Monday, August 8, 2011

Tottenham and Broadwater Farm: A tale of two riots

Parallels with the Broadwater Farm riots are flawed, says Andrew Gilligan. Despite the riot, Tottenham has changed dramatically for the better since 1985.

Even though no one predicted the Tottenham riot, a surprising number of people already seem to know what caused it. For Chris Williamson, the Labour shadow communities minister, it was the Conservative Party. "Why is it the Tories never take responsibility for the consequences of their party's disastrous policies?" he asked. To Ken Livingstone, Labour's candidate for the London mayoralty, "the economic stagnation and cuts being imposed by the Tory government inevitably create social division". Ken, predictably, was also the first politician to use the riot for electoral purposes, crow-barring three condemnations of his rival Boris Johnson into a 300-word statement.

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