08/08/2011 Newsnight


08/08/2011

Examing the origins of the unrest in London and considering where it can go from here. With Gavin Esler.


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Transcript


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Tonight, capital in chaos, as Tonight, capital in chaos, as

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riots, looting, fires and vandalism spread across large parts of London.

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The trouble started in Hackney this afternoon and spread to South

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London, cars, houses and businesses have been set ablaze, the

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have been attacked. The Prime Minister is tonight flying home

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holiday to deal with the crisis. Tottenham riots have spread. This is

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Hackney in East London, where riot police have closed down the entire

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area after looters organising through social networks went on the

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rampage. As the trouble spreads beyond London, to Birmingham

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tonight, can the government and police get a grip? It's just like,

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what's going to happen in England now, because of cuts, are people's

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homes going to be burned and suddenly be made homeless?

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think so. Why aren't we protected? Tonight, we'll discuss why this

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mayhem is happening, why it's spreading and whether there are any

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lessons to be learned from the inner city riots of the 1980s. Also, can

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the world avoid a double dip recession? We have the latest on the

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stuttering economy. Good evening, it's been another

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night of serious disturbances streets of London, in parts of the

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capital, the mob simply rules. The damage to property is already well

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into millions of pounds, ahead of the London Olympics,

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there's also damage to the capital's reputation and to that. Metropolitan

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Police, and big questions Cameron about how the government

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dealing with the rioting. Since trouble started with a peaceful

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protest in Tottenham on Saturday, has spread to London districts as

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far apart as Enfield, Walthamstow, Oxford Street, Brixton and

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Harlesden, but in Hackney there was the worst of today's violence and

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looting, by the end of the afternoon, there was trouble in

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Lewisham and Peckham where cars were set ablaze and another fire in

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Croydon. As the evening progressed, it was confirmed there had been

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disturbances in Birmingham city centre. The Prime Minister is

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cutting short his holiday and will chair a crisis meeting tomorrow,

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while politicians and community leaders have been scratching around

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for reasons, some speak of social dislocation, but others say this is

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simply thieving and wrecking. We begin with the latest from Philippa,

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we can see some pictures live from that fire in Croydon, quite

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extraordinary blaze, but what has been happening in Hackney where

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are? Gavin, after an hour of quiet,

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following several hours of stand-off between riot police and Reuters, in

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the last five - rioters, we have had five van loads of police, we

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understand they are making arrests now, pulling people out of a house,

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so not quiet yet on the streets of Hackney and the police helicopter

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has just gone up again as well. It's not across London, it's not

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London-wide, but in pockets of London, there is still trouble

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tonight, that big fire in Croydon raging in a furniture White House,

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that's one of the - furniture warehouse, that's one of the most

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dramatic events of the cast couple of hours. We understand there is

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still trouble in Tottenham, Peckham, around Clapham Junction, in

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Lewisham. Police very much here in massive numbers trying to

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batten down the hatches. You witnessed some of the trouble

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up close yourself, I think? Yes, I spent about three hours earlier this

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evening in a couple of streets here from where we are now at

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Hackney police station, and it was in microcosm what's happening across

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a lot of London, one long narrow street with rioters at one end and

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riot police at the other. We saw the tactics with the groups of youths,

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you could see them pulling T-shirts across their faces, smashing bottles

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to get ready, and smashing bricks on the pavement to they had manageable

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ammunition, setting cars and wheelie bins on fire. When we went behind

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police station lines, you could they were determined to control the

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situation by having the advantage of numbers, so maybe four dozen rioters

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but then there would have been riot police officers, dogs and

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mounted policemen, and for a while they pushed back and back the

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rioters and I have to say, as the riot police then pulled out of that

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street, I was talking to Diane Abbott, the local MP, and I could

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see over her shoulder looters western union as a car was on

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next to them. It's been surreal. Thanks for that. We'll be having

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live updates throughout the programme. Newsnight's Liz McKean

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has spent the day on the streets of London trying to figure out what if

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anything beyond criminality really lies behind the rioting. Here is

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here report. Rush hour in our capital city,

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traffic in Hackney is gridlocked, but not for the usual reasons. Gangs

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of youths are on the loose, attacking this police car.

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then chased away, this was one of numerous outbreaks of violence. At

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the same time, this was the scene in the borough of Peckham, more gangs,

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more fires, all in broad daylight. It wasn't just property at risk, in

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Lewisham, people flee their homes, clam bettering over roof -

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clambering over roofs, taking with them whatever they can hold. Back in

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Hackney, police set up roadblocks to try to contain the rioters. It might

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be rush hour, but the whole area has been shut down, all the businesses

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have closed early, police have sealed every entrance and exit

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Mare Street. A short time ago, the rioters were pushed down here,

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can see glass and debris on the road. They have been pushed right

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back, just over there. They swept through so fast, some people could

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only look on. Once again, JD Sports was a target for the looters. This

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chemist was also hit. I met the pharmacist, still appalled at

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attempt to wreck his livelihood. was across the road when they pulled

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the shutters, they went in several times. I pleaded with them, I said

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that's my life, it's all I have in this world, this is my - you know,

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yes. Did they listen to you? They listened to me, but the most

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disappointing thing about it, the police were only about six yards

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away, what is it - Could they what was happening? Yes, so the

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police were more scared of them than I was. Witnesses described large

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groups of mixed race youths, this was no spontaneous eruption of

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fury. This shopkeeper had been warned of trouble ahead, her

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customers told her, and she had time to shut up shop. It was

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in Enfield, we would hear it was happening in palmers Green, everyone

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knows, they are telling each other where it's going to happen. They are

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communicating between each other and they're just saying, look, this

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where it's going to be next. Obviously the youths are deciding

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where they're going to hit next. Were you prepared? Did you

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was coming? * yes, we had customers coming in and telling us,

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you better put the shutters down, because they're coming. Social

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media sites are streaming instant information for good and ill.

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Communities are warning each other of trouble, but rumours can quickly

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spread. The messaging service of blackberry phones has been commonly

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used by those intent on disorder, because it's private, keeping plans

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off the police radar. Today, the company said it would help with the

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rapidly expanding investigation. At Tottenham, where the trouble began

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on Saturday, the high road remained closed, you have to go behind it to

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see the extent of the damage, the fires are barely out. This film from

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a mobile phone was recorded by terrified residents, furious at

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those responsible, but unhappy with the police response. Everyone

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just doing their own was no one there to stop anything.

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What do you make of that? I think it's very wrong. What I'm seeing

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last night, all the police was in Enfield and no one was down here on

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Saturday night to help anyone here. It's unbelievable. You

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expect that to happen in this little community, it's horrible. The

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people who have lost most are those burnt out of their homes, with

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absolutely nothing, they have here to the council for help. 24

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man, who didn't want his face filmed, escaped from his flat

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his pregnant wife and baby daughter. I feel helpless, I had everything I

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want in my life, I never been on benefits, now I am being pushed on

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to them. I am not in the right of mind to go back to work, knowing

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that my baby hasn't got food to eat, nothing in the house. In what is

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becoming a persistent criticism of police, this man believes

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should have done more to save home. Not enough police there

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there should have been, and another really important point is every 2

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weeks, Tottenham have a home and there's hundreds of police, they

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contain thousands of people, all sorts of people, and that day, there

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was a Spurs game on at 5.15, there were police in the area

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lot of police in the area, where were they? Stuart later met

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Deputy Prime Minister, just back from holiday, the most senior

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politician to have visited the scene. It's thousands of people

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coming in for a normal Spurs match, it should have been contained and

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sorted out. We have about that, the police will do their

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review of what happened right on the High Street, lessons

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have to be learned, and then have to be learned, and then there's

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the independent investigation into the Duggan incident, the death of Mr

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Duggan, but the frustrating thing is everyone in the community has lots

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and lots of questions. Some politicians like ex-mayor

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Livingstone are drawing between the looting and public

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spending cutbacks. But others, including the Home Secretary,

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dismiss it as hooliganism. This journalist and youth worker watched

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the violence unfold. There's lot of cuts, I know our local CAB

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have lost staff, Connections has closed, that was a place where

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disaffected young people used to come, and the young offender workers

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in the area can't be doing the everyday things with them, so there

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is a group of young people that few people are engaging with,

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particularly since the cuts. Does that explain it? It doesn't

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the rioting, it was boisterous, mad behaviour that was all organised on

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their Blackberrys. For many in Tottenham, the arsonists have

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hijacked a burning grievance, the shooting by armed police of a young

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father last Thursday, his family are demanding answers. Police are under

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pressure to explain the circumstances in which Mark Duggan

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was shot dead, during what was supposed to be an arrest operation.

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The Commission is investigating his

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death, and is waiting for the results of a ballistics test to

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determine whether he opened fire on police first or not. Tonight, as the

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police defend their actions, they facial a worsening situation - face

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a worsening situation. In Croydon, a furniture store was one of several

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buildings set alight, while in the West Midlands are dealing

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with disturbances in the centre of Birmingham. Since Saturday,

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have been more than 200 arrests. This evening, the Prime Minister has

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abandoned his holiday to return to London. In the course of the day, we

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asked if a Home Office minister was available to come on the proofing,

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we were told no one was available and no one from the government can

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speak to us tonight. I am joined by Ken Livingstone, youth worker and

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former Conservative candidate for Hammersmith Shaun Bailey, the deputy

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chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation John Tully, and

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Reverend Nims Obunge, who is from Tottenham. Why do you think this

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happened? I think there is clearly criminality, there is this real

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problem now with social network which allows people to come to these

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riots much more rapidly than they did in the early 1980s but I have

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been in about 18 London boroughs this year, spending a day in each,

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gone into colleges, young people there are so uncertain about their

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future. I went to a college Tottenham where half the kids

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thought they might not be able to afford to condition their course

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because of the EMA - That sounds like an excuse. We can have a

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of politicians come on and denounce criminality, we can do it again next

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summer when it happens or find a way to stop it. I think for the first

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time certainly in my lifetime, a generation are growing up completely

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uncertain about their future, whether they can get a home or job,

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they see politicians that don't engage with them. You have to

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crackdown on this, I got 7,000 police in London, if we hadn't got

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those, this would be out of control tonight. A generation to

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have no hope, can't get on with a job, can't afford to go to

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university? It's horrible to watch people make some mileage out of

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this, it's not about 7,000 police, these are young people not scared

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concerned about the police. If you, please what's happened, this

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have been communicating and picking up the places to riot, it's a set of

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kids doing this, most kids are not doing it. To try and link this to

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the cuts is electioneering. This a deeper issue about why we

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feel we can engage our children. Are you saying it's not connected

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the cuts at all? Absolutely not. These kids aren't talking about

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at all. have been warning the government all

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year there was the potential for this. We saw this the last time we

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went through a real downturn in the economy in the early 1980s, it's not

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an excuse, but we'd be stupid not recognise it's part of the cause.

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Ken, it is always the business of whoever's in government, red or

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blue, to look after the future of children and they try to do that,

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but you have to be careful that you don't excuse their behaviour, you

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must understand the vast majority young people had nothing to do with

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this and the vast majority of young people who are involved are just

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criminals. If you notice, on the BB network, some of my young people

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showed me this morning, they are picking particular shops. Sports

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shops, for example. Yes, and that shows you it's organised

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particular manner. You can't get over the fact that the last time we

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had rioting consistently like this was in the early 1980s, in the

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depths of recession, it's come And it's not unique here, it happens

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in America, it happens in Europe. The government's got to have a

:15:25.:15:29.

programme to make certain you catch the criminals, we've got to stop

:15:29.:15:34.

this nonsense they're going to get rid of 2,000 police in London next

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year, about you have to give a young generation the hope there's

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something for there. You're in that community where it started, but it

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started with a peaceful protest. What do you see as the root causes

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for this? Forgive me, these are good friends of mine, let's politics

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out of the door, I need to be clear about this. I was there, I saw

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beginnings of it. And this is not a response just to what happened on

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that day. It is important, with the families of Mark Duggan,

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and I heard their cry for clarity of what went wrong in relation to the

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situation. The shooting? Yes, the shooting, they wanted answers, they

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felt they hadn't been engaged effectively. Unfortunately, this

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expanded, extended itself for long. How did that actually happen?

:16:28.:16:30.

They want legitimate answers to legitimate questions, everybody

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does. How did that turn into people looting pairs of trainers from

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shops? We have to be clear about this, it didn't start with looting

:16:40.:16:44.

pairs of trainers. There are no excuses, but we have to understand

:16:44.:16:47.

some reasons here. What we've got to understand, some of these young

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people feel they have got no in society and they don't feel

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they're risking anything, but I'll tell you what happened at that time,

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four or five hours waiting outside the police station, that was what

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happened, beyond - at the end of which, the family said, we're going,

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we're not getting our answers, we're going. So some young people had

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already BB'ed, as we heard shaun say, and had come in. It looks to

:17:15.:17:20.

outsiders as if this is almost recreational rioting, they're having

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fun. Can I say this, let's get this right. The first thing that was

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destroyed were two police cars, I saw that happen. They were

:17:30.:17:33.

into the centre and got burnt up. The next thing that

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there was chaos on our streets. It escalated. Are the police

:17:38.:17:40.

particular target? Are you that relations with the police are

:17:40.:17:45.

still bad? The relations with the police need some fixing, evidently

:17:45.:17:50.

so. Tottenham and Haringey and with our police and young people,

:17:50.:17:54.

have been some directions, we've moved forward, but we're not where

:17:54.:17:58.

we need to be. John, do you that relations with the police are

:17:58.:18:02.

still not good for many of these young people, they feel they

:18:02.:18:07.

little stake in society and burning police cars is a port of call? Most

:18:07.:18:09.

definitely, there has been an enormous move forward from the

:18:09.:18:14.

1980s, the late 1980s, when there was a broken relationship between

:18:15.:18:21.

ourselves as a police service and - It doesn't look like that. It looks

:18:21.:18:25.

terrible, like the police don't a grip. I disagree, I think an

:18:25.:18:28.

enormous amount of effort has put in by the police service to

:18:28.:18:34.

engage with the local communities, each ward within the bus have their

:18:34.:18:40.

own community police teams - between the boroughs. But from Harlesden to

:18:40.:18:43.

Croydon, something going off Birmingham as well, there's pockets

:18:43.:18:47.

of this all over London. They may have been engaged for 25 years or

:18:47.:18:50.

more, but it doesn't seem to be working and people are asking,

:18:50.:18:55.

are the police? The police are there, they're doing their utmost to

:18:55.:19:01.

contain it, there are finite resources, before I was here this

:19:01.:19:06.

evening, I was at the control centre in Lambeth, an enormous amount of

:19:06.:19:10.

effort is being put in by senior commanders and the people out on the

:19:10.:19:14.

streets, the people I represent, the boys and girls doing the day to day

:19:15.:19:18.

job, who have to face what you're seeing on your screens, and they

:19:18.:19:23.

really dedicated to that job. you think morale in the police has

:19:23.:19:26.

taken a big hit? We have seen the resignation of two senior officers

:19:26.:19:30.

recently, we know the World scandal and all these

:19:30.:19:34.

things. We're heading for three commissioners in four years, that

:19:34.:19:39.

doesn't help. You've got the scandals, the threat, last year

:19:39.:19:43.

1,000 jobs were left vacant of the freeze on recruitment,

:19:43.:19:47.

have this proposal to cut 1,900 people, but I have to say, there has

:19:47.:19:52.

been a sea change in policing. years ago, it was like an army of

:19:52.:19:56.

occupation, the black youth talked about rebellion. The world has

:19:56.:20:02.

dramatically moved on. We have one tragic incident, and I have to say,

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the Trident team have arrested well over 100 armed criminals without

:20:07.:20:12.

firing a shot. Something went wrong. Doesn't that undercut your

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that there are political reasons for this? It sounds like simply I don't

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knowerry, doesn't - yoberry, doesn't it? It's not the fault of the

:20:23.:20:27.

police. Policing has had a sea change in this city. Why is it the

:20:27.:20:33.

fault of the government? I was up in Tottenham, which has had a 9% cut

:20:33.:20:36.

nearly in its government grant, the youth centres are closing, people

:20:36.:20:41.

are seeing all the sort of things they used to rely on going. The

:20:41.:20:44.

lads who are lads who are rioting, would they

:20:44.:20:48.

otherwise be in a youth centre? People are going to doubt that. We

:20:48.:20:51.

have been talking about youth services, a 75% cut in youth

:20:51.:20:56.

services, that's real. The danger is if the press or politicians look for

:20:56.:21:00.

one simple answer, we're making a big mistake, we're looking at a

:21:00.:21:03.

catalogue of issues and potential failures, we're looking at something

:21:03.:21:08.

that needs to be looked at more robustly, we're looking at the

:21:08.:21:11.

challenges some of our young people have had and if we suggest this is

:21:11.:21:15.

down to cuts, we're making a big mistake. For me, one of the driving

:21:16.:21:20.

issues is in the last 10-15 years, we have done so much value about

:21:20.:21:23.

their rights but little about their responsibilities. What I would

:21:23.:21:27.

to the young people right now, are attacking the community you come

:21:27.:21:34.

from, and people at home, in my opinion, a large part of it is about

:21:34.:21:40.

yoberry. What about closing youth centres? The comment that most of

:21:40.:21:44.

these kids would be in a youth centre, you've have to look at that,

:21:44.:21:49.

but our youth feel they can take this risk and have nothing to use.

:21:49.:21:53.

Two things, some of them feel genuinely disconnected, but we've

:21:53.:21:57.

encouraged them to take control of the world, we have abdicated power

:21:57.:22:01.

to young people. In that sense, you think they are more violent

:22:01.:22:06.

because they are more rootless and less fixed in a moral sense? Yes,

:22:06.:22:11.

we have been trying to replace people families with welfare,

:22:11.:22:14.

need to go back to the family structure. You mentioned at the

:22:14.:22:20.

start, if we can't get it right this year, we can't get it right next

:22:20.:22:24.

year. That seems like a nod to the Olympics. People around the world

:22:24.:22:28.

will think it's shameful if one of the greatest cities in the world

:22:29.:22:33.

can't manage to keep the peace. There is a layer of issues here.

:22:33.:22:37.

There is the potential, with cuts, for this revolt against that,

:22:37.:22:42.

there is also the problem that we've got a policing morale demoralised,

:22:42.:22:47.

the threat that - the best part of 2,000 police are going to go the

:22:47.:22:49.

minute the Olympics is out of the way, and you have to have a

:22:49.:22:53.

focus on this, the Mayor and Prime Minister have to get a grip

:22:53.:22:56.

and be seen to speak to everybody, not just an elite at the top of

:22:56.:23:02.

society. What do you want from them when they come back? The Mayor is

:23:02.:23:06.

his way back, the will be back tomorrow. We need

:23:06.:23:09.

commitment they're going to support the police and the way they're

:23:09.:23:12.

going to support us is by implementing their 20% cuts,

:23:12.:23:16.

implementing the Windsor review pay and conditions, which will drive

:23:17.:23:20.

morale even further down to what it is at the moment, increasing our

:23:20.:23:23.

pension subscriptions. People understand that this is a deep

:23:23.:23:26.

concern to the police, but there's a situation on the streets

:23:26.:23:30.

which suggests that that's a kind of threat, if you don't pay us what we

:23:30.:23:34.

want, there's going to be more rioting? I don't think it is

:23:34.:23:37.

threat. It's a concern. The people represent are really concerned about

:23:37.:23:40.

their futures, considering whether they should leave the police

:23:41.:23:43.

as a result of those cuts and changes, but what I have to

:23:43.:23:47.

emphasise is the dedication of the people who are on the

:23:47.:23:50.

tonight and have been on the since Thursday is without question.

:23:50.:23:54.

What do you want from the Prime Minister tomorrow? What I want from

:23:54.:23:57.

the Prime Minister is to let everybody know that there is a plan

:23:57.:24:02.

to sort this out. I don't want to jump to one conclusion and

:24:02.:24:06.

at the thing, there is a gambit look at, but what I don't want

:24:06.:24:09.

politicians is for them to use it forward their agenda and for

:24:09.:24:13.

government departments to suggest they don't get a cut, this wouldn't

:24:13.:24:18.

happen. Do you not worry, where these guys? Why wasn't the Prime

:24:18.:24:22.

Minister back earlier to you? This is something the media have

:24:22.:24:25.

most childish about. Do you David Cameron is going to go down

:24:25.:24:29.

there with a shield in Tottenham and Hackney? We have a mechanism,

:24:29.:24:35.

big sophisticated society. Jury but we need leaders, where are

:24:35.:24:39.

they? We have all manner of people to deal with the situation. The

:24:39.:24:44.

point is this - The Prime is coming back from holiday, and the

:24:44.:24:47.

Mayor of London. They are not the people who will put this problem

:24:47.:24:50.

right. This problem is in our communities, in our economy. What

:24:51.:24:54.

are our young people going to do a job, what are our

:24:54.:24:58.

going to do to control the behaviour of young people? If we weren't

:24:58.:25:04.

having a riot, we would be smearing young people's names elsewhere. We

:25:04.:25:08.

have lost control of our young people. Do you see a situation

:25:08.:25:13.

where the army could be involved? think the army is a bit

:25:13.:25:17.

overstretched in Afghanistan at the moment. I find myself agreeing with

:25:17.:25:21.

Shaun. Kids have to have the prospect of a job. At the moment,

:25:21.:25:24.

the majority have no guarantee that's coming. What young men want

:25:24.:25:28.

is to have a job, which means they can support a wife and family,

:25:28.:25:32.

restore those sort of family values Shaun is talking about. At the

:25:32.:25:35.

moment, a lot of young people through the system haven't got

:25:35.:25:39.

confidence. I want to raise with you again the question of the

:25:39.:25:42.

Olympics. People will be very worried about the Olympics, and

:25:42.:25:46.

there's a possibility of a terrorist threat on top of that, and public

:25:46.:25:51.

order and more people coming to our country. This is why politicians

:25:51.:25:55.

have to - Shaun is right, not coming back to run the system,

:25:55.:26:02.

but when I was in Singapore and the bombs went off - Which is when the

:26:02.:26:06.

London bid was won. have to be there, articulating and

:26:06.:26:11.

reassuring, you can't do that on the phone, you have to be on the street.

:26:11.:26:14.

One specific question about the Duggan family, would it help if

:26:14.:26:19.

there was an apology? They there will be an inquiry, we will

:26:19.:26:24.

find out eventually, but it won't be tomorrow or the next day, it will

:26:24.:26:29.

take some time. Let me be clear, we have the IPCC, who have had

:26:29.:26:32.

connections with the family, and that's being worked through. It's

:26:32.:26:36.

important that communities feel reassured that the IPCC will be

:26:36.:26:39.

transparent, it's important that truth gets out into communities,

:26:39.:26:43.

it's important that holistically, as Londoners, we say this should not

:26:43.:26:46.

continue, but the reality is this, until we are sure - and it is

:26:46.:26:49.

important that there is an appropriate response from the

:26:49.:26:55.

police, at the point in time, if the IPCC say there is a concern, then

:26:55.:26:58.

the police need to give an appropriate response, to local

:26:58.:27:02.

communities, because if trust is not there, then this can get worse

:27:02.:27:06.

don't want it to. We'll leave it there, thank you all very much.

:27:06.:27:12.

Well, TV satellite trucks to be pulled away from trouble spots

:27:12.:27:16.

across London tonight because of security, but we are joined by

:27:16.:27:19.

Guardian journalist Paul Lewis has followed these disturbances

:27:19.:27:23.

the start, on the streets of Hackney. What are you seeing?

:27:23.:27:27.

Hackney has really been some of the most shocking scenes I've seen over

:27:27.:27:34.

the last 72 hours. The Pembury estate was the epicentre, and it

:27:34.:27:38.

really taken over by youths burning cars, forming flaming barricades and

:27:38.:27:42.

really taking complete control of the estate, for about 3

:27:42.:27:46.

would say, they had of the area, and police could do

:27:46.:27:50.

nothing. I saw isolated police being attacked in their cars,

:27:50.:27:55.

the roof of the police car, smashing it with bricks and police officers

:27:55.:27:59.

still inside, others isolated and those journalists who are in here

:28:00.:28:05.

are being attacked, a colleague of mine I saw thrown to the floor and

:28:05.:28:11.

beaten. It is really a shockingly chaotic situation here. Is it

:28:11.:28:16.

actually - it sounds like worse than last night or the night before?

:28:16.:28:20.

think it changed actually, it's very easy to talk about generalised

:28:21.:28:24.

rioting and looting but what happened on Saturday night I felt

:28:24.:28:28.

was more political, even when were ransacking shops, they were

:28:28.:28:33.

still talking about Mark Duggan's death. Last night again it changed,

:28:33.:28:38.

it was property theft predominantly, no attempts at confrontations with

:28:38.:28:43.

police but gangs roaming the streets, going from shop to shop,

:28:43.:28:48.

taking what they can. Tonight it has changed again, there is quite a bad

:28:48.:28:52.

turn, a feeling of self-destruction almost, with people destroying

:28:52.:28:56.

own communities, and actually one of the most disappointing things I've

:28:56.:29:01.

seen just in the last 15 minutes here in kingsland Road, in the

:29:01.:29:07.

centre of Hackney, is clashes between residents. I saw a group of

:29:07.:29:11.

about 100 Turkish/Kurdish men with sticks and bottles chasing another

:29:11.:29:15.

group of youths away, saying that their shops had been looted and they

:29:15.:29:20.

were fighting back. That kind of intercommunal violence is system

:29:20.:29:26.

that I've not seen yet and I've been here for 3 days. A final thought,

:29:26.:29:31.

how orchestrated is all that, and how random? Are they really using

:29:31.:29:35.

messaging and paging to get this organised in some way? They are,

:29:35.:29:40.

absolutely. This kind of mythical sense that somehow Twitter and

:29:40.:29:44.

Facebook are being used, that's not the case. They're using closed

:29:44.:29:50.

networks, BBM messenger. We at The Guardian set up an account to

:29:50.:29:53.

receive these messages, and they are announcing locations and areas,

:29:53.:29:58.

are being circulated among closed networks on Blackberry

:29:58.:30:04.

phones, people are turning up, choosing back streets andallies

:30:04.:30:08.

before arriving at these areas, before appearing at these

:30:08.:30:12.

pre-planned destinations, so to that degree, there is a level of

:30:12.:30:16.

orchestration. News just in, has been looting in Woolwich High

:30:16.:30:20.

Street, several hundred young people said to be involved, but there's

:30:20.:30:24.

nothing new in rioting in Britain, many of today's pictures have

:30:24.:30:27.

reminded people of what happened in our inner cities in the 1980s but

:30:27.:30:31.

are there really any useful parallels?

:30:31.:30:38.

The events are three decades old, but the images are still haunting.

:30:38.:30:42.

1985's riots in the Broadwater Farm area of Tottenham were linked to the

:30:42.:30:48.

death of a black woman during police search, then a policeman was

:30:48.:30:51.

killed during the disturbances. Violent disorder and inner city

:30:51.:30:59.

riots were a feature of parts of Britain in the early 80s, in Toxteth

:30:59.:31:04.

in 1981 and Brixton later the same year. Are today's tensions as

:31:04.:31:08.

serious or as widespread as then? There are some similarities. In the

:31:08.:31:12.

early 1980s, Britain had a contracting economy, high youth

:31:12.:31:17.

unemployment and government cuts, but it was also a period of sharp

:31:17.:31:19.

ideological differences between left and right and different

:31:19.:31:23.

interpretations of the cause of the unrest. I grew up in the 30s with

:31:23.:31:29.

an unemployed father. He didn't riot, he got on his bike and looked

:31:29.:31:36.

for work. So are the similarities superficial or even misleading? Or

:31:36.:31:42.

does the anger of the 1980s really resemble the anger of today? Is a

:31:42.:31:46.

generation too young to remember those riots experiencing new causes

:31:46.:31:51.

of resentment or simply engaging in opportunistic criminal acts? With

:31:51.:31:55.

their thoughts on what lessons if any we can learn from the riots

:31:55.:32:00.

the 1980s, I'm joined by Darcus Howe and former so far MP and government

:32:00.:32:05.

minister Edwina Currie. Darcus, you see any echoes of the 1980s?

:32:05.:32:13.

Not echoes, only a continuation, and these huge moments, which began

:32:13.:32:22.

the 80s, and then you toodle along, and then another explosion and what

:32:22.:32:28.

strikes me is the absolute ignorance of the punters, who have no idea

:32:28.:32:35.

what's going among young blacks, they have no idea what are thinking,

:32:35.:32:38.

they have no idea when they are about to explode. Did you know?

:32:38.:32:43.

you have a sense that this was going to happen? Absolutely. Why? I

:32:43.:32:49.

have a grandson, who is 15, and who cannot count the number of times he

:32:49.:32:57.

was stopped and searched. And every time he tells it to you, his

:32:57.:33:03.

intonation changeses. And that is what's been going on behind

:33:03.:33:08.

backs of society, this constant stopping and searching of young

:33:08.:33:13.

blacks. The gratuitously. Let bring in Edwina Currie, that is

:33:13.:33:17.

echo of the 1980s, isn't it? don't think it's anything like the

:33:17.:33:24.

1980s. In those days, I was in Birmingham, and we had the riots in

:33:24.:33:27.

Hamsworth, which you haven't mentioned. In those days,

:33:27.:33:32.

a lot of racism, it was almost respectable to be racist, and

:33:32.:33:35.

of institutions were and the youngsters I think in many ways were

:33:35.:33:38.

justified in their complaint. They weren't justified in their

:33:38.:33:41.

behaviour, that's a different matter, but since then, an enormous

:33:41.:33:47.

amount of effort has been put in by people like Darcus and many others

:33:47.:33:51.

that we have interviewed tonight to improve those communities and give

:33:51.:33:56.

everybody a reasonable chance. What we have got now, we heard Shaun

:33:56.:34:03.

earlier called it yobbery, with robbery, kids who are taking the

:34:03.:34:07.

opportunity to go and steal, they are covering it up with this

:34:07.:34:10.

political cloak of invisibility. We all have to take responsibility

:34:10.:34:13.

our actions. The police have to take responsibility for their actions,

:34:13.:34:17.

but so, I think, do these young people, whatever their

:34:17.:34:21.

and colour, they are responsible for what they are doing. Darcus, I take

:34:21.:34:25.

it you accept that, they are responsible for what they are doing,

:34:25.:34:30.

there's no excuse for it. I'm not making any excuse for you, I'm

:34:30.:34:36.

telling you, quietly and seriously, what side I'm on. Am I on the side

:34:36.:34:43.

of my grandson? Absolutely yes. We brought him up, he's a decent

:34:43.:34:49.

fellow, constantly, at first he thinks, oh, I'm now being initiated,

:34:49.:34:55.

what happens, a policeman stopped me, for what? You give me the 20

:34:55.:35:01.

seconds before you stopped, nothing. And they keep doing it. It is as

:35:01.:35:04.

though they're drawn to humiliating a particular race in a particular

:35:04.:35:09.

place. Do you not think, to pick up Edwina Currie's point though, that

:35:09.:35:13.

things have changed a lot in the past 30 years? Racism is

:35:13.:35:18.

not respectable now and there tinge of it then which was to some

:35:18.:35:24.

people regarded as okay, and that's gone, that has changed. Edwina

:35:24.:35:28.

fine person, and she knows that I think that about her, but I would

:35:28.:35:37.

never listen to Edwina describe how much racism there is at any given

:35:37.:35:42.

society - let me finish, she has never known, and she will never know

:35:42.:35:46.

Edwina, you will never know, other words white people probably

:35:46.:35:51.

just don't get what a 15-year-old black kid in this country feels.

:35:51.:35:56.

With all due respect to Darcus, think he demeans himself, as a very

:35:56.:36:00.

responsible and dignified man, by defending what is totally

:36:00.:36:02.

indefensible. The behaviour of the people that we've seen on the

:36:03.:36:07.

streets, whatever their background or colour, and no doubt there are

:36:07.:36:11.

all sorts involved, particularly on Saturday and over the weekend,

:36:11.:36:15.

are destroying the communities they live in themselves.

:36:15.:36:19.

destroy the businesses that are owned by black people, destroying

:36:19.:36:23.

the homes of black people, leaving people completely bereft and

:36:23.:36:28.

bewildered, their own sisters, brothers, mothers and uncles and

:36:28.:36:32.

aunts, not the behaviour of a group of people with any kind of morality.

:36:32.:36:36.

The problem is not they're disconnected from jobs, but they're

:36:36.:36:41.

disconnected from any real sense right or wrong, any sense that says,

:36:41.:36:44.

what's mine is mine, and what's yours is yours, and I don't touch

:36:44.:36:52.

it. These kids are saying, "Haye, we can have the trainers my mum won't

:36:52.:36:59.

buy me or the latest Blackberry, can just go and take it". As a

:36:59.:37:03.

former MP, she knows where the thieves are and how many of them

:37:03.:37:10.

in prison now. I do not wish to make a point on this, but young blacks,

:37:10.:37:16.

fine citizens of this country to be, are constantly being% recruited by

:37:16.:37:23.

the police. I have - persecuted by the police. I have never been on

:37:23.:37:28.

bail for 10 years of my life and I would never give up, and what I say

:37:28.:37:31.

to them is you will get insurance for burning the place down

:37:31.:37:36.

and let's go away. Thank you very much. The trouble has spread

:37:36.:37:41.

beyond London to Birmingham, as we said, tonight so our reporter Claire

:37:41.:37:45.

Marshall has spent the evening in Birmingham city centre. What's been

:37:45.:37:50.

happening? I've just come back the city centre, it is

:37:50.:37:54.

extraordinary, it hasn't reached heights of London, but everywhere I

:37:54.:37:59.

went, I saw people looting chemists, mobile phone shops, banks, a cash

:37:59.:38:03.

point machine almost entirely - almost pulled out of a shop. They

:38:03.:38:07.

didn't seem to really be troubled by the thought of potentially

:38:07.:38:12.

identifying themselves, there was a real sense of menace, a lot of

:38:12.:38:16.

people who were extremely scared, I spoke to one girl, just 18, she and

:38:16.:38:19.

her boyfriend had been coming into Birmingham on the bus to go for

:38:19.:38:25.

night out, the bus had pulled up the traffic lights, a mob who were

:38:25.:38:30.

attacking a shop started hurling rocks at the bus and breaking the

:38:30.:38:34.

windows. A lot of people saying have seen mindless violence. A few

:38:34.:38:37.

people have - not supported the consequences of what is happening

:38:37.:38:41.

here, but who have some sympathy why it's happening. One young lady,

:38:41.:38:48.

an outreach worker, said, "I'm not a thief but I feel a sense of anger".

:38:48.:38:52.

She said young people are feeling frustration that they have no

:38:52.:38:55.

opportunities, and this is out of a sense of that, that they're

:38:55.:39:00.

never going to see anything better in their lives. Another young girl

:39:00.:39:03.

called the police racist and described this as some kind

:39:03.:39:07.

that would go on. Just coming back to the BBC offices, we're

:39:08.:39:11.

building here, which is the equivalent of Bond Street in London,

:39:11.:39:19.

the mailbox extremely well - classy shops here, the Armani shop had been

:39:19.:39:24.

looted and police were trying move them out. They seem to be

:39:24.:39:29.

moving around trying to get a hands, but we say in one police as

:39:29.:39:34.

reporters, and the looters come back. There are a lot of police, we

:39:34.:39:37.

they seem to be trying to move around, to try to do what they can,

:39:37.:39:41.

but it's still going on. Certainly no signs of it stopping here at the

:39:41.:39:45.

moment. Thanks, Claire. We're getting reports tonight that Essex

:39:45.:39:49.

and Suffolk police will be sending some of their personnel to help out

:39:49.:39:53.

the Metropolitan Police in London. We'll return to the disorder across

:39:53.:39:55.

London at the end of the programme but there has been another

:39:55.:40:00.

story today, financial markets around the world plunged yet again

:40:00.:40:03.

despite the news that the Central Bank was now buying Spanish

:40:03.:40:06.

and Italian bonds and further attempts by government leaders to

:40:06.:40:10.

calm the storm. So is the West heading for a second recession and

:40:10.:40:17.

what can be done to stop this? Verity on today's bloodbath.

:40:17.:40:22.

Where is the world economy heading? Stock markets went into panic today

:40:22.:40:25.

that we might be heading for second global recession. Is anyone

:40:25.:40:31.

in control? Or is this a runaway train? We are not in an ordinary

:40:31.:40:36.

recession and the turn great recession as people have been

:40:36.:40:41.

calling it is misleading, it's not like a bad flu but more like

:40:41.:40:46.

pneumonia. Since the age of steam, political leaders have been told by

:40:46.:40:49.

their economic advisers that they're heading for a slump, they

:40:49.:40:52.

know how to change direction, are crucial levers of commission

:40:52.:40:56.

policy, cutting interest rates, slashing taxes or printing money,

:40:56.:41:02.

but two years after the last slump, are there any levers left to pull?

:41:02.:41:10.

The Keynesian way is to boost public spending. Any chance of that? It's

:41:10.:41:16.

very difficult, this is what we have been doing over the past few years,

:41:16.:41:20.

is governments have jumped in and made up the private consumption, now

:41:20.:41:23.

we see the consequences of that, credit ratings are at risk,

:41:23.:41:28.

investors are reluctant to invest any longer in these economies, so we

:41:28.:41:33.

can't keep doing that. In the United States you saw that. Governments

:41:33.:41:37.

could cut taxes now, then raise them later. That idea is gaining support,

:41:37.:41:42.

but it's not easy to square with austerity. The big fear in the

:41:42.:41:46.

market is we're going from fiscal stimulus to massive fiscal

:41:46.:41:50.

retrenchment in a very short space of time, when the economy is already

:41:50.:41:54.

very weak. If they can limit the near term tightening and maybe be

:41:54.:41:57.

clearer about what they're do over the medium term, then

:41:57.:42:01.

think that might help confidence to some extent. But in spite of

:42:01.:42:06.

years of fiscal stimulus, Wall Street plunged by 6% today in panic

:42:06.:42:11.

selling. The price of oil has fallen by $13 since the start of the week.

:42:11.:42:17.

The most powerful leaders in the world are exasperated. The gridlock

:42:17.:42:20.

in Washington over the last several months has not been constructive,

:42:20.:42:26.

say the least. We knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over

:42:26.:42:31.

the debt ceiling, a debate where the threat 6 default was used as

:42:32.:42:36.

bargaining chip, could do enormous damage to our economy and the

:42:36.:42:40.

world's. That threat, coming after a string of economic disruptions in

:42:40.:42:44.

Europe, Japan and the Middle East, has now riled the markets. The

:42:44.:42:46.

first response to a first response to a slowdown

:42:46.:42:50.

be to cut interest rates, in the and UK, that lever has been pulled

:42:50.:42:54.

as far as it can go. The ECB now could, because they have raised

:42:54.:42:59.

rates this year, and they could take the overnight borrowing rate back

:42:59.:43:03.

down to single digits, and that may happen. We're getting to a point

:43:03.:43:08.

where either the market start to find a base or policy

:43:08.:43:12.

makers will be increasingly desperate to find ways to stabilise

:43:12.:43:16.

things, but in this vicious circle, it's hard for them to do so. The US

:43:16.:43:19.

and UK have effectively printed close to half a trillion pounds

:43:19.:43:23.

since the banking crisis struck, if they pull that lever again, would

:43:24.:43:28.

fuel inflation? This is a really question, how big should

:43:28.:43:32.

quantitative easing be, that's what they call the printing money,

:43:32.:43:36.

buying bonds that the Federal Reserve has done and the ECB has

:43:36.:43:39.

done through the back door. Frankly, they need to come out and say,

:43:39.:43:44.

trying to raise the inflation rates, we have targeted, we will do it in

:43:44.:43:49.

unlimited amounts until we achieve our target, and when inflation gets

:43:49.:43:54.

on, interest rates will go up, we'll be able to use normal monetary

:43:54.:43:58.

policy. Believe it or not, this is what Western economists have been

:43:58.:44:02.

advising Japan for a long time and when it comes to us doing the same

:44:02.:44:06.

thing, we say wait, that's a little scary. I'm afraid it's a risk that

:44:06.:44:12.

has to be taken. That obviously the easiest option, but it's not

:44:12.:44:15.

consistent with the mandates Central Banks, particularly not here

:44:15.:44:20.

in Europe, the ECB has a clear mandate to achieve stability, so

:44:20.:44:24.

that would be a breach of the treaty. If the ECB would embark on

:44:24.:44:30.

an inflationary policy. This is also the last thing that they will do.

:44:30.:44:33.

Central Banks and governments have spent decades trying to tame

:44:33.:44:38.

inflation, denouncing it as the greatest of economic evils, it's the

:44:38.:44:43.

mark of the extremity of this debt crisis that it's now seen by others,

:44:43.:44:46.

economists and private investors, as the most realistic hope we have.

:44:46.:44:50.

Come back inflation, all is forgiven.

:44:50.:44:56.

That was Andy Verity reporting on the other big story today, more on

:44:56.:45:01.

our top story, more from Liz, the latest? Without doubt,

:45:01.:45:05.

during the time we have been on air, the situation is getting worse but

:45:05.:45:09.

it's so fast moving that you can't be entirely sure of all the reports

:45:09.:45:14.

we're hearing. The latest is of fire in Notting Hill in West London,

:45:14.:45:18.

where no less than David used to live, before he became Prime

:45:18.:45:23.

Minister. We're also hearing well as the fire that's still on in

:45:23.:45:31.

Croydon, there are reports of youths rampaging in Clapham, South London,

:45:31.:45:36.

even with petrol bombs, according to a cameraman at the scene. There are

:45:36.:45:41.

still problems in other districts of London. We should say, it's not

:45:41.:45:45.

right across London at all, these are small areas, but where they're

:45:45.:45:49.

happening, it's seething and the atmosphere is extremely difficult,

:45:49.:45:52.

not just for police but for residents and business owners, so

:45:52.:46:00.

we're seeing problems in Ilfor did,, step any green in East London, and

:46:00.:46:04.

Lewisham still. There's a lot of anger out there, really directed at

:46:04.:46:09.

two targets, certainly the mainly very young youths who are

:46:09.:46:13.

responsible for it, who are running around looting, causing damage

:46:13.:46:17.

stealing things, setting fires, but anger too at the police, and

:46:17.:46:22.

is this view that really the police, they might be dealing

:46:22.:46:26.

difficult situation, but they didn't respond quickly enough, nor are

:46:26.:46:30.

meeting - Sorry to interrupt, these are some pictures from Birmingham

:46:30.:46:34.

just in, as you can see, the police with the shields on the

:46:34.:46:37.

streets of Birmingham tonight. And that situation has been spreading,

:46:37.:46:42.

and we heard earlier there had nine arrests there, different

:46:42.:46:48.

things, all of youths, some of them juveniles, I think six of the nine

:46:48.:46:51.

juveniles, this is what we're seeing in London too, very young people

:46:51.:46:56.

getting involved. Thanks very much. Let's have a look at the front pages

:46:56.:47:06.
:47:06.:47:19.

of tomorrow. of tomorrow.

:47:19.:47:22.

Full-scale alert as violent riots Full-scale alert as violent riots

:47:22.:47:26.

spread across capital. That's all from Newsnight tonight, I will be

:47:26.:47:29.

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