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Blame and Accusation: The Aftermath Of The England Riots

Sammi Wong |
August 18, 2011 | 9:52 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

(Alan Stanton, Wikimedia Commons)
(Alan Stanton, Wikimedia Commons)
Blame and accusation. That is the aftermath of the terrifying England Riots that took place last week which left more 3,000 arrested and over 1,400 already charged.

In a society that refuses to take responsibility for anything negative, everybody is once again searching for the scapegoat to take the fall for this tragedy while ignoring all the previous signs of trouble between the youth and the authority.

David Cameron, prime minister, blames the riots on the gang culture that has been gaining steam in England over the past decade, while the youth blames the government for their lack of support in such a grim economy. It’s a classic case of the haves versus the have-nots.

Different factions of the country have been criticized – the police for their slow response to the riots and the courts for taking too long in dealing with these felony charges. It seems that everything that everybody is doing points toward trying to wrap up this chapter in England's bloody history, instead of focusing on trying to solve the problems that caused the riots from the very beginning.

According to the LA Times, the riots were "the result of a "lost generation" of youth under 20 who have little to lose and a bleak future."

Sure, a killing sparked the riots but the reason for its continuation is nothing except for the large number of youths who have little to do with their time and much to be angry about. The high unemployment rates in England have affected many who even with a college education find it difficult to thrive.

Another major problem that is prevalent throughout England is their lack of system in reintroducing those with a criminal record back into society. What it resulted in is large numbers of past criminals who have served their time, paid their debt back to society, yet still having to deal with their past being thrown in their face with every job rejection.

According to a report by BBC following the riots, two women claimed that their main reason for looting is to “show the police, and the rich, that they can do whatever they want.”

That is what poverty has driven England to. While on the surface, England is supposed to be a socialist society that minimizes the gap between the rich and the poor but what the rest of world have been seeing this past decade has been nothing but an illusion.

Rioters continue to see extravagant measures being taken within their own city such as the royal wedding and the many Olympic preparations while at the same time watching the poverty in their community go on with no signs of its termination.

Imagine the frustration building up within these young people when they are under the assumption that their country does in fact have money to spend but are spending it on trivial matters instead of improving the lives of those who are helpless in this economy.

The rich are blaming the poor because they are the instigators in these riots. The poor are punishing the rich, purely for the fact that they are rich. But instead of focusing on the blame and who is responsible for these riots, it is more important for England as a country to deal with the initial problems that caused the riots in order to ensure that they are not repeated.

England is filled with anger. All those unemployed youth with potential yet no future are stewing in this pot of frustration and seeing no way out. Until the country can fix this problem and give these people a place to go and things to do, there will be continuations of this tragedy. 

Contact staff writer Sammi Wong here.



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