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Live webchat with David Lammy MP on UK riots, Tuesday 24th, 1pm- 2pm

(61 Posts)
KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Jan-12 11:49:36

We're delighted to welcome David Lammy MP and author of 'Out of the Ashes, Britain after the riots' for a live webchat tomorrow at 1pm. As well as MP for Tottenham, David is chair of the all party group on fatherhood and was a minister in the previous government (including in health and education), serving under both Blair and Brown.

He's very keen to hear your views and answer any of your questions on how Britain can respond to the riots. He's also written a guest blog for the Mumsnet Bloggers Network in advance of the webchat.

And of course if you can't join us live, please do post a question in advance.

Thanks
MNHQ

purits Mon 23-Jan-12 12:48:04

A webchat on the London riots?
So the riots in the rest of the country aren't worth talking about?hmm

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Jan-12 13:28:17

Hi Purits - my apologies - obviously keen to discuss the riots across the UK, and I've changed the thread title.

David's focus relates to Tottenham, where the riots started and where he's MP, but it's good to hear all questions and perspectives.

TheBlackShiksa Mon 23-Jan-12 13:47:18

Hi David, question about your campaign against Downhills Primary becoming an academy. The school is failing- why are you campaigning against academy status? Do you think that children who come from poor areas should be condemned to sub standard education? I listened to Sancha Bergs report on your campaign and was appalled to learn that many parents, i.e. those who English was not their first language, were completely misinformed about the campaign and thought that academy status meant Downhills becoming a private school and were worried about being burdened by fees. I'd be really interested to know if your own children go to Downhills or a school in Tottenham, or a state school for that matter? Also how many children who are currently attending Downhills will be lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private school like you did given that Downhills is failing? Lastly do you think you would have gotten as far as you have without the benefit of your elite education?

Crumblemum Mon 23-Jan-12 14:14:45

I've got a question on the riots. I live in zone 3 London. Nice area, with some issues, but have always felt very safe, kids in local schools and I'm happy etc. There was some minor rioting and window breaking in our neighbourhood, and I felt very angry and protective. I wanted someone to be doing something while the rioting was taking place (not just the clean up afterwards).

I know that sounds akin to vigilantism, which obviously is not a great idea, but do you think part of the problem is that although we might all be active in our communities we're not formally involved in community groups eg church, community centres etc?

I can't really see people going back to organised community ways, so whats the answer - how do we have effective networks that don't require a full time commitment?

Not sure if this has been covered or even if it is relevant but what would have been the strategy if the rioting had continued or descended into complete meltdown? When Enfield Town was closed down before 3 o'clock to make for the "rioters" who had planned on congregating there, the police had running battles with them. It was akin to a schoolboy fight "Meet you in the field at 3.30" kind of thing. Had the rioters just continued with this tactic, how would they have been combatted? What is there to stop a repeat of this type of exchange happening again?

Sorry for the rant blushblush

painterlyswoosh Mon 23-Jan-12 17:10:29

What are you doing/could you be doing to change how the councils are punishing people involved in the riots?

16 months for stealing an ice cream? 4 years for inciting disorder on Facebook?

It's hard to understand where these sentences are coming from. I really worry that throwing everyone in jail who was part of a temporary group mentality will only make them even more hardened criminals - for whom stealing an ice cream would be the least of their offences.

clopper Mon 23-Jan-12 17:49:22

Do you think that rolling 24 hour news and interviewing those participating in the riots contributed to the whole thing escalating? I know that events must be reported and not hidden, but the constant attention (along with the very vocal condemnation of police tactics) seemed to make it all more dangerous for the public and possibly exciting for some of the participants. Lots of film clips were shown over and over again. Should this sort of news be restricted somehow?

MrsMicawber Mon 23-Jan-12 19:47:00

Mr Lammy,

How do you feel about the draconian sentences handed down to rioters? Do you not think that community sentances would have been a better idea? Do you agree with the amount of discretion the judiciary have, and do you think that sentencing guidelines should be clearer, ie, life should mean life?

jkklpu Mon 23-Jan-12 20:39:09

Sorry, not "across the UK" at all - English riots, in fact

crazynanna Mon 23-Jan-12 20:45:53

Mr Lammy.

It was clear as the riots escalated that the reasons behind the spread of the riots were wide and varied...but do you feel,like many in Tottenham do (I live in Finsbury Park) that the initial Police response early in the first day of the unrest to the peaceful small demonstration and requests for info on the death of Mark Duggan by his family had a large part to play? Mrs Duggan found out of her son's death third hand I believe....I understand feelings in the area were running high.
In light of this...do you think Police communication in cases like this need looking at.

TheBlackShiksa Tue 24-Jan-12 10:21:53

As chair of the all party parliamentary group on fatherhood, do you think fathers are ignored by politicians? What do you think about groups like fathers for justice? What do you think about the endemic scale of absent fathers in the Afro Caribbean community, as a prominent black MP and father what do you think can be done about this, without demonising single mothers?

mrsruffallo Tue 24-Jan-12 11:10:18

How are the local businesses getting on with rebuiding their livelihoods after these rioters trashed them? Do you think that the convicted rioters should have helped them rebuild their businesses after destroying decades of hard work?

lockitt Tue 24-Jan-12 11:24:41

There's a lot of concern on the talkboards this week with regards to the 26k benefits cap. How do you think this will affect families in Tottenham and other similar constituents? Do you think this could lead to further distrust of the current government and even more danger of disturbances in the future?

marshmallowpies Tue 24-Jan-12 11:42:04

Very cheeky and off topic but I'd love to know if he is still ashamed of his performance on Celebrity Mastermind. He didn't know who Marie Curie was or that the top row of seats in the theatre is called 'the gods'.

Or did he have one of those 'rabbit in the headlights mind goes blank' moments and actually he knew the answers?

On a serious note, I was slightly gobsmacked at seeing an elected representative of the people with such apparent gaps in their general knowledge. It didn't inspire much confidence in him, put it that way.

YouCanDoTheCube Tue 24-Jan-12 12:15:03

Hello,

At the risk of making you sigh with irritation (sorry!) - can I ask what you made of the Diane Abbott/Twitter/'white people' row?

Do you feel that MPs from minority ethnic communities have to be more careful about what they say than MPs from majority communities?

I'd like to know why Woolwich was systematically ignored by the media during, and in the immediate aftermath of the riots even though we were really quite badly hit (we've lost buildings). I understand that there is a danger of exacerbating situations with too much media attention but it would have been good to have a little bit more than Twitter to inform us that our town centre was in flames.

It wasn't until a good couple of weeks after the riots that Woolwich incidents began to be added to the maps and lists of incidents in the media.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 12:19:06

Testing

LindsayWagner Tue 24-Jan-12 12:19:15

Hello David
I know that you attribute the riots primarily to social and economic deprivation and a lack of visible opportunity for kids brought up in these circumstances. But I was interested to see that you also describe the riots as 'an explosion of hedonism and nihilism'.
I live locally and this rings true. So, how do we get back from nihilism? No measures which have been suggested - either by left or right - seem to me likely to get anywhere near it.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 12:22:06

Testing (again)

LindsayWagner Tue 24-Jan-12 12:25:56

Oh (sorry, cheeky) can you explain why you aren't satisfied that the Pupil Premium will ensure fair access to free schools?

Porpoise Tue 24-Jan-12 12:43:45

Hello - and welcome to Mumsnet. My question is: What did you think of Boris Johnson's post-riots statement about the Spurs redevelopment plans? I believe he said, "'Last month's riots were a telling reminder of just how important it is for Spurs to press ahead with the development..." Is building a new football ground really the answer?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Jan-12 12:57:29

Very pleased to welcome David here to the Towers. He'll get cracking on your questions shortly.

MrsStringerBell Tue 24-Jan-12 13:00:43

Hi David - here's my question: if you could do one thing to stop the riots ever happening again, what would it be?

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:03:32

TheBlackShiksa

As chair of the all party parliamentary group on fatherhood, do you think fathers are ignored by politicians? What do you think about groups like fathers for justice? What do you think about the endemic scale of absent fathers in the Afro Caribbean community, as a prominent black MP and father what do you think can be done about this, without demonising single mothers?

I think there's a real problem in our society with the visibility of fathers and the lack of responsiveness of public services to fathers. This affects mothers and women who end up doing more because the health service or the nursery places the burden on them to turn up to their children's appointments, for example. 65% of black Caribbean children are being raised by a lone parent (usually mother) I don't think its about stigmatising those parents I was raised in the same circumstances but I do think that a lack of visible male role models at home, in the neighbourhood, in schools is giving some young men a very skewed sense of their masculinity which drives "gang" related behaviour in particular.

kittykitty Tue 24-Jan-12 13:06:26

In your blog you mentioned you thought the govt spent too much time telling parents what not to do and you used smacking as your example. Does that mean you support a parent's right to smack their child?

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:07:31

mrsruffallo

How are the local businesses getting on with rebuiding their livelihoods after these rioters trashed them? Do you think that the convicted rioters should have helped them rebuild their businesses after destroying decades of hard work?

Businesses remain determined to get back to some sense of normality but business on Tottenham high road is down 40% because the supermarket, post office, fitness first etc were completely burnt out. It is a disgrace that the riot damages act (the insurance scheme run by the Met) has still not paid out almost 6 months late. The government should be making far more use of community sentences.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:15:07

kittykitty

In your blog you mentioned you thought the govt spent too much time telling parents what not to do and you used smacking as your example. Does that mean you support a parent's right to smack their child?

Parents in Tottenham continually raise with me the real pressures of raising children for example on the 15th floor of a tower block with knives, gangs and the dangers of violent crime just outside the window they say they no longer feel sovereign in their own homes and the ability to exercise their own judgement in relation to discipline and reasonable chastisement has been taken away from them. Its too easy for middle class legislators to be far removed from the realities of the typical single mum struggling with these issues and so in that context in the book I do say that we should return to the law as it existed for 150 years before it was changed in 2004.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:15:34

TheBlackShiksa

Hi David, question about your campaign against Downhills Primary becoming an academy. The school is failing- why are you campaigning against academy status? Do you think that children who come from poor areas should be condemned to sub standard education? I listened to Sancha Bergs report on your campaign and was appalled to learn that many parents, i.e. those who English was not their first language, were completely misinformed about the campaign and thought that academy status meant Downhills becoming a private school and were worried about being burdened by fees. I'd be really interested to know if your own children go to Downhills or a school in Tottenham, or a state school for that matter? Also how many children who are currently attending Downhills will be lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private school like you did given that Downhills is failing? Lastly do you think you would have gotten as far as you have without the benefit of your elite education?

This is a long answer because I want to be absolutely crystal clear on this and focus the rest on the discussion about the riots.

Downhills is my old primary school. My secondary school, King’s School Peterborough, is not a private school – it is C of E state school. I have two boys: one of them is at nursery in Tottenham; the other attends one of our local state primary school.

Regarding academy status at Downhills. Firstly, Downhills is not a failing school. Using the Department of Education’s own barometer for performance, Downhills is better than over 2,500 primary schools in England, including 26 in Michael Gove’s Surrey. This is despite of the challenges the schools faces: almost ¾ of students do not have English as their first language; it has one of the largest intakes of Roma pupils and it 1/3rd of the class leave the school each year to move on. When you look at the pupils who have been at Downhills from start-to-finish, 75% of them get the expected grades, above the national average and above the London average.

Secondly, I am not opposed to academies, I have always made that clear (see my speech to Parliament on Downhills on my website). It is intellectually bankrupt to argue that academies are a panacea for all failing schools. You can have bad academies and good academies, just like you can have bad community schools and good community schools. There are other ways to improve a school: new leadership, new teachers, federation with another school etc. and these steps are being taken. The governing body has replaced 6 teachers this year.

Finally, what do we make of the opinions of democratically elected governors and the parents who have pretty unanimously come out against these proposals? Sanchia Berg’s report aside, 92% of parents surveyed were happy with their child’s experience at the school. The best schools forge a great collaborative atmosphere between the school, the government and the community that surrounds them. In this case, Michael Gove has done his best to antagonise them. He – nor his ministers or officials - have made the effort to come down to Tottenham to explain to these parents why these changes are necessary. He gave the school 6 weeks to find a sponsor or have one forced upon them – a ridiculously short amount of time. When the parents complained, he does a set piece speech to the nation’s media branding them “ideologues” and “enemies of promise”.

Now tell me this: how can it be right for him to praise one set of parents as capable of running their own Free Schools but ride roughshod over the wishes of another set of parents? It is grossly unfair and undemocratic and that is why I stand with the parents, teachers and governors of the school against Gove’s proposals.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:17:16

Happydogsaddog

Not sure if this has been covered or even if it is relevant but what would have been the strategy if the rioting had continued or descended into complete meltdown? When Enfield Town was closed down before 3 o'clock to make for the "rioters" who had planned on congregating there, the police had running battles with them. It was akin to a schoolboy fight "Meet you in the field at 3.30" kind of thing. Had the rioters just continued with this tactic, how would they have been combatted? What is there to stop a repeat of this type of exchange happening again?

Sorry for the rant blushblush

I received a lot of abuse for calling on Blackberry to take down their messenger system (which the rioters were using to organise) in the evenings when it appeared there was no way of controlling the disorder. In the end, it was a surge of 16,000 officers on the streets of the capital that did the job. The problem is, a civilised society shouldn’t need 16,000 officers to keep order! We can’t just rely on the Police to keep order on our streets, we need people to police themselves through a sense of pride, shame, respect and the feeling that you have something to lose.

BeanAboutTown Tue 24-Jan-12 13:18:47

What's your feeling about the current gossip swirling around Ed Miliband's leadership? I heard Neil Kinnock describing anti-EM anonymous briefers as 'gutless' this week; would you go along with that?

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:21:19

Porpoise

Hello - and welcome to Mumsnet. My question is: What did you think of Boris Johnson's post-riots statement about the Spurs redevelopment plans? I believe he said, "'Last month's riots were a telling reminder of just how important it is for Spurs to press ahead with the development..." Is building a new football ground really the answer?

It is tragically ironic that the two areas calling on the mayor for greater investment and enterprise zone status before the riots were Tottenham and Croydon. The Spurs development is more than just about a new stadium, its also about private and public sector employment on the site, better transport links and acres of regenerated public space. Tottenham desperately needs this billion pound development. We are in danger in london of preferring east London ( Canary Wharf/Olympics/ proposed Estuary airport) over Tottenham and Edmonton which now have the biggest concentrations of unemployment and poverty in London.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:22:33

painterlyswoosh

What are you doing/could you be doing to change how the councils are punishing people involved in the riots?

16 months for stealing an ice cream? 4 years for inciting disorder on Facebook?

It's hard to understand where these sentences are coming from. I really worry that throwing everyone in jail who was part of a temporary group mentality will only make them even more hardened criminals - for whom stealing an ice cream would be the least of their offences.

There needs to be equity in punishments – bankers, journalists, politicians and senior police officers seem to have committed equally grave crimes over the last decade and escaped punishment.

I agree, there is no point sending petty criminals into warehouses where they only become more hardened in their ways. But the real issue I examine in my book is the inability of our prison system to get serious about rehabilitation/reformation. The public can see through the current system – prisoners come to the end of their sentences neither punished nor reformed.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:23:17

BeanAboutTown

What's your feeling about the current gossip swirling around Ed Miliband's leadership? I heard Neil Kinnock describing anti-EM anonymous briefers as 'gutless' this week; would you go along with that?

I'm a bit tired to be honest of the Westminster gossip mill. I just think the serous issues facing ordinary people in constituencies like mine require the political class to be less self indulgent.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:30:02

LindsayWagner

Hello David
I know that you attribute the riots primarily to social and economic deprivation and a lack of visible opportunity for kids brought up in these circumstances. But I was interested to see that you also describe the riots as 'an explosion of hedonism and nihilism'.
I live locally and this rings true. So, how do we get back from nihilism? No measures which have been suggested - either by left or right - seem to me likely to get anywhere near it.

Lets first focus on the positive for the 600 or so rioters on the street there were 26,000 young people in Tottenham that stayed at home. However, the whole focus of my book is giving people a stake in society because thats what's not happening for those that took to the street. I make over a dozen policy recommendations but for example it means legislating for a living wage for most of my constituents who are most often doing two jobs to make ends meet, i.e. cleaner and dinner lady, security guard and minicab driver. It means putting employees on the boards of the companies my constituents are working for- its unfair that the CEO of one supermarket is earning over 500 times more than the employee at the cash till.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:32:33

crazynanna

Mr Lammy.

It was clear as the riots escalated that the reasons behind the spread of the riots were wide and varied...but do you feel,like many in Tottenham do (I live in Finsbury Park) that the initial Police response early in the first day of the unrest to the peaceful small demonstration and requests for info on the death of Mark Duggan by his family had a large part to play? Mrs Duggan found out of her son's death third hand I believe....I understand feelings in the area were running high.
In light of this...do you think Police communication in cases like this need looking at.

all parents fear their children leaving home and a knock on the door from the Police that something has happened to them – it is the mark of a civilised society. The Duggan’s weren’t even extended that courtesy and that is entirely unacceptable.

I have been clear that many important mistakes were made by the Police and the IPCC in the days following Mark’s death. There should have been a more holistic and sensitive approach to Mark’s family. The IPCC shouldn’t have briefed journalists that Mark fired a gun when there was no evidence that he did so. The IPCC should have used those first few days to assert their independence from the Police and determination to get to the bottom of what happened that evening.

Before Christmas, I wrote to the Home Secretary and led a debate in Parliament calling for there to be a review of what happens when there is a death following Police contact.

FannyFifer Tue 24-Jan-12 13:33:36

By Britain and UK you mean ENGLAND as that's where the riots were. hmm

Good god, and people wonder why people in the other countries of the UK get pissed off.
Misleading book title and chat title. biscuit

Roll on 2014 SAOR ALBA!

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:34:11

MrsStringerBell

Hi David - here's my question: if you could do one thing to stop the riots ever happening again, what would it be?

"WORK" its not about a feral underclass, it is about a workless poor and the repercussions of a society that says bank are to big to fail but whole communities are allowed to sink without a trace.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:36:57

Crumblemum

I've got a question on the riots. I live in zone 3 London. Nice area, with some issues, but have always felt very safe, kids in local schools and I'm happy etc. There was some minor rioting and window breaking in our neighbourhood, and I felt very angry and protective. I wanted someone to be doing something while the rioting was taking place (not just the clean up afterwards).

I know that sounds akin to vigilantism, which obviously is not a great idea, but do you think part of the problem is that although we might all be active in our communities we're not formally involved in community groups eg church, community centres etc?

I can't really see people going back to organised community ways, so whats the answer - how do we have effective networks that don't require a full time commitment?

interesting question. This is one of the key themes of my book: we have a hyper individualism tendency that is posing a serious risk to our society.

As I say in my book, we can’t simply rely on the Police to stop the rioters. The rioters should have stopped themselves. Because they should have felt shame if they were caught trashing their local high street or because they felt a sense of responsibility to their neighbours who had businesses there. The fact is, we have become so individualistic that people can live in the same street and disappear into anonymity. That’s why people feel they can get away with it.

So yes, where more interwoven and established communities exist - in Yorkshire and the North East for instance – despite even acuter deprivation, there was no rioting.

There are still community groups and people volunteering in all sorts of ways but there are real issues with ‘time’ in a country where people are working longer hours and I have been a long standing advocate for a national civic services for our young people.

FannyFifer Tue 24-Jan-12 13:38:22

Quite a lot of the people arrested after the English riots had jobs though.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:38:39

clopper

Do you think that rolling 24 hour news and interviewing those participating in the riots contributed to the whole thing escalating? I know that events must be reported and not hidden, but the constant attention (along with the very vocal condemnation of police tactics) seemed to make it all more dangerous for the public and possibly exciting for some of the participants. Lots of film clips were shown over and over again. Should this sort of news be restricted somehow?

24 hour news is a reality and unfortunately, one result of people having information literally at the tip of their fingers is that they might have sinister intentions. We can’t hope the restrict the editorial decisions of the news channels because that will be seen as draconian but we can expect them to exercise a sense of responsibility to the communities that are involved.

Turning interviews with rioters into “exclusives” only serves to glamourise those who participated. Allowing them to pollute our news channels with unchallenged boasts and bravado about what they got up to the night before is irresponsible. In Tottenham, yes unfortunately 600 or so people were out on the streets causing mayhem, but were 26,000 young people who stayed at home, and we never heard their voices. It felt like everyone was being tarred with the same brush. I also can’t stand the business

Good point FannyFifer, I too am sick to the back teeth of hearing of Britain's riots. The Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish don't want to be tarred with that brush thanks very much. Any comment on that Mr Lammy?

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:39:59

YouCanDoTheCube

Hello,

At the risk of making you sigh with irritation (sorry!) - can I ask what you made of the Diane Abbott/Twitter/'white people' row?

Do you feel that MPs from minority ethnic communities have to be more careful about what they say than MPs from majority communities?

There is a tendency in Britain at the moment to want to label everybody a "racist" (Alan Hanson, Dianne Abbott) This is dangerous it crowds out the ability for people to genuinely say sorry when they make a mistake or slip up and it takes our eye of the ball of real racism. The racism that killed Stephen Lawrence, that affects people in the work place, or at a job interview.

SparklyRedShoes Tue 24-Jan-12 13:41:14

Hello, I would like to know whether you perceive the large numbers of young people involved in the riots as a damning failure of the education system to prepare young people for adult life. A life in which they are able to both appreciate the difference between right and wrong and develop real skills that enable them also to contribute to society. I am concerned about the lack of good apprenticeships for young people wherein they are not exploited and also relevant good quality work experience. If you live in a home where mum and dad can help support you, you can afford to do long term work experience for nothing, but what if you cannot afford it? (I'm in a rush so I hope you get what I'm trying to say)

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:44:07

FannyFifer

Quite a lot of the people arrested after the English riots had jobs though.

Thats true, but most didn't. And for those that did there are big issues about what is a "good job" and even bigger issues about our over individualistic, materialist culture that values rights over responsibilities.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:45:17

MrsMicawber

Mr Lammy,

How do you feel about the draconian sentences handed down to rioters? Do you not think that community sentances would have been a better idea? Do you agree with the amount of discretion the judiciary have, and do you think that sentencing guidelines should be clearer, ie, life should mean life?

Yes, I do believe community sentences are far more effective in these cases. Why give someone the anonymity of being behind bars 20 hours a day in Feltham YOI when they could be repairing the shop they trashed the night before? It would be a way of rebuilding trust in a criminal justice system that many do not feel is responsive to victims.

kittykitty Tue 24-Jan-12 13:46:03

"we should return to the law as it existed for 150 years before it was changed in 2004"

So do you mean we should return to a time when it was still OK to smack a child in such a way that it left a mark on a child - wasn't that the compromise that was reached then? Or are you saying that the state should - if you'll forgive the pun - butt out of parents' business when it comes to disciplining their children?

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:48:55

SparklyRedShoes

Hello, I would like to know whether you perceive the large numbers of young people involved in the riots as a damning failure of the education system to prepare young people for adult life. A life in which they are able to both appreciate the difference between right and wrong and develop real skills that enable them also to contribute to society. I am concerned about the lack of good apprenticeships for young people wherein they are not exploited and also relevant good quality work experience. If you live in a home where mum and dad can help support you, you can afford to do long term work experience for nothing, but what if you cannot afford it? (I'm in a rush so I hope you get what I'm trying to say)

There are some issues in some schools of course, but raising successful children to maturity cannot be laid solely at the door of hard pressed teachers. Parents, neighbours, community at large is the focus of my book and where I think our country has been placing too little attention. I agree with you entirely on apprenticeship and skills which had virtually disappeared in the late 90's in this country.

I know we're not supposed to post 'what about me' posts but there's only 10 mins left and it's hardly busy in here ... I posted this back on page 1 and was wondering whether you had any comment:

I'd like to know why Woolwich was systematically ignored by the media during, and in the immediate aftermath of the riots even though we were really quite badly hit (we've lost buildings). I understand that there is a danger of exacerbating situations with too much media attention but it would have been good to have a little bit more than Twitter to inform us that our town centre was in flames.

It wasn't until a good couple of weeks after the riots that Woolwich incidents began to be added to the maps and lists of incidents in the media.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:53:15

kittykitty

"we should return to the law as it existed for 150 years before it was changed in 2004"

So do you mean we should return to a time when it was still OK to smack a child in such a way that it left a mark on a child - wasn't that the compromise that was reached then? Or are you saying that the state should - if you'll forgive the pun - butt out of parents' business when it comes to disciplining their children?

The legislation currently talks about "a reddening of the skin" not completely sure how this applies to my own children! Previously the courts determined whether parents had used "reasonable chastisement" or "excessive force". Unfortunately, some parents do abuse their children but we should be careful not to stigmatise the majority. There's a big difference between abuse and parenting.

FannyFifer Tue 24-Jan-12 13:54:00

No comment on why you think it is ok to use the term British and UK riots when it affected only England? Can you not see how false and misleading never mind offensive that is to the other countries in the UK?

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:54:48

PlentyOfPubeGardens

I know we're not supposed to post 'what about me' posts but there's only 10 mins left and it's hardly busy in here ... I posted this back on page 1 and was wondering whether you had any comment:

I'd like to know why Woolwich was systematically ignored by the media during, and in the immediate aftermath of the riots even though we were really quite badly hit (we've lost buildings). I understand that there is a danger of exacerbating situations with too much media attention but it would have been good to have a little bit more than Twitter to inform us that our town centre was in flames.

It wasn't until a good couple of weeks after the riots that Woolwich incidents began to be added to the maps and lists of incidents in the media.

I'm not the best person to explain why the media throw a spotlight on some places and some issues and ignore others. It perplexes me as well.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:56:30

FannyFifer

No comment on why you think it is ok to use the term British and UK riots when it affected only England? Can you not see how false and misleading never mind offensive that is to the other countries in the UK?

Point taken, but the issues I explore in my book i.e. hyper individualised culture, workless poor are most definitely not just unique to riot hit areas.

fair enough, thanks for responding.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 13:59:24

lockitt

There's a lot of concern on the talkboards this week with regards to the 26k benefits cap. How do you think this will affect families in Tottenham and other similar constituents? Do you think this could lead to further distrust of the current government and even more danger of disturbances in the future?

The cap will affect families in Tottenham mainly because it will drive overcrowding as families flee inner London in their thousands arriving in cheaper neighbourhoods like Tottenham. I predict serious social upheaval in the years ahead as a consequence.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 14:03:27

LindsayWagner

Oh (sorry, cheeky) can you explain why you aren't satisfied that the Pupil Premium will ensure fair access to free schools?

Because its the tip of the iceberg when the average pupil in the London borough of Haringey continues to be funded £1500 per pupil less than neighbouring Islington, Hackney and Camden with more acute deprivation. These are inner London schools with inner London problems getting outer London funding.

DavidLammyMP Tue 24-Jan-12 14:04:49

Thank you very much for engaging in the issues and for a range of robust but genuinely concerned questions.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Jan-12 14:05:21

Thanks David - and thanks to everyone who asked a question.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Jan-12 18:36:40

Hi there

David's just asked that we can let you know that all the proceeds from his book are going to charity.

Also, thought you might like to see the BBC news coverage

nongenderbias9 Thu 26-Jan-12 23:21:10

Hi

Apparently 1 in 3 children live without their Father. Why do we treat our Farther's with such disrespect? I know so many Father's who are tossed aside by society. They can be such good role models for our children, but instead they are emotionally broken beings cast out by the Family Courts into the "every other weekend contact parent" role, feeding on scraps of a relationship with their children, often strained by the negative demonisations of an angry controlling X

SirBoobAlot Sun 29-Jan-12 09:49:08

Know this has finished but raising a single finger to a child is excessive force. Its okay as long as its not classified as abuse? What bullshit.

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