I am not a sociologist, psychologist or even a talking-head with a degree, but it seems to me that for the last several years, the youth-culture of Europe has been waiting for an opportunity to exploit a growing dissatisfaction with the establishment.
From a dedicated Anarchist sentiment (You can hardly call it an actual political movement) to smaller riots sparked off by things like kettling students, soccer matches, and police brutality the government had to have known that this was going to be a real possibility if they took a lazy attitude to the proceedings.
But that is exactly what they have done. I suspect it is part of a larger attempt to gain more controlling measures such as curfews, additional surveillance, additional police posers, and more intrusive measures to control an already over-observed populace struggling under a laborious bureaucracy.
Once the current flare is under control (and it could be as long as a week before that happens) I feel as if the UK will be up tits eyeballs in police, controls, and a spate of new police powers designed to “protect the populace” from itself.
I will wait and see.
Penny Red has written an article that says this was unexpected (although I think I detect a touch of sarcasm in that statement):
Noone expected this. The so-called leaders who have taken three solid days to return from their foreign holidays to a country in flames did not anticipate this. The people running Britain had absolutely no clue how desperate things had become. They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen. They were wrong. And now my city is burning, and it will continue to burn until we stop the blanket condemnations and blind conjecture and try to understand just what has brought viral civil unrest to Britain. Let me give you a hint: it ain’t Twitter.