Is English the most stupid language in the entire universe, or is it just me?

December 28, 2011

All languages include idioms which seem idiotic (is that why they are called idioms?), but sometimes I think that English takes the biscuit (there’s one: what biscuit?  Where does it take it to?  And why should we even care, there are usually more than one bicuit in a pack).  One saying that particularly gets up my nose (Grr…) is “Oooh, that’d be cheap at half the price!”  This is used when one encounters something that is cheap.  And as it is cheap, of course it would be cheap at half the price.  If one said “It’d be cheap at twice the price, that’d make sense.  But very little makes sense in English…

Yes yes, I know that all languages contain idioms and sayings that are bloody stupid.  But my field of expertise is English – I have an honours degree in the subject, I’m a native speaker, and I’ve taught English to speakers of other languages so I’ve seen plenty of jaws drop when I’ve explained a few of these gems to my students.

In fact, I’m going to make this post a competition.  Use Comments to send in the most idiotic idioms you can think of, and I will present the poster of the most ludicrous saying a real, 100% counterfeit No-Prize.  I’m not Stan Lee, so obviously I have no business dishing out real No-Prizes.  But to keep this in the spirit of Stan the Man’s No-Prize tradition, the winner will have to supply a ridiculous idiom and an explanation as to why it’s not really ridiculous at all.  If you don’t know know what the hell I’m on about here, don’t worry.  What the sneck has sense got to do with it?

Incidentally, a particularly annoying saying inspired me to write this entry.  But as soon as I started to write about the subject, the saying vanished from my Swiss-cheese brain.  Fellow sufferers of chronic forgetfulness will understand what I mean.  And they’ll also know that as soon as I see/hear the rotten phrase again it’ll sit there in my head like it never went anywhere.  So, the first commentator to post that particularly pernicious p-word thing will get an A-grade snide No-Prize.  I’ll even gold-plate the bloody thing if you want to believe that I’ve done so.

 

 

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SOPA Hearings postponed til next year… Good news?

December 21, 2011

SOPA (the “Stop Online Piracy Act” [sic]) was due to be given a hearing in the the US House of Representatives last week. But fortunately it’s been put back to 2012, giving the opposition to SOPA longer to rally their defences.

SOPA proponents like to stress how SOPA would keep starving TV and movie producers from having to beg for soup in the street. But other commentators reject this spurious notion, focusing instead on the fact that the proposed laws would make it all too easy for the “big dogs” of the movie/music/games industries to force “innocent until proven guilty” websites to close down just because someone makes a complaint.

SOPA fans see the proposed legislation as necessary to keep the entertainment industries alive and kicking (as if…). There’s a list of SOPA supporters available (pdf); but if you don’t want to download the pf (why in hell would you?) I’ve reproduced the list here:

60 Plus Association
ABC
Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP)
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Americans for Tax Reform
Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
Association of Talent Agents (ATA)
Baker & Hostetler LLP
Beachbody, LLC
BMI
BMG Chrysalis
Building and Construction Trades Department
Capitol Records Nashville
CBS
Cengage Learning
Christian Music Trade Association
Church Music Publishers’ Association
Coalition Against Online Video Piracy (CAOVP)
Comcast/NBCUniversal
Concerned Women for America (CWA)
Congressional Fire Services Institute
Copyhype
Copyright Alliance
Coty, Inc.
Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)
Council of State Governments
Country Music Association
Country Music Television
Covington & Burling LLP
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP
Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.
Creative America
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Deluxe
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.
Elsevier
EMI Christian Music Group
EMI Music Publishing
ESPN
Estée Lauder Companies
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
Go Daddy
Gospel Music Association
Graphic Artists Guild
Hachette Book Group
HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, Inc.
Hyperion
Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE)
International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
International Union of Police Associations
Irell & Manella LLP
Jenner & Block LLP
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Kendall Brill & Klieger LLP
Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP
L’Oreal
Lathrop & Gage LLP
Loeb & Loeb LLP
Lost Highway Records
Macmillan
Major County Sheriffs
Major League Baseball
Majority City Chiefs
Marvel Entertainment, LLC
MasterCard Worldwide
MCA Records
McGraw-Hill Education
Mercury Nashville
Minor League Baseball (MiLB)
Minority Media & Telecom Council (MMTC)
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
Moving Picture Technicians
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
National Center for Victims of Crime
National Crime Justice Association
National District Attorneys Association
National Domestic Preparedness Coalition
National Football League
National Governors Association, Economic Development and Commerce Committee
National League of Cities
National Narcotics Offers’ Associations’ Coalition
National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)
National Songwriters Association
National Troopers Coalition
News Corporation
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Pearson Education
Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Phillips Nizer, LLP
Pfizer, Inc.
Proskauer Rose LLP
Provident Music Group
Random House
Raulet Property Partners
Republic Nashville
Revlon
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP
Scholastic, Inc.
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Showdog Universal Music
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Nashville
State International Development Organization (SIDO)
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
The Perseus Books Groups
The United States Conference of Mayors
Tiffany & Co.
Time Warner
3
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
UMG Publishing Group Nashville
United States Chamber of Commerce
United States Tennis Association
Universal Music
Universal Music Publishing Group
Viacom
Visa, Inc.
W.W. Norton & Company
Warner Music Group
Warner Music Nashville
White & Case LLP
Wolters Kluewer Health
Word Entertainment

While there are some worthwhile causes included in the list (most of whom were probably lied to about SOPA), it generally sounds like a roll-call of what www.theinquirer.net calls “a Who’s Who of copyright holders and media companies”.

Please don’t be conned into thinking SOPA won’t affect you – it will affect every single user of the internet. Media conglomerates will be able to close down websites on the flimsiest of evidence, and their attack-squadrons of lawyers will make it all-but-impossible for anyone to argue. The corporations really want to own the net, and legislation like SOPA will serve it to them on a silver platter.Google, Facebook, Mozilla – just a few of the computer and tech companies are opposed to SOPA, as they are forward-thinking enough to see that SOPA is really a “democratic” version of the Great Firewall of China – unseen suits deciding what we can or cannot see – or post – on our interet. Do yourself a favour – educate yourself on what SOPA really means (Google Is Your Friend… Bing too), then hassle your legal reps to kill the act before it can become law!

 

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US govt wants to censor *our* internet, Godammit!!

December 17, 2011

I’ve censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet–a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:
http://americancensorship.org/posts/23330/uncensor

███████ a █████ in █████ any ████████████ ████████ ██████ can, ███████ ████ █████████ ██████ a █████ or ███████ ████ in a █████████, ████ ████ any ███████’s ██████ ███████████ ████████ and █████ ██████ to ██████ ████ ████████. The ██████ ████ ██████████ and the ███████████ ████████ █████ be ████████ to ████ █████ ██████ ███████ the █████ ███████; ████ the ██████ of a “███████ ████████████” by the ███████ █████ get ███████ ████████.

It’s the █████ ██████████ by Rep. █████ █████ (R-TX) in █████’s ████████████ of the ████ ██████ ██████ Act in the US █████ of ███████████████. ████ isn’t ████ off-the-████ █████ of ███████████ ████ no ██████ of ███████, ██████; it’s the █████ ██████████ to the ██████’s ███████ IP Act, █████ █████ ██████████ █████ ████████ ██████████ to the US as a ██████ of law.

███████ its ████ a “██████-█████ ██████ to ███████ US █████████ and ███████ US ███████ of █████ █████████ to █████ of US ████████,” the new ████ █████ █████ ██████ to ███████ ██████. Any ██████ of ████████████ ████████ ██████ █████ ██████ ████ a ██████ to ad ███████ █████████ ████ ██████ and to ███████ ██████████ ████ ██████████, ████, and ██████, █████████ █████ █████████ cut off ██████ to any ████ the IP ██████ █████ as an █████████.

The ██████ is ████ ████ the ███████ ██████████ █████████ Act’s (████) “████████ ███████,” in █████ a █████████ ██████ can ██████ ████ █████ of ███████ be ███████ ████ █████ ████ ███████ ████ a ██████. The ███████ ████ be ███████ ██████ the ██████ who ██████ the ███████ ███████; at ████ █████, the █████████ ██████ can ██████ if it █████ to ████ the ██████ to █████ ████ the █████.

████, ██████, the ██████ are ██████. ██████ ████ ██████████ the ████████ of ███████ ██████ ████████, ████████████ ████████ ██████ can go ████████ for the ███████: █████████ and ███████ for the ██████ ████. So ████ as the ████████████ ████████ ███████ ███████ ████ “████████ █████” ██████████ █████ ████████████ █████, ad ████████ and ███████ ██████████ ████ ████ ████ ████ to cut off ███████ ████ the ███████ in ████████.

The ██████ is ███████ ████████ at ███████ ████████ █████ do not █████████ US law, and █████ █████████ ████ █████ ██████ to ██████ ████ ████████ ████████. But the █████████ for █████—████ ███████████ █████—████ is ███████████, █████ the ████████████ ████████ █████ ████ █████ ███████ ██████ can now ████ on █████████ ██████████.
████████

One █████ ███████ ██████ can’t do █████ the new ████ is ████████ █████ a ████ ████ the ████████, ██████ it ██████ ███████, ███████ the ██████████ has ██████ to do it for ████. The ████ █████ ██████████ ███████ the █████ to go to █████ and ██████ an ██████████ ███████ any ███████ ███████ █████ on a █████████ ██████-█████ ████████████ to a █████. ████ ████ ███████, ████████ █████████ ████ 5 ████ to “███████ ██████ by its ███████████ ███████ ██████ the ██████ ██████ to the ███████ ██████████ ████.”

The ██████████ can ████ go █████ ██████ who ██████ a ████ ████████ for the “█████████████ or █████████” of the ████████ █████. ████ █████ ███████ █████ as a ██████ of the US ██████████’s ███████ ████████ to █████ ████████ ██████ █████ it ████████ ████ ██████████ ███████; ████ can ████████ ████████ who █████ the ████’s ███████ to its new ████████. The ██████████ has ███████ █████ Web ███████ ██████ ████ ███████ to ██████ ██████ to █████ █████ of █████. ███████ ███████, so the new ████ ████ █████ to ban ████ █████ ██████████. (████████ ████ ████████’s ███████ to a ███████ DNS ██████ in █████ to ████ a ████-████████ ████████ █████ ███████ to be █████.)

██████ ███████, too, are ████████, ████ the ████ to ███████ the ████ in ████████ “████ █████ ██████ as a ██████ █████████ ████.” ███████ ██████████ and ad ████████ █████ ████ ████ to cut off the ████.

███████, and for ████ ███████, ████████ ███████ █████████ and ███████ ██████████ get the █████ █████ to ██████ █████ ██████ to █████ on █████ own ████████—no ███████ █████ ████████████ ████ ██████. So ████ as ████ ███████ the ████ is “█████████ to the █████ of US ████████,” ████████ █████████ and ███████ ██████████ can’t be ████.
“████████ █████”

The █████ ████ is ██████████ ███████████ to a ██████ ██████████ of ████████ █████████. For ████████, ██████ ████ in the ████ of the >70-████ ████████ is a ███████████ ████ the US ████████████ ████████ ███████████ ███████████ ███████ a █████ for ████████. ████ █████ ██████ ███████ “█████████ ███████ ██████████” and ███████ to ████████ the “███████████ ████ █████████ by █████████ ███████ ██████████.” (████ █████ ████████ ████ ███████████ ██████ you █████.)

The ██████, █████ is ████████████ ███████ to ████ ██████ to the █████ of ███████ ██████, ████████ a set of ████████ ██████ ███████████████ ████ █████ “█████████ ███████ ██████████ to █████ ████████ █████ to ███████ the ██████████ of ████████████ ████████ ████████.” ██████ the ████ ████, the US ██████████ █████ be ██████████ ███████ ████ █████████ ███████ “████████ █████”—not ██████ ████ or ████████—██████ the █████.

In the ███████ for the ██████, we can ████ see the IP ██████████ █████ █████████ for its ████ ████: ████████ off ██████ to US ███████ ███████ and ██████████ █████████ ████ “████████ █████ for ████ to the ██████” in the US.
████ it ████ it is

Not all ██████████ is bad—but we ████ to ████ an ██████ ██████████ █████ ████ and how to ██████ it, ██████ ████ ████████ an █████████████ set of ██████████ █████ in ███████████ █████ ████ “█████ ████,” or by ███████ a key ███████ of the new ████ the “E-████████ Act.”

You don’t ████ to ███████ ██████—and we don’t—to see the ████ ████████ ████ ████ new ████████. ████ █████, the ████ █████████ to the US ██████████ a ████ of “█████████ ███████.” As ████ of ████ ████, the ████ ████████ “████████████” ████ ██████████, █████ are “█████████ ████████” ████ “█████ █████ █████ at █████████████ ████, all █████ █████████ ███████████ ███████████ ████████ ████ ███████████ in ████, ██████████ ███████████ █████████.”

It’s not ████ to ███████ how ████ it █████ ████ ██████ ████ █████–█████ █████████ do ████ ██████ of ████-████████ ██████████ ███████–are ████████ █████ the new law. Yet ████ ████ a ████ of █████ ████, and ████████████ ████ ██████████ ████ ████ ████████ █████ by ████ US and ████████ ██████.

Not ████████████, the new ████ is ███████ ████████ ████ ██████ ████ ████████████, █████ ██████ ██████, █████, and █████ ████ █████ its ███████. “As ███████ ██████ of the ████████, we ████████ ██████ ████████ ‘█████’ ████████ and █████ ████████████’ ████ of █████████ ██████ ████████████ of ██████████ and ██████████,” ████ █████████ ████████ ███████ ████████ in a █████████.

“███████, we do not ███████ ████ the ████████ ████ in ██████████ the ████████ and ██████████ its █████████ and ████████. We do not ███████ ████ it is █████ ███████████ a ██████ of ███████ law ████ has ██████ the █████ ██████████ for all ██████ █████. And ███████, we do not ███████ ████ it is █████ ███████████ ████ ██████ or █████████ ███████ to ████████████ ███████ ████ ████ to ███████ and ████████ the ████████ ████████ of █████ own ████████.”

██████ of law ██████████ ████ ████ ███████ the ████████ ███████ IP Act, █████ ████████ ████ of the ████ █████, is ████████████████. But the ████████ for ████ ████ of ██████████ is ███████ ██████

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Is your smartphone spying on you? For millions of you, the answer is “Yes”!

December 17, 2011

Here’s something interesting and disturbing I found on Bruce Schneier’s blog, Schneier on Security: Android app developer Andrew Eckhart has discovered spyware on Android phones that records keystrokes, SMS messages, phone numbers dialled, and sends all this info home! Amd this spyware is a rootkit – it runs in the background, recording info and sending it home, without your knowledge!

Check out the video on the Register page – it will make you look at your phone in a new light. Eckhart’s demonstration uses a HTC phone, but he says he is not singling out HTC as the villain – plenty of other manufacturers sell phones with the “Carrier IQ” rootkit preinstalled – and it seems you can’t even remove it from your device! Smartphones are rapidly becoming ubiquitous – so if Carrier IQ (the Silicon Valley company responsible for the rootkit) are not outed now, everything about us will be collected, stored, then sent home for whatever nefarious purpose Carrier IQ wants. So, is your smartphone a handy device or an Orwellian personal spy?

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A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace

December 8, 2011

I found this declaration, by John Perry Barlow, quite a while ago. I found it interesting – it reflects a lot of what I think – but all I did was file it away for possible future reference. I mean, it’s nearly 16 years old now! But, frighteningly, it’s becoming more and more relevant all the time! Especially if you live in countries which do not explicitly protect the individual’s right to self-expression: Germany, I’m looking at you; Australia, I’m looking at you; USA, I’m increasingly looking at you; just about every other country in the world, I’m looking at you!

Rather than putting any personal spin on it, I’ve decided to just reproduce Barlow’s Declaration word-for-word. So hold onto your hats, here it comes. I urge you to read it. And think about it. If you find you disagree with what Barlow’s got to say, fine. Tell us about it in Comments: and importantly, tell us exactly what you disagree with and why. I love to hear/read you folk trying to justify what you (are told to) believe.

Read it, think about it, post about it. But please don’t ignore it. The very fact you’re reading these words prove you have some sort of interest in the phenomenon called “Cyberspace”. If you’re here, you gotta have an opinion. So what is it?

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

by John Perry Barlow

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland

February 8, 1996

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Years of riots to come, warns former London police chief

December 7, 2011

Lord Stevens,a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has warned that “Britain may face years of public disorder fuelled by the economic crisis, with police battling to keep control of the streets.”  The Guardian says this view is shared by many high-ranking cops.  Stevens says that he initial riot in August, in Tottenham after a police shooting, should have been anticipated, and that during the summer riots police had been “acting a day behind”‘ events.

Stevens believes that rising unemployment, and provocative police tactics like the widely-criticised “stop and search” powers, will lead to both peaceful protests and violent rioting in the future.  Unfortunately, the government doesn’t accept this.  A government source said the cause of the riots “was not deprivation and distrust of the police, it’s about getting free stuff.”  The government believes that tougher policing and heavier sentencing will prevent further trouble.

The government are making a big mistake in rejecting Lord Stevens’ comments.  Stevens was a pretty good cop, as far as cops go.  He was the last Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who served his full term – in other words, he didn’t have to resign because of corrupt or incompetent performance; something that none of his successors have managed to do.  And what I find very interesting is that he presided over an inquiry into allegations in Northern Ireland of collusion between the British Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist terrorists in the murder of Irish Nationalists – an inquiry which concluded that there had been collusion that resulted in the murder of Nationalists, and of protestants who had been mistaken for Nationalists or Catholics.  It is not very common that a senior officer will come to such conclusions about fellow officers – indeed it took Stevens three inquiries before he would accept what the evidence told him.  But he did finally accept the truth that fellow officers were indeed capable of conspiring to murder innocent civilians, which indicates he is someone who seeks and tells the truth.  He has also been an influential advisor to both Labour and Conservatives.  So why is the government rejecting his comments now?  Because they don’t chime with what the government wants to believe – whether he’s right or not is irrelevant to the government.

Stevens warned the government not to be “insulting” or “arrogant” in dismissing the work of the panel of academics and former police chiefs that he will chair – and the government have immediately responded with arrogance.  Is there any point in his panel actually producing a report?  The government will just do what they want anyway – to hell with the truth.

 

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Rioters say anger with police fuelled summer unrest

December 5, 2011

Riot in Toxteth, 2011

The London School of Eonomics and the Guardian have released the results of a study that asked people involved in the riots across England this summer why they rioted.  You can check it out here.

A lot of commentators think the report is worthless because it simply consists of criminals blaming the police for their own criminal activity.  I can understand why readers might think this – but I also thiink these critics are wrong.

This study is important and interesting simply because it listened to the perpetrators for once instead of focusing on the victims. If we want to know why the rioters why they rioted, we have to ask them, not their victims. Their stated reasons/excuses may well be after-the-event self-justification, but if we poke about in the bullcrap we will find some important facts.

For one, “gangs” had little/nothing to do with the rioting. So we can see the lie in the government’s attempts to use the riots as evidence why anti-gang legislation is necessary.

The stop-and-search angle is also important. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of those stopped and searched by the police are not convicted of any crime uncovered by the searches. These police actions are, probably accurately, perceived by poor young people as harassment or even provocation.

Rather than looking at the report for excuses, let’s look for reasons. There’s nothing wrong in searching for the truth.

Worryingly, the report says there might be more riots to come.  Apparently, four out of five participants in the summer unrest think there will be a repeat of the violence.  This might be just the bravado of youth; then again, it could be a prediction straight from the horse’s mouth.  It’s certainly something that deserves the attention.  But so do the poverty and the biased policing that certainly helped fan the flames of August.

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