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UK Riots: The Reasoning and the Solution

By Donald C. Stewart

The whole world by now will be aware that England (NOTE the country!!) has had riots in their capital and other cities. There have been a number of commentaries on the events and the media images have not portrayed the English in a particularly good way.

One historian has been given the opportunity to suggest that this is white kids turning black… what he mean was that the influx of Jamaican based language into the youth sub culture and the influence of urban US gang culture has captured the white youth of today. They are dispossessed, disengaged and angry. What he said was racist.

Sure we have had a rash of – have to say excellent films – Kidulthood and Adulthood for example – that have portrayed the urban dialect through the mix of white and black kids.

Sure we have had the table topping exploits of rap music that has become popular amongst young people. But England is not the only European country to have had these influences come down the media of TV and internet. They are, however the only country with riots in the streets right now.

We all know about the deficits and financial mess that countries that were civilized and affluent have gotten into. The answer to such dreadful economic times has been for some countries – including England – have been to reduce the engagement and involvement of the State. The State subsidized Youth Work and courses for the unemployed but with a new government that was all changed. The Sate turned from provider to cutter. The “cuts” are biting hard. At one point the State provided funding that allowed charities and voluntary organizations to employ people. These people held the fabric of their communities together. When they were taken away the fabric unraveled.

One Champion of young people has stepped forward to suggest that his way is ONE way of helping these kids. A deeply religious man he has already put as much as £700,000 of his own money into a youth club in his own town. He has spoken out and, with his track record of investing with young people, mentoring them and championing them he may have a point. Once he has completed his religious pilgrimage work will begin on how he sees this suggestion translate into action.

Amir Khan spoke to Sky Sports of how sport can help with the “anger and frustration” felt on the streets of England. He believes sport can channel aggression and give young people a positive outlook on life rather than the beating up of policemen, theft and looting that took place in England.

Already there have been trials and convictions including the conviction of young people in Scotland. The social network site, Facebook, was abused by rioters to draw people into the trouble – advertising where to meet etc. In Scotland a couple of young idiots tried to copy it and are now ruing the day…

Whilst England burned the rest of Great Britain and the United Kingdom should not sit smug. The annual Orange Walks in Northern Ireland had already finished their rioting before it all began in London. There are plans on the table for a march in Edinburgh by the Scottish Defense League that will draw more racists out onto the streets. It was not the type of publicity the British Government wanted the year before the Olympics but we don’t always get what we want. That a devout Muslim, who has put his money where his mouth is, has pointed out the bleeding obvious is also interesting considering the way in which some elements of the media have demonized the religion over the years. They are now demonizing young people.

We shall just have to wait for who is next…

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