…but economic discontent leads to social unrest.
It’s gone 1am on the 9th August, and I’m watching BBC News 24, viewing with horror, disgust, anger and a degree of resignation the events unfolding in London, and in other places around the country. The vandalism, looting and arson are truly shocking, and the way in which the police are struggling to deal with the situation is equally as worrying. This isn’t about politics, or any particular policy- this is simply disaffected youths who, in the face of a bleak future, have turned to acts of blatant criminality.
Sadly, I am not surprised. I’m not seeking to take advantage of these tragic events (ala Ken Livingstone), simply comment on current events as they unfold. I blogged last year, and earlier in this year, that the real danger of the economic depression that faces us is the way people respond to it. If you have food on your plate, and money in your pocket, the scenes we have seen in the last few days, and especially tonight, would never have happened. But when these things are lacking, then history proves to us that trouble is likely.
However, this is more than the effect of severe economic plight. This is the fruit of years of poor parenting, poor education, poor integration and poor preparation with regards to our young people. These are teenagers and disaffected twenty-somethings who lack the skills that could provide them with a future in such tough times. They lack the links to their society and their common man to therefore possess the foresight that would allow them to see the consequences of their actions. ‘The Guardian’ has summed it up well. British society, post WWII, has let them down.
It is despicable to watch. It will require much more than riot shields, fire fighters and street cleaners to sort this out. Tonight we can pray for London- tomorrow we should pray for our young people.