Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Dangerous Rhetoric in David Cameron's Speech Outside No. 10

Yesterday, in a speech outside No. 10 Downing Street, David Cameron addressed the nation with regards to the riots. In his speech, he used words and phrases which were not only dangerous but also presenting viewpoints and solutions not necessarily of a constructive nature. His rhetoric did in no way adress the deeper, more complex causes of the disturbances but aimed rather to cure the symptoms in a tone of populist demagogery.

Dire times does to some extent call for stern measures and this is undoubtedly Cameron's greatest challenge so far in his PM career. It is, however, doubtful whether this way of addressing the issues at hand does not make for a widening of the chasm between the conflicting parties and makes later measures more challenging to implement.

To really understand the nature and wider connotations of Cameron's rhetoric, take an initial look at the excerpts below. They are taken out of context in order to show their dangerous implications more clearly. Then, read them in context.

it is quite clear that we need more, much more police on our streets and we need even more robust police action.

we will make sure that court procedures and processes are speeded up and people should expect to see more, many more arrests in the days to come.

You will feel the full force of the law


Cameron condemns scenes of violence

Tuesday, August 9 2011

The Prime Minister this morning announced that Parliament would be recalled on Thursday in order to respond to the violence and looting in London and other cities.

David Cameron condemned the scenes of violence. Speaking outside Downing Street he said:

"I have come straight from a meeting of the Government's COBRA committee for dealing with emergencies where we have been discussing the action we will be taking to help the police to deal with the disorder on the streets of London and elsewhere in our country.

"I have also met with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Home Secretary to discuss this further. And people should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and to make them safe for the law abiding.

"Let me first of all completely condemn the scenes that we have seen on our television screens and people have witnessed in their communities. These are sickening scenes, scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing. Scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews as they try to put out fires.

"This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated. I feel huge sympathy for the families who have suffered. Innocent people who have been burned out of their houses and to businesses who have seen their premises smashed, their products looted and their livelihoods potentially ruined.

"I also feel for all those who live in fear because of these appalling scenes that we have seen on the streets of our country. People should be on no doubt that we are on the side of the law abiding. Law abiding people who are appalled by what has happened in their own communities. As ever police officers have shown incredible bravery on our streets in confronting these thugs, but it is quite clear that we need more, much more police on our streets and we need even more robust police action. And it is that that I have been discussing in COBRA this morning.

"The Metropolitan police commissioner said that compared with the 6000 police in the street last night in London there will be some 16,000 officers tonight there will be aid coming from police forces up and down the country and we will do everything necessary to strengthen and assist those police forces that are meeting this disorder. There's already been 450 people arrested, we will make sure that court procedures and processes are speeded up and people should expect to see more, many more arrests in the days to come.

"I am determined, the Government is determined that justice will be done and these people will see the consequences of their actions. And I have this very clear message to those people who are responsible for this wrongdoing and criminality. You will feel the full force of the law and if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishments and to these people I would say this, you are not only wrecking the lives of others, you are not only wrecking your own communities, you are potentially wrecking your own life too.

"My office this morning has spoken to the speaker of the House of Commons and he has agreed that parliament will be recalled for a day on Thursday so I can make a statement to parliament and we can hold a debate and we are all able to stand together in condemnation of these crimes and also to stand together in determination to rebuild these communities. Now, if you will excuse me there is important work to be done. Thank-you."


Source: Conservatives Homepage, 10.08.2011


  1. Godt poeng! Satt akkurat og tenkte det samme selv!

  2. Hiya, S! Glad to see you're reading some of my drivel! I feel important and consequential now!

    Well, his election campaign posters certainly showed a clear semblance to organs in that area. As Dara O'Briain pointed out in "Mock the Week", the caption should rather say "LOOK AT MY BIG, SHINY HEAD!"

    BTW, check these out: