Friday, August 12, 2011

The face of modern alternative Britain, Olympics ambassador Chelsea Ives talented athlete, singer and rioter, she’s met Boris Johnson and Seb Coe.

Dear All

It can’t have escaped your notice that politicians are developing a theme from the English riots.

That the people that are doing the rioting and looting are all unemployed, hence they are scum who should get their benefits and social housing taken off them.

But half the people it turns out are underage.

At present there is an e-petition on the go as public anger is wrongly directed but if you look at material in the public domain, it isn’t just the unemployed who rioted and looted.

We have seen teaching assistants, students, graphic designers and also someone who is a talented athlete.

Yes, Olympic ambassador Chelsea Ives, who is an Olympics ambassador, hurled bricks and plastic roadworks barriers at police during rioting in London this week.

She is a volunteer who has met London mayor Boris Johnson and Olympics chief Sebastian Coe and has visited the House of Commons in 2009.

Not your typical tearaway from the schemes.

In Scotland there have been no riots but a few people stupidly tried to generate interest in rioting and looting, they have been arrested.

David Cameron has had plenty to say but riots but truth be told he is at a loss to understand why?

There are deep social divisions in Britain; a feral culture exists in some areas.

So, Cameron is looking to Scotland and the work done by police in tackling gang crime.

The biggest thing in stopping gang crime is the providing of opportunities and jobs to get people away from the gang mentality.

To say the Scottish experience can be re-produced south of the border is hopefully, there are complex social issues on a number of levels to be addressed.

Behaviour of the Police and public has sunk to a new low.

A lack of jobs

A lack of justice and denial of rights




People aren’t born bad, their environment plays and effect, these people feel alienated.

Labour MP Diane Abbott says these people are destroying their own community. Given they don’t feel apart of the community, she is wrong. Being poor is no joke and I don’t just mean financially poor.

While the rhetoric and self indignation is flying around Westminster about cutting benefits and throwing people out onto the street, how can the lessons of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) in Glasgow be of use?

After all, their success in getting people away from gang culture is providing support and opportunities so that people secure employment and learn a skill.

Cameron says there was evidence street gangs, “mostly composed of young boys, mainly from dysfunctional homes” had been behind the co-ordination of the attacks on the police and the looting that followed.

He said:

“I want us to use the record of success against gangs in some cities like Boston in the USA and indeed Strathclyde Police in Scotland – who have done this by engaging the police, the voluntary sector and local government. I want this to be a national priority. We need to show the world, which has looked on frankly appalled, that the perpetrators of the violence we have seen on our streets are not in any way representative of our country – nor of our young people.”

I have said it before and I will say it again, in order for people to be good, they have to be allowed opportunities to do good.

People feel trapped, they know that they have no future and there is no tomorrow, so what is prison for people with no money or future?

Free food, free board, free medical, free dental, free gym, free TV, study for a degree; learn a trade or skill and no bills.

Unfortunately it costs the taxpayer a whopping £40,000.

Take it another way, what would happen if the £40,000 was invested in them?

A serious problem is lack of trust by young people of the Police.

This can be addressed by simple means such as initiatives like public meetings in areas and recruitment and expansion of the role of Special Constables from the local community.

At this point, we have to mention Operation Trident; this is about stopping Black gun crime in London.

Sadly such measures are needed; gun crime is a real problem.

And of course, the drugs problem is another problem across the whole community which could be solved by legalising the drugs market thereby bankrupting it for criminals.

That is why I campaign for the legalisation of drugs all the time; it can solve so many of society’s ills in one sweeping change.

The failure of ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ has to some extent placed us where we are today.

The drugs market is a vast pool of liquidity that could be channelled towards helping the community.

We can no more stop drugs than we can stop people drinking.

And think of the millions chucked into the phoney ‘war on drugs’.

Being tough on crime is such a political cliché that it no longer holds water in the real world.

So, much has to be changed in Britain, then we can start shouting about others taking responsibility.

But before that, we must ensure that people get their rights then we can talk and make the arguments.

Do we want a decent society?

Then people have to change their out dated views.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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