Just scum, innit

“What is going on in England, Mike?!”

Recent unrest in the Mother Country has given Israeli friends and colleagues the opportunity – in which they have revelled – to make the point that the English are not that much more civilised than the “monkeys” whom I so consistently (if jokingly . . . well, semi) disparage.

In general, too, Israelis love to make mileage out of the seeming tears in the fabric of ostensibly ‘normal’ countries. And who can blame them? Opportunities to feel good – or, at least, better – about their own country, and to convince themselves that the matzav (defence/security situation) is not that bad after all, are few and far between. And they positively delight when such tears appear in the fabric of the former Mandatory power.

And I have made no excuses for my former compatriots, explaining to any Israeli who has asked that the pond life involved in the recent disturbances is like nothing and no one that they – or even many Englishmen – have ever experienced (or should wish to): take your biggest chach-chach (the nearest local equivalent to a chav), arse or frecha (see here), or even Betar Jerusalem fan (generally held up as the very worst sort of “ape”), and he or she will not even come close to the scum which looted and set fire to the streets of England a fortnight ago. The most serious crimes in over a month of so-called “protest” in Israel, on the other hand, have been nothing more than possession of offensive back hair, and of an imitation nose.

I spent most of my solicitor’s training, in North London Legal Aid practices, attending on blue-collar criminals in Crown Courts and prisons. And they were easily the most eye-opening years of my (admittedly previously sheltered) existence: from shoplifters to murderers, wife-beaters to Yardies, I had to deal with them all.

On one, regrettably unforgettable, occasion, a suspected paedophile saw fit to place a photograph of his member – and not of Parliament – on the table in front of me.

“What is this?!” I asked, furiously rotating the image in the hope that it might quickly resemble something else.

“My penis,” responded the nonce, with all the nonchalance of someone who had just shown a snap from a family holiday.

The recent riots, however, had nothing to do with pervs, psychopaths, or even hardened criminals, but with an underclass that you never want to encounter. And I am not convinced that historian David Starkey is the racist that the knee-jerks have branded him: in stating his view that England’s “whites have become black,” he was merely giving less humourous and subtle expression to the reality expressed by Ali G (view the pair ‘together’ here). That white English youths have taken on aspects of black “gangster culture” is surely beyond question.

To blame England’s black community, however, for the scum of the white one – and I am not sure that this was Starkey’s intention – is as ridiculous as charging England’s indigenous whites for instilling a pernicious consumerism in the sons of simple, post-War Caribbean immigrants. And, if anything, the chavs or “white trash” (to use an Americanism) that I came across during my legal training were generally far further beyond redemption than the black youngsters caught up in the criminal justice system, many of whose families appeared to possess a far stronger sense of tradition, and of right and wrong, than the entirely rootless white ones.

Looters in Birmingham, earlier this month

The recent outrages clearly had nothing to do with race or colour; but, to my mind, with the decline amongst England’s poorest, least educated classes of religion and the nuclear family. Indeed, Puff Daddy is about as close to anything paternal as many of the rioters and looters will ever have come. At the same time, I don’t buy the loony liberal – I was sat next to one such at Friday night dinner – argument that these kids are merely non-responsible victims who have no alternative to a life of crime. One could just as easily excuse Betar fans, following all the years of Palestinian terror, for their chants of “mavet le’Aravim” (death to Arabs).

While listening to working class parents eff and blind at their very young children in the Crown and Family Courts of England and Wales was a shocking experience, one exchange more than any other – between a young adult (white) and his barrister, attempting to put some meat in his imminent plea of mitigation (before sentence) – will always remain with me . . .

“What should I tell the judge that you intend to do with your life now?” enquired the Oxbridge-educated counsel.

The defendant looked up at the ceiling, the family brain cell clearly going into overdrive.

“Study, innit.”

“And where should I tell the judge that you are planning to study?”

The young man tilted his head back even further.

“College, innit.”

“And what do you wish to study?” the barrister triumphantly concluded, certain now that his carefully-honed questioning skills were about to reap their reward.

The client, however, merely glared at his advocate as though he were a complete imbecile.

“A course, innit!!”

[Apologies for the delay between posts . . . just moved apartment, innit! If you are enjoying melchett mike, please take a few minutes to donate a fiver or tenner to my Norwood charity bike ride (click here) . . . just 700 quid to go!]


26 responses to “Just scum, innit

  1. Regarding the lewd photo — my personal response would have been grades for effort, presentation and lack of awareness, or a comparison diatribe that expressed astonishment at such diminutive stature.

    Well, honestly. Penis pictures indeed. Feh.

    Glad to hear you’ve found a place, titchadesh!

  2. Your client & his self-portrait simply were ahead of his time. He’s no different than our “beloved” former Congressman, Anthony Weiner & all the rest of the idiots, both famous & anonymous, who now engage in sexting (which term, regrettably now is listed in the OED).

    More disturbing are the tears in the fabric of society which now seem to be global. This latest comes uncomfortably close to the distopian future in Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange.”

  3. Ah yes. Weiner’s weiner. How could I have forgotten.

    Ugh. *Shudder*

  4. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Just a load of yobs, using the cover to rob shops. Business as usual.

  5. Neil Greenbaum

    About 12 or 13 years ago I was walking back from the fireworks display at Copthall Stadium and some guy next to me accidentally bumped into a 4 or 5 year old boy from the kind of family you are describing.

    The boy told the gentleman in question to “piss off” for which he was immediately castigated by his horrified mother who shouted and I quote word for word “don’t you fucking swear”!

  6. When asked why I left England 10 years ago, one of my answers was that the UK was in terminal decline. My new compatriots would look at me as if I was odd. Militant unions had wrestled with the Labour government and put their members’ interests above that of a coherent society. Thatcher effectively destroyed union power, but Thatcherism made the individual paramount and communal responsibility diminished.
    During this time, there was an influx of social welfare dependants, both from within the UK and a new style immigrant. Neither group shared or admired the historic values of British society. Social welfare, instead of being a net for the most unfortunate, became a way of life for many. Barely literate 13 year old schoolgirls deliberately get pregnant because single mothers are provided with apartments and all living expenses. The UK is on the 3rd or 4th generation of this group of “feral youth”.
    Crime is endemic, there are extortionate indirect taxes, a non-working health system, incredible levels of theft, casual street violence, anti-car policies and a destroyed social welfare system.
    A sense of entitlement flows through British society and respect for others has disappeared whilst the economic meltdown exacerbated selfish feelings. The loss of morality is determinedly endorsed by the media elite such as the BBC and Guardian and it remains politically incorrect to admonish any of the population for their choice of life-style.
    Over the last 30 years, people have learnt about their rights, but forgotten their responsibilities. The rioters are simply thugs seeing an opportunity to steal stuff without working for it and having “fun” with their mates.
    The whole place is rotten through.

  7. Enjoyed your article; equal measures of sense and humour. And neatly balanced too. I think far too much ‘riot commentary’ has been as excessive as the rioting. And of course schadenfreude is a pleasure universally enjoyed – I expect Israel shivers with delight when its liberal detractors have to ‘stick the boot in’ for the sake of civility.

    I’ve come across a factor that the media seems to be ignorant of – its the ‘no go’ area in English Policing, which is entirely lacking in Scotland. Apparently these depressed communities are ‘no go’ to the bobby on the beat in England, whereas in Scotland we have Community Policing, which makes a virtue of having dedicated Police Officers matched up to difficult neighbourhoods. The idea being that when ‘it kicks off’ you know which doors to kick in. Good intelligence equals good policing – and crucially, no innocent collateral damage/victims – which obviously, only alienates the entire community. In Scotland our scummy neighbourhoods are crawling with police. Elsewhere, they are rarely seen.

    England however, with its abandoned ‘no go ghettos’, is the opposite. Only when there is trouble, do the coppers arrive and crack heads. Unfortunately, all too often, they crack too many heads, and often the wrong ones. That’s one sure fire way to start a riot.

    As for why riots continue? Opportunity. That’s it. Scum + Opportunity = Crime.

    Now that you’ve seen a paedo’s cock, I think that makes you a victim too. I think that’s what he was aiming for. I hope he got his just desserts.

    P.S. – Iron, as fair & balanced in your criticism as you are, the UK isn’t as bad as you paint. It’s really not that bad. The riots were an explosion of shittiness by shitty people, but equally, there was an equal and opposite backlash of good citizenship and stoic communal bravery.
    ‘The whole place is rotten’?
    No. A blemish, yes. But wholly rotten?
    Are you sure?

  8. Hmm … one wonders what dessert goes w/ “paedo’s cock?”

  9. A few weeks before the riots, I was shopping in Fenwicks with my children and took them to Harry Morgan’s cafe for something to eat. It was late, and so empty but for a Jewish mother and daughter (approximately 90 and 70 years old). As I ordered my food, I could hear a woman shouting at these old dearies. I turned to see a black woman in her 20’s with two children (aged approx. 6 & 8 years old). The black woman was shouting because the Jewish women had asked her children to quieten down. The verbal abuse was unbearable and I couldn’t stand there and allow this woman to continue her tirade. I asked the woman if she could please stop screaming, not only for her children’s sake, and mine too. This seemed to do the trick as she turned on her heels and left with her children. Within minutes she returned with her mother, who then started hurling exploitatives at me, before her daughter and grand-daughter pointed out that it was the old ladies who had offended them. Off they went to have another go at the Jewish ladies. I asked the waitress to call security. This was too much to bear, as I watched an old frail Jewish lady cower in her seat. Finally, they left. We sat down to eat, and consoled the Jewish women,but within 5 minutes, another black woman came along and wanted to join in. She brought a big burly white man to fight with the old Jewish couple. The young black girl, aged 8 was pointing to the old ladies as the ones who had dared ask her to quieten down. The children were, by all accounts, out of control. The white man,thank God, was Fenwicks Security. He turned to the black woman and asked her to leave. She left in the false satisfaction that these old woman would get their commupance. The Security Guard couldn’t apologize more for the behaviour of these women. The Jewish women were shaking in their shoes. I was too. My older children sat with their mouths open, in horror at what they had just witnessed.
    Call me old fashioned (at the age of 44), but the problem today is that there is no respect for anyone, irrespective of age, colour or creed. These black women were bullies. They just happened to be black on this occasion, but I am sure that there are white women with the same mentality. There is an air of entitlement and selfishness. The chips on their shoulders are insurmountable, and they will fight with anyone, irrespective of age, colour or creed. In light of this experience, it is all too easy to see how the rioting began. It is certainly an experience I will never forget.

  10. “The recent outrages clearly had nothing to do with race or colour; but, to my mind, with the decline amongst England’s poorest, least educated classes of religion …”

    Mike – Coming from you, my first reaction was to shout Eureka! and invite you for Friday night dinner (we could even have a chavruta together). Then I got to thinking…

    Somebody (G-d knows who) once said that “Organized religion and organized crime have much in common”. One of the saving graces of the recent riots was that they were essentially narcissistic and, as such, not that well organized.

    If the evangelists of this world got religion on board in these Godless households maybe next time, instead of looting Tottenham High Street’s T-Mobile store, they would gatecrash an Easy Jet plane into White Hart Lane during a Spurs v Man U match.

    On reflection, I think I prefer to take my British T-Mobile looters atheist, white or black, with two sugars. Inshallah, Innit?

  11. David Prager

    Funniest/saddest comment I heard on the whole issue was when a Sky News reporter asked a youngish looter (approx 14 years old) whether he had trouble sleeping at night due to pangs of guilt over what he’d stolen. The reply was something like “Nah, I dun have no problem, ‘cos I’m watchin’ stuff on me new plasma screen, innit”.

  12. Just posted this on the ABE Bookseller’s Forum, where debates have been raging over the London riots for two weeks or so.

  13. Chich would have loved the following, confirmation of what he always maintained about the “spasteec frummers” . . .

    Re Sky News, David, there was another scumbag interviewed, who, when asked why he was looting, replied “It is the fault of the Conservative government” . . . and then, looking at his friend, asked “It is Conservative, innit?”

    Welcome to melchett mike, innessmith. Re Paedocock, the CPS discontinued (before trial) due to the unreliability of the witnesses.

    And Iron, in your (otherwise admirable) explanation of the “terminal decline” of Blighty, you glaringly omit the fall of the great footballing empires of Shankly’s Liverpool and The Don (z”l)’s Leeds . . . and the rise – though never in their place – of a different type of Scum, managed by a sore loser with a stopwatch!

    PS Anyone else watching the Sky News coverage from Libya, and all those knuckle-draggers screaming “Allahu Akbar!”, and thinking – like me – that we’d be better off with Gaddafi?!

  14. I can’t believe that video. What a disgraceful chilul hashem.

  15. They’re ‘running’ away, Trollmamma! Even if they’re not, you can’t blame the pasty-faced tubbies for wanting a little bit of fun outta the house . . . ever seen their wives?! 😉

  16. True, they’re not looting or engaging in acts of mindless violence. But as they run, they are patently sniggering.

    Nothing about this picture is funny to me. Boosha ve’ cherpa.

  17. I beg to differ, TM. Watching the fat f*cks attempt to run is bloody hilarious!

  18. OK, I can see that. I just can’t help my hasbara monitor from working in overdrive. Le sigh…

  19. Hold it, Trollmama! (Vos far a Yiddeshe nommen is Trollmama?) If I remember correctly it was Friday night and the Charedim were on the police side of the “barricades” running from “missiles” being thrown from the other side. Had I been living in Stamford Hill I would also have gone to take a butchers and I cannot guarantee that at that early stage, caught up in the excitement of the moment, I would have been crying in despair – the frustration and anger normally only set in later.

    I detect an unfortunate bias in your tone which smacks of self-hatred. Charedim, like mythical Sabras fighting off the Arab hordes – and Bar Refaeli, are Jews. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives.

    It is time you calmed down and maybe went out and got yourself a Sheitl and a normal name like Rivky or Esti.

  20. Oh no, not self-hatred at all, I was merely cringe at the sight of Jews being identified with such a horrible act. Which on initial viewing, combined with the ambiguously accusatory title, they were. However, your explanation makes sense — I am a big enough person (inside and out) to admit when I’m wrong.

    Trollmamma is not Yiddisch, it’s fluent Debbish. Maybe you’re right — maybe for the sake of tradition and outward appearances, I should alter my nom-de-plume to one more smacking of the shtetls of the Pale of Settlement. Judging by my naturally blonde hair and ultra-fair skin, there’s probably a random Cossack somewhere in my genealogical mix.

    But then again, maybe not. 😎

  21. Trollmamma, I must apologise for my erstwhile Rosh Machane, whose worldview sometimes appears to be that anyone who doesn’t wash negel vasser or observe the laws of botul beshishim should be chayev misa (or, at least, not be invited for Shabbos dinner).

    And I certainly do not concur with his conclusion on this occasion, that any Jew who is embarrassed by the sight of overweight charedim bouncing across the streets of North London like Teletubbies-in-Tzitzis must be a relation of Gerald Kaufman!

  22. Mike — oh for a Like button… 😎

    Was that tzitzis as in ritual fringe? Or tzitzis as in “in need of a bro ?”

  23. Mike – I am showing this to your mother – Now!!!

  24. Mike, don’t take it personally, but it always cracks me up to watch the more recent olim zealously selling Israel to those of us left on the outside…..and then lecturing all the DIBs on the inside about how much better their home country was – the football, culture, service levels etc etc…..


  25. Though I am not quite sure how it relates to the above post, there is something – even a lot – in what you say, Dan. And I am always conscious of it when penning posts, even with a high jest content, critical of the natives.

    While they often annoy the hell out of me, however, and so many things are “much better” in Blighty, I have never thought – even for a second – of moving back. And it never ceases to amaze me how so many Anglo-Jews with a strong sense of their Jewishness, love of Israel, and who can afford to make aliyah – probably like you, in fact, Dan! – choose to stay in England.

    Though I do try not to lecture . . . 😉

  26. Police marksman vindicated over 3 years later:-

    Shades of James Stannage in Pat Condell
    ‘There are people on this planet who can only dream of your lack of opportunity you disgusting parasitical half wits.’

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