Tension of a riot building up is usually described as electric which, having experienced the start of another summer riot, Toxteth , it is.  The charge from anxiety, loss of control and fear all come into play for anyone bordering on the immediate area.

The tension of the London riots didn’t appear to hold  such tension over the first couple of days when the ‘targets’ were  faceless brands, however, things took a turn last night.  Now local businesses that are supported by their local community were being attacked and the reactions from those local business owners or local people, the morning after the event, made it much more personal.

Until yesterday, amongst the myriad of reporting coming out of the London Riots, there was little that struck home.  Looting, which had somehow been viewed as something that  the ‘big boys’ on a high street might expect with a riot, took on much darker connotations because it struck out at people.  After last night the reporting has changed from third party screening of perspective to real time response, bona fide incredulous and hurt. The same type of theft had happened to independent local business and we could empathise.

With the riots it’s about how they started, why they started and what should be done to perpetrators. With the money markets it’s about what will be affected, how lives will change and, the usual, where to point the finger of blame. Everyone has an opinion, which can alter depending on the accounts put forward. Determination from outside influence (herd behaviour)  is well documented, and perfectly illustrated over the last few days, as a behaviour that many lean to in all spheres. When house prices shot up because lots of people traded their homes up the market, the electricity was almost visceral response to any who thought they were missing out, when the market crashed the mob rule was to sell or stop buying. We see it in business and we see it in daily life; it’s difficult to strike out and be different.

It only takes a few to start a riot and it only takes a few to sway opinion, stock market bubbles and crashes or street mob violence, everyday judgement or opinion forming is susceptible. The difference this time seems to be digital.

(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF)