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From Sutti H

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I've been watching the TV a listerning to all the comments about the riots spreading accross England. I do not agree with violence, stealing or setting fire to anything, but I am disgusted by fighting violence with legalised violence. I have not heard anyone ask why these young people think this is their only way to voice their concerns.

Is it the lack of education, the lack of jobs or the lack of hope? What chance have they of sitting down to a meal once a year that equals a meal one of our councilors, MPs or any of the government eat once a week if not every day?

The only way they can wear good clothes is by going to the local and buying them either stolen or cheap copies.

Who can we blame when these riots hit the streets? Is it this disgusting government reducing the money to the poorest? Is it all political party's that should be helping normal people, instead they chase the money, or is it the yobs, they are the easiest people to blame, because anything else makes the ruling class have to look at themselves.

I think we are all to blame, it's about time we all stopped and looked at another way for everyone to live an acceptable way of life

From Ian M

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I'll tell you who is to blame. Its not me, its not the Police, its people like you who try and find excuses for idiotic thugs who think its ok to attack and destroy the businesses of hard working decent people. I sincerely hope the Police are out in huge numbers tonight and use the appropriate measures that these criminals will understand. So far they have shown remarkable restraint in their dealings with these idiots. Make no bones about it, this is not protest or political comment, this is violence, thuggery and theft for the sake of it. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to blame everyone else but those responsible.

From Claire M

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

This isnt a protest it's just criminals and oppurtunists wanting to get some free stuff and smash some stuff up. They couldnt give a stuff about anyone else

From Linda S

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Sutti, are you having a laugh?

The Nike trainer/Adidas hoodie-wearing looters conducted their planning to commit thuggery and larceny via their costly iPhones using their Twitter and Facebook apps. Their cowardly acts, motivated by greed and the high of destructive violence, have destroyed doctor's surgeries and the infrastructure of some of the poorest parts of London. Traumatised people have leapt for their lives from their burning homes set alight by rampaging mobs, some of them as young as eight.

As a single, low-income parent living here in the valley, the clothes on my family's backs are bought from the much-despised local charity shops and I cannot afford to run a mobile phone. Never, ever would it occur to me to steal goods belonging to someone else. Not even a sack of Tesco Value Basmati rice, as paraded by the rioting's probably most hapless - and, no doubt, soon to be most ridiculed - looter.

As a mother, if I lived in London, I would hope I would have the courage to galvanise an army of broom and mop-wielding mums and parents to confront the stupid mobs with their sheep-like mentalities and try to protect our doctors surgeries, our schools and our shops that generally employ low earners like myself. And God bless the pensioner who is now fighting for his life after trying to do precisely that and protect his community in which he has invested so much of his life.

There is no excuse for this disgusting behaviour. And I would gladly water-cannon you and anyone else who, living here, cocooned from the goings-on in our beautiful capital city, thinks that there is just cause for these actions which will leave a scar on the infrastructure and the psyches of many local communities for many years, if not decades to come.

Just to be clear, you were having a laugh, right?


From H Gregg

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Right on Sutti! Not enough people ask why? and then, when they get an answer, ask why? again & again.

I'd love to believe that it's some sort of protest against the system, but I suspect that the root goes a long way back - probably to Thatcher's greed culture.

Before that, most riots were concerned with justice.


From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Historically, very few civil disturbances have had much to do with justice. It's mainly been prejudice or self-interest on the rampage.

I'm heartily sick of the 'Oh woe is us, we're all to blame' response to crime and anti-social behaviour. Most of the current mobs will be doing it because (1) they like violence; (2) they like stealing; and (3) they know they're unlikely to get hurt or punished. They're cowards and hypocrites. They demand respect for themselves but deny it to anyone or anything else. There is nothing remotely pitiable or excusable about them.

And before anyone accuses me of tarring all young people with the same brush, I know full well that this lot are a minority. But they're an extremely dangerous and morally corrosive minority. We can't afford them - not in any sense.


From Sutti H

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I agree with a lot of what you all say, it is all wrong. I hate violence, I don't like stealing and I'm not too keen on anything burning including garden fires, but what do we do with these people then? Shoot them all, lock them up so they can learn even more criminal acts?

All I am saying is ask why. Their reponse will probably baffle us, but until we understand, this problem will be brewing and explode again.

I don't have much money, come to think about it I don't have much of a life, and like you I don't go and smash things up or steal anything, but I do have the advantage of knowing right from wrong and a bit of hope of a better life eventually.

The easiest way to deal with all of this is to say it isn't our responsibility, they are morons, lock them up, smash them with violence from the police.

There are plenty of MP's to do that. And we call them morons!

If we don't try and understand and all take resposibility for the situation, every time we get a moron Tory government we will get riots. Talk to you again in 15 years or so, Ian.


From Sue S

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I agree with the majority of comments here - its simply mindless acts of violence and pure criminal behaviour. People can make as many excuses as they want - deprivation, poverty, no jobs etc but most people in those circumstances do not behave in this way. Most decent people work hard, save up and try to make their life better. Its time the 'silent majority' in this country stood up and said enough is enough.

I am sure we will start to hear people saying we need to pour more resources into the deprived areas, build facilities for 'the community' and young people etc. Now is the time to take a stand and ensure that everyone knows that they have to work for what they have and not expect everything to be given to them on a plate - its time to stop the culture of 'I want so I will take'.

From Ian M

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Yes Sutti, that its exactly what we do. Quash these so called riots with the necessary force, lock the perpetrators up and get them off the streets. After that you can give the little darlings all the hugs you think they need whilst they are in prison. I also find it laughable that you try to lay blame for this at the feet of the current government whilst ignoring the previous administrations years in power.

From Jenny B

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Before those that are doing the shouting at Sutti, implode with their objections, just take a minute to leave your not unfounded anger behind, and actually read what he has said. Sutti isn't condoning or making excuses for this wanton violence. He is asking that we all consider Why it has happened. He suggests that someone asks these kids why they think its ok to behave as they do? Why are they so discontented? And then as H says ask and ask again until we find some answers.

I believe it goes back to the gimmee, gimmee, culture of Thatcherism - that culture of wanting it all now. That is why charity shops are not places where kids will shop, they want what they perceive everyone else has got, and if they can't get it legally will try other ways. The 'opportunity' to provoke a riot as a facade for looting and violence isn't new. We are all sickened, we will all pay for this one way and another, maybe we all feel uncomfortable, but don't shoot or try to belittle the messenger who simply asks why?

From H Gregg

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Did these children (many of them) and young adults(mostly) emerge from the womb genetically predisposed to this sort of behaviour or did something happen to them along the way?

Of course it is probably a combination of the two. But since genetic make up is very unlikely to have changed significantly in just a few generations, I suspect that it is mostly "things that happened to them".

What were these things, who made or allowed them to happen and why?

If we ask ourselves these questions, and act on the conclusions, we might get close to preventing this recurring. Start thinking now!


From Andy M

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The rioters are undoubtedly acting in an anti-social manner but the real and lasting damage to society is being created by this government's policies . . . and we can do something about that.

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 11 August 2011

To all those who say we should be asking why: where have you been over the past 30 years? In 1980-81 we had Bristol, Brixton, Toxteth and Handsworth. And they were just the start. Handsworth, where I lived for a couple of years (very pleasant until ruined by drug gangs) has now gone up four times. People have been 'asking why' for a very long time, and answers are not in short supply. What is in short supply is the political will to get on top of the problems. With luck, patience and tolerance will now have run out.

From Greg Hobson

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Isn't Cameron hilarious . . patronisingly bleating on about the selfishness of rioters, while morally bankrupt MPs have been thieving of taxpayers for years and corruption in the Met is rife. One could imagine that he is somewhat smugly pleased that this current bad news story is burying others that are uncomfortably close to home.

From Sutti H

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Well thank you Jenny B, at last someone in Hebden Bridge that can read, is not blinded by the anger and hate for anyone beneath themselves. I thought I was the poor educated one one here.

For the last 30 years Graham I have spent a bit of time in inner city streets all over England. I have listerned to young people and haven't judged them. I have noticed the last time this mindless rioting took place was when the last Tory government was in power. We have had a couple of race riots since, but nothing compared to this.

When this Tory government came to power the first thing I said was how long until the riots start.

No matter what these young people do, their voices will never be heard, until they do something so drastic it can make us feel sick. But the moron metality of we've now got plastic bullets and water cannons will never work. They will just go out and buy guns.

How can we expect people to sit there and watch bankers rob the country, business people find loop holes in this and that to gain more money, MP's have dodgy backgrounds and the list goes on, they call them perks of the job, many of the young say, I'll have some of that.
Nick Clegg said before the election the tories policies will cause unrest, now he say's not this kind of unrest.

They should not have caused violence, fire or theft, but it all started because they know a Tory government is that far from their reality they might as well kick off, it got them back off their holidays, now let's find out who paid for those holidays?


From Ian M

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I can also read very well thank you. I can also see the television news reports and hear the comments from people interviewed on the streets while they smash up shops.

"It's our right innit"

"We're just taking back our taxes"

"The Police cant do nuffin"

I've also seen the outrage from the majority of the population of this country that this feral underclass have been allowed to run wild for too long. An underclass that has prospered because for too long they have been indulged and pampered. Witness the result of swamping the streets with Police, the threat of plastic bullets and water cannon - the result is a peaceful night. If you stand up to a bully they back down.

Again I find it laughable that you still blame the current Tory government (whilst conveniently ignoring the fact it is a Tory Lib Dem coalition) Surely during the previous decade of Labour administration the relevant questions should have been asked and acted upon. Or are you suggesting these people only became violent in the last year

From Tom Standfield

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ed Milliband said this morning, "To seek to explain is not to seek to excuse."

Clearly, the wrong-doers must be punished but our prisons are already full. England and Wales has one of the highest rates of incarceration in Western Europe. In 2011 an average of 152 people in every 100,000 were in prison. Keeping more and more people in prison is not going to help the Tory policy of cutting spending.

Perhaps we should listen to Gerald Kaufman who this morning called for "positive policies" to "reclaim" wrongdoers for society.

From Jonathan Timbers

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I am disappointed that Sutti has met with such kneejerk responses to his attempt to have a discussion about the English riots.

For a more thoughtful response to the riots, he might llike to go to the statement on my union's website.

Obviously, those who commit crimes against people or property must be punished in accordance with the law, but in the long run we cannot expect the police to protect us from the deep-seated social and economic problems which are the root cause of the riots. Saying that we should discuss what those root causes might be and how to avoid rioting in the future is not the same as saying that rioters and looters have no individual moral responsibility for their actions. I think we have a duty to have the discussion without getting lost in our own understandable feelings of anger.

Turning to that discussion, I think the focus on the failings of politicians - whilst not exactly a red herring - is not the key question. We live in a corrupt society which affects people at every level within it and part of tackling the root cause of rioting is the struggle to develop a more decent, honest and less individualistic society, with strong (though potentially varied) family structures, where the public good is put before private gain. David Cameron's 'big society' idea is suited to this debate; unfortunately, his government's economic policies run directly counter to his best intentions.

From Phil M

Thursday, 11 August 2011

We all need to think on this and can't just put it down to mindless scroats. At least try and quantify the 'why'!

EMA scrapped? Tuition Fees now meaning only the rich can go onto further education? DWP Future Jobs Fund axed? Devastating cuts to youth services? Theres a Guardian video out there that shows kids in Tottenham interviewed a week or so before all this saying 'theres gonna be riots'!

All this against a background of the Tories taking a freehand to destroy services across the board with their swansong of 'oh we inherited it, its not our fault!' I personally don't care who's fault it is . . . it just needs sorting and it starts with the 'why?'

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 11 August 2011

How quickly we get to infantile political point-scoring. The challenge is to stop bad and stupid people doing bad and stupid things. It's dirty, ugly work and as usual the 'caring' middle classes will talk the hind leg off a donkey to avoid doing it.

From Jonathan Timbers

Thursday, 11 August 2011

And while we're at it, here's a thoughtful eyewitness account from Hackney.

The feelings expressed by some local youngsters in the article are similar to some of the disaffection expressed on this website by people who come from around here. Of course, they don't riot, but that's not really the point. There's a huge feeling against middle class incomers everywhere...and people are feeling the effects of the cuts, they are impacting on people's lives and both these things are factors shaping the context out of which the riots have emerged.

From John Marsden

Thursday, 11 August 2011

"An underclass that has prospered because for too long they have been indulged and pampered"?

No. An underclass that has been corrupted and perverted by rank consumerism. Notice how the sportswear and videogames shops were looted, yet bookshops remained unmolested? We are talking about the politically naive lumpenproletariat, basically a bunch of Sun readers, playing right into the hands of the powers that be.

From Cllr James Baker

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Repeating the myth that only rich people can now go to University isn't helpful Phil. You can still go to University and don't have to pay a penny back until you are earning reasonable money of £21K + It's this sort of hyperbolic viewpoint that these kids hear and start to use as a justification for their mindless violence and aggression.

Also EMA being replaced with a £180m fund for low-income learners is not the cause. These kids are not stealing books are they. Neither was society pre EMA in 2004 ravaged by constant rioting.

This is a generation who grew up under unprecedented state spending and intervention by a Labour government, yet it failed to help. In these communities dependant on the state people are made to feel worthless by a benefits culture that rewards inactivity and criminality.

This generation has no sense of community spirit or self-reliance. They have never been taught any sense of discipline or been given any boundaries. They feel they can act with cultural impunity.


From Andrew B

Thursday, 11 August 2011

"We are talking about the politically naive lumpenproletariat, basically a bunch of Sun readers, playing right into the hands of the powers that be."

I would remind the poster that we live in a very diverse community and many people will not understand what your comment actually means. Or maybe more so what gives you any right to start making assumptions about "a bunch of Sun readers". Just because I don't read the Guardian don't assume that 'Sun readers' are any different to you or your fellow Guardian readers are all the same and choose to cause havoc around the country.


From Peter Robson

Thursday, 11 August 2011

What we are seeing is actually a tragedy, not only for the small businesses that have been looted or indeed set alight but also these communities.

Eventually, these ministers have dragged themselves back from their summer holidays, but so far the only response we have seen from them is the cry of; 'the mob' and 'mindless thugs' etc etc! People living in these communities will be rightly angry at the situation but also at this government that has absolved itself of any blame whatsoever.

Sadly, New Labour have done exactly the same, doing nothing to evaluate and enquire into why young people have responded in this way. Mass unemployment, cuts in services and the increase of stop and search all grew under New Labour. Is it any coincidence that Britain is burning in 2011?

One young women in Tottenham summed this up by saying; 'I am not a thief but I am angry'!

What does this actually say about Britain an advanced capitalist country as young people with jobs and a future do not generally take such action. In Britain today there are a million youth unemployed, who have in effect been told they have no future. Sound familiar? Across London unemployment amongst young people is running around 25%, Hackney and Tower Hamlets have the highest youth unemployment in the country. These people live only a few miles from the millionaires and billionaires of the 'city'. They have little chance of earning even the minimum wage let alone a decent living standard.

All ethnic minorities earn less than the general population with a disgraceful disparity of 27% less for Bangledeshi men and women. None of the 98 high court judges come from an ethnic background and only 4 of over 500 circuit judges.

From 2005 to 2009 police searches on Asian people increased 84% and black people by 51%. The EMA was abolished by this government in a vicious act, despite mass protests, which made it possibe for young people to attend colleges.

In Tottenham the youth service has been slashed by 75% with nationally the Connexions service just about destroyed.

However, after saying all this, rioting is not the answer as this only destroys the communities it is centred in. We also know that it gives the ruling class the opportunity to become more draconian as in the past (they are already discussing not only the army but the terrorism laws).

So let's have some balance please, I am not condoning these riots but there are reasons why they have happened and unless addressed these recent events will appear like a tea party!

Calderale SOS.



From Sutti H

Friday, 12 August 2011

I'm affraid Mr Cameron summed it all up yesterday. He knew all the answers before any questions have been asked.

He looks for headline answers that will create a cheer. All in all we have a PR man running our country, a copy of Blair but at least Blair was more original.

I do not think in any way the last Labour government did everything right, of course they too are to blame, that's what I said in my first post. We are all to blame for the way our society has gone.

I'm just affraid how our Condem government are going to deal with it. Even the police are looking at what Cameron is saying and trying to distance themselves from his headline grabbing quotes. The quotes are as unhelpful as the name calling of yobs, rats etc.

I am in believer of hard work, discapline, honesty and above all fairness and respect. The last 2 strange words to many business people, go getters and well off in OUR society.

Let the people know that rioting, looting and violence is wrong, but we need to put something else in it's place, make them know that voting can be worth while, encourage them to fight for what they believe in a different way. I'm affraid all 3 political party's are scared of the less well off showing an interest in voting, because they have not got a clue how it wll turn out.

From Ian M

Friday, 12 August 2011

I note the reason given by a youth caught with thousands of pounds worth of stolen property from Currys was that they hadn't replied to the CV he sent them "so this was pay back".

A good slap round the ear and being told to not be such an idiot is what this person needs!

From Lizzie D

Friday, 12 August 2011

Like most others I was sickened and truly disheartened at the levels of agression' the sheer lawlessness and total lack of respect that has been so evident in these riots. It may be because I am a member of the older generation, but I have many friends who agree with me.

I think that the way children are being raised these days is partly to blame. they are being raised by parents who have a culture of free range kids - let them run riot, smoke dope, and failure to teach them any social graces in the name of laissez-faire parenting. They were given bribes of EMA payments to stay on at school. They are being pandered to and given the latest phones, laptops and flat screen tv's for their bedrooms.

The extreme of this culture is see it - want it - take it. Until we all take responsibility for the next generation and stop this cycle of greed it will continue. Until parents take responsibility for raising their children in an honest, firm but fair disciplinarian way, we will have the potential of more anarchy.

Those of you who argue that an underclass is to blame need to consider that the student riots were no less than a smaller and lower scale damaging version of these riots, yet there was an outcry of support for them, because they were seen as middle class kids protesting for 'a good reason'.

Kids need to be taught to respect others, that if they want it they work for it; and they pay for it - be that their advanced education, or their gadgets. Those that were lucky and got a free university education are most likely to be those parents in Hebden that let their kids play football on the park bowling green until it wasnt fit for purpose, those who let their kids grow cannabis in their bedrooms, those who wont teach their children to say please and thank you. Yet they are the ones who blame lack of social values and an underclass of sun readers for this mess, When in reality they are only a whisper away from being parents of those involved in the riots in our cities.

Yes, ask the kids why they did it, but ask the parents why they didn't stop them.

From Paul D

Saturday, 13 August 2011

I would urge those calling for retribution rather than understanding to consider two voices, one was that of a grieving father calling for calm and holding out the possibility of forgiveness. The other was an Archbishop who provided one of the few voices of reason in an otherwise rather distasteful week for British politics, it can be read here.

In my view and despite the claims of David Cameron, we don't need collective punishment, curfews, or the blocking of our public communication systems. We just need to stand back and hope that the perpetrators are not simply just caught and punished, but beyond that necessary process they change their behavior and values and find ways to contribute more positively and effectively to the society we share with them. This isn't lily livered liberalism, it just ensures the continued functioning of a mature democracy. The alternative is the dictatorship of the Daily Mail, a peevish and ever more violent place.


From Janet Wilson

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Riots are not in the interests of working people. Communities are damaged and they provide an excuse for repressive laws. So why did they happen? People do not riot because of inequality, because they are poor, because they are students or because of racial inequalities. They do it because of injustice. People usually tend to accept an unfavorable situation in a fatalistic manner, but if they feel they have been lied to, cheated or bullied they are more likely to be disposed towards other actions.

David Cameron says the rioters were sick. This was not meant to encourage a sympathetic reaction, such as you might feel for someone with cancer or heart disease. It was meant to direct our attention away from MP's expenses, speculative increases in food and energy prices, failure to reglate excessive borrowing by banking and financial institutions, media phone hacking, privatisation and cuts to pensions and services etc. If we want to remove the conditions in which riots are likely to occur we need to tackle social injustice.

From Sutti H

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

So a clip around the ear and tell him not to be an idiot and send him away is the way to do it Ian?

Well there is no hope for us then is there?

Lets start a war against them, just like Cameron wants, bring in Robocop, the Mcdonalds munching crime fighter. It's begining to sound like a comic to me.

If a person does something wrong, but doesn't really undestand what they did was unacceptable then a clip around the ear is not going to teach them anything. Some of these people really don't know right from wrong and you're not going to beat it into them.

Lets start treating them as if they belong to our society, then things just might start to change, but it will take many years.