|Mayhem on the streets of England's cities|
If we are all in this together, then it includes the wretched rioters as well. Just locking them up in Wandsworth Jail isn't going to help. That place is deemed low on the list for rehabilitation skills. David Cameron says, "There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but are frankly sick. It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to feel the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities and their actions do not have consequences. Well, they do have consequences." With that I agree. However, sickness needs curing. Many would favour euthanasia as a cure, but those are just heat-of-the-moment sentiments. Responsibilities, YES. Positive actions, YES. But a definite NO to combative talk leading nowhere.
I'm shifting gear nicely now in my sixties. I don't want to go into my seventies and eighties and still see society with those pockets of deprivation as a growing cancer in our midst. Way back in the seventies I canvassed for the Conservatives in the Birmingham Ladywood by-election (1977). Promises from all the candidates including our own John Quentin Davies who seemed utterly detached from the squalor around him. Probably he's now better off with ermine and his New Labour friends. Somehow I found myself with him in the stairwell of a depressing tower block of council flats canvassing grumpy disillusioned Brummies. Only their votes were sought, not their opinions. However, I ventured along a high balcony walkway and came across a young black boy. His eyes showed signs of weariness but his hopes and aspirations were crystal clear. He wanted to do good at school and leave the area. He was the complete opposite of mindless. He was bright and clever but stuck in a so-called deprived area. I sometimes wonder how it all worked out for him.
It's all very well talking of robust action but we need positive action. These riots didn't really surprise me. Maybe in their intensity but not in their happening. The only people who can create positive change by making the laws work are politicians. Let them all come together on this and cure those parts that are "frankly sick".