The alienated poor?

Many on the left are claiming the looters and rioters are?the?”alienated?poor”. Funny how the?alienated?poor co-ordinated their rioting via Blackberry phones and other smart phones. Now it turns out that some aren’t the “alienated?poor” at all.

They were, some said, the alienated poor, those without hope, lashing out in rage and despair. But as the accused London rioters started appearing in court they included university students, a wealthy businessman’s daughter and a boy of 11.

At the Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, London, custody vans queued in the street and paperwork poured across every spare surface. They had been working all night. ”Have you been home yet?” asked a dazed-looking court official to her colleague.

By the end of the day in London, 805 people had been arrested in connection with violence, disorder and looting and 251 had been charged.

Here in court you could clearly see the face of the riot: stripped of its hoods and masks, handcuffed to burly security guards, dressed in white prison T-shirts. And it was rather different from what many had been expecting.

Among the accused was Laura Johnson, 19, daughter of a successful company director. She lives in a detached converted farmhouse in Kent, with extensive grounds and a tennis court. She is an English and Italian undergraduate at Exeter.

Before that, she attended St Olave’s Grammar, the fourth-best state school in the country, where she studied A-levels in French, English literature, geography and classical civilisation. On Wednesday, at Highbury, she was accused of looting the Currys superstore, in Charlton, of electrical goods worth ?5000 ($7800).

The case was transferred to Bexleyheath Magistrates Court where she was placed on bail with a strict curfew. A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: ”I wouldn’t expect someone from ? here to be accused of this.”

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