Hampson: What societal problems have the London riots exposed?

By: /
August 15, 2011
Director of the Global Security program and Distinguished Fellow at CIGI and Chancellor's Professor at Carleton University

You might call them the Blackberry hooligans given their dependence on the super safe encryption services of the Canadian-made mobile phone. From Georgian times--portrayed in Hogarth's prints of that era--to the 20th century--George Orwell wrote about them--to the present, hooliganism has been part of British culture. Todays riots are fueled by unprecedently high unemployment rates among British youth (40 percent by some estimates), and deep rooted racial tensions, which it only took a match to ignite. The scale of the violence and mayhem have rocked Britain to the core and also become a political football in the coalition politics of David Cameron's embattled Conservative-led government. It has taken a firm hand to stop the rioting and looting. But it will take a lot more than that to address the roots of this problem.