Now that the riots have calmed, and the papers and newscasters have left the subject behind, I have some questions about it all.
I have listened to the Prime Minister and various Politicians all talking about the fact that this was just gang culture, it is robbery, and that is it. I did hear a couple of people asking what the causes are of what is going on. But not a lot of comments were coming back on that score. Some have cited cuts and closures but I would like to ask some other questions and I think my questions just might touch on causes.
The last government spent a large amount of money on trying to cut down underage and very young age pregnancies. They failed, the figures went up.
Question one: How many of our rioters come from very young mothers who really are possibly only children themselves?
We have terrible figures for marriage breakdowns, I note that the prime minister said, lots of the rioters have come from dysfunctional families, maybe, and if so…
Question two: What make those families dysfunctional?
I noted that the Education Minister was saying that it isn’t education that is to blame.
Question Three: If you are taught that you are just a machine, or a collection of genes that all arrived by accident, is there really any need to take responsibility for my actions? Just asking.
Question Four: Jim Wallis in his book Why the American Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it - states that a budget is a moral document, is he right?
Question Five: And talking of Morals, where do they come from? Are they truly there, and if so can we talk about them? Is there a law giver and ultimate judge? Can I make my own mind up as to what is right and wrong? And if I should decide that looting is right who is to say I am wrong?
One young lady with a tee shirt covering her face when asked by a reporter,”How do you feel about robbery, do you feel good about what you have just done?” Replied, I’m only getting some of my taxes back!”
Question Six: Many have said, these rioters have nothing to lose, maybe they haven’t if they are just machines in an accidental universe, which is what they have been ‘educated’ to believe. Are they right?
Just in case you think I live in an ivory tower, I actually live in Wood Green, many of my family live in Tottenham, I am white, but personal friends who are black had to take their small child and run from their flat just above the first carpet shop that went up in flames in Tottenham!
Also I am involved in trying to help NEET young people (Not in Education Employment or Training) and its true that many of them have given up on themselves, do not know where they fit in, or feel they do have not stake in society and nothing to contribute. Not knowing that God loves them and regards them as highly valuable, and has purpose for their lives.
Question Seven: All the politicians and police have talked about the fact that this is gang related. I meet some of the gang youngsters who are afraid to go out of their post code in case they get attacked because they are in the wrong place. Our training centre is in the wrong place for some of them and we have had to give them rides to and fro so they can improve their education. But here is the question, why are they in those gangs? Is it because their family is dysfunctional and family life is not there and so they need to belong, they need a family even if that family is a gang?
Question Eight: Is it my imagination or am I right in thinking that if you talk about right and wrong, or dare I say Evil and Good, or worse still Sin, then the PC crowd and government is on it like a ton of bricks, telling you, ‘No its just behavioural; and you should not talk in those terms!’
Question Nine: Dr Donald Howard an American Educationalist said that discipline is not something you do TO someone; it is actually something you do FOR someone. Am I right in thinking that this is now out of fashion, discipline that is, and very un PC?
Question Ten: Do we need to find a purpose in life, do we need to look for a lawgiver, is it possible that even though our families are dysfunctional there is a family that wants to include us, and bring us into responsible relationship?
I look forward to your comments.
Edit: Technicolour Text
11th August 2011