legal and social structure - is what's actually prosecuted... laws that are ignored are not relevant and should not guide behaviour. This shift will necessarily lead to boundaries being pushed... there's a strong incentive to establish exactly which laws are going to be enforced.

I don't think this justifies rioting... but - let's face it - those who were arrested weren't exactly the sharpest pencils in the pencil case. The moral ambiguity of what is and is not legal; is and is not prosecuted... these confusions can only have a negative effect.

P.S. OP: Please could you correct 'Your' to "you're" - spelling and grammar are important when alleging that the elite are scum.

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Whats most interesting is the sheer number of comments - 4000+ and rising.

I am sure you draw parallels between the riots and other instances of 'looting' . . . though it may not be that the two are directly related.

What is clear from the comments is that one of parliament's biggest failures was not to confront the issue of MP's expenses.

People only ever heard, 'no wrongdoing' (Labour's catchphrase) repeated ad infinitum, along with, 'the rules weren't clear' or 'we didn't understand the rules' or whatever. The public has never had closure on this issue.

I passed by my former Primary School the other day and, out of nostalgia, took some playground pics. The artwork/propaganda on the school walls hasn't changed much in 50 years (it's been a long time). With reference to the recent riots, I liked this one:

NeverTakeThings600.jpg

The point is, everybody knows damn well the difference between right and wrong, it is drummed in to us from the day we go to school. Certainly for MPs or looters to claim they don't is entirely unacceptable and it's obviously still bugging a lot of people.

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  • 277 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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