Peter Hoskin

The return of rage

The return of rage
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One of the few things missing from our country's, and Gordon Brown's, cocktail of woes has been major civic unrest.  Sure, we've seen strikes - most notably at the Lindsey oil refinery - but nothing as vitriolic, or as large, as the riots in Greece or Saturday's protest in Dublin.  That could be about to change.  According to today's important Guardian cover story, police are gearing up for a "summer of rage", the timing of which could dent Brown's Last Great Hope to rescue his premiership:  

[Superintendent David] Hartshorn[, chief of the Met's public order branch] identified April's G20 meeting of the group of leading and developing nations in London as an event that could kick-start a challenging summer. "We've got G20 coming and I think that is being advertised on some of the sites as the highlight of what they see as a 'summer of rage'," he said.

Hartshorn also raises the possibility of "powerful coalitions" of protestors, including "middle-class individuals" campaigning over issues such as airport expansion.  The major worry has to be that extremist groups exploit this to expand their support bases.