One of my closest friends lost her dad yesterday. He died of a heart attack in his sleep, leaving behind a wife and two children. He will never see his children graduate from university or get married. He'll never meet his grandchildren. My friend (who I won't name out of respect for her and her family at this difficult time) will agree with me when I say that her dad wasn't perfect - nobody is. Sure, he made mistakes. But that doesn't change the fact that he was taken far too soon, without even the chance to say goodbye to those he loved, those who loved him. I can't even begin to fathom what my friend and her family are going through right now, and I hope I don't have to for a long time. I hope she knows that she has people around her that she can lean on. All my love and best wishes go to her and her family.
...it kind of puts the London Riots in perspective, doesn't it?
I can't imagine that any of you aren't aware of this by now. I'm pretty sure the shame and humiliation that has been inflicted on our great nation over the last few days has been broadcast far and wide across the globe - no matter where you are in the world, you will know that Great Britain is being ravaged by thugs as we speak. Areas across London, Manchester, Birmingham and many more have been affected by this mindless and pointless violence. Some ignorant news channels have persisted in referring to these yobs as 'protesters' - they're not. This is not a protest, not by any stretch of the imagination. The abominations that occurred in November 2010, when students across the country marched to prevent the increase of university fees, was a protest. Even though property was destroyed, people were injured, and chaos reigned across the capital, it was still a protest. Those people had a cause. Their attempts to fight for their cause may have been misguided and ignorant, but at least they had a cause to fight for.
The people ravaging major cities across the United Kingdom this week do not have a cause. This is not a protest. It is an outrage.
What was originally a 'protest' over the death of a (guilty) man at the hands of the Metropolitan Police has now descended into chaos. These people don't care about Mark Duggan's death - in fact, they don't appear to care about anything. Homes and businesses across the country have gone up in flames, every shop from Poundland to Carpet Right has been looted. People have died. And yet chaos continues to reign. Last night Manchester bore the brunt of the violence and destruction, in the days before that it was London. Hundreds of thousands of people's homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by the people running amok. Most of them are reportedly no older than 30.
All number of excuses have been made in the media for the actions of these people. They are the from the poorest areas, living in near-poverty. They feel they have no other option. The truth is that these riots are the result of an entire generation being raised in this now-mockery of a country. We now live in a culture where it is perfectly acceptable to live off of the handouts of the state. There is no incentive for these people to seek to better themselves, because they know that they can live comfortably off of the taxpayers money - they should know, the majority of them have watched their parents do it. There has been many a time, faced with the prospect of tens of thousands of pounds of student debts, when I have wondered why I didn't go down that route. It would have been exceptionally easy for me to get pregnant and get a council flat. So why didn't I do that? Well, a little self-respect. Pride. Ambition. Drive. Work ethic. Discipline. Correct parenting. Why am I not rioting in London this week? The same reasons. All these things I have, all these things are lacking in hundreds of thousands of others around the country. And it is us that have allowed this to happen. Us. Britain. We, as a country, have sat back and allowed the governments of the last generation to repeatedly screw us into the ground. The motto of this country might as well be 'punish the hardworking to benefit the lazy'. We go to work to earn our money so that it can benefit those who sit at home and do nothing. I paid £400 tax this month - a third of my pay cheque. It makes my blood boil to know that the majority of that money went straight into the dole packet of some degenerate scumbag who considers him or herself too good to go out and find a job like the rest of us.
Now that these people know that they can get away with this - and they will get away with it - it will happen again. The respect that used to be felt for our police forces has evaporated, and there is little or no deterrent against these crimes anymore. Human Rights acts and political correctness have prevented the rioters being stopped for the last four nights. Four! The police should have been armed with water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas from the word go. The army should have been enlisted to help. Instead the police were sent out to stand against sometimes hundreds-strong mobs armed with little more than a plastic shield. Many of our military are still posted in the Middle East, fighting in the war against terror. Never has there been a bigger wake-up call to those supposedly running this country. Bring our boys and girls home from Iraq and Afghanistan - the war is no longer abroad. The pathetic attempts at governing a country made over the last decades have resulted in the biggest danger to Britain being just that - the British. It makes me sick that our troops are out in those hellish places, fighting to defend a country that is in this state. Bring them home. Now.
It will take months, perhaps years, to repair the damage inflicted by these riots, and August 2011 will undoubtedly go down in history as the month that anarchy reigned in the UK. We must prevent this from happening again. We, as a generation, must learn the respect and discipline that our parents and grandparents were taught. We need to bring back National Service. We need harsher discipline in schools. We need to stamp out the growing population of people who exist on handouts and restore a sense of pride and work ethic to our people. Anybody found to have been involved in these riots needs to be blacklisted for any future benefits they may have been eligible to receive - if they think they're living in poverty now, lets see how they like it when they no longer have the option of living off of taxpayers money. Anybody found to have stolen goods from the looted shops or vandalised property needs to feel the full force of the law on their shoulders. There must be no exceptions.
I am, and always will be, proud to be British. We are a nation of many exceptional achievements and outstanding individuals. Its a terrible shame that these riots happened, and an even greater shame that they will leave a scar on the face of Britain for years to come.
It must not be allowed to happen again.