Tuesday 9 August 2011

I have a solution

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.


Sarah said...

Well said. It does seem crazy that there is some sort of yobbo rehab somewhere. I am heartily sick of all the Twittering about it from people not prepared to get off their asses and sort anything out, so I wrote a blog which slightly took the piss, but I don't condone what they're doing anymore than you do. Hope your hol was great x

nappy valley girl said...

Sounds like a plan to me. Although I wonder where the money for the military service scheme would come from, now our defence budgets have been cut!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Where can I sign the petition?

Anonymous said...


My name is Grace and I work for an online parenting magazine. I wanted to talk to you about your blog. Could you please email me at madeformums@magicalia.com so I can explain more about it.


Grace Ricciardi

Nicola said...

Hello. I was also appalled by the chaos that ensued the day after I left London for Chicago. Of course, I was also having to filter it all through the mass of media hype, which was making the UK sound like some kind of war zone. Which I guess is quite appropriate given your idea. I think it is much more constructive than just fines and prison. Not only could some form of military service provide structure, discipline and focus for many with very little other social guidance in their lives, but they could learn a skill or perform community service. And many times, doing things for others can shift people's perspective dramatically and how they view their role in the world. If it is done correctly of course.