TheOpinionSite.org suggests that it should come as no surprise to anyone that so many of those participating in the London riots are so-called “children”. Over the past 25 years, children and teenagers have been taught that they are a protected species, that nothing is their fault and that no adult can take any sanction against them.
Tony Blair’s government changed the law so that a child is in all circumstances anyone under 18 years old. The present government has upheld this view and has taken ‘child protection’ even further. The parents of those largely responsible for the present turmoil on our streets have themselves been taught as children that they are in no way beholden to society.
Consequently children and young people now believe they can do anything they want without incurring any consequence to themselves. As for the consequences to others in society, that never crosses their mind for one instant.
There are close on 2 million people working in the UK whose jobs in some way relate to the protection of children. A whole industry has been created; an industry that has prospered from ensuring that no sensible adult will ever step in to correct the bad behaviour exhibited by young people for fear of arrest and possible prosecution for some kind of child abuse.
Parents cannot discipline their children for fear of recrimination from social workers, police and the army of child protection organisations whose very survival depends on condemning adults for ‘inappropriate’ behaviour towards children. Laws have been changed, exceptions have been made, all in order to ensure that children are now at the centre of society when in fact they should be on the periphery and subject to regulation and discipline.
Pompous politicians tell us that the current behaviour in London is “unacceptable”, yet they themselves are largely responsible for the belief that children and young people hold – that they cannot be held responsible for their actions. Discipline in schools has been virtually eradicated, discipline at home is non-existent and the expected respect for other people and their property if something that today’s children disregard and treat with utter contempt.
Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all is that as a result of this maelstrom of excessive ‘child protection’, those who really do need protecting are often overlooked or ignored by the very authorities charged with their well-being, sometimes resulting in the tragic death of the child concerned.
Now that it is all going wrong and the inevitable results seen on our streets, the government foolishly believes that the answer is to put everything into reverse and treat the so-called children as common criminals without giving one moment’s thought as to why they are the way they are.
Successive governments have forced a subculture in the UK where children and young people use social networking that is a complete mystery to most adults. These youngsters have their own language, their own values and their own measures of what is acceptable, all of which have nothing to do with normal society or with the well-being of the general community.
In the leafy villages of Surrey , Oxford and Hampshire public schoolboys enjoy their holiday a world away from the existence of those who were throwing petrol bombs through windows last night. In the cities, middle-class parents prevent their children from living normal lives and playing in the streets with their friends, instead treating their offspring like precious ornaments. It could be argued that these parents are equally to blame by denying those less fortunate than themselves the influence of their own children’s improved upbringing.
There are two types of children in this country; those who have pretty much everything and those who have virtually nothing. Whilst the government is very keen to support the former in order to secure the votes of their parents, it has no inclination to concern itself with the plight of those much less fortunate.
The police yesterday used a 12 ton armoured vehicle to force rioters into a position where they could more easily be controlled. There was no training for the use of this vehicle under those circumstances, relying rather on the notion that it was a ‘good idea’. As a result, those rioters who could no longer carry out their criminal acts in London communicated with those further away and not surprisingly therefore, the riots spread to other parts of the country.
Whilst the kids are able to contact each other instantly using their Blackberry devices, parents and policeman are still trying to figure out how to switch the thing on in the first place. In other words, they are completely out of touch with what goes on in their own child’s mind or life.
In many cases, parents don’t care that their children are creating mayhem on the streets; some are even afraid of their own kids and feel powerless to do anything about their behaviour. But there is an even more serious aspect of this revolt by some members of society and it is an aspect that the government has no wish to recognise.
It is the politically unpalatable fact that the result of 20 years of forcing endless child protection upon the rest of us has not only contributed to the present catastrophe but that it is also virtually irreversible. The attitude of the young people who are now acting in contradiction to the norms of society has been nurtured by those who are now forlornly attempting to return things to normal.
It is socially and politically impossible to criticise or to condemn children and young people for their anti-social behaviour whilst at the same time continuing to propagate the idea that all children must be protected from everything. By creating an artificial bubble of existence in which young people are expected to live, in which they are removed from any aspect of adult society and patronised to death by adults who are often hypocritical in their actions towards children, our leaders have backed themselves into a corner from which it seems, there is no escape.
It is estimated that some 20,000 police officers will be on the streets of London this evening. Senior officers have proudly proclaimed that they have requested reinforcements from other police areas around the country. That’s fine until the riots start kicking off in those areas where there will now be no policeman available because they will all be in London.
Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and even the Medway Towns in Kent were all affected yesterday by civic disturbances of one kind or another. A trend has started that is going to be very difficult to stop. More and more force will be used by the authorities and it is likely that more and more retaliation from the rioters will follow, particularly as they are now being joined by older people who are using cars to mobilise their activities whilst coordinating the same by the use of social networking and private communication channels.
TheOpinionSite.org has made the point previously that society will always evolve but not necessarily in the way in which one expects. Now, when so many people have so little and others have so much, one can hardly be surprised that given the opportunity, those less fortunate individuals take advantage of circumstance.
The situation is made worse by the fact that we have a weak Prime Minister, a Home Secretary who wishes to appear to be as tough as possible and over 600 MPs who are afraid to face up to the fact that it i, to some extent at least, the policies for which they themselves voted that may be responsible for the kind of behaviour seen in young people today.
Last night, all the police cells in the metropolitan area were full, along with many in neighbouring police areas. The occupants of the cells will be charged with public order offences wherever possible and will appear in front of a magistrate. The magistrate will almost certainly bail the offenders concerned, not least because all the local prisons are full to capacity.
Many of those alleged offenders will be held to account in the youth courts as they are “children”. They will not be locked up or punished significantly; after all, they are protected ‘children’. They will return home safe in the knowledge that they can continue in their current way of thinking – that adults can do nothing about their behaviour without potentially being accused of some kind of abuse or ill-treatment.
As for the causes of the riots, those are simple to understand. Whilst politicians talk of “outrageous and unacceptable criminality” and policeman make noises about holding people to account and “bringing them to justice”, the real reasons for this social unrest – lack of employment, discrimination, poor education and poverty – will go unnoticed.
Six months ago TheOpinionSite.org confidently predicted the type of behaviour that we’ve seen in London and other parts of the country over the last few days. We take no pleasure in saying “we told you so” but instead urge politicians (and those who make their living by falsely surrounding children and young people with the obsequious and often unnecessary “protection” that pays the wages of those who provide it) to look at the real reasons behind the present unrest.
The police have too much power, politicians don’t care about the poor and needy and thousands of people make their living in an industry reliant on fear of abuse. Children are betrayed by not having the necessary discipline imposed upon them whilst at the same time being forced into a subculture that adults will never understand.
It was once said that “The ultimate level of tyranny is that which the people are willing to accept.” Maybe we have now reached the limit of acceptability and maybe the people will not accept any more.
In the UK, the police operate with the consent of the people. It is when that consent is withdrawn that we see the kind of behaviour that is currently being exhibited by young people across the country.
History shows us that consent of the people is withdrawn when society believes that the authorities have too much power over the rest of us. It’s time the government took heed of this before the situation escalates into something that really will be out of their control.