Monday, 15 August 2011

Comments about the riots.

       My friend, B., sent me a link for an article written by a Canadian for a Orange County, Californian newspaper.  
He asked me to read the article, and then comment.  I do invite you to read this article before reading my give you an idea as to what I'm replying to.
Since it's been over a month (way too long) since I've posted a blog entry, I thought this was a great way to get back on track.  It's a way to give the other side of the story.  

Hi B.,

I read this article and found myself thinking the writer was cynical, a bigot with only a view to headlines.  Does he live in my home country?  I think not. 

It is true that some of the youths involved were products of poverty and the actions were pure criminality.  However, there were also other young people involved who are educated, articulate, yet simple trouble makers looking to stir up trouble.  News programmes, talk shows and political chat shows have all been analysing the cause of the riots, the effects it has on neighbourhoods and there is no clear answer. 

There are three political parties in Great Britain=The Conservatives who are part of a coalition government, shared by the Liberal Democrats, and the Loyal Opposition party (minority party in power), the Labour Party.  The leaders of these parties are quick to condemn past parties policies for the woes of the country.  But they all want to fix the problems in the country.

The police are promised all kinds of resources to stop the riots--but when it comes to the crush, they are hampered.  The political leaders say "Use of rubber bullets and water cannons will be available if necessary."  The crowds swell, the bricks are flying and the police are in the heat of the fray--but no water hoses are brought in, no arms are allowed to be fired.  They are threatened with reprimand if they use too much force to stop the looters, because they might violate the human rights of the person. 

I've heard lots of talk everywhere I've gone about the youth who were on the streets during the nights of the riots.  There seems to be a consensus in the general public about the lack of parenting these children have had.

Parents are no longer allowed to smack their children.  They will be reported to Social Services.
Teachers have had authority removed from them--they are no longer allowed to discipline children in school.

The family has broken down and single parents aren't given proper support from the government.

There is a moral break down in society because of the break-down of the family.

There is racial tension in the country as immigrants take jobs from British born citizens.  

There is resentment of and mistrust of Muslims in the United Kingdom because of their closed communities.

Companies have outsourced work to developing countries, which has left people without jobs here in the UK.

As the recession grows, more companies are closing their doors, which has meant more people losing their jobs.

The lack of prospects for work has left people feeling demoralised, frustrated and frightened.  

The young people are a generation without a true sense of hope, purpose--feeling disenfranchised from the prosperity that their parents tasted in the 1980's and 1990's. 

Were the riots inevitable?  I don't know.  It certainly is a reflection of the unrest we feel in today's world.  Were the riots justified?  Absolutely not.  But they did happen.  

Earlier this year, David Cameron presented his idea of the "Big Society", which is a plan to cut government spending and asking local communities to take responsibility for their needs.  The idea is to reduce the amount of federal government and give more power to local governments.  The idea is to shift the dependency from the social security system of the national government and put more dependency to co-operative businesses, local charities and the creation of local entrepreneurs.  The press gave Mr. Cameron's idea a lot of criticism, calling it impractical. 

Yet, in the aftermath of the riots, there was evidence of "Big Society" as hundreds of local citizens showed up with the brushes, brooms and trash containers to sweep up glass, help to inventory stock that remained and show solidarity.  Websites went up to help people and businesses devastated by the riots.  It all started because a Malaysian student was attacked and robbed.  The video went feral on YouTube.  The generosity of people to donate to assist in rebuilding has been heart-mending, astonishing--well over £30,000 being raised.  Here is a link: 

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights local citizens stood in groups outside their businesses to show that they were not willing for lawlessness to destroy businesses and lives of people and the communities they lived in.  Just standing peaceably in front of their businesses, churches and synagogues was enough deterrent to the rioters to stop damage and stealing, and enable the police to do their job.  Basically residents in many neighbourhoods stood up and took ownership. 

The public has shown support of the police forces by offering cups of tea, applauding them and expressing their appreciation in general. 

Last Monday night a friend of ours organised a prayer group to pray for London, and the nation.  This action was repeated in churches across the country as the Body of Christ realised that we needed the help of God to bring peace and restore order.  There is a cry from the church to restore the moral and values of Christian faith to society. 

Yes, the government is trying to determine how to rebuild the nation after such a show of unwarranted anger and violence.  There will need to be multi-faceted approaches to multi-faceted problem.  Yet, it seems apparent to me that what Satan means for bad, God is ever present to bring about good. 

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
"Lady Helene"