I was a sixth former at a local comprehensive when Handsworth was torn by a blaze of communal violence in the summer of 1981 . . .
[N]umerous social commentators including Stuart Hall, formerly at the University of Birmingham, have demonstrated rather persuasively the interlinked issues that were behind the riots in 1981.
They identified economic crisis, lack of prospects, disenfranchised young people, deep cuts in public services, a deterioration in the relationship between young (especially black) people and the police and, a lack of confidence and trust that some people have in our leaders.
And so, some critics have taken a broader perspective and have blamed the inequities within our capitalist enterprise, as the core point of the continuing social unrest.
When bankers can lose the country trillions of pounds and taxpayers are expected to foot the bill for their loss whilst they themselves can still expect their hefty bonuses and pensions, something is drastically wrong within that system.
When ordinary British pensioners have very little to live on – and often not enough pension to heat their living room – something is rather insane in the existing political conformity.
When working people have to take reduction in their salaries and have to work much longer for less pension we have to question the social system that breeds such injustice.
And we’ve lived with this state of affairs for so many years.
Without sounding political, the point is that we can deal with the symptoms but we also need to address the causes.
The coalition government needs to take heed.
Read the article here.