Nick Clegg on the UK riots: “We’ve all got to work together to make sure this doesn’t happen again”

The Deputy Prime Minister, speaking on a visit to Birmingham, pledged tough action to bring an end to the riots which have spread from London to other cities. Nick Clegg warned those who had taken part that, when caught, they would face serious consequences for their actions:

(Also available on the BBC website here.)

The previous day the Lib Dem leader branded the violence “completely unacceptable”, and labelled the rioting as nothing more than “opportunistic theft”:

(Available on the BBC website here.)

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  • Cuts to policing. Cuts to education. Cuts to social services. Cuts to local councils. Cuts to job centres. Cuts to taxes.

    I have no faith in the Coalition’s strategy for the UK. Their undermining of the essential infrastructure of the state will only permit more lawlessness and rioting.

    And what is more, Nick Clegg actually predicted this:

  • Lets not forget that Nick Clegg was himself a drunken teenage arsonist. He destroyed a leading collection of cactii. He was rich and priveliged and wasn’t charged. Perhaps he should now set an example by also facing “serious consequences for his actions” rather than treating it as a drunken jape?

  • Al’s point is not really germane to today, although it obviously carries some force given the situation. However, what I would like explained (I didn’t see an explanation in the media) was why he was given such a poor reception in Birmingham? It may have been that Cameron, Theresa May or any other senior minister would have received the same treatment, but I think we should find out a little more about the incident. In other words, the visit was more about reaction to NC, and less about anything he actually had to say. It is a shame to say this, but it seems, unfortunately, true.

  • Tim13, the reaction to Nick Clegg is because he’s a member of the Coalition, and they all appear to be the same. Dishonest, greedy and out of touch. More interest in pandering to the interests of the rich, and ignoring the rest. Unwilling to accept the role of the state in building civil society, lenient when it comes to the transgressions of the powerful, whether outrageous bonuses in the financial sector, or the corrupting influence of parts of the media – forgiven as long as they pay into political parties and support the desired line.

    And above all, out of touch. It is striking how many senior members of the government remained on holiday as the economy crashed and the streets burned. Coming home only when the public demand grew sufficiently angry and loud, but not when the trouble started. Not leaders, just frightened sheep with no answers.

  • Yawn – more Labour tribalists. Any news of their own detailed budget proposals and how they’d be paid for? Any answers as to why the school system deteoriated under their watch?

    Given the indiscipline in schools, the sucking up to Murdoch that went on, their sucking up to the banks, the housing bubble that has left young people never being able to buy a house near their parents, the credit bubble (all designed to keep the labour voter sweet for election day) – and to cap it all the economy falling off of a cliff – Labour party should hang their heads in shame.

    Instead they act like the feckless looters – having torched the economic shop with their spendthrift and crap policies they stand back from the fire and say `it’s all the government’s fault`.

    The acts of violence were perpetrated by feral youths with crap parenting who, if you listen to R5 live interviews, `wanted to show who was boss` and `well it was a bit of a laugh really` – yes Thatcher caused some of the problems but Blair/Brown just carried on like reckless idiots.

    I see Miliband is trying to stop his backbenchers from saying the stupid things they want to say. Good luck with that one.

  • John, we all acknowledge that Labour didn’t deal with the underlying causes as much as they could have done. They badly lost their way after they felt it necessary to tack to the right to keep the support of Murdoch and curb the worst criticism from the likes of the Daily Mail.

    But, tell me how the Coalition’s cutting of support for civil society, for charities, youth clubs, police, social workers, health services, education, etc, will make things better?

  • The BBC news clip flatters Nick Clegg’s reception on his visit to the Birmingham shopping centre. He was drowned out and another report shows him being advised to return to his car to a chorus of jeers which on this video can’t be heard until his car is leaving.
    I’m afraid Nick is now seen as entirely irrelevant to solving any social crisis. It’s not his fault that he delivers perfectly reasonable but also perfectly forgettable pronouncements. It’s just a pity for the LIbDems that a highly intelligent leader has been fatally compromised by an early policy decision.
    For all his tough words it is noticeable that David Cameron has yet to appear in the streets or alongside the public like Nick, though.

  • Paul McKeown 10th Aug '11 - 1:02pm

    I agree with everything Nick Clegg has said with regards to the riots. Lynne Featherstone and Simon Hughes, too. Actually almost all politicians from the Conservatives and Labour, too. They all want the situation brought under control as quickly as possible with the least fuss.

    Then you get the usual suspects here with nothing better to do than point fingers and whinge. Rolls eyes.

  • That’s good for you Paul McKeown. Now do you think the Coalition’s planned cuts offer a solution to the problem? If so, why? If not, what will you do to change policy?

  • Having read the various Articles/opinions/comments on the site, I felt that this was the most appropriate place to post the comment I wished to make.

    Having read the various tribal/partisan comments and dissections as to who/what is to blame for the horrendous and shocking scenes over the past few days – ie It was down to the legacy of the failure and the deficit left to the coalition by Labour, OR It is down to the cuts, cuts and more cuts that this coalition is imposing etc, etc…..

    What I have not seen or what I have not heard or read, is why is happening in the places it’s happening? – Why the breakout of looting in Lewisham/Clapham/Hackney and not in Tower Hamlets/Newham – Boroughs that have just as terrible levels of poverty and unemploymet – Why Birmingham/Manchester/Liverpool and not Sheffield/Leicester/Newcastle/Sunderland – Cities with just as much inner city deprivation etc – Why only in English Citys, no breakouts in Swansea/Cardiff or Glasgow/Edinburgh?

    Be as partisan and tribal as you will, but this in my mind does nothing to move the narrative on in a positive way, to try and really discover why this has happened in reality, and try and at least to focus in on what are obviously a deeply complex set of paramerters.

  • Shauny, it’s been wet and miserable in Scotland. Really horrendous weather does discourage bad behaviour. Also, Scottish cities also have different demographics in the large housing estates, iirc there are proportionally fewer young people and birthrates are lower.

    Then there’s the football, the police have had a great deal of experience in policing rampaging mobs associated with the Old Firm and devising the appropriate policing to prevent mobs from forming in the first place.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there were riots at some point however, but these are the immediate differences I can think of.

  • @ g
    Scotland – Horrendous weather/wet and miserable, I’m not even going to go there! 😉 – In part, I have to be honest I’m not that ‘up’ on the demographics, so that may answer in part if there is a lower rate of ‘young’ people. In respect of the policing, dealing with ‘old firm’ derbys, I do know the tensions in respect of Celtic / Rangers, but would have thought the Police in Manchester and to some extent Birmingham would have some experience in dealing with mob mentality.

    @ John Roffey
    I accept, in respect of tuition fees Scotland does differ, but in respect of Wales and please forgive me but I am not ‘au fait’ with all the regional differences, do the Welsh Assembly place more emphasis on youth services?

    However, I still do not understand why, such places as Newcastle etc have not followed ‘copycat’ style given that there are similar deprivations in the inner citys of other large citys around the country. Also having worked in Lewisham/Catford/Peckham as well as Tower Hamlets/Newham in the ‘Social Work’ field I am somewhat intrigued as to why the problems have not spread to all areas which are usually labeled and considered severe areas of deprivation. I appreciate Tottenham is somewhat different, given the issue around the current IPCC investigation, and the ‘rumour and speculation’ which appears to have triggered the initial disruption.

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