Monday, August 08, 2011
I Fear This Could Be Just the Start of It
Comment from one Leroy Cooper. A Tottenham rioter? No, he was involved in the 1981 Toxteth riots which moved Michael Heseltine to submit that paper to the Cabinet suggesting special funds to develop inner city Liverpool.
Writing today's Guardian Dave Hill reckons similar explosions could easily happen in a dozen other London boroughs. High youth unemployment, particularly within ethnic minorities, declining youth services and a dearth of new vacancies characterise many areas of the capital, and for that matter, other big cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.
Given this 'tinderbox' quality it does not need much, as we saw back in the early 1980s for it all to kick off. It seems groups of disaffected youth are just a twitter message away from filling up their milk bottles with petrol, grabbing a baseball bat and a supermarket trolley and heading off to the latest trouble spot to harass the police and loot a few shops. And the recent cuts by the Coalition government are only just beginning to bite; when they do I fear we can expect nights like those over the weekend to become commonplace.
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