Friday, December 10, 2010

Streets of London


Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
And held loosely at his side
Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news.

And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman's mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn't care.

So how can you tell me you're lonely,
And say for you that the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through
the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind.

— Ralph McTell, "Streets of London"

When Ralph McTell wrote his song in the 1960s, the tragedies of London were still about individuals, because despite decades of socialism and quasi-socialism, it was still a society of individuals. Another 40 years have changed that. Now the tragedy on the streets of London is a tragedy of mobs.

I don't really care that much if Prince Charlie — that's Dhimmi Prince Charlie, not to be confused with Bonnie Prince Charlie, the "King Across the Water" in exile after 1745 — had his limousine window smashed, or the Duchess of Cornwall is crying her heart out at being photographed with her mouth gaping open like a tunnel. Sic semper dhimmitis.

It does bother me right down to the ground to see a loutish "protester" tearing the flag from the cenotaph in Whitehall that memorializes the soldiers who went to France in the Great War and never came back.

And to see another pissing on the base of the statue of Winston Churchill, without whom this moron would probably have no freedom to protest anything, because he would be living in Das Englische Reich.


An eyewitness to the madness, Paul Harris, writes in the Mail:
Every symbol of government or establishment became a target. Anything to hand became a missile. I saw wood, metal, paint-bombs and smoke canisters hurled at male and female officers.  Police horses were beaten with sticks and at least one iron bar when a section of fencing was used to repel a line of mounted officers.  One of them suffered a serious neck injury after being trampled when he fell from the saddle. At least two other officers were badly hurt.
I suppose these students (how many actual students? how many just standard issue yobs and hard leftists?) have a right to be upset at their tuition being tripled. Who isn't narked when they have to pay more for something? Most of us have to deal with it — higher health insurance co-pays, $3-a-gallon gas. We gripe; it's healthy. We don't, except for certain inner city residents, go anarchist and tear up our cities. We don't vent our frustration on symbols of those who sacrificed their lives on our behalf.

If these students had gathered quietly to express their feelings, they probably would have attracted sympathy, even from some who were inconvenienced by the demo. But the spoiled children of the welfare state have no concept of balancing the needs of society as a whole with the wishes of the individual. They think everyone is entitled to have their college education paid for by someone else. But Britain, for all its foolishness of many varieties, is at least making an effort to stop spending money it doesn't have and forever digging itself deeper into debt. More than you can say for the U.S. of A.


McTell's old sailor with his fading ribbons in "a world that doesn't care" would still have cared for civilization, even one heedless of him. He had known violence, but his part in it had been violence with an ultimate good purpose, on behalf of his fellow Britons. It is probably as well that his generation is mostly gone now, because they would look at the streets of London, and ask themselves — without self-pity, unlike the whingeing, destructive brats who descended yesterday on Whitehall and the West End — if their heroism had been useless.



Maria said...

I have zero sympathy for college students who complain about tuition hikes, as they are one of the worst groups for supporting unlimited mass immigration and open borders.

Your tution got tripled? Too freakin' bad. Maybe if you hadn't supported mass Third World immigration that have sucked so much of the native tax base, you wouldn't have had those tuition increases.

We need to make the leftists understand the connection between their actions and the consequences.

Rick Darby said...


Leftists consider themselves intellectuals, big thinkers, philosopher-kings. What matters is The Idea. Only concepts are real to them. That's why they're suckers for any cause decked out in elegant, "compassionate" language.

It takes a person endlessly dazzled by words to believe that rich countries can build civilization in Third World pest houses through aid money. Flying-doctors-without-frontiers in sub-Saharan Africa are high on their supposed humanitarianism, when what they really accomplish is helping overpopulation create more bellies to go hungry.

It took a conservative like Richard Weaver to write a book titled Ideas Have Consequences.

David said...

Several years ago, someone had a blog item about a British WWII veteran, in a nursing home, who fell down. The attendant refused to pick him up (even though the man was not particularly heavy), citing a rule that said employees could not be required to lift more than X pounds.

What particularly struck me was that the veteran had been a Gladiator pilot during the war...the Gladiator being an actual *biplane* which really had no business being in WWII air combat. But this pilot and his associates flew it against the ME-109 anyway, because that's what needed to be done.

And half a century later, a government employee insists on the letter of the rule and doesn't have enough common humanity to pick the man up off the floor.

DP111 said...


It is worth a looking at the students rioters from a slightly different perspective - in the comments section.