Saturday, 13 August 2011


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I’m huddled in the front room with some shell-shocked friends, watching my city burn. The BBC is interchanging footage of blazing cars and running street battles in Hackney, of police horses lining up in Lewisham, of roiling infernos that were once shops and houses in Croydon and in Peckham. Last night, Enfield, Walthamstow, Brixton and Wood Green were looted; there have been hundreds of arrests and dozens of serious injuries, and it will be a miracle if nobody dies tonight. This is the third consecutive night of rioting in London, and the disorder has now spread to Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham. Politicians and police officers who only hours ago were making stony-faced statements about criminality are now simply begging the young people of Britain’s inner cities to go home. Britain is a tinderbox, and on Friday, somebody lit a match. How the hell did this happen? And what are we going to do now?

Read the full story on Penny Red's Blog


The most poignant scene that came out of the dreadful violence of the last week has been the highly emotive and dignified speech made by Tariq Jahan, the father of Haroon, one of the three men senselessly mowed down in Winson Green, who called for sanity and to urge people not to seek revenge for the tragic events that resulted in his son's death. We must all learn something from this. 

The rioting that occurred across our nation has been dreadful and can never be condoned in any way.  We must make every effort to ensure that the scenes we witnessed in Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Tottenham and many other parts of the country, including some that never made the headlines, will never be repeated. In view of the scope and extend of the violence it is a miracle that so few have been killed or seriously injured but hundreds have become the innocent victims of indiscriminate vandalism and arson that cannot be tolerated.
The debates will continue long into the future and differences of opinion will prevail over the causes of the shocking devastation and the ways that we should be dealing with mindless acts of violence. But the rioting that took place has long been expected and there have been plenty of warnings that civil unrest of this magnitude had been festering just beneath the surface for some considerable time. Community leaders from areas that are particularly vulnerable have been telling the authorities of this but as usual nobody was prepared to take any notice.