As the UK riots apparently grow more fierce, Prime Minister David Cameron seems to be taking a page from the Mubarak/Ben Ali book. In the clip below, Cameron suggest that some social media services be shut down.
And then you have this footage, apparently taken from Manchester and uploaded to YouTube an hour ago. A mob completely overruns a commercial street and loots at will. Not a Bobby in site.
Finally, it is worth noting that when police do show up, well, you can get into situations like this.
These three videos seem to sum up the problem the UK is facing right now pretty well.
You have masses of unruly looters and hooligans taking advantage of the breakdown of law and order. Ordinary folks are simply watching in horror as their stores are emptied of goods or go up in flames.
While not excusing the depraved behavior of the looters, law enforcement does share some part of the blame. After all, these riots were sparked by the shooting death of an innocent man by apparently trigger happy police–seemingly the same mentality that let the cops in the third video think they could administer a beating at will and kick a victim while he’s down.
And all the while you have a political system that is totally and completely out of touch. Will blocking Blackberry service or Twitter really stop the riots? (As Mubarak how that worked out for him.) Shutting down social media is basically the last resort of authorities who have no better ideas for responding to civil unrest.