England’s riots expose an inconvenient truth: Britain has become a highly unequal society in terms of wealth. As Zoe Williams has argued, ‘this is what happens when people don’t have anything, when they have their
noses constantly rubbed in stuff they can’t afford, and they have no reason ever to believe that they will be able to afford it’. It is no surprise that London – a city that maintains wealth-based cultural segregation despite an intimate co-existence between rich and poor in many areas – has been the epicentre of the unrest. But to get anywhere close to an explanation of the riots, it is necessary to consider how wealth inequality coincides with the fractured generational relations of Britain today.
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Image: Andy Armstrong