I think increasingly that a major twist in Britain’s slide into decline began in the 1980s because a number of liberal jurists – who cut their teeth in the so-called siwnging sixties – rose to power and did inestimable damage with their touchy-feely rulings. One such of these lefty lawyers was Lord Scarman, the Law Lord who paved the way for the disastrous Human Rights Act to be incorporated into British law. He also levered his way into a whole range of high-level commissions from 1977 onwards, including the one that looked into the Brixton riots of 1981, the 30th anniversary of which is being celebrated in true BBC-bash-the-police fashion today.

Said Scarman it was who ruled that the riots had been caused by one factor above all – our nasty, racist, stop-and-search police. The good lord did not call the police racists, it’s true, but it was an official opening of the floodgates that culminated in the McPherson ruling in which the Met was branded “institutionally racist”. In the backwash, the police have become increasingly hidebound, touchy-feely and – above all – “multi-cultural”.

I was a BBC reporter when the riots happened, and I was out on the streets of Brixton in the aftermath. I was aware that a lot of people were angry about the police, and in particular, the idea that they had prevented medical help getting to a young man who had been stabbed, the alleged trigger of the mayhem that ensued. But what I also observed was a strong feeling – among the law-abiding – that this one incident had been the pretext for factions within Brixton to go wild and act in a totally uncivilised and unwarranted fashion. Not only that, it was the culmination of such lawlessness. Liberals at the time pointed the finger of blame at the police, of course, but Margaret Thatcher – in the days when we had a true Conservative leader with vision and resolve – was equally adamant that what went on was simply a criminal riot – nothing more, nothing less. She discounted racism and unemployment.

Cue today. A BBC reporter called Ed Davey has written the official BBC version of the events of April 1981, and guess what? According to him, what went in the streets of Brixton was straightforwardly, one-dimensionally the result of crass police racism, and not just that – (a new one on me) they also deployed “torture”. The anniversary is mainly an excuse for him to marshal and give a platform for a raft of anti-police opinion, to warn that despite changes, they must never be allowed to rest on their laurels, and then to rehash yet again the idea that it was police brutality that was responsible for everything that went on in the streets of Brixton on those long ago nights.

There’s a begrudging acceptance at the end by Mr Davey that the police may have changed. But the account itself – overall – is simply an exercise in propaganda. I despair that the police have become so supine in the face of such opinion that they now accept (and told Mr Davey) that effectiveness in their job can be measured by the number of ethnic minority officers they have or how many community meetings they hold. If you doubt this, see also here.

I saw at first hand the horrors of the crimes of Brixton, and I heard the stories of lawlessness that the police then were dealing with. This re-writing of history by the BBC is dangerous, poisonous bunk. It is a national tragedy for which Scarman must take some of the blame. But the BBC are just as guilty – they only ever tell one side of the story.

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30 Responses to BBC HISTORY IS BUNK

  1. fred bloggs says:

    As a BRIXTON lad I don’t need to be what it was like to live there.  I am not going to rewrite history or create culteral myth, that is the long term preserve of government inquiries and of course the bBC.  I look at long term irrefutable facts,  That blacks are six times over represented in the prison system, the Trident team are for black shootings.  The real facts speak for themselves, create a myth and the problems are suppressed, but in the end they will always come to the surface and have to be addressed.

    The bBC does this country no favours.


    • john in cheshire says:

      Most of what happens is a result of genetics. See Japan after their horrendous disaster. Then see Haiti after theirs. Blacks are more prone to criminality and no amount of socialist dogma will change that. muslims hate everyone, that’s also apparent. We once had a normal civilised country – perhaps 60 years ago, but once the socialists took hold, they have taken everything we once hold to be precious and good, and turned it into vile, vicious and deceitful. They take gold and turn it into excrement.


      • RCE says:

        Sorry, John, but I don’t agree with your first point. I would say it’s got nothing to do with genetics but everything to do with culture, especially what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and how one can relate one’s actions to the welfare of others. But I agree that Socialism is destructive, not least because it alters the relationship between a person and society by removing individual responsibility.


      • hippiepooter says:

        Great point, I mean, look at Congressman Colonel Allen West.  He may be western civilisation’s only hope, but I aint voting for a black man. *DONT_KNOW*


  2. London Calling says:

    A friend who is a (white) teacher in a South London school tells me the “race card” is a regular feature in the classroom. Any effort to challenge bad behaviour by black kids is met with the threat of or accusation of racism. Scarman and Macpherson did young black kids no favours. I excpect they both live in quiet Oxfordshire villages, safe out of harms way.


  3. Demon1001 says:

    I saw a bit of an interview with Boris Johnson, who I am afraid to say came over as a bit confused.  He even called it something like “an unfortunate incident” which is a bit stupid to be honest. 

    Politicians from all sides are caught in this trap.  If they say nothing then they are accused of not helping those in need, if they say the Politically Correct (i.e. anti-Police) mantra then they are accused of dishonesty and encouraging criminal behaviour, if they say the truth of what happened they get accused of racism.  But if they all agreed to tell the truth (not liberals in other words) the people might be helped in their struggle against the criminals.


  4. RCE says:

    The effectiveness (or otherwise) of post-Scarman, post-Macpherson policing in London can now be viewed through the lens of history. The only possible explanation is that the Beeboids think all the murders, shootings and stabbings are a price worth paying for getting one over the Metropolitan Police.

    I can’t believe they get away with it; but they do.


    • hippiepooter says:

      If our once great Police force had had the support they deserved from politicians and public alike, we wouldn’t be in this mess.  Unfortunately the vast majority have proved too cowed and apathetic in the face of the aggression and malice of our enemy within.


  5. Umbongo says:

    Ed quotes that tribune of the (non-white) people, Cindy Butts, who is always a reliable source of chippy victimology.  I first noticed her when she was chosen to head the inquiry into faith and race in the Met in 2009.  At the time this was picked up on the Ambush Predator blog here  As I noted then – and it hasn’t changed – you will gather from her boigraphy here it’s highly doubtful that Cindy Butts has done a day’s work outside the race-hustling industry since she graduated from SOAS. The biography also notes that one of her interests, as a member of the MPA, is in “Citizen Focused policing”. I would also not be surprised to learn that this interest of hers does not extend to strenuous (or any?) efforts on behalf of any “citizens” who happen to be white.

    BTW Boris – a “Conservative” apparently – has bought in fully to the race-hustling agenda approved by the BBC.  Mind you if he wants more than three ethnic votes this is not an unwise personal political strategy even if it is manifestly short-sighted in terms of the welfare of the nation at large.


  6. john in cheshire says:

    Sorry, Off topic, I know, but does anyone listen to what was radio 7, now radio 4 extra. And if so, have you noticed how leftwing it has now morphed into? A few months ago, when it was bbc7, just before the 6am childrens slot, there was a propaganda slot for the Fabian society. Now, as bbc4 extra, it is populate with all the usual socialist dross that the rest of the bbc is polluted by. I also, thought that the asian network was going to be axed; now it seems it isn’t. And  bbc 6 is not for the indigenous population – so why must we pay for it?


  7. John Anderson says:

    I lived for a while in Brixton in 1946-48,  long before its population changed radically.

    I happened to sell a car to a guy from Brixton in 1977,  a pleasant older Jamaican  who worked as a chef at Lewisham Hospital.  I agreed to bring the car over to show him,  and he paid cash.  He then offered to drive me to Brixton Station nearby.  I said I could walk.  He insisted it was too dangerous to be walking the streets of Brixton as it was now dark.   As he drove to the station,  he pointed out the small gangs of youths who might have mugged me.   He said the streets were seethinbg with angry young men,  mostly unemployed or involved in criminality,  and how ashamed he was that the willing Cartibbean workers who came over to Britain a couple of decades earlier had been let down by the way so many of the young Anglo-Caribbeans behaved.  He described Brixton as a tinder-box.

    I mentioned this a few days later to a senior civil servant who worked on home affairs policy in the Cabinet Office.  He seemed to regard me as a dangerous racist for mentioning the state of affairs on the streets 4 or 5 miles from Whitehall,  even when I said I was retailing the views of a local black resident.

    A couple of years later Brixton went up in flames.   I bumped into the senior civil servant.  He was now Sir William McI,  not just William McI.  By that time I had left the civil service in despair at the stupidity and complacence of so many comfortable senior people who knew not a jot about the lives of ordinary Brits – and just engaged in one scheme after another to waste public money.


    • hippiepooter says:

      One panorama documentary I remember watching when I was about 8 or 9, 35 odd years ago, examined claims that black youths suffered high unemployment because of “racism”.  
      I think for the first 20 minutes or so we were treated to some appalling statistics that seemed to back up what the morose, put upon sounding black youths were saying about not having jobs because of racism.  
      The Panorama team then canvassed the views of those at a West Indian working men’s club.  A series of middle aged to old gentlemen, in marvellously rich West Indian accents, then propounded the views:-  
      “Dem dont want to work, dem’s laazeee.  Dem just want to get up late and smoke weed all day.  I wouldn’t employ them myself”.  
      Henceonin I didn’t take one word these ‘hard done by’ black youths said seriously.  It was just fascinating and amusing to watch the whoppers that they were telling, and the apparant gullibility of the journalist listening to them.  
      As I mentioned previously in the post on Sue Macgregor’s Marxism 101 trip down memory lane,  I was part of an ‘away-day’ anarchist outing when Brixton kicked off and got arrested at the following day’s rioting.  My abiding memory of the proceedings was a grudging respect for the restraint and good humour of the Police.  
      After changing my views during a 3 year sentence following a gentleman’s disagreement with the Sussex Constabulary I removed the self-imposed wool pulled over my eyes and saw the Brixton riots for what they really were: outright hooliganism.  
      When chatting with a black guy from London on my work detail once he expressed pride at the uprising of downtrodden black youth that was the Brixton riots.  I told him I’d got arrested there and he was talking crap, it was out and out hooliganism.  He smiled and said, ‘Well, not the first night maybe, but after, yeah’.  
      When all the copycat riots kicked off, I remember watching Newsnight or something, with a BBC reporter traipsing around some Liverpool estate gauging the feelings of ‘da black yoot’ about the rioting, why it was taking place.  I distinctly remember one half-caste scouse kid being asked this question and him reeling off ‘Unemployment, oppression’ and the reporter nodding sagely.  Even though I was an anarchist I could see that this kid was just saying what he’d been seeing ream loads of journalists saying were the reasons for the riots ad nauseum over preceding nights.

      As an anarchist I watched the coverage somewhat bemused that most of the broadcast journalists seemed as anti-authority as I was, to the point of all but giving open support to the rioting that had taken place.


  8. Natsman says:

    It must be a different Brixton, then, to the one I remember, with flames licking around my riot shield, and bricks and chunks of masonry raining down from above….


  9. Richard says:

    It’s all been done before … “Very few things happen at the right time and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects.”
    Herodotus, c 450BC


  10. Bil says:

    My best man was from Brixton and said the riots were just seen as ‘fun’.

    My mother is from Toxteth and my relatives said the riots were just seen as ‘fun’.

    One of my best friends brothers was a policeman in the front line during Toxteth, he said the rioters were doing it for ‘fun’.

    Strange that the bBC haven’t found anyone that contradicts their view don’t you think.


  11. cjhartnett says:

    Ah-the Brixton “uprising” so Lambeth are calling it in their current glorification.
    No doubt Broadwater Farm will be similarly celebrated in 2015- the Cindy Butts, Liz Bellios types will not have too much to say on the death of Keith Blakelock though I`m sure!
    I was in Moss Side Manchester at the time of the riots-great fun for the useless student idiot that I was back then, but when all those great shops on Princess Road were gutted-with traders seeling good stuff as cheaply as they could for those who had supported them for years were destroyed-I saw no problem.
    I did notice though that the drinking dens,the pubs and the betting shops were spared-and that was the start of the end of my socialist pretensions. The workers(actually none of these thugs and gasbags worked at all!) were just stupid and easily duped by the blatherers like Cindy Butts and Bernie Grant.
    Since then these bien pensants have become our media ciphers and politicians. Useful idiots like Scarman were simply the first to sit too close to the spliff suckers, and we now live with the hell that these fools wish for us-but somehow don`t need to experience themselves in Gloucestershire this month. Hopefully the Dimblebys, Paxmans and Woolfs will get a taste sometime whilst it still matters!


  12. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Well said, Robin.  Another sad result of this is that the police are being slowly splintered into factions because of this as well.  Anyone who read police blogs will have seen a trend of policemen who work the streets feeling like it’s them against senior management and APCO.  The people who deal with reality on a daily basis feel that the people who make the real decisions and hand down rules and targets from on high are just as disconnected from reality as the civil servants you describe.  Patronizing diversity and racism courses contribute to the problem.

    It’s not a healthy combination for society, especially when nearly all the police on the streets seem to agree 100% with the cause of anti-cuts/pro-union protesters.


  13. dave s says:

    I wonder what percentage of the current population of that part of London is indigenous white and of the white population what percentage are families with children. I suspect these figures are nearly impossible to obtain and certainly not likely to be openly discussed on the BBC and in the media. London is being abandoned by indigenous families. Anecdotal evidence is very strong and just ask around in the country towns and suburbs.Ask a family man or woman why they have left and if they feel confident in who they are talking to you will get a straight answer Nobody in authority wants to talk about it and given the BBC’s attitude I can guess why.
    AS goes London so goes other cities and most of us know which ones we are talking about.
    Raise this and the cry of “racist ” immediately is heard. But it is reality and in the end reality cannot be denied.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Maggie Thatcher forced us to face up to reality and saved our great nation from point of crisis.  She once said if there was one thing she wanted to be remembered for it is “Speaking the truth to the British people”.

      There’s no mainstream politician speaking truth to the British people today.  There is no beacon of hope that was Maggie Thatcher and Churchill before her.  The light of England that has burned brightly for a thousand years is at the point of being snuffed out for good.


    • London Calling says:

      London? What London? Well we have Camden and Islington (Greater Somalia), South London (New Africa), Kingsbury and Wembley (the wider Indian subcontinent,) The East End … of Bangladesh, Tottenham ( Albania meets Kosovo) Green Lanes (the overseas Turkish Empire). New Malden (aka Western Korea), Ealing and Acton – twinned with Warsaw,  and the and so it goes.

      Wait, there is Beeboidland! White British Liberal West London! Stretching from Barnes to Teddington, house prices to match the average QC’s or BBC senior Executives quarter million a year  salary.

      London is Lost. Poor Boris, having to court all this Blair endorsed elimination of England. Of course he and his mates were all Scottish.


      • George R says:

        Rod Liddle puts BBC bias this way (‘Sunday Times Magazine’,paywall, last Sunday):

        “Its bias is that of London’s: a sort of mimsy faux-leftism based on economic self-interest. We are ruled by the ideas of London – or, to be more accurate, a certain affluent and arrogant part of it. A gilded crescent that stretches from Ealing in the west to Hoxton in the east, south to Dulwich, Greenwich and Wimbledon, and north to Hampstead Garden Suburb. From within this place eminate all the shibboleths of Politically Correct Britain, and its epic sense of rectitude that no one in public life dare challenge.

        “Evangelistically secular, socially ultra-liberal and unwilling to allow even the mildest challenge to its political hegemony.”


  14. Liquid says:

    I was a teacher in Manchester during our own copycat Brixton riots (it was nice and warm out that year) -the left-liberal press and the BBC said it was all down to resentment at unemployment (Thatcher of course) frustration etc etc.
    Funny that all the kids from Moss Side at that time were suddenly not in school -they’d been having fun at the riots.

    Kids arent aware of unemployment – especially when their natural situation is to be below working age.

    Seems like the touchy-feely right-on reporting of the time has become fact and then officialhistory!


  15. jarwill101 says:

    A lot of great posts here. Posts by adults who tell it like it is, not the children of the Left & the BBC who believe in fairy tales. Were the Brixton riots an ‘uprising’ over the price of clothes or electrical goods? Because a hell of a lot of consumer goods left the looted shops in solidarity with the rioters. After day one, the ‘uprising’ descended into wanton wickedness – it really is as straightforward as that. That might stick in the craw of the cultural Marxist revisionists, but it’s an established fact well-known to the law abiding people of Brixton, black or white.
    At the time, I was friendly with 2 police officers; affable, stable men who didn’t need a ‘diversity directorate’ to tell them to treat everybody with civility & fairness. They said the atmosphere in Brixton was ‘murderous.’ I think Natsman, a contributor on this site, was a serving officer at the time, in an earlier post he painted the true picture. It was something out of Dante’s inferno. I know one thing, ‘uprisings’ like Brixton are nothing to celebrate. We’re counting the cost 30 years on.


  16. Liquid says:

    Thieving and murderous behaviour cannot be condoned – or sanctified


  17. Olivia B says:

    This is pure left-wing nonsense. If you talk to people living in the area at the time, you’d know it was a chance to loot and battle the police, just as football hooligans were doing all round the country at the same time. There are still regularly riots on the streets, which are completely ignored by the BBC and all but local media. However, its Northern Ireland and left-wing doctrine says its all peaceful.


  18. cjhartnett says:

    So Evan Davis gets the chance to slum it with Linton(Ing`lan is a Bitch!) Kwesi Johnson as the Toady Show crawled to its useless asthmatic end today.
    As these two lions of the Tribune shared a hookah pipe-none of this batty boy controversy here please-you`d have thought that Johnson was an ex-Labour Minister,given the brown nosing that Evan performed for Linton.
    No facts please about WHO commits the crimes that stop and search is meant to “challenge”-no mention either about the “ethnic origins” of terrorists, girl grooming kebab shop workers and the like at all. Clearly it is all our perception of crime that`s the problem. Crime is colour blind-and indeed whitey is the cause anyway because we all tortured the MauMau did we not?
    So Linton can talk ganja garbage on the State Cipher and we are expected to just listen and believe. If “Ingaland is a Bitch” then we know the Beeb is its pimp. Wonder why Linton and his spliff sucking chums never chose to keep it real and try their luck in getting some weed in funky Kingston-instead of getting green room herb cakes at our expense?


  19. sue says:

    They were at it again on Today.
    Linton Kwesi Johnson thinks the stop’n’search statistics are still unfair to the area’s black youth, but at least the BBC gave the police spokesman a fair crack of the whip this time.


  20. Foxy Brown says:

    I cannot tell you how utterly ashamed I am that the riots of 30 years ago are being “celebrated” as an “uprising”.  

    BBC delenda est.