Anarchy in the U.K.

More

_DSC0306

by user Tom.Kay/Flicker

Riots broke out in Tottenham this weekend after a 29 year old suspect gang member was killed by police (apparently carrying guns, though my memory is that most British police do not); friends and family, who said that the police fired first, gathered at a police station, and the explosive situation eventually turned violent.


The British police are under fire for failing to control the resulting looting.  Which offers up a jarring but almost charming note from an otherwise sobering story:

The Metropolitan Police said it was focused on containing violent disorder in Tottenham on Saturday night, which left dozens of officers injured and saw squad cars, shops and flats burned to the ground. But its tactics meant gangs of youths were free to break into stores at nearby Tottenham Hale retail park and in Wood Green, with looters forming an orderly queue in broad daylight to steal from a sports shop
It seems nothing, not even a riot, can conquer the British queuing instinct.  They would form an orderly line at the gates of hell.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In