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Riots on an Olympic scale?


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It’s a year since the summer riots descended on the cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Salford.

After the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in Tottenham, many who were already on the brink of breakdown were angered further. 

But with the economic climate no better than that of last year,  more than 21% of young people still unemployed and the Olympics looking to stretch financial pressures on the city even more, should London be preparing itself for another riot once the Olympics are over?

The Olympics seem to have everybody wearing rose tinted glasses at the moment. A lot of people are getting into the spirit, joining in the excitement and getting behind team GB whole heartedly. While this is all good I have an ominous feeling that, come the end of the Olympics and the removal of those rose tinted glasses, the riot Olympics will begin.

You can see it brewing everywhere just below the surface of the British spirit front everyone seems to be wearing. Disgruntled travellers on the roads and rails of London, the excess of money being spent on an event that lasts two weeks when we are constantly being told we’re in a double dip recession, and the constant pressure on jobs. This is all being noted and will be used as ammunition.

London, a mixing pot of cultures already, will be pushed to the brim with a temporary population of over nine million people from every corner of the earth descending on the capital.

According to security expert, Tim Larkin, this is a recipe for disaster and a sure eventuality will be another riot on British soil. 

He said: “The perfect storm which created the riots last August were economics and ethnicity in that order.

“The multi-cultural mix, the pressure on London’s resources and the continuing downhill spiral of economic uncertainty will tip the balance.

“The conditions that created the last riot situation have not be alleviated. 

“Everyone is just, ‘Fingers crossed and let’s hope for the best’. It’s a time bomb.”

Although I’d like to be optimistic and say the Olympics will only draw our nation closer together, I honestly feel that once the illusion of the Olympics are shattered, realisation will dawn that people are still unemployed, cuts are still happening even after the excesses of a £27million opening ceremony, and all the problems that were temporarily relieved for the Olympics will come flooding back.

Even the seemingly innocent free wifi for rail users during the Olympics at London stations have touched a nerve. Users have complained that it shouldn’t only be free on the conditions of the Olympic games, but all the time.

In a period in economic crisis, and one labelled as a time of austerity, the realisation that copious amounts of money have been spent to gratify everyone else but the British unemployed, the struggling and hopeless graduates are sure to spark a riot on an Olympian scale.  

Team GB are sure then to win a few golds for an impressive amount of looting, record breaking brick lobbing and competitive vandalism after the sporting Olympics are over.

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