A shaken elite: will the August riots become the Conservatives’ 11-M?

David Cameron is an imperious parliamentary speaker, but he certainly didn’t anticipate the extent of the August crisis.

Any government can appear strong during a time of peace, growth, augmenting incomes and national celebration. In political terms, this is akin to sailing on a calm sea, and the rewards for leaders who are able to portray an image of absolute serenity and success are significant, even if their policies have little connection to, or influence on, what is actually taking place. Every politician must be aware, however, of the eternal cliché; that the next crisis is just around the corner. David Cameron’s picturesque holiday in Italy was perhaps, in his mind, due reward for what could be described as a successful first year and a bit, at least from a Conservative perspective. Yet his hopes of sailing around Lake Como without a care in the world were dashed when reports reached him that one of the world’s most historic, significant and famous capital cities had gone up in flames. That city was London, containing a multitude of nationalities and ethnicities, vast income differentials, and a citizenry with wildly divergent employment backgrounds.

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