Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What is the cause of the London Riots?


The riots are criminal and thug behaviour with no political purpose.

But that is the first word, not the last.

Just as it is impossible to have a baby without a pregnancy, so it is impossible to have a riot without a cause - or in this case, causes. The 2011 UK riots are the result of systemic failure, a product of many causative factors.

Let's be clear: to understand the causes of a riot is not to try to excuse the actions of the rioters. They are human, so they are responsible, and have to face the consequences of their destructive actions.

Politicians are trying to fit it into their own categories : Conservatives are trying to pin it on "pure criminality".  Criminality is involved, certainly, but as an effect, not as the sole cause. Labour seems to be trying to link the riots to the cuts in public services, but they are hardly enough (yet - give it time) to cause builidings to be set on fire. We have to look deeper, at the wider picture. Riots are a social action, where many items are thrown into the melting pot, and lie there simmering, until a trigger event causes the pot to boil over.

We know that the original Tottenham outburst was precipitated by the shooting by police of Mark Duggan. It seems he was carrying a replica handgun that had been modified to shoot, but that he was killed while it was still in its cover (a sock, allegedly). This killing re-activated community memories of Cynthia Jarrett's death (possibly form a heart attack caused by her son's arrest) in the locality in 1985, which kicked off a riot in which PC Blakelock was beaten to death.

A peaceful deputation to protest against Mark Duggan's killing outside the police station was ignored by the police for several hours, and so turned into a riot, which triggered riots and disturbances in many other areas of London, (Ealing, Wood Green, Clapham, Dalston ) and some other towns in the UK (Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol). Here is an interactive map of all known sites of trouble.

What we can say for certain is that the riots are an expression of anger and alienation. The looting demonstrates a consumerist (or possibly, to keep the academics happy, post-consumerist) motive. Random smashing of cars and looting for trainers, clothes and electronic goods (but not, as many tweeps noted, bookstores) shows  opportunism at work. They smashed because they could. They realised that with the police occupied elsewhere, their chances of getting caught were low.

Alienation is the absence of a sense of being in a productive relationship with one's physical and social environment, a belief that it does nothing for you, and that you owe it nothing. This is a false belief, built on the perception of "I" in a hostile or indifferent world, rather than "we" living in a world that sustains us, an environment that we should nurture and care for.

In short, alienation is a belief that can be expressed in the phrase "There is no such thing as society".

The alienation has many causes. Sub-prime pararenting is undoubtedly one cause. Community breakdown is another.

Here's a third: the prevailing celebrity culture. Surveys have shown that if you ask a schoolkid what s/he wants to be when they s/he grows up, chances are they will say "a celebrity" or "a football star's wife". So we have a gulf between aspiration and probability. This gap leads to depression and resentment. The culture is fostered by tabloid and TV content, and is paralleled by advertising and consumerist culture, where possession is portrayed as 9/10ths of success. This culture needs to change.

There may be an underlying loss of respect (to the extent that there was any respect previously) for authority because of the cumulative effect of the banking crisis, the MP expenses scandal, and the News International scandal, in which the Metropolitan Police are implicated.

The rioters are multiracial, but in that Afro-Caribbeans are involved, their experience is relevant.
Darcus Howe has been emphasising the resentment of young black kids who are continually harrassed by cops who stop and search them. It has to be accepted that, despite Darcus' deficiencies in the parental responsibility department, S&S  is a significant cause for alienation of black and Asian youth.

Which leads on to the general distrust, dislike and even hatred of the Police. Middle class participants in demonstrations calling for peace and social justice have been sometimes disturbed at some police attitudes and actions. This happens to them maybe once or twice a year. Imagine what it is like to live immersed in an ongoing matrix of police contact.

One aspect of the rioters was their young age. Some appeared to be around the 14 year mark. Again, there may be many reasons for this, but one factor must be the student demonstrations of 2010. There is still massive resentment against the withdrawal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). The youngsters will have seen students a year or two above them on TV in demonstrations that police tactics helped to become violent, and they may well be living in families with older brothers who are unemployed.

Youth unemployment is an important component of disengagement and alienation. It is a feature of all the action in Arab Spring countries. Not that I am for a moment suggesting that these riots have any political component. One popular tweet from @MsLuluRose summed it up: The Youth of the Middle East rise up for basic freedoms.The Youth of London rise up for a HD ready 42" Plasma TV.

Confirmation of the unemployment factor comes from Dr Paul Bagguley of the University of Leeds, who researches the sociology of protest.He told Channel 4 News: "They did research in the riots in America in the 1960s and the only statistically significant thing was simply being availableThere's been a sense of watching a slow train crash ever since the credit crunch... people often have different reasons for rioting but one of the main factors sending them out was very simple: because they were doing nothing else" he said.

Unemployment provides availability. And anger.

Camilla Batmanghelidjh, the excellent worker with young people, authoritatively confirms the problem of alienation of young people. It crystallises out into gangsta culture, and it is the gangstas who seem to be providing the lead for the looting, using, so it seems, BBM, Blackberry Messaging, because of its closed communication system. Clearly Blackberry should be opening all of these accounts to the police.

The anger of the rioters has provoked anger in commentators. Calls on Twitter for the Army to be brought in were very common, and I was angrily condemned by @PolleeTickle for drawing attention to the fact that the Bullingdon Club (of which Dave Cameron and Boris Johnson were members) was heavily into criminal vandalism. However, unlike the youth of today, they were able to pay for their destructiveness in high denomination notes.

The positive stories to emerge from this sorry affair are where communities take responsibility for their own protection. Turkish communities united to keep the rioters out of their streets - demonstrating the power of community action. This, although welcome, is a double edged sword, since untrained vigilantes can be riotous in their defence of their own space.

Image below: Turkish residents in Dalston defending
 their streets from rioters. by Yassin

Here, too, is an amazing vid of a fearless black mother haranguing the rioters.

The other positive thing is the spontaneous community cleanup initiated by tweeter @riotcleanup.

The causes listed above are just a few of the many aspects that feed in to the systemic failure that has erupted in the current riots. I predict that since they do not have any specific political objective, they will subside in a few days or less.

If it is systemic failure, we now have to look at the system as a whole. Instead of being a cohesive, collaborative, healthily interactive system, the UK is a radically divided society, with immense disparities between the haves and the have-nots, the wealthy and the alienated. The riots are consistent with the thesis of Wilkinson and Pickett - that unequal societies are unhealthy societies.

The short term answer that will be rolled out is only too obvious: Clampdown. More police and possibly army on the streets, possibly a curfew, mass arrests, an increase in the prison population, leading to more resentment and more alienation.

The real long term answer is many headed, including real action to strengthen community cohesion, but the thing I would major on is radical reform to the benefit system, facilitating people's entry into work that is beneficial to environment and society, together with a restructuring of the economy aimed to produce convergence towards, rather than away from, a median income.

Systemic failure demands systemic reforms. 6 steps to preventing a repeat occurrence.

[this post has been updated]


Anonymous No. 6 said...

I feel that you want to believe the riots are about the things that upset you about society.

I fundamentally disagree. It's about a certain lifestyle adopted by sections of the community. It's the elephant in the room. It's not racist to say so, as many white kids are involved and they too talk like they're from Baltimore and dodging the feds and they're making parts of this country no go areas.

That's where the 'blame' lies. How to change it? I really don't know. I've taught kids like this and we have so little influence on them compared to their adopted 'culture' that they seem to resent being educated. It makes me worry for the future.

Richard Holmes said...

Thanx for the intel, from outside the London area looking in from the West Los Angeles area we figured it had to be a result of Alexander Mcqueen passing, Amy wihnehouse, and a bit of carry over for the whole faux of Will & Kate cause it gave the appearance that all UK citizens were following it has intently as we in the USA was, deep down i doubt any of the majority of the citizens there cared. With the Olympics set to kick off there in less than a year, it's amazing to see the public unrest. But good luck with that London, i shall be praying for ya.

DocRichard said...

Well, it's inevitable that everyone will try to pin it on things that upset them. That's why I tried to cast the net wide.

So it's a "certain lifestyle". I guess you mean welfare dependency. Which is the result of unemployment, which is the result of more people than jobs, combined with a daft benefits system which is withdrawn when you find work, which is rectified by the Green Wage Subsidy.

Richard, thanks for your interest. I hadn't thought of the Kate & Wills thing, but if I had I would probly have left it out...

Anonymous said...

Only racists will see race in this. The rioters are representative of Londons demographics. There are both black and White kids involved!

DocRichard said...

I know. Grateful for small mercies. But Darcus Howe was advancing S&S as a cause for disaffection of black (and by extension) Asian youth, and I think it must be one of the many factors that went to drive this whole thing to happen.

Anonymous said...

This is a simple demonstration of cannibalism and impunity by numbers. It´s a shame to see honest people loose their prperty to a bunch of hooligans.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight Rioting against police brutality has caused the public to believe the police should take a sterner approach?

Anonymous No. 6 said...

By a 'certain lifestyle' I didn't mean 'welfare dependency', I meant those youth that have taken on the American Gangsta subculture and revel in homophobia, misogyny, guns and violence. They truly are the first youth subculture with no redeeming features. How can 'society' change that. I've had them for six to seven hours a day in school and you make absolutely no difference to them at all

As for Darcus Howe, Chris Morris got him spot on (start at 1:00) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uyvrvPTP24

definitely a coco-shunter.

Anonymous No. 7 said...

@ Anonymous No6 - Your remarks are circular and wholly devoid of explanatory power. If you want to change things, you still need to answer why the 'certain lifestyle' is adopted. But you don't seem very interested in that, am I right?

I say the cause of riots is two-fold:
a- the alienation/'lifestyle' and b- the initially inadequate police response caused by trying to lie low, having just killed yet another person with their unaccountable and aggressive bully-boy tactics.

It's pipsy to fix this, if there is any political will for it whatsoever (which I doubt) - reform the police (and the useless IPCC) to stop the aggression, racism, incompetence, dishonesty, brutality and unaccountability, and reform social and economic policy to stop bashing the poorest while boosting the richest.

Anonymous said...

Mrs No. 7

I'm not sure I can explain it or if any of us can, or if there really is much of an explanation. We can make it fit our own baggage, but sometimes people are just plain nasty and vicious for the sake and thrill of it.

I don't buy the police angle and it doesn't explain the horrendous black on black violence that goes on day after day as part of these folks' retarded turf wars and disrectin' crap. Getting 'shit' from the 'feds' doesn't make you take up guns and kill members of your 'community'. If the MET left them alone it would be even more of a bloodbath. They hate the police because the police stop them breaking the law. The chap killed had an illegal firearm, posed making gun signs etc. I've never done either. Have you?

I, too, wish they could have just incapacitated him, but when it comes down to it and you're in that situation and you're shit scared, it's you or him. That policeman didn't get up that morning wanting to kill someone. Not sure why the other bloke was riding round with a gun? These small number of people are ruining life for the vast majority of decent people. I bet that 90% of their 'communities' would like shut of them too.

Why are they like it? I dunno. The Indians and Asians aren't. The Turks and Poles aren't. It's not a north / south thing. They went to the same schools, live in the same areas etc, so maybe it's down to the people and the way they choose to live? What if it were that simple?

DocRichard said...

I would just like to say that having a conversation with someone called Anonymous is a bit like having a conversation with someone in a hoodie. Or a burka.

DocRichard said...

And Anons 6&7: you are not that far apart, if we stick to calmness and mutual respect.

A6 deserves listening to, because s/he has experience. It is sad that you have ended up feeling that these gansta kids are irredeemable, that it is something in their nature. I don't think this is wholly, since there are examples of individuals who have escaped and are now useful members of society.

Politicians need to learn how to widen the holes they found in the hedge to escape - and how to change the circumstances that lead to gang culture in the first place.

A7: yes we need to change the police culture, but again, that is just one factor among many. Which is the point of the original post. We are looking at a dysfunctional system here, a disordered ecology. This is what green politics is about - looking at the total picture, not one aspect of it.

Many things need changing, from community strengthening to correcting the divergence within the UK and global economy.

Thanks for all comments. I personally am finding this all very helpful, thanks. I'm updating the original post as we go.

PS Anon: " Rioting against police brutality has caused the public to believe the police should take a sterner approach?"
Yes, you got it. Mad, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes violence is the fastest way 2 bring pertinent issues 2 the awareness of the government,but @ this point 'enuf is enuf' let all d energy be redirected to sometime constructive.

DocRichard said...

Agreed. This is a problem with the media. If we have a peaceful demonstration, it gets ignored. If the demonstration turns violent, it gets plenty of coverage. The media have a responsibility in this.

Depressed beyond tablets said...

"let all d energy be redirected to sometime constructive."

A 'community' clean-up wud b a start. Innit.

Anonymous said...

Gang culture - surely is based on and around drugs and guns - now why are so many people in gangs and drugs and guns in areas of deprivation and low employment. Just a slim possibility as any other working class person will tell you , that it is a result of boredom and poverty combined with not many other ways of being (self) employed and able to earn more than a pittance in a world which otherwise doesn't care.
If you grow up in the inner city, there's only two ways to escape - in a prison van or a body bag.

Anonymous No.6 said...

"Just a slim possibility as any other working class person will tell you , that it is a result of boredom and poverty combined with not many other ways of being (self) employed and able to earn more than a pittance in a world which otherwise doesn't care"

As someone from a mining family, my mates and I left school in the mid-80s and were all on the dole for a long time and had bugger all money. We read books, educated ourselves, played a lot football and had some fun. Many of us ended up at university and I now teach, however, some have been addicted to drugs for a long time and a few people from my town died as a result. And I only had a mother as my father died. None of us ever hurt anyone else or became criminals. Why is inner city black culture so different? Can we find out? Will it make any difference if we do? Will it ever change? Rather depressingly I think not. There is something there very deeply rooted and very, very wrong and very, very, very difficult to change in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I would go back to the section where the author talked about consumerism, celebrity standard setting, advertising and the new technological gadgets drive and a lack of oppotunities to earn enough to reach these standards is the primary cause.

Your media and entertainment industry are also a driver of violence. Look at the films and video games youth plays and enjoys today. This is not only a systemic failure. This is primarily a failure of culture, mind set and mentality that created the system.

Kiwiguy said...

1. They need to amend their immigration policies to avoid adding to the existing underclass. The importation of large numbers from relatively high crime populations was never a good idea and people did warn about it but got shouted down by politically correct ideologues.

2. Make welfare conditional on using contraception.

DocRichard said...

"As someone from a mining family, &c"

Anon6: We are talking about groups here, not individuals. The riot itself was a group mentality. You cannot argue from an individual experience and generalise it to the group. Indeed, you point to others in your group who went on drugs. I would guess that their parenting was worse than yours (despite having sadly lost your father), and that they had traumas of some kind or another. My experience of treating addicts is that they have usually been abused in some way. But my experience is tiny, and the only certain way is to look up the papers interviewing 1000s, not the tens that I have treated.

You raise a huge q re afrocaribbean social problems. Again, multifactorial, but I would be inclined to put high unemployment over successive generations high on the list. I don't care if there are other problems: unemployment is something we can address through the GWS.

"Why is inner city black culture so different? ...Will it ever change? Rather depressingly I think not."

If you think there's nothing can be done, fine. But why try to persuade those who are trying to find a solution, to move things forward? What good will it do if you persuade us all to join you in pessimistic anomie?

Am I certain of what will help? No, just reasonably confident. Are you certain of your conclusion that nothing can be done? I guess not, because you are an intelligent man or woman.

Sorry if I sound a bit sharp, but this is partly due to addressing Anons, which, as I said before, is like addressing someone in a hoodie or a burka. And partly because I am thinking, "If you can't help, at least try not to hinder."

DocRichard said...

"Your media and entertainment industry are also a driver of violence."

Thanks for picking that up. I did that as part of my book. Go here: http://www.greenhealth.org.uk/BoHmediaImp.htm

Whole piece on what you just said.
Even tries to suggest remedies.


DocRichard said...


Thanks for having a name.
You must be aware that you are living in a glass house, so i'll let that pass. And others may want to point out that this was one multi-racial riot.

I have a bunch of stuff on population here:

Briefly, anyone concerned about immigration should be concerned about the causes of immigration.

Usually, they are not, because immigration is an issue for the Mail, whereas the causes (war, torture, oppression, climate change is not an issue).

I feel the argument that immigrants help the economy by doing crap jobs is just kicking the can down the road, because immigrants get old too.

Immigration IS a problem, if only for the reason that it pumps up the BNP/EDL balloon.

Lulu Rose said...

Thank you for featuring me in your blog. Luv Ms Lulu Rose xxx

DocRichard said...

Lulu Rose! MsLuluRose!
I'm smitten to my very toes
To find the Queen of Brevity
Who got the riots in one-four-ty
Should visit this my humble blog -
And offer thanks! I'm just a cog
turning in this vast machine.
You are the Best! You are the Queen!

larchie said...

It occurred to me today that in fact the riots are essentially a pro capitalist demonstration, defending the system that helps to keep the looters at the margins. If they had gone in and burned shops down as a rejection of that way of living, I might have had more respect in a way. In fact, by grabbing what they could they validate their situation. Most of the people I saw being spoken to on TV (obviously carefully selected) that were involved were as thick as shit to be honest, and probably couldn't answer the question of why in any meaningful way. They are a large social group, and I have been saying for years that if they could be mobilized in any significant way to work together rather than want to kill eachother, the government would have a real problem on their hands. I also think we've had a taste of it this past week, and unless we find a way through this will become a very dangerous place to live.

DocRichard said...

Burning the property of a family that has worked for years to make is work is wrong. Unacceptable. Murderous even - it's very lucky no-one was burned to death. Everyone needs to think things through. Burning is not, repeat not, the way.

Sure, as MsLuluBelle said, robbing TVs &c is pathetic, consumerist worthless, and wrong.

You're right in saying there is more of this waiting for us down the line, unless things change radically in the direction of fairness Loads of people are commenting that the banksters did worse harm to the UK economy than the riots did. Bankers did not break windows, kill and burn, but they cost us a lot of money, and they have not been punished or regulated meaningfully in any significant way.

The change we need can be brought about if everyone stands up for it. Problem is, people don't know what they want.

I believe they want/need jobs, help with parenting, youth clubs, mentors, work, community spaces, community workers, jobs that help community & environment, alternatives to gang culture, and places where their voices can be heard.

This costs money. How do we get money for it? Tax the rich. How do we do that? close tax loopholes and tax havens. How do we do that?
International agreement at the G20>

You got any additional ideas?

larchie said...

docrichard, I never condoned the burning of property that people have worked hard for, I was merely saying that I sympathise with these people but wish they had risen up for a worthwhile cause, rather than in perverse support of a failing system.

I can't believe that in a modern world, with automation and streamlining, that work is something that any of us need to do, certainly not to make ends meet or put food on the table. The distribution of wealth in the world is far from even, and while you can argue that the rich have generally worked hard for it (or their fathers did), I agree that it isn't fair that some people have so much while others have so little.

I think that having a job as such should have less to do with money and more to do with a sense of value and self worth. Contributing to a dying culture isn't of value in my opinion, and perpetuating an endless cycle of debt isn't going to make things better. You can't dig yourself out of a hole so they say. Our attachment to money and products will eventually destroy us.

Helping with parenting is a very interesting idea. To draw a parallel, when pack animals like dogs feel they are the alpha in a group of humans, they can become aggressive and dangerous. It is the stress of being responsible that causes it I believe, when they are ill equipped to be in that role. I wonder if some of these parents are in a similar position, and would benefit from parental mentoring, where by they were no longer in control of their family unit, but deferred to another. This is a generation - the first generation - that knows no better. These kids out there looting have parents that can't give them what they need, in terms of a moral compass and a sense of right and wrong.

The voices of this generation will never be heard. They are unrepresented at every meaningful level, and that will never change. Trying to win votes by promising them things they should already have is a cheap attempt at inclusion, but in reality, noone cares about them beyond their ability or inability to pay their taxes and leave the rest of us alone, and they know it.

In reality, someone or some group will have to rise up to overturn things. It won't happen on it's own, and it will need to be those that have least to lose. It won't be pleasant, but it might be better in the end than what we have.

Anonymous said...

No better explanation this Kate Tempest's Cannibal Kids http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUEsihgq8zU

DocRichard said...

I wrote about work in my book, Bills of Health.
Surprisingly, work is rated as one of the key causes of happiness and health. It does, as you say, have to do with self-esteem &c as well as money. Obvs there are causes of unhappiness there too, as I know only too well having helped people with work-related stress problems.

There are a few approaches to work here:

But the key thing lies in your pessimism. "Our attachment to money and products will eventually destroy us." "The voices of this generation will never be heard. "

I often feel the draw of pessimism, but i have chosen to be optimistic, because if I go the other way, I become depressed and contribute nothing. There are always reasonable ways out of the almost totally irrational system that prevails. If enough people start calling for reasonable solutions, they will happen. If only a few call for reason, and the majority stand on the sidelines telling us we'll never succeed, nothing will happen. It's a choice for everyone.

larchie said...

Interesting points, but I don't really agree. I am not sure I am being pessimistic necessarily, just realistic. As I learn more and more about economics and the cycle of money, the more I understand that the value of it lies not in having it, but in some having it and some not. To this end, we will always have impoverished underclasses, or how would we know we were rich?

The products these looters were grabbing are not valuable - If I want a flat screen tv or a dvd player etc, they can be bought for relatively little these days. The problem lies more in our desire to have them, at any cost. There is enormous anxiety among the youth of today, despite their bravado and aggression. The need to belong and to fit in to a group is very strong, especially among those with no tight knit family units, and they will make sure they have the latest this or that, not because of the intrinsic value of the object itself, but because of peer pressure and social stigma.

It annoys the working people to see the youth of today dripping with new clothes and trainers and electronics, but we musn't forget that these things come cheap.

And the voices of these people? At what point will we see business meetings or political debates chaired by a man or woman with the language skills we see on the streets today? What people in middle england will ever vote in someone or listen seriously to a generation who are speaking a fundamentally different language? As fast as one side is breeding new tory boys or future labour leaders, the other are producing the illiterate and ill educated, because it's all the know how to do. Is it pessimistic to say that they won't be meeting at the hustings? I would like to see proper representation of this class, so we can hear from them exactly what they need to function properly in society. Is it pessimistic to think that this cannot happen with a political system built around the privileged and wealthy? Why would they let them in, when keeping them out is so easy?

I am looking for solutions, but I sometimes wonder if optimism will keep us barking up the wrong trees forever. You can call me a pessimist if you like, but that doesn't mean i'm wrong.

DocRichard said...

OK Larchie, not pessimistic. Deterministic.

"they won't be meeting at the hustings?"
" this cannot happen with a political system built around the privileged and wealthy?"
"Our attachment to money and products will eventually destroy us." "The voices of this generation will never be heard. "

These are put forward as statements of fact.

The Green party is trying to do this:
Bring people together at hustings?"
Build a political system that is NOT built around the privileged and wealthy
Break our attachment to money and products that will eventually destroy us.
Make the voices of this generation be heard.

I have encountered many times our natural supporters who say they will not vote for us because we will never be successful. If they did, we would.

I fully understand your despair. In fact I am experiencing it myself today, in the punitive response the Government and tabloids are rolling out through the magistrates' Courts. I'm going to deal with it by diverting to real life - garden, walk, and then brushing off and refurbishing my decision to continue to look for rational solutions to the nexus of irrationally-caused problems that our species faces.

Thanks for your comments. IN understanding each other, we are helping in a tiny way for all humans to gain understanding of each other.

Biggles said...

The root cause of the lawlessness behind the recent rioting is the breakdown of institutions such as the traditional two-parent family and the undermining of respect for authority in general and authority figures such as teachers and the police in particular. It has also been a result of the welfare culture that like the other two things, has been promoted by the New Labour governments that were in power for 13 years, while this generation of feral youngsters was growing up. I should also mention that it is obvious, although politically incorrect to do so, that the by far majority of rioters and looters, in which ever town or city, were of Afro-Caribbean origin. Perhaps the Afro-Caribbean community of this country should stop seeing themselves as victims who have some unexplained sense of entitlement and make some useful contribution to society, like the Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, not to mention the Chinese population.


DocRichard said...

"The" root cause..."
There is no one single root cause. We live in a socio-economic system, and we have to look at the problem in systemic terms, as the post says.

I address parenting in the subsequent post here:http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-can-we-prevent-recurrence-of-2011.html

As for respect: respect has to be earned. Authority is widely up to its ears in wrongdoing: bankers, politicans (expenses), newspapers (News International), and police (Ian Tomlinson &c).

They need to get their own house in order.

As for Afro-carribeans, they have a long long history of unemployment in this country. I remember it being a problem in the 70s. So instead of issuing easy, general condemnations of attitude, let's do something practical about providing work for people of all skin colour.

DocRichard said...

Hi Tabitha

Welcome to the Mabinogogiblog, and many thanks for your powerful contribution.

You are speaking from personal experience, and supporting the inherent power and dignity of the human. We can overcome all kinds of adversity. Nobody is irredeemable. I like that.

It is the job of politicians to create an economic framework that will enable communities to sort themselves out. The present system is demonstrating a massive fail in this area. There are real, practical steps that we can take to transform the situation. But it involves demanding that Parliament takes action. And that involves the mass of the people coming together around one idea. With the Arab Spring, it is "The Dictator Must Go"".

UK society is still formulating the central demand, but I think it is something around
"Don't Axe the Poor, Tax the Rich".