I don’t claim I was in London during the riots but that is also a boast that neither Boris Johnson nor David Cameron can make. Being resident on the beach in North Carolina while London burned - according to the headlines - doesn’t preclude me from having an opinion in the same way it didn’t deter them. And just as their alleged previous criminal enterprises didn’t disqualify them from being judgmental, why should I let mine stop me.
I shoplifted candy as a kid and a pair of indecently tight Lee jeans as a teenager and in high school I was involved in “borrowing” a car to go to a party. I recently learned that my biological father was incarcerated at the time of my birth for fraud, which was one of the reasons I was given up for adoption, so it was not me, it was my genes! Why take sole responsibility when I can share the blame?
“Why do people steal, Mommy?” Mister Baby asked me after someone stole my wallet in Sainsburys (what comes around goes around, my own karmic slap). “It’s like when you had to have that stick the other day even though it was Henry’s in the first place. You want what you want when you want it and you don’t care about anyone else.”
When you steal you think you deserve the object more than whoever has it, and when the victim is more remote, like Sainsburys or “the tax payer” it’s a lot easier. They’re so big they don’t need it; they probably won’t even notice.
However, like my “forgetting “to pay for wine at Sainsburys it wasn’t technically illegal as long as I paid for it once caught. When Boris and his Bullingdon buddies wrecked a restaurant after dinner, it wasn’t apparently illegal because their fathers paid for the damage. It is not apparently illegal to wiretap a murdered girl’s mobile phone if you are willing to pay off her family and give a million to charity. It is not apparently illegal to give newspapers access to police information if you are willing to fall on your sword. It’s doesn’t even seem it’s illegal to bankrupt a 300 year-old institution and dump the debt on the public; in fact you are rewarded with bonuses and massive pensions. The rioters’ crime, it would appear, is that they don’t have enough money to pay for what they stole which, in David Cameron’s own words, is a “deep moral failure.”