Monday, 8 August 2011

London Riots (6-7 Aug 2011) - Musings On What Happened

OK, I live in London, albeit in the deep south, so I suppose that it behoves me to write something on the troubles over the weekend.

Now I don't know enough to comment on the causes of the problems up in Tottenham, and I don't intend to do so.

What I would say is it shows the disconnect between the political classes and their electorate. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to see that a police shooting in odd circumstances may cause a bit resentment in any tight knit community, but the local MP and members of the London Assembly seemed unable to see this on Saturday night, saying how well community - police relations had been going. In any area with any sort or level of gang culture it would seem that young men are keen to take on the police given a chance (look at the trouble in Northern Ireland last month)!

The police might have wheeled out a senior officer to explain to the initial peaceful demonstration that they couldn't make any statement(s) as the IPCC investigation precluded them from saying anything, rather than just saying nothing.

The speed with which trouble grew and the looting was organised was a tribute to the power of social networking, mobile phone technology, and 24/7 news reporting. It is a pity that the police were unable to forsee this!

The police reaction to the initial problems is interesting. One could almost think that the police allowed things to get bad so that they could say 'Well, that is what happens when you apply austerity measures to the police!'. If it was, then it seems to have backfired.

A link to the latest from the Beeb on the matter.

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