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Could it happen here?

By Matt Clear - posted Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I have a level of respect for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

I was recently impressed by his long session answering questions in the House of Commons in response to the phone hacking scandal. I think he deserves a level of respect for his ability to juggle his responsibility to the country as a fairly young leader (45) with a young family, including three children – his youngest child is only one!

I am, however, dismayed at Cameron's response to the riots currently gripping Britain. Using terms like needing to 'fight back' and that the people involved are 'sick' really misses the point. Cameron has said this is not about poverty it's about criminals.


I don't agree.

Are we expected to believe that so many young people have just turned feral for no reason? Do these young people simply like destroying property and creating chaos?

As Lleyton Hewitt would say (and you should add the emphasis) "C'mon!". 

Do that again, as it is pretty therapeutic ... "C'mon!".

I say it just doesn't add up, and that issues of poverty and alienation are very much at the core of the problems.

What we are dealing with here are disenfranchised, marginalised and disadvantaged young people that feel like they have been left behind by society in a country where the gap between the haves and the have nots is ever increasing.


We are dealing with young people who have not been given the opportunities they deserve, and have not been provided with a level of engagement that would make them feel part of the community in which they live.

It's not their fault; it's the fault of society who have left them behind in this capitalistic, consumerist and highly competitive society that we all live in today.

I know there are also a range of broader specific cultural and societal issues at play – distrust of police, racial and demographic issues and rates of employment are all significant and contributing factors to the current situation of violence.

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Manager of Community Relations with Connections UnitingCare.

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