The (mostly self-important and vociferous) debate around the recent riots in England (and subsequent police performance in dealing with them) is continuing however many questions still remain… Firstly and most important, can we keep up this impetus in the debate? To do that we also have to ask; can we prevent any cooling of the angst currently fuelling the social importance of the debate? In addition; are we now finally and genuinely, looking at the root causation factors and actually trying to do something about them?
Will our politicians (and society at large) even maintain their (apparent) desire to drive forward the change that is required? Or as is so often the case in our sociopolitical history, are we simply going to move on (far too quickly) from our short-term sound-bite and/or hindsight methods? Traits all too evident within of our current politics where courting public adulation and self-promotion appears far more important than the greater social problem.
Recent input (see here) to the riots debate by Ex PM Tony Blair (and clown) tends to illustrate the latter fact well; many politicians (and other public servants) often put far more effort into enhancing their personal Gong chasing portfolio. As opposed to actually representing the people who elected them, or the country and society they are supposed to serve!
According to Blair; the “big” cause of the riots in England was “alienated, disaffected youth… outside the social mainstream” – Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said… Writing in the Observer, he warned that “muddle-headed analysis” of the riots may result in wrong policy responses (bbc.co.uk).
Blair’s analysis is ninth rate and one has to wonder why The Observer chose to print such self-serving trash from a man who ‘led’ us into an illegal war…on the basis of hapless intelligence? (Allcoppedout Blog)
As my learned and educated friend of academia, something of an expert in political economic and social observation, succinctly and rightly observed this week; The Riots Tell Us There is ‘An Order’ To Shake!
Ian Dunt (The guardian & political analyst for Yahoo UK) said in his recent comments at politics.co.uk Cowardice defines our response to the riots… “The political response to the riots has been deeply cynical and lacking in vision. England deserves better.”
What’s required is humility. England is a much more problematic and fractured place than we had previously imagined. What should be a turning point for our society is being hushed-up and appropriated for personal political gain by our leaders while we replace genuine debate with schoolyard taunts and tribalism. It may be months from now, or years perhaps, but one day soon we’ll regret it…(Ian Dunt)
Any expectation as to tangible evidence of the changes we require is difficult however; if we do have any genuine desire to avoid Ian Dunt’s prophecy, we must do better. Our political and social history indicates the requirement for a massive sea change in the ideologies and methodologies of our political and organisational leadership. That said and as Tim Newburn, an academic specialising in criminology and policing at the London School of Economics points out; one of the first things to address is all this political/police conflict…
“Cuts to police numbers, proposals for directly elected Commissioners, and the wooing of US ‘supercop’ Bill Bratton are all evidence of a new and much more adversarial relationship between the Conservatives and the police.” (Tim Newburn)
More evidence to support the need for less individualism and organisational point scoring within our society… This, if proof is still needed, shows how we really do have to start doing some serious hatchet burying and move forward. Unfortunately it appears the proverbial hatchet is currently being swung in a totally different direction. A direction that is (mostly) designed to disguise many of the socioeconomic issues that we currently face, but so easily seek to ignore and brush under the carpets of our self-importance.
As Tim Newburn alluded to above, the direction I’m referring to are the cuts born out of government austerity measures. They are supposedly in place to combat the world economic downturn however; they are mostly due to a criminal waste of public funds by successive administrations in our recent political and social history. Some of these measures, are likely to have the most profoundly negative impact upon many of our social problems; not least the proposals relating to policing budgets.
A leading light in the observance of our past sociopolitical mistakes is Dr Matthew Ashton; many of them are discussed and commented upon in his Politics Blog. Recently he commented upon The folly of cutting police funding, especially during our current climate of social and political unrest. On the “knee jerk responses to the civil unrest” and David Cameron’s “embarrassing u-turns in the last year” specifically he said;
…the mark of a good politician is to admit when they’re wrong rather than to keep going regardless… Ultimately in the long-term I think it’s just as important to increase the amount we spend on social workers as it is the police, but in the short-term it would be incredibly unwise to cut police funding…(Dr Matthew Ashton)
Many must now be asking the same question as me; am I hopeful of seeing some real and tangible change this time around? The answer has to be yes, I’m ‘hopeful’ but any ‘confidence’ in that ‘hope’ is a great deal harder to muster!
The Social Animal we Deny: …About a third of life currently ticks over at a tiny fraction of our metabolism in sea-sludge. If you can look at the world free of our propaganda, human beings do very little in the overall cosmos and our report card as a species reads ‘should try harder’…(Allcoppedout Blog)
- The walls of our folly are crumbling! (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- ‘Outsiders’ always know best…Apparently? (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- High Street Problems and Hill Street Blues! (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- Benefits and Baloney of Bratton Babble (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- Starkey’s ‘Gangsta Rap’…And all that Jazz! (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- London Riots – THE Best Comment Yet (dickiebo.wordpress.com)