I missed the riots in London. All I got to see was a heavier posting of the Metropolitan Police and a lot of thumbsucking on the BBC and Sky News. Cable news is the same all over.
If you've followed the story, you know the debate. Labour wants to blame cuts and inadequacies in social programs. The Tories point to an initially inadequate police response (that it was inadequate seems indisputable although who is to blame for that is another question) and cultural breakdown. We've got the same debate over unrest here although the social welfare state in the UK is far more extensive than ours. There may be a lesson in that. The value of handouts evaporates.
One thing that surprised me, however, is how much of the rioting was videotaped. There are apparently 60,000 cameras around London - 7000 operated by the government - and these CCTV cameras caught a lot of the action. Broadcast of the faces caught on camera has led to some arrests but it's too little too late. The "yobs," as they are often called in the local press, often wear hoodies and bandannas. The riots in London ended when Scotland Yard annnounced that they were going to put 16000 cops on the street.