I thought I had compassion for the rioters in London. It started out as a peaceful protest, a public outcry about a father of four being shot dead by police. These people live in a democracy. They have a right to express their frustrations and voice their concerns. I’m all for people having a voice.
However let us consider some basic facts for just a moment, If you happen to live in the United Kingdom you have access to some of the best human rights laws in the world. You have tremendous privileges such as the NHS which offers health care for all – no health insurance is needed. If you have never worked a day in your life – you will still be treated, no questions asked. There is a net to catch you should you fall on hard times and be jobless. This net – the social security net or the dole if you like, ensures there is no need to starve to death. If you compare this to a huge majority of countries around the world you can quickly see how lucky British people are when it comes to the basic needs being met.
And yet despite all of the ‘help’ available to get people back on their feet, there are people who choose to struggle. They choose to walk in the shadows of life. There are people who believe it is normal to live in poverty (generations upon generations of families who have never worked) and see no way out or perhaps some refuse to see a way out. The wonderful idea of the social security net has of course been abused (it’s human nature), and with the abuse of the government system typically comes a complete lack of connection from society. The underclass – a growing brood of citizens takes hold. It would seem that many of these rioters lack empathy, a personal connection to their neighbourhoods and moral conscience. Perhaps many of these youths have little to lose. They lack basic values of what is right and what is wrong. I doubt a proud British person who loves their country and their culture, their life, their suburb – would commit these crimes. It is an act that has come from bitterness and antipathy towards normal everyday citizens and the law. How can we stop this from happening again? How can we be sure our young people are productive as opposed to angry and destructive? What has caused this melt down in society? How can we unite as a nation and remove the huge divisions in sub cultures throughout Britain?
These riots have not come from desperate people who have no hope. They are not refugees who are desperate for a bed, a job, a place to call home.These are people who have the modern technology to encourage and promote mob mentality, who are determined to shake up the establishment, the status quo, the big brother, authority. Therefore, Is this a political movement (an outcry, a violent scream for help from todays youth culture) or is it idle, disenchanted youths causing trouble having lost touch with reality? Or is it a bit of both? Is it time we really took notice and listened? I do believe these people must be punished and made accountable for their actions, but perhaps we could learn and grow from this terrible reality. Perhaps we could somehow use our youths energy and passion for good and positive progress as opposed to the destruction and chaos we are currently witnessing? It is now clear that the people who are suffering are the citizens who own shops, the people who are losing their homes. Ofcourse, It is the normal, every day people who are being hurt the most.
There are good people in the United kingdom. People who work hard. People who are trying to raise their families to be good citizens of the world. People who grab at opportunities that come along or even create some new opportunities for themselves. They are proactive and productive in seeking solutions – they are not destructive. These normal citizens of London, the people who are the very fabric of the British society are currently very fearful and that is where my compassion lies. My empathy lies with the normal every day citizens of London who are trying to live there lives amongst this chaos. Violence does not solve our problems, it will only add to them.
It is now time for the people of London to stand up and say no to this mindless violence. Yes we are all frustrated by the budget cuts. Yes we are all upset about the state of the economy. Yes we are never pleased by the government. Yes we may also be frustrated by our own personal circumstances. So what’s the best way forward? Corrupting social order and destroying an already fragile mindset is not the answer. This is never a solution. We have some seriously unhappy and bitter young people in Britain – we must ask the simple but often complicated question – why? Why has this happened? This is not the behaviour of people who are content and at peace with their world. Where has the pride and respect gone? We must be strong here and remember who Britain is as a nation. We are strong, resourceful and clever – we can and will restore order and be proud to be British once again. We must stop being a beaten, bruised and bitter old man. We must pull together and rebuild our values once more united as a nation.