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The simple, yet ignored truth behind the UK riots…

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posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 09:55 PM
In the past week the international media has exploded with the animalistic behaviour of those involved in rioting across the UK. Commentators everywhere are finding remarkable the blatant loss of social fabric, and blame the riots on everything from disenfranchised youth, austerity measures, unemployment, and even the overpayment of sporting personalities, racism and religion. The main assessment of the looting across London, however, is that it has nothing to do with a statement of politics, and everything to do with greed. There is one simple, underlying cause for the civil unrest throughout the streets which is being entirely ignored, with the actions being incorrectly dismissed as simply the work of yobs and hooliganism.

Only 15 months ago, in May 2009, the rorting of the expenses system for British politicians was leaked to the mainstream media. Although the politicians, terrified at the prospect of having their claims aired to the wider public, fell over themselves to make claims of ‘accounting oversights’ and ‘human error’, the published expense statements highlighted a deep and inherent culture of flagrant and gross misuse of taxpayers’ money for personal gain.

At what point does this swindling of public taxpayer funds for personal gain become looting? The overwhelming image of news reports with regards to the ransacking and looting is rioters tearing plasma and LCD televisions off the walls of stores before running off into the night. Can falsely claiming expense accounts really compare with looting a flatscreen television?

Claim: It is claimed the junior minister had a £450 widescreen television delivered to his family home in Wales and then claimed it on his allowance for his second home in London.

Claim: Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman is alleged to have claimed £1,851 for a rug imported from a New York antique centre and tried to claim more than £8,000 for a television.

It seems that so long as you pay for delivery, you can steal what you like. One man’s suit is another man’s hoodie.

Despite the expenses system limiting claims to those things which are essential for the parliamentary duties of politicians, some claimed expenses that are simply well beyond the lifestyle of the average person, yet were happy this lifestyle to be funded at the taxpayers’ expense.

Claim: Submitted claims for more than £2,000 to clear a moat around his Lincolnshire estate.

Claim: Claimed £30,000 in gardening expenses, including £1645 for a "duck island" in his pond.

Claim: Did not pay capital gains tax after making a profit of £600,000 from a house funded by the taxpayer. Lodged claims under second home allowance for his six-bedroom country house, complete with swimming pool and extensive grounds. He was reimbursed to the tune of £17,000 for servants' quarters.

It is important to acknowledge that the people making these claims find themselves amongst the wealthiest individuals in the country. They are already the owners of multiple properties, some with over 40 properties to their name. So surely people with this sort of financial worth can be expected to cover at least the basic expenses of daily life?

Claim: Expenses submitted by the Grimsby MP included 67p for Ginger Crinkle biscuits and 68p for Branston pickle.

Claim: The MP for Stockton-on-Tees claimed for a £5 donation that he made at a church service to commemorate the Battle of Britain.

Claim: The MP was reimbursed for a 59p box of matches, and two boxes of firelighters worth 99p each.

Perhaps what is even more of a slap in the face is what has become known as ‘flipping’, where MPs use taxpayer funds to extensively renovate properties designated as ‘second homes’, before switching this to their ‘primary home’ and using taxpayer funds to extensively renovate another property. Even more are claiming mortgage repayments for homes which have already been paid off in full.

Claim: The deputy speaker claimed £142,119 in second homes allowances since 2001, despite having no mortgage on the property.

Claim: The MP claimed nearly £13,000 for a mortgage he had already cleared. Between September 2005 and August 2006, the Labour backbencher claimed £1,175 a month in interest on his Westminster flat. However, Land Registry records show the mortgage was paid off in January 2004.

Claim: The former environment minister claimed £16,000 in mortgage interest payments on his home in his S#horpe constituency even though the mortgage had ended 18 months before.

But to take it even further, the MPs avoided the paying of stamp duties on properties sold (at inflated profit due to taxpayer-funded renovations) by lying on legal documents, claiming the property as their ‘primary home’.

Claim: The former Tory chief whip claimed £20,000 for renovations on his farmhouse under the second home allowance. However, he avoided paying thousands in capital gains tax by declaring to Revenue and Customs that it was his main home when selling it for £750,000.

In what is essentially a double dip, these wealthy MPs are using the assets of their wealth to desperately avoid contributing to the very same tax pool which they are looting to feather their own financial nests.

Surely it can’t get worse than this?

Claim: Claimed at least £180,000 in expenses by designating an empty flat, and previously an allegedly non-existent property as her main residence.

These are the type of claims that British MPs, those charged with the leadership and direction of the nation, are trying to explain away as ‘accounting oversights’.

But some found themselves lucky enough to have nothing to explain at all…

“Tony Blair's expenses were shredded 'by mistake' when they were the subject of a legal bid to have them published.”

Tony Blair’s catchphrase in leading up to the 1997 general election was “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”. The simple truth is that these politicians are looting taxpayer money, with the same ‘as long as we don’t get caught’ mentality as those involved in the London riots. The only difference is that those in the riots at least have the courage to stand up and admit what they’re doing, and not trying to hide between ‘accounting errors’ and ‘oversights’.

Overwhelmingly, if these were ‘honest accounting errors’ and ‘simple oversights’ why were so many politicians so desperately keen to pay the money back once the story broke? After all, this looting of taxpayer money was occurring as far back as 2001, yet the story broke 8 years later? The message – looting, fraud and stealing is OK as long as you don’t get caught. Which is exactly what the looters in the London riots are claiming.

More than half of the MPs have argued that all of their claims have been ‘within the rules of the expenses system’. So who is writing these rules that inherently favour those of the ruling class with the shameless excesses afforded to them using the money of taxpayers? The same money which is now being withdrawn from desperately needed social services due to ‘austerity measures’?

In no way am I condoning or justifying the animalistic behaviour that has been demonstrated throughout London streets over the past week. It has been nothing short of disgraceful, and has shown only the appalling lows of human nature and pack mentality. Indeed, far from the uprisings in recent months for political freedoms, these London riots, and the looting and ransacking which has occurred throughout, are fuelled by nothing more than opportunism and bare, basic greed.

But it is bordering on civil neglect for those in charge to simply dismiss this as a characteristic and trait inherent amongst ‘disenfranchised youth’. Those in positions of power have universally denigrated all they have seen, yet they are missing the point entirely.

To end, if I could ask David Cameron only one question, it would be:

“To what extent do you and your parliamentary colleagues accept that the culture of greed amongst those rioting in London, and the notion that stealing and looting is actively encouraged as long as you don’t get caught is a result of those elected into positions of leadership around the country displaying exactly those sentiments towards taxpayer money, month after month, year after year?”

If those elected as leaders of the nation can treat the public purse with such contempt and disregard, and display such ‘smash and grab’ tendencies towards taxpayer money, why should those in their constituencies feel any different? Politicians seem to so quickly point the finger at others in society for social problems. They point at footballers, musicians and movie stars. They point at single-parent families, at lazy youth. They blame race and religion (because deep down, they can always rely on the perceived failings of multiculturalism for public support). They blame social media. But at what point do they need to stop and look in the mirror? It seems that, more and more, society allows violent looting of communities, but only if it’s bankers or people in power, or simply people who wear a suit and tie, who are doing the looting.

On pondering this, I’ll leave you with the following list of just a small sample of the looting that has been endorsed and encouraged by those elected politicians for years…

Claim: Claimed £66,827 from the second home allowance - the maximum allowed - over three years towards the cost of his London flat, bought in 2001 before he was elected. Claims over the period included £2,100 for a flat screen television, £1,420 for a bathroom, £671 for a fireplace and £730 for a massage chair.

Claim: Taxpayers contributed almost £100,000 to help pay the mortgage on a £1.35m flat owned by the Northern Ireland secretary. The money went on mortgage interest payments and council tax between 2004 and 2008 for the flat. Married to a member of the Sainsbury family and worth an estimated £15m, Mr Woodward is the richest member of the cabinet.

Claim: Claimed £2,800 for a settee and £2,000 for a carpet to furnish his second home. Also accused of "flipping" his two houses in London and Manchester to make a profit. Mr Goggins also allowed a university friend to live rent-free in a home paid for by the taxpayer. Mr Goggins defended his household purchases by saying he liked to ‘live by decent standards’. "I do not lead an extravagant lifestyle, people should remember that we have to furnish our first home with our own money.”

Claim: The chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee claimed more than £75,000 to fund a second home in Westminster, even though his family home is just 12 miles away in Stanmore.

Claim: The MP for Brent North made a profit of almost £200,000 from a flat mortgaged and renovated with the help of taxpayers' cash.

Claim: The former Trade Secretary used the expenses system to claim more than £125,000 for the London flat owned by his partner.

Claim: The Labour MPs Alan and Ann Keen, who are married, have claimed £137,679 between them towards a central London flat despite the fact their family home is less than ten miles away.

Claim: The former cabinet minister claimed £31,000 of taxpayers' money for flood damage to her second home, even though she had a building insurance policy at the time.

Claim: Dr Gibson claimed for a flat which his daughter and her partner lived in rent-free. The Norwich North MP then sold it to them for less than he paid and well below market value.

Claim: Claimed £118,000 for expenses at his second home, including stereo equipment, redecoration and a pair of Kenyan carpets.

Claim: Claimed more than £10,000 for the redecoration of his London flat, which was just 11 miles from his main home, before selling it for a £30,000 profit. After buying a new property, he claimed £10,000 in stamp duty and other expenses incurred in the move and a further £15,000 for a new bathroom, kitchen, carpets, and appliances.

Claim: Claimed £24,877 in expenses to refurbish his second home in London. Kitchen units, lighting, bathroom items, carpets, tiles leather chairs and a marble table were all among the goods for which he claimed.

Claim: The Labour backbencher made claims for a bath mat, gardening equipment and more than £7,000 for property repairs at his home in Birmingham, labeling them as office costs.

Claim: The Staffordshire Moorlands MP claimed more than £35,000 for renovations to her second home, which included £20,000 for windows and £4,000 for pulling down and rebuilding a chimney.

Claim: Mr Cash used parliamentary allowances to pay about £15,000 in rent to his daughter in 2004-5 after nominating her London flat as his second home. He did this even though he owned a flat closer to Westminster in which his son was staying rent free.

Claim: Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin used £50,000 in expenses to pay his sister-in-law rent for the property he uses as his constituency home.

Claim: Shadow cabinet office minister Francis Maude claimed almost £35,000 in mortgage interest payments on a London flat that he bought, close to a house he already owned and then rented out.

Claim: The former shadow minister for local government claimed more than £2,000 of furniture for his second home in London but had it delivered to his parents' home in Wiltshire.

Claim: The South West Norfolk MP claimed over £1,800 in expenses to buy 215 trees and fencing to mark out the boundary of his house. Mr Fraser stated "I have been conscious whenever claiming that my costs must be wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred for the purposes of my parliamentary duties."

Claim: Sir Alan, the first MP to declare an interest in succeeding Michael Martin as Commons Speaker, claimed £117,000 in second homes allowances while his wife, Baroness Maddock, claimed £60,000 from the House of Lords for staying at the same address.

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:00 PM
Political.greed is the root.of most evil.

They.should pass that prevents politicians from using.taxpayer.monies.for personal.expenses.

Things have gotten way out of hand.

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:11 PM
i think it goes something like this:

once cultures are bereft of moral fortitude and the evidence leaks, people who were normally not covetous of others possessions, suddenly become overly concerned with what someone else has or doesn't have. the desire to have nice things use to be an enticement to do better in order to attain nice things, a sort of carrot on a stick. now it's used politically, to make people jealous of one another so that the few who did follow humane laws, are robbed of everything they have.

the focal point is entirely wrong, and it all started with the concept of handing free stuff to people who didn't feel they should work to achieve anything, that it should be given to them for free, especially if they haven't done a thing in their lives to earn it. but since the laws forbid taking (remember don't covet, don't steal, etc? they were replaced with the darwinian opposite equivalent of survival of the guy willing to do the most wrongs for no other reason than a sense of entitlement and jealousy of the guy who actually strived in humane ways to achieve what he does have.)

this is not to say that there shouldn't be safeguards in place to help the less fortunate, because that is also humane. where the problem lies is in those safeguards being abused in order to foment revolution and genocides of various kinds. in effect, when we moved away from following good moral foundations like the ten commandments, we lost the ability as a people to distinguish right from wrong, unless it's the other guy doing it (and then only if it's pointed out to us in an effort to create jealousy, covetousness and revolution)
edit on 14-8-2011 by undo because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:15 PM
First of all, I would ask that people stop referring to them as UK riots, they were only in England. Guilt by association is really hard to shake off.

But the OP is correct, if there is a need for greed going around then the finger of blame will surely come back to those MP's and MSP's that fiddled their expenses. Some of them should really be hanged but apparently that's not cool these days. I'd certainly have them out sweeping the streets for starters. Maybe then they can begin the process of seeking forgiveness.

As for a solution, I can't see one tbh.
edit on 14-8-2011 by Ramcheck because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:20 PM

Originally posted by Ramcheck
First of all, I would ask that people stop referring to them as UK riots, they were only in England. Guilt by association is really hard to shake off.

But the OP is correct, if there is a need for greed going around then the finger of blame will surely come back to those MP's and MSP's that fiddled their expenses. Some of them should really be hanged but apparently that's not cool these days. I'd certainly have them out sweeping the streets for starters. Maybe then they can begin the process of seeking forgiveness.

As for a solution, I can't see one tbh.
edit on 14-8-2011 by Ramcheck because: (no reason given)

greed is what happens when the people (which includes the leaders) take their eyes off god and put them on man's (the animal man, not the higher aspect of man, the spirit man) survival of the fittest scenarios. i blame darwin

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:23 PM
nice thread op....
the figures are digusting,the gap between the rich and the poor grows,the more the gap grows the angrier the poor get,in fact as this information becomes more obtainable people in gereral will get wise and all hell will break loose.......


posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:27 PM

Originally posted by hopenotfeariswhatweneed
nice thread op....
the figures are digusting,the gap between the rich and the poor grows,the more the gap grows the angrier the poor get,in fact as this information becomes more obtainable people in gereral will get wise and all hell will break loose.......


no, people in general will get jealous. the jealousy will turn into hate, and the hate will resolve into violence, murder and various other social ills. the real issue here is: who is teaching people that requiring vast sums of money (beyond what any one person would need) is desirable? and if you know it's not desirable, why be jealous of those who have it? i don't have alot, i would be embarrassed if i had as much as some of these people.

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:36 PM
The OP is right to identify material discrepencies as the root of the problem, but wrong to tie then in with politician's salaries and so forth.

People measure their happiness and material satisfaction in relationship to others. A millionare in a room full of billionares feels like the lowest of the low; meanwhile a staving man with two carrots is king on a desert island where everyone else has half a carrot.

Whether you think it's "fair" or not, in any society in which a small amount of people gather together a large amount of wealth, there will be resentment, and the more extreme the gap, the more extreme the resentment. In an age of materialistic nonstop media, too, the inequality is all the more glaring.

This is just the tip of the iceberg unless Capitalism can reform itself to deal with inequality and pathological relationships to materialism and consumption.

Ultimately the problem is with unfettered capitalism. No need to roll out communism -- just a more limited form of capitalism with protected borders and garanteed standard of living for all would be fine. It is, after all, the same system of limited capitalsm that brought the greatest prosperity in the history of man to the West from about 1950-1980.
edit on 14-8-2011 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:37 PM

there it is in a nutshell

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 10:42 PM

Originally posted by Never Despise
The OP is right to identify material discrepencies as the root of the problem, but wrong to tie then in with politician's salaries and so forth.

Whether you think it's "fair" or not, in any society in which a small amount of people gather together a large amount of wealth, there will be resentment, and the more extreme the gap, the more extreme the resentment. In an age of materialistic nonstop media, too, the inequality is all the more glaring.

I get what you're suggesting, but I'm not trying to talk about 'fairness' here... I was aiming more towards the politicians who have been particularly vitriolic towards the looters and scathing at their culture of 'greed' (which I totally agree with), but they seem to have short memories when it comes to their own examples of the same thing.

These politicians don't HAVE to smash a storefront window to steal a television. They just have it delivered and scoop the money out of the taxpayers' money. But let's face it - the result is the same thing, for all intents and purposes...

I'm saying that they need to stop blaming musicians, movie stars, football players and the like for spreading a culture of consumerism. As the leaders of the nation, are they not the archetypal role model?


posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:45 PM
reply to post by Rewey

Although I do not agree that this is the core reason for the public unrest in this country, I found your post to be very informative and well presented and so I applaud you on that alone.


Regards, Skellon.

posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by Rewey

totaly agree with everything you said. I find your comparrison of those looting in the streets to MP's looting taxpayer money spot on. some mp's went to jail though. it would be interesting to compare their jail terms with those of the rioters although there is also criminal damage and violence to be taken into account.

They tried to slip a law stating that MP's expenses were not subject to freedom of information act and attempted to hide it inside the planned heathrow extension bill. They knew what they were doing was wrong otherwise why at a time when they knew their expences were about to be made public did they try to block it? and why hide it like they did?

there is a good site below that shows those in the UK exactly what your MP is voting for so can be held accountible. i urge anyone in UK to check every so often and hold your MP to account.


also (im not racist, I am married to a foreigner) but I am questioning why so many rioters are obviously immigrants. This is not racist and Im not saying all but a large proportion in comparrioson to their numbers than compared to those born in the UK. I dont just mean black, i mean european. many crimminals have came to the UK as a safe haven since the Euro opened our borders...tragic. I have travelled europe with my job and can spot forigners quite well. Each region has certain characteristics. For example I have a new neighbour who i knew was polish before i even spoke to him. it seems very little are willing for fear of backlash to discuss this issue.

saying that many of the rioters were also members of UK gangs who would rob and steal anyway and used the unrest knowing the police would be too busy to catch them. They must have thought xmass came early this year.

Im Scottish and these riots so far are only happening to our English brothers so please do not call them UK riots. They have their problems and we have ours but theyre not the same. in fact we sent thousands of riot police south to help England deal with the Riots without knowing yet if they would spread to Scotland, if they did we would be in serious trouble for a day or two at least. it still could happen.

its tragic this has happened but there was a reason for the original protest that turned into the riot and the police have admited they may have misslead the public saying the chap that was shot fired upon police first. The police and government have to share the blame in this and i hope they have learned a serious lesson. we have the right to show our unrest and protest, but not to let the criminals loot and destroy.

There is talk now about shutting down social networks during times of unrest...I cant beleive this is happening in the UK after all the political parading on the moral high ground and condemming the same thing when it was happening in iran, Egypt and Syria.
edit on 14-8-2011 by Scott495 because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-8-2011 by Scott495 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 01:02 AM

One man’s suit is another man’s hoodie.

Best line ever.

The suits have been stealing forever. Not that I condone the hoodies. Violence is not the answer, but the suits do it under the guise of legitimacy. Very wrong.
edit on 15-8-2011 by Maluhia because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 02:33 AM
Very interesting thread OP - I like it.

It is funny how the politicians, Cameron mainly, standing there saying everyone will pay when they are looting of a kind.

I suppose my only comments on this are the looting was bad, but the murders, petrol bombing and attacking the police shows something more than just greed imo. Sure some of the looters (or theives) were greedy and look if everyone is running out of a shop with a TV you would possibly think at the time, why cant I have one and get caught up in it.

Is there a difference between looting and theft like a difference between murder and manslaughter? A pre meditated type of behaviour. Just like the premedidate politicians?


posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 03:00 AM
This deserves a website of it's own so everyone can have a look.

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 05:26 AM
Lets not forget the bankers and their greed which has screwed us royally.

Seems like capitalism is designed to reward greed.

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 05:43 AM
Excellent thread, you have hit the nail on the head, will anything change from now on, NO, they will still be doing it today one way or another, YES, which no doubt we will find out about in 10 years time, then another couple of them will go and have to do 3 months in an open jail kept away from the other prisoners getting preferential treatment, or am i wrong, am i missing something?

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 05:51 AM
Great work OP. Our culture of enriching the richest at the expense of the poorest has been growing since Thatcher read about Milton Friedman. The breakdown of society is the direct result of this and a whopping big elephant in the room that far too many people refuse to acknowledge.

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 06:45 AM
Very well put together thread - I personally was livid about how the whole MP
affair was handled - a few were "thrown to the wolves" in a bid to appease public anger - just not enough - but it's still happening and the whole civil service is guilty, using taxpayer funded credit cards for their own purposes.

I actually lodged a complaint with the Met police but was robbed off really...

At work at mo but will read this in more depth later and put a more elaborate response on.
Great thread.

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 06:55 AM
You have done a wonderful job of connecting the dots.When MI5 or MI6 come to your door,don't panic,they probably will want to offer you a job.

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