Those understated words were spoken by Peter Power, a crisis management specialist today with regards to the third night of riots in London together with outbreaks in Birmingham.
There’s been a worrying number of proto fascist ‘get the army out’ type outbursts by many. Sorry we did that in Northern Ireland and did that really quell lawless activity quickly or did it inflame the situation further?
There are ways to deal with this but sliding down an authoritarian militaristic simplistic solution route isn’t necessarily the smartest move we could make right now. Simplistic solutions rarely work. We need to be smarter and more grown up about how we tackle societal breakdown.
That in no way excuses the riots (the original grievances of Tottenham aside) which seem to have been opportunistic in nature and exploited by criminality. There are no excuses for the criminal behaviour but don’t let the shrill knee jerk reaction style voices of some exploit our disgust to drive even bigger wedges between our communities and further erode our freedoms. The rise of gang culture, criminal activity, warped moral compasses. a fractured society ,the excesses of our consumer culture and simple selfish greed all played a part in this.
I hope that out of the ashes real community manages to make their collective voice heard (and that the media allows them to be heard) and that they are able to rebuild their communities and help tackle the imbalance of power that has distorted and exploited the good that exists in many of those affected areas. I also hope the rest of us don’t just turn our backs on the good people in these areas and write them off as all one and the same. That would be an even bigger tragedy.