Tag Archives: london riots

Tough road ahead for Cameron

Its one of the most testing time for the British Prime Minister. After Hackgate cut short David Cameron’s Africa visitt, it was the teenage turmoil that has ‘vandalised’ his vacation.

Back in London to restore peace on the streets of United Kingdom, Cameron faces a critical junction that will define his premiership. Barring the lone occasion of him admitting that in the hindsight hiring former News of The World editor Andy Coulson was a mistake; Cameron hasn’t backed out on any of his stand or for that matter policy issues.

Night four was relatively calm in London, but elsewhere in UK riots were on, but coming in on day four of mayhem after many parts of the Capital were vandalised is not going to do a world of good to the PM as he faces the parliament on Thursday.

With Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman on BBC newsnight already giving the crisis a political shade by linking it to the CUTS that are frustrating the youth and being a contributing factor to this outrage it won’t be an easy walk ahead.

Not just that the four letter word will bite as the role of cops the way they acted will go under the lens. The questions, why did this happen, are the cops in their present numbers and infrastructure in a position to handle any such overwhelming chaos in future, can such incidents be averted in future? And most importantly can the police afford to have CUTS.

Research by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary released last month suggests the police will  loose 16,200 personnel by 2015 and a total loss including that of the civilian staff will be close to 34,000. This according to BBC Newsnight will take the police strength back to what it was in 2003.

With the CUTS yet not imposed there have been two major violent protests in nine months is the prime minister going to rethink his strategy.

Apart from the policy matters and the debates in parliament which Cameron so far has defended showing admirable command his big test is will be to reinstall the faith of the man on the street, by securing them, their prospects and in the wake of ongoing crisis securing their businesses.

With his deputy and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg being forced to cut short his walk through the streets of Birmingham after being booed by the public and the shopkeepers in London taking on themselves to guard their businesses it’s not a good sign for Cameron.

Facing all this is not going to be easy, but it’s about time Cameron goes back to the famous ‘Hug the Hoodie’ speech he gave on July 10, 2006.  He then said “there is a connection between circumstances and behaviour,” and merely, “Debating symptoms and not causes will not serve the purpose.”

It’s the latter advice he then gave the Labour government that needs his attention to hold ground in the long run.


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Olympic city torched

What the hell is going on? The Olympic city is being torched at will, police sirens haven’t stop blowing for last 72 hours, it’s been three days that London is on fire and at the dawn of day four the prime minister cutting his vacation half way says everything necessary to restore order will be done.

For second time in less than a year the cosmopolitan capital of the world has been hit by widespread violence.

First it was the students protest during November 2010 and now the there is the widespread loot on the roads. As someone pointed out, “seems London is on sale” and hooligans are on a ball.

Powered by technology and with the humane cops(not to take anything away from the work they have done over the last three days)  trying all civilised ways to stop the thugs, the results are far from desired.

What is striking similar to both these incidents is the involvement of youngsters and use of technology.

During the students protests the venues and strategies were planned using facebook and twitter, this time around it’s the security that BBM( black berry messenger) provides which is giving the hooligans the edge so far.

The images so far show that the rioters are predominantly youngsters not belonging to a particular community. They are targeting shops and looting stuff beyond their reach. It’s an indication of desperation, with CUTS announced, job markets shrinking, studies becoming costly from next year and not much bright prospects in sight the so far comfortable and well taken care of youth is revolting; revolting in anger and violently beyond control.

As a twitter message doing round sums it up: “The Youth of the Middle Eastrise up for basic freedoms. The Youth of London rise up for a HD ready 42″ Plasma TV #londonriots”

Coming from India, where Cops are infamously famous for using force to tackle even a group of handful of people its amazing to see them not use stern force to bring the city to normal. The home secretary Theresa May even refused the use of water cannons and the top cop is saying bringing in military is no option. PM announced that the number of cops on the streets will go up to 16000 today.

But will mere presence of cops install fear in the minds of the hooligans who are being supplied legal advice guidelines as they go on a rampage.

Help and support pamphlets being distributed among the rioters. While
covering the student protests a masked person came and handed me a leaflet giving details of whom to contact in case the cops got hold of me and the basic do’s and don’ts.
Similarly on twitter last night images of similar advice pieces were doing rounds.

It’s about time unprecedented action is taken by the administration. For a while put the human rights and high moral grounds on back burner. Those causing the damage to the city, the people don’t deserve this kind of soft stand.

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