Just back from a marvellous two weeks in the sun (more on that once I've solved the problems of the world, or rather the problems facing London).
So sitting in a sleep deprived sun bronzed state, I find myself staring at the telly catching up on the riots that have been gripping London. My gut reaction, like that of so many others, is SORT THE LITTLE SODS OUT! Why don't the parents stop their kids doing this? Stop with the softly, softly approach.
And then I listen to the various pundits who explain why some of these kids behave this way - because they've been raised in families so foreign to what us 'normal' folk understand that they simply don't have a better steer on how to behave. And I get that. If my parents were crack addicts or thieves or layabouts who've never done a day's work in their lives, I'd possibly not have a fantastic moral compass to steer me either.
So people are blaming the schools and parents and the police and the government. But what is the solution? I think I might have an answer.
The prisons are full. These kids have fallen out of the school system. Youth clubs aren't going to give them the outlet they need for their anger. Their parents probably aren't going to be much use if they've let them get this far.
I suggest taking all the kids arrested so far and instead of giving them a prison sentence or some soft touch community service punishment, send them to an army style training camp.
Enforced military service for a year. Drill the hell out of them. Instill in them a sense of right and wrong through sheer arse kicking and hard work. At the end of the year, give them the option to sign up to the military or help them get educated/employed with some kind of guidance. It shouldn't be optional. Prison isn't optional. This shouldn't be either. I have little sympathy for 13 year olds who can do the crime but cry off doing the time because they're ickle.
Maybe it's a naieve solution but I reckon a bit of old fashioned discipline might just work. Anyway, back to my post holiday laundry pile after that short bit of social commentary.