You may have read our recent reflections on the riots which happened in parts of the UK, for which the most succinct set of 'possible causes' was detailed, excellently, by Engine Room here.
I commented, rudely, as whilst I agree with all he set out so ably, at the time I was dreading the post riot mealy mouthed analyses that would flood the airwaves and print by all and any social commentators.
True, many have followed the usual well trodden (and ineffective) paths of 'lets understand them', 'it's not their fault', 'society has let them down' bla bla bla. Little of it so far, in my opinion, invested with any possibility of a satisfactory outcome. I am not so much interested in why it may have happened - it just did, but more in what to do about it.
Pete had a sort of go, but was too preoccupied in having a go at me, so nothing really new there.
Our politicians are wrestling with even understanding that it happened and are probably as taken aback as everyone else, hoping everything will go away as soon as possible.
Essentially, all western communities rely on one principle - consensus. As soon as anyone or a collection of people don't conform or refuse to aquiesce, the whole thing falls apart. It does not have any socially acceptable answer to anarchy, violence or deliberate 'antisocial' (by the definition of the community) behaviour.
The only thing proven in those days is that the veneer of 'civilisation' is far thinner than anyone is prepared..
...to admit. The violent, the herd instinct and the vandal can rise to the surface at any time, and anywhere in human behavior.
The police did not fail ER, they made the mistake of 'standing off' rather than batonning, kettleing or whatever. And honestly who could blame them for that. We all appear to conveniently forget the pillorying they had at the G8 etc when the poor news seller died. Very sad, but then eggs, as you say...
The police could not comment further, at the time of asking, on the supposed 'trigger' of the shooting in Tottenham. Their hands were tied by the Police Complaints Commission. Had they said anything, they and the whole investigation would have been compromised. Am I the only one to wonder why he had a gun in the first place?
What did fail is the perceived need by modern society to have infallible policing - if not politics and life in general. Mostly due to people too lazy to think for themselves - 'they' are responsible and 'they' should put it right.
The whole of British state education system failed, fails and continues to fail. ER's comments on literacy are altogether too true. Why - because the British (most of them driven by their innate love, tolerance and collusion in the politics of envy) perennially tinker with the system, accept appalling teaching standards (with no accountability) and use education as a political volley ball, to no ones advantage. To Pete's chagrin, I don't doubt, the biggest majority of looters were 'educated' in the preceding 10 years - to what extent and with what effect? Minimal - unless the individual was lucky enough to want to learn or had, by luck, found themselves in cultural surroundings that lauded acheivement. But even that does not explain the 'affluent' who joined in.
ER is right in the failure to bring those in charge (bankers, politicians and the like) to book for their misdemeanours - but this, whilst an excuse, is not an acceptable reason for what happened. It brings cynicism, yes, mistrust, yes, but it is used purely as a convenient clothes peg to explain rioting.
Our society failed. No one in elevated positions accepts responsibility for their actions any more (except paradoxically the two Chief Constables who recently resigned - and have since been vindicated - over phone hacking and ties to Monseigneur Murdoch).
'Rights' appear to include the right to envy and help yourself without recourse, the right to abrogate parental control and guidance and the right to be free - from any civilised reasoning. Parenting should be what it means - this is failing today, big time.
Were banks, Oxford Street jewellers, rich men's homes looted? No, they stole from their own, destroyed their own areas and wrecked honest local residents homes and businesses - except in the one case of a fashionable restaurant which was invaded and subject to highway robbery. How courageous.
What a stand for fairness and equality. I hope they are proud - particularly the graduates, reasonably affluent and non needy who joined in.
But, lo, a light shines. To anyone (including the donors from France of all places - still dislike them ER) who gave time in cleaning up, money, clothing and shelter, and there are shed loads of them, I salute you. And, it must be said, in many areas the aftermath has led to much improved community feeling and engagement - but I doubt by any involved the night before. Just knee ferk? I hope not.
Decency and care still pull through - thank you for saving them - and me.
Self esteem (irrespective of affluence), respect for society in general and the law in particular is the route forward. Forget the lost dross, contain them, pillory them, send them down - save your energy and drive. They are the broken eggs - I cannot think of anything as a 'fix'.
The future is what needs to be guided, educated and encouraged. Teach all the advantages and privilege living in a modern society brings every day. From childbirth and all through school. make people aware that they don't have to walk five miles for clean water, have education on offer as a right, respect for their neighbours - and, most of all, treat others as you would wish to be treated.
It's the only hope.
Yours, diablog, feeling a little lighter