London Riots and student protests

Take a few minutes to look at the News and then google the student protests of last November and then compare the number of arrests, injuries and the actual cost of damage caused. Originally these were kids with a genuine grievance who wanted to protest peacefully. These were kids who did work hard at school. They cared about their education. They wanted to learn and they wanted a decent job at the end of it. A few opportunists joined in and spoilt it for all of them. Don’t get me wrong I am not condoning vandalism of any kind for any reason. I am just comparing the stats and putting into perspective the amount of policing and resources used, the sensationalism over relatively minor incidents and the amount of damage caused.

The kid who threw a fire extinguisher in a thoughtless and really stupid moment was jailed. He could have killed or badly injured people below but luckily he didn’t. An empty police car was destroyed (why was it left there?) and Charles and Camilla were really frightened but unharmed. They should never have been put in the situation of being driven through an angry crowd in the first place. A few shops were looted by opportunists who were probably not genuine students but the damage was mostly superficial. There is absolutely no comparison with the millions of pounds of criminal damage, homes and businesses lost and injuries caused in the last few days of riots yet the student protests were probably more heavily policed. For most the student protest were a real nuisance but did they did not provoke the violence and fear that we are seeing right now in our city streets

I am a mother of a student who is in the last year of £3000 tuition fees and I am really struggling to pay his fees. My son did join in the protests and I was completely behind him and what he was fighting for. He has worked hard and deserves to go to university but so do next years students who will not be able to afford to go to university. My son considers himself very fortunate that he is able to go to university but is sad for next years students that can’t because they simply cannot afford it

This brings me back to these yobs who don’t want to learn, who have no respect, who don’t want a job because they make more money selling drugs or thieving. These feral kids have spent the last few days proving they have no regard for life, property or authority. So what will happen to them? They claim they are poor, but they have Blackberrys, expensive trainers and designer hoodies. Do they care about the people they have made homeless? The millions of pounds worth of damage they have caused? The insurance premiums going through the roof? All the businesses that have been lost? They couldnt give a damn. How many of them knew or even genuinely care about Mark Duggan? Not that many. What will happen to these kids? The majority face a life of crime so it will cost us the taxpayer an average of £40k a year to keep these each one of these scumbags in jail, and yet we want to punish the students by condeming them to years of debt and the majority are genuinely poor. Students barely survive to pay their rents, fees and books. They cannot afford Blackberrys and expensive trainers and they really do live on pasta and beans on toast and rely on handouts from their parents.

So why are we not encouraging the young people who do good things and want to create a future for themselves? Why won’t the government help them? They did not listen to the students and their genuine grievances over tuition fees EMA and lack of opportunities in the workplace.

The raising of tuition fees is very shortsighted and will do nothing to help the economy and will cause a further gap between rich and poor. What hope do our young people have when even the ones who are intelligent and have potential know they will possibly be unemployed.

We are from a working class background and our children grew up on a council estate but we always encouraged them to respect authority, to read books and work hard. This cost us nothing except time. Their education and their future was far more important to us then keeping up with the Joneses. None of them are materialistic because they all know how hard we have worked to give them all the opportunities we possibly could.

I’m sure there are many parents out there with the same attitude. They want their children to do well and the raising of tuition fees has been a big slap in the face for them. Society is quick enough to condemn bad parenting and feral kids and so it should, but what about the majority of us who actually care about our children and their future. The government must invest in education, leisure, sports, music, dance and community facilities, youth clubs, volunteer projects and creating jobs for young people, and not closing down all these facilities. We must keep all our kids good or bad, off the streets and cutting funding and jobs is not the answer as the last few days have proved.

Of course parents must also play a part in this and if they cannot control their children, they should held criminally responsible and both the parents and their hooligan offspring should be the ones clearing up the damage they have caused and made to understand the consequences of what they have done.

Government cuts are not the cause of the problem of dysfunctional families, gang culture or thuggery, it is a combination of many complex causes including parental control, education and channelling children into something they are good at long before the feeling of hopelessness and anger kicks in but long term lack of investment for education or policing will definitely have a detrimental effect for the next generation


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