The rioting, wanton vandalism and opportunistic looting that took place across the United Kingdom last week has brought home to leaders there, and here if they have any sense, that young disaffected people pose as much a risk, if not more, to society as the bankers and political strategists that are being blamed for the state of the economic world.
The latter may have got us to the point we are at, but it is the former, the next generation, that are being asked to carry the burden for the sins of the fathers. Our economy is breaking down and, while the adults scramble to deal with the practical fall out, the children are acting up. UK leader David Cameron has described it as “people showing indifference to right and wrong, people with a twisted moral code, people with a complete absence of self-restraint”, rather than being about Government cuts.
“They were directed at high street stores, not parliament, and these riots were not about poverty: that insults the millions of people who, whatever the hardship, would never dream of making others suffer like this,” he said on Monday, as he promised a law-and-order “fightback” and robust action to mend Britain’s broken society.
But, to presume that promoting families, boosting discipline in schools and encouraging hard work, is going to fix the problems facing society, let alone quell the raging youth, isn’t just naïve, it portrays a man who is either completely out of touch or, more likely, afraid to admit that society is now in real danger because of economic situation.
Do as I say and not as I do just won’t cut it. The problem is that these youths don’t care; they feel they have nothing to care about. They feel their futures have been stolen by those people who have got us where we are today, many of whom have left with golden handshakes or have been left in situ. If leaders don’t demonstrate right and wrong, how can the youth be expected to live by the concept?
Thousands of young people across this country get their Leaving Cert results today, with many hoping to secure employment or achieve the astronomical points required to get into some of the most popular college courses. However, the competition for jobs will be huge, with would-be employees now at the mercy of employers who are in a position to demand more for less, while reported increases in points for courses make us all glad that we are not the ones starting out.