Saturday, August 20, 2011

Information Emerges about Identity of London Rioters: Poor, Jobless, Educationally Disadvantaged

As I've been saying in posting after posting about the London riots, there's an entirely predictable moral lesson embedded in them, but it's one that the architects of the new world order now coming into being--a world order in which the grossly rich overtly claim the right to rule everyone and everything--do not want to face.  They prefer, instead, to talk about morality as if morality is confined to issues of sexual fidelity, having a strong work ethic, and obeying authority figures.

The predictable result of this reduction of moral frameworks to the personal level, and the refusal to admit that how we treat the least among us is a profound moral issue, too, is what we have seen recently in London.  And if we needed more information to drive that point home to us, as the Truthdig site reports today, the Guardian has now compiled a database of those charged with looting in the aftermath of the riots.

Here's what it shows:

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the riots “were not about poverty,” but analysis showed that 41 percent of rioting suspects within the judicial system live in areas that rank in the top 10 percent of the most economically dispossessed places in the country, with 66 percent of the neighborhoods in which the accused live having become poorer between 2007 and 2010. Heavy youth unemployment, child poverty and lack of educational opportunity were found in almost all of the areas where rioting was the worst. More then 90 percent of the accused are male (my emphases).

The political leader of Great Britain, who came to office campaigning against an "entitlement" culture, promising to balance budgets by increasing the burdens of the poorest of British citizens, a political leader who has proposed cutting essential social services while passing no cost at all along to those whose wealth has rapidly increased in recent years: he says the riots have nothing to do with poverty.

But the facts demonstrate that those charged with looting live disproportionately in the top 10 percent of the most economically dispossessed areas in the nation, where poverty is becoming endemic.  And where there are no jobs for youths and scarce educational opportunities.

The London riots were predictable, and are a consequence of the bogus austerity measures being enacted throughout Western nations now, which pretend that we can build healthy and just societies on the backs of the poor, while demanding absolutely no austerity at all on the part of the wealthiest members of our society--while permitting those members of our society not even to pay their fair share to keep a society going.

There is a moral script underlying the London riots, and it's a script that the moral arbiters of our current regimes do not intend to read, because it runs directly counter to their blind belief in the free market, in reduced taxes for the wealthy, in "austerity" for everyone else.  What we are learning about those who recently rioted in England is a warning we need desperately to hear: you cannot build a healthy, humane society at the expense of the poor and dispossessed.

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