Miliband criticises Cameron plan

2011-08-15 11:23

London - Britain faces a battle to find its moral compass, Prime Minister David Cameron declared on Monday, following four days of riots that left five people dead, thousands facing charges for violence and theft, and at least £200m in property losses.

Cameron said senior ministers of his 2-year-old coalition government would spend the next few weeks formulating new policies designed to reverse what he described as a country being dragged down by many citizens' laziness, irresponsibility and selfishness. He said "the responsible majority" was demanding that the government build a stronger society.

"This has been a wake-up call for our country. Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face," Cameron said in his prepared remarks for a planned Monday morning speech. "Do we have the determination to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations?"

In a rival speech, main opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband planned to criticise Cameron's plans and demand that lawmakers focus less on blame, and more on delivering better opportunities for young people.

"The usual politicians' instinct - announce a raft of new legislation, appoint a new adviser, wheel out your old prejudices and shallow answers - will not meet the public's demand," Miliband said in his own prepared remarks.

Miliband was scheduled to speak at his former school in Camden, north London, half a block away from the scene of intense rioting on Monday night, when shops were attacked and police came under attack.

Racial unity

"Does it matter whether young people feel they have a future, a chance of a better life? Yes it does," he said in the prepared text. "Are issues like education and skills, youth services, youth unemployment important for diverting people away from gangs, criminality, the wrong path? Yes. They matter."

The leaders were speaking hours after several hundred residents of Birmingham, England's second-largest city, rallied for peace and racial unity in memory of three Pakistani men run over and killed during last week's riots there. Asian, black and white locals joined hand in hand with police officers during the ceremony.

Birmingham police also charged a third suspect with the murders of Haroon Jahan, aged 20, and brothers Shazad Ali, aged 30, and Abdul Musavir, aged 31.

The three men died on Wednesday after a car struck them at high speed as they stood guard outside a row of South Asian-owned shops in west Birmingham, 190km northwest of London.

The attack raised fears of gang warfare between the area's South Asian and Caribbean gangs because residents identified the car-borne assailants as black. But public appeals for no retaliation, particularly from one victim's father, Tariq Jahan, have helped to keep passions at bay.

Police said Adam King, aged 23, would be arraigned on Monday at Birmingham Magistrates Court on three counts of murder. Two others - 26-year-old Joshua Donald and a 17-year-old whose name was withheld because of his age - were arraigned on Sunday on the same charges.

Police criticised

Speaking at Sunday's rally in a public park near the scene of the killings, Jahan told the crowd "that the three boys did not die in vain. They died for this community". He and several other speakers stood beneath a banner that read "One City, One Voice for Peace".

England's gang-fuelled rioting began in London on August 6 and spread to several other English cities. Police were criticised for responding too slowly, particularly in London, but eventually deployed huge numbers of officers at riot zones to quell the mayhem.

Police said on Monday that they had uncovered a cache of weapons and hidden loot buried in flower beds in London's Camden district.

Knives, a hammer, metal bars and two cash registers - both stolen from a nearby cycle store - were found after officers combed the area with metal detectors.

"This is an amazing result," said Detective Chief Inspector Eric Phelps. "Several knives which could have been used as lethal weapons have been taken off the streets."

The Association of British Insurers has estimated the cost from wrecked property and stolen property at £200m, based on submissions so far from insurance brokers, but expects the total to keep rising.

Police are still questioning two men over the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man during riots in Croydon, south London. And police said on Sunday night they arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of fatally beating a 68-year-old man who had tried to put out a fire set by rioters in Ealing, west London.

Britain's justice ministry says more than 1 200 people have been charged so far with riot-related offenses. Several courts heard cases on Sunday for the first time in modern history to try to reduce the backlog of cases. Two judges also worked full time on Sunday in authorising search warrants for police raiding homes of suspected rioters in a hunt to reclaim stolen goods.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 11:33

    Ed Milliband has a nerve... Labour has most responsibility for creating the social monster and now criticises any attempt to fix it!

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 12:34

      A couple of years ago it emerged that Labour was actively engaging in social engineering. Not a rumour, but leaked official documents. They were deliberately letting in millions of Poles, Asians and Africans, because they wanted to create a multicultural society whether the locals liked it or not. They also knew that they were on their way out in 2010 (notice how long the elections were stalled!) and if it failed, "they know they're on their way out so when the Tories try to fix it, Labour can accuse the Conservatives of racism and get back into power". This is what would be called "high treason". But the Tower of London remains empty...

      Badballie - 2011-08-15 13:03

      Agreed, 100%. The labour parties policy since 1948 is to import cheaper non white immigrants at the expense of native inhabitants, the continues belief and support of the white middle class in continuing to support the labour party has done nothing other than to sound their own death knell.

      Brigitte - 2011-08-15 13:14

      Absolutely - dear old Ed would NEVER admit that Labour policies have anything to do with the decline! Why can't they stand up like real men and accept responsibility for previous Labour Party polcies? They should change their rosette to Yellow.....

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 13:19

      At one stage a couple of years ago, the policies were laughable. Someone we knew who moved from SA to the UK (white) had no problems at all at the Durban consulate, while SA darker people were made to fill in a mountain of forms and were given a hard time. Meanwhile, my wife is from SA and when we were in Holland, she had to fill in a mountain of paperwork to visit the UK - when she went to the consulate in Amsterdam the chap said "what did you do all this for" and instantly gave her a visa. And I've heard stories from UK expats living in Pakistan that the consulate there was "handing out visas to Pakistanis like candy"... And just for good measure - if you're British, living in SA, wanting to return with a wife from SA - you need to have around R25k in the bank sitting there for 6 months, paperwork, visas, etc. Visa costs R8000. If you do the exact same procedure while based in the EU, there are NO requirements. And the visa is free. For the same thing/situation. Huh?! Different people, different policies...

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 13:22

      @ Brigitte - it's been said too that Labour provided such great benefits to the bums because that secures them votes... because those bums know full well that the Tories may well start reducing benefits, or actually requiring them to work... so, by paying the underclass nicely, they all sit pretty and will vote Labour - that's a million guaranteed votes before you even start counting!

      jester - 2011-08-15 15:36

      Matt, that doesn't seem right... I have an EU passport. My husband got a family visa easy peasy, took 2 days, no money in bank account :) and now has residency in UK. Why would you have any problems? Makes no sense!

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 15:53

      @ Jester - serious though! We returned to Europe briefly; we planned on going to the UK but had to cancel due to costs and went to Holland instead. The wife was initially going to be charged R3500 for a family settlement visa, from 1 April 2007 the costs went up to R7500, plus R500 for courier. Then they said we must have R25,000 in the bank for 6 months (because SAs would get money wired to them, print the statement, give it as proof and wire the money back!). So we went to The Netherlands, where I grew up, and we paid R35 for my wife's Schengen visa and I think 50 euros for residency when we were in Holland. From Holland, applying for a 6-month initial visa for the wife, the official requirements were a ton of paper, literally an inch think - when she went to Amsterdam for her "interview", they laughed at the paperwork and gave her the visa without looking at it ... Still, we won't be going back to the UK anytime soon... as I often say, I'd only go back to do a job in Yorkshire for 40-50k - there's more chance of the Lions winning the Currie Cup than that happening ;-)

      jester - 2011-08-15 16:04

      Matt, That's really harsh! I don't trust those visa agencies in SA one bit. We got all of ours sorted in 2 days like I said and FOR FREE and that was in 2008. Seriously dodgy! About the Lions, don't speak too soon, miracles can happen :)

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 16:13

      Lol... yeah but honestly I'd only go back to a very well-paying job in Yorkshire, I wouldn't go anywhere else in the UK. And that's only because I'm originally from there... I could handle a nice old house in the Dales, where I could climb up the hill in a long coat and flat cap to shout "ee bah gum"... otherwise, life in SA is just dandy :-) (besides, I was surprised to see how much Yorkshire looks like parts of the Natal Midlands, or the drive from PMB to Greytown...

      Wonderboy - 2011-08-15 16:16

      @ Jester. A hell of a lot has changed since 2008. One (SA citizen) now needs a "transit visa" just to pass through Heathrow, costing the same as a normal visa. Matt's story seems about right.

      jester - 2011-08-15 16:20

      Seems I need to go check out Yorkshire. We stay in Oxfordshire (nose in air), it would be nice to go see a hill :)

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 16:24

      @ Wonderboy - the UK laws are becoming crazy. An SA Citizen needs a visa costing R1000 to visit the UK on vacation. But, if they can show they've been before - by the stamp in their passport - they don't need a visa. So: 1) If you're a terrorist who's been to the UK before 2008, you don't need a visa. Oh where is the logic in this... 2) My wife had her passport lost by the authorities in the UK (had to get a travel certificate from SA House on the day that we flew back) - so if she wanted to go to the UK now, she'd have to pay for a visa because she can't show the sticker in her passport which THEY lost ...

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 16:28

      @ Jester - yes you should ;-) The cities in Yorkshire aren't very nice at all, but oh the Dales ... if you've watched "Last Of The Summer Wine" - yup, that's the Dales... 300+ year old walls built without any concrete (a dying art), the ancient villages with a few hundred residents, the hills (sometimes coming dangerously close to being mountains, like Pen-y-Ghent)... the North is definitely prettier than the South. Just has no jobs hence everyone moves Down South...

      Muffen Man - 2011-08-15 16:46

      @Matt, that's not the case anymore, that was just a transition stage regarding the stamp (for a year if I remember correctly), so as of now, if you travelling on a South African passport into the UK, you'll need a visa regardless if you have a stamp.

      Muffen Man - 2011-08-15 17:02

      @Matt, As a partner of an European citizen all vistor visas should be issued free of charge (Both Schengen and UK Vistor visa)?

  • letsee - 2011-08-15 11:55

    Oh Miliband, Miliband, Miliband... An oposition party doesn't have to oppose everything a government does. In fact you have made no suggestions and have no clue of what to do. What you need is South African Julius Malema. He tells what it is by its first name.

  • bryan hurd - 2011-08-15 12:15

    The real English should rule England not two multimillionaire parties bot equally rotten,the millibands are from marxist eastern European stock,the other ,is he a Scot,check his roots ..ENGLAND FOR THE ENGLISH.

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 12:31

      @ Bryan - any relation to former Tory Douglas Hurd? Lol...

  • michaelp1 - 2011-08-15 12:51

    Here we go again. Everything and everyone to blame EXCEPT the looters. These flipping Liberals caused this mess - and now blaming Cameron!!!! Political expedience is what it's called. You go Prime Minister Cameron - Ed Milliband doesn't like hearing the truth.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 14:00

    Hang on - the article says the coalition is 2 years old. I thought it was only elected in May 2010?

  • beicime - 2011-08-15 16:07

    It's nice to be in the opposition and talk rubbish, state the obvious and have no responsibility for the outcome. The problem is probably too complex for the British to understand.

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-15 16:13

      And yet we can see the problem a mile off... or 5885 miles to be exact ;-)

  • slg - 2011-08-15 17:11

    "Laziness, irresponsibility and selfishness". If this is the sum-total of his perspective, I have to agree with Milliband who is saying, "Does it matter whether young people feel they have a future, a chance of a better life? Yes it does. Are issues like education and skills, youth services, youth unemployment important for diverting people away from gangs, criminality, the wrong path? Yes. They matter. The lack of depth and understanding in Cameron's view is astounding. It will be interesting to see how Briton responds.

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