Everyone is taken by surprise. Everyone is blaming the police, short-handed on account of austerity cutbacks. And the United Kingdom's elite were caught on their summer vacations:
David Cameron fiddled with the foil on a bottle of pinot grigio in Tuscany; deputy prime minister Nick Clegg quietly recovered at home from his getaway in sunny France; and chancellor of the exchequer George Osbourne remained ensconced at a hotel somewhere in Beverly Hills.Not Tottenham's youth who had no place to go on their summer holidays but out on the street, primed for the Metropolitan Police's reviled stop-and-search policy.
A wider context for the riots ... must include the impact of David Cameron's controversial austerity measures. Tottenham is among the communities worst affected by Cameron's budget, which drastically cuts programs for the young, poor and voteless. Funding has been cut from more than 380 youth charities across Britain, and Harringey Council, which covers four of the five riot areas so far, recently closed eight out of its 13 youth centres. The Harringey youth services budget was slashed by 75 per cent.Don't get me wrong. I don't like class war when it's open and declared. It's ugly and costly. The collateral damage is cruel and extensive among the innocents and bystanders. But the head of the ostrich of the Western world's wealthy classes is deep in the sands of their beach resorts. What happens in Tottenham and other areas in London, are not likely to stay there.