The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on the U.K. Riots

By on 8.9.11 | 9:02AM

Given what has happened with the downgrade in our credit rating and the subsequent reaction of the financial markets, the riots in the United Kingdom have been overlooked in this country. Let me state that I am characterizing these events as the U.K. Riots rather than the London Riots for the simple reason that this violence has now spread beyond London into Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham amongst other areas. While the lion's share of the violence has taken place in London this has become a national emergency and the Cameron/Clegg government had better restore order - fast. The U.K. is turning into something out of an Anthony Burgess novel.

Whether the London Metro Police shot an unarmed man remains to be seen. But even if that is the case, the people who have engaged in this violence over the past several days don't give a toss about Mark Duggan. When authority collapses, hoodlums and hooligans will always find a way to take advantage of the situation whether by enriching themselves in stealing consumer goods or using their newfound power to intimidate or assault innocent bystanders because they happen to be in their path. That some of these people are utilizing social media to facilitate this violence makes them that much more dangerous.

Needless to say I have no sympathy towards those who wantonly attack people or damage property. I sure as hell hope the Cameron/Clegg government doesn't respond to this crisis by putting forth a scheme (as they call it in the U.K.) for unemployed youth. If they do that then they are rewarding this licentious behavior. And what happens to the entrepreneur who has had his or her business destroyed? What happens to these people who have worked hard their whole lives only to see their hard work go up in smoke? If the Tory-Lib coalition is going to devote resources to anyone it should be to them. The Cameron/Clegg coalition also has to do something about their law enforcement or more precisely the lack of it. And where are the parents? Some of the rioters who have been arrested are quite young with the youngest being all of eleven-years old.

For more thoughts on what has transpired across the pond, I give you Melanie Phillips.

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