Posts Tagged ‘government spending’

Trying to make sense of the senseless violence

August 11, 2011

Over the past few days, many people have tried to analyse why the riots started. Many have said that they ‘understand’, even if they do not condone, the way young people in the UK are behaving because they are so ‘detached’ from society.

These thugs (and they seem to be aged between 10-20) are on a rampage smashing up shops, burning down homes and in the tragic event that unfolded last night, killing people in cold bold.

Some argue it is because of the government spending cuts to youth services, because many of these children need help and attention which has supposedly declined since David Cameron was voted in to head up the country.

Government spending cuts have not yet been put in place though, and statistics show British expenditure this year is actually up when compared to the same time frame in 2010.

I believe that instead of the government not giving these youths enough, they have given them too much. These children, most from the poorer end of society, have often been brought up in troubled homes, living on council estates and not having good role models in their lives. The British benefit system is so vast that many do not see the need to work – why bother when you can get given a house for free and an income for nothing?

The younger you are and the more children you have also increases your chance of getting up the free-housing ladder. If you’re an unemployed single mother, your prospects are greater still and it won’t be long before you’ll be getting benefits for your children, your rent paid for, exempt from paying taxes – such as council tax – and even enjoying free dentistry.

Looking at it this way, it is easy to see why many have jumped on the free-ride train.

Unfortunately, getting something for free doesn’t bring many people joy. How can you have appreciation for something if you haven’t worked hard to earn it? How can you feel a sense of purpose when you feel you have nothing to lose or anything to gain?

To say that these people are struggling to get work is a myth too. When I arrived in the UK, excited and disillusioned about the amazing journalism job I believed I would find within two months, it was disheartening when it took two years. Arriving in the middle of the recession meant I had to work in a call centre, become a shoe shiner, and work as a waitress in a diner – basically every scummy job you could think of aside from selling my body.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t awful and that I didn’t feel like packing up and going home. But I stuck at it and things slowly improved. What this does prove is that even when the UK was in its worst economic state it had seen for decades, during the recession of 2008-2009, jobs were still to be found. They’re always hiring at McDonalds as they say!

When I finally got some money in the door, I even managed a holiday on my minimal budget. But it was the best holiday I’ve ever had because I felt I’d earned it.

As these youths loot stores and steal their neighbours’ goods – many of which are small business owners who will lose their livelihoods as the items are stripped from their shelves – I can’t help but get the feeling that these thugs feel they deserve it.

The government has given them so much already – why not take a little more?