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The broken society is back at the top of the Prime Minister's agenda.


Forum Editor

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I'm sure that we're all pleased to hear that news, and that David Cameron is going to "review all policies, speed up plans to improve parenting and education and turn around the lives of 120,000 "troubled" families."

What I'm interested in learning - apart from how that might be achieved - is how we got where (apparently) we are now; just how did our society become broken, if indeed that's what has happened?

I wonder if we can discuss a subject like this without lapsing into the usual round of party-political slanging matches - try to leave idealogies out of it, and concentrate on the social changes that have brought about a situation in which people go on the rampage, burning and looting, as happened recently.

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sunnystaines

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"I wonder if we can discuss a subject like this without lapsing into the usual round of party-political slanging matches - try to leave idealogies out of it, and concentrate on the social changes that have brought about a situation in which people go on the rampage, burning and looting, as happened recently"

difficult as party politics and policy play a big part I feel is the cause. peter hitchens summed it up very well on tv the other night.

I feel the dumbing down in schools and parents that have no morals in upringing of their children and the lack of disciple in school,home, and being too soft in courts all play a big part.

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woodchip

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My view is simply put. It's beyond imperfect Man to put things right. He like all of us should look at our selves first before trying to fix the world

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Quickbeam

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I really don't know. And nor do I suspect most of the persons that he'll consult.

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morddwyd

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Personal view. It's the loss of father figures and suitable role models.

Fashionable to blame the single Mum and I'm not going to, but it must be awfully difficult to control a thirteen year old, of either sex, when you've been out grafting all day and the electric bill has just come in.

All these kids we've seen going in and out of courts - nearly all accompanied by their Mum, not their Dad.

Time for men, as a sex, to face up to their responsibilities.

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OTT_B

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I've so much wondering to do, and not enough grey matter to do it with.

But here's a thought; What if society isn't broken in England? Yes there have been riots in England, but then there has been a lot of social unrest all over the world recently. Shootings in Norway, the Arab Spring resulting in a high profile war in Libya, brutal (alleged!) suppression in Syria, the former Egyptian president in court for genocide. The governments in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia forced to yield to the people.

Even the most politically naive youths would struggle to miss half of that going on in the world. And there would be little excuse for an adult to not know. With a diverse culture in England feelings in some populations, even if on a sub concious level, may be running far higher than normal.

So maybe it's just been a knock on effect? There was a catalyst in the shooting of Mark Duggan, an opportunity after the gathering at a police station by Mr Duggan's family and precedent set by other countries.

After that, it took the form of a riot involving adults and minors alike committing violent acts, and opportunists who thought they could take a bottle of water (or whatever, the point is that taking a bottle of water may be the same technical crime as taking a television, but hardly on the same scale especially when presented with the option of either, or both. It seems to me to say something about the person committing the crime).

It's the spread across London and onto other cities that interests me most though. It's one thing to have someone in Tottenham posting a message on Facebook to go to a riot that has already been sparked in an area, but how then does that same message apply to Manchester? What sparked that?

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nangadef

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Laissez-faire society, human rights gone too far, parents who would rather watch TV than interact with their children, door-key kids, the chase for possessions over family well-being, successive governments ignoring the problems in the search for continuing power......it's been spiralling downwards for several generations.

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Flak999

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OTT_B

how then does that same message apply to Manchester? What sparked that?

Sheer opportunist criminality is what sparked that! Every city and community has a group of people (large or small) who are criminals and hold society and the law in contempt.

These groups watched the TV coverage of the Tottenham disturbances saw that the police were giving the rioters a free hand and thought to themselves "I'll have some of that!"

They perceived wrongly that they could riot, loot commit arson with impunity, and for a time it seemed they were right. Once the police numbers were surged and the policing became "more robust" order was restored.

The only thing certain of these criminal elements respect or acknowledge is violence, therefore their violence has to be met with violence. The days of excusing their behaviour because the poor darlings didn't get a kiss or a bedtime story when they were little, is over!

The time for draconian measures is upon us, I am heartened by the proposals to remove these peoples benefits and to evict them from their council properties, but that must be just the start!

Once they begin to realise that the price they will pay for their criminality will be a huge one, then we will have put this genie firmly back in it's bottle.

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OTT_B

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"Sheer opportunist criminality is what sparked that! Every city and community has a group of people (large or small) who are criminals and hold society and the law in contempt.

These groups watched the TV coverage of the Tottenham disturbances saw that the police were giving the rioters a free hand and thought to themselves "I'll have some of that!" "

That being the case, the rioting should have been far, far more widespread, unless there is something environmentally or socially specific to the areas and people involved, but I'm not sure what that would be. The population of Britain is diverse in a lot of towns and cities, but the vast majority saw no problems.

For the time being, I think I'll carry on pondering that there is actually no major problem in England. We got to where we are, not uniquely because of government policies, but because a person is deeply affected by the information they see and hear and that can affect them in unpredictable ways. The affect of the crowd then progresses things to criminality.

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OTT_B

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fourm member

I certainly agree that the 'broken society' is a carefully constructed phrase. As with most things political, and in a lot of other areas, policy relates to a concept. The problem comes when the concept is not defined properly, and that in itself is the problem with politics.

Moving away from my thoughts that there may be nothing wrong with society and moving towards English politics as a cause, anything that Cameron et al do to try and fix the issue could have unpredictable consequences if the problem is not first properly defined.

So, I'm back to square one and FE's questions.

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ams4127

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It seems to me as if we have two seperate societys in this country. We have the society which upholds law and order and puts a value on an ordered society, and we have the other society which has little or no respect for the law and has an utter contempt for a "civilised" lifestyle.

The gap between these two opposing factions is huge and will not easily be healed, certainly not within the life span of anyone alive today. It is a bleak outlook and makes me very concerned when politicians stand up and proclaim that they have a magic formula which will sort all the problems out in a matter of weeks. They don't, and everybody knows they don't, but still they do it. This only adds to the contempt that a large part of the population feels about politicians in general.

I agree with a lot of what morddwyd has said about absent fathers, and the difficulties mothers face in trying to bring up their kids whilst holding down a job to earn a living. It all seems like a vicious circle which just seems to be getting worse.

The answer has to lie in better education with the subsequent improvement in the chance of getting a job and feeling valued.

Without that education, this country is going to hell in a handcart, and no amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth together with posturing for the cameras is going to fix what is badly broken.

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