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The politics of Britain's riots

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WaPo columnist E.J. Dionne has this post on how the leader of the British Labor Party is tiptoeing around the question of the causes of the riots, trying to avoid any implication of any sympathy with the rioters.  In contrast to a predictable commentary by a left-leaning academic,

But [Ed] Miliband has always thought it important for Labor to cultivate tough-on-crime credentials. And he is acutely aware of the losses Labor suffered in the last election among white working-class voters, who are likely to take a dim view of the urban violence.
In America, the tough-on-crime stance has taken a political beating of late, despite its success as a major factor in bringing down our previously sky-high crime rates.  In Britain, though, it appears the left is still wary of being tarred with the soft-on-crime brush.

Will the situation turn around here?  Yes, I think it might, but at a horrific cost.  In California, when Jerry Brown's scheme to force release of prisoners by dumping them on financially strapped counties has its predictable result, there will be backlash.  People who have been seduced by claims that we can safely release the hordes of people who are supposedly in prison merely for possession of one joint will realize they have been lied to and that the people released were actually far more dangerous than represented.  The realization will come too late for those raped, robbed, or murdered, but it will come.

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