Swiss Tony wrote:
Poverty of education, poverty of opportunity, poverty of sympathy. These kids are constaly being sold to, the advertising is the only thing that gets through, hence the brand awareness.
Yeah I would say that media/celebrity/marketing and capitalist culture has more to do with these riots/looting than the particular failings of any given government.
i would say that these are large parts of the problem, plus massive and increasingly visible inequality (see also media/celebrity), whilst austerity measures/recession/unemployment are definitely feeding into the mix too.
and i think to look at one aspect (i.e. mindless thugs) without taking the others (background situations) into account is lazy and a bit of a cop out. but it's what most politicians seem to want to do. Because yes, these riots were pure greed and good old fashioned english hooliganism perpetrated by a wankerish minority. But the wanker thugs didn't just appear, fully formed, 10 days ago ready to cause havoc. They were there last year and 5 years ago and 10 years ago - but we didn't have riots and looting until this year. So I think we have to acknowledge that certain social conditions maybe have nudged these unstable groups over the edge into violence and theft. It doesn't excuse it, but understanding it might help us avoid the same again in the future. Curfews and water cannons are simply reactive - prevention is better than cure etc etc.
On the street outside my studio there have now been 3 riots in 4 months (after only one in thirty years) - it has to be more than simple coincidence. I suspect it's not entirely unrelated to the big increase this year in stabbings and shootings in my area too (which happens to be one of the most deprived areas in the SW)
Also very uncomfortable about Wandsworth Council evicting the family of the looting child. That's the kind of thing we used to condemn the USSR for 50 years ago - I don't think it's the kind of thing a civilised society should be resorting to