|The Dominos a few hundred yards from our flat.|
The world took a collective gasp as my docile, queuing town sustained looting attacks by youths dressed in hoodies and driving fast cars the last few days.
When I heard of the attacks, I thought the violence was far removed as I worked from home, per my husband's request, in our tranquil corner of London yesterday. But as I began to hear increasing numbers of sirens, I wondered if the very loud drag racing down our residential street the other night was linked to the looting.
Sure enough, it was. As I worked from the neighboring cafe this morning, the looters were an endless topic of conversation. They apparently came down our high street (one street away), broke into a pub, then crossed the bridge to Chalk Farm Road, where they broke into Dominos, Evans Cycles, the local Sainsburys, and shops occupying the Victorian horse stables in Camden Market.
Even with the student and government worker riots so very close to our Mayfair flat, I have never been in such close proximity to raw violence here in London over the last year and a half. I had just done our weekly "food shop" at Morrison's on Monday, immediately adjacent to the horse stables and down the road from all of the looted shops.
Twitter was all ablaze (sorry, bad pun) yesterday comparing the Arab Spring to the rioting here in London. Yet it turns out that the 600-700 youths involved were not discontented, underprivileged youths who had been denied services under Cameron's cuts, but educated, opportunistic youths, waiting for jobs to start as accountants, servicemen, and other respectable professions. (Although not educated to know that they passed up the best shops in Primrose Hill for sub-par pizza, average food, and ok but overpriced bicycles.) One girl was found trying on the items she intended to loot.
What do you do with so many quickly-turned hoodlums? There is no room for them in the jails, apparently. The conclusion of the cafe-goers in Primrose Hill? Hard labor camps.