'They rob your EMA, tell you your degree's gonna cost £50K, that you'll never own a car or own your own pad,then they sack your dad' - Ryan 14 (tweet via suzannahreeves - *not blog author)
The police are again calling for tighter parental control as groups of youths gather for what looks to be another night of riots and violence. While of course it is a worry that parents are losing control of their children, I find it profoundly more alarming that the value of morality has all but disappeared in the minds of the ill intent out on the streets of Britain tonight. I fear that at the heart of this situation is a lack of respect; respect for property, others, morality and ultimately the law. But let me elaborate on this a little...
Various individuals being interviewed on the news today have hammered across the message that some youth groups have no boundaries and so behave however they see fit. This got me thinking and wondering how the 'boundries' of regular morality look for those in depraved, under privileged conditions. I would suggest that the boundaries some young people are most aware of today are the divisions in society and, as history suggests; the more marginalised a social group feels, the more tensions rise. It would appear that as some individuals have felt increasingly more alienated from general society and as such their regard for the laws implemented by governing bodies, for that society, has also weakened.
The powers that be have not had the best press lately (government's proximity with Murdoch, expenses scandal, debt, cuts, cuts, cuts...) and so I wonder if the consequence of all this is a message filtering down that there is little motivation to respect the law makers who, themselves, are found to behave immorally. And from this point it is no great leap to disrespect the law itself. This is not an excuse for what we are witnessing but, perhaps, an explanation of how morality has degenerated for some people, followed by a 'us and them' mentality as the police endeavour to enforce something which has become meaningless in the eyes of the perpetrators. This is a dangerous situation for a society to be in.
Fundamental changes need to be made by both 'us' and 'them'. Power can not be respected in its own right and a Prime Minister who 'won' his seat without a majority vote is shaky footing on which to implement solid social/government cooperation. For the unrest to ease, respect has to be earned and won by all until, as a society, we learn to trust that we are all on the same side.
There is a long way to go until we reach this point and unfortunately I don't think we have seen the last of this current wave of public disorder.