London: the rotting generation

(You won’t like this, but…)

So London burns, again, and voices from both sides start to point the finger at each other in a merry-go-round farce of avoiding any sense of responsibility. It’s nice in some respects writing this article, because the events that triggered, or at least serve as a backdrop to the rioting, have long since stopped having anything to do with the initial incident. Yet attention is drawn back to the story of ‘popular local man, loved by all, painted by the police as a savage and gunned down in cold blood’ as a starting point for the troubles. From there, fingers are pointed as the police, ‘they didn’t do enough some say’, ‘they don’t care about this community so they let it burn’ say others, no doubt the same voices who complain about too many police carrying out stop and searches in the very same community – yep, that’s why they are there, because they don’t care… Then it is time to defend some of the rioters. Of course while there are some burning buildings and smashing up shops with the intent of doing it, they are only doing so because of the economy, because they can’t get work, because life is just so damn hard that the only thing anybody can do is smash something up ‘The voice of the people’ they cry, the masses yelling at authority in a vain hope of being heard…yeah, that’s what all that was about.

While no doubt some, perhaps all of these elements above have some contributory factor to play in the spreading unrest, pointing the finger at authority, at the police, and the government and failed welfare and social programmes, doesn’t change one simple issue. Many of those involved in these riots are there because they are enjoying it. They are there through social networks, planning ahead to meet up and have a night out smashing up society. We see similar outcomes from organised football fans, planning their ‘mash-ups’. Of course in that instance, the premeditated planning of violence is part of thuggery, in the case of London, this was simply a cry for help, or at least that is how many will try and spin it. But what underpins all of this, is the fact that we are witnessing the emergence of a generation of children and teenagers, who think that this is the way to do things, that consequences don’t matter, we can do whatever the hell we want because it’s not our fault we are like this, its societies.  

Unemployment, economic hardship, welfare failings, none of these things will put a knife in a child’s hand, none of these things will foster a gun upon someone and encourage them to shoot a twelve year old in the name of honour, and none of these things will force a mob to run out into the street, hurl bricks at police and burn innocents out of their homes. To defend these actions along any of these lines is to set about ignoring the problems endemic in British society.

You need not look only to London to see the same issues bubbling up. Go around any of our south Wales cities, stroll around the outskirts, or towards the darkened alleyways, and the same people are there. A rotten generation, raised in an environment that says ‘we don’t need earn what we want, because it will be given to us’, and were it not to be given, ‘then we’ll take it’. The same lost generation that can be seen charging around London in the name of ‘justice’, are in every one of our towns and cities, loitering, but not with intent; intent would show some manner of direction in life; just loitering, waiting for an excuse to smash something, or steal something, or to stab someone. It has been a slippery slope and Britain as a whole has tipped over the edge. The concept of discipline is gone from our education system, the concept of responsible parenthood lost in a heap of tracksuits and tweaked baseball caps. Say what you will about policing and Government, until families can start taking responsibility, no, are forced to take responsibility for the rotten produce of their diseased wombs, then the images we have endured from London will keep coming back. Not because of race, not because of unemployment, not because of strike breaking, not because of independence, not because of police brutality, not because of unjust wars, not because of banking, not because of anything so constructive upon which to base an uprising. No, this will be based on an uncontrolled desire to damage and destroy, driven by no reason, no logic, only a festering desire to tear society down. The thing that should make us drop our heads and weep, is that this generation is not being discouraged, there is no meaningful deterrent, and so they will breed, and spread their disease further. Like a societal bubonic plague, we will be all be brought low by this, if its source is not cut off now.

Although this article tends to hold to fairly liberally inclined views, it makes no secret of encouraging a right slanted view here. Some manner of parental licensing must be brought in. If that which is broken in society is allowed to breed without control, then they will spread, and their attitudes toward society will spread as well. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that this will trigger some great reform of the way our world works, that out of the wreckage a new golden era will be born as the masses tear down the structures of government and authority, it will not. It will leave a shadow, a shadow of what society used to be, of where aspirations used to be born and were allowed to grow, not given over to the decay, which will smear everything left with a taint of shame and sadness. Yes, authority has its share of the blame, but it goes much deeper than any Government policy or economic boon could fix. There is a seed of malaise in the youth of the country, and it is growing with every riot, and every day.

  1. It is clear that some intervention is going to be needed to deal with the fact that for some children the family unit is not providing the strong role model needed to create happy, condident young people who understand social responsibility and the consquences of their actions for themselves and others. Unfortunately all this is happening in a time of government cuts! Are the governement going to find the funds to tackle this problem or will it be brushed under the carpet leaving future generations to deal with the consequences?

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