Well, never did I expect myself to be overly impressed by John Prescott, Russel Brand and an Archbishop all on the same night! However whilst catching up with Question Time:
and reading the Guardian online:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/11/london-riots-davidcameron (both links accessed 12/08/2011)
I found myself nodding along to many of the points raised.
So tonight let's not just focus on my own thoughts but quote others who are thinking along the same lines...
Brand states that; 'However "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable" it might be, it has happened so we better accept it and, whilst we can't justify it, we should kick around a few neurons and work out why so many people feel utterly disconnected from the cities they live in....I remember Cameron saying "hug a hoodie" but I haven't seen him doing it. Why would he? Hoodies don't vote, they've realised it's pointless, that whoever gets elected will just be a different shade of the "we don't give a toss about you" party...These young people have no sense of community because they haven't been given one.' (R. Brand, Big Brother isn't watching you)
Archbishop John Sentamu, of the Question Time panel made the sensible point that when faced with water running down the stairs the best solution is not to constantly mop up the downpour but to find the location of the tap and turn it off. This analogy resonates with my fear that soley punishing the offenders is not the most effective way to deal with the issue and instead there needs to be a greater focus on the roots of the problems in society that , when left unchecked, esculate in the manner we have seen over the past week. I believe that the benefit gained from an investigation into vunerable parts of society, with the aim of understanding the changes that need to be implimented to prevent repetition and making those changes, is a far better use of public resources than making examples of those who have acted out, preventing them from gaining future employment. Proactive community work would greatly reduces the chances of this vicious circle and hopefully integrate the offenders with society, restoring a sense of comunity and self worth.
As for Prescott, I admired his passion and maybe I would have gone on to quote some cabinet ministers here but they didn't have the guts to show up for QT. Funny that.
On a brighter note to end the night, just because I'm kind like that, kudos to panelist Camila Batmanghelidjh excentric-beyond-belief fashion sense: