You just try getting to sleep in an undeclared war zone. Given the noise of helicopters and exploding vehicles, I suspect that there must be a film crew remaking Apocalypse Now outside my house.
The UK media has reported the riots with instant guesses about what’s happening and/or repeats of each other’s copy. The posh papers have been full of instant punditry. Online, these stories have been twat magnets for the far right’s minor army of hangers and floggers.
The BBC site provided a selection of UK riot stories from around the globe. Among the quotes, there were quite a few perceptive ones, such as this from the Chinese Renmin Ribao
“The Olympics will be hosted next year; the security situation in London, which has always been a first-choice site for terrorist attacks, will be even grimmer. British police now face two main problems. First, as the government cuts police funding in order to reduce the deficit, British police will carry out massive layoffs. With insufficient manpower and financial resources, they will inevitably be overwhelmed with problems in maintaining social order. Second, after the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, the credibility of the British police has declined and there is still a very long way to go in rebuilding the credibility of the police and restoring public support, says Qu Bing, Institute of European Studies, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.”
Obviously, there’s an element of irony there, for anyone who can remember the build up to the Beijing Olympics. But this one from Iran takes the irony biscuit:
Iran called for London police to exercise self-restraint in dealing with protesters in Tottenham, north of London. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast referred to Saturday night’s massive protests in Tottenham, which came following [the killing] of a young black man by Scotland Yard police and called for the UK government to avoid any police’s harsh treatment with protesters.