Rex Murphy shares his thoughts on the behavior of disappointed Canucks fans who rioted in the streets of downtown Vancouver.

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Read a transcript of this Rex Murphy episode

Rex's take on the riots

June 16, 2011

Those clod poles, ne’er-do-wells, vandals, punks, thugs and assorted clueless dolts who smacked people around, piled on others, fought with and sought to injure police, set fire to cars, broke into stores, trashed and looted at will in Vancouver last night – are all a pathetic pack of cowardly destructive losers.  An older generation, not bent by the winds of political correctness would rightly have called them the scum of the earth.

There aren't any excuses for they did.  None.  None. At. All.  If these whiny, pampered, useless sacks of skin even try to claim it was because their team lost, then they haven't got the intelligence of a ball of mud.  Fools don't need a motive to be fools and destructive and threatening fools, such as those who rioted last night in Vancouver are no exception to this rule.  This kind of fool will riot when "his" team wins as easily as when it loses, the game was just a convenient trigger.

The damage was one thing.  The insolence is altogether another. Consider what they did.

These vulgarians defecated on the reputation of one of Canada's first cities.  They hurt the stores and the employment of honest city-caring people in Vancouver.  They sprayed dirt and worse into the face of every half decent sports fan in all of North America. They turned what was – even with the loss – a moment of intense national interest and pride into a world-class embarrassment, an ugly, bloody, ignorant and arrogant stain on the city that hosted the Olympics.

They trashed our country's reputation as well.

Those who can be identified as participating in the riot; those who in any way had a hand in instigating or spreading it; those who damaged property; those who hit and hurt other people; those who scorned and savaged the police, set cars alight - all of the vandals and hooligans, within the confines of what is absolutely legal, should be sought out, named, charged, and offered real, substantial penalties.

Riots should not be written-off as pranks.  Mayhem shouldn't be passed over as the actions of a violent few.  Tearing the heart out of a city, ripping up its stores, despoiling its reputation and setting its citizens for a while in a state of fear - should draw the just, angry and full attention of the state.  Those who riot should learn the hard way that it's not a free game.  That their violence and lawlessness isn't a freebie  – they have to pay for it.  And ringleaders, if ringleaders there were, should be pointedly named and shamed.

Vancouver deserved better last night. Canada deserved better.  Even the Canucks, who had a long worthy go of it up to the final games, deserved better.

The rioters are a third rate band of losers who still managed to cast a shadow on what should have been – win or lose – a wonderful night for all the country.  Everyone in Canada who loves hockey and Canada despises these people.

For The National, I’m Rex Murphy.