I remember talking about riots in the UK when I was teaching British background studies, starting nearly thirty years ago. I tend to the feeling that this is not what is being described as ‘simple criminality’ but has a social background.

German TV has got hold of a Dr. Alexander Clarkson, who teaches German and European studies at King’s College London (which has changed a bit since I studied and taught there), with a particular interest in politics and contemporary history. As a result the reports have seemed better informed than usual. Here’s one, but I don’t know if you can listen to the clips outside Germany. Clarkson takes the view that the police and politicians should have been prepared for problems in this area much earlier. He wonders whether violence will spread to the North-East, and is concerned about the development of vigilante groups.

The London Review of Books blog has had a number of entries on the subject.

Nathaniel Tapley: An Open Letter to David Cameron’s Parents

Obiter J. at Law and Lawyers on what is permitted by law in defence of property and Who will pay?

The WSJ Blog: London Police Struggle To Master Social Media In Controlling Riots

UK Human Rights Blog: Will publishing photos of rioters infringe their human rights?

Helen Graves on Why I Love Peckham

5 thoughts on “Riots/Aufruhr

  1. It’s very sad, all the senseless violence. And it’s strange how events like these always seem to come out of nowhere. After they have happened we all convince ourselves that there was a certain logic to it, that we “actually” knew it would happen when of course we didn’t. I think that is what history is all about (not that this is necessarily history in the making). Things just happen, like earthquakes, and then we create a narrative afterwards connecting the dots that simply weren’t there before.

  2. Totally off-topic as regards this blog entry, and perhaps not even within the bounds of your blog at all, but I found this account of a mistrial declared in the UK interesting: [url=]Link[/url]

    Apologies for the diversion and no worries if you delete this.

    • This has been in the news for many days now, and the Daily Mail has certainly shamed itself on this case more recently. I hope you have been following the continuation. Vicky Price is claimed to have schemed with a judge – a part-time recorder, which usually means a barrister who is trying out a judicial post. This woman was described by the Mail as something like ‘UK’s top judge’ but they have changed the headline so I can’t reconstruct it.

      I haven’t read this article, but I tend to think that the jurors’ questions should have been answered. The newspapers were full of ‘Should jury trials be abolished?’-type stories. [url=]This[/url] is the article I prefer – see remarks at bottom about the length of the judge’s sentences – but you are free to disagree! (And agree this is a bit off topic for this blog)

      • Actually, it’s still here – I find the headline misleading, but I’m not sure the later ‘high-profile’ was there originally:

        [url=]Britain’s top black woman judge[/url]

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