After the Arab Spring are we seeing the English Summer?


I was in London a couple of weeks ago. I love London, I love how you can get lost in it. I love how easy it is to get around it and how easy it is to get into it, if you live nearby.

I love how it is about 40 cities in one with 500 cultures to match.

I love how, from afar everyone has an opinion on it. And it is always different.

Moody St. Pauls Cathedral

Just like a myriad suburbs of Sydney, there¬†are parts of London which wouldn’t attract me. I’m not saying that’s just Croydon, Clapham or Tottenham, but I’ve never been to them and many others – and have never needed to.

Just like a billion and one people, I’ve looked on the last few days with a mix of awe, sadness, cheer (for the cleaning crews epitomised by #riotwombles) and concern.

Reading the news while I was there, it was clear that many so-called communities live on knife edges. When you live so close to the bone, a tipping point is often never far away. Most often governments and social services help those communities stay on the edge. In times of trouble they allow them to fall off knowing that if the response is as we’ve seen this week in England and recently in Egypt it is easy to point the finger at the troublemakers, hoodies and thugs.

I’ve got little sympathy or those who trash their own communities, but spontaneous bad behaviour by those who grow up without a plan or any responsibilities shouldn’t be unexpected should it?¬†Especially when they’ve seen their fellow Blackberry users in the “City” take no responsibility for gambling away the countries future and their opportunities. Thanks to a government which has no problem repeatedly bailing their mistakes out.

I’m not alone in being concerned this initially isolated incident has, albeit sporadically, spread quickly to other parts of the UK. That’s symptomatic of a larger problem, not quickly resolved. If I were the government and police forces over there, I’d be hoping this isn’t going to turn into another Tunisia. Look how that started after all.

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