Saturday, 13 August 2011


Mr Bicknell suggested that perhaps I was a little less than balanced in my approach in my previous post, and upon considering this, I tend to agree, but well, it's hard not to be driven by your emotions and caught up in the moment isn't it? And that's the point I suppose. We are complex machines us human beings, and no matter who we are, we are often affected and charged by the events and circumstances which surround us, we all know from our own school days that it can take tremendous strength to be different, especially when this is when we are at our most vulnerable and impressionable. I remain disgusted and appalled by what has taken place in our cities over the last few days, and simply can't believe that this could happen in a country that we have perhaps taken for granted in assuming that it would always be effectively self-governed by it's deep seated sense of social conscience, but what would I know? I live a relatively charmed existence and oh so fortunately haven't had to experience the living and social conditions that many of these children and young adults have to survive on a daily basis. Being constantly told by society that in order to be worthy or respected we must dress in designer wear and fill our homes with more flat screen technology than you can shake a stick at is a kick in the face isn't it when you have no means to acquire these things, but taking from your neighbours and destroying what they have worked so hard to achieve is not the answer, I can imagine that the initial thrill of the smash and grab or the ignition of a full-on fire might be exhillerating, particularly when in such large groups where a momentary sense of power and belonging will be experienced, but in the cold light of day, I wouldn't want to wake up with the knowledge that I was  responsible for the devastation of someone's livelihood, the flattening of someone's home or as some will have to face, the death of another's son. Children as young as 8 are thought to have been involved in the riots, they will of course know the difference between right and wrong, but if they are not provided with the appropriate parental guidance the line becomes blurry, it is the parents who need to step up, sit down with  themselves and discuss where they went wrong. It isn't enough to blame their own circumstances, many of the people whose homes and businesses have been destroyed have come from those very same circumstances, but tried and succeeded to make a better life for themesleves. we shouldn't all aspire to be bling wearing celebrities, that's unrealistic, we should instead make the most of who we can be and thank God that we don't live under a regime where personal choice and freedom of speech is not an option.

On the way back from Wales a few days ago - we listened to David Cameron and the plans he has outlined for giving back to all those innocent people who have lost the things precious to them, I have to say, if he can follow through then he has come up in my estimations, it is a tragedy however that he cannot restore the history embroilled in the Reeves family store in Croydon or those lives lost in Birmingham. I ask all those parents out there who did not know where their sons and daughters were on the nights of the riots to consider the dignity shown by Tariq Jahan  in his public address, and then feel ashamed. Of course some parents have already stepped up and handed their children into the police - how hard this must have been I can only imagine, but I suppose exceptional times call for exceptional measures and it must be tough knowing that your child had some kind of hand in the devastation which effected your friends and neighbours. But what of those individuals who just got caught up in the moment? Saw an opportunity to grab an ipod from a smashed up currys as they walked past? The faces caught on CCTV are being punished as an example and being given prison sentences and labels which will haunt them for the rest of their lives. It's a tricky situation and if I have learnt one thing from my initial ranting outburst, it is that you should let the mist clear before you act. Removing benefits and housing is clearly not the answer, education and support is, although there is a part of me which is drawn to the idea that we should dye the hands of the looters! As a teacher I naturally want to understand how we can help and prevent further alienation, and that's going to be a long journey, but who knows, maybe some good will come of this in the end.

I follow a blog called Ivy Black Chat - she is an impressive writer, far more eloquent than I could ever hope to be - follow her, she is fab! Here is a link to her take on things - I am going to steal a clip from her riot post, as I think it is important to remember that many of these young adults do actually come from good honest roots, albeit with some colourful language...

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean, it's really tough especially as you say, for we who work with young people. Having said that, I did rant myself and I don't think I was particularly balanced...I was too angry! I was a case of publish and be damned. Than you for you lovely comments and the link.
    Have a top week. xxx