Looting and looters

Watching the events of the past week on the television and listening to comments from the looters, police and politicians made me wonder what caused this sudden burst of criminal behaviour.

It is understandable that anyone who feels aggrieved at maltreatment might be tempted to participate in a riot in order to demonstrate anger at this but why pick on the businesses and people who are most likely to provide the opportunities that will enable those who are rioting to gain income and self-esteem from work? Looting from the shops will not hurt the rich who have caused the distress that many of the rioters claim they suffer. To affect the rich you have to attack their homes, families and possessions. Looting from shops affects everyone in society one way or another. In the end we all have to pay for the damage, whether that be through higher taxes, increased insurance premiums or higher prices in the shops that were affected. That’s a bit like cutting your nose off to spite your face. It will not result in increased work opportunities or better wages, or better livelihoods. It just makes others angry.

When the perpetrators are caught, they will be charged and convicted. Anyone who has worked with convicts will know how difficult it is to get a job if you have a criminal record. That is a lifelong problem and will affect the whole of their futures. Is it worth screwing up the rest of your life just to get a few white goods or  consumables that will need replacing soon  enough? Several people commented on how youngsters who were otherwise of good character had been caught up in the melee of the riots and took part in the looting. Why? When they realise how it will affect them for the rest of their lives, they will continually regret it. They will blame everyone but themselves for their trials and hardships when it was their own fault. Their actions are the cause of their plight but they refuse to accept that. It is a lack of acceptance of responsibility for their actions that continually blight their lives and they will probably feel dispirited and disenfranchised for the rest of their lives.

The people who hold financial and political power have to take their share of the blame. The greedy who have taken advantage of poor regulation by governments and have become rich on the proceeds of deals that have impoverished  the rest of us, will probably take a very dim view of the rioters and looters and want to lock them up and throw away the key. They will not associate their actions as the causes of much of the discontentment that was at the heart of the start of the riots. If any of them were affected by the rioting or looting they will blame criminal behaviour of the rioters and looters and not themselves for their criminal behaviour. In my book making someone else poorer for your own enrichment is a crime. The example set by the rich and the politicians and especially the rich politicians is a national disgrace. It also sets a poor standard for others to aspire to. If the people who are supposed to lead the country are seen to be behaving badly then it is not surprising that those who feel disenfranchised and maltreated will see their behaviour as perfectly acceptable as well. Why should they feel any differently?

There are many causes for the unrest that was triggered by the death of Mr. Duggan and for the subsequent riots and looting that occurred and it will probably take many years to establish the main ones but, unless those with the power to change how business and politics are done, are prepared to ameliorate their own behaviour and avaricious practices, we will see more riots and looting with decreasing intervals between them. We may even see a revolution that will make the French Revolution seem like a picnic.

Come on old boys, do the decent thing and become less selfish!

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