UK Riots: What are the underlying causes?


It’s hard to know what to say when for three days and nights your cities have been under siege, set on fire and ransacked.

We watch the news with a sense of disbelief but not surprise. Many of us had said “if this goes on, there will be rioting in the streets”. But we meant that the poor, the oppressed, the angry, and those treated cruelly and unjustly would hit back with a protest so strong that this country would reel from it.

In the event, the rioting was even worse because it was the result, not of protest, nor in support of basic human rights, but a selfish greedy and criminal desire to loot and burn for the sake of it, just because they can.

The bible said “lawlessness shall increase” and it is. It said this:
2 Tim 3:1-5

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come, for people will be…
lovers of themselves
lovers of money
boasters
proud
blasphemers
disobedient to parents
unthankful
unholy
unloving
unforgiving
slanderers
without self-control
brutal
despisers of good
traitors
headstrong
haughty
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God

This we see all around us, growing worse by the day.

There has always been selfishness and lawlessness. But throughout history that evil was contained and restricted by physical distance and location, by lack of speedy communication, and by the unavailably of graphic media, as well as the inclination of most people to be law-abiding and moral. All that has been swept away.

Today we see gangs organised via Twitter and Blackberry messaging, being directed round the streets by mobile phones.

Today we see the result of that mayhem instantly via a live feed on TV, encouraging others to go out and do the same thing the next day.

But given all that is true, what are some of the recent causes underlying the situation we are witnessing of rampant uncontrolled lawlessness roaming our streets? It’s not hard to identify because these are issues that are being discussed in every gathering of normal people (but somehow not in the corridors of power, where a corporate insanity prevails.)

Education

For many years the education system has been infiltrated by left-wing, liberal, and fanciful new-world ideas that have removed discipline and straightforward studying of the facts, and replaced them with “yuman rights”, and propaganda for the cause. Instead of educating children, they introduced them to the idea that anything goes, and nobody must complain. We ended up with generations of illiterate yobs whose only aim in life is to take from society and escape all consequences.

Justice

Whether or not you believe in the death penalty for murder, it was a turning point for this country when we decided to imprison killers instead. It was the leading edge of another liberal agenda to see criminals as “victims of society” instead of those who needed punishment. Year by year we have watched the justice system strain and break. Shorter sentences, more lenient courts, fewer people arrested, while crime escalated at an alarming rate. The police are hogtied by nit-picking rules and regulations that forbid them to violate anybody’s “rights” (apart from the victims of crime, naturally). Add to this the prevailing attitude of the authorities that it’s illegal to defend yourself or (as they call it) “take the law into your own hands” and you have the disgraceful situation of innocent citizens brought to court for trying to defend their own property or lives!

Drugs and Alcohol

People fuelled by these are much more likely to be irrational and desperate. Too much crime is drug-related. Yet alcohol continues to be dirt cheap, and the licensing hours have been extended instead of cut. So unable are the authorities to deal with the drug problem that their recently proposed “answer” was just to make personal drug use legal because it’s impossible to stop it now. Yet people out of their heads on drugs and drink are frequently violent and abusive, stealing to support their habit, unable to work, ill and using up NHS resources, not to speak of the damage they do to their own and their family’s lives. (Much of what was stolen in the rioting was alcohol.)

Video games and computers

This is another huge area of concern. Very young children are getting access to the internet, seeing and involving themselves in things that scar their minds and corrupt their spirits. Social Networking introduces them to people they would not normally have known, and outside of all parental control. Peer-pressure means they will attempt things against their better judgement. Video games are violent and horrific, teaching them to kill and steal without mercy and without restraint. What they see informs their lives and educates them to believe in a world where everything is up for grabs, without consequences.

Media

Music too, and TV programming, has become more and more sexually explicit and foul in every way. Censorship seems non-existent. Storylines are about all about getting your own way, no matter what. Crime is fun, and clever. Younger and younger children are reading magazines and other media that pushes them to conform to a sexualized and greedy lifestyle when they are too young to make adult decisions about the need for restraint.

Breakdown of the family, no discipline

At the same time, as we all know, the family has crumbled apart. With the open encouragement of successive Governments, marriage has been abandoned in favour of casual relationships, children being born to multiple partners, men drifting from one woman to the next, women raising several non-related children alone… meaning that the all-important input of a strong and reliable father-figure is missing. The only parenting that the children understand is getting their wants supplied. They witness arguments, abandonment and strife all their lives and conclude that there is nothing stable or good about the human experience. It’s “every man for himself”.

No incentive

One strong incentive in life is to do better than those around you, gain a good education and train for a career that will reward you and your family in later life. However, that aim has been removed from the lives of many ordinary people. Much schooling is a joke and even now children leave without knowing how to write or speak correctly, and unable to do basic sums. They know nothing about history or geography and even less about science. Then when they try to go on to university they either drop out, unable to face the challenge of a good education, or else they are unable to attend in the first place due to cost. The only jobs they can get (if any at all) are menial and badly-paid. If despite all this they enter a profession that provides a good salary they are stung by the various taxes and disincentives this country has always provided to punish those who do well. Talent and Invention are shipped off to countries who know how to reward them, while we struggle on with a dumbed-down lack-lustre population that only knows how to toe the line.

No good role-models

Another incentive used to be the role-models people encountered while growing up. Now, many role-models such as footballers, rock stars and actors are famous for being loud-mouthed, drunken, adulterous and ignorant. It’s the evil of society that is paraded in the press and applauded, and made into entertainment. It is greed, selfishness, infidelity, pride, anger and hatred of religion that people see and hear. They conclude “this is how life is lived, this is how I should be.”

Hatred of God

The prevailing attitude of the media today is “bash the bible”. No holds barred in portraying Christians as ignorant depraved fools who deserve no consideration from society. Every sinew is stretched out to find yet another way to disprove the Christian truths, whether in the Press, on TV or just in private conversations.

Children may not have been taught anything about history, but if any conversation arises with a religious element they suddenly “know” all about the bible, how contradictory and “repressive” it is (even though they have never seen, let alone read, one.) It seems as if TV producers work to a golden rule that Christians must appear in every drama and cartoon, to be mocked and resented and shown up as corrupt and self-serving idiots.

It’s no wonder churches are empty and Christianity has such a bad name. But along with that goes the intense fear of “judgement” that people instinctively feel! Anyone who is Christian knows the knee-jerk response “how dare you judge me?” when anything about God is mentioned.

Deep levels of sin have produced a bad conscience in society, but instead of owning up to sin people would rather do away with God, so as to avoid unpleasantness. When they are told by everything they hear and see that God is judgemental and repressive, they join in the chorus, rejoicing in their freedom to do as they please.

The result can be seen on the TV news today.

When a child as young as 10 gets a message from a gang of friends who say they are going into the city to smash and burn shops and loot whatever they can carry, what is there from the list above to prevent him saying “I’m there.”

Is there any parental disapproval? NO! His Mum is probably too busy watching TV with her new boyfriend, and even if she stands in his way, she’ll be told to F-Off.

Is there any fear of the police or the legal system? NO! Even if by bad luck he was arrested he wouldn’t be charged, and would be let back home with nothing more than a caution. Then he’d be even more proud of his status in the gang!

Is there any personal inclination to avoid criminal behaviour? NO! “Everybody else is doing it” and the more they succeed the better they feel. Everything he watches and everyone he admires spurs him on, rather than the opposite.

Is there any reason to resist? NO! Because he “needs” to “have things” like the rest of the world, and his Mum won’t buy them. He wants new trainers, and the clothes that his friends wear, and all those “must-have” electronic gadgets, and the drink that dulls his unhappy memories, and he knows he’ll never be able to have them without stealing. So why not? Society “owes him”! “THEY” have things, so why shouldn’t he?

And I must say, when big businesses, banks, government departments, celebrities, and the high-fliers in this country are so dismissively arrogant about their billions of ill-gotten gains, while others have nothing, it’s not surprising there is a deep resentment amongst ordinary people!

Finally, is there any fear of the consequences? NO! From whom could there be consequences? His mother doesn’t care that much, his friends already approve, his school won’t intervene and to be sure he won’t be hearing anything about God and the Ten Commandments anytime soon.

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4 thoughts on “UK Riots: What are the underlying causes?

  1. Lets us no forget Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ –
    The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
    Our political, media and economic leaders pursue a culture of greed and selfishness in pursuit of a bigger bottom line – the antithesis of the second commandment. Each individual has the free choice and responsibility to say no to this culture of evil. In the face of this cultural tsunami this becomes harder but not impossible. Too many Christians have been seduced by this culture. We must have the courage to challange the culture of greed by leading by example. Caring, compassion and social and economic justice should flow through our daily lives. This will not be easy but we will be walking the path with God using his words.

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  2. Excellent blog!
    What you have depicted is not only a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3, but also Romans 1:18-32 which describes the end of those who deliberately shove God out of their lives and world. God gives them “over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whispererers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful, who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
    I find it interesting that the New Testament Church lived in a world with many similarities to our own. The major problem is today is that the “church” seems to be a mirror image of the world more than Christ.
    Is there anything those who discern these things can do to influence or impact the world in the opposite direction?

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    • After I wrote this post to my blog, I read two UK newspapers and was pleased to see a large amount of agreement in the commentary on the causes, covering many of the points I myself had made, but in a more thorough and factual way, with statistics and testimonies. I’d like to try and put together some of the best quotes, but here is one that struck me as particularly apt.

      “It will not do for a moment to claim the rioters’ behaviour reflects deprived circumstnaces or police persecution. Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang. This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect. It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because no one makes them be anything different.” (by Max Hastings in the Daily Mail, August 10th 2011.)

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  3. The importation of large numbers of uneducated people from relatively high crime populations was never a good idea and people did warn about it but got shouted down by politically correct ideologues.

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