vincent7 saidI haven't seen a lot of information about who is behind the riots, but I'm just wondering if Cameron is referring to this as England's version of an Arab Spring -- chaos, mayhem, violence.
Quite a bit different. The Arab Spring is/was about a struggle for freedom from despots - this is different. With youth unemployment at a high throughout Europe with a still generous welfare state and the liberty to vote, to speak, and a government that is too unwilling, too "kind" to shut it down (at least it was).
Look at the riots in France. If it can happen in the UK, it could be far far worse through the rest of Europe.
But as other commentators have pointed out, this is a self inflicted wound - given how far society has been willing to bend to accomodate thugs:http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Rioting-for-Fun-and-Profit
The article – written by Guy Chazan and Jeanne Whalen with help from Peter Evans – is a nice piece of reporting. It tells you everything that you need to know – right down to the crucial fact that the police wanted to arrest one man for punching a thug intent on stealing his property. What is happening right now in London and in cities to the north could best be described as a self-inflicted wound.
Do you remember the riots a year or two ago in Paris and in other French cities and the burning of cars along the Champs Ėlysées? What you may not remember is something else that was reported in passing at the time – that, for some years prior to these riots, one hundred cars a night were being torched in the cities of France. I passed through Paris not long after these events, and a French professor I know told me that this latter piece of news came as a real shock to her. The truth is that the police had, in effect, abandoned the Muslim neighborhoods and that impecunious, hard-working Muslims living in these neighborhoods, men and women who had scrimped and saved to buy jalopies, had been losing them to the thugs for some time. None of this was reported until the disorders spread from the slums in the suburbs to the wealthy districts of Paris. [...]
In times like these, it is useful to remember the immortal words of John Adams: “We talk of liberty and property, but, if we cut up the law of self-defence, we cut up the foundation of both. . . . If a robber meets me in the street, and commands me to surrender my purse, I have a right to kill him without asking questions.”
It's also why these same riots are unlikely to happen in the US - at least in the same form.