If we make peaceful change impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable. -John F Kennedy.
So London is burning as I type.
Lots of people seem to be chucking their opinions forth so I think I'll join in.
Firstly this has nothing to do with the shooting that occurred.
Whether it was justified (increasingly looking as if it wasn't) or not, isn't really relevant. That was just a spark. An excuse.
The problem as I see it is that the young men and women feel completely disenfranchised.
They have nothing to lose any more.
The job market is shrinking and no new employment opportunities are being created.
The future has been whipped from under their feet and no one is listening to them.
Current economic woes and the policies that the coalition have introduced have done little more than push the already desperate into a corner, and in nature what happens when you push any animal into a corner leaving them with no room to escape?
They lash out, attack.
I sincerely believe that this is what we are seeing here.
I'm not even claiming that it is thought out. Just a primal need to reacte to perceived injustices.
Of course people can point to the ones who are enjoying themselves, or the chancers hot footing it down the street with a widescreen television, but that's not everyone involved.
Most are risking their liberty because.....well why the hell not.
What's the alternative?
A life time of living hand to mouth with no prospects of improvement. Losing themselves in drug and alcohol abuse. Easing in and out of dysfunctional relationships.
I've read often enough that they should have more respect, but I was raised to believe that respect was something that had to be earned and I don't see anyone in power doing anything to engender any respect at all.
The police certainly aren't doing anything to encourage a degree of mutual respect.
Battle lines were drawn long ago on estates.
To the police the kids are the enemy and to the kids the police are.
There's not even that many people in local communities doing much to gain respect either.
Everyone has become so insular and mistrustful that we are a nation of strangers to each other.
It's not a healthy existence.
We can't expect people who are treated like shit to just continue to accept it.
That's the bottom line.
History shows us what happened in the past, and the news is showing us it happening in the present.
I would love it if people could consider the bigger picture, but instead I'm seeing a great deal of comments on places like Facebook along the lines of 'shoot the fuckers' and 'hang the little bastards'.
We live in a country that can give a murderer six years after a trial, but we are advocating that teenagers should be shot by troops acting as judge, jury and executioner for stealing training shoes out of a sports shop.
Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?
Just a thought, but in the aftermath of this I'm sure there will be a mention of how many people have been made homeless and how many small businesses have closed, and indeed it will be a horrible situation and I empathize with those who have lost their homes and livelihoods, but - yes there is always a but - maybe we could also factor in how many people have become homeless, or face being made homeless, due to the economic downturn paired with less than helpful coalition policies being introduced, and just maybe someone somewhere will release the figures of how many businesses have went to the wall due to our current economic woes and poor policy decisions to.
The results may be slightly surprising, and if they far outstrip the cost to us all from the rioting then maybe we should be asking who the real enemy is.
The kids on our streets, or those steering the ship.