Youth, Looting, Flat Screen Tvs and the single room rate for under 35s
18/08/2011 11:33 am
If our youth were prepared to riot for electronic goods I wonder how they are going to react on the 1st January 11 when they realise (those that are in low paid work or unemployed) that reductions in their housing benefit/lha are going to get them evicted and stop them renting a flat on their own in the future. In my view the people that were rioting are probably 'well placed' to be affected by the changes i.e. I am sure most of them were young, unemployed, males (no kids) and would either be living in or have aspirations to live in their own 1/2 bedroomed flat at some point befor their 35th birthday.
Do people think that these people are going to pick up a plackard and march or might we see more riots all be it for political causes this time?! Poll Tax riots???
Just a thought!?
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18/08/2011 12:07 pm
This is why I've been saying that inclusion, enablement, fairness, and equality are needed to avoid the slide into an even worse condition than the one we are currently in. It is odd that I find myself castigated for suggesting such a thing - no doubt others prefer running battles and blood in the streets, or ever greater CCTV intrusion and the inception of armed police on every street corner.
The dispossessed already number 1 Million - Lord protect us if they all decide that having nothing to loose means they can ignore basic social rules.
27/09/2011 4:20 pm
I think a lot of kids got a big buzz from what has been described as 'shopping with violence'.
Even nice middle class kids got caught
up in this rather exciting and completely illegal ( and so more exciting), high street raiding. I think this excitement was fuelled
to a degree by the stand off with police, but when that changed, the youth clearly thought better of it!
How much does it take to make a riot? I would be prepared to bet that no one with their hands inside a mobile phone shop window during that
contemplating the downfall of the state or wondering if this was the first stirrings of the Revolution! So no, I dont think our
youth on their own will take to the streets anytime soon to complain about these rather 'technical' changes.
It's just a bit too boring! A lot of kids did protest about university fees and I wonder how many of the youth involved in the riots
also protested about uni fees?
I suspect that the activism we have seen on the street in
recent years has probably had either reasonable suport from anarchist type groups,(see the Poll Tax riots)
or the 'squeezed' middle class, (example: university fees).
Perhaps as more of 'middle' England experiences further pain from continued lack of access to buying and renting a home, plus increasing
unempoyment, then, as David Orr asked, (in his address to the NHF conference in Birimingham) -is it just possible that housing has now
about to become a big/popoular political issue? So yes there might be some direct action on the streets but it needs a wide groundswell of opposition that the Coalition cannot ignore.
30/09/2011 5:01 pm
Sometimes civil unrest is stimulated by a combination of factors rather than a single issue. I don't think that the recent "riots" were caused because someone wanted a flat screen TV. Rather I suspect it was a manifestation of anger and frustration caused by the current environment.
Unfortunately myself along with a number of others predicted the likelihood of civil unrest as soon
as the economic fortunes of the Country became apparent. In terms of young people, we know from various research and statistics that they are some of the hardest hit by the current economic environment. In many instances people need hope and a sight of what a positive future may look like and I do fear that at present not enough young people can see a brighter future. The effect of the single room rate could add to this feeling. As a singular issue I wouldn't believe it would cause rioting, but as an added ingredient to the current environment then it possibly could.
The question for us as a housing movement is what more we can do to provide positive opportunities. As a Country, it strikes me that we have just gone through a decade of milk and honey in respect of public expenditure and investment but we have failed to maximise the opportunities that this presented to increase employment and skills and the economic prosperity of key communities. As social landlords I am afraid that a good number of our customers will be most adversely affected by the austerity measures and I think it is up to us to help lead the response for the communities we serve.
Three years ago, at the organisation where I work, we made the unusual step of acquiring a training company that specialises in providing training and employment opportunities particularly for young people who are leaving school with limited academic qualifications. We have re-orientated our business to try and create as many opportunities as we possibly can. We now employ 70 young apprentices (11% of our workforce) and have worked with an ever expanding network to create of companies to create over 350 apprenticeship opportunities. I know other organisations are doing some great work but are we all doing enough?