This post may divide opinion – especially between the politically-partisan and those who are party-politically neutral. This post stems from a number of media debates I have observed that have degenerated into party-political point-scoring as people try to put forward their views as to the underlying causes of the riots.
As I said in my last post, I don’t know nearly enough of what the underlying causes are. I don’t know enough about what sparked the whole thing off. I don’t know enough about what sustained it. This is why I think there needs to be an in depth inquiry to tease all of these things out rather than relying on the headlines. If anything, we need to find out – whether through the criminal justice system, through an independent inquiry or through research to find out from the rioters themselves why they chose to do what they did. This news clip from the BBC gives a glimpse into the mindset of some of those rioting. The reason? If we can comprehensively find out the reasons why the rioters and looters did what they did – and what drove them, we might improve our chances of preventing such violence from happening in the future.
I’m still of the view that it is at times like this that the more able politicians who can gain the confidence of their communities and beyond, will be the ones that rise. As far as Twitter is concerned, Stella Creasy has stood out like a shining light in the face of circumstances that would expose weaker MPs as being found wanting. I’m also of the view that weaker politicians – especially those in higher public office – will be found wanting very quickly.
What would I like to see from our politicians?
I’d like to see them coming together and acknowledging that what has happened is a symptom of the failure of the political establishment and that they will work together to find out what happened, why and what will be done to deal with the underlying causes to stop this from happening again.
There’s a HUGE amount of anger, fear and anxiety out there as a result of the riots. Surely the job of the politicians at the moment is to get out and about to soothe all of these emotions. Surely they should be communities that they are supporting the police with everything necessary to restore peace – and explaining to people what “everything necessary” actually is, so that it doesn’t hear like a soundbite. Have the party political debate once peace has been restored. Until then, show some leadership.
As Matthew D’Ancona said in the Evening Standard: