After two nights of looting and rioting in London and Birmingham, Manchester and Salford’s finest vermin woke up to the opportunities of a stretched police force, lots of unguarded retail and the anonymity afforded by a hoodie and a Matalan scarf.
All you still hear are the usual reasons : “The youth,they aint got nuffin” – the old double negative unwittingly tells a tale. Far from having nothing, today’s young people from the downtrodden underclass have:
- Free and universally available education
- Sufficient basic financial support in terms of benefits and housing to enable anyone to function , contrary to opinion it isn’t supposed to provide for 20 fags a day, 5 cans of strong lager, takeaway KFC or Dominoes, plasma TV, a computer and a smart phone (but somehow they stil manage it)
- A legal system that is too often in their favour, weighted against the victim and due to the volume of crime allows petty offences to go virtually unpunished.
- Free sports facilities
- Subsidised or free transport
- A minimum wage
- A place to live without fear and in freedom
- The right to vote
- The freedom to worship whatever faith they choose
- The freedom to choose anything…
- Legions of central and local government agencies devoted to finding them a job, keeping them off drugs, helping them with pregnancy, mental issues, literacy (just in case they spurned the first chance), free IT support, business support initiatives to name but a few
and so much more
Or if you take the phrase , “they aint got nothing” in the spirit it was meant, it is true that in many cases they have nothing:
- Nothing to stop them starting a business like many of the immigrants who have come to this country from far more deprived countries then the one in which they have had the fortune to be born in.
- No sense of responsibility for their actions, it is ALWAYS some one elses fault, someone else’s problem.
- No sense of duty to their fellow citizens, community or country, certainly in a wider sense. It’s them innit, them rich people, de bankers, they done it. They do however maintain some strange code within their own swamp or part of the jungle. This code is impenetrable to those from outside, never grass, my kids are sacrosanct, he never done anything wrong, he is a loveable rogue, he has to carry a gun/knife to protect himself, I never…
- No need to worry, the state will pay, for housing, food, child care etc
- No requirement to put anything back for this outlay by society. They don’t feel they owe anyone anything, in fact they get upset when it’s taken away like the often falsely claimed like invalidity benefit or the labour bribe of EMA which seemed only served to support higher sales of Lambrini, cider, cigarettes and pay as you go vouchers for mobile phones.
- No sense of right or wrong in the generally accepted way of the rest of the population.
- No capacity of rational thought or for reasoned argument
Since the riots of the fifties and the eighties, successive governments have thrown money and resources at these deprived areas where they originated with little success, but we seem now to be in an age of new barbarism. The underclass are now many not few, to paraphrase Shelley, and their attitudes are now enshrined in three generations or more. Many of them understand only a robust approach and, indeed , would advocate it themselves if they felt threatened.
It’s time to say enough is enough, stop rewarding unacceptable behaviour, start demanding that people start taking some responsibility for themselves and playing a part in society by making a positive contribution to it. Stop making excuses for them and wringing hands trying understand the issues and the underlying problems. for days now I have heard the media give a voice to the apologists: “it’s the politicians, it’s the bankers, it’s the businesses, the police are racist, there is nothing for us….”
But my eyes and ears tell me that you cannot cry poverty whilst wearing £100 trainers and organising a looting spree on a £300 Blackberry, that you cannot justify robbing an elderly barber in your neighbourhood of his livelihood (and even his kettle) as a legitimate protest against lack of investment in your future, that you cannot burn down a housing office as a way of protesting against local goverment cuts and claim your reason for looting plasma TV’s and Ugg boots is a result of the EMA allowance being withdrawn. Even the causal claim of unemployment is going to have a few holes in it as it starts to emerge that a good number of theses rioters and looters are actually in work.