Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Looting in London

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.


  1. Good to know you and your husband are safe even though the drama came so close to your home. Hard labor sounds like a good idea. We have raised a generation of youth with a sense of entitlement (and no consequences) that knows no bounds. Work would do them a world of good.

  2. In the news for the U.S. in Philadelphia there have been flash mobs but all of them have been teenagers. They have been tracking it through social media. The mayor there is enforcing curfews around the city for anyone under the age of 18. But they also have 19 and 20 year olds doing it. It they want things done they need to go about it a different way.