Riots in England

It has been frightening watching events unfold over the last few days, even though there have been no riots/violence in Scotland. Here we are too busy worrying about floods and in Edinburgh, for instance, the Edinburgh Festival goes ahead as normal. The Prime Minister has acknowledged that the largest police force in Scotland has done a valuable amount of work in managing to diffuse gang culture, and that England can learn a lot from this.

As I write this the debate is going on in Parliament to look at policies and reasons for the looting and stealing. Such televised and accountable debates make me proud to be part of the UK. However, the sickening events shown on the news happening this week are truly worrying. There seems to be an underlying lack of citizenship amongst certain people, and the fact that the riots were excuses for mass acquisitiveness and a breakdown in civilised behaviour, is almost beyond belief.

I have only briefly seen news reports from around the world of how England is viewed – but it is pretty bleak. One interviewee spoke of the string of comments from within the UK and abroad, he is the only person I have heard who used the words: love and compassion. I can only wonder if English society – and to an extent Scottish culture too – is broken and sick because of the inequality in education, the lack of vocational work opportunities and the lack of understanding and respect between different strata of society. Some people have very little hope, and that filters through to those who are working and struggling to get by, as well as being endemic amongst the unemployed and seemingly unemployable.

It all makes me so sad. I am consciously trying to move from anger and fear to sadness in my prayers, then maybe there is the chance I can get nearer to the changing power of compassion and love.

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4 Responses to Riots in England

  1. Anne Gibert says:

    It is sad indeed, and there probably is not a single cause. Many factors — lack of opportunity, lack of space, poverty, parental indifference, failures in education and the pressures of exploding numbers of people of very different cultural origins all coalesce to bring about this terrible lapse of civil order. Sad.

  2. Dianne says:

    Warmed over bad sociology isn’t the answer. Many “poor” kids don’t get out on the street and hurt others and steal from shops. We have been watching the Parliament debate this morning. Very interesting, especially since I had the class on Britain this summer and learned more about your government. I wish our President would go to the Congress and have a racaus debate.

    As for the victims, from here it looks like the Soccer hooligans are at it again. I suppose Britain did not manage to dump all of them in Australia and the US during the eighteenth century. I don’t blame the ‘ethnic’ groups, they seem to be victims more than perpetrators. Will it come here next? Who knows. Some pundits think the African -American kids respect Obama too much to do this.

  3. The inequality you refer to is shared by most of the west–and much of the rest of the world. Here in the U.S. it has been growing exponentially in the last ten years. The people who have most of the goods and the power are unable to move toward your admirable goal of love and compassion. Frustration is my own primary mode.

  4. Ginnie says:

    It should be an eye-opener for those of us in the U.S. The divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” just grows wider by the day and there is no middle class as I once knew it. The Bush administration gave all sorts of breaks and loop holes to the very rich, declaring that it would be the way to more jobs, but they (the rich) have just taken all the profits and made themselves richer. I think it’s the underlying cause in England for the riots and if we don’t do something it will come here sooner than later.

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