I'm in Berlin, staring at the computer screen, waiting for twitter or FB to update me on what's going on with the riots, which has left my head spinning. I have just about calmed down and have started to give everything more in-depth thought, but without the emotional drama.
In my last blog, I wrote how maybe these children, this so-called 'next generation' (some even define them as the 'lost' generation), are in desperate need of a voice, because society has neglected them for so long. Since then I have read countless theories on why the youth of our time feel the need to react with such violence. Some people claim it's our consumer culture, where these kids have nothing, who see posters of material goods that they think they want, but can't have. Others blame rap music and/or reality TV... (even after first posting this, I read another article, which changed my opinion completely).
However, as much as I am sure most of these kids need a voice, someone to listen to their needs and explain to us where they feel things have gone wrong in their lives, I still can't ignore that their behaviour was a disgusting act of worthless revenge for what seems to be, for no real reason at all but that they had the possibility to do it and what's worse, get away with it...
But wait a second... Haven't we somehow seen this before? Haven't we seen bankers, politicians of England steal our money as well? Just because one's wearing a suit and the other a hoody, does it mean it's less criminal? According to some journalists - these kids actually make the connection in justifying their actions - 'if the man in the bank can steal from his country, then so can we.'
Sending these children to jail however, hasn't really kept them from looting, they're taken to jail for a night and then released because of lack of space within the vicinity. I do strongly believe that we are all born knowing right from wrong, it's in our blood, our instinct and yes, growing up with the influence of our surroundings, can muddy our perception. I can be damn sure, that every child who has broken the law in the last four days, knows they did something wrong, but they did it anyway. Just like every politician who cut back on uni fees knew deep in their hearts that this would have consequences.
But does it only come down to children relfecting the injustice behaviour played out by some of the rich? Or are some issues to do with their surroundings, the neglect from school, parents, society in general? Are those some of the reasons why they seek out gangs, or more gangs seek them, because they know that these baron children need a kind of guidence, another form of family where they feel they are understood?
Maybe this is a kick up the arse for England, to realize that things need drastic change on so many levels, and maybe these kids do need a voice, because I am sure for some, not all their needs are met even with the support they get from the social services. Who knows.
All I can hope for the country right now is that they take this as some kind of warning, that something needs to change drastically, that we should not turn another blind eye and pretend it doesn't exist. Because it does exist and there are many different reasons to why it exists in the first place and it's influencing others to the brink of self destruction.
So lets make sure something good comes out of this. Something that will last.
But that's me being hopefully and ideological.
If anything, we can always make sure that as an individual we are doing something right, and hopefully that will have a positive knock-on effect.
As for the kids? I do hope they really know right from wrong and that it's not too late to save them. I hope they do find a more peaceful way in achieving those things in life that they want most. As for punishment? I see a LOT of community service on the way.