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to think it's all very well to say that rioters are scum or poor and unloved, but neither extreme really points to what we can do to stop this happening and getting worse in future?

(6 Posts)
working9while5 Wed 10-Aug-11 10:48:14

Let's talk reality here.

We are not going to line up these rioting kids and shoot them. They are not going to be put in the stocks. We don't have enough prisons to put them in and even if we did, there are plenty more to fill their shoes. We are not going to sterilise women we deem unfit to have children. Children will not be removed from parents of a particular class at birth and even if people really wanted this, there's no where for them to go. The army is not going to take over the running of all rough classes in the nation, there aren't enough personnel and the country is at war. Teachers are not going to suddenly be allowed to cane kids and to be honest, even if they were, kids these days would retaliate with knives and guns. No one is about to be flogged.

So yeah, it's inexcusable to riot and plenty of people grow up in rough places and turn out well and not having a job doesn't explain it etc

BUT

what are people going to do? How should this be tackled, how is it likely to be tackled?

Stop ranting on that it is "justifying" and "excuse making" to look at the reasons to see if there's a way to change this thing around. Something has to change and the resources aren't there for a far right or a far left solution. Kids aren't going to be doing hard labour for this, nor are they going to suddenly find themselves in a land of emotional milk and honey where this breakdown in SOCIETY can be erased.

You do NOT need to have sympathy, you DO not need to condone, you do NOT need to empathise with the rioters... BUT if something isn't done, these hardcore group of young people are going to get more and more volatile and if this is what they are capable of at 14 or 17, what are they going to be capable of as grown men (and, increasingly, women)?

Solutions are needed, not the rhetoric of stocks (on the right) or "nurturing" (on the left). Anyone have any? I sure as hell don't. I despair, I really do. I see no answer.

SoupDragon Wed 10-Aug-11 11:03:18

I read "nurturing" as "neutering" so theres an option grin

Punishment wise, I thing community service to clear up the mess and repair the damage would be appropriate.

A cure? I have no idea. something has gone wrong with how these children were raised but I'm not sure what or how to put it right.

working9while5 Wed 10-Aug-11 11:13:24

That's the thing, isn't it?

I am in a "leftie" sort of post (disability) and have been involved in working pretty damn hard to try to change things for kids who are not only disabled but also from these communities, some in care etc.. and I haven't seen anything really work. It is depressing. It is like Lord of the Flies, this is what a society without boundaries looks like I think.

I think you need a stick, ultimately, punishment and fear have to be part of the equation, it can't all be carrots. Youth Offenders get a system of rewards for staying out of trouble, I know one kid who I know at 14 will be a dangerous man who got a new set of drums from the YOT. Not sure how that really teaches any lessons...

Yet there has to be a viable alternative to criminality too: jobs, work, an ability to contribute. People shouldn't have to be literate and with middle-class like English a very specific set of communication skills to be employable just because there's no manufacturing etc.

Has anyone got any bright ideas? Anyone? If it were 20 kids, I'd be shipping them off to volunteer with proper poverty and live in tenements in India or something, learn what poverty can really be.. but it's not, so that's not viable. Military style bootcamps also appeal, proper discipline.. but there has to be something to be disciplined for as well. And there's no money for any of it..

Lemonylemon Wed 10-Aug-11 11:15:36

One of the cures may be activities that the kids can be doing during the summer holidays. With councils making cutbacks left, right and centre, quite often the first things to go are activity centres, skateboard parks, youth centres etc.

working9while5 Wed 10-Aug-11 11:21:49

That's still all leisure though, isn't it? If cuts are made and nice things go, the answer isn't to behave as a toddler and have a massive tantrum.

They are behaving like raging toddlers and I don't see how giving them anything will help resolve their sense of entitlement. Oh, we didn't give you enough to do that hot Summer? So you rioted? Good point there, let's build you a brand new skatepark.

Yet there are good teens too.. and they will lose out if this is used to justify cuts. We need systematic reinforcement of good behaviours and zero tolerance of bad behaviour. If these kids don't have parents, and many don't in any real sense of the word, then the state parents.. but right now it seems to do so only through "understanding" and "listening" to the young person, not through telling them what to do with any authority. I have a friend studying executive functioning and reasoning in this age group, she says that they really need a lot more guidance than we give them, they don't actually have the reasoning they appear to at all... they don't really know what the hell they are doing, any more than my 20 month old when he hits me if I don't give him what he wants or understand what he is asking. It's not okay for my 20 month old, it's certainly not okay for a 14 year old to throw the telly out of the shop window toys from the pram.

Guidance and authority are really needed - really, really needed. But how do you resurrect this in society?

Rosieeo Wed 10-Aug-11 11:33:58

We are not going to line up these rioting kids and shoot them. They are not going to be put in the stocks. We don't have enough prisons to put them in and even if we did, there are plenty more to fill their shoes.

No, we're not. But there has to be some punishment for their behaviour. Looking at what to do for them seems almost like a reward. And what 'help' should they be given? They have free education, help with accessing higher education, money, housing. What more can they be given?

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