Thursday, 11 August 2011
UK riots: a sign of social decay
The riots that we have seen in Britain over the last few days expose the decay of communities in many big cities across the country. Shocking as they are, they have had a long and steady gestation. All they needed was a spark, combined with a little coordination via social networking media, and they spread like wildfire across the country.
It is rather simplistic to blame the police; they deal with the problems of society, not solve them. Years of dysfunctional families in which the father is often absent, poor educational achievement, emotional and economic insecurity, as well as the constant drip feed of a crass materialistic and hedonistic culture have all had their destructive effects.
Although sanity has returned to the streets, we ignore the deep social problems that have manifested themselves at our peril. Do we really want to live in hermetically sealed communities, relying on an overstretched police force to protect us from the mob, or do we want a fairer and more peaceful society in which there is respect for one another? This is not a time for political point scoring, but to really reflect on what needs to be done to address the underlying problems. Otherwise we may well see a repeat of the wanton destruction and looting we have witnessed recently.