I started writng this in response to Ana’s post but then felt it warranted a separate entry.
Ana has written an interesting post. However, I can’t help feeling that she has gone against her own advice and that rather than “stand back from such events before forming a definite judgement, simply to allow the facts to settle”, she has reached a conclusion. “It’s no more than hooliganism, based on forms of avarice that would shame even the greediest banker.”
It is of course easy to say that and is probably true. But what it does not reveal is that given the right environment, avarice and hooliganism are present in most human beings. You do not have to be hard up to be greedy. The various financial bubbles, Tulips, Louisiana, South Sea, Dot-Com, Credit etc. have all proved that greed is present even in the most ‘civilized’, affluent and well educated individuals. Just consider some of the high profile divorce cases to see how wives such as Heather Mills or Linda Evangelista try and screw every undeserved penny out of their ‘errant’ husbands. Or those who have sued their employers for sexual harassment stemming from a pat on the bum. Or look at those people from companies such as Enron, WorldCom, Tyco etc to see how with little regard for others, they plundered their companies’ resources and ruined the lives of tens of thousands of employees and shareholders. As for the Credit Bubble, everybody from the unemployedAtlantasingle mother on benefits who took a mortgage she could not begin to afford right up to the likes Fred Goodwin and Alan Greenspan, was guilty of greed and hubris.
With regards to hooliganism, you only have to send young men off to war to see how they will behave when discipline breaks down.My Laiand Abu Ghraib are two examples that spring to mind. Then you have the tragedy of Heysel Stadium. These are cases where largely decent people descend into savagery. I have witnessed good people do bad things in times of war. William Golding wrote about what happens to civilized people when order and discipline are removed.
Human nature requires us to possess various extremes of behaviour. For the most part they remain latent, but should the right circumstances occur we are all capable of behaving in ways that would otherwise shock our more reserved selves. No doubt some individuals have a greater capacity for unruly and violent behaviour than others and I would certainly go as far as to say that genetics, sex and race, as well as culture play a part, but ultimately when circumstances are ripe, each of us is capable of riotous behaviour.
That is where society and the government come into play. Between them, they have to recognise that dissatisfaction exists within certain elements and unless that dissatisfaction is dealt with such breakdowns are likely to occur. I am confident in claiming that if vast majority of youths who were involved in the riots were adequately employed and had sufficient outlets for their physical aggression such events would be much less likely to occur. Young men especially need to let off physical steam. Until about 50 years ago, sport was the normal method of doing this. Before that it was the army and war and before that it was probably hunting for survival. But inner city youths from deprived areas do not have access to playing fields. They cannot play football or basket ball in the streets because of all the cars and because it would be against health and safety regulations and because neighbours would complain. National Service was done away with years ago. Entertainment comes in the form of music, television and computer games, none of which require physical exercise. It must be intensely frustrating being holed up in a ghetto where there is little chance of getting any form of excitement and the prospects for a successful working career are limited.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this justifies their behaviour. However, while leaving your wallet on the dashboard of your car with the window open does not justify its theft or a young girl dressed in a boob tube and pussy-pelmet wandering the streets at night does not justify her being raped the likeliness of those things happening is increased by such behaviour. Government and society would be well advised to look at the root causes of dissatisfaction and make some effort to overcome them.
The problem is of course that society/government insists on assuming that everybody is equal and that they will behave in the same way under the same conditions and that they are all capable of achieving the same levels of success. That is clearly not true and the sooner it is recognised and accepted the better. I suggest that society needs to consider some of the following:
1) Multiculturalism does not and cannot work. The laws of the country are designed to work with the culture of the country. More than one culture means more than one set of laws which is clearly untenable.
2) Elitism is not a dirty word. We strive for it in our own lives. We want the best for ourselves and our children in all fields including wealth, culture, education, diet, physical appearance, health and social circles. Some people are going to achieve greater levels of success, i.e. elitism than others.
3) Political Correctness, in all its guises, is a dirty concept. It needs to be eradicated from the lexicon and replaced with terms such as honesty, accountability and responsibility.
4) Everybody needs discipline. They need a set of rules that must be enforced by parents, teachers and the elders of society and they need a set of laws that must be enforced by the government. The better mannered a child learns to be the better citizen he will become and the less likely he will break the law. Good manners and a sound appreciation of right and wrong needs to be instilled upon them at an early age. Children learn to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ just like they learn their ‘times tables’; by repetition.
5) The government needs to recognise that not everybody can be a well paid executive. There will always be a need for menial workers. Provided that there are no laws against social mobility, then it should aim to produce sufficient workers to fill all sections and needs of society, from street cleaners, plumbers and teachers all the way down to estate agents, lawyers and politicians. It should not provide false hope that every girl can become a TV presenter just because she has read media studies or that every chap can become a merchant banker because he has a GCSE in maths.
6) Men and women are different. Young men really do need outlets for their aggression. If you expect them to behave calmly and demurely like prim little convent girls then you are in for a shock. Young men need to learn how to handle their testosterone filled rages. A National Service programme that allows for physical aggression, camaraderie, discipline, team spirit, responsibility, accountability and independence would do wonders for the youth ofGreat Britain. Skills such as basic car mechanics, plumbing, bricklaying carpentry should be included along with financial managment. Such a programme would certainly have greater benefits than many degrees, not to mention the pointless gap years that so many kids take today, which are just an excuse to get drunk and party at their parents’ expense.
7) Women need to be treated and expected to behave like women. They are not men and will never be able to achieve many of the things that men do and which they claim is their right to do. By the same token men will never achieve many of those things at which women excel. A National Service programme for women needs to centre on areas that are fundamental to what it is being a woman. That includes household budgeting, child rearing, basic nursing, cooking and primary education. Careers can be considered when and if they get to university. But learn the basics first.
8) Tertiary education does not mean a guaranteed job. The government needs to recognise that. Much better to get a good secondary or even primary education than a bad tertiary education. If you are proficient in the 3 Rs and have decent values and a good work ethic, you are better placed than most misfits spewing out ofBritain’s universities.
There you have it, a solution for Britain’s ills.
48 thoughts on “The Riots and what to do about them.”
How clever, Sipu. I still maintain that basic morality, respect for others and decent behaviour are qualities which can only be taught at home (whether home is a ‘normal’ family, a foster home or an institution). The current malaise is due to the failure of a generation of ‘parents’ to pay attention to their children and teach them what matters in life.
There are some good points in there but FFS number 7?
I have worked along side some highly accomplished female aircraft engineers who have more than excelled in their chosen field. I have also had the misfortune of meeting the occasional few who believed their condition sans John Thomas as it were, entitled them to some form of preferential treatment.
I wholly disagree with your point there, but I would say that should a couple decide to reproduce, one or the other should take on the role of house keeper and child rearer. It is an important function and essential to the development of children and community IMHO. Mum or Dad I am not fussy, but one of them needs to accept full responsibility for their spawn.
The Chariot is becoming a refuge for nutters.
Let’s pray to every God that anyone ever imagined that Sipu and JulieT don’t breed.
Hee Hee Bearsy,
As long as one of them stays at home to raise the li’l left winger I’m down with it. 🙂
Janus, I agree that one learns about morality and decent behaviour from one’s parents and by extension, teachers and guardians. But, parents in particular, are not always objective and their judgement can be false. One needs a separation from them to find out what the rest of society expects and indeed, offers. Hence the need for National Service or the equivalent.
I agree to that parents have failed, but they have done so because society has taken upon itself the responsibility of managing all aspects of our lives. In its efforts to reach an egalitarian ideal it has ignored the reality that all children and all circumstances are not equal and thus not all problems require the same solution. Sparing the rod may be appropriate for some children but possibly not for others. Parents should be the best judge of what levels of discipline and punishment and what set of values are most appropriate for their children. One size does not fit all, no matter what the liberati like to say.
Good post, Sipu. I don’t agree with everything here, but it is refreshing to see some thought directed towards the problem, rather than the usual torrents of abuse.
I, obviously, don’t classify as a woman as far as you are concerned Sipu:
I can balance the budget – did it for years, but see no point whatsoever in doing a job that someone else is better at than I am. I’m a far better painter and decorator than Bearsy is….
I have two suggestions when anyone is ill: Go to bed and get over it, or Go to the doctor. I couldn’t tell the mumps from the measles and have no interest, whatsoever, in learning…
I dislike cooking intensely – and find no pleasure in spending hours in a kitchen devising a ‘fantastic’ meal which will be devoured within a few minutes…
As for ‘rearing children’ and primary school education’ – I find babies an vastly over-rated past-time and young children boring (unless they are members of my immediate family)…
Your views on the role of women are even more out-dated than my father’s were – and I never thought I would ever say that.
Thank you Ferret. Re point 7, I am not saying that women should not be allowed to do those jobs traditionally reserved for men. I am saying that before they go off on some half baked mission to achieve sexual equality, they should first learn what it is to be a woman and how to overcome the problems they are more than likely to face in life. Most women do have babies. That does mean, whether they are married or single, that they will need to know how to cook, clean, budget, nurse, educate and essentially manage their homes and raise their children. It does not mean because they are women that they have to become parents, its is just that they very probably will become parents. The problem is that half the time the choice is not theirs. They become mothers without necessarily wishing to be. Learning responsibility gives them greater choice.
The reality is that despite arguments to the contrary, the majority of women prefer to behave and to be treated like ladies. They don’t want to be patronised, or they certainly shouldn’t, which is what sex discrimination laws do. The problem is that because the law caters for the rights of the minority, the majority suffer. For example, the law should not define a separate minimum height and weight requirements for male and female police officers. (The chances are that a male of 5′ 3″ is a lot stronger and physically able than a woman of 5′ 4″.) Just as it should not allow Sikhs to forgo crash helmets on motorbikes or muslim women to wear naqibs in a work environment and that includes shops, banks, and airports. Employers must be allowed to choose on merit not on quotas.
I am sure there are some very good female engineers, but for the most part, the engineering world is made up of men, not because of discrimination, but because of inherent ability that is linked to their sex. To argue otherwise is fatuous.
As for the merits of being raised by one or other of the parents, of course it is preferable that the mother stays at home while the father goes off to work. Yes you will find exceptions, but mothers have evolved to nurture and men have evolved to provide. It is the natural order of things. Stay at home fathers tend to do so because the cannot work or cannot earn as much as their partner. Very often this leads to resentment and guilt on parts.
It is precisely because there has been a breakdown in traditional values that we end up with the chaos that has been plaguing Britain.
Absolute bloody nonsense.
Hang ’em all!
Somebody had to do it! 😉
Boadicea, your arguments are flawed as they often are when discussing such matters. You use yourself as a representative of all of your sex and yet you say that you find babies are overrated. Would you say that most women think that way? Of course they do not. Most women love babies and children including those of other people.
As for nursing, well, that is fine as long as the child is healthy and is really just shamming, but sometimes children do get ill with mumps and measles or worse. Sometimes they do cut themselves or sprain an ankle. Rushing off to the doctor is merited on some occasions but not on others. If mothers knew the difference, it would save everybody a great deal of time, expense and stress.
I am extremely impressed that you learned how to budget all by yourself without requiring a National Service program to teach you, but have you considered that while you may not need to budget right now, there may come a time when you do and that you may be grateful for the knowledge gained earlier. You are fortunate that you have a man to do it for you. But have you considered that there are many out there who do not posses your vast intelligence, training and discipline, who do not know the first thing about budgeting, credit cards, taxes, bank balances, insurance, pensions, mortgages etc?
Your comments on food and cooking are bizarre. Are you suggesting that you do not care what sort of food you eat; whether it is healthy, tasty and affordable? You may have the luxury of being able to go out to dinner every night but millions of women cannot afford gourmet restaurants where they can eat delicious and healthy food prepared for by others and often as not paid for by their partners. Millions do not know how to cook anything other than egg, pizzas and chips. Such ignorance has led to widespread obesity and associated health problems.
As for being better at DIY than Bearsy, nothing surprises me about the extent of his shortcomings.
You strike me as being the feminist equivalent of a champagne socialist. You want all the benefits of being a woman including the protection of men, while at the same time claiming equal rights with men.
I have to say all this business about not caring about feeding or nursing your family does make you sound a somewhat selfish mother and wife. But perhaps that is just the way you express yourself.
You find my arguments flawed because I use myself as an example – I find your arguments flawed because you make such sweeping statements.
I use myself as an example to try to show you, politely, that your generalisations refuse to take account of the individual and, as such, are highly offensive to the large number of women who do not want to be categorised as mere baby-making machines, providers of food, nursing care and unpaid domestic duties.
I really am not in the slightest bit interested in what other women may or may not know, or be capable of. It is not incumbent on me to be what I don’t want to be because others are unable to do what I can. As long as I discharge my own responsibilities to the best of my ability that is all that matters – and I have.
How would you feel were I to insist that you should conform to what my idea of a man is? Pretty offended I would imagine.
Furthermore – your judgemental comments about what sort of woman, wife or mother I am are extremely insulting – kindly keep your analysis of me off the pages of the Chariot in future.
… but you can continue to insult me, Sipu, so all is not lost. 🙂
Sipu re your (7),
Meet Charlotte Madison who was selected at age 23, to become the first ever British female Apache pilot. After two years training, she has seen much active service in Afghanistan and killed many enemy troops.
Sipu, your antedeluvian view of the world is fascinating like many revelations of prehistoric significance. Not surprising that the species ‘homo sapiens’ took thousands of years to evolve socially, with millstones like you round its neck.
Hmm, and after all that expensive training Charlotte Madison has now resigned her commission “to spend more time with her husband” and write a book.
Fair enough, I suppose, she did her bit.
Your solution Number 7 did make me smile, but it’s not entirely outrageous. Many years ago, at a fairly boring dinner party, I suggested that women should be sterilised if they wanted to do a university course. Stops all this maternity leave nonsense.
Arrers, 🙂 And as for peternity leave……….
She did indeed and did it very well. Would you have preferred she didn’t do it or perhaps you are with Sipu on his (7)?
Her choice entirely, and I’m sure she did an excellent job. I can’t say it would have been my career choice and it wasn’t possible when I was her age.
For some women, marriage is a career choice.
Well, frankly most women today don’t have that choice. They have to work, bring up children etc. etc.
Well Sipu, I’m inclined to agree with you lock stock and barrel.
No 7 seems to be causing an inordinate amount of trouble. I would have thought the basics of good housekeeping were imperative to running a half way civilised household for any female.
However much society changes, running the home still appears most frequently in their sphere of influence. Whether one choose to do other things in addition is down to personal choice, aptitude and abilities.
Reading over the years on the internet it strikes me that far too many young women who want it all signally fail, retreating into stressed, maudlin freak outs to complete strangers i.e. us.
Had they received a better training and been more competent perhaps they might have coped better.
These were the so called intelligent that purported to be University graduates, so God help the peasants!
(I’d just love to know which cracker box these degrees fall from!)
Apart from that, one of the biggest problems is the inability of modern society to discriminate right from wrong. The substitution of moral relativism for Christianity has done England no favours whatsoever. PCitis with its non-judgemental claptrap has ensured a complete moral failure within society. Now the ‘benefits’ are being reaped with wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Far too many women end up working because they want too many consumer goods, holidays and general claptrap that they are not prepared to live without in the modern consumer society. People assume a debt load they cannot possibly manage on one income. The ability to budget properly and the ability to do more with less are seemingly lost arts.
Not surprising really that the West is in such fiscal mire.
Its called lack of self discipline!
Not necessarily true, Christina. Even though the cost of property in the UK has fallen, it more often than not takes two incomes merely to pay the mortgage!
But you are right about the “must have necessities” of the modern consumer society, and the frightening amount of debt incurred to purchase these fripperies.
Boadicea, you cannot run a country without making generalizations. In fact you cannot run your life without them. We have been having the most fabulous weather here in the Cape. But it is unusual. Generally winters are cold, wet and windy. One has to work on that basis rather than work on the exceptions. Within the context of your life you are exceptional. Within the context of the rest of the world, you are just another woman with many of the characteristics, good and bad, of other women. In that respect, you are not unique. Get over it.
I doubt there is much that you could say about me that would offend me. One has to be pretty insecure to be offended by somebody one does not know. Besides, don’t pretend you do not attempt to insult me from time to time.
Bearsy, sadly you have fallen too far below the level of contempt above which I feel an insult might be effective. Don’t worry, I am sure the feeling is mutual.
Hi Toc. My nephew is an Apache pilot. Do you have any photos of him? Or are such glamorous press photos only reserved for pretty girlies? I am sure that she is an impressive woman, but if you believe that she is the norm, then you are likely to be sadly disillusioned. Just as Mozart and Hitler are not typical of the Austrian male so I am sure Ms Madison is not typical of the English female. If you make laws based on exceptional people society will collapse. If you base laws on the norm and make exceptions for exceptional people, society has some chance of progressing.
Janus as always, your comments are worthless.
Ara and CO, thank you for your honesty and common sense.
It does depress me that so many people on this site refuse to read the message but would rather attack the messenger. I am sure that if anybody other than I had written the above, it would have garnered significantly less vitriol.
Regarding your final paragraph, I wholeheartedly agree. I have a similar problem, but not from you, I hasten to add, nor from the majority of members of this site.
I also feel it irritating that some hereon simply don’t read what I’ve written. Most annoying.
Sipu: my mother is both a department manager at a hospital and the chief operating room technician.
One of my friends, in her younger years, was a commando and is a war veteran — Israeli Defence Force.
People should be allowed to pursue and field they for which they are qualified. I know a number of women who are brilliant engineers and architects, things with which I am useless. Does this mean that I should be, through accident of birth, pursue things for which I am simply not qualified? No, there should be no government efforts to dictate what people study. Rather, if people show an ability for a particular field of study they should pursue it as far as possible. Frankly, there are a number of men who are barely qualified to stay home and drive their children around. To say that they should be trained for things they cannot do is as asinine as saying that women should not be trained for doing things that they can do.
Sipu I agree with your blog as for number 7 surely that is for each woman or man to decide what they want to do. I believe that women can do whatever men do, until nature takes over. In other words there are some tasks that require more strength and men are stronger (normally).
The problem has been that some jobs, ie firemen, use different criteria for men and women, this is wrong you can lift X pounds or you can’t be a fireman (I hate fireperson).
As for raising kids, I still think kids want to go to mum rather than dad when upset, except for little girls who smile sweetly at dad and get their way all the time.
I gather that ladies akshully make better fighter pilots than men, primarily because they are usually shorter and, erm, chunkier than yer average male throttle jock and are thus better equipped to withstand high G forces. They are allegedly better at multi-tasking too, which is probably a useful trait in a Typhoon or F-16 cockpit.
Really OZ, so why are there only three of them? Is this because the selection process discriminates against ladies or are they not rushing forward to apply?
I must say, it is not exactly the sort of career that would appeal to women who have a family, or possibly those who object to killing people.
I would say that on the whole, most women, but not all are more interested in preserving life and possibly not temperamentally suited to killing. I may be wrong of course, it’s only my observation.
Y’see Araminta, therein lies the problem. Women are physiologically suited to fly a modern jet fighter, but perhaps not temperamentally suited to use it for its designed purpose.
Vive la difference!
Indeed, OZ. 🙂
Christopher, please see my comment regarding Mozart and Hitler. I can understand that living in San Francisco, you may find it difficult to believe, but trust me, men and women are very different. And, as the French say, vive la difference! Of course I accept that some men display characteristics that are more associated with the female sex and vice versa, but on the whole, you are pretty safe with generalisations when it comes to predicting behaviour.
Rick, I agree and I am not saying the law should prevent women from doing the jobs normally associated with men. But I am saying that if you give women the training to fulfill the roles with which they are most associated, i.e. that of motherhood, home maker, nurturer and wife, society is likely to benefit. Likewise if you give men the training to fulfill the roles with which they are most associated, i.e. that of fatherhood, provider, protector and husband society will benefit as well. Training men to be women and women to be men does not bode well.
My comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. O course I know your nephew is an Apache pilot. You have mentioned it several times before. I’m sure you are very proud of him. Just imagine how much harder it must have been for a “pretty girlie to achieve what he did. Generally, what I was attempting to put across is that you can’t pigeon hole anyone because of their sex. Equal ops and all that. As for being sadly disillusioned, that will never happen. 🙂
Sipu: BS, utter tosh! Have you ever been in San Francisco? There are some women who ride Harley Davidsons, weld, lift weights, and can beat the oh, wait, never mind…
I knew what you meant. The Miwok, the local tribe in my rural area, were correct. Men and women had different jobs and they tended to stick with them, but both were trained in the other tasks as well. Women would know how to hunt, fish, and dress animals where as men would know how to weave, cook, and gather.
Sipu, “Janus as always, your comments are worthless”. Another well argued riposte from the resident cave man.
OK, apologies to all if I have been a little too aggressive with some of my comments.
I would, however, merely like to make my point with regards to No 7. Of course I accept that everybody is an individual and each has his or her own talents. However, when you are making government policy, you cannot afford to cater for everybody’s individual abilities. That is what has been going on these last few decades and it has led to tyranny by minority groups. By all means allow individuals to shine, but do not make broad based policy on rare events.
Yes indeed Christopher, I have been there many times, the first, dare I say, probably before you were born. I lived and worked in the US for a number of years and made many trips there. One of my favourite events included a conference up in Napa Valley.
Janus dear chap, show me one example of a well argued comment of any kind made by you, ever. You take pride in your ‘gadfly’ approach to blogging. I cannot recall a single incident where you have actually said anything remotely interesting or intelligent or even vaguely relevant. All you do is snipe. Hence my retort. Good morning, as Mrs O would say.
Sipu: read the part right after what you quoted, my tongue was most assuredly firmly planted in cheek. I’ve come to refer to that city as “the other place”, as I leave for my rural retreat whenever I get the chance and I plan on moving back after my final term ends.
Yes, CT, I recognised that you were joshing. My reply was not meant to imply otherwise.I was merely indicating my great age and my familiarity with that part of the world. I should have added one of these. 🙂
Yes you were too aggressive. I do not believe that I have ever made the kind of assumptions about what sort of person you are that you made about me. Like most people you assume that because I don’t like something I can’t, won’t or don’t do that thing.
As regards no. 7, I would hardly put half the population, women, into a ‘minority’ category.
Boadicea, you are quite right. There was no call whatsoever to make personal remarks and I apologise unreservedly.
Re minorities, I do not mean that women are a minority, I mean that the number of women who wish to do typically male jobs are a minority and their demands that standards be altered to meet their capabilities are the tyranny of which I speak.
Thank you for the apology, Sipu.
I have absolutely no time whatsoever with people who demand that standards be changed, lowered or in anyway altered so that they can do what they would not otherwise be eligible to do. I would be appalled to think that I got preferential treatment simply because I was a woman – on the other hand I’m likely to get very angry if I think that a man has received preferential treatment on the basis that he is male!
Sipu, you must have been extremely selective to have avoided my wisdom. No surprise there then.
Sipu – much as I don’t wish to impress you with my wisdom in agreeing with you but…
I have read your points 1 to 8 several times. It pains me to say that actually, in my opinion, you make some valid and interesting points that aren’t very far from my own views…….with a huge whoops on number 7.
Alas, the majority of charioteers are mainly reacting to you because of your old fashioned views on women, and I won’t add anything more other than to say…some of my best friends are wimmin and I cannot disagree with you any stronger that those before me!
That aside, we can but hope that points 1- 6 & 8 are debated in mainstream society soon, at least you have addressed some points not raised properly before.
Thank you Cuprum, and I do completely understand how much it must pain you to endorse the majority of my ideas. I have been there before. It is like ripping off a plaster. You have got to do it, but it hurts like hell. 🙂
As for No 7, perhaps I could have phrased things a little better. Diplomacy was never my strong point which is a bit silly as often careless use of words back fires and detracts from some of the other more valid points.