melaniephillips.com 10 August 2011
By Melanie Phillips
An illuminating report on BBC Radio Fours Today programme (0810) this morning said it all about the British riots. Some teenage thugs who were hooding up to go looting were askedwhy they were doing it. Maybe they couldnt afford the trainers and other goods they were setting out to steal? Yeah, we can afford them, came the reply; but since the goods were there to be robbed, it was an opportunity that couldnt be passed up. What about their parents? Did they know where they were? Yeah, came the reply, but the most they do is shout at me. And as for the police, well the worse that can happen is that Ill get as ASBO (antisocial behaviour order).
Some of the rioters and looters are as young as eight or nine. I then listened to a spokesman for Manchester city council ppealing to parents to ensure that their children are not on the streets tonight. Why cant people see what is staring us all in the face? We are not up against merely feral children. We are up against feral parents. Of course the parents know their children are out on the streets. Of course they see them staggering back with what they have looted. But either they are too drunk or drugged or otherwise out of it to care, or they are helping themselves to the proceeds too.
The parents are the problem; as are, almost certainly, their parents and their parents too. Not that any of them necessarily even know who their parents, in the plural, are. For the single most crucial factor behind all this mayhem, behind the total breakdown of any control or self-control amongst the rampaging gangs of children and teenagers who are rioting, burning, robbing, stealing, attacking and murdering, is the willed removal of the most important thing that socialises children and turns them from feral savages into civilised citizens: a fully committed, hands-on, there-every-day father.
As I have been writing for more than twenty years, a society that embraces mass fatherlessness is a society that is going off the edge of a cliff. There are whole areas of Britain (white as well as black) where committed fathers are a wholly unknown phenomenon; where serial generations are being brought up only by mothers, through whose houses pass transitory males by whom these girls and women have yet more children, and whose own daughters inevitably repeat the pattern of lone and utterly dysfunctional parenting.
The result is fatherless boys who are suffused by an existential rage and desperate psychic need, who take out the damage done to them by lashing out from infancy at the world around them. And all this is effectively condoned, rewarded and encouraged by the welfare state which conceives of need solely in terms of absence of money, and which accordingly subsidises lone parenthood and the destructive behaviour that welfare atherlessness brings in its train.
And the unutterably wicked thing is that this catastrophe has been deliberately willed upon Britain by left-wing politicians, well-heeled media feminists and other middle-class ideologues who wrap their utter contempt for the poor in the mantle of progressive non-judgmentalism, witlessly prattling about poverty and social justice and hurling execrations at anyone who suggests that lone parenthood is in general a catastrophe for children (and a disaster for women) and that the state should stop subsidising family and social breakdown and start encouraging married parenthood instead.
What we have seen unfolding before our horrified gaze over the past four days in Britain is the true legacy of Tony Blairs shattering defeat, in the two years or so after he came to power in 1997, at the hands of the ultra-feminists and cultural Marxist wreckers in his Cabinet and party who were determined above all to destroy the traditional nuclear family and institute the sexual free-for-all that exists today. Blair stood virtually alone against Gramscis acolytes, and lost.
One of them, Harriet Harman, was on TV last night preposterously blaming cuts in educational allowances, of all things, for the fact that teenagers and pre-pubescent children have been torching and looting shops and robbing and murdering people in the streets. It was Harman, of course, who was one of the principal forces behind the promotion of lone parenthood and the marginalisation of fathers as the only progressive position. Yet here she is, faced with the Hobbesian scenes of violent anarchy which are the result of those policies, still parroting the same old claptrap and still totally incapable of acknowledging the terrible damage to individuals, social destruction and de-civilisation she has helped wreak.
Add to this the associated breakdown in education, criminal justice and policing that have also taken place over the past three decades as a result of the same long march through the institutions, and you have the explanation of what the British riots actually signify: a society whose intelligentsia has been bent for three decades on social suicide -- and which, having been the first into the Enlightenment, is now, as we can see from the armies of ants torching and looting British cities, leading the way out.