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There’s a lot of riots in the UK at the moment of writing. People are scared. There’s stories of people being burned alive, gangs of armed thugs heading toĀ children’sĀ hospitals. What a load of bollocks. All the fearĀ doesn’tĀ make sense, it sprouts up because people don’t understand what’s happening. So here’s how I think it’s happening.

1. Hear about Riots

People on Twitter or Facebook see that riots are going to be in their town that night. Their friends phone them up – hey lets go down and watch?

2. Go to watch

They go and stand around to watch the riot. They don’t realise that they are part of the riot. They’re all standing around – nothings happening. More and more people come to watch.

3. Anticipation

People are getting bored of waiting. Someone out of boredom throws a brick and it cracks a window. Other people start throwing bricks. The whole crowd is having a go. All these people that came to watch the voilence are now part of the voilence.

4. Opportunity

The window gets smashed – people steal things from the window display. Once all that’s gone people run further in to the shop to steal stuff – until there’s nothing left.

5. Spreading

One window is smashed so it’s less of a stretch to break the window to the shop next door. That happens. And happens. Bystanders become active participants – because fuck – everyone else is doing it – why shouldn’t they?


From their point of view it’s not some menacing, evil thing. I’m sure if you ask them their excuse would be the classic “everyone else was doing it”. The situation is crazy and they see an opportunity to get free stuff.

They’re not armed thugs roaming the town looking to fuck shit up. Why would you even believe that a group of rioters would get together and think “Hey – lets go burn the childrens hospital down – FUCK HEALING SICK CHILDREN!!!”.

Why Not

The problem is that so far there’s not been any visibleĀ repercussionsĀ for this stuff. The footage on the TV shows people looting – it doesn’t show police arresting the looters. It doesn’t show the police kicking in doors dragging them out of bed and into a cell.

People are smart nowadays. They know the police can’t beat them. They know that they can stand up and be a big man to the police. If the police beat or shoot them there’s a million “no fee” solicitor firms that will rinse the police dry in court.

The most punishment they’ll get is thrown in a cell overnight. They know this. So what’s to stop them, apart from their parents?


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