London Riots

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by evadra, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    What you want is a magic pill to cure poverty. There is no such thing.

    You can provide opportunities, level the playing field a bit, create safety nets... but you'll still be left with the poor.
    Thousands are starving to death in the Horn of Africa; we'll airlift tons of rice and spend hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars doing it. In ten years we'll be right back doing it all over again. It sounds harsh, I know, but the best solution is to just let them die.

    The people who rioted in England don't even qualify as poor, indeed they live like royalty compared to most of the rest of the world. They should be punished to the full extent of the law.
     
  2. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Yeah. I'd probably agree if I were to live in London or Manchester or something.
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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  4. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Following the debate, the medium there is the most concern about is the Blackberry closed network that was used extensively to coordinate looting (apparently). They're less worried about facebook and twitter as the police can follow that to stay with/ahead of the curve and these have also been used for positive responses.

    Personally I can't see parliament agreeing controls on social media, there'll be a period of reflecting and they'll step back from doing so providing the likes of Blackberry implement some sort of access to content if its network is being abused in this way. I understand that they may already have agreed to release historical data for perod of looting if there's an indication of wrongdoing so that all phones in group can be traced back to owner for appropriate arrests.

    There's already been a number of arrests of those inciting / coordinating rioting / looting on other social media.
     
  5. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    That isn't the best solution for poverty, it is the easiest. Also the least humane.

    Though when it comes to the rioting chavs I say all the aggression needs to stop and instead plans for them to redeem themselves through mass community service should be in the works. Wanting to kill or lock up some able bodied young rascal would just be a waste of resources. Only the nutjobs setting things on fire and beating people should get the jail time and psychiatric help.
     
  6. psychotick

    psychotick New Member

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    Hi,

    The thing that annoys me about these so called riots, is that its not about hard times. It appears to be purely about looting, releasing some steam and mindless violence. These aren't protests of any sort. These people aren't crying foul about poverty and hardship, they aren't rioting because of a dead youth shot by police, they're just stealing and making a mess.

    Now we all have had difficulties in our lives, not enough money, limited educational opportunities, limited employment opportunities among others. That's life. But its how you deal with them that defines you as a human being. They could be out hunting work, even menial work that they believe is beneath their station. They could be seeking any sort of educational advancement. Maybe that's just me being simplistic. But the fact is that they aren't doing these things. They're going out, smashing up stuff and stealing. And for me the only justification for stealing is necessity. But they aren't stealing out of necessity. I haven't seen one case of a rioter stealing food because they don't have enough to eat. They're stealing luxury goods, maybe to sell, maybe just things that they think they are entitled to. There's no excuse for that.

    Cheers.
     
  7. Lego

    Lego God amongst men

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    It seems the courts are making an example of the thugs today. I was reading about the punishments they're getting. One guys getting 6 months for looting. One woman is being sent to prison for stealing electrical goods and will loose custody of her kid. Serves her right.
     
  8. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    I agree with Tur

    Those riots have a cause and even though I strongly disagree with the way the youth lets out their frustration and anger and hopelessness, I don't think that it is just senseless rioting. It does have a cause and you may be able to contain it with more police and more control and harsher punishment, but in the long run, the UK needs to get rid of their class system and needs to change their politics - or London will become the second Paris, where they have riots every year in the banlieues.
     
  9. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Pretty much every British commentator, even those working with disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and of every political persuasion are saying the opposite ~ there is no political cause, mostly it is opportunistic looting and criminal damge. That's not to say that there isn't issues that have contributed in some cases.

    I think outsiders' views of Britain's class system is ill-informed and over-eggs the influence it plays in British society for the vast majority of us. 'Celebrity' culture plays a far more damaging role. I agree politics have to change and it will. Britain has changed into a hand out, you owe me culture which has to change. I think every young person, irrespective of background, wealth and education should do compulsory national service. I'm not talking necessarily of military service, anything that conveys that everyone needs and has an opportunity to contribute equally to Britain plc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  10. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I just read that about half of the "rioters" arrested are under 18 and from wealthy families.Is that true?If that's the case then it's like Greece.Most of the anarchists arrested are from wealthy families.Many of them who were arrested were like that.
     
  11. Julie

    Julie Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm haven't read that yet, Foin.. I read in today's newspapers that most of the lootings and arsons take place in the poorest neighbourhoods. Tottenham is the place where it all started and it can't be a coincidence that it's also the place where one on two children are living beneath the poverty line and where the percentage of broken families and teenage pregnancies are among the highest in the world. Due to the recent drastic savings by the government the youth institutions lost 75 percent of their resources and over half of them had to shut down. No doubt there's a social factor playing here, if you just look at the facts...

    Of course there are loads of reasons coming into play, depending on which social group or individual you're speaking of. Rarely are there any conflicts that are caused by one single cause. I'm sure there are a lot of opportunists as well, taking their chance to get a new dvd player or a playstation III or whatever. Here's a list from competing arguments, which is pretty interesting, and I don't think one excludes the other:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14483149er

    As for the argument some people have been giving here that the events have no social cause because of the reasons the looters are giving.. Well, it's not like they're gonna tell people: "Oh yes, I'm behaving this way because I'm from a broken family with little opportunities."
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    That is definitely not true.
    Unless things have drastically changed since I was last in England the neighborhoods involved are working class.


    And to make a finer point while I'm at it... what passes as a street thug in England doesn't even qualify here in America.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  13. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Tottenham (LB of Haringey) Hackney, Clapham/Battersea (LB of Lambeth) have some poor neighbourhoods ~ Hackney South (8.6%) & Tottenham (8.3%) have unemployment above national average (7.7%). Enfield (c6%), Croydon (<5%), Ruislip (<2%) (LB of Hillingdon) & Hackney North (6,5%) are not especially poor with unemployment rates below national average although like the others there's some social housing estates that are and youth unemployment across the board are higher. The 'drastic' government cuts average a total of 19-20% over the next 4 years back to roughly 2007-8 spending levels not 75% although some councils are choosing to cut youth services by deeper levels. NCVYS survey show average cuts experienced by youth services of approx 20%. A high percentage (80%) have changed, cut, stopped or merged services as you would expect them to:

    http://ncvys.org.uk/UserFiles/Comprehensive Cuts.pdf

    The UK was spending £4 for every £3 received in income ~ ie a 1/3rd more than what it can afford. Every area of government spending is being pared back (apart from the NHS & overseas aid) and still the government debt will be higher in 2015 than it was in 2011. Youth spending has been hit just like everything else. Britain will have to get used to living within it's means just like many other European countries.

    The deeper reality is that developed nations will have to get used to the fact that global wealth is shifting to developing nations (like the BRIC countries) and that developed nations cannot nesssarily expect to maintain their standards of living or services, particularly as technological advantage is being eroded. We don't have a right to stay a richer nation, we'll only deserve to if everyone stands up to be counted and we've got something others want to buy or use. There's less undeveloped nations that can be exploited to fill our national coffers, putting it bluntly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  14. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    By the way all the above that I said,I read on yahoo news.I don't know if that's true or not in England but in Greece it is true,a part...I can't really say big or not,but a part of the anarchists who seem to be doing exactly the same with British "rioters" come from wealthy families or at least families with no real financial problems.The same bloody bstards who burned and looted and where of the ideology "anti-everything".
     
  15. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    I got that view mostly from an interview with a british Professor for social something, who was also of the opinion that the roots of this riots go back to the Thatcher era. (Thatcher: "There is no such thing as society") The Professor brought a few other things into play as well, but since I'm not very familiar with the political history of Great Britain after Henry VIII, I wasn't really able to follow all of it.

    Of course, those 'kids' were looting and plundering and committing crimes, there's no denying that. But I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't have happened if those kids had jobs, a perspective, if they were educated, if they felt respected by society and if they'd themselves respect the society and others in return.
    But what these kids seem to have learned is: "If you want something: Just take it and if necessary, use violence." Someone must've told them that this is how it works, or they wouldn't have gotten the idea.
    This is not too different from the riots in Egypt and Tunis. There the young folks were motivated by their own miserable outlook on life, demonstrating for a better future for themselves and their kids. For peace and freedom.
    In London they are motivated by their own miserable perspectives as well it seems. But they don't want to overthrow the government in order to get a better future. They just take what they want to make their life 'better' because they learned that nothing will be given to them.

    As such, I agree with the compulsory national service, but also the society has to give back. Social services are essential it seems, as is the distribution of wealth. The fairer it is, the fewer reasons there are to riot and demonstrate.
     
  16. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ Professors generally are left-leaning so they blame Thatcher for everything even though Margaret Thatcher left office in 1990, way before many of these rioters were even born!! Prime Ministers Major, Blair & Brown were all more politically centre/centre left on social issues. If anything the Thatcher years were about self-reliance, breaking glass ceilings, reduced state interference although as a by-product we also got a 'me-first' culture which has mutated by the introduction of multiple non-means-tested benefits/credits in the following 2 decades to 'me-first, the state owes me' .

    Many of the rioters have got jobs or are still in school. Everyone in UK has free access to an education, if they opt out by not attending the fault primarily lies with them not wider society. I don't accept this 'they're disrepected' rubbish, society pays them whilst they're out of work, any disrespect is a figment of their imagination or if they're not trying to find work/improve their own prospects deserved. If they felt as a group that their lot in life was unjust why weren't they attacking the institutions of the state & protesting/marching in the street? Looting/arson isn't a cry for help, it's just selfish criminal behaviour that deserves our contempt and punishment not sympathy.

    Society needs to change. It should withdraw entirely our benefit culture, getting something for nothing. If you're out of work you should have to do some community work to get any state assistance (unless you're ill/disabled etc). Likewise the idea of national service should ingrain in everyone society's expectations and values and everyone from all walks of life should work and mix together. UK employers should also have to try and recruit all entry level/trainee roles from UK school / college / university leavers and unemployment benefit claimants before being able to advertise more widely.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  17. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    So the riots broke out because... just because? No cause? No reason behind it? It just happened?
    I feel no sympathy towards the kids that destroyed other peoples homes, lives, shops and stole everything that those citizens built up with their own hands. No sympathy at all and yes, they should do community service for it, give back the stuff they stole and pay for repair (And probably work in one of the shops they attacked, so that they will learn to respect real work) And maybe some should go to jail (even though jail is IMO one of the most stupid inventions of society).
    BUT I get it. I understand it. I'm right now pretty sure that I'd never steal or plunder or willingly destroy shops and homes. But I'm also pretty certain that if I'd grown up without perspective, without a regulated every day life, in a district where might is right - I would think different about it.
    You have to add social dynamics to it, because not everyone who stole went there to steal, but they did it anyways because others did it and in order to belong - blah, we all know the phenomenom of peer group pressure. And I'm sure it reaches a whole different dimension, when you're surrounded by masked, violent and probably a little drunk people.
    (Which doesn't make the act itself more right, but more understandable).
    Anyways: As wrong and undeserving of sympathy those riots are, IMO, they do have a cause. Because every "mass"-movement like that has a cause. And it's not just because violence is fun.



    Sounds like a plan.
    The problem here would be, that if you let unemployed people "work" for the community, it might endanger the people who really work for the community and thus they would be against it. It's not so easy...
     
  18. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    It'll certainly be interesting to see a final profile of the rioters ~ employment, social grade/status (ACORN profile would be useful), age, sex & motivation where/if available and also what steps are taken (given lack of money!) to tackle possible contributing factors.

    This was an interesting survey of what the public thought were the reasons & what would be acceptable levels of punishment.

    (The first table, first page is out of 300%, the second out of 100%)

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/tod...es-pol-itnchannel4-riotsandlooting-120811.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  19. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    It's funny how professors are generally not trusted. Even though they are considered to be pick of the crop in their respective fields of expertise. I could make a case that the average professor has a deeper insight than the average person. Regardless, they're not trusted because they're "leftist".

    And yet, as political commentators (as well as politicians) state, the riots are unprecedented in the level of violence and pointlessness. I really wonder where exactly the root of this counter-culture lies.

    I would take on any commentator who says it's all just pointless violence without a reason or cause. If we can't come up with either the reason or cause, we've probably overlooked it. I suspect that exsisting problems are much more grave than either foreseen or acknowledged by politicians. I also suspect that everyone claiming violence without a reason or cause will be proven wrong by history.

    I don't agree. I would say that benefits can - and should be cut. However, to say that it should be withdrawn entirely is one bridge too far for me. The gouvernment should be much more selective as to who to grant benefits, even though the enforcement might be budget neutral. Most people, after all, are much better off working than in front of the television. Those who genuinely can't manage in society should be supported in the best ways we can. Here in The Netherlands, maintaining benefits is almost a full-time job, especially for the unemployed without a medical reason.

    Fully agree :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  20. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Part of the 3rd quote you give Tur is presumably your response as it's certainly nothing I've said!

    Having a biased insight is no better or deeper than an average person's opinion!

    I did make those medical exceptions too and suggested that benefits were conditional on contribution or as you say, far more stringent evidence of seeking employment.

    Edited/Added:
    Just so you can see how lax the UK system is I'll outline what an unemployed person in the UK has to evidence on a fortnightly basis to qualify for whatever benefits, housing costs etc they are claiming:

    In a fortnight period they have to evidence 6 (total) work-seeking activities..... that's it. So as long as you log onto a few online job sites + check the local paper(s) , perhaps write or call on a few local employers and apply for a few jobs that's all that's required. Once a fortnight visit the job centre with details of the activities, form is stamped and you're sorted. Perhaps a hour or two a week max.

    Meanwhile everyone else is busting a gut working for hours on end...
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011