Readers of a certain blog on a certain newspaper site might have gotten the false impression that I was against the post-riot clean-up operations in London. On the contrary, I promoted plans for Tottenham on Twitter, started early collecting abandoned shopping trollies on Wednesday morning en route and then, alas, found that it wasn’t possible due to the police cordon still being in place on Tottenham High Road. By Thursday, the area had pretty much already been cleaned up by the Council.
Commentator after commentator, from politicians to journalists, is blaming the recent chaos in London and beyond on “criminality”. What does that even mean? Crime is a product of social conditions, not a thing in and of itself. Recognising that people smashing, looting and burning are committing crimes is not an explanation – of course they’re criminals, what they’re doing is against the law.