Riots, a truly classless problem

Am I the only one beginning to see evidence emerging that proves we are indeed living in a society that, if not actually broken, has certainly lost its moral compass.

Commentators, politicians and social activists have all been trying to identify a well defined group of criminals as being responsible for the recent riots. As well as being feral and disaffected, these people are supposedly lacking in hope and are forced in to their extreme responses because of their frustrations with a society that has abandoned them. This has lead many to become outright criminals.

However, a quick scan of the details of those who have been through the courts, reveals a much more disturbing fact. Not only are many of those currently bailed or sentenced in gainful employment, a number are very well educated and some were about to embark on productive careers.

If you can’t pin loutish, anti-social, or even criminal behaviour on a disadvantaged background, then you have found yourself a completely new can of worms to open. The Government now has to examine the whole spectrum of our society. It needs to identify how we have distrorted the morals of those involved in theses riots to the extent that, no matter what their backgrounds, they felt that it was, if not okay to do what they did, it was certainly worth the risk.

If it was just a case of reconnecting us all with our lost respect for authority and in particular the law, then that would be easy. More police on the streets, a zero tolerance approach to low level crime and a crime and punishment system that isn’t paralyised by political correctness of the liberal left and the extremes of the Human Rights Act. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it is anywhere near as simple as that and that what we are dealing with is a state of mind that many of those in charge and over the age of 50 might have difficulty getting their heads around. Why over 50? Well, I think the rot set in the late 60’s, started in our schools and has been reinforced by numerous political decisions and social changes since then.

When my father was alive and something about kids behaving badly was reported in the papers, or came on the TV, one of his favoured comments was, ‘what we need is another bl***ing war, that’ll give ’em something else to think about!’. Given his experiences in WW2, that was a bit extreme to say the least, but I could see where he was coming from. The consumer and celebrity obsessed society we have allowed to develop in this country, has distorted the attitudes of recent generations to what is important and to their place in the world. I fear it will take much more than a few years of David Cameron’s Big Society to fix it – I just hope it doesn’t take another war.

Good luck Bill

Perhaps the police should take the opportunity presented by David Cameron’s invitation to Bill Bratton, to assist him in producing the evidence needed to make their case for them.

The police are telling the Prime Minister that the cuts are wrong, whilst others are saying that the police’s hands are tied by red tape and political correctness. If the politicians insist on continuing to ignore their own police officers and the public, why not allow an outsider, in the form of Bill Bratton, to come in and put the politicians straight?

I have little doubt that, after a very short time in the job, the American super-cop will be singing from the same hymn sheet as everyone but, the politicians. News reports are already highlighting the fact that much of Bill Bratton’s success in New York and LA, came from increasing significantly the numbers of cops on the ground, so this is the first issue he will be out of step with the politicans on. These increased police numbers were then used to apply a zero tolerance policy, that saw even the smallest of infringements met with the full force of the law and this is another area of potential conflict.

As long as we continue to allow the straightjacket of political correctness to paralyise the thought processes of senior police officers, any attempt at a zero tolerance approach is likely to be equally paralyised. The final reality check for super-cop will be our courts slavish adherence to the Human Rights Act, that seems to allow so many criminals off the hook in someway or another. Good luck Bill, you’ll need it!