Global Times: Is There a Revolution Taking Place in London?

As riots in London and other UK cities continued, the Global Times accused British media of double standards in their coverage.

If it had happened somewhere else, the chaos would have been given a name, such as “chrysanthemum revolution.” Instead, it was described as overnight violence followed by looting in local media.

Probably the only logic is since the chaos happened in the UK, the reaction to it by British media was more muted ….

British media are neither deeply troubled by the ethnic tension in London, nor are they interested to guess the impact it will have on authorities ….

Since economic recovery is a long-term challenge to the British government, there is no need to worry that “economic growth might enlarge the income gap which could mean more unfairness for minorities.”

Other Chinese reports asked what the riots imply about London’s readiness to host the 2012 Olympics. From The Telegraph:

The pictures of burning high-streets and apparently impotent policing astounded many Chinese, who perceive Britain as an enviably genteel – if fading – society where many of China’s new upper-middle classes send their children to elite private schools and universities to be educated.

China, fiercely proud of its smooth staging of the 2008 Olympic Games, which were preceded by widespread and often indiscriminate security crackdown, also wondered out loud if London was still a safe bet to hold the Games.

“The three consecutive days of rioting has spread to east London area where the main sports stadium of London Olympic is located,” observed a report on the state-run Xinhua news agency.

“After the riots, the image of London has been severely damaged, leaving the people sceptical and worried about the public security situation during the London Olympics.”

The BBC’s Sports Editor echoed Xinhua’s sentiments:

… [There] is no question the pictures of the capital burning, which are being beamed around the world, will seriously damage Britain’s and London’s image with a year to go until the Olympics.

And the rioting raises yet more serious questions about the Metropolitan Police’s capacity to secure the Games next summer ….

For the first time we are getting a sense of what it feels like to be at the other end of the lens. How often have we sat here, a year from an Olympics or World Cup, and made judgments on a country’s or city’s capacity to host these big events in the face of local security concerns, financial troubles or whatever else might be happening.

One year from the World Cup in South Africa and a stabbing in Johannesburg could spark questions about whether the whole thing should be called off. Some of this disorder is happening just a mile or so down the road from the Olympic Park. How will foreign athletes hoping to spend two weeks at the Olympic village in Stratford feel watching all this unfold on their televisions?

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