Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Putting the world to riots

In the aftermath of the riots, assuming we are in a post-math situation (fingers crossed), there is more food for thought on the causes and the solutions of the events that have happened in English cities over the last few days. I say English, but as we see, it's spread to Edinburgh...

These are some more things I've found interesting:

Katherine Birbalsingh piece on Telegraph blog: "No wonder these kids think stealing trainers is OK. Everyone makes excuses for them". Having worked regularly in inner-city schools in London and elsewhere, I recognise a lot of what she says. There are children given little guidance, few examples, and no discipline, and it is very hard to educate that into them if it doesn't come from home, and if schools are not given the ability to help. Birbalsingh did actually teach for 10 years and speaks from experience, though her conclusions have more of a knee-jerk right wing tone to them than some commentators like. Worth reading before reaching your own judgement.

KB's take is countered by Zoe Williams in The Guardian on the psychology of the looters. Inconclusive, but I agree that it is better to look at these people and start to ask deep and searching questions before we leap to our conclusions.

Very well reasoned argument by Dorian Lynskey: How the left needs to fight the post-riot argument.

Similarly well balanced and insightful piece by Aditya Chakrabortty in the Guardian: UK riots: political classes see what they want to see

Via @DougSanders, London riot sites plotted on London social-deprivation map. Extremely telling.

An Open Letter To David Cameron's Parents by Nathaniel Tapley is simply very funny and makes good points. "As a young man, he was in a gang that regularly smashed up private property. We know that you were absent parents who left your child to be brought up by a school rather than taking responsibility for his behaviour yourselves...."

Here is the most noble speech of the riots. Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed in Birmingham riot: "I lost my son. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home". BBC Clip.

And here we see the "Bristol Riot"

Well, I say riot. It's more like work-experience ram-raiding. Encouraged by the sort of idiot like this Twitterer @meaningsoflife who wrote: "bristol riot planned for 4pm at cabot circus!!!! uk revolution, fight back". Looking at his Twitter photo he should be quite easy for the police to find. He wears headphones and is allowed out after bedtime.

For contrast, here's a photo of the Bristol Riots. From 1932.

Bristol riots. February 23, 1932. Plus ça change. Hat-tip @Ms... on Twitpic

Plus ca change. If I find more, I'll add it to the blog.

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