You will already have heard elsewhere about the current riots all over England. I don’t know what to say. I tried to describe my thoughts in today’s post several times and failed each time; there are just too many facets to the whole picture. I join the ranks of those looking at the situation and not knowing what to do:
The police can go in with force and trigger even more anger and violence. They can’t stand back and watch either. Somehow, the police needs to solve the immediate problem. At least in London they seem to have managed through the night at relative quiet, but other parts of England were on fire. Even once the immediate problems are solved and the streets safe again, one wonders what’s next:
We’d lock-up several hundreds of mostly young people, giving them a criminal record in the process. An 18-year old for looting eight bottles of alcohol and 50 packs of chewing gum. A 14-year old for stealing an armful of mobile phone equipment. Others took TVs and DVDs, more alcohol, tobacco and chewing gum. Many will be charged for arson, burglary, theft, disturbance of public order, assault, assault on police, possession of offensive weapons, … (the list continues).
Sensible people (including Camila Batmanghelidjh) suggested that budget cuts all over, closure of youth clubs and job cuts for street workers, general unemployment and so forth, all contributed to growing frustration, but one wonders what will help. Others counter that free education, healthcare, housing benefits, child benefits and whatnots are already provided for those in need. But, whatever your views are, you can’t take a megaphone and promise an angry crowd of petrol-bomb throwing looters Go back home and play with yourself! We’ll re-open the youth club some time in the next couple of months, then all will be well.
As a sofa- and self-appointed blog politician and critic, I am normally confident with my ingenious solutions. Here, however, I am at a loss how to solve the immediate problem, how to address the issues with the current generation, and how to avoid repeat performances in the future.