Monday, August 29, 2011

Anarchy in the UK

This was something I meant to post a couple of weeks ago, but I was besieged by a visit from my sister (always welcome), then sickness (never welcome), and a constant feeling of " this piece really finished?" (also not welcome). I decided that, yes, it was, because there are other things needing to be worked on.

Watching the riots that spread throughout England a few weeks ago was a truly heartbreaking experience for me. It hit a bit close to home since I have friends over there, and because it is a place that I have a deep love and connection to. The aftermath was just as difficult, since it meant seeing locals try to piece together what was left of their communities, as well as seeing the obvious disconnect between the British government (primarily from PM David Cameron) and the needs of its citizens. While it's very easy to lay blame on what politicians see as trouble making hoodlums, I think it's just as easy to understand that when you have a large number of young people that feel under served and unrepresented (while dealing with the same unemployment issues that we are here in the US), it only takes a spark to set them off. Is that an excuse for the looting and violence? No, of course it isn't. But I do feel that it is a perspective that should elicit change for the better, rather than a large scale blame game that provides nothing except sweeping the issues under the rug until they violently rear their heads again...and again...and again.