Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Inequality To Blame For The Riots

Seventy-one per cent of 11-18 year-olds taking part in the first HeadsUp forum of the new school year, 'How equal is Britain?' thought that inequality was either mostly or partly to blame for the riots in English cities this year.

The 'How equal is Britain?' debate, running from September 26 - October 14, attracted a record number of comments from young people. The forum covered a variety of issues ranging from the role of inequality in the recent riots to equal representation in Parliament and sexism in sport.

Opinion was divided on the reasons for the riots:

"I believe that the people who got involved in the riots had a reason. Maybe it was because the government were not really taking care of them. They have got nothing left, so they have got nothing to lose."

"I don't think there was a message behind the riots because it could have started for a reason but most people that were involved with it were doing it for the excitement and money that looting provides."

Those taking part in the forum were asked if inequality played a part in the riots:

* 31% thought inequality was mostly to blame
* 40% thought that inequality was partly to blame
* 16% thought people involved were responsible for their own actions
* 13% were not sure what caused the riots

Equal representation of women in Parliament also attracted a lot of posts, with many agreeing with Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, who took part in the debate:

"Over half the population is female, yet we have a situation in which the important decisions about the future of the country are taken by men."

There was some debate as to how this might best be achieved, with some students supportive of fairer gender representation but stopping short of endorsing quotas:

There was also extensive discussion of women in sport. Posters felt that women had fewer sporting opportunities than men, owing to limited TV coverage, stereotypes about specific sports for each gender and poor P.E. lessons at school.


howard thomas said...

Inequality........afraid not ! Something to do with mob mentallity and thinking that they could get away with some free goodies .
Interesting to note however that the judges recognise that giving stiff sentences ought to prevent a repeat !

Steve said...

So your headline for the post should really read: "Inequality to blame for riots say children"

Adrian Windisch said...

Indeed Steve I could have said '11 to 18 year olds think inequality was either mostly or partly to blame for the riots in English cities this year.' But have you read many headlines like that? Thought not.

Howard you may think that a tough sentence will stop crimes. The USA has the death penalty and a high murder rate. Look up prison reform.

howard thomas said...

Arian..........Have you ever asked a career criminal as to what would stop them ?

Adrian Windisch said...

The only career criminals i know are MPs lol.

Plenty of ex criminals talk about this, look em up.

howard thomas said...

The reason that I ask, Adrian, is because I have done quite a number of times. The general answer , without going into details is that there is no fear of prison , especially after the first vist. Criminals do not fear either the court or prison and they are always aware of what they might 'get' for what they are up to.
Did you see Question Time where IDS made many valid points about the type of people who end up in prison on a regular basis (drink , drug dependancy , lack of literacy etc etc) Nigel Farage made a point about crime rates and American prisons. He said that since they have been throwing the key away for persistant offenders the crime rate has fallen greatly. Now I haven't yet checked this , but if true it kind of shoots down your theory . Nobody challenged him on this statement.
The bottom line is that crime prevention is preferable to punishment (saves a lot of victims) and just throwing criminals in prison is not the whole answer. Dealing with their problems and shortcomings is essential if they are to change , but the big stick has to be there for those that will not change their ways.

You are certainly right about many MPs. Lots got away with fraudulant claims while the ones that were sacrificed were often the small fry. One quite obvious example was Jacqui Smith and the spare bedroom saga. Because she was Home Secretary there were police records of her whereabouts each night which surely was the evidence to show the fraud !

Adrian Windisch said...

I would start looking at sites like this.

http://www.prisonsucks.com/ is interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/21/america-serious-crime-rate-plunging looks at this

digitaltoast said...

Shame you didn't feel able to publish my comment on this story. Why was that?

Adrian Windisch said...

When did you send it? May have got lost in spam.

As long as it contains reasonable language I usually post comments. Being rude is just not appropriate for this blog.