TBT! I Predict a Riot!

This is a classic post from August of 2011 when none of you were reading my stuff. This is like reading my blog on vinyl.


It seems that jolly, old England isn’t so jolly these days. Last week, apparently triggered by the shooting of a civilian by Scotland Yard, it seems that everyone in London put down their tea and crumpets to participate in widespread rioting and looting. The English it seems are a little skittish about gunfire (see American revolution circa 1776).

Really? Scotland Yard shot someone? I had no idea they did that. Don’t you just picture Scotland Yard being a bunch of Sherlock Holmes looking guys smoking pipes and saying things like “pip pip” and “cheerio”? Apparently the people of London had no idea that Scotland Yard was into shooting people either, so the Londoners expressed their displeasure by rioting and looting, which then had to be dealt with by the London police, or constables as they’re called, who generally don’t carry guns. There’s your problem right there. You can’t name your police ‘constables’. No one is going to worry about getting roughed up by a “constable.” The English need to name their police something scary like Robocops or Dementors.


Rather than dealing with the rioters the American way, by shooting them with bullets, the English police shot them with cameras and put them on the news. They were surprised by what they found. Some of the rioters were not young thugs but some very normal, previously upstanding citizens who, apparently emboldened by the anonymity of the crowds, decided to join in the fun. An 11 year old ballerina, a 43 year old organic chef, an opera house steward, an Olympic Ambassador and many women were identified in the London police’s camera sweep. So essentially the London “constables” were relegated to tourist like photo taking to try to stop the rioting.

What could possibly possess some of these people to join in rioting and looting? No matter what is going on in my neighborhood  I’ve never thought to myself , “On the way home from work should I stop by the pub for some bangers and mash or should I heave a brick at the nearest store window?  Did the 11 year old ballerina skip down to the playground with her friends and come home with a new 42” flat screen telly she pulled from a broken store window?


I’m not a member of the NRA or anything, but I think the English ‘constables’, in addition to getting a new threatening name, need to start carrying guns. Without weapons, what do the English police do when confronted with an angry mob? I’m no law enforcement expert, but I’m pretty sure that yelling “Hey! Stop that!” is not all that intimidating, especially when yelled with an English accent. If you’ve got ballerina rioters I’m pretty sure that if you fire off a warning shot or two they’ll pirouette home to their mum pretty damn fast. Since England has by and large gone so long without armed police, I think that at the first sign of trouble if the constables climb to the top of Big Ben and just let loose a round of semi-automatic gunfire in the air most of those rioters won’t think it’s such a jolly good show anymore and run their blimey arses home to Hogwarts to feed their owls. (Yes, all my knowledge of English culture comes from the Harry Potter movies) Outside of Hurricane Katrina conditions, have you ever seen riots last a week in the United States? Of course not! We’d get shot by police and that would be bad.

If you enjoy my nonsense, instead of rioting you can peacefully protest by following me on Twitter @ThePhilFactor or by subscribing to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle. Also, if you can name the musical reference I used in the title you win 20 Phil bucks which can be redeemed at The Phil Factor gift shop for a t-shirt. Cheerio!

18 responses to “TBT! I Predict a Riot!

  1. I remember the riots. It was scary – it spread to Birmingham and the city was put on lockdown. I always smile when I see misconceptions like that of our police – with having strict gun control laws it is a huge deal when someone is shot but they do have guns and will use them. Still, our SAS are the best in the world…

  2. Firstly, the title is from a set of good old Yorkshire lads from Leeds: Kaiser Chiefs (loved that album, their others not so much).
    As for the rioting – well, it was bloody scary (by our standards). I remember watching it all unfold and pockets of other rioters springing up around the country. We even made a contingency plan in case our neighbours went a bit barmy! (It was tweaked from the zombie apocalypse version we have in place).
    I love that your knowledge of Blighty comes from Hogwarts but I genuinely think many Americans see us this way – I’m sure rioting would be a much more pleasant affair if we were only chucking our cream scones about!

    • Haley, I think it’s awesome that you know the Kaiser Chiefs. I like that album a lot too. I also think that you realize this was all written in tongue-in-cheek from a stereo typical American perspective.

      • I did indeed realise – although I think that even some Brits would describe quintessential natives in the same manner!

      • I’m sure some of you in the UK could probably write a similarly funny post about the gun culture in the States. Believe it or not though, there are probably more of us that are opposed to guns but we don’t go around shooting people when they disagree with us

  3. Whew! I’m glad they’ve calmed down some
    Kind of a relief
    The title that would be a song
    By the Kaiser Chiefs.

  4. Because using guns on people do such a good job of keeping the peace.

  5. Jolly witty piece as we say.Tip top!

  6. A riot in England? *chokes on crumpets and spits out tea*

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