Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The day after the night before

I don't know what to say.. I know the inner cities are tough places to live. I know there are serious gang and drug issues that young people have to deal with. I know jobs are scarce for them and benefits are being cut and housing isn't always great... but that doesn't justify this shit.

Anything I am seeing on the news and youtube videos (yes they are dumb enough to record themselves looting) is showing a bunch of thugs with no concern for anyone but themselves. With no values or morals or any concept of right and wrong.

They also seem to have no fear of the consequences of their actions.

I grew up in the same inner city. I used to live a few hundred yards from where the bus was burning in Peckham and my first job was on Rye Lane near where one of the buildings was on fire. I had a lot less on a daily basis then these thugs, we didn't even have a landline in the house or a colour telly until I was a teenager. My Mum was a single parent of me and four stepchildren from my Dads first marriage. She lived hand to mouth for years and struggled desparately with my brothers behaviour.

I know that not all parents can control their kids so I don't think we can just blame the parents. Even good parents have difficult kids.

But I also know that you don't have to turn out like that. I didn't and nor have the majority of people living there then and the majority of them living there now.

There are a whole generation now of teenagers who are having their futures stolen as surely as the thugs are looting playstations. It will mean that when those who want them apply for jobs the employers will be looking at them wondering - were you one of them? The chances are they will employ someone else.

I worked in a major supermarket in Peckham and then at 19 got a job at headoffice. For the first six months every time I was introduced to someone new and they asked what store I came from, Peckham created a reaction. It was always in jest, but they never did it to anyone else. This was back in the late 80s, would that opportunity be available to me if I was 19 today? I doubt it.

I don't know what the solution is, or even if there really is one but I know something has to change and I don't think it is all about the money being spent or about being touchy feeling.

At the end of the day, no matter how badly off these people are, they have homes, heating, fresh water, indoor toilets, access to schooling free to the age of 18, free healthcare to the age of 18 and enough benefits to feed themselves. How small a percentage of humans throughout history have had all that? How few alive today have that? Why isn't it enough?


Shay said...

I dont know what's going on with the people who are looting and burning.I do know the mob mentality takes over but surely there are people who are standing up and not participating in all of this and it's the minority doing the wrong thing?

Thought provoking post Shevvy.

Helsie said...

Awful vision coming our way and I am amazed as you are. I think it's time that all the others - the good people - started showing their faces so the rest of the world can see this is a minority. I hope you can all get out there - SAFELY - SOON- and represent the real England!

Marg said...

I just can't imagine how horrible it must be. It's so sad to see such young children participating in these acts. I read a report that the residents were coming out and banding together in cleaning up their areas, although none of that has been shown on tv as they are focusing on the negative side. At least some people are community minded, and that shows the kind of spirit that is needed rather than the sheer thuggery of these individuals.
I do so hope that they will all suffer the consequences of their actions, and that the legal system will be able to deal with these thugs in an appropriate way.
I agree, a very thought provoking post.