It is now a year since riots swept through London and other British cities. To mark the anniversary, many newspapers, politicians and TV pundits are making retrospective statements on what took place. Now, as at the time, much of the political establishment has chosen to portray the events in moralistic terms, shrill denunciations with very little in the way of objective analysis.
On 30 March The Guardian published a video recording showing Mauro Demetrio, a twenty one year old from Beckton, East London, being subjected to racial abuse and violence by police officers in the back of a police van after his arrest during the riots in August 2011.
A YouGov poll for the Sun showed 33% apparently favouring the use of live ammunition against rioters in defence of their property rights.
On 12 August, three days after the England riots had come to an end, Eric Pickles, the Conservative Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, declared “looters should be evicted”.
New government figures show that the clampdown by police and courts after the August riots has been a class-hate orgy.
This summer’s riots have given impetus to regressive Tory rhetoric on morality and family life. The “failings” of single parents (single mothers especially) are central to that rhetoric.
If you are looking for the article on Aaron Kiely voting for cuts, see here.
During the riots many who would normally describe themselves as liberals or moderate socialists repeatedly Tweeted and updated Facebook with their own calls for the use of “any means necessary” to restore social order.
The government is considering allowing magistrates and crown court judges to withdraw the social security benefits of those they convict as part of its response to last month’s riots.
The Labour council in Southwark, south London has written to 35 tenants across the borough where members of the household have been charged with riot related offences.