An aquaintance of mine in the Metropolitan Police told me several years ago that things were coming to the boil. There seem to be several essential ingredients needed to get something like this going. These include
That is a complex brew. A generation has gone feral. The first of the rioters appear to have been mostly of Afro-Caribbean origin, but it is only a matter of time before white youths in the same age group join in. This has been evident for the past decade. It is not even a particularly British phenomenon. It has happened in France, and last summer there was rioting in Swedish cities.
- A poor urban environment
- Bad schooling
- Alienated youth
- Poor economic opportunities
- Broken or disintersted family circumstances
- Poor political leadership
- Bad diet
- The benefits/welfare "culture"
The declining influence of religion is part of the picture. The black youths who were involved in the first of the troubles would be descendants of immigrants who came in the 1950s to satisfy the shortage of labour for low-paid service jobs, which have largely gone. The culture in the Caribbean immigrants' countries of origin was strongly and strictly Christian Pentecostal, and the immigrants brought it with them. Whilst this remains, things are evidently not what they were or we should not be seeing this kind of behaviour on this scale amongst that group of immigrants. Interestingly, shopkeeping Muslim immigrants from Turkey have organised self-defence groups against the violence.