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I’ve been taken aback by the irrational and heavy-handed response of people I (used to) respect in relation to the recent outbreak of rioting across English cities.
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Lee Webster's profile photoLawrie Phipps's profile photoDoug Belshaw's profile photoDavid Andrew's profile photo
17 comments
 
Without condoning what's happened there's a sense of disenfranchisement in some communities that is multigenerational and almost palpable. The rioters probably couldn't or wouldn't verbalise it like that, but it's there. Rather simplistic, but I blame "that woman" and her cronies.
 
I agree with Michael. Generations of people have been kept poor and dispossessed, so what do governments expect when they try to oppress them even more? All these "austerity" measures, regardless of country, hit the already poor the hardest. England has a long and sad history of oppressed poor. Dickens highlighted that.
 
I agree, and I loathe the proposals that are on the table for 'austerity measures', but none or very few of the measures have actually had an impact yet.

Yes there is a lot of demonisation of the disenfranchised and dispossessed, but there is also a lot of opportunistic and mindless violence going on. These aren't protests or statements of anger against a government such as we had during the Midlands in the early 80's, Poll Tax and Miners Strike (and I speak from experience on these), these are (mostly) people who seem to be just raging against anybody and anything, and they aren't sending a message to anyone in power, there just damaging society, their own.

I'm not condoning or condemning, but I do want us to look at and investigate how and why this happened with a cool head and not knee jerk blame the rioters or the govt (even if politically I'd like to).
 
Thanks for the comment, Lawrie. I'd be interested in your opinion of what the guy in the video mentioned about it being "not a movement, but a cry for help"?
 
I think that's another facet of what we're seeing, I'm afraid that he may be attributing a motivation to a behavior that isn't there, though I wish it was, and hope that it is. The Student protests were a cry for help, and we saw far less violence and more 'messages'. I don't know. And that is the worst part of what I'm seeing.
 
Obviously the rioting/violence/hooliganism can not be condoned in any way and needs to be dealt with. Its the long history of underlying causes that needs to be examined. The danger is that dealing with the 'now' by threatening plastic bullets, water cannon or whatever, may be used to avoid looking at much bigger issues. While this is happening in England now, it doesn't take much of a crystal ball to see that similar outbreaks could happen in many other countries. History shows that, and the fall out may not be attractive e.g Germany in the 1920s.
 
I agree.

Please tell me we have not reached Godwin's law already though!
 
I'm restraining myself from commenting giving that I'm an Edexcel examiner for AS-level Weimar Germany... ;-)
 
Oops, bad example to choose.... promise I won't mention adolf.. oops sorry again, careless of me...
 
It has been going this way for a long time. The government needs to more money into youth programmes this has been going on for far too long. When I grew up I had a great Youth Club to go to which had all sorts of activities going on and you felt proud to be a part of a community. Also the youth leader was a trained councilor.

Well by the time my brother grew up there was no trained councilor (Gov. cutting money) and this was the start of it going downhill because the new leader could not control or deal with the kids. Today it is very sad that the place I grew up, has no youth club and is now a police station. That’s a real answer to a youth’s problem and this summer they have yet again made cuts to youth progarmmes it’s about time they started learning from their mistakes.

I am not saying that rioting is the answer but if you treat people like animals they will behave like one. These are youth that think education failed me, society has failed me and I can’t achieve anything what have I got to lose.

I do not condone the violence but we need to look at the root of the problem in order to get the big picture.

Start putting money back into youth programmes and give them something to do and be proud of!!!!!!
 
I'm sorry but there is no reason at all for the scenes we have witnessed recently. Please show me any justification for setting fire to other people's businesses and homes or pretending to help an injured man when they are actually robbing him.

The politicians are right for once. These scenes are nothing to do with deprived areas wanting to be heard and everything to do with criminal acts and theft. Why else would a teaching assistant and an architect be looting stores? Because they can't afford to feed themselves?

Every person who took part in the riots deserves the book thrown at them. We have seen these pathetic scenes throughout the year but this last bout of violence takes the biscuit. The law abiding British public should not have to put up with such acts of intimidation against their communities. If anything, those arrested are frankly lucky, in other countries looters would be shot on sight.

(Apologies for any errors I am typing this without my glasses on. Maybe I should nip down to my local Specsavers and loot it for a replacement pair?) ;)
 
Yes, they should all be dealt with the same way. If you knowingly commit a crime you should be willing to accept the consequences for it. I highly doubt that a single person in those riots thought their actions were within the law, they looted and robbed because they believed they would get away with it. Karma is now catching up with them.
 
It's not about motivation... this is a cultural thing... mores that are totally different, engendered by the disenfranchisement I previously mentioned. It's not a protest, not a fight for equality or equanimity... it's just a reflection and extension of a way of life.
 
Nick Clegg on the radio this morning said that people were all concerned about their home and shops. In London middle class kids are concerned about ever being able to have their own home - we need to be careful about the language we use.
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