Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This was one of the most striking images from last night's London riots. It's impossible not to feel for the residents and businesses there who have lost everything in a night of unjustified anarchy.

I sat and watched and listened to various opinions on why it happened but from what I can see there is only one cause. War has been declared on those who have something by those who think they can take what they like.

The predatory image of an injured young man being fleeced by scum that pretended to help and then just guided him into a position where he could be robbed and taken advantage of turned my stomach.

This disorder is nothing to do with any political cause. Govt buildings would have been the target if it was. Instead, high value clothing, electrical and communication goods stores as well as private residences were targeted.

Back in the 1980s, there were valid reasons for the rioting that was confined to specific areas where people were suffering. 100 years ago the industrial riots that started in London and spread around the rest of the UK in a similar fashion to those of today, began with genuine grievances but the cause was hijacked by hooligans who looted and smashed and burned because they could.

Will David Cameron - now he's back from sunny Tuscany - call in the Army as Winston Churchill did as Home Secretary a century ago? I guess we'll have to wait and see but he's certainly not talking about hugging the hoodies involved at least.

* The riots that took place in Lincoln began on August 18 ,1911 and ended on August 21, 1911.* Part of the reason that the City raged with uncontrollable violence was because the chief politicians - the Mayor and Town Clerk - were away on holiday in the exotic climes of Sutton on Sea and Conwy. With 5,000 rioters to contend with, the City Police Force of less than 50 officers, with all leave cancelled, were grossly outnumbered. A contingent that cycled from Grimsby to help the city force arrived just after the Army restored control without a single bullet being fired. The sound of bayonets being fixed was enough to disperse the crowd.

* Correction made. See comments.