Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Riot Rant.

It has taken me some time to come to terms with the recent riots. Until now, I haven't quite known what to say; which in my excessively articulated life is a rarity. After seeing splashed across newspapers images of 'mindless youths', it is clear who the blame is directed towards. As always, we are being catagorised into this 'young adult' catagory.. The word 'adult' implying that 'we' should take some reaponsibility for our actions, whereas 'young' implying that we are naive enough to commit such atrocities in the first place. In some ways i'd rather the patronising term 'children' to be used in the headlines- that way the rest of the teenage population who leave their most violent acts for mosh pits, and use knives in the way of cultery, can be left well out of things.

However, I don't want to make this rant about how 'unfair it is to be a teenager stereotyped by the gang culture of today'. Whilst this may be highly true, the crimes that have been commited go beyond the usual pensioner groans of 'kids today', therefore my underlying point should go beyond trying to gain sympathy for the teens who are good and decent.

So back to the matter in hand. Who or what really is to blame for the riots? Is it possible to blame the rioters themselves- of course it it. They are mindless youths who have nothing better to do than destroy peoples livelyhoods. However, is it possible to blame the youths for this mindset and ridiculous attitude entirely- Of course not. Why have they nothing better to do? Why are they so mindless? Now I hate to sound like your typical wannabe sociologist, but we have to look at the 'deeper meanings' of the event. Whilst this may be far more consideration than the rioters have put into anything in their entire lives, someone must do the thinking in this world; and better the educated people who have a sense of morality than ignorant society destroying bastards who can't see the bigger picture (reffering to both the current government and the rioters).

Lets evaluate this logically. Throughout history, people have organised anti-establishment protests and riots, to fight against those who won't listen. And in the case of our society, this is definately true. Take for instance the outcome of the university tuituon fees. The government stepped out of line and created a policy that people don't agree with, failing to make any adjustments after a series of protests (some getting slightly out of hand). This being proof that the people just aren't being listened to. This kind of mass frustration seems to be precisely the underlying reason for the violence outbreaks- even if the criminals don't quite know it themselves.

Now by no means in this am I trying to justify the acts of thuggery, but simply look for explanations that go beyond the 'hard punishment' conclusions that seem to have been made. Great, well done to the Government and Police- for failing to protect innocent business' and people, now is the perfect time to clamp down hard on the rioters and make your oscar-winning compensatory point; that you have lost control of our country, and allowing it to be in the hands of people who haven't the sense to know what to do with it.

From this I suppose we can conclude that EDUCATION is the key thing missing here. We need to educate the ignorant, those who sit back and allow the oppression of the government (which I suppose in some respects is a catagory I fall into). But first and foremost, we need to educate those who are willing to take a stand, in how to articulate themselves. No, it is not right for us to sit back and watch the class divides increase. No, it is not right for the government to take such radical steps to reconsile their mistakes, at OUR cost. But most importantly, it is NOT RIGHT for people to feel that going out and destroying the business' of innocent people is going to be justified. People who, like themselves, are perhaps suffering the brunt of some of the cuts, though at least had the sense to create a business and livelyhood in the first place. It is not right for our society to be divided, and those who fall beyond the 'David Camerons' bitches' quota to be victimised both by the government and by the destructively ignorant.

As I said, Education is key. And more cuts on the Education sector are therefore not going to be the answer, are they Mr Cameron? I begin to wonder who infact it is that needs educating...


  1. Really good points there. However, id just like my little opinion here. Whilst you are right that education is key, it isn't the only thing that needs to be done. Now, as you and i both know, in a lot of riots, there is only a percentage of people that are actually there because they are protesting against something. A lot of people are there to cause trouble. An example being that a riot that happened in my city. As soon as the person who organised it was arrested, no other riot happened. The majority were there because they wanted to cause trouble.
    Now my city is somewhat known for causing trouble, but you get what I mean.

    Now I believe that this is due to a lack of discipline, usually caused by bad parenting. An example being my next door neighbours kid. He swears, lies, hits little kids and never listens to his parents and he's only 10. His parents however don't really do anything about it. The go out clubbing most of the week, when they 'ground' him, it last a good half an hour and they even buy him more stuff, even if he hasn't been good.

    Now i know that sometimes this is not the case. I was flicking through the channels and came across an interview with a parent whose kid had recently caused an offence, and was now on criminal record (i cant remember what exactly he did though). Now he really wants to show discipline his son. Obviously after he committed the offence, but i mean when his son was growing up. But he couldn't, because it would be considered abusive to his child or the method would be considered unsafe in the new 'health and safety' laws. He couldn't really do much.

    Now, im not saying that there is a lack of discipline with all youths, and im certainly not saying that youths are the cause of most of these riots and protests. I am a youth myself. But you cannot deny the fact that this is also a factor in this. And i agree with the points you have made. I myself do get really annoyed when people are accused of doing bad things because of their age.

    I don't think i have, but i am sorry if i said anything that you would consider offensive. This is just my opinion.

    Will BM.

  2. I agree with Will BM. You have to look beyond education. Parenting in today's society is not good. Parents seem scared to keep their children in line,to give them boundaries,but that is exactly what children need,they need to know from a very young age when 'enough is enough' and children also need to be taught the consequences of their actions. Above all children need to be loved and to feel able to speak to there parents/guardians instead of always being told to 'shut up'all the time.
    If we start at the beginning with our children then they will grow into thoughtful adults. Having children isn't just about clothing and feeding it's about communication,that is the key,listening to what is said and knowing that what 'you'are saying is being listening too.

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  4. A well constructed rant. Articulate and strong in its construction but weak in its constructiveness. Your conclusion is that education is the key, but education of what exactly.

    Responsibility is what is lacking. Personal responsibility from the rioters who do not care about themselves and what they do and I agree personal and collective responsibility from our government who also do not care about what they do as long as they are not personally held to account.

    The solution is to define responsibility and then to enforce accountability and foster pride.

    Government is responsible for improving the nation. It should not be allowed to avoid its responsibility through privatisation and its associated passing of blame. Citizens (rioters included) are responsible for their own actions and should not be allowed to avoid this responsibility by blaming social circumstance.

    Accountability works in two ways by rewarding the good and punishing the bad. If we fail to punish looting and expenses fiddling then we end up encouraging such actions. Also if we fail to reward true endeavour and instead reward short term sound bites then we end up encouraging a ticks in boxes culture with no real pride.

    So educate about responsibilities as individuals, as employees, as parents as employers and as government and hold those responsible to account whilst helping and rewarding endeavours to improve.