This is the sort of deprivation l was used to in Bootle when l was a nipper. Tin baths, outside toilets, prating about in the cinema car park and catching pigeons in the back yard, it never did me any harm.
There is a ridiculous article about the riots and the supposed causes here (from the Daily Telegraph), but to show not all Tories have outrageous views, there is a more reasoned one by a Tory here.
My own view is no matter what original grievance the rioters had, they are now just having a laugh, causing destruction, being excited about being on the TV and part of what is going on, and looking upon it as a way to act tough and nick some goodies. Rather sadly, they also wreck their own communities and local stores, rather than heading somewhere like Harrods or Harvey Nichols. Although the news will throw up instances of Teachers assistants or students being arrested, the majority will be poor and working class. I bet there will be no one from Eton/Cambridge/Oxford University caught looting JJB sports or the local mobile phone shop (especially now that the likes of Charlie Gilmore has been dealt with). This is not students and toffs/anarchists protesting about student fees, it's (mostly) young males with hardly any aspirations and very poor role models, such as drug dealers. It does not help that most magazines aimed at youth highlight the 'bling' culture and aspirational consumptionism (watches, mobiles, TV's, trainers, designer clothes etc).
I am reading The Golden Ass by Apuleius at the moment (Ooh - get him!), and during it, he talks about a bandit wanting to recruit lads to join a gang for looting and pillaging. His reasons for them joining are :
"Some might have to be impressed and kept loyal by a sense of fear, some would be attracted by the prospect of loot, and come forward as volunteers, others would be only too pleased to escape a life of drudgery for membership of a company which exerted an almost sovereign power"
I would say nothing much has changed since the Second Century AD when the book was written. That would still be the reasoning behind most lads joining a gang of drug dealers or looters. Power and a sense of worth.