Pent-up resentment, a growing social divide, mistrust of the police? At the start, certainly. Riots follow Tory governments like, well like effect follows cause. But now something else has happened. Something new.
Consider the circumstances. The Metropolitan Police, tasked with keeping order in London, are demoralised and ill-prepared. They’ve had a 20% funding cutback even though, as always in a recession, crime rates are soaring. They’ve just lost their Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner in the phone hacking scandal, under a pall of suspected corruption. And the man who is ultimately in charge is Boris Johnson.
I’ll just say that again so it can sink in. Boris Johnson.
What we are seeing is an extraordinary historic opportunity. Social media and fancy phones were not really necessary, it almost crystallised out of the air. A truly vast number of petty thieves, shoplifters, and many who until now have never been tempted by crime had one single thought. If they all did it at once, they could steal… they could steal… They could steal London.
The whole thing. It’ll be gone by Thursday.
- London riots: Boris Johnson agrees to return to London (telegraph.co.uk)
- Panic on the Streets of London… (hannahoutloud.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: London riots: Cars ablaze in Lewisham (bbc.co.uk)