Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Looters and thieves

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook: "These people have no morality. They sponge off the taxpayer, they are thieves, have little respect for the law or society, they steal, loot, run riot through the city, have no concern for other people. And now they're coming home from holiday to sort the riots out."

Other friends of mine have suggested bringing back national service while Theresa May is talking about bringing in the army to beat the rioters down. What she fails to understand in the cause of the problem and like so many she is concerned about treating the symptoms.

Young people have a natural angst and aggression. They need time to find their place and direction in society, to sort out where they are going with their lives. They need a heroes journey, a rite of passage, call it what you will, and some rites of passage are more damaging than others as we have seen these last few days. Destructive rites of passage are going to be more likley when you combine angst and aggression with a sense of despair, high unemployment, widening poverty gap and little hope of a better life.

So maybe my friends who are suggesting national service have got a point. Not that I would want to see people being made to serve in the forces, but there may be a case for other types of service that would provide a sense of achievement and pride for younger people, as well as some training and career skills.

So what about the other part of the cause, poverty, unemployment etc. These are much easier to fix unless yu have a government wedded to an ideology of cuts for the masses with bonuses for the rich. An ideology based on hard capitalism and hard knocks.

The great seer and prophet Nick Clegg predicted the riots before the election if the Tories got in to Downing St. Let us not forget who put them in power though:


Sue in Kent said...

Utter rubbish. They have their chance to shine in school. That should be their rite of passage like all the other kids in the country. You keep making excuses for them and they'll be looting 'til Christmas.

Stuart Jeffery said...

Not everyone can or should shine at school but we live in a society that labels people who don't shine at school as failures. Society has created these people and put in place the conditions to make the riots happen. We need to address the underlying causes as well as dealing with the immediate problem.