Britain's Streets Are Crawling with MP-Stabbing Samurais in Track Suits


I imagine there was a time, perhaps during Stanley Baldwin's first stint as prime minister, when an MP could pal around with his East London constituents without being stabbed in the stomach. But those days are long gone, as Labour MP Stephan Timms discovered this morning.

A 21-year-old woman has been arrested after Stephen Timms, the Labour MP, was stabbed while holding his constituency surgery in Beckton, East London.

Mr Timms, a former junior Treasury minister, was stabbed in the abdomen but is in a stable condition after being taken to hospital. The incident happened as Mr Timms, who is MP for East Ham, was holding his weekly surgery.

Timms's injures were not considered life-threatening. The Times notes that British people quite enjoy stabbing politicians: "In 2000, Nigel Jones, a Liberal Democrat MP, was wounded and his aide, Andrew Pennington, was stabbed to death in a frenzied samurai sword attack during a constituency surgery at the party's office in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire."

So what does one do to prevent future attacks? An introspective look at the "root causes" of MP stabbings? Shall it be required that all cutlery sold in the United Kingdom is made of plastic? Or will there be an outcry against the rise of samurai culture? The Times again:

The sale and hire of samurai-style swords could be banned after a police warning that they have become the weapons of choice for some criminals.

Ministers are also to consider outlawing the sale of decorative sci-fi "fantasy" knives, which some young people carry to gain street credibility, although they admit that it may prove too difficult to define them.

The moves were announced yesterday before a Home Office meeting today to discuss gangs, guns and knives.

Vernon Coaker, a Home Office minister, said: "Samurai-sword crime is low in volume but high in profile and I recognise it can have a devastating impact. Banning the sale, import and hire [of these swords] will take more dangerous weapons out of circulation, making our streets safer."

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  1. So Britain’s government is inspired in roughly equal parts by 1984 and Monty Python’s Flying Circus?

    “Wot if he attacks you with a point-ed stick?”

  2. Nest, cut off all right index fingers. Can’t chance the resurgence of the long bow.

    1. According to “urban myth”, you cut off the middle finger, hence flipping the bird to show you can still fire a bow.

      1. No, “flipping the bird” has a different origin. In fact, it may even date back to Roman times, when it was referred to as the “impudent finger”.

        However, it was common practice of the French to cut off the middle finger of captured Englishmen during the Hundred Years War. This is where the English get their “two finger” salute from, when, after the Battle of Agincourt, the English showed off their still intact two fingers as a “screw you” towards the French

  3. First they ban Swords, then arrows, then they ban Machettes, then knives, then hammers, Until nothing can be cut in the entire country.

    It makes perfect sense

    1. Soon, stoning your MP will be your only choice.

      1. Judging by how they govern they’re all already stoned.

        1. I thought it was required, is it not?

    2. I intend to start a business, based in the U.S., where citizens of the U.K. can send anything they need cut–paper, steaks, enemies, whatever–for a small fee. Obviously, we’ll also include a reasonable S&H charge.

      1. I would like to invest in your new venture.

        1. Sure. Ship me truckloads of money.

    3. You are also going to eventually have to ban anything high enough to throw people off of.

      Maybe you could leave Stonehenge alone if you spread a lot of those foam landing pads that high jumpers use around it.

  4. OK, I have to ask:

    What is a “constituency surgery”?

    Stephen Timms, the Labour MP, was stabbed while holding his constituency surgery

    A sword or knife suitable for use by untrained thugs can be manufactured in minutes by anyone with an angle grinder and a metal bar. Outlawing “samurai swords” and “fantasy knives” is pure theater.

    1. But if all the angle grinders are registered and we utilize the infallible science of “grind fingerprinting”, we will no longer live in fear of your untrained thugs.

      Here, have a pamphlet.

      1. Considering the ease with which British pols ban thing (not to mention the support they get from the public for said bans), a ban on any kind of home workshop is in the cards.

        A relatively smart person would have little trouble making firearms with a cheap combination lathe/milling machine and a few other hand tools. i wouldn’t be at all surprised if such an underground trade did already exist. I do know that it does in India.

      2. “So what does one do to prevent future attacks?”

        Yeah, if you want your constituents to stop stabbing you at these things, my first suggestion? Stop inviting them to come participate in your “surgery”.

        1. Stop inviting them to come participate in your “surgery”.

          When a women invites you to participate in her surgery it is by definition unnecessary to use a knife to poke her.

    2. OK, I have to ask:

      What is a “constituency surgery”?

      You owe me a complimentary google, RCD.

      1. Is that one of those euphemism thingees?

        1. Speak English to me, Tony. I thought this country spawned the fucking language, and so far nobody seems to speak it.

      2. My answer below, which I intended to be threaded here, is about the same.

        For those of you who do not know British English, a doctor’s “surgery” is what we would call a doctor’s office.

        When an English doctor holds surgery, it means that his office is open and that he will treat patients on a first-come first-served basis.

        When I read the term I assumed that “constituency surgery” only with the MP acting as the GP and the constituents being patients.

    3. “Surgery” is used in a similar sense in universities; IIRC, it’s sort of like “office hours”.

    4. “A sword or knife suitable for use by untrained thugs can be manufactured in minutes by anyone with an angle grinder and a metal bar. Outlawing “samurai swords” and “fantasy knives” is pure theater”

      Or one could simply use a large screwdriver.

      One of those can quite readily used to kill somebody.

    5. What is a “constituency surgery”?

      It’s the natural outcome of socialized medicine.

      Thank you, thank you.

      1. aaaaWaka Waka Waka, I’m here all week folks!

      2. No-one can get an actual surgery done in the U.K., so *something* had to fill the linguistic void.

        And while I’m at it, can you English folk stop fucking saying shit like: “drug*s* war” and “*drink*-driving”?! I mean, shit, like Avi said [above], you fucking spawned the language, so start speaking it!

    6. We are two great nations, separated by a common language

      1. I don’t think we are two great nations any more. 🙁

        1. Ouch! That hurt!

  5. Something’s wrong with your country when its toughs prance around with decorative sci-fi knives. I’m trying to imagine the Crips packing weaponry from those weird stores in half-vacant malls that sell battle axes, broad swords, and throwing stars.

    I guess Britain is the country that, 45 years ago, had thugs riding around on scooters decked out in beetle boots and frilly tuxedo shirts.

    1. you mean the store with the cigarette lighter in a fishtank? yea, i’ve shopped there.

      1. B.P. and Nipplemancer, you guys have me keeled over in laughter over here.

    2. No one knows what it’s like/ to be a dustbin/in Shaftsbury/ with hooligans

      1. What if they become ruffians?

  6. Banning samurai swords and not broad swords?


    1. Prohibbiting the murder of infidels is also racist.

  7. What is a “constituency surgery”?

    That was my question as well.

    I do know that “surgery” is the time that British (and Australian) doctors (GPs) open for walk-in patients who are taken on a first come-first served basis.

    Presumably, “constituency surgery” is a time when MPs see their constituents on the same basis. But you’d think they could come up with a better term, wouldn’t you?

    Outlawing “samurai swords” and “fantasy knives” is pure theater.

    Almost every story I hear out of the UK these days makes me think that life there has become an elaborate piece of performance art.

    I mean, really, people would have to be choreographed to do some of this shit. I’m just wondering who the producer and director are.


  9. My faith requires me to carry this lightsaber, and they can pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

  10. Samurai-sword crime is low in volume but high in profile

    You win the internet today.

  11. When batleths are outlaws, only outlaws will have batleths.

  12. Porn for the limeys.

  13. “””Sagal Ahmed,16, a student at Kingsford Community School, was in the community centre in Beckton when the stabbing happened.
    ‘We just heard this big commotion so we ran in to the room,’ she said.
    ‘The security guard had grabbed this Asian woman. She was wearing a long black outfit like what Muslims wear and an orangey headscarf. I think she was a Muslim.
    ‘She wasn’t saying anything. They were just grabbing her to keep her still. She was really shaking.
    ‘The Muslim woman seem shocked and distressed. It was the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen.
    ‘Then we saw the man (Stephen Timms) getting put in another room. We saw the blood on his shirt but I couldn’t tell where he’d been stabbed. They were dragging him.
    ‘He was conscious. He looked shocked and he was pale.'””””””…..abbed.html

    1. Makes one wonder just what it was that the MP said to her. In my day, women responded to unwanted advances with just a slapping.

      1. “the MP – one of the tallest politicians in Parliament – was taken to the Royal London Hospital.”

        Maybe he called her shorty?

      2. Maybe she was brainwashed to attack him after hearing a trigger phrase, and had just recently come back to her senses holding a bloody knife and missing several crucial seconds of her life.

        1. I hate when that happens to me. My clothes are in such a mess when I come out of the trance that I can’t tell if my handlers turn me into a knife welding assassin or a cock loving gigolo. Please God, I hope it is the former.

    2. That woman wasn’t a muslim… she was a NINJA! Quick, someone get a pirate!

  14. What is a “constituency surgery”?

    They might consider changing the name of these meetings if they want less stabbings. Just sayin’

    1. my first thought as well. though it would be interesting if we had Congressional Shoots here in the states.

      1. as in shoot the shit, just for clarification.

        1. “Shooting the shit”? That works for 99% of politicians…

          1. Why are you insulting shit by comparing it politicians?

            1. by comparing it TO politicians.

  15. The solution to this problem is obvious. Everyone knows that the Samurai’s natural enemy is the ninja, so clearly the answer to this problem (like so many others) is more ninjas.

    1. Also, the rogue apostrophe is the natural enemy of grammar.

  16. Western civilization will die, whimpering, when everything we need comes in plastic packages that we are no longer allowed to possess anything sharp enough to open.

    1. What was the name of that scifi short story (by Asimov IIRC) about the robots that took their directive to protect humans so seriously that they locked all humans in padded rooms and only let them play with foam blocks?

      1. “With Folded Hands” by Jack Williamson. Ideas from that story were combined with Asimov’s robot stories to give birth to the abomination that was the Will Smith vehicle “I, Robot”. That’s probably where you got idea that it was Asimov’s.

        1. Thx. I was actually just guessing that it was Asimov since he was so prolific and wrote a lot about robots. In any case, I wouldn’t have gotten the idea from the movie since I read the book back in the 70s.

          Great story about how even those who have good intentions can inadvertently do horrible things. Not that I would ever credit the current crop of statists with having good intentions.

          1. If you haven’t read much Williamson, you want to. Feakin’ genius at times, and a decent spinner of tales every time he put pen to paper.

            Golden age stuff, so we’re talking about the way the future was (to steal Pohl’s phrase), but sometimes gritty for all that.

      2. Asimov’s version was from the “Robots and Stars” series, expressed as the “Zeroth Law”. Robots were to protect Humans from any harm, physical or mental.

        Pulling all of this out of a wasted memory, so I could be right or I could be FOS.

        … Hobbit

  17. But… but… this was supposed to cure the stabbing-with-pointy-objects problem in Europe!

    What happened?

    1. This kind of reminds of a trip I took to Indonesia many years ago. I was surprised that metal spoons were provided with meals at restaurants, but no knives or forks. My host answered my obvious question by informing me that the government had banned knives and forks for security reasons. I found it a little surreal since it seemed like most people had a machete laying around.

      1. “Eat that steak with a spoon, and LIKE it, because we can’t trust anyone with sharp objects!”

        God, it sounds like liberalism.

        1. Once the liberals have outlawed meat and we’re all porridge-sucking vegetarians, it’ll all make sense.

          1. Nobody really needs a knife. Knives were invented just to cut meat. No one needs a knife to cut soylent green.

            1. Good points. Hopefully, Food Overlord Michelle Obama is listening and taking notes.

            2. Meh.

              I can still spot sarcasm some of the time and I detect it here, but I feel the need to vent, so here goes:

              Cutting edges are the earliest tool we have any evidence that our ancestors used. If there is an piece of technology that make people what they are it is not an iPod, but a knife.

              I carry a knife out of a cultural tradition passed down to me from my H. habilis ancestors. Surely that puts me one up on the Sikhs?

              [[ I would imagine that digging sticks, hammer stones and other biodegradable or hard-to-identify-in-the-fossil-record tools came first, but knives are the first ones we know about. ]]

              1. Cutting edges are the earliest tool we have any evidence that our ancestors used.

                If cutting edges were the earliest “tool” used by our ancestors, our species would never have survived.

              2. I carry a knife out of a cultural tradition passed down to me from my H. habilis ancestors.

                I carry a Claymore for a similar reason. People are very polite to me.

                1. I don’t leave the house without a two-stage thermonuclear device. About one megaton. Fits in my briefcase.

                  No worries, mate.

              3. I can imagine a poster of a Geico type caveman holding a stone age spear and his wool poncho emblazoned with a Union Jack (it is a cool design btw) patch, between the captions, Parliament Bans Sharp Pointed Objects || Because It Is Never Too Late For Technology To Get Out Of Hand.

                I’m looking forward to the coming incident when a PM is choked to death by a belt and the rest of Britain will have to get use to wearing suspenders.

              4. With all seriousness Mr. Escaped, I carry a knife, the means to make fire and writing tools (paper/pen) for much the same reasoning. A gentleman should always have these things on his person. (though having these things on one’s person doesn’t necessarily make one a gentleman of course )

                Glad I’m not the only one who thinks that way 😉

  18. British people quite enjoy stabbing politicians
    Awesome. Can we reserve some visa’s for them? Or at least sneak some in hidden in the middle of a van full of Mexicans? Hell, even lonewacko could get behind this.

  19. “Ministers are also to consider outlawing the sale of decorative sci-fi “fantasy” knives, which some young people carry to gain street credibility”

    So my limited edition He-Man sword replica will get me street cred in Birmingham? Haha! Take that mother! Who’s ‘playing with toys’ now? Not me! It’s a collectible and it’ll get me my own chav posse! I’m off to the airport.

  20. Smell that? It smells like…freedom.

  21. Beware! I tell you if they ban knives, spoons are next! Particularly if there is any report of someone being beaten to death or skewered with a spoon.

    Drat. And that is all we had as serfs, one spoon for the head of the household.

    Of course, it might be forks as they may become a sign of the tines. I’ve heard of people being forked to death…

  22. I guess they’ll have to ban plate glass and duct tape.

    Maybe make it illegal to own both a billiard ball and a pair of tube socks at the same time.

  23. How about banning Muslims! Maybe the crime rate, especially terrorist related one’s would drop dramatically! The price we pay for a multicultural society!

    1. But then how would my followers kill the Infidels? It is our right to kill the Infidels and if you do not let us do this we will bring a United Nations resolution down on you!

      1. Sounds about right for a false prophet. We have the right to call our teddy bears Mohamed should we wish!

  24. The Times notes that British people quite enjoy stabbing politicians

    Fyi, it has nothing to do with them being Brittish. 2 brain cells to rub together + knife = the desire to stab.

  25. Hmmm. So these MP stabbings didn’t happen on the street, but rather during meetings with constituents at a predetermined location? I’m guessing the Brits have yet to become acquainted with that newfangled metal detector technology?

    Clearly it’s Samurai Swords that are the problem and not security.

  26. So? The bankrupt state of California has been wasting money on TV ads that have cigarette girls dressed up as Death, with a lullaby in the background. That ought to get people to stop smoking!

  27. Oops… wrong article….

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