BBC Three
« Previous | Main | Next »

The riots debate - how can they be prevented?

Post categories:

Sam Naz Sam Naz | 15:40 UK time, Friday, 12 August 2011

This week, we've arguably seen the most unrest in this country in 30 years. Four nights of rioting and looting; more than 1,000 people arrested; millions of pounds worth of damage to shops, businesses, homes and cars; and courts open around the clock.

The scale of the trouble in towns and cities across England this week has left the nation reeling. As shocked communities begin to pick up the pieces, we'll be discussing the crisis in a special RIOTS: Young Voters' Question Time on BBC Three tonight at 8.30pm.

Burnt car

The first riots began on Saturday night in Tottenham, north London, following a peaceful protest over the police shooting of Mark Duggan. However, the trouble soon spread across the capital and to other parts of England, in what police called copycat incidents - Manchester, Salford, Nottingham and Wolverhampton were among those affected. But on Wednesday, the spotlight fell on Birmingham where three men were killed in a hit and run.

As the heavy police presence helps restore order to England's towns and cities, the debate has begun into what caused the widespread riots and looting - and how future trouble can be prevented.

Riot police. Photograph by DELLISS PHOTOGRAPHY

Here are some of the main arguments:

David Cameron has called parts of Britain "sick" and blamed "mindless selfishness". The prime minister believes this is a moral problem and has pledged tougher penalties. He says he wants to see better parenting and more discipline in schools.

Gap between the rich and the poor
A number of campaigners have linked the recent trouble to the widening gap between the rich and poor. There are warnings that rising university tuition fees and the scrapping of the education maintenance allowance (EMA) will create a "lost generation". The Save EMA campaign argues the abolition of schemes like EMA and further cuts to youth services need to be reconsidered.

Get rich quick culture
Head teachers' leader Brian Lightman thinks it's down to a mixture of poor parenting and consumer culture. He believes young people are often given the impression they can be "rich and famous without doing any work" and says parents need to set boundaries for their children - giving them a sense of right and wrong.

"Ignored underclass"
For Kids Company, which works with vulnerable inner city children, the problem runs deep into society. Founder Camila Batmanghelidjh argues there's a "completely ignored underclass" who get no help or support. She says they need better role models within communities and their voices must be heard in the wider society.

Riot officer

So, where does the responsibility lie and how can we stop similar rioting and looting from happening again? Let us know what you think.

You can watch RIOTS: Young Voters' Question Time presented by Richard Bacon live on BBC Three tonight at 8.30pm. The panellists are: Shaun Bailey of the youth charity My Generation, Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasey, Kidulthood and Anuvahood director Adam Deacon and Sheldon Thomas from Gangsline. Join the debate online during the show - don't forget to include #YVQT in your tweets.

Find out more about the disturbances across England through BBC News: England riots.

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three.


  • Comment number 1.

    Effective public order policing and deterrent sentences. If nothing else it will make these idiots think twice before trying this again.

  • Comment number 2.

    Could some of the young offenders be sent to help with the famine in Africa or help more needy people. Possible be sent to army camps. They may learn something. Their sentences could be shortened if they agree to partcipitate.

  • Comment number 3.

    Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales reported NO riots.
    Same country - NO riots.
    How come?
    Check it out.

  • Comment number 4.

    From what I have seen, the major problem of the riots seen on video/TV has been that perpetrators of criminal acts have had their faces covered in a public place which makes identification in the courts difficult, even if they can subsequenntly be apprehended. Can the government not introduce legislation which makes it a criminal offence to cover your face in public and hence allow at least an arrest on that basis even if no other criminal offence can be proved. The legislation could be worded to protect those who legitimately need to cover their face in public i.e bandaged for proven medical reasons or religiously mandated or other(?).

  • Comment number 5.

    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori (It is a great and wonderful thing to die for your country)
    Wilfred Owen
    Almost One hundred years ago
    Almost One hundred years later our young people are being told they can be what they want to be and they believe this, they think they are going to win the xfactor or Britains got talent and make a fortune, they believe they can have what they want right now, they have no understanding of reality, equality does not exist and never will. We need to stop feeding this lie to young people, stick in get an education and you will do well, rubbish, it may put you infront of the ones without an education but young people are leaving university up to their neck in debt with no chance of getting a job unless they are prepared to move abroad. Just as a generation was lost to a lie during the great war, so another generation is lost to another lie

  • Comment number 6.

    Effective deterrents are definitely an issue, though merely incarcerating vast swathes of people will do little to change their view of society, law and order or their surroundings and the value associated with them. Community service, whereby these people are required to give something back to their communities they have taken from, where clear consequences for actions can be physically seen instead of being written on paper or read to them, and where the impacts of their actions on both their own and other peoples' lives can be seen, would be preferable.

  • Comment number 7.

    Minors do not fear the Courts, as they know punishment will be light.
    They need to feel the fear of injury from police or army in order to discourage them.
    Evicting them and their families from social housing is a brilliant idea - it might work. I think if one minor was badly injured by a rubber bullet or water cannon others would think twice.

    Poverty is a silly excuse, as the majority of poor minors do not riot. And many who rioted have jobs!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Its a shame they cant broadcast the scum in the court-rooms on TV and let the whole UK see them.

  • Comment number 9.

    I believe a lot of breakdown in society started with the conservative government privatising all the nationalised industries ,there were jobs for everybody in all different levels of skills ,these industries created strong communities the people working in these communities not only worked together but socialised together and sorted out there own problems in the comunity.Now both labour and conservative have leaders who have been born with a silver spoon in there mouth and just dont no how the majority of people strugle to live and have created the rich and poor. bring back nationalised industries and bring back pride in england

  • Comment number 10.

    Just seen footage of an interview on another news channel showing four youths from Lewisham(allegedly) who all admitted looting and/or rioting recently.They didn't have a brain cell between them,but expected to get a job as they'd handed their CVs in to various employers without any success and felt that looting was payback.
    I was disappointed that the interviewer did not challenge them by stating that numerous people manage to extract themselves from the poorer areas and make good and that in this country nobody starves.
    News footage from all channels appears to show that the majority of perpetrators of these offences are black.I can only assume that the majority of the black community are horrified that this is the case,which can only reflect negatively on them

  • Comment number 11.

    Decades of a liberal culture, whereby any behaviour is excused or reasoned away. Parents can't or won't instil discipline.

    The police take action only as a last resort and the judiciary hand out risible sentences. Thuggishness is applauded and good deeds mocked.

    Sadly, I predict that when recent events become a distant memory that the tough and robust (how many times have I heard that one) rhetoric will prove to be the usual piffle.

    Normal service i.e. soft policing and soft sentencing will be resumed.

  • Comment number 12.

    Cameron's comments just prove how out of touch he is, by definition and by upbringing, so I guess "he deserves a chance" ? There is no sense of belonging because if society doesn't care the people don't care, so that means in Cameron's comfortable Britain, those who are outcasts from society rely on the family as their source of where are the role models and the support systems for that??? I am glad I live in Germany.

  • Comment number 13.

    Keep Camila Batmanghelidjh OFF OF THE T.V. !!!

    I am white, live in happily Brixton and think this weekends behaviour was damaging and a disgrace.

    HOWEVER, Camila Batmanghelidjh's cache as a charitable, social "enterprise" DOES NOT EXCUSE her opportunistic SCARE MONGERING!
    You could see the £ notes roll in her eyes as she said "somebody would\could have been shot" ...and the moment she realised she had GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT!

    Scare middle England into such a panic that they throw even more cash at your "charity", huh Camila?

    You are the kind of ineffectual, profiteering disgrace that creates the enviroment which provokes resentment and anger!


    Money should go into effective social structures, like apprenticeships; not peacemeal, middle class, ineffective and insulting band aids.

    "Oh, isn't she colourful. She must know what she's talking about!"

    How to insult both sides' intelligence and profit from fear and ignorance?
    You should write a book!
    Didn't you already?

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    All of these riots started because a black man was shot by police for having a hand gun pulled on them. to justify the polices actions, if somebody pulled a gun out on you, you would react thinking it might be your last moments of your life. The police officer thought tht could of been it. they could never of seen your family again.

    But yet the 'community' rebbelled thinking that it is wrong a police officer pulling out a weapon on a youth. what about all the stabbings go on between all different races and community's. do people riot about that? NO.
    This was just an excuse to start trying to act the badman.

  • Comment number 16.

    Watching this programme on BBC it amazes me that so many people believe that the government should be funding making kids feel at home. I invest time in making my kid feel she has a place in society, I don't expect to abandon my kid to the world and leave the world to make them happy.

    These problems have come about because we have created a welfare system where adults have learnt that they can live with no work or family effort. They can drop kids out and leave them to their own devices and live on their benefits. They take no interest in the child's education, and that lack of interest rubs off on the kids. If the parent is not interested in a child's schooling, why will the pupil care? We then end up with a cyclic downward spiral of an underclass.

    The question is how we can fix kids living in dysfunctional families, the trouble is that there are far to many people able of smashing babies out for benefits to govern centrally or to care for centrally.

  • Comment number 17.

    GREED- what's the difference between an MP and someone who riots and thieves ££££££££££££ ?
    And who gets the different sentence?
    So who looks up and who looks down?

  • Comment number 18.

    I think it's ridiculous how these young rioters keep using the excuse of the fact that they have no future because they can't get jobs etc. We are a country in recession and with them rioting throughout their own communities will now cost our country millions of pounds to hep repair. This is not helping our country or young people in our country in any way possible!
    I live in Cornwall where we have the lowest paid jobs if we're lucky enough to get one and some of the highest priced houses in the country yet no riots took place here! We still have young people who feel they have no future as Cornwall has a sense of community and we realise that buy rioting throughout the streets of Cornwall won't help us to be heard! A sense of community is what's missing in many places!

  • Comment number 19.

    Young people need hope and a positive identity; half the young people in the nation are condemned in so called 'failing' schools that socially reinforce an identity that tells them that they cannot achieve. The government needs to fund initiatives that enable all students to achieve either through academic or practical skills that make them feel valued and able to feel that they can contribute to their own future, to give them a sense of pride in themselves, able to provide for their families in the future. We need to condemn league tables which alienate and label students, making them feel ashamed of belonging to their learning community. We need to embrace the less able academically, the socially deprived and those who have been held back (as national statistics show) and accept that they although they will not achieve their potential in exams at age 16; they are still valuable, kind, compassionate AND intelligent individuals who can achieve in life if they are given self esteem and support to take up their place in society. It is not coincidental that many of he rioters were gang members; gang members are most often the children of teenage single mums; teenage mums and their children feel socially excluded; teenagers who become pregnant cite lonliness and low self-esteem as the primary reasons for wanting to have a child to love. If we continue to fail children by not addressing their need for self-esteem, a sense of positive identity and a pride in what they ARE able to achieve in a school community, then we will contine to see this spiral of weak fragmented communities generating no respect for authority or eachother.

  • Comment number 20.

    There are no boundaries for young people in society today. They 'know their rights.' They are not afraid of their parents, teachers, the police or the law.

  • Comment number 21.

    Where did the £50 million come from that the government are now going to use to help rebuild businesses. If they used it in the first place to give the various organisations youth centres teachers in the first place would all this happen.
    So after they help the businesses will they then continue to build an underclass into real involvement, not just talk about it?

  • Comment number 22.

    What really struck me was the scale of young people crying out to be heard. It seems young people are being let down on so many fronts that everyone had something to say about a certain failure in a certain area of society.

    Watching on Twitter a chance for an outlet for these voices was a big topic of debate.

    Many asking for more shows like YVQT.

    Love the blog Sam :)

  • Comment number 23.

    One day all these 'young people' are going to grow up if they survive, so they really need to wake up to what legacy they are going leave their own progeny!

    The guilty going to prison, they'll come out either more damaged or feeling more like victims, while inocent are cleaning the mess. Reciprocity -they need to be made to work to clean up their own destruction as blatently as they caused it, get them on tv cleaning their destruction! Get them themselves to explain themselves I want to hear from people who did it, tell us why!

  • Comment number 24.

    Anyone in receipt of child benefit and or social housing is amongst the
    materially richest quarter of humanity that has ever lived. Following
    the BBCs report on the riots there was one, from Kenya, showing
    genuinely 'deprived' and 'poor' people.

    This gives society leverage. I think there are a lot of vey scared people
    out there tonight thinking that their actions are going to cut off
    the river of gold. That may be enough to deter them from doing it again.

  • Comment number 25.

    I have seen & heard lots of comments about initial causes - the Mark Duggan issue - no-one seems to latch onto the fact that Mark Duggan was armed with an illegal firearm ( why not !!??) - and about repressive society etc - I can go back to the seventies when in Manchester the people who were mugging & threatening to cut off people's fingers for rings & stealinng watches etc are the same types who are nowadays mugging & being involved in selling drugs etc - people need to be honest and most of the people involved have no intention of belonging to the local community !! They want to make an easy buck - they want what you have worked years for now !! without paying or working for it and the fact that they throw up workers from Eastern Block etc taking jobs are a smokescreen - there is no respect for older people, for their own family, for women etc etc and this stems from do-gooders in schools & other areas of society & their families who should be disciplining their children & instilling respect but giving an inch and the people taking a mile !! Just look at countries where the family values are prominent still - the Netherlands , Italy , Spain, France, and we are light years behind - yes,shame on the bankers & ministers for the expenses scandal & the greed of the western world but let's not make excuses for these acts of mindless thuggery, criminality and vandalism !!

  • Comment number 26.

    The route of this ongoing problem is, parenting, education, unemployment, discrimination and lack of help and support for the minority that has got involved in this massive inccident. After watching BBC three this evening on the live discussion on this issue, it is in my opionionto say that 1st if the minority of teenagers had more eduacation on preganacy, then teenagers wouldnt be giving birth to kids being only children themselves. The point im making is that if a child is brought up by another child who was also brought up by another child previosly due to teenage pregnacy then they are no morals passed on by the parents in the first place as they are just mearly children themselves not knowing and not being the effective role model themselves in the first place that they should be if they were adults with alot more responsibility. I am only a 19 year girl myself and feel that the people that control this country also have no morals also about how 'running' this country due the lack of thought of having the 'power' to control, the government seem to me as a couple hundred wealthy men and women who yes may have worked hard to be in their position today as part of parliment but they seem to be no 'common' general person that seems to have an interst in the issue without thinking about the empowerment and bank balance they are recieving. they need to give general people and passionate people of the community not the parliment to sort this problem out so we get back to sqaure one in this country where they yound rioters feel they have role models to look up to in their community !!!

  • Comment number 27.

    The answer, to be blunt, is NOTHING, because for one reason or another riots will always occur.
    The obverse is that sufficient force can be applied, in a VERY controlled manner, to quell any size disturbance that may spring up near instantly.
    A disturbance may be riot or uprising or act of insurgency / war.
    It might be by an individual, a small / large group or by a coordinated number of groups striking different places at the same appointed time.

    The general excuse at present is "We have not seen that before": but the authorities should be ready for ANY eventuality.
    Far fetched as it may be... even alien invasion from space is not an IMPOSSIBLE scenario... and society should be ready for ANYTHING.

    {Noting that they were supposed to be off-duty - exceptions from recall may have been made if drinking alcohol etc.}
    There should have been an INSTANT RECALL of ALL police to duty in affected areas.
    This might have provided assistance to their colleagues (e.g. in London) and not reduced numbers of police in other counties where trouble could spontaneously flare up.

    Nipping any trouble in the bud needs to be done quickly and firmly so that it does not spread to other locations.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    Mr Cameron threatens the 'full force of the Law'. Sounds tough, but he isn't in charge of the application of the law - that's down to the courts, and their record is tainted with appeasement, 'understanding' and accepting weak excuses. If that continues, as I expect it will, the thugs will come to see that the law has little force in practice and police morale will plummet again. That isn't the way to prevent a recurrence. A big sector of society is sick indeed, but politicians and courts seem afraid to administer the medicine.

  • Comment number 30.

    Oh, and here's an idea. The government seems happy enough to saddle universtity graduates with half a lifetime of debt. Why shouldn't convicted thugs be forced to pay for the damage they caused? Even if it means an automatic deduction from their pay or benefits for the rest of their lives if necessary? Why should the rest of society pay for it all through raised insurance premiums or taxation? If that's not a sanction available to the courts I suggest the law be changed so that it is.

  • Comment number 31.

    As a man in his forties from a proff. background I was impressed with some of the youngsters in the Live debate a few minutes ago. It was fascinating and the presenter did a good job under tough conditions.
    There were many good points made and I was impressed with the opinions by some in the panel that might have surprised my Father in his late 80s, ie they were traditional to the point of being old fashioned. They went often to the heart of the problems that contributed to the riots, particularly the Government (labour), daring to legislate to stop parents disciplining their kids. We also know that the police have a positive arrest policy when they go to domestic incidents and this has created more problems and not less (making arrests when they were simply not justified).
    It was a shame that the lovely and dignified shop keeper was shouted down at the end by a very loud and aggressive female who seemed to think the family of Duggan deserved some sort of respect. Well frankly they don't, not really, the youth was clearly a criminal and had chosen the wrong path. So be it.
    The police have been largely inept at dealing with the matter and should have been more cautious with how the news was released, the media had some fault here also.
    The greatest hero for me was the muslim Father and how he has reached out to the aggressive young who want to go rioting in protest at the death by racists and thugs, you are a great man ( I am a white man and a christian).

  • Comment number 32.

    having watched the show, I was struck at how many people blame the current government, and the cuts they are instituting, although they have not yet trickled down...This government has only been in power for (count em!) 15 months, and the problems that we are encountering are of long standing, and have mostly built up over the past 15 years in, (surprise, surprise!) the Labour years! The benefit culture they built up, the "take no responsibility" mantra they instilled throughout all of their policies, the wanton spending of public finances which now necessitate all of the cuts that are being implemented - It makes me so angry that the current state of affairs and the failings that the Labour gov't have left as a legacy are being blamed on the current gov't, and why does the BBC not address this in some of their programs and start supporting the current "heads" instead of tacitly undermining them????

  • Comment number 33.

    We need to get to grip with all the organised crime- we have no communities because most people are only too glad to get knocked off stuff. Decent people are in the minority and while police continue to allow this is pass by we will never get our communities back. I am not racist i am for decent living I cannot take my son anywhere without him being subject to bad language or dodgy people. when will we be able to live in a decent socirty- politicians live in an abstract world - not the real one- when will we get a grip!

  • Comment number 34.

    Up to now the prime-minister had one single and simplistic argument : the rioters were involved in criminal offences. No one doubts that. But why now? What's happening ?Is this consumerism at its worse?
    The riots reflect a divided society and the answer is around this.

  • Comment number 35.

    It stared from the top Bankers who looted, Mps who looted but where only following the rules the police and media who took backhanders. But that was ok double standards.

  • Comment number 36.

    A lost generation,no social skills,no opportunity,blame the government,they were bored,no respect,no moral ideals of life as a normal human being,no direction,a few of the suggestions banded about.i moved from scotland to london to newcastle when i was 16, now i,m 36 with 3 kids, to find my golden egg,people in my family moved for work in the 80's and 90,s.people these days want things handed to them on a plate.i have an issue how government and all the bandwaggon jumpers try to make and find excuses for these so called riotors.these were not riotors,these were just ignorant down and out losers with no values,no respect and no direction in message is ,life is about choices,you either want the good life or you dont,let the ones who dont want to be helped rot on the scrapheap.

  • Comment number 37.

    We all (whatever our age) need standards to guide us, to help us to see what is right and what is wrong. I know no better guidelines than the ten commandments.

  • Comment number 38.

    I find it offensive that 2 men on tonights bbc panel suggested that the riots could have been stopped by police,they simply did not have the numbers,that was clear to see.does anyone watch these police front line tv programmes where peopleget thrown head first into meat waggons and pushed to the ground face first and handcuffed drunken disorderly for minor things,it makes me wonder what the difference is,standing watching people take what they want that isnt theres or having a piss in the street and being arrested.

  • Comment number 39.

    If you all want to live in a police state then by all means listen to and follow camerons policy on dealing with civil unrest, it's your future he is gambling with.

  • Comment number 40.

    Well, I've been predicting this for several decades now, the days when the chavvy violent trash (be they youths or adults) would feel the freedom to do as they please with impunity. Over the years we have softened our reactions to not just criminal offenders, but to disruptive, rude, and often violent children at school. Too many times we have heard a school is forced to take back someone they ejected.
    As for the criminals, well what will happen if you take away the fear of punishment, and you leave ofenders free to pester the innocent in their community rather than jail them - the answer is that not only will they be free to harrass and steal from the innocent, but they will be able to breed yet more of their kind.

  • Comment number 41.

    I can't belive this has happened but even more so I can't believe the way in which we are dealing with the child criminals. The idea of kicking people out of their council homes is just rediculus. Surely if these riots have taught us anything it has taught us that many people are more capable of criminal acts than one could percieve.

    This inculdes children. For years our criminal liability age has been set at 10yrs old. The acts of children under this age in the riots should not point to "ah, let's blame the parents" (although i have no doubt they have played a part), their acts should have the parliament reconsider the liability age. Why punish families, for the act of an individual?

    If you had a child who broke the law would you expect to be kicked out from your house? No! Would you expect the child to be punished? Yes! Yet this its not the Councils view obviously. The fact that many parents have turned over their children to the police after seeing their pictures on the internet must show that they do not condone their actions.

    If anything should come from these riots it should be a sense of community but also a review of the criminal liability age, and the punishments which are handed out to families instead of the individuals who are clearly to blame.

  • Comment number 42.

    These teenagers who have babies couldn't do so if not enabled by government, didn't Peter Lillie get fired partially over this so long ago.
    It seems the welfare state has become the new grandparent. Isn't it audacious for anyone, not just 'underaged' to create children fully aware that you cannot personally give it skills, opportunity, finance anything to contribute to the childs progress, then just go council or/and job centre for 'help', what a shame, what a tragedy!

    Now if they never got these entitlements, well their parents I guess would be lumbered but that means they have to respect & rely on them more.

    How can communities be made to care enough to raise families, especially where immediate families fail, not faceless state providing silly subsitence money?

    Why aren't the growing elderly population getting strategic involvement in this, instead of them being killed off in hospitals, recreate links with them and youth?

    Seems oportunities being missed

    like the Rodney King incedent in States, didn't UK learn from this, Mr Duggan is just the last straw that triggered the ongoing underline tensions in UK.

    Personally I dislike violence but,
    WARNING:If not dealt with there will be more.

  • Comment number 43.

    I would say that all the vehicles those nights could have been noticed via the Traffic Cameras....why not get those REG and get hold of these culprits : There you find the goods as well as those who did it.

  • Comment number 44.

    "What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again and again?"
    Every class room should have a motto and the students should say this prayer every day first thing before their lessons :
    And so, my fellow Brits: "ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country".

  • Comment number 45.

    I totally agree with #2.

  • Comment number 46.

    The Tory bankers stole my cash and the police and government did nothing.
    The rioters went on the rampage and the police and government did nothing.
    What's the difference? ah, I see now...

    "The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them."
    Karl Marx

  • Comment number 47.

    I think that all these reasonings are just excuses, yes there are people that have no common sense, follow the crowd and DO commit crimes, But there comes a point in society where you have to take into consideration why there are people that are prepared to do all these ghastly things. So many families in London, Manchester, Birmingham etc are SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES. The boys and girls growing up in these conditions MOST of the time do not have a male role model, someone to tell them good from bad. Fair enough that isn't an excuse nor a sympathy vote, but it still does play a factor...

  • Comment number 48.

    We see bankers loot the country and go unpunished.

    We see politicians cheat their expenses and a token couple thrown to the lions but released early (compare with the youth jailed for 6 months for stealing water worth less than £4.00) while the rest not only get away with it, but their new expense regulations are relaxed again shortly afterwards.

    We see politicians exposed for corruption and having affairs yet being supported by their seniors and keeping their jobs (apparently, it’s a “personal” matter, and doesn’t affect their ability to run the country!).

    We see so-called celebrities take drugs, or cheat on their spouses and not only go unpunished but get rewarded by the media with even more fame and lucrative contracts and media payments for their “exclusive” story.

    We see women accorded celebrity status for having their breasts enhanced and opening their legs to anyone already famous, and then further rewarded by being awarded their own range of perfume or clothing or a highly paid TV presenter’s job, when in an earlier, saner, time they would have been simply known for what they really are: whores.

    We see the newspapers involved in illegal phone-hacking, and revelations/allegations that the police and politicians were involved in it too.

    We see people with no brains and little talent plucked from obscurity and rewarded with glittering careers for no other purpose than “entertainment”, while millions of bright, hard working/studying young people can’t get a job that matches their aspirations.

    We see our most intelligent and talented people struggle to make ends meet on average salaries, while morons are paid millions to kick a ball around a field.

    We see the cost of living (survival?) spiralling beyonds the means of most people, while big business and advertising constantly exhorts us to “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

    We see British jobs disappearing into the hands of migrant workers who will work for less than someone who needs to pay a mortgage here (and who are still making 2-3 times what they’d earn in their own economy), all fuelled by the greed of big business.

    We see students punished with massive debts, merely for seeking a way up the ladder (only to find the ladder leads nowhere).

    What sort of message do you think has been sent out to our youth? Is it any surprise that many of them now think there’s no point in following the “study hard/work hard” mantra of the past, when others who clearly have, have little to show for it, while others who haven’t have everything this world has to offer?

    We’ve built a dog-eat-dog society, and now we’re reaping what we’ve sown. You want to make sure riots don’t happen again? Then fix all the above. Happy and contented people don’t riot.

  • Comment number 49.

    The UK cop said the death of Mark Duggan was an isolated incident. I don't think that's true. The most irresponsibility I've heard of is that some 15 prisoners have died in police custody the last few years, with no police being held responsible. If we want young people to act responsibly, we need to hold adults, and cops, responsible for their behavior.

    UK gangs may be different from US gangs, but UK police are much like US police. In LA the US cop started by holding cops responsible. Doing that in the UK can only help the situation.

  • Comment number 50.

    Rob a bank and you get 10 years The Bank robs you and they get a seven figure pension.

    Factors that contribute to rioting are population size, the breakdown of respect for social order, poverty, the lack of opportunities for personal advancement and Debt.

    Today the people that led the world into debt by their corrupt practises within the Banking, Insurance, and Financial sector have been reappointed by President Obama to head his financial team. No one has been brought to justice for the debt all the world is now paying and rioting about.

    All the banks had AAA status just before they collapsed from Standard and Poor the same people who have just downgraded USA economy?

    University Professors who advised the governments were working without declaring their paid interest for these corrupt banks etc. just before the crash.

    If you check the facts you will find a transfer of wealth from the poorest to the top one percent and these crooks are still running all our economies.
    This was achieved by getting companies like standard and poor to give false assessments of bad debt which was then sold to our pension funds as triple A.
    Whilst ever these crooks go unpunished and are rewarded by huge golden handshakes and top government jobs, riots will get worse.

    We all have a remedy it is our vote and a free press.
    Make sure you give your vote wisely and all the politicians who supported crooked bankers, insurance companies, are swept from power.
    To the press it is time to expose these crooks. Name and Shame


More from this blog...


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.