Cameron denounces UK rioters as 'immoral.' But he's under fire, too.
A week after a murder sparked riots and looting in London and beyond, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed Parliament for nearly three hours today. Here's how Britain responded.
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Stray too far into condemning what he called "phoney human rights concerns" and Cameron will damage his claim to be a different kind of Tory. Harp on about the possible victimhood of criminals, and Miliband would lose voters to the right. That is why both converged today on the word responsibility. Now they need to define it.Skip to next paragraph
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But think about it, and you may agree that [Cameron] has not played the most brilliant of games. He may have been to Croydon, but (as) today's invitation to visit Tottenham from David Lammy pointed up, he has yet to visit any of the areas of London that have been so ripped apart. As Jack Straw said, he still sounds like he's spouting precooked Treasury lines about police cuts, taking refuge in specious claims about "visible policing" (expect at least a modest U-turn on this). And as his statement proved, he sounds rather wooden and hemmed in: a man dutifully reading a script, as opposed to speaking to and for the country.
But today, presumably thanks to being plucked from his holiday and thrown into a whirl of Cobra meetings and visits to the Midlands, he was below par. "Absolutely no excuse… we will not put up with this in our country… more robust and effective policing… more discipline…" These are mostly things than any mainstream politician has to say right now, but they sounded Dalek-esque.
Mr. Harris thought that Mr. Miliband, while hitting the right notes, had to be careful about taking it too far. "He is in a delicate position, trying to point out that the riots say something about such themes as the 'take what you can' aspects of modern Britain and the dearth of 'hope and aspiration' in too many parts of the country, without succumbing to the leftie behavioural tic whereby everything is traceable to either Margaret Thatcher or the cuts (or both)," he wrote.
Cameron's talk of responsibility is a reiteration of an old theme from his days in the opposition party that has faded into the background since he took power, Mr. Kirkup writes. His revival of that theme is "ambitious" and sets him up for a momentous triumph – or flop.