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Are parents to blame for the riots?
11:21am Thursday 11th August 2011 in Abby Green
Sean Bailey, youth leader in London, appeared on BBC News.
He said we live in a society that has elevated rights and abdicated responsibility. This is why, he says, our youth feels no sense of community or respect for others.
I’m inclined to agree.
Rights are important, but of more importance we need to have responsibility for our children, our society, and ourselves.
I knew there would be rioting in this country again. It’s inevitable with a Conservative government.
There are issues of social justice here, and it is not just about the poor robbing shops.
It’s about the social divisions in our society. It’s about fear. It’s about disengagement. It’s about anger with the Establishment.
Unfortunately, the police are seen as its representatives. These are the frontline coppers dealing with violence on terrifying scales and you have to applaud them for facing it in often inadequate numbers.
Is Sean Bailey right to blame parents?
Many parents believe the state is responsible for their children. No wonder children feel a lack of belonging, a lack of boundary and a sense of frustrated yet gleeful power.
We see this in some communities daily, when they smash windows, swagger and threaten residents, and target vulnerable people like packs of wild dogs.
The riots are just the pinnacle of such disorder.
Still, lets not forget the majority of our kids are decent ordinary teenagers and young adults. Not all parents think their responsibility ends as soon as the umbilical cord is severed.
The only clear thing about the past few days is that we as a society need to do more to connect with our young and include them.
We need to educate them about real respect and self-respect. We need to be role models for them as parents and as citizens.
I find it interesting that officers were reeling from cuts to their budget and redundancies forecasted, yet now the Prime Minister is calling for more officers to police our cities.
You cannot have public order without police officers. Cutting their budgets is ridiculous in an age of austerity where it is obvious that the have-nots and anarchists will over-run us. Society is not going to be pretty with the level of cuts happening now and if you want leafy streets not burnt out cars and bloody faces – staff your police force and help the young out of their despair and anger – jobs, training, educational opportunity for all, funded clubs and youth workers.
It is a no-brainer, Mr Cameron.
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