Saturday, August 20, 2011

David Starkey On The Riots

In the Telegraph David Starkey reiterates and expands upon his comments about the riots. In doing so he also provides a potential explanation for my question of why there were no riots in Scotland:
Consider the converse. One of the most striking things about the England riots is where they did not happen: Yorkshire, the North East, Wales and Scotland. These areas contain some of the worst pockets of unemployment in the country. But they are also characterised by a powerful sense of regional or national identity and difference that cuts across all classes and binds them together. And it is this, I am sure, which has inoculated them against the disease of “gangsta” culture and its attendant, indiscriminate violence. 
 Which is to some extent related to the idea that it is those groups whose identity has been so thoroughly ridiculed and despised over the years who have adopted the chavvy faux gangsta' identity. I am not totally convinced- doesn't Liverpool have a strong regional culture?- don't other places that didn't erupt also have weak cultural identities like Portsmouth or Milton Keynes?

Culture plays a part but there must be other factors at play like policing etc.


banned said...

BBC radio 4 gave an unexpected, if unenthusiastic, plug for this article this Saturday morning.
along this lines of "David Starkey seeks to clarify his views following the outage over his comments on Newsnight. It is in todays Daily Telegraph (hugh!), if you want to read them".
Sarky but at least they didn't use the 'R' word.

Growing up in London back in the seventies and eighties I had a very stong sense of regional identity, so much so that I was taken in when the Common Market began their "Europe of The Regions" since, yes, that was my Region, the good old GLC supremoed by Horace Cutler no less.
That the rest of the country was arbitrarily carved up was of no concern.

A K Haart said...

"there must be other factors at play like policing"

I agree - local policing is a factor to be considered. How could it not be?

Edwin Greenwood said...

Liverpool does indeed have a strong local culture, but it is a largely a culture of victimhood and resentment. Nihilism, baseless resentment and a sense of compensatory entitlement are features of the "gangsta" mentality that Starkey referred to.

James Higham said...

Yes there are, Ross. I really do think it was a test run and the way all the middle-class ran out and joined in picking up some bargains was a different issue.

Matthew said...

Is it possible there were no riots in Scotland for the same reason there were no riots in Ireland or for that matter the Netherlands, ie Scotland has enough of a separate country mentality (or reality) about it?

Ross said...

Edwin- Then shouldn't they be having riots every week in Liverpool?

James- The extreme shopping aspect of it is certainly a factor.

Matthew- That did occur to me, and there is probably some truth in it, but they do have the same media and their police forces operate on similar lines to England's.