Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Rioting, Absent Parenting and Sensationalist Reporting

What on Earth is going on with all this rioting? Watching the news at the moment is like watching an end-of-civilisation film. Gangs of hooded thugs trashing shops, torching cars, clashing with police and fire-fighters and generally causing chaos. The situation is totally out of hand and the sensationalist press coverage is simply causing it to spread. By all accounts the main perpetrators are children and youths, with one as young as eight seen involved in the looting. So my question is this – where on Earth are the parents and what are they doing about it?

In a radio discussion today, a guest was saying that it is hard for parents to know where their children are because they will lie about their plans and whereabouts.  But surely, if you lived in one of these areas you would simply not let your child out in the evening whilst this anarchy continues. Even if they are innocently meeting up with friends, the chances are that they will get caught up in the chaos anyway.  Now, I have no experience of raising a teenager but I have been a teenager and I was disciplined accordingly. It’s no different now. Yes they have mobile phones and social networking sites etc but I’m a firm believer that ‘no’ should still mean ‘no’ if the parent has done their job correctly.

The way the riots are being reported in the news is not helping either.  Using terminology like ‘war zones’, ‘lawlessness’, and ‘disaffected generation’ simply adds glamour to this mindless criminality. For that is all it is. It’s not politically motivated or a symptom of ‘years of certain communities being ignored’ as some youth leaders would have us believe. It is purely opportunistic thuggery. So report it as such. We don’t need lengthy commentary from ‘experts’ explaining, and in some cases almost defending, this behaviour. We need simple reporting about the stupidity of those involved, and we needs parents to do their share and ensure their children stay out of it.

He’s not a political demonstrator, he’s a very naughty boy.


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