Lib Dems Revolt over Tory Pledge to Strip Looters of Benefits and Council Houses

Tim Shipman, Daily Mail (London), August 15, 2011

A bitter rift has opened in the Coalition Government over plans to strip looters and rioters of their benefits and council houses.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is investigating how to strip looters of their benefits, while a series of councils have begun proceedings to strip social housing from offenders and their families.

But senior Liberal Democrats dismissed the plans as a ‘knee-jerk response’ to the crisis and urged Tory ministers ‘not to make the situation worse’.

Deputy leader Simon Hughes said: ‘We need to demonstrate ambition to have a responsible society. This means we must not cut taxes for the rich or take away public support for the needy.

‘We should be careful not to rush into knee-jerk solutions including over-hasty moves to change the social contract and approaches to sentences which may have the reverse effect to that intended.’

Lib Dem welfare spokesman Jenny Willott said she was ‘very worried’ about moves to cut benefits.

Senior government sources insisted that evictions would go ahead on the grounds that by rioting the offenders had ‘intentionally’ made themselves homeless.

There are no plans to rehouse those booted out in other council accommodation.

Nick Clegg has indicated that he is comfortable with the idea of council house evictions in cases where people have helped destroy their own communities.

But the Deputy Prime Minister is likely to oppose further benefit cuts. He will also give the green light for his MPs openly to fight Tory plans to bring in elected police commissioners, which are due to pass through the Commons again next month.

A senior party member said: ‘We need to be careful that we don’t do anything to make the situation worse. There are a lot of things we agree on.

‘Most people would back calls for zero tolerance against thugs but some Lib Dems will be a little nervous about plans to take away welfare payments.’

Lib Dem Lord McNally will be his party’s representative on an inquiry into gang warfare being drawn up by Mr Duncan Smith and Home Secretary Theresa May.

Mr Clegg is expected to call for a mechanism to be established in government to ensure plans are followed through, saying: ‘We don’t need a public inquiry but we do need a structured way to make sure we get things done this time.’

One of his advisers said: ‘We’re not in full Lib Dem hand-wringing mode. Nick has said that there is a case to be made for removing council houses where people have shown contempt for their own communities.’

But the Deputy Prime Minister gave a speech at the weekend cautioning his coalition partners from going too far, warning against a ‘knee-jerk’ policy reaction to the riots.

He told Lib Dem activists that he would commission research into the riots before making party policy.

He said: ‘Our policy response will be guided by our values of freedom, fairness and responsibility. It will also be based soundly on evidence, not anecdote or prejudice. Knee-jerk reactions are not always wrong–but they usually are.’

Mr Clegg will also resist any attempt to water down Britain’s human rights legislation or membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Police chiefs say their hands have been tied on a robust response to violence by the Convention. And David Cameron will today say he wants to review the implementation of human rights laws.

‘That’s a no-no for us and it’s not possible to change that under the coalition agreement,’ a Lib Dem source said.

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  • Anonymous

    There is an implied social contract in all things we do. The basis is we are in this together, I will help you and you will help me. It is not I will pay for your room and board, and in return you can be socially irresponsible. You are unemployed but at home, then how come you don’t take care of your children? What does being taken care of, but of limited means have to do with mayhem and looting?

  • ice

    “Looters have “humans rights” too.”

    Yes, and don’t forget murderers, rapists, muggers and stick-up artists, too.

    What’s this world coming to anyway?

  • Seek

    Oh? Remove only benefits and Council flats? I’d strip all guilty parties of their UK resident status and send them packing to their country of origin, charges of “racism” by the Lib-Labs be damned.

    Think big, Conservatives. The BNP does.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, it was a knee-jerk response, not typical of PC Britain. This is why it will be watered down.

    A more measured response would be to deport non-citizen rioters, and suspend black immigration forever.

    This will not happen, because it requires sustained commitment long after the outrage has died down.

  • Whiteness: Endangered Species

    “We need to demonstrate ambition to have a responsible society.”

    We need to demonstrate ambition to have a society that is safe for White Privilege to flourish and grow. Any threats to White Privilege show that we have descended into a deplorable irresponsibility.

    And, Whites who misuse their White Privilege by giving money to churches, schools, and institutions that create hostile and dangerously anti-white environments through embracing Diversity and promoting Inclusion, should have their White Privilege confiscated for redistribution to those of us who can be trusted.

  • John Bell

    What is really needed is reform to the benefits system to curb the disgenic breeding which it has encouraged for the past two generations, the products of that disgenic breeding being all too shamefully displayed on the world stage last week. Such a curb would have the additional attraction of reducing mixed race births now at epidemic levels in the underclass.

    Any chance of it happening? What do you think! Even if Cameron were not himself a self proclaimed “liberal”, which he most certainly is, the coalition with the Lib Dems renders it quite impossible to implement the sort of policies needed. If he had any guts he would introduce those policies and defy the Lib Dems to bring down the government by voting against them; the subsequent general election would return a strong Conservative government and destroy the Lib Dems.

    It simply won’t happen because liberals – irrespective of party -are concerned not with the good of the country which, for them, is at best a meaningless abstraction, but with feeling good about their own liberal consciences. So there will be tinkering around the edges, more money will be thrown at the problem, and in a few years the riots will be back, but worse.

  • Anonymous

    Let the rioters move in with the Libs.

  • StandardBearer

    I might be ridiculously optimistic, but if they are booted out of their council houses, wont be given houses anywhere, and are not receiving any free money anymore, they might decide to go back to the Caribbean.

  • SF Paul

    Just a matter of time until a bleeding heart liberal opposes taking away benefits from criminals. Will giving known criminals housing, food and money make them stop commiting crimes? A liberal will most likely answer that maybe the criminals will not do as many crimes. Holding people responsible for their crimes is not part of liberal viewpoint on the poor oppressed minorities.

  • Detroit WASP

    Yes, they have rights, the right to breed out of control seems to be the most important one.

    They need to start offering welfare types a cash incentive to be spade or neutered.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vqFjli13XQ&feature=feedu

  • Professor Jon

    Simple. The Netherlands does a variation on this.

    Take away housing and benefits and also offer a one-way ticket back to the motherland free of charge with a stipend.

    Done and done. Cheaper than imprisoning them.

    For the indigenous white looters? You’re Fracked, mate! Have fun keepin’ it real in da pokey wit’ ya bruddahs!

  • Blaak Obongo

    If the riots really were as “multicultural” as Once-great Britain’s Marxist governmedia keep insisting, there’d be no outcry from the Left at all. It’s only because they know perfectly well that the rioters were overwhelmingly Criminals of Color that they wail and gnash their teeth.

  • Roy

    The Liberals want the tax payers whose businesses were vandalised and looted to continue to work some hours each week without pay, and instead give the money to the perpetrators.

    It’s really very simple. Giving free money to these sorts of people, including unemployed immigrants, should be optional for every tax payer. This way the Liberals can pay for it all.

    As others have said – this is just Cameron trying to sound tough. It’ll gradually suffocate in an endless tangle of legal wrangling.

  • flyingtiger

    Crime victims have a human right to be safe. It is time to start thinking about them.

  • Anonymous

    To quote Peter garrett of the Ausie Rock Band Midnight Oil (for entirely different reasons), I’d say ” I see the Union Jack in flames…let it burn!”

    If THIS s what’s left of England…indeed, let it burn.

  • Daniel

    Some looters do have rights! Is there anyne who doesn’t think that 4 years for posting support for the breaking riots story ISNT a disgrace? Not even being a rioter! And has anyone yet seen so much as a single photograph of a black rioter being prosecuted? You know the ethnicity that 80 – 90% of rioters belonged to. How is this not just a sheister Government using events for their own ends?

  • Anonymous

    Looters have rights?

    So do Somali pirates.

  • Anonymous

    The implication of what was said here is that black people, no matter what they do, are entitled to redistribution of wealth. While whites, have no rights and are only grudgingly given public aid.

    The british government here is seeking a way to identify the tiny fraction of whites who rioted, and strip them, and them ONLY of benefits….as part of a warning to others.

    Further evidence of what this is happened when the police refused to do anything about the rioting but were very fast to come down hard on any whites protecting their own neighborhood and illegally clamped down on the BNP as they attempted to peacefully leaflet certain areas to warn them what was going on.

    This is no different than usual these days with police in britain. A black person assaulting a white victim results in a white bystander calling the police, who take a great deal of time to get there to give the black person ample time to kill the white person and get away. They arrest everyone. All three are charged with various crimes. The one who called the cops gets the most jail time, while the black criminal assailant gets the least.

  • Pat

    Have to partly agree with Daniel No. 16 – the harshest treatment appears to be being handed out to whites only.

  • Anonymous

    To appreciate the full horror of this story, keep in mind that in UK politics, the Liberal-Democrats are the MIDDLE party of the three (between the disgraced NuLabour Party on the left and Cameron’s minority-govt Conservatives on the “right”). IOW, in the left-centre-right configuration of Britain’s three-party system*, these Lib-Dems who are squawking over the punishing of looters are supposed to the “sensible”, “middle-of-the-road” party. The fact that in 21st C England, the “centrist” party talks like 20th C anarcho-syndicalists, should give you some indication of how far left the “centre” has been dragged in British politics.

    Even further to the left than in Obama’s America — and that’s saying something!

    * No disrespect intended to Nick Griffin’s BNP, who are the REAL right in the UK today, but who are — tragically — not among the Big Three powerbrokers. Not yet, anyhow…

  • Ben

    Oh no! We should award the looters after all they’re “human beings”…and should be entitled and rewarded!

  • Ben

    @ 20

    That is because UK’s political spectrum is on a different scale and the fact that their core society and government is “Left-based.”