A probable cause of the “pitiful response” London police in the first two nights of rioting could be seen as a direct result of RIGHT WING ECONOMICS!!! But following those first two nights, it was more a matter of a brush fire raging on in drought conditions.
The David Cameron-led Tory government had instituted massive cuts in funding for all manner of public services, including more than $3 billion cut in funding for police across the nation. There weren’t enough London police available to contain the looting and when police were brought in from other cities, some of the punks saw an opportunity. A couple of small town papers I have read had articles about the extra hours their local constables were working because some of them were in London or Birmingham or Liverpool
The various ‘austerity’ measures could certainly be seen as the spark behind the initial riots, although obviously they were not what kept the mess going. This morning British media is raging about the government taking the power to shut down cell phone networks and sites such as Facebook at the time future disturbances. The thugs and looters used texting and Facebook pages to create flash mobs and to spread word of where police units were gathered.
“To keep ‘democracy’ we must impose more restrictions on freedom”
No one of course has said those exact words but their actions may be seen on a daily basis in western nations today.
Some good points are being made by various talking heads but the “multiculturalism” aspect is being overplayed by certain media outlets. Do a bit of the Google and you will find pictures of one neigbourhood in London with local Muslims defending their mosque and all of the business in their local High Street. Others will show that most of the rioters were white, not black or brown. An article I read, said in one urban block, the locals – mostly West Indians – formed a group to defend their street, with men standing around with baseball bats
The truth is, “multiculturalism” is being used by various elements to institute right wing objectives, just as the tea party here is using the present financial crisis to impose restraints on the economy and also their own social agenda. In England there have been multiple instances of police racism and the incident that set this latest conflagration ablaze was the police shooting an unarmed man and then refusing to listen to objections.
There are no simple answers for the problems that set off the riots nor for the behaviour of those who participated in the riots and looting.
An excellent comment from an English site that normally covers the techy world of geeks
Their lack of focus – as Brixton was race – IS the focus. The empowerment of the impoverished, the might of the marginalised.
Interviewed looters ranged in their knowledge of the political landscape enough for commentators to grasp that organisation and a common grievance was lacking. But there was a grievance – a dangerous and multi-faceted one that’s difficult to title, but oh so real. The looting and thuggery unto itself is reason for this being an anti-establishment rebellion, and its lack of organisation indicative of alienation that doesn’t characterise but define it.