Who’s To Blame?

In the aftermath of the riots, I do wish the political point scoring by both parties would just stop.  Whilst crisis often offers the opposition party an opportunity to make political impressions,  does every news programme or media discussion on the riots have to be based on one party having a go at the other? I feel in this case neither party can wash their hands of the problem behind the riots. Hasn’t today’s generation of looters been exposed to both party’s ideologies over the past 20 years?

Whilst I do not believe the riots were politically motivated, I think it would be naive of any government to dismiss some of the underlying issues that these riots raised, namely societal, education, economic and policing failures.  Today both Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Ed Miliband addressed two separate congregations on the riots trying to answer the question of who and what is to blame and how to move forward.

The Prime Minister spoke of fixing a “Broken Britain” and once again, how “we are all this together”. Ed Miliband warned of  that “knee jerk reactions” would not help and that the government needed to provide”lasting solutions”.

So who is to blame? I don’t think this is an easy answer but I do feel that the legacy of the Thatcher years has something to answer for. The culture shifted from collective to individual where communities were not seen as important. Britain moved from manufacturing to service led industries which created a surplus resource pool on benefits. Future revenues for the government were destroyed through privatization resulting in government’s need to rely on taxes as a major income resource.  The Thatcher years were a period of great change for Britain both socially and economically and subsequent British governments, whatever their colour, have long since, been living in the footsteps of what that government left behind.

How do we move forward? Again, I do not think it is an easy answer. I found myself agreeing with some of what David Cameron said and also with some of what Ed Miliband said. I wonder if for this purpose, in my ideological world and for the good of British society, that both sides can come together and work unitedly or are they just going to be content on blaming each other.


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