Saturday night saw tensions in Tottenham relating to the death of Mark Duggan grow into explosive rioting, looting and violence. Large parts of Tottenham High Road were left shockingly skeletal, as shown in the Telegraph’s ’before and after’ images. The following morning, MP for Tottenham David Lammy remarked that “a community that was already hurting has had the heart ripped out of it”. Liberal Conspiracy notes that Lammy has carefully distanced himself from blaming anybody too soon.
Liberal Conspiracy feature an insightful contribution from an Bansi Kara, an English teacher in Hackney, on the meaning of community and on local peoples’ experience with the police. Dave Hill in his London Blog argues that condemning alone is not enough.
On Monday, Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com wonders what we should fear the most, the riots or the financial crisis. Richard Clare at Liberal Democrat Voice argues that the Tottenham riots point to larger policing problems. The Adam Smith Institute Blog says we need a supercop and Daniel Elton at Left Foot Forward examines the role of social media.
Kiran Stacey at the FT’s Westminster Blog explains why David Cameron had to come home to the UK from holiday as the riots escalated, and Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com wonders if his return will bring calm and provide reassurance to the public. Shane Stone at Dale & Co reckons Cameron took too long in returning home. Kiran Stacey at the FT’s Westminster Blog says that David Cameron is now ‘talking tough’ on the rioters, announcing that there will be 16,000 police in London on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday Guido confirms that parliament will be recalled for an emergency debate on Thursday. Will Straw says that MPs must resist the urge to legislate on the crisis. Daniel Elton at Left Foot Forward says that the riots across London represent a ‘governability crisis’, while Tim Montgomerie at The Tory Diary has a 5 step plan for David Cameron to deal with the riot crisis, saying that he must use it to define his premiership’s mission.
Peter Oborne says that the moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as it is at the bottom.
Aftermath of the riots
Tim Montgomerie at Conservative Home writes that while Cameron’s political agenda suits the moment, the Conservatives have made some silly mistakes in allowing Labour to outflank them on policy and Labour Uncut warns those looking for leadership of a political vaccuum following the riots.
Labour List’s Mark Ferguson admires Ed Miliband’s reaction to the lootings but argues that no political party can claim moral superiority, while Left Foot Forward discusses how inequality and irresponsibility combine to form a dangerous cocktail. Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog reports that an e-petition to halt benefits for those convicted of burglary during the looting has been the first to pass 100,000 signature mark.
Jim Pickard’s 2010 post for the FT’s Westminster Blog detailing a young David Cameron’s night of mayhem with the Bullingdon Club has also found a second lease of life in social media circles in light of the lootings this week.
In the midst of angry sniping between the police and politicians, politicalbetting.com shows that the police are winning with the public. Left Foot Forward declares that the Prime Minister is either ignorant or disingenuous on cuts to frontline police numbers, Labour Uncut argues that Cameron must rethink his stance and even Guido joins in to condemn the Prime Minister’s current policy. Richard Exell at the TUC’s Touchstone Blog shows that police cuts are already in motion.
The economy and the debt crisis
Professor George Irvin, guest blogging at Left Foot Forward, says that the current crisis is down to unaccountable credit ratings agencies, and Mark Seddon at Left Futures asks “who the hell are Standard & Poors?”. Labour Uncut warns that David Cameron and George Osborne are deluded if they think that the UK will not be affected by the ‘Eurozone contagion’, and Ann Pettifor at Left Foot Forward says that political leaders should stand up to the bankers.
Chris Dillow blogging at Liberal Conspiracy has 5 reasons why the UK should get used to having slower growth. Tony Dolphin at says that it is the lack of demand for credit, rather than the supply of it that is holding the UK economy back.
Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal outlines his economic Plan B, while Anthony Painter at Labour List paints a chilling picture of the economics of no way out. Nigel Hawkins at the Adam Smith Institute’s blog is keen on a debt ceiling for the UK.
Left Foot Forward considers George Osborne’s view of the UK as a financial safe haven in light of the Bank of England’s downgrade of the growth forecast as delusional, while David Blackburn writing for The Spectator fears that inflation could turn the markets against Britain. Jim Pickard at the FT’s Westminster Blog wonders what effect nights of looting will have on the UK’s precarious economic growth.
Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK says that it is time for courageous states.
OpenDemocracy gives an interesting round up of journalists’ thoughts on the phone hacking scandal.
UK Polling Report considers how much the phone hacking scandal has damaged the Conservatives, as more voters drift towards Labour.
Guido predicts David Laws’ return to government later this year.