While in Italy, I had little time to keep up with the recent unpleasantness in England. But now that I'm home, I've had time to do some catching up, and was delighted to come across this wonderful diatribe by Peter Hitchens, who has been warning for years where the British welfare state was leading and here allows himself a well-deserved "I told you so":
"Bitter laughter is my main response to the events of the past week. You are surprised by what has happened? Why? I have been saying for years that it was coming, and why it was coming, and what could be done to stop it.
"I have said it in books, in articles, over lunch and dinner tables with politicians whose lips curled with lofty contempt.
*So yes, I am deeply sorry for the innocent and gentle people who have lost lives, homes, businesses and security. Heaven knows I have argued for years for the measures that might have saved them.
"But I am not really very sorry for the elite liberal Londoners who have suddenly discovered what millions of others have lived with for decades. The mass criminality in the big cities is merely a speeded-up and concentrated version of life on most large estates - fear, intimidation, cruelty, injustice, savagery towards the vulnerable and the different, a cold sneer turned towards any plea for pity, the awful realisation that when you call for help from the authorities, none will come.
"Just look and see how many shops are protected with steel shutters, how many homes have bars on their windows. This is not new.
"As the polluted flood (it is not a tide; it will not go back down again) of spite, greed and violence washes on to their very doorsteps, well-off and influential Left-wingers at last meet the filthy thing they have created, and which they ignored when it did not affect them personally..."
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Advocates of "socialism with a Christian face" should take special note of what Peter Hitchens has been saying, these many years, in all those books and articles he mentions.