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Published on August 16th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie3
England Riots: The Solutions To Civil Unrest
Welcome to Part Two off Yellow Magpie’s in-depth analysis of the England Rioting. This part will explore most of the solutions to civil unrest.
The methods of preventing social unrest and a failing society are manifold. It is no use trying to implement one or two different strategies that focus on just a few areas. A whole network of solutions is required to be implemented nationwide, simultaneously. It may take several years for the benefits to be reaped but they will occur.
In situations like civil unrest certain people always look for scapegoats. These are just some of the scapegoats that have recently sprung up by people falsly claiming to understand the causes at play.
The riots have offered racists and xenophobes the ideal opportunity to fling invective and bile. Far right extremists have already begun stating their reasons why the troubles occurred. Some blame members of the African community while others point the finger at people who hail from the Caribbean region.
Outright racism will never solve any problems. Not a single individual living in Britain can claim to be indigenous to the area. Every person living in Europe, Asia, the Americas, North Africa, South Africa, Australasia and West Africa are immigrants, whether they accept this or not.
Social media has also become erroneously linked to contributing to the rioting. Quarter-baked theories insinuate that without websites such as Facebook and Twitter – the violence and destruction would be less widespread.
In that case, the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles would never have occurred. But we all know this is not true.
Another perennial scapegoat continually mentioned by the misinformed are video games. Proponents of this school of thinking seem to believe that playing these games, especially those with adult themes, cause reality and fiction to become blurred.
From an early age children learn to distinguish reality from fantasy. If they didn’t they would regularly need therapy for dreaming. If there was any truth in the mistaken belief that computer games cause violence surely there should be huge portions of the population displaying homicidal rages considering how many play video games from children right up to the middle-aged.
How To Correct A Failing Education System
Not enough attention has been paid to divergent and convergent education. Studies by researchers, such as J.P. Guilford, have shown that some people are naturally better at arts subjects, such as English, history, philosophy, law and languages.
Others are better at maths and science-based subject-matter for example engineering, accounting, physics, chemistry and obviously, maths. Forcing people to fit into a box that does not suit them is one of the great failures of nearly all education systems. An education system that gives more options is better for everyone.
Employing more male teachers in troubled school areas could also help to improve the situation providing masculine authority figures.
Preventing Social Unrest
Combating social unrest and preventing these types of incidents from occurring again requires tremendous effort. In the short term, the worst offenders must serve prison time. Those who have carried out crimes that are deemed to be of a lesser nature should be made serve a few hundred hours community service in areas away from their locality and on their own.
It may be highly prudent to introduce compulsory national guard duty for all of a certain age. This occurs in many other jurisdictions and could be easily copied. Instilling discipline and a respect for authority plays a strong role in developing well-rounded individuals.
Throwing problematic youths in prison for less serious crimes is a waste of resources and costs taxpayers enormous sums of money. A far more sagacious use of these people would be to view them as a highly valuable commodity that can be of benefit to the community. They could be placed in supervised camps with their undoubted talents utilised for the benefit of the nation.
This is a two-way thing, people in these supervised camps would gain qualifications in return for providing their services and labour. Those that do not accept this second-chance, or break the rules of the camps, would simply be sent back to prison.
The Problem Of The Fatherless Society
Dealing with the issue of a growing fatherless society is incredibly difficult to solve. There is no substitute for a healthy environment where children’s needs are fully met.
As single-parenthood has now become normalised, placing great stress on individual parents rearing their children, the stigma of being a single parent has gone. On the whole, losing the negative connotations has been a good thing but it has diluted the desire to have two-parent relationships.
Providing more social care workers to help and offer support as well as more community-based activities to encourage balanced development should play an important part in childhood services. Well-vetted men and women could provide big-brother/big sister mentoring that could be rolled out throughout the country.
Fix The Economy, Stupid
Perhaps the hardest situation to fix is the economy. For this, there are no quick solutions. The banks should not have been bailed out. As it is, public money has been invested in the same broken, deregulated system which resulted in a global recession. In future, public money should never be ‘invested’ in dysfunction.
Fractional banking should be prohibited and a return to the safety of heavily regulated, deposit-based lending institutions reintroduced.
There needs to be a greater emphasis on rebuilding national economies and satiating the domestic markets’ needs through domestic industry. The United Kingdom, like other import-orientated nations, over time needs to stop outsourcing all their goods and services to export-orientated countries such as China, Japan, and Germany.
A Culture Of Entitlement Without Responsibility
Entitlement culture is a gravely misunderstood world. There are many who honestly believe that a large portion of tthose on social welfare do not wish to work, that young girls get pregnant just so they can obtain houses from the local authorities, and that living on social welfare is easy. It is very clear that people who hold such beliefs are a million miles removed for the reality of the situation and have little comprehension as to what life for those on social welfare is really like.
Living on social welfare is a soul-destroying experience for many people who are long-term unemployed. Self-confidence gradually becomes eroded and often depression sets in. The stresses of dealing with bills with such paltry sums of money can be overpowering at times. When placed in these situations it can be very hard to find a way out.
That being said, encouraging dependence on social welfare is self-defeating. Every effort must be made to allow people to work and give them a sense of personal pride. Providing more opportunities to up-skill in a greater variety of careers should be made a compulsory priority for anyone on social welfare. Those who have been unemployed for more than two years should be enrolled on community employment schemes.
Fixing The Judicial System
Clearly a system that continually suggests that different laws apply to different people is deeply flawed. This is a problem that requires serious thought and multiple solutions. Transparency is the cornerstone of true democracy. Without it, secrets are kept from the general public and corruption is allowed to fester.
All reports on serious disciplinary police officer cases that make it as far as court should be made public.
Court Judges hold dominant positions of power. Not only that, but they will hold such positions until they retire. Some judges are unfit for these roles. This was especially highlighted in Ireland with former Circuit Court Judge, Brian Curtin. Curtin’s computer was found to contain 273 pornographic pictures of children by Garda detectives. Not only was he acquitted, he is now receiving a substantial judge’s pension.
Such injustices are not unheard of in the judicial system. One method that would remove these inappropriate people is independent reviews. These performance reviews, carried out every five years or so, would wipe out such concerns. Once again this process should be transparent and all reports made public.
Dealing With Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a tremendous problem in many countries. Its ubiquity means that people have a habit of taking it for granted and few too many realise that it is a substance whose effects are on a par with hard drugs. Alcohol is one, if not the most destructive drug currently available.
There is nothing inherently wrong with drinking alcohol but how many people truly realise the risks? How many understand the potential for dependency? How many are aware that alcohol causes cancer, heart disease and brain damage? Do women comprehend that they are especially vulnerable to the physical effects of alcohol abuse? Do they know that binge drinking can destroy their livers by the age of 25 or 26, and in some cases even sooner?
Do men realise that taking excessive amounts of alcohol greatly increases the risk of them committing violent acts and ending up in prison?
The most obvious, and perhaps the only viable, method of tackling alcoholism is changing consumption patterns.
The extremely cheap prices that liquor sells for in supermarkets contributes a great deal to the problem. Preventing supermarkets from selling alcohol would greatly reduce the ease at which people drink and would help to alleviate alcohol problems. Increasing the VAT on drink sold in off-licences would also contribute greatly.
This would deal with some of the immediate problems but a paradigmatic shift would be required to tackle the issue properly and for that to occur an alternative to drink would have to be encouraged. Much of people’s social night-life revolves around alcohol and there are no real alternatives. Setting up night-time cafes could succeed in changing human behaviour. No longer would there be no alternative to drinking.
The Realism Of Now
None of the answers to these problems are particularly novel or ground-breaking. We have known about these solutions for decades. Yet they have never been properly implemented. No country has ever combated social injustice, social inequality and civil unrest with a complete, nationwide, ground-up approach that deals with all of the problems at once.
The solutions offered above must be seen as a long term strategy that may take ten or more years to implement. Time and patience are what is needed.
Let’s be realistic for awhile. What is the likelihood of all of the above being introduced by current governments? Most people will realise that the odds are somewhere between slim and none. Instead one or two areas, that appear dramatic but achieve little, will be targeted.
For the proper changes to occur, and for people to get the society that they deserve, more radical changes to the way society is governed will have to come about.
In the next part, The England Riots And A Radical New System Of Governance , Yellow Magpie will take a look at why we have never tackled these problematic areas. More importantly, we will indicate a new model, a new system of governance that will radically alter the fabric of society.
In the meantime, for those who have not read Part One. You can access The Causes Of The England Riots here.