There has been much focus on the performance of the police during the London riots. But the police are social dustmen. They deal with the results of social problems; they are not a solution.
What the riots denote is just how much communities in the inner cities have decayed over recent years. The latest cuts simply take away the last remaining bits of cement that had been holding the crumbling edifice together.Hope for many young people has been taken away, yet at the same time the materialist celebrity culture is fed to them 24 hours a day – you are what you have. Once this dangerous cocktail of dispossession, hopelessness and shops crammed full of goodies is brought together, who can be surprised that, with a little co-ordination via social networking sites, a peaceful demonstration in Tottenham should have turned into rioting and looting. It is time for politicians and media commentators to realise that community is falling apart in this country and we are closer to the abyss that anyone has been prepared to contemplate.