Putting The Bulldog Back in Britain

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Why? That’s a question millions of people throughout Britain are asking, why did some of England’s young and not so young turn inwards to destroy their own society, local businesses and therefore local jobs.

Why did they riot, loot, destroy people’s homes, belongings and worst of all, the wanton destruction of life itself. Why was a question a father asked of the persons who purposely ran over his son and two other young men killing all three where they stood protecting their building?

He stood quietly and with humility and dignity asked why, why did the men drive a car past the crowd then turn around and drive straight at and over the three men, he wasn’t screaming for revenge nor beating his chest for the injustice of the deaths, he was asking for calm from all of his fellow citizens.

Why? was also a question an English journalist asked of a looter as she ran from a store carrying a television, her answer was “were getting out taxes back”. I would like to ask her and others who believed that was what they were doing, why do you think you pay your taxes to the local shops, or by destroying the shops and chances of future local employment that your getting your money back from the government? Unless of course it’s in unemployment benefit and in that case, would it be ok if others came and destroyed what you have to get their taxes back?

David Cameron the British PM asked of the British people “do we have the determination to confront the slow motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country the past few generations.” Not so much slow motion Mr. Cameron as most people will contest, maybe you’ve been looking in the wrong direction.

Mr. Cameron went on to say that likely causes were “bad parenting” and a “lack of discipline and responsibility in schools and in the home.” Discipline and responsibility are two things that have slowly been taken away from parents, teachers and police forces across the UK in regards to the nation’s children.

Children have the right to be loved, to be safe, to be kept warm, well nourished and to be taught a moral code of conduct, to have set boundaries and understand the consequences’ of crossing those boundaries, to be encouraged to be the best they can be and to respect each other. In short, children have a right to have parents and teachers who can exercise their rights to encourage and aid the future generations to become responsible adults.

Of course children need a voice. They have a right to all of the above and to be able to speak out if they are being harmed. But when those voices unite and turn to wide spread violence and murder, it could be time to turn the clock back and mix some of the best parenting practises of our parents and grandparents with the best of modern practises. If schools and parents worked together in support of each other’s roles, then maybe we will have started to “mend our broken society” as David Cameron said.

I think Mr. Cameron voiced a lot of people’s thoughts when he said of Britain’s broken society “Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control. Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged-sometimes even incentivised-by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally demoralised.”

Expanding on the Voluntary National Citizen program aimed at teenagers is a good way forward, as is handing back responsibility to families themselves and showing a firm hand when it comes to the punishment for crimes and not being swayed by state agencies who seemingly want to coddle further the welfare dependency of their clients?

As Sally Ireland the policy director of the law reform organisation, JUSTICE-told the GUARDIAN newspaper in response to Manchester magistrates court deeming the maximum six month term they could hand down was not enough for the seriousness of the crimes committed in the riot affected towns, cases were fast tracked to the Crown court where longer sentences were pronounced. “The circumstances of public disorder should be treated as an aggravating factor and one would expect that, to push up sentences by a degree, but not by as much as some of the cases we have seen.”

Public disorder is a bit of an understatement and four years is certainly more apt than six months for these deplorable crimes.

The challenge to face is for communities, schools, government agencies and families to back each other and Mr. Cameron because in this case he has hit the nail on the proverbial head.

For those who don’t think it will happen in their community, look around the chances are that the first rumblings have already started, so let’s get rid of the political agendas and race issues and get down to the basic facts.

We can’t all have loads of money; we can’t always get what we want, but we can all try to be the best we can be and treat each other with dignity and respect.

Fiona Hammond is a journalist who graduated from the John Morris journalism academy. Fiona lives on the south coast of NSW Australia and writes human interest stories and opinions, about gardening, sustainability, fishing, the environment and our planet.