It would be rather wrong for me to just ignore what probably would be the biggest story of the year so I have decided to at least say something. Now I don’t have the facts, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping politicians, the press, and the man on the street so here goes.
What happened in London and other areas is reprehensible. It was wrong on a level that is just below genocide and just above going out in white socks with black shoes. What we saw wasn’t an “underprivileged minority” or a group “angry at the recession and the cuts” or even a group angry that the police appear to have shot a guy for no reason. Instead what we saw was the worst in a person, the worst in a city and the worst in a country. From youngsters with their lives ahead of them crushed under cars to a student who was mugged by the people who he thought were helping. There is no excuse to be found for this behaviour. Despite what we get told.
Those on the left will say it’s anger at a government which has cut services and removed hope for future generations, those on the right say it’s a symptom of broken Britain and a dependency on our benefit culture. However most convicted so far seem to have been pretty stable, one worked as a teaching assistant in a local school. And others were kids as young as 11.
Have you asked a kid about cuts to services, the majority don’t care, they’ll eave school and spend a life signing on (the myth that no-one wants to be on benefits is a bit of a lie, I’ve encountered many who are happy that they can get more off the state than I do working. For most it was just a case of convergence theory. Normally if you’re in a crowded place you wouldn’t steal something in-front of others, but when everyone else is doing, then why the hell not.
Cameron has given the police more powers today, while still insisting that his cuts will work (and rather bizarrely using the riots to justify it) and Ed is just nodding along happy for a change. However nicking people is a very short term solution. This country has been on a slide for 20+ years now, our kids are leaving school illiterate and without many skills vital to make it in today’s world. Only investment in the futures of young people will finally work, education is the silver bullet, smarter kids means a better chance of a job, means higher earnings which for the government means more income through taxation, they have a better standard of living and that is transferred to their kids. Smart countries do well, this is why Asia is booming even in the middle of a global depression.
Instead of blaming society and the government, let’s try and get it all working together.
However it isn’t all doom and gloom, while the worst in a nation was on show to the world the bet was also out, from the armies of volunteers who turned up with brooms to clear the debris of the riots to those who went out all hours with fresh tea for what were tired and in some cases, I suspect, terrified police officers. Those who did this should be commended, they demonstrated what it is to be British, it isn’t some mythical ideal, it’s a “keep calm and carry on” ideal, with tea.