In Tottenham, the northern London neighborhood at the center of the rioting, residents spoke of twin perils that had converged to leave their streets scarred and smoldering on Sunday.
Frustration in this impoverished neighborhood, as in many others in Britain, has mounted as the government’s austerity budget has forced deep cuts in social services. At the same time, a widely held disdain for law enforcement here, where a large Afro-Caribbean population has felt singled out by the police for abuse, has only intensified through the drumbeat of scandal that has racked Scotland Yard in recent weeks and led to the resignation of the force’s two top commanders.
I don’t think the riots had anything to do with budget cuts or with diminished respect for law enforcement. Instead, this thuggish behavior had 100% to do with the lousy values of the thugs who committed it.
Budget cuts and phone hacking don’t force one to set buildings ablaze and to loot. Only people without values do this kind of behavior. Only savages act this way.
The looters in London, like the looters in Los Angeles in 1991, are savages. They are scum. They deserve to be strung up.
Giving people welfare without requiring anything in return breeds dependency, entitlement and bad values.
For some time now, residents of some US cities have noted occasional incidents of seemingly random, racially motivated violence in which young Black males are involved. The hot weather and bad economy seem to be combining to generate a small but possibly significant uptick this year. The national media are doing their best to avoid looking too closely at this disturbing phenomenon, and perhaps for good reason. What the United States doesn’t need is a media firestorm that triggers copycat violence.