London Riots August 2011

Like the latest fashion
Like a spreading disease
The kids are strappin’ on their way to the classroom
Getting weapons with the greatest of ease

The gangs stake their own campus locales
And if they catch you slippin’ then it’s all over pal
If one guy’s colors and the other’s don’t mix
They’re gonna bash it up

Hey man you talkin’ back to me?
Take him out
You gotta keep ’em separated
Hey man you disrespecting me?
Take him out
You gotta keep ’em separated
Hey they don’t pay no mind
If you’re under 18 you won’t be doing any time
Hey come out and play

By the time you hear the siren
It’s already too late
One goes to the morgue and the other jail
One guy’s wasted and the other’s a waste
It goes down the same as the thousand before
No one’s getting smarter
No one’s learning the score
Your never ending spree of death and violence and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope
Tie your own rope
Tie your own

Lyrics written by Offspring in 1994 for the song called “Come Out and Play” on their seminal album Smash.

And although they are written about more serious violence and crime by youths, a lot of what they say resonates at the situation in London at the moment. A tiny tiny minority of kids have hit the streets of London and taken advantage of the protection they get from the under 18 laws.

Kids that come from broken homes with no parents. What parent lets their kids stay out all night and come back home with a 42″ TV? The parenting is not there, no one has raised these kids properly and there is no sense of respect. Worse still is that how can so many grown adults just stand aside and let this happen?

The answer is amongst an old discussion that we found on the BBC from the year 2006:

No one intervenes when they see a bunch of youths committing a crime, to do so would to take a risk and the added fear of the perfectly legal reprisals. If you try to physically intervene you WILL be charged with assault. If a weapon is produced and you defend yourself, the “child” might be cautioned and given a free holiday, you WILL be charged with assault. Basically, unless you are willing to accept a criminal record in return for doing the morally correct thing, you need to turn a blind eye.

And this is at the heart of the matter, why the adults are actually too scared to intervene. In the meantime we hope that the perpetrators have surely “tied their own rope” and will face the ultimate wrath of the court system and justice will be done.


About Atul Rana

Online maths and Science tutor, co-founder of Indie Tutors, singer of alternative rock band DonkeyBox. View all posts by Atul Rana

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