Some months ago everybody in Europe was praising the revolutionary and democratizing role social networks were playing in the Arab Nations. Facebook and Twitter were just marvelous. But this is different now. This is England. So according to Cameron, the ensuing measures are to be expected:
1. Police will be given discretion to remove face masks from people on the street.
2. The government would work with the police to stop people communicating via social websites.
3. The army could be used for guarding duties.
4. Last but not least: Curfew!
And no, this isn't China, it's England!
What's going on then? For Cameron, "young people smashing windows and stealing televisions is not about inequality", so he was eager to dismiss "phoney human rights concerns". At least he's being sincere on this regard. The official explanation: some opportunistic criminals are taking advantage of a peaceful protest. But I find this hard to believe. Perhaps Ken Livingstone, Labour's mayoral candidate, is right when he affirms that "the economic stagnation and cuts being imposed by the Tory government inevitably create social division." Perhaps, like Jenny Jones (the Green party's candidate for London mayor and a member of the Metropolitan police authority) just said, "the government must take some of the blame for what went wrong last night. Cuts in local services, especially youth services, played a role in fomenting tensions."
So there might be a link between the riots and social inequality, but the government tries to separate any relation whatsoever that could render a global account of what's going on in England. I don't know who is willing to buy such a simplistic explanation that does not account for the destruction of social security in England for the last thirty years but I find it unsatisfactory and hypocritical.