I Blame The Parent

London collage.
Like this except on fire

According to one pundit – I won’t name him, he likes that too much – the real cause of the riots in England is absentee fathers. I don’t know why fathers always seem to go away when the Tories get elected, but it is a theory.

In the light of it, maybe we have been understanding the situation there completely incorrectly. All these young men, children really, smashing windows and cars. They are protesting, but not in the way we understand it – not even in the way they understand it themselves. They’re not kicking against the government or their economic situation or social exclusion, but something more fundamental.

Nor was the situation precipitated by reductions in police numbers, resources, and morale. That would be far too simplistic. No – at least, not in the obvious way.

We must look instead at the psychology of the individual, as one of those detective types said. What do the kids want? Well father figures of course. The discipline and guidance that children yearn for. Men of authority, whom they can look up to.

Who are the only really convincing figures of authority in their communities, the only ones who don’t need guns or knives to look hard, the only ones who set them straight when they do wrong? The father figures who in recent years and months have had less and less time for them, who don’t come around so often anymore, who seem preoccupied recently.

The looting is not really about greed. It’s kleptomania for the poor, a cry for attention. From the police. And I think it’s working.

4 thoughts on “I Blame The Parent

  1. I’m afraid I don’t know who Chris Dillow is. Or perhaps I’m glad.

    No, it’s an Irish columnist I have in mind, whose comments I find so just plain nasty I am reluctant to link to them.

  2. I meant your first related article. Stumbling and mumbling typepad thingie.

    Alexa says “Compared with the overall internet population, the site’s audience tends to be college-educated; they are also disproportionately childless men under the age of 35 who have incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 and browse from work.” You know what that means? If I keep reading I’ll get younger and make some decent money.

    1. Ahhh… Gotcha. No, I don’t necessarily read the Related Articles, The software makes some suggestions and I pick a few that look like they might add some background, back up my argument, etc.

      If blogs come up I tend to add them anyway, as a sort of optimistic link exchange.

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