So so much has been said about the riots in London and around England (It is important, at least to the Scottish it seems if Alex Ferguson is anything to go by, to make this distinction. This wouldn’t happen in Scotland according to Sir Alex. Perhaps because they have Rebus?) that I fear to say anything else would be recycling everything that has gone round already, and, not being a politician, I could never hope to carry this off.
Still it saddens me that once again the politicians have reduced the complex, sad social issues behind the riots to pointless soundbites, mostly sniping against one another, as if it was just some big jolly purely designed to get them going against each other again, with the sole annoyance coming from the fact that they had to interrupt their holidays, eventually.
like many people, I have sensed that this was a long time coming, an alienated youth that have had no discipline, no concept of right or wrong, no fear because the punishment rarely fits the crime, and an expectancy that everything should be handed to them on a plate.
And while I doubt that the Police can be entirely without blame in the slow cook build up of this outpouring of wanton destruction (I have read too many comments from people involved and not involved regarding harrassment to disregard them), I think they did a remarkable job during the chaos, and I was amazed at the ridiculous comments some people were making either in the press or on Twitter (That highly dangerous social networking site that was the real cause of the unrest). While advocating that the police should go in heavy handed, they would have also been the first to complain about police brutality, or is brutality made ok because it’s your neighbourhood that is under siege?
I think the police would have gone in heavy handed, but for the simple fact that they were completely outnumbered most of the time, and could do little but try to contain the unrest, while rubber-neckers wandered round taking pictures with their camera phones, and again, these would have been the first to complain had they been attacked, despite openly placing themselves in danger.
I don’t know the best way to fix it, I was so saddened by what had happened. I do know that “shutting down social networking sites for an hour or two during riots” is not the answer, unless perhaps we want to model our democracy and freedom of speech on China. I’m not even sure how they think that is even possible, and once again shows how out of the loop our beloved MP’s are, particularly as it was made quite clear throughout the riots that the communication channel of choice was BBM.
Still, why let the facts stand in the way of a good soundbite