Posts filed under ‘London riots’

Free Stuff? Not Really….

I posted on twitter last week about doing a spoken blog. I am working on it but wanted to put a few more words out there first…..

There has been a lot of serious faces, ‘debate’ and some head-scratching over the last week in the aftermath of the riots across England. I think everyone is either searching for the ‘one answer’ or convinced they already have it. It is quite stunning the number of theories that abound. All this wisdom is, in all honesty, doing my head in..

David Cameron has ‘asserted’ that it is the moral collapse of Britain he will confront. I am sorry but this makes me want to shout ‘Ooooo, get you’ at the television. I am not sure it is the most grown-up response but it is such a pompous soundbite of a term. Ed Milliband says that ‘we all bear a share of responsibility for the society we create’. Ed’s speech focused on many questions but not yet any answers. Many words again but too few actions. I have also seen some of the parents are saying that they can’t be blamed, ‘you can’t lock them up’ seems to be a popular response. That may be true but you can know where they are, who they are with and bring them home or am I being simplistic?

From the court cases seen so far it is very evident that we can’t blame ‘the unemployed’. They cannot be made a convenient scapegoat as many employed people seem to have been involved as well. I can’t help but think it would have been easier for one subset of society to be the focus for general wrath; this would have allowed ‘the problem’ to be classified, some new measures put in place and job done! It really isn’t that simple and that seems to be a surprise to the establishment generally.

I do wonder was there a madness in the air that brought so many people out in the streets to wreck and pillage. It is hard to comprehend what kind of atmosphere was generated that made many people act in a way that was so different to their normal behaviour. I am not claiming innocence for everyone but there are some surprises I think. That is no excuse but I am still shocked, I cannot believe I would ever behave like that but some who have been charged seem surprised at their own actions.

The saddest thing of all is that people died. I hope that anyone involved in any way in the riots will feel shame about this, all should feel shame at this and work to make sure it cannot happen again.

No doubt you are wondering what my answers are to the problems in our society, it is all very well for me to comment on the words of others. I know I don’t have all the answers but I do consider education, employment and a sense of community to be key for any society. I am sure that disaffection played some part in the start of the riots, where it went from there is still a mystery to me. The root causes of the disaffection? There are no simple answers here or we would all know them already.

One last think I do know, there is no such thing as free stuff. I think those who thought there was realise this now.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 15, 2011 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

Riots, eh?

Oh my, watching the news is so rarely a source of pleasure these days. This week it is even more painful. I have been watching the riots in London and Birmingham and am puzzled, there is no other word for it. Rioting doesn’t really get you very far you know. You already know this, I am stating the obvious again aren’t I? However, sometimes the obvious needs to be stated again and again. Rioting will not get you very far.

I have seen rioting in my lifetime. I grew up in the early 60s in Northern Ireland, the early civil rights marches were hijacked by some and what was powerful, quiet protest became riots. I remember when I was quite small riots at the end of the street where I lived. Police and B-Specials everywhere. To me it was noise and burning and shouting, my parents made sure all of us stayed indoors and were safe. It still took another 30 years before the signing of the Belfast agreement and we still get sporadic rioting every summer. It mostly dissipates after a couple of days but is still as unpleasant when it ‘kicks off’.

What does devastate me about all of this is the waste. I know material goods are in the main unimportant but peoples’ homes are important, they are their safe place and people should not feel threatened there. On top of this local business are being looted and destroyed. What help is that to your community, to destroy the liveliehoods of those you live next to? This isn’t protest, it is lunacy. Some are out to destroy all, some to take all. No theme, no grand ideal here, just wrecking and fear. I do not and can not understand this.

A couple of other things to remember. While this tops the news other stories of drought, starvation and suffering fall down the headlines. There are people out there who cannot fix their situation while those causing issues take the headlines? I am puzzled again.

I will give you one quote from Ghandi – ‘I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could’. Isn’t it a pity that others are not thinking this way?

I wish peace and calm to those who need it tonight. Stay safe all.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm 4 comments


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