In the last few days England has seen unprecedented chaos, scenes that I have never witnessed in this country in my lifetime. People have spoken about the riots of the 1980s, but from what I gather, these are by far more widespread and intense.
The behaviour of the people who are looting and causing havoc is completely unpredictable. We simply do not know what will happen next; how they will react. As a result, our friends and family who live in London and other parts of the country, have been at times, completely frightened.
People have lost their homes and had their livelihoods taken away from them, with some people just having a bag of clothes to their name.
The question is, what lies behind criminality? Why have we got so many criminals? In my opinion it boils down to responsibility. We have a whole raft of people in this country who have no sense of responsibility, who are not playing their part in society and in the last four days have grabbed an opportunity for excitement and fun. These people have been continually told what their rights are, but have never been informed that they also have responsibilities. These were not protesters, this was thuggish behaviour pure and simple.
Responsibility is a learned form of behaviour. These people who were rioting and looting have parents that are not there for their children. Boys need male role models, who they can look up to and see what being responsible looks like. The result of these broken families are that these boys find solace in gangs and groups and then often the first people to say no to them, are the police. They can’t cope when the police stand up to them and they then go mad at the police.
The big issues now are what we do in these areas? We must accept that there are damaged people in the aftermath of the riots. I do not believe that it is just down to deprivation. In the 1930s, when there were ‘protests’, there was no violence of this kind. Arguably there was a sense of morality. Therefore you cannot just blame the riots on austerity, it is not just cuts that cause this. We need to address the motivations and grievances of those participating in these riots.
The government spends over half our national income, yet in the last four days, were not able to properly protect our citizens, those tax payers who fund this government spending. It has to be one of the first priorities of our government to keep us safe; yet on Monday and Tuesday night people were frightened, they had their homes taken away from them.
We had 16,000 police officers on duty inLondonon Tuesday evening, but this is not sustainable all the time. As Douglas Carswell writes ‘Any debate about “broken Britain” must look not only at social breakdown, but at the broken levers of control that allow official Britain to set its own priorities without full regard to the concerns of striving Britain’.
Right now, the causes of the rioting can be put to one side. For now, our government needs to restore faith in the ability to protect us. I believe we need elected sheriffs, who have the authority to make decisions, which would have led to a more robust response from the police right from the start.