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Oliver Letwin - Any Help Would Only End Up In The “Disco And Drug Trade”

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http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/30/oliver-letwin-blocked-help-for-black-youth-after-1985-riots

David Cameron’s chief policy adviser has apologised after he helped to ward off cabinet pleas for assistance for black unemployed youth following the 1985 inner-city riots with the argument that any help would only end up in the “disco and drug trade”.

Oliver Letwin, then a young adviser in Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street policy unit, played a decisive role along with her inner cities adviser, Hartley Booth, in rejecting demands from three cabinet members that assistance schemes be introduced in the aftermath of the Tottenham and Handsworth riots in 1985. On Tuesday night he said he apologised “unreservedly” for any offence caused by his comments.

Downing Street files released on Wednesday by the National Archives include a confidential joint paper by Letwin and Booth in which they told Thatcher that “lower-class unemployed white people had lived for years in appalling slums without a breakdown of public order on anything like the present scale”.

The men also warned Thatcher that setting up a £10m communities programme to tackle inner-city problems would do little more than “subsidise Rastafarian arts and crafts workshops”.

Their intervention followed a warning from the home secretary, Douglas Hurd, that alienated youth, predominantly black, in the inner cities represented “a grave threat to the social fabric” of the country.

The two persuaded Thatcher to dismiss suggestions from Hurd and two other cabinet ministers, Kenneth Baker and Lord Young, to tackle the problem, and instead insisted what was needed was measures to tackle absent fathers, moral education and an end to state funding of leftwing activists. Letwin is now the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster and minister of state for government policy.

The cabinet debate over the government’s response to the riots had been sparked by a warning from Hurd on 23 October 1985 of a “thoroughly dangerous situation” in the inner cities.

Hurd told Thatcher in a confidential minute that the government might have to reconcile itself to the fact that “a number of our cities now contain a pool of several hundred young people who we have not educated, whom it may not be possible to employ, and who are antagonistic to all authority. We need to think hard to prevent the pool being constantly replenished.”

...

But Letwin and Booth would have none of it. “The root of social malaise is not poor housing, or youth ‘alienation’ or the lack of a middle class,” they advised Thatcher. “Lower-class unemployed white people had lived for years in appalling slums without a breakdown of public order on anything like the present scale; in the midst of depression, people in Brixton went out, leaving their grocery money in a bag at the front door, and expecting to see groceries when they got back.

“Riots, criminality and social disintegration are caused solely by individual characters and attitudes. So long as bad moral attitudes remain, all efforts to improve the inner cities will founder. David Young’s new entrepreneurs will set up in the disco and drug trade.”

Instead their prescription was to reinforce the family through the law and tax, to set up “old-fashioned independent religious schools” and to change attitudes to personal responsibility, honesty, and the police from an early age including a new moral “youth corps”.

In a statement on Tuesday night Letwin said: “I want to make clear that some parts of a private memo I wrote nearly 30 years ago were both badly worded and wrong. I apologise unreservedly for any offence these comments have caused and wish to make clear that none was intended.”

You could change a few words and easily make it about the morals and attitudes in the City.

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Its OK to offend swathes of Society with your policy, but not OK if its a reaction in any way to do with the behaviour of a proportion of a particular community.

I call BS.

I call Cameron is weak.

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What a buttock! :blink: I'll bet he does not live near "black people", boiling missionaries in large pots, and jumping up and down in low riders, pimping their ho's,and selling crack! :huh:

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What a buttock! :blink: I'll bet he does not live near "black people", boiling missionaries in large pots, and jumping up and down in low riders, pimping their ho's,and selling crack! :huh:

well the tone of the article seems to suggest:

the indigenous folks will put up with a lot more crap than the newcomers.

answer:

so don't push your luck.the natives are getting angry as well now.

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All that stuff gets included in the GDP figures now at any rate - plus tattoo parlours and nail architects etc.

That, financial fraud and housing is the UK economy these days.

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The Anglo Saxons have been so ruthlessly quashed and controlled for centuries by the Normans that what's left is probably genetically now both stupid and meek. At the very least defeatist and demotivated to think they can change anything.

Interesting thing. Things would kick off in northern ireland..they had radicalism. Islam has radicalism. And i'd say that a lot of blacks identify with revolutionary radical politics, or at least did in the past.

What im saying is these things tend to be organized. The white working class is generally not radical or organized in a political sense. And while most black rioters probably look like a bunch of ragtag chancers, i'll bet there is some organized structure to kick these things off.

Perhaps the white working class would have rioted rather than marched in the 30s, but they would likely actually be shot then. The worse that happens now is potential police brutality, and even that is very rare in reality.

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