Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some thoughts on the rioting Part 2.

One of my friends asked the eternal question everyone asks when kids go bad: "Where are the parents?". As a parent I asked the question myself and here are some more thoughts on the events of the last week.

I would bet there were plenty of parents who did stop their kids from going out and looting, we just don't hear about those ones. The appeal for peace by the Father whose son was murdered by "looters" is one of the more heart-breaking moments of the whole event.

I hope people will remember his compassion and bravery more than anything else.

With that said, it's not a coincidence that the riots happened in places like Tottenham, then spread to Birmingham, Liverpool and other industrial towns. The one thing these places all have in common is that they were destroyed by the privatization and closure of the steel, coal-mining and ship building industries. All of these places prospered during the industrial revolution and then had the rug pulled out from under them by the blood letting of the Thatcher years. The jobs left and were never replaced.

I remember it well from growing up in Glasgow.

This means you have had 3 generations (at least) of people who exist on the margins of society. 3 generations of resentment and hopelessness. It's hard for parents to set an example to their kids if the parents themselves are driven into the dirt by their own existence. You can see this in almost any housing estate or Projects in the world, the UK is not unique.

The condemnation has been predictable and swift. They have been pulling kids as young as 11 into court and some rioters have already been jailed. They are also talking about cracking down on social media. People need to realize that this is all ultimately pointless, the governments and forces of law and order are so behind the curve on how to handle the new media that their condemnation will only lead to more resentment.

A volcanic eruption may seem like a sudden event but in fact the pressure has to build up underground for years before it explodes. This might just be the first trickle of lava breaking the surface.


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