While I was writing my previous post I began to wonder if anything has changed in the wake of the riots, but as far as I can see, not much has.
Of course, the nation has been brought together during the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics, but did those events just throw a cover over some serious problems in our society?
The riots highlighted the resentment some young people feel towards Government, especially after budget cuts meant fewer opportunities, more unemployment and higher university fees. Although the actions of the rioters could never be condoned, maybe the shocking events have meant more people are concerned about how young people are treated.
One thing that is yet to change, though, is the attitude of many young people in our country.
As we saw in The Riots: In Their Own Words (BBC2), many young people have bad attitudes and a very negative outlook. I appreciate that is the minority of young people, but it still has negative connotations for the rest of society. Opportunities are scarce for everybody at the moment; that’s the effect of a recession, but only one small segment of society decided to partake in the riots and cause widespread destruction.
That leads me to think that there must be reasons other than Government which have to share the blame for young people’s unrest.
It’s all too easy to blame parents, but I think they are partly responsible. Children take on the values of those around them when they are growing up and they learn from their parents. That links directly to another possible cause – education.
Perhaps something needs to change in the education system whereby youngsters are taught key skills, given useful careers advice and are prepared for work. Schools need to recognise that teaching skills is very important, and shouldn’t just focus on preparing students for university, as they seem to do at the moment.
Finally, I think young people need to set themselves goals which are achievable, giving them something to aim towards. One of the things which The Riots: In Their Own Words suggested was that young people have very few opportunities, so why don’t they create their own and become less reliant on Government? Having good inspirations will certainly help them with that, and after the Olympics, we’re not short of role models for our youngsters.
|Bradley Wiggins is just one excellent role model emerging from the Olympics.|