Four people have now been confirmed dead as rioting moves across the UK. Richard Seymour, a British writer and activist told RT those who are calling for militaristic solution to the unrest are missing the real source of the problem.
“David Cameron was on holiday, the Metropolitan Police was in serious crisis over the hacking scandal. In addition to that the Metropolitan Police has spent a generation trying to repair some of the damaged relations with black communities in this country. The last thing they need now is to fritter all that work away,” he said.
Seymour also said he doubts the police could have handled the situation better.
“It was difficult for them to handle it better, because I think the police significantly caused this situation, but there is not necessarily an easy solution to it,” he maintained. “If you look at the way it’s spread – it’s spread to untouched areas, we are seeing rioting of the scale we haven’t seen since the 1980s. The police probably could not have anticipated that, therefore it is not really within their gift to end, a deeper solution is needed. Those who are calling for a militaristic solution are missing the real source of the problem,” he added.
According to Seymour the use of water cannon and plastic bullets will not stop the riots.
“What is going to happen is we are going to leave the terrain well prepared for future riots because the resentment, the anger, the alienation will still be there.”
“In this country we have policing by consent. That’s necessary as these riots demonstrated you could not have enough police,” Seymour explained. “If you start introducing plastic bullets and water cannons, then you basically erode the consent upon which the policing is based. I think it is a panic measure and it is done because of the lack of political leadership in this country,” he added.
As Seymour told RT we’re seeing young people, some as young as 9 or 10, taking part in the looting. It happens because they are getting the worst of the recession with 20 per cent youth unemployment.
“Opportunities for them are being frittered away and they see it. Now young kids may not be politically articulate but it does not mean they are not aware of this general situation they are in. They feel there is very little for them to lose. That is going to be one of the reasons why people so young have been involved,” he concluded.
Journalist and author Afshin Rattansi told RT there is an obsession in Britain to demonize families.
“We all realize in this country that David Cameron has no knowledge of the huge insecurities and inequalities that rage right across the country,” he said.
Rattansi added he believes the authorities have no idea how to stop the riots.
“In the past several hours an 11 year-old appeared in court. I do not think this will be the way to understand what is going on in the country,” he stated.