NBC Stokes British Class Warfare: 'Economic Inequality' Sparked London Riots

On Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Stephanie Gosk promoted the Occupy-Wall-Street-stye rhetoric of left-wing British Member of Parliament Oona King: "King believes economic inequality was a driving force behind London's riots last year....The physical recovery from the riots has been slow....But the effort to improve lives is even more difficult."

Gosk interviewed King as they walked through London's East End, near the Olympic Village: "This is not the London that tourists typically get to see. Here the double-dip recession has hit hard. Unemployment is over 14%." King lamented: "Huge, vast repositories of wealth. And yet, that wealth doesn't trickle down anywhere, you know?" Gosk helpfully added: "So, they can see it....but they can't get there."

In honor of Barack Obama's reelection campaign, King recently re-posted her glowing review of the President's memoir, Dreams of My Father, on her website. She showered praise on the book: "Whatever else people expect from a politician, it's not usually a beautifully written personal memoir steeped in honesty. Barack Obama has produced one, possibly because he wrote it when he was 33, long before realizing any political ambitions."

Here is a full transcript of the July 30 report:

7:14PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: As the world gathers here in London, a lot of first-timers to this city may be expecting the London of Mary Poppins. And depending on where they go and what they see, they'll experience something awfully close. But out here in the East End, where the Olympic Village is, decidedly off the beaten path, it's a different London, as NBC's Stephanie Gosk shows us tonight.

STEPHANIE GOSK: Just down the road from the Olympic park, the students at Kingsmead Primary are holding their own olympiad, with hand-made torches held high. These are the faces of a changing London. Families from 46 different countries, speaking 40 different languages.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My parents are from Ireland and Malaysia.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL B: My parents are from Ethiopia.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: My parents are from Poland.

GOSK: Oona King lives in the shadow of the Olympic park too.

OONA KING: And when I was growing up, I was the only mixed-race child in my class.

GOSK: She is the second black woman ever to be elected to Parliament.


KING: You know, when we bid for the Olympic games, we said if London wins, then the world wins, you know? Because London has basically the whole world here.

GOSK: There are the Jamaicans of Brixston, the Indians of Brick Lane, Africans, Asians, Europeans, Muslims, Hindus, Christians. This is not the London that tourists typically get to see. Here the double-dip recession has hit hard. Unemployment is over 14%.

KING: Huge, vast repositories of wealth. And yet, that wealth doesn't trickle down anywhere, you know?

GOSK: So, they can see it...

KING: They can see it.

GOSK: ...but they can't get there.

KING: But they can't get it.

GOSK: King believes economic inequality was a driving force behind London's riots last year. For five days angry young people battled police, looted, and destroyed their own neighborhoods. The physical recovery from the riots has been slow. This pub still bears the scars. But the effort to improve lives is even more difficult. Some hope the investment in the Olympics will help create new opportunities. The Olympic park will be turned into five new neighborhoods, with affordable housing and gardens. The nearby mall has already added 10,000 new jobs.

KING: In the long term, though, it's about the legacy, isn't it? It's about the affordable homes, it's about jobs, and it's about giving a generation that inspiration. I mean, that's the strapline, isn't it, for London 2012? Inspire a generation.

GOSK: Already, the children at Kingsmead Primary seem to be getting the Olympic message to excel, a truly inspired performance. Stephanie Gosk, NBC News, London.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC