The England Riots
The funny thing about reactions is that they are just that, reactions.
On the morning of August 9th 2011 I woke up to the horrific news of the London Riots and, like so many people in England, my first feeling was anger towards these people (if you can call them that). I was astounded that the police had been seen to have done so little to stop peoples livelihoods, businesses, streets and homes being destroyed. Images of old London buildings burnt to the ground and people stealing things for no real reason was enough for everybody in England to have an opinion on what had happened.
I believe my first genuine feelings were “those *insert expletive here* don’t deserve the life they have been given and it should be taken away”. However, as this was just a reaction it’s funny how a viewpoint can change with time.
As the day went on I continued to feel angry about what these people had did, but then I, like many people, began to have my views on why this happened, why it wasn’t stopped, who is to blame and what should be done with those *insert expletive here*.
I wanted the army out, I wanted destruction to these people. However I realised later in the day the army would do nothing more than the police are ALLOWED to do. Never mind the fact that Britain no longer has a large army, most are out of the country anyway and therefore the army would just be a kneejerk reaction that is not needed.
Thanks to the breaking news wonder that is Twitter, one of the first things I saw was this video below around 9:30am
This video sickened me, I believe my first response was that I wanted to go in to London and get erm… “violent” with these people. Now however, that obviously isn’t the way to go.
Next I heard that 450 arrests had been made. “Great!” I thought, but then I assessed this. Point 1 – Only 450 arrests when there were 6,000 police out there and A LOT more rioters than 450. Point 2 – What will actually happen to these people? Not alot, this country has a far too softly softly approach on criminality. Most of these guys will probably get a light sentence, or a caution, which happens far too often. THIS is why people feel they can get away with this soft of thing, there is very little repercussion for this type of behaviour. All crime should be punished accordingly, there should be no “cautions”, the minimum sentences are too light and the punishments need to be changed. The fact that people like Pete Doherty can walk the streets free when everybody knows the kind of stuff he gets up to shows a mockery of our legal system. Who knows, maybe Winehouse would actually be alive and clean if she wasn’t allowed to muck up her life (and in turn, the lives of her family etc).
Later in the day, somebody made me realise a good point, the system needs a massive clean up. Small jail terms, community service and fixed fines do NOTHING to keep the country in order. Additional penalties need to be added. People who commit SERIOUS crimes need to be punished accordingly. People who commit SERIOUS crimes cannot be given all this protection from the law for their “rights”. When people commit SERIOUS crimes, then these rights need to be taken away.
Listening to BBC News yesterday, I heard some chav say “We’re goin’ mad ‘cos you not respectin’ us – We’ll respect you when you respect us”. This, again, angered the hell out of me. Why the hell do these people feel they “deserve” respect, who from exactly? The police? All due respect but the police are here to protect us, not to be all softly softly to the spoilt brats of this country. Some people are worried about police stopping and searching – Why? What have people got to hide? Do you want protection or not?
So, to my point of what I realised, short jail terms and community service will do nothing to teach these people a lesson. These people don’t think like normal people. If people feel like they are not respected, if people feel like they are owed something by this country then make them realise otherwise. Take away healthcare, take away their right to obtain a driving license, take away their right to benefits and tax credits. Take away what this country gives them. They do not deserve it.
Personally, I’d like to see these people with such a lack for authority shipped off to an Island with no police, no benefits, no nothing, and let them live their life like that. Maybe that way they would stop complaining about how hard done by they are in this free country. Sure, some things suck, some things are going crazy in this country – Is there any need to destroy livelihoods though? No.
Whose to blame?
People are blaming everybody from here to Timbuktu. I’ve heard people blaming the police, the government, the rioters, the parents, games, media and Lord knows what else.
Personally, for causing what has happened, this is caused by one thing and one thing alone, no respect for authority and too tame laws.
For the riots going on all night and continuing, the Government and “do-gooders” that continue to whine on about the rights of these criminals. Why? Because the police have little power, they can get in to major trouble if they even injure one of the rioters. So I get annoyed about people that blame the police, it’s not their fault, they are following directives set by the Government – Who in turn make these laws and protections due to the fools out there who whine on when the police are actually doing their job and protecting the country by using force sometimes.
I am not saying that the police should be allowed to do what they want to everyone, however, to anyone committing a serious crime (arson, burglary etc), the police should be given Carte Blanche to regain control and not have to worry about giving someone a graze. The police should not be allowed to kill or SERIOUSLY harm them, unless they become a danger to members of the public or the police themselves.
People will argue back saying how can people know when Police do this without due cause – To be fair, a minority of idiots in the police will do things anyway regardless of what the law is. My solution, give the police the additional power they NEED, and keep a watch over them by attaching small recording devices to each officer (video/audio), so that if an officer does act like a brainless brute then they are deservedly punished.
It’s far too early for me to be saying that I’m looking back – Who knows, I may change my mind on some of this as time goes on. But personally, I am sick of the culture in this country. Not just by the rioters, but by people in general. There is a massive disrespect for authority that spreads through so many parts of this country. It’s “cool” to continually slate Government figures, it’s “cool” to dislike the police even though they are just normal people like you and me who protect the country, it’s “cool” to have a lack of an education. People need to wake up and change. Not just the rioters, but everybody.
Looking back at yesterday, I think David Cameron has acted very well in response to what has happened so far, the additional police on the streets did tame last nights riots and the news that water cannons etc are being allowed if anything does happen is exactly what is needed so far – However this is not yet over and a lot more needs to be done. He, and all MPs, need to bring change to this country, reform laws and stop listening to the human rights criers. These rioters don’t deserve to have anything.
The other week in my own home town, on my way to the taxi rank from the local pub, two people (separate, one after the other) decided to start a fight with me. I didn’t do anything back, both tried to hit me, one did and ripped my top. Did I retaliate? No. I am not the scum that some people are (plus someone I care about was there, why would I want them to see me as a brute?) – But is this what this country has become? Not being able to walk down the street for fear of some drunken idiot deciding that he wants a fight? What would have happened if I had called the police too? Nothing, nothing at all would have happened to these people except maybe a nights sleep in the local station, a slap on the wrist and off you go to do it again.
People are far too quick to defend these type of people, including the rioters. Some people try to defend them by saying they come from a poor background, “it’s what they are used to”. Yesterday, I was given a massive boost in confidence for the good in this country by looking at the support of the clean-up operation and the condemning of the riots by pretty much everyone I know. But the small minority that defend people because “it’s who they are” or try and look for background reasons (even pathetic ones like “Grand Theft Auto caused this”) need to wake up, and realise that everybody is equal and there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. No matter what, even if the riots were even about something like the University riots they are unacceptable. It only hurts normal people, businesses and themselves when the tax bill comes in. There are so many better ways to get your voice heard.
I’m not saying I want a totalitarian state, I don’t want people to be afraid to walk down the street for fear of being mobbed by the police. But a line needs to be drawn in the middle – Criminals need to have no rights and force against them – People who abide by the law and have respect for authority should be shown respect. Everybody deserves human rights, until they do things to damage others rights.
Things need to be done, the softly softly approach does not work, “hug a hoody” does not work. A balance needs to be drawn.