The video above is worth watching in full because it shows something the press and politicians want to talk about least, the mass nature of the recent “unfortunate events.” The police in London did not lose control of the streets because they are unaware of the danger of riot or because they do not have enough heavily armed and specially trained squads ready to deal with it. They were, by their own admission, overwhelmed by the numbers of people involved.
Even “non nonsense” and “robust” tactics as per below somehow failed to work
Another News Meme we have been encouraged to believe is that the riots were perpetrated by some separate group in society, some random people unconnected with our daily world. For the Right this wasthe Underclass (an idea that sounded far more convincing in the original German), for the left the however, the rioters were “precarious proletariat” or the oppressed or the youth. Both are wrong, this was a mass uprising involving all of the labouring classes. After the bankers, MP’s and the media others have joined the “society of looters.”
However for once we have the statistics, as someone has put together a Spreadsheet showing data on riot-related defendants to appear in court so far. The list of occupations is instructive; (Postman, freelance journalist, estate agent, Law student. semi-pro footballer) We can also see the harshness of the sentencing on those who plead guilty of minor offences. A policy already being called into question by legal professionals . What is worse are attempts at collective punishment of the families of accused rioters. We have also seen a mother of two who slept through the riots being jailed for six months.
Britain has a history of riot, one that stretched from Watt Tylor to the Poll Tax. After every one the state seeks to demonise those who took part, ruin their lives and crush their communities, only to admit ten years later that they had a point. We should all work to stopping that happening again.
Finally, for viewers in Scotland, we had an engaging riot subplot as various members of our ruling party decided to take umbrage at the revolt being billed as #ukriots on twitter and, heaven forfend, “British Riots” on the BBC. Thankfully good sense has prevailed and the BBC are now reduced to speaking of “England Riots” while our national leaders are congratulating themselves on saving our tourist trade news of when they would address Scotland’s social inequality, which the statistics show makes Tottenham look like Happytown was not breaking at the time of writing.