UPDATE – The Rain Stopped Play; London Riots – “we’re at the start of something, not the end” (Irish Central); Global Civil Unrest


A Clockwork Orange (Iconographic)

  • Irish CentralWhat’s behind the London riots? – VIDEOS: Britain… just had the coldest July for 50 years. Like Ireland, the ordinary working class folk there are settling in to a hard diet of austerity, rising taxes and biting social welfare cuts. Times are getting pretty thin… at the weekend a protest over a police killing lit an all-too flammable fuse and sparked epic street riots that have now spread to Liverpool and Birmingham.It began as a protest but it quickly descended into anarchy and lawlessness; these nightly confrontations are terrifying in their violence and frightening in their pointlessness; but they have not come out of nowhere and they’re about more than just urban alienation or aggression.Anyone who tells you otherwise has no appetite for reality. It’s not erroneous to accuse the rioters of criminality – but you shouldn’t just stop there.  Something’s shifting in the wider British culture and you’re kidding yourself if you pretend not to see it.All you need to do is look at the scale of the riots now engulfing London – they pass from district to district, they’re highly organized and they’re growing…  Deep cuts to education spending and welfare, the closing doors of opportunity, the near certainty that the economy won’t get better for years, and the sense of having been completely cut off and left adrift – these awarenesses are all in the mix.Thinking back we got our first foretaste of what was to come when the Rolls Royce carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall was attacked on their way to the theatre last year… there’s a sense, in England, especially among young working class people there, that their leaders have no plan for them and no interest in their futures. The Murdoch trial has just shown them a world where the absurdly rich and well connected can make and play by their own rules, without – as yet – significant consequences… And I don’t think shooting these kids off the streets is going to work at all. They’ve already had most of the hope squeezed out of them. They’re more dangerous than most of us imagine. I suspect we’re at the start of something, not the end.
  • RT.comChaos in London; Britain rocked by worst riots in decades: Locals say there is a lot of frustration and anger in London boroughs because of the recession, as the lack of jobs leaves youths with nothing to do.Many rioters on the streets are as young as 14 and it seems that the whole scene is a game to them, as they crash windows and loot shops, laughing.
  • RT.comBritain burning; Riot madness spreads across UK: Violence and looting has spread to the western city of Bristol, making it the fourth UK city, after London, Birmingham and Liverpool, where authorities are struggling to keep pace with the unrest.
  • The Irish StoryBook Review; Riotous Assemblies – Rebels, Riots and Revolts in Ireland: The Riot – street battle or street theatre?The riot is indeed a fascinating phenomenon. It may be defined as the use of collective violence by many people in a public place, but beyond that it encompasses a very wide range of behaviour, sometimes very violent, sometimes not.A riot is not the same as a battle – lethal conflict between armed adversaries, where the aim is to kill, incapacitate and otherwise destroy the opposing force. The riot is characterised by a much lower level of violence and usually non-lethal weapons – fists, sticks, stones and more recently petrol bombs. Though this may happen simply because the protagonists have not armed themselves yet with lethal weapons… Other riots are not bloody at all. Sometimes the point is to publicy demonstrate discontent or to use minimal violence –a kind of moral force – to for instance occupy a contested public space or to halt an unpopular state action. Most rioting around strikes or evictions falls into this category.In certain situations, both sides, be they rival crowds or civilians and state forces, tacitly acknowledge limitations on violence. Sometimes it is expected that only fists be used, at other times stones and petrol bombs and in return, batons and rubber bullets, but not actual bullets. Why do riots sometimes abide by unwritten rules of conduct limiting violence and at other times degenerate into massacres?
  • Riotous Assembly: Riots, Rebels and Revolts in Ireland (Mercier Press Ltd, 2011); thanks to Brenny at Politics.ie for this and above link;
  • SpiegelShowdown with the Mob; Cameron Fights for Law and Order: The police are widely expected to resort to tactics that were until now regarded as “un-British.” The few officers who are entitled to carry firearms in England will now be issued with rubber bullets to keep the mob in check.
  • Business InsiderLONDON RIOTS RUMOR; A Breakdown In The Drugs Trade Caused The Chaos: If Britain’s drug trade breaks down, two things happen.
    1. Drug addicts have no drugs.
    2. Drug dealers have no money.

    That’s a considerable amount of pissed off people — either forced to commit more crime to get money for increasingly expensive drugs, or forced to leave the relatively simple illegal practice of drug dealing to move into new, and potentially more violent fields.

  • Slugger O’TooleLondon riots Day 3. Met tactics come under increasing scrutiny: “What do we want from the police?” is always a fair question that is likely to be asked in different terms after this week.  Ben Brogan‘s Telegraph blog gives a flavour of  the emerging  Conservative critique. This is the harder revisionist line from John O’Connor a former Met commander, writing in the Guardian.  Will local people give offenders up?  This is a stern test of all those years of community liaison. Will the courts break the habit of giving them bail? If not, where will they put them?   London is poorly geared for this.
  • The Cedar Lounge RevolutionStrange stuff these UK riots…: …one sees Obama talking about the US being a Triple A rated country, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary, and the general background of an economic crisis both globally and locally which has lasted three years now and all this seems of a piece. Political or not.
  • David Malone / Golem XIV – Brits riot, Iranians crack a joke and the FED argue among themselves: In the UK, Wolverhampton and Manchester are alight. I have little experience of Wolverhampton. But Manchester is a central pocket based around Market Street, basically rebuilt with Russian mafia money..sorry investment, which brought with it a huge drug business. Surrounding this rebuilt but, in my opinion, still strikingly ugly centre, are some extremes of poverty and deprivation. Longsight, Levenshulme and Moss Side are some of the country’s poorest areas. So far parts of Market Street are alight. Including, poetically, a housing benefits office – one of the places where they tell you you’re not poor enough yet.
  • John Robb / Global Guerrillas – BOOK; Disaster Utopias and Elite Panics; A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit: In contrast to the people on the ground, … the only people that actually do panic during disasters are the elites — from those with wealth to those running the government’s response (I’m not talking about the first responders actually on the ground doing good work).  They panic over the loss of control a disaster brings.  This often results in extreme actions that only serve to make things worse: from martial law authorized to use deadly force against looters (often just people trying to survive the situation) to arbitrarily hearding people into locations that aren’t able to support large groups of people.  The lesson here is that during an extreme disaster, the people you may most need to fear are those in charge, particularly if their motives are focused on protecting elite interests put at risk by the disaster.  Rebecca has a caution for governments that don’t align their actions with those of the people:  history shows that disasters can serve as the trigger for revolutions if handled with bad intent.
  • Beppe GrilloLondra Brucia! / London’s Burning!: “My daughter is in Ealin and riots have also arrived there, I wrote that went downtown to help, and that the police is low, given the government’s cuts, and the discomfort is great, and has produced the attacks of a sector English youth who, without political and social reasons, is from time to chronicle acoltellamenti and vandalism, an equivalent of our blac block or street vandals. Beyond these thugs, these are just signs of what happen when neoliberalism has destroyed the last remains of the welfare state and the poor ghettoized as has happened in London, as elsewhere in the world, while the government cuts the most vulnerable, weak law enforcement, close to the future of young people. The revolt in London is a mix that has nothing to do with multiculturalism, but it occurs every time, in London as in Paris, in the Bronx, as in Liverpool, the revolt of the excluded bursts where poverty and marginalization have created ghettos of suffering that intersect with the islands of wild and destructive crime. In this rebellion of poverty is linked more and vandalism of youths who have neither political ideology nor social protest, the casseur Paris yesterday and today’s young Londoners who just yesterday stabbed attacked regardless of race or culture, and who are the scum of all violent social uprising. “viviana see, Bologna
  • [Thanks to TheIrishEconomy.ie] VoxEU.org / Centre for Economic Policy ResearchAusterity and Anarchy; Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2009: In the wake of this week’s London riots, some commentators have linked the youth unrest to budget cuts. The authors of CEPR DP8513 explore the historical basis for this view and finds that austerity and violence have tended to go hand in hand.

Take a company of well-bred men and women dining together. There is no struggling for food, no attempt on the part of anyone to get more than his neighbour; no attempt to To gorge or to carry off. On the contrary, each one is anxious to help his neighbour before he partakes himself; to offer to others the best rather than pick it out for himself; and should anyone show the slightest disposition to prefer the gratification of his own appetite to that of the others, or in any way to act the pig or pilferer, the swift and heavy penalty of social contempt and ostracism would show how such conduct is reprobated by common opinion.

All this is so common as to excite no remark, as to seem the natural state of things. Yet it is no more natural that men should not be greedy of food than that they should not be greedy of wealth. They are greedy of food when they are not assured that there will be a fair and equitable distribution that will give enough to each. But when these conditions are assured, they cease to be greedy of food. And so in society, as at present constituted, men are greedy of wealth because the conditions of distribution are so unjust that instead of each being sure of enough, many are certain to be condemned to want. It is the “devil catch the hindmost” of present social adjustments that causes the race and scramble for wealth, in which all considerations of justice, mercy, religion and sentiment are trampled underfoot; in which men forget their own souls and struggle to the very verge of the grave for what they cannot take beyond. But an equitable distribution of wealth, by exempting all from the fear of want, would destroy the greed of wealth, just as in polite society the greed of food has been destroyed.
Consider this existing fact of a cultivated and refined society, in which all the coarser passions are held in check, not by force, not by law, but by common opinion and the mutual desire to please. If this is possible for a part of a community, it is possible for a whole community. There are states of society in which everyone has to go armed – in which everyone has to hold himself in readiness to defend person and property with the strong hand. If we have progressed beyond that, we may progress still further.

– Henry George, “Progress and Poverty

  • The TelegraphLondon riots: all incidents mapped in London and around the UK: Interactive map of clashes between police and rioters between Saturday 6th and Tuesday 9th August 2011. 
  • MSNBC  – Potent mix of cuts, unemployment could fuel more UK riots; 6,000 people in Tottenham are claiming job seekers allowance: Earlier this year, Tottenham lawmaker David Lammy pleaded for attention to his struggling constituency after official figures showed it had the highest jobless count in London and the 10th highest in Britain.Last weekend, he got it — though not in the way he had hoped… locals and commentators warn that high levels of long-term and youth unemployment and cuts in services like youth centers in places like Haringey — the borough where Tottenham sits — are creating a tinder box for unrest... high unemployment, coupled with cuts in “cohesion instruments” like sports and community groups, created environments where people felt like outsiders in their own society.“People learn to live outside the norms… where they have no buy-in to the structures we expect.”
  • Digital JournalOp-Ed: The London riots – seeing the bigger picture:
    The police have vowed to bring to book those responsible for setting Tottenham ablaze, but what about those who have caused billions of dollars of damage to our economy? Ironically, after some initially carefully managed outrage, they have been rewarded with further unwarranted bonuses. As the saying goes:
    “They hang the man and flog the woman,
    Who steals the goose from off the common,
    Yet let the greater villain loose,
    That steals the common from the goose.”
  • Paul Staines / Guido Fawkes – Fatherless Feral Youths: Yesterday Guido tweeted that he “Would bet that the majority of the homes of those looting youths are fatherless”. Andrew Neil chimed in pointing out that “Surveys suggest that in areas like Tottenham as many as 80% families have absent/no fathers. Similar to worst ghettoes in US… Pointing out most underclass families are fatherless [is] different from blaming single mothers”.
  • Spiegel‘Riots Reveal the Decay of British Society’: The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:“It is no coincidence that intelligent observers are drawing parallels between the popular uprisings taking place in the Arab spring and the street battles of this London summer. The British teens, with their hooded tops may be the citizens of a functioning democracy which is proud of being the world’s oldest. But elections mean nothing to them and will not do anything to change their personal situation. The prospects of these youth in London are as dismal as those of young people in Cairo or Sana’a: They need unemployment benefits, odd jobs, state handouts and perhaps a bit of petty crime to stay afloat. The message to the British underclass couldn’t be any clearer: Born poor, you will remain poor and that naturally also applies to your children and grandchildren. Your chances of winning the lottery are greater than breaking out of your class.”“In no other country in Europe is inequality as cemented in society as in the United Kingdom. Today, as in the past, a person’s name, family and place of birth is decisive when it comes to establishing a career. Regardless whether a person is a politician, executive or journalist, they all went to the same schools, studied the same subjects and speak the same refined English they were taught by their parents.”“The riots are in no way a purely British problem. There is social distress all across Europe, as hard-up countries are forced to scrimp and save. And there are teenagers and 20-somethings all over who will be forced to assume a mountain of debt that has been carelessly accumulated by the postwar generation. They are already being referred to as the Lost Generation. The rioting youth in London are the ugly flip side of this generation. But they all feel lost, regardless of where they are in Europe.”
  • ZeroHedge.com/ Washington’s Blog – CNBC: British Riots – And Unrest Worldwide – Caused By “Economic Uncertainty”:While most mainstream news outlets are blaming the British riots on random thuggery, they are really an outgrowth of bad economic conditions and governments’ poor response to the financial crisis.As I’ve noted for years, raging inequality and policies which help the big boys at the expense of the “little people” are causing unrest – not just in Egypt – but worldwide.
  • Irish Left ReviewTottenham and Beyond: neoliberal riots and the possibility of politics: … violence against the police (and therefore the state) is not considered in itself to be political. It is because the envy of, the desire for and the acquisition of luxury goods such as plasma TVs and jewellery is not considered political. The political class and the commentariat cannot conceive of themselves as enemies of the people who live in areas like Tottenham where Tory cuts are closing youth centres, which suffer massive unemployment even while the City is booming, and which are the objects of legislation designed to disadvantage them even further.On the other hand, the neoliberal state functions primarily as a way of facilitating the accumulation of wealth and hence luxury goods… So capitalism is looting the public sphere… Citizens are to be redefined as consumers of services… The police function as the guarantor of profit. The police are ‘ours’ only in the way the taxman is ours. The police thus find themselves increasingly (for it was ever thus) with their backs to the corporate wall facing a disinherited citizenry for whom the state is a hostile force. This makes the police political for it is a mistake to think that the looting of the public sphere by corporations and individuals is not political.
  • Big ThinkWhy London Is Burning: The reality is that the British political establishment have presided over more than a quarter century of social breakdown and the development of a poorly educated underclass with little or no hope.  There was some respite during the years of ‘boom’ in the form of what the establishment used to like to call ‘trickle down’, but essentially the rich got even richer and the poor relatively poorer.  At the bottom of the heap, the British underclass expanded as this country came closer to mirroring America… a new boundary has been crossed, and it is quite possible that there could be night curfews and troops held in reserve if the failing blue line of police does buckle. There haven’t been curfews in this country to my knowledge since Peterloo, nor have there been troops on the streets since the General Strike in 1926. Back then, Churchill sent armed soldiers into the South Wales coalfields.We are today witnessing the return of the mob, last seen on London’s streets in the 1700s. No one can say they weren’t warned. But the question is how will the effete Westminster class of politicians respond? That there is something deeply rotten in British society, there can be no doubt.Clearly the public will demand that these scenes are not allowed to be repeated, and will expect a tough response to out of control, feral youth. But beyond this, what sort of society do we want in the 21st century? Something that resembles the 1700s or something that we had in the latter half of the last century?
  • John Nadler / Kitco.com – London’s Burning Dial 999. Or, Just Buy the Farm: There is one potential contributing factor to the market storms still underway at the moment. However, the topic is still taboo as few dare mention a possible correlation due to the fear of prophecies becoming self-fulfilling. London. A new and ominous dimension has been added to the fear factor that is gripping the world tightly this long hot summer; social chaos. Nihilism appears to have taken over in one of the world’s formerly most stable democracies.London (and now parts of NW England) is ablaze with the fires of rage; the same London that exhibited nothing but the warm/fuzzies at a recent royal family wedding. Armchair psychologists opine that youth feels most alive when it is rioting. Others point to desperation about a bleak future as the cause. Whatever the paradigm, markets shudder when the streets are on fire. This is one of those times, and we are reminded that there by the Grace…goes France (2007) and Canada (NHL finals) and the USA (when). Dissent is also defined as rebellion in most dictionaries.
  • RT.comEurope vulnerable to social unrest, says Russian politician: As the UK struggles to contain widespread civil unrest, Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee said Europe’s policy of multiculturalism has been a failure and could lead to further acts of violence.­Margelov did not mince his words when asked his opinion of the situation in Britain and across Europe, where millions of first-generation migrants and their families have relocated in the search of work and a better life.“Many of the migrants do not give a damn for the rules of decent conduct whether in Paris, Brussels, London or Cologne, to say nothing of European values,” Margelov told Interfax on Wednesday. “So there are no recipes that would guarantee that no more riots will flare up in a year or so.”… Margelov said that “the myth of responsibility” is compelling European governments to grant migrants social benefits, an act that is increasingly being criticized by the native population as economic opportunities are becoming increasingly scarce...In Finland, for example, the “True Finns” shook up this traditionally sleepy Nordic country by winning 39 seats in Finland’s 200-member Parliament, thus becoming the third-largest party in the country. This gives them enough political leverage to put a cap on the number of immigrants entering Finland, which is renowned for its generous social benefits, including the allocation of free apartments and food stamps.Many Finnish people say the influx of immigrants to their country is placing undue pressure on these coveted public expenditures, which now face the prospect of being slashed.Meanwhile, in October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with a keen nose to the shifting political winds, told a gathering of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party that the experiment in a multicultural society has “utterly failed.”
  • Aqui hay Tomate – [Google Translation] Panic in the Streets of London by Laurie Penny: Violence in the streets is being dismissed as “pure criminality” as the work of a “violent minority” as “opportunism”.This is blatantly inadequate. No way to talk of a disturbance with viral nature. Angry young people with nothing to do and little to lose are turning against their own communities, and can not be stopped, and they know it. Tonight, one of the largest cities in the world, society is bursting itself.Violence is rarely absurd. The policy of a burning building, destroyed a shop or a young man shot by police may remain hidden even to him who started the fire or fired the gun, but the policy is there. Unquestionably there is much, much more behind these disturbances that the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting sparked the unrest on Saturday, when two police cars were seized after a five-hour surveillance against Tottenham police station… Most people will be writing, talking and pontificating about the chaos this weekend does not have the slightest idea what it is to grow in a community in which there is no work, no place to live or move, and Police are on the streets by standing and frisking you when you come home after school. The people of these communities wake up this week on security and the conviction that after decades of being ignored, marginalized and harassed by police, after months of watching any plausible hope of a better future being confiscated, is finally on the news.In an interview on NBC, was asked if a young Tottenham riots really pursuing something:“Yes,” said the young man, “You would not be talking to me if [there were no] riots. Would you? “
  • Centre for Research on GlobalizationRiots in Britain; Back to the Future:
    Back in 2003 I wrote the following and as things have not basically changed, I see no reason why these words are not as relevant today as when I first wrote them:    Throughout the 1960s and 70s, attacks, especially on Black youth and Asians with the indifference and outright connivance of the police rose to unprecedented levels, with Black resistance stiffening throughout the 1970s, culminating in the ‘riots’ of the 1980-81. And just as now, Afro-Caribbean children suffered the institutional effects of an education policy that imprisoned them in ESN (Educationally Sub-Normal) schools.        “It was clear that the state’s version of ‘multi-culturalism’ had failed because it was directed not at those sections of society that needed support, the Black and Asian community, but at the white power structure. [A]ll…it had done was create a “race relations industry”.
  • The GuardianThe year we realised our democratically elected leaders can no longer protect us; The financial crisis, phone hacking and now riots. Where once we may have felt rage, now we can feel only impotence: This scepticism toward the potency of democratic politicians – and therefore democratic politics itself – is oddly echoed by the looters themselves. Certainly no one outside the Iranian state media is calling them “protesters”, but even “rioters” seems the wrong word, carrying with it a hint of political purpose. For some, especially at the start in Tottenham, there was clearly a political dimension – with the police the prime focus of their anger. But many of the copycat actions across London and elsewhere have no apparent drive beyond the opportunistic desire to steal and get away with it. It’s striking that the targets have not been town halls or, say, Tory HQ – stormed by students last November – but branches of Dixons, Boots and Carphone Warehouse. If they are making a political statement, it is that politics does not matter. And while the revulsion at the looting has been widespread and bipartisan – with plenty of liberals admitting to “coming over all Daily Mail” at the ugliness of the vandalism – that sense of the impotence of politics is widespread, too. One aspect of the phone-hacking scandal that went deep was its revelation that those we might think exert authority – police and politicians – were in fact supine before an unelected media corporation. The sheer power of News Corp contrasted with the craven behaviour of those we elect or entrust to look out for us.
  • Sp¡ked! / Brendan O’Neill – This spinelessness is an invitation to riot; By shutting down normal life in response to some hooded youth, the authorities actually inflamed the instability.: …it seems largely to have been this institutional cowardice, this political wretchedness, the bizarre police-and-mayoral strategy of shutting down London in response to historically quite minor disturbances, which sustained the rioting over four days and nights and allowed it to spread around the country. Certainly the rioting is not being sustained by its pursuit of a political agenda (it has none) or by public backing (it has none. And no, sympathetic columns in the Guardian written by people who live nowhere near Hackney or Salford do not count as public backing.) Rather, it was the initially startled, hands-off attitude taken by the police, followed by the strategy of capitulation, which, in the words of one academic observer, probably filled the youths with an ‘adrenalin-fuelled euphoria’. The real story of these riots, if we look at them coolly, is not so much the fury of those on the outskirts of society, but rather the cowardice of those who are supposed to guard and uphold the centre of society. The riots are a product of the interplay between this institutional incoherence and the self-pitying politics of victimhood amongst the welfare state-raised kids ‘out there’.
  • Sp¡ked! / Mick Hume – Why the police are in a state of impotence; The British authorities’ confused and fearful response to the recent urban rioting has exposed the crisis of state authority today: Recent events look less like an Eighties-style ‘uprising’ from below than a collapse of authority from the top down. The authorities have left a power vacuum that invited anybody with a brick or a shopping trolley to come and have a go… The first anti-racist campaign that I joined during the time of the 1981 riots had the outrageous demand ‘Police off our streets’. The slightly idealistic idea was not that there should be anarchy, but that people should take control of their own areas. At times over the past few days it seemed as if that slogan might have become a reality in parts of London. Not because communities had taken control, however, but because the police had simply withdrawn like departing Roman legions, leaving behind a power vacuum for anybody to walk into. Little wonder that residents of parts of London were reported to be taking the defence of local streets into their own hands. The left was not behind the 1985 riots, of course. But we did make clear that we defended the black community of Broadwater Farm against the police occupation, and would not be distracted from that by the looting and arson that had been a sideshow to the confrontation between the people and the state. I feel no such sense of solidarity towards the nihilistic rioters of 2011, who almost make the rioters of yesteryear look like political idealists by comparison and whose ‘programme’ is summed up by one of those infamous Blackberry messages reported on the news, calling for others to join in the London looting for ‘pure terror and havoc and free stuff’. These riots began for no deep reason, and so they can end just as readily, and mean little or nothing in the greater scheme of things. They will leave behind only some blackened buildings – and the crumbling hulk of the state’s burnt-out authority.
  • Sp¡ked / Brendan O’Neill – London’s burning: a mob made by the welfare state: These observers are right that there is a political context to the riots. They are right to argue that while the police shooting of young black man Mark Duggan may ostensibly have been the trigger for the street violence, there is a broader context to the disturbances. But they are wrong about what the political context is. Painting these riots as some kind of action replay of historic political streetfights against capitalist bosses or racist cops might allow armchair radicals to get their intellectual rocks off, as they lift their noses from dusty tomes about the Levellers or the Suffragettes and fantasise that a political upheaval of equal worth is now occurring outside their windows. But such shameless projection misses what is new and peculiar and deeply worrying about these riots. The political context is not the cuts agenda or racist policing – it is the welfare state, which, it is now clear, has nurtured a new generation that has absolutely no sense of community spirit or social solidarity.

And now for something, completely different – RT Video Interview with Michael C. Ruppert of CollapseNet“This is a Generational Revolution”:


UK Riots: Night Four

Riot madness spreads across UK: RT video report from Hackney, London:

Iconic cover from "London Calling" album by The Clash, 1979

'“Zombies of death, and food shortages;” this is not a description of the massive riots in London Aug. 8, but lyrics from a song by the cult band “The Clash” titled “London Calling” that’s taken on eerie overtones as this song is being used as the anthem for London as part of the official countdown coverage for London’s 2012 Summer Olympics.'...No jobs, no money, no food and only the haves and the have not’s“London Calling” is a song by The Clash that’s not only emerging in the U.S., but worldwide, say experts who warn of a “breaking point” is at hand.

West Indian lady representing ordinary Hackney opinion:

    Why are you burning people’s shops that they have worked hard to build up?… Look at that shop over there, she has worked hard to make it work and you’re just going to go and burn it up?

… And for what, just to say you are warring and a badman? This is about a f***ing man who was shot in Tottenham. This ain’t about busting up the place. Get real, black people, get real… You lot piss me the f**k off.

[Via Derek Turner]


The Rain Stopped Play…

  • TelegraphUK riots 2011: Rain and police presence prevent 5th night of violence;
  • The GuardianUK riots; ‘Being liberal is fine, but we need to be given the right to parent’: This is a refrain David Lammy, Tottenham’s Labour MP, hears frequently from constituents. He set up an all-party group on fatherhood earlier this year, because he was worried the subject was not getting enough attention.

    He is careful to point out that every community has a few hundred troubled young people, who are unrepresentative of the rest of society, and to qualify any discussion of parenting in the context of riots, by stressing: “I’m not suggesting that it’s OK to loot, rob, steal or burn down people’s homes, but these are issues we need to address.

    “In areas like mine, we know that 59% of black Caribbean children are looked after by a lone parent. There is none of the basic starting presumption of two adults who want to start a family, raise children together, love them, nourish them and lead them to full independence. The parents are not married and the child has come, frankly, out of casual sex; the father isn’t present, and isn’t expected to be. There aren’t the networks of extended families to make up for it. We are seeing huge consequences of the lack of male role models in young men’s lives,” he said. “There are virtually no male teachers in primary schools.”

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