I wrote a blog after the riots looking at why I thought this may have happened, there had been many articles about the why’s and where for, some quite calm and some outrageously biased or over the top.
I suggested that we needed to look beyond the thugs, beyond the gangs, beyond class and instead look at the very fabric of society.
Many agreed with me and I was quite happy that I had written a well balanced blog. I draw your attention to it because the one word that stands out in this is ‘balance’
It has since been reported that no one group, no one issue, no one section of society was to blame for the unrest, and just as there needs to be balance when looking at the causes there equally importantly needs to be balance when dealing with the aftermath.
So is that balance present?
Not that I have seen so far, no.
I fully support the notion that those who committed these acts of violence and destruction and looting should be punished and punished in such a way that they and others would think twice about ever getting involved in such a thing again, but how?
David Cameron seems keen to adopt the idea of stopping the benefits of families of those involved, this begs two questions
1) what of the employed people who took part?
2) What does he assume these people will then do to survive?
If he believes they will walk away telling themselves they deserve this justice then he is even more out of touch with reality than I assumed.
And the same goes for the threat to evict these people from council housing, I ask again ‘what of those who took part who are not in council housing?
It smacks of one rule for one and a different one for others yet again.
This is a knee jerk reaction, as are some of the sentences being handed out to these people. There is no balance and this is what will be seen by the people watching how this government deals with this situation.
There are no excuses for the behaviour of these individuals, they obviously had no pride in their communities but will this give them that pride?
I in no way condone what happened and yes punishment needs to send a strong message to those involved and others who think this behaviour is acceptable but I do wonder at the lack of sense of balance where one part of society appears to be paying a much higher price than another!