After watching Newsnight last night I am not sure whether we should be amused by our ‘leadership’ or alarmed. The response to the riots seemed to consist of a series of self-interested statements. So, for the police, the cuts to pay and conditions need to be reversed. There would be no riots if police pensions were better? For Ken Livingstone, cuts in public services are to blame. Are the people rioting for lack of youth clubs in which to play table tennis? To suggest there are simple answers is either naive or a deliberate attempt to use the events for other ends. There are clearly lots of things happening at once, not all of which are easy to understand. Rioting, looting, other crime in the shadow of the disturbances and, in Liverpool, some ‘copycat’ riots that would scarcely have made the national news in normal circumstances.
Leaping to conclusions about why, who and what should be done only seems to emphasise a sense that there are different (many?) worlds at play, each unable to communicate with or to understand the other(s).