Although we live some distance from the areas of rioting, this morning there were clouds of smoke and a rather pungent smell of burning plastic in the air, which we could see and smell from our back garden. What has happened in the last few days in areas such as Tottenham, Enfield, Croydon, Walthamstow, Barking et al is a matter of great concern. The fact that the rioting has spread to Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Leeds is also very worrying.
The police seem to be totally ineffectual in preventing the looting and the arson and I really don’t understand why they haven’t used water cannons to disperse the yobs. To see young people, some no more 14 years of age, and possibly even younger, walking out of shops like PC World, Debenhams etc. with arms full of stolen items whilst the police stand by and watch seems quite farcical. It is very sad that folk have been made homeless by the arson, losing everything they own, and destroyed by people of their own community. It is totally inexcusable but is it without cause?
Many of these young people causing this mayhem are totally without any hope for the future. I was interested in what some one on LBC Radio said this morning, discussing these youngsters. He pointed out that many had no jobs nor any hope of a job in the foreseeable future; they come from deprived backgrounds; their time at school has probably been wasted because their home life has given them little or no encouragement. Facilities which were designed to help them have been closed by local authorities due to “cut backs”. They have seen the chance to get items which they can’t afford and have taken it. The fact that they may end up in prison doesn’t worry them in the slightest – for some it will be little different, if any, to the life they have now and for some, sadly, it will be possibly better. What a condemnation of 21st Century Britain.
In just a just under a year, London plays host to the world in the Olympic Games. What a poor advert for our country.