15 year old Joe Dolling, tells us his views on the riots swarming Britain.
The carnage that has descended over England in the past few days has had a dizzying effect, both in terms of the events themselves and the often incoherent media furore surrounding them.
I think it would be false to proclaim that such riots are a direct result of Mark Duggan’s death last week or in fact that this is a matter of basic politics; it isn’t. There is no social justice in torching cars, no sense of skewed liberation from ransacking a local bakery, no progress made from smashing windows. These events have transcended the sphere of morality created by the death of Duggan – this situation has become much more primal. It’s been almost anarchic in the past few days: no substance in the words of our ‘leaders’, little conviction in the promises of reprisal.
What has prompted such a snowball effect in the hearts of these youths? Most young rioters are likely to be on their school holidays. Speaking from experience, there is usually a suffocating sense of boredom from such an extended period of essentially doing nothing. There is no doubt that many of those involved will have also felt this – I’m sure that the on-going riots will have given them ‘something to do’. It may be as basic as this; the selfish, destructive release of pent-up energy and the feeling of rebellion it will have given them.
Media coverage can’t have helped. Tireless journalistic presence in the affected areas may have given these youths a sense of importance in their actions: they’re obviously doing something newsworthy. They’ve got a chokehold on the country and like it or not, we are asphyxiated. It’s not unreasonable to assume that there is some sort of twisted pleasure from this kind of social abuse – the feeling of camaraderie in the gang mentality obviously features here.
Unfortunately I believe that the riots are a fatal blow to the image of our generation; only time will tell if we’re now viewed as ‘Britain’s failed youth’ – for our sake I hope not. We’re much, much more than that.