Rod Liddle

A bizarre and incoherent adjudication

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The PCC adjudication seems to me bizarre and incoherent. The statement of mine which provoked the complaint was that an “overwhelming majority” of gun crime, knife crime, street crime robbery, sexual violence were committed by young black males. Let me add the point – which I made in both my blog and on other blogs at the time – that I do not believe skin colour is causative of crime: that would be ludicrous and obnoxious. My point was that there are certain crimes in which the overwhelming majority of perpetrators can be defined by a certain age, gender and ethnicity. This is a culture issue, not a race issue. I add this point again here for the benefit of those reading this blog who are able to see racism in a handful of dust.

There are not many figures to go on, for obvious reasons. The complainant pointed to Met Police stats which detailed much broader area of crime and which showed that while young black males committed proportionately more crime in certain areas, it was a lot less than a majority of crime. Well, yes, of course. But I was not referring to burglary, car theft, gbh and what have you; I was referring specifically to a number of crimes for which there are not published police records, the ones I quoted above. Both the PCC and the complainant, then, seem to be using the Bob Marley defence – I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy – which has always seemed to me a bit questionable.  But what of the crimes I mentioned? Do we have figures for them? Yes, we have some figures – and, Stephanie, these figures were given to the PCC and except in once instance, which I’ll come to, they did not quibble with them.


Gun Crime: Two years ago Metropolitan Police Inspector Steven Tyler, who worked for Operation Trident, stated that 75 per cent of all shootings in the capital involved a black victim and a black perpetrator. These are the only figures we have right now, or at least the only ones I could find. I think 75 per cent constitutes an overwhelming majority – and it could be more than 75 per cent. It is, in fact, (75 per cent + X), where X is a value of anything between 0 and 25 per cent. The PCC seemed to accept this.

Street Crime Robbery: Again, the only figures we have to hand come from a report in The Sunday Times a little over a year ago in which it was reported that 71 per cent of people accused of mobile phone theft were young black males. There were further figures quoted for other cities. I think 71 per cent constitutes an overwhelming majority.

Knife Crime: A confidential report leaked from Scotland Yard in 2008 suggested that of those convicted of knife crime, 55.1 per cent were young black males. The report added that the “overwhelming majority” of victims were white, although I did not make this point in my blog. These figures were reported in the Daily Mail. Now, this was the only substantive objection which the PCC made of the figures – to the effect that 55.1 per cent does not constitute an “overwhelming” majority. Well, maybe, sure. It constitutes a “substantial” or perhaps a “clear” majority. But we are dancing on the head of a pin here – in any case, if you take an average of ALL the percentages for the crimes I specified, then it is certainly an overwhelming majority.

Sexual Violence: The information for this comes from a black journalist, Sorious Samura, who worked for The Independent. Discomforted by a suspicion that young black males seemed disproportionately responsible for gang rapes, he carried out his own longditudinal study (over three years) which he reported in June 2009. Here’s what he found:

'One of the few police forces to have begun recording the figures of reported gang rape is the Metropolitan Police. In 2008 alone, they received reports of 85 gang rapes. Using the Met's definition of gang rape – those involving three or more perpetrators – we began to look at the number of convictions. We tracked down 29 cases, from January 2006 to March 2009, in which a total of 92 young people were convicted of involvement in gang rape.

One fact stood out. Of those convicted, 66 were black or mixed race, 13 were white and the remainder were from other countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.'

Now, that gives us a figure of a little under 72 per cent – which again I would argue is an overwhelming majority.

Caveats: are these figures definitive? I wouldn’t say so. But they are the only figures we have for those particular crimes, or at least that I could find - and I would argue that they are at the least indicative. I suppose I could have qualified my statement by saying “an overwhelming majority except in the case of knife crime where it is merely a substantial or clear majority”. I might have been a bit more specific about gang rape and street crime robberies, so that people didn’t think I was talking about holding up banks with a shotgun or lesser cases of sexual assault. But given the only figures we have, and which the PCC was not able to contradict (nor did it try to do so), my original statement seems to me accurate.

Does it matter that certain crimes are perpetrated in the main by one or another sector of society? This is a more substantive objection to my original blog, I would concede, although it is not a point which the PCC raised. I think it matters only insofar as it is habitually denied for reasons of political correctness; in other words, so that the problem becomes almost impossible to address. Accept it as a problem and we can begin to sort it out, as many in the black community are doing. I have no hard evidence for this but my guess is that there is a link between the crimes I have mentioned and the educational under-achievement of young black boys; that it might be something to do with the culture in which they are immersed both at home and at school. Again, this is a cultural issue, not a race issue and I would point you to my previous blog about Dr Tony Sewell for a more in depth consideration of the problem.

Is it unfair to concentrate on these specific crimes when the majority of crimes overall cannot be laid at the door of any particular group? You might well argue that in the figures I have quoted gender is far, far, more definitive than race – almost ALL gun crime, knife crime, street crime etc etc is committed by males. Sure, both are fair points. But again I would argue that the state of denial, exemplified by the PCC adjudication, demands that we SHOULD talk about it, so that the matter can be addressed. Those who object to quoting such statistics often recourse to the non-sequitur in order to deny there is a problem at all. My colleague Alex Massie, for example, who is a master of the non sequitur, suggested that because there was more gun crime in Glasgow which wasn’t committed by young black males my point about London was redundant. Well, sure; there is probably more gun crime in Manila, Port Moresby and Medellin which is also not committed by young black males, but that does not alter the fact that there is a specific problem in London (and to a proportionately smaller extent in Manchester and Birmingham) which is committed by young black males. Do socio-economic factors impinge? Yes, of course; socio-economic problems are also bound up in the whole shebang. But that doesn’t alter my central point either.

There is one more peculiar thing about the PCC ruling. At the end of my brief blog I made reference to multiculturalism having given us rap music and goat curry. I think this was a pretty crass pay off, if I’m honest, and could easily have been construed as racist by someone who came to the blog having not read previous stuff of mine about multiculturalism. Bonnie Greer made this point, when asked, and rebutted it with a very good line about white culture having given us football hooliganism and beans on toast. My point, which would have been familiar to those who read this blog regularly, is that I object to the obeisance which always has to be paid when we talk about multiculturalism – that it has been unequivocally, uniquely enriching. I think regular readers would have got that point, but it was still a flip and crass pay off. The PCC, however, had no complaint about that at all. Bizarre.

Tomorrow I’ll bore you with the other issue raised by the PCC: the language and nature of blogs and how they might differ as a form of discourse from MSM articles……………………………