Please help me understand what the author is arguing in this article about the London riots.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This article is a classic statement of liberal/left thinking about the causes of riots and social unrest.

The article starts with the idea that we must look for the root causes that are truly behind the rioting.  The author believes that the riots were caused by some sort of societal ill.  He says that the riots

... should be viewed as a by-product of a much wider problem.

This is a classic liberal understanding of how to react to such events.

The author then goes on to identify this "much wider problem."  To him, the problem is that the government does not care about people like the rioters and does not do enough to help them.  This is particularly true in the current atmosphere of austerity that the Cameron government is creating in England.  The author tells us that

As long as racism, unemployment, lack of opportunity, and public service cuts continue to take root, things will only worsen.

So, we have here an article that argues that the riots were caused by the larger society's attitudes towards the poor and the fact that it does not do enough to try to help this group of people.