My town is under attack. These may sound sensational words, but it is. I watched a shop down the road being looted and burned on live TV the other night. It was surreal. London has become the scene for kids and their parents to descend into lawlessness, and as tends to happen with England at least, London leads and then the rest of the country follows what they see on live TV.
The problem with 24 hour news is that it needs to be filled and anyone and everyone with an opinion, however valid, seems to get airtime. This means there have been numerous theories as to why young people decided to riot, loot and burn the city. The genesis but no longer the cause was a police shooting. These are rare in the UK, and rightly provoke a response. In the eary days this was a right response: a peaceful protest. But then it all went wrong! Why?
Some experts put it down to social degradation, and there is a hopeless among many young people. But it then turned out the people being arrested included professionals like graphic designers, unviersity students and evidently affluent people. Some blamed it on the parents, and shockingly there were parents out there with their kids climbing through the windows kids had broken to steal TVs or whatever they could get their hands on. Others said it was just criminality, pure and simple, kids enjoying the thrill and power of theft, destruction, lawlessness.
And the answer is almost certainly:Yes! The kids are committing crime: pure and sinful! The parents have been too selfish and self absorbed to care. And society isn’t any better. We’re busy reaping the whirlwind after decades of sowing the wind and living indulgent, debt ridden lives, and our austerity measures mean this generation is going to lose out. Hard luck and shut up! It’s a mess
Underlying it all is our godless futility and lostness. One of the few shared values we have today in Britain is: What’s right for you is right for you and what’s right for me is right for me. It sounds great, liberating, non judgmental and wonderfully tolerant. But of course that all falls down when someone decides its right for them to burn a shop down and steal a TV. Our cult of individualism: No one tells me what to do.. I owe it to myself to….. I’ve got to look after number one… It’s my life, I’ll do what I like with it…. permeates all society from top to bottom. These riots are just the latest symptoms of a failing society at every level: family, community and nation. They are highly visible, but not isolated incidents. Other symptoms include government expenses corruption, press phone hacking, middle class alcoholism, spurious insurance claims, lying to get credit and mortgages to name but a few.
New Labour anounced a few years ago that this government doesn’t do God! Well we need to. We all do. Young and old, rich and poor, the lot! We need to discover God’s heart for integrity, justice responsibility and love. The good thing about symptoms is that they show up an ailment. It’s time as a nation we went to the Doctor and asked Him to sort us out.