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)
6 replies on “The Great Theft Of London”
Tories are definitely more traditional. And The Sacking of London is a festival that has been celebrated for centuries.
More seriously, I’m trying and failing not to read too much into this. As in, trying not to pin too many national and global causes to this event. The riot is ostensibly said to be in response to the death of one local at the hands of the police, but one cannot avoid to place this in the context of other protests everywhere else.
Yes – isn’t it nice to have something not be blamed on Muslims for once? Though there will be those who describe this as an inevitable reaction to the threat of Jihadist looting.
It’s interesting that the news media in the UK seem to be reluctant to talk about the causes of this. I suppose they don’t want to seem to be justifying it. For now we must accept that it’s just a spontaneous outbreak of mass naughtiness.
Saw a twitter post on the subject, “Londoners aren’t seeing the bright side of this. When else do you get to smash a chav in the face with no repercussions?” The obvious thought to me was that if you’re looking to smash someone in the face with no repercussions, you probably ARE a chav, but hey…
You were certainly right about the police’s attitude to this. Not being able to cope, need more resources, yadda yadda yadda. Guess someone will have to revise those budget cuts.
And yet I heard Cameron this afternoon saying the Met commissioner had assured him personally that the police had all the resources they needed. The cops must feel like they’re the ultimate political footballs.
Only to be contradicted the day after by police and fire officers, along with Boris Johnson.