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...