Daily Archives: August 10, 2011

Roula Khalaf

Middle Eastern autocrats are having a field day with the UK riots, taking pleasure at the mayhem in a western capital and interpreting it the way that suits their propaganda.

One hardline newspaper in Tehran blamed the violence on rising student tuition fees; another put the responsibility on the US and its economic policies. In Libya, the Gaddafi regime, once a friend of Britain but now a sworn enemy, also took aim at London. A presenter on state television on Wednesday hailed the rioting youth whom he said were demonstrating against a “fascist” government. Read more

Gideon Rachman

H Rap Brown of the Black Panthers made the famous remark that “violence is as American as cherry pie”. For those who are baffled by the looting in London and elsewhere, I would add – “and riots are as English as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding”.

The historically-minded could cite the Gordon riots of the eighteenth century. But you really don’t need to go all that way back. There were riots in Notting Hill and Brixton in London in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as Toxteth in Liverpool, Handsworth in Birmingham, Moss Side in Manchester. Then were the Poll Tax riots in London towards the end of the Thatcher era. And just recently we had the student riots in LondonRead more