London, England has been subject to mob violence for four nights now, during which stores are looted, restaurant patrons are humiliated and robbed, buildings are torched and bystanders are assaulted. Melanie Phillips, a veteran columnist in England has been following the riots, and will say what needs to be said. Having listened to the latest news/reports (which pass as bewildered and empathetic profiles of savage "protesters") she summarises:
Some of the rioters and looters are as young as eight or nine. I then listened to a spokesman for Manchester city council appealing to parents to ensure that their children are not on the streets tonight. Why can't people see what is staring us all in the face? We are not up against merely feral children. We are up against feral parents. Of course the parents know their children are out on the streets. Of course they see them staggering back with what they have looted. But either they are too drunk or drugged or otherwise out of it to care, or they are helping themselves to the proceeds too.
The parents are the problem; as are, almost certainly, their parents and their parents too. Not that any of them necessarily even know who their parents, in the plural, are. For the single most crucial factor behind all this mayhem, behind the total breakdown of any control or self-control amongst the rampaging gangs of children and teenagers who are rioting, burning, robbing, stealing, attacking and murdering, is the willed removal of the most important thing that socialises children and turns them from feral savages into civilised citizens: a fully committed, hands-on, there-every-day father.
As I have been writing for more than twenty years, a society that embraces mass fatherlessness is a society that is going off the edge of a cliff. There are whole areas of Britain where committed fathers are a wholly unknown phenomenon; where serial generations are being brought up only by mothers, through whose houses pass transitory males by whom these girls and women have yet more children, and whose own daughters inevitably repeat the pattern of lone and utterly dysfunctional parenting.
There are pockets of this in the US. Take a moment to consider the "culture" we've offered so many of our youngsters, created by the music industry, Hollywood, video games and decades of "values clarification" in the classroom--all of which either glorify or shrug over promiscuity, violence and myriad vices. We may be paying our own piper soon enough.
ADDENDUM: another good commentary along the same lines --
The riots were like a video game that had kicked its way out of the Xbox and kept on playing because no adult could find the remote control to make it stop... Forget serious protests about education cuts, the little blighters were clearly having a lovely time, high on excitement and cruelty. It was Lord of the Flies dressed by Adidas.
Young people in Egypt and Syria riot in the streets for freedom and hope, precious intangibles for which they were prepared to risk their own lives. English youths riot for the inalienable right to have £150 trainers and a flat-screen telly. Material things for which they were happy to risk the lives of others.
There’s no use blaming the police; it’s the parents, stupid. A report by the Centre for Social Justice found that the UK excels in the three D’s of family breakdown – divorce, dysfunction and dadlessness. Of the 805 violent looters arrested, how many come from homes without a father? I reckon we can guess the answer. A study back in 2001 found that 85 per cent of Indian families were headed by a married couple while 50-60 per cent of black families were headed by a lone parent, usually the mother. Is there anyone who still believes there is no link between that agonising statistic and the young males running amok on our streets?