So, children are doing our dirty work . . . student riots 0f 2011

If you were to ask any one of those teenage rioters “why”, it’s likely they would have difficulty finding a specific, comprehensible response.  However, it’s without question they feel something is deeply wrong with life in Britain today.  That’s all, nothing else and what’s more, they don’t pretend to have any answers.

It should also be obvious to the average politician that whatever answers there may be are not to be found in trite soundbites and mindless condemnation.  I’m sad to say politicians of every colour over the last twenty years or so have created more problems than they’ve solved.  It’s sensible to assume the current crowd will continue the tradition by making a sorry and overly complicated mess of any policy they inflict upon us even those cobbled together in a knee-jerk reaction to the current bout of ostensibly peaceful protest. Well, peaceful until the Police get involved anyway.

What we all know is that British society has been riddled with inequality, prejudice and raw poverty for too long and unless there is real engagement at the grass roots of all strata of society, the ramifications for the citizens of this country will be immeasurable.

Tired to the bone, and dejected, nevertheless I proffer a few suggestions why anger begins to boil.

|| We feel politician’s indifference when they blithely take away our livelihoods, homes, education and support.   || We are tired of the irresponsibility of those who judge us.  || We are sick of working ourselves to the bone and still being poor.  || We are fed up being forced to live how they want us to but without any meaningful boundaries or rules.  || Our society is dysfunctional but not because of us; most of us are the product of this dysfunctional society.  || We are ashamed of our helplessness to defend communities against erosion by the Authorities.  || It’s debasing to be told they “allow” us to live here when we always believed it’s our right to do so.  || We’re sick of having to prove our right to welfare and healthcare which is often disallowed without warning or reason by people who have nothing whatsoever to do with us and who are rich enough not to need them.  || We’re fed up the rich are untouchable.  || We’re sick of being sacrificed because some people are too big and powerful to be allowed to fail.  || We are angry our children are forced to strive for someone else’s ambition.  || We’re sick of work being held up as a universal moral.  We are commanded to accept any kind of job without question, whether or not it’s fulfilling or provides enough for our families to live on.  || We’re sick of pledges meaning absolutely nothing.  || We’re disgusted that a million people who marched for peace were ignored and our youngsters were sent to war anyway.  || We’re ashamed this country is one of the first to have the dream of democracy destroyed.  || We’re disgusted so many of us are forced to fight the system simply to survive.  || We’re sick of lies and never being allowed to make up our own minds.  || We’re fed up being constantly reminded that our contribution is irrelevant.  || I’m ashamed that even one of our children should be made to feel they have to riot just to be heard.

To my mind equality, well-being and a belief in mutual support are the only true measures of a successfully functioning society.

It’s all very well me venting my spleen all over the place but, what do you think?


© Rivenrod 2011 ~ mixed media


  1. RR, I agree completely with what you say here. Change the country to the US, and the clear reasoning in your words still echoes powerfully with truth.

    I was very weary when I commented on Single Malt Monkey’s blogpost on these riots, but I said this:

    ” “…the situation of being in the company of other people…” In my dictionary, this is the third definition of the word, society. That it’s third is a shame, because it’s the definition I always think of first. That may be why I think the systematic devaluation of empathy (by the corporate culture that holds so much of the money and power) plays a large part of what’s been going wrong all over. Even when we teach our children all the values that are driven by empathy– there’s still corporate big business, the government, and the places where we expect them to eventually make money for their daily bread, that tell them how much the powers that be actually believe the world turns otherwise. They blow mountains up into rubble, poison fresh water, mistreat workers, and teach our children to be cutthroat salesmen when they enter the work world.

    I don’t believe that violence can ever change things for the better. But neither will ignoring the truth about society. I want us all to be peaceful, respectful, professional and use legal channels, too. But really, where are we shown that that will make a difference? I think we need a third option that’s based in the real truth about how people feel and how they learn.”

    I think my comment was a sort of truncated way of saying what you detailed much more eloquently, but to the point, here. I’m glad you found the energy to get it out.


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