Whether the bleeding-heart Liberals, or the hard-nosed angry sorts that want the rioting scum shot, like it or not, I believe that there has to be a twin-track approach to solving the issue of the riots.
I know that you won’t believe me, but I used to be a disaffected youth in the mid-90’s, roughly between the ages of 13 and 16, so I would like to think I know something about their mindset.
Granted I didn’t burn down shops (wheelie bins were my preference), I didn’t smash private property (school windows though were a must) and I didn’t go looting (I stuck to stealing sweets and chocolates, mainly).
Straight away you have to try to stop the riots in the immediacy. Priority has to be given to the innocent, hard-working folk of London and other cities who are suffering – their needs have to be met.
Those causing the trouble have to be stopped but if the police go in heavy-handed then it would likely provoke far worse trouble.
The police are generally not respected in this country, especially by the young. Probably because they enforce the law on drugs which many young people see as unfair, rightly or wrongly, and also the stop and search powers that they use, and are seen as abused, again, rightly or wrongly, I do not know.
However, the army are respected, in general. The army needs to be sent in, with tanks, with water cannons, plastic bullets, whatever is necessary to bring these little shits to think again.
Those arrested of a criminal offence need to be locked up. I don’t care if it means locking them up 3 to a cell and breaking human rights or whatever bullshit. Any judge not locking them up should be sacked. Or sent to live in Tottenham.
If the government need to enact emergency laws, then they should not be afraid too. Oh, and why the hell does it take 3 nights of rioting for Boris and Dave to come back to the UK? A statement should have been made on Sunday by both, and Boris should probably have come back then. Not impressed (see – I can criticise the government that I believe in). And why were all of our major politicians on holiday at once? What is wrong with staggering them? And why the fuck is Ken Livingstone almost excusing them?
I would not have messed with the army had they confronted me on the streets when I were causing trouble.
However, there are reasons that these youths feel disaffected, just as I did when I was young. And there are ways to connect with them and bring them into society. You may question why we should do this, but it is in our own interests to do so. Only a small minority of the disaffected youth are causing trouble from what I gather but many are angry.
As I child, I could have played football or rugby (LEAGUE!), but I didn’t like getting kicked or punched in the name of sport, so I stayed away. Computer games kept me occupied but they cost money. I wanted to go out and causing trouble was fun. There really was little else to do, unless you had money – I didn’t have anything significant until I was 16. Co-incidentally (or not?), I stopped causing trouble at 16.
More people have to get involved with young people of today, especially those like footballers, music stars, etc, need to start connecting with them directly. Not only them though, the police, firefighters, the army, politicians, nurses, city workers – anyone that can show them that there is a future if they work hard and get an education.
Responsibility has to be taught to the young from the age of 13, and they should be allowed to work, perhaps 10 hours a week maximum, with a much lower minimum wage than 16 year olds. Work taught me responsibility, and young people have to be engaged more into society. Work will give them money to spend on what they want, rather than believing that they have to steal it. We have a consumer society, and kids are consumers too.
There has to be more for young people to do, or at least more opportunities for them. A couple of my suggestions – free music events, free studio time for them to make music, free days at theme parks, free training sessions at sports clubs, free days at gold clubs – anything to give them something to do, to discover new hobbies and new passions. It might cost money, but so does clearing up from a riot and insuring against damage.
If I had the chance to make music, or to try new sports, etc as a child, then who knows, I may not have had my troublesome years.
Anyway. Stop them. Punish them. Engage them. My solution.