Left-wing politicians have cynically sought to make political capital out of the riots, blaming government cuts for the orgy of violence.

Labour MPs and activists lined up to make excuses for the thugs, spouting claims that disadvantaged youth had no option but to smash up high streets.

Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, suggested the Government’s austerity drive was to blame.

On Twitter, he said: ‘The Tories are back alright. Why is it the Tories never take responsibility for the consequences of their party’s disastrous policies. #tottenham’

Minutes earlier he had endorsed the comment of another Twitter user who said: ‘Riots. Protests. Cuts. Unemployment. Disaffected Youth. Strikes. Recession. Police Brutality.’

Swift to jump on the bandwagon was Lee Jasper, a former adviser on policing to Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London.

Mr Jasper was following the example of his former boss. Mr Livingstone said that the austerity drive had created a ‘social division’ which was forcing the police into conflict with communities.

He said: ‘The economic stagnation and cuts being imposed by the Tory government inevitably create social division.”

This sort of political opportunism destroys a society and is likely to beget (and then excuse) more violence.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)