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 London. Read more