What lies beneath the social unrest in Britain?

Posted By on August 12, 2011

A surprising range of people (from British Prime Minister David Cameron to reporters and social commentators) are all pointing at the same fundamental problems in the wake of the riots in the UK–the loss of foundational morality and self-restraint, the breakdown of the family, and fatherlessness. Here are several key reads, which have implications for every society and culture:

  • Beneath the social unrest in Britain – We’d best pay attention to what’s really at the root of this violence and anarchy. It’s not just about Britain…. “What has been fuelling all this is not poverty, as has so predictably been claimed, but moral collapse. What we have been experiencing is a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour among children and young people straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord Of The Flies. “
  • What the young British rioters really lack– “Responsibility for crime always lies with the criminal. But crime has a context. And we must not shy away from it. I have said before that there is a major problem in our society with children growing up not knowing the difference between right and wrong. This is not about poverty, it’s about culture. A culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities. In too many cases, the parents of these children – if they are still around – don’t care where their children are or who they are with, let alone what they are doing. The potential consequences of neglect and immorality on this scale have been clear for too long, without enough action being taken.”
  • Fatherless youths run riot– An analysis of official figures by the Bristol Community Family Trust (BCFT) and the Centre for Social Justice published last year showed that nearly one in two children born in Britain today will suffer family breakdown by the age of 16. Some London boroughs have upwards of 50 percent of lone parent headed households.
    It really won’t do to pretend that all of this is has nothing to do with the boys and girls who have been setting fire to shops and homes, and gleefully grabbing consumer goods from shelves and gloating over their thieving. It was pathetic – genuinely, tragically pathetic – to hear calls for the children’s parents to take charge. Parents? Some were busy joining in the thieving and rioting themselves. Others, when contacted, revealed that they had zero control over their children’s lives. And the plural “parents” does not apply in most cases – too often there’s only mum, who over recent months and years has shared her home with various boyfriends….
    If we want to try to rebuild a sane society, where burning shops and attacking people in the street is not considered a fun way to spend a summer evening, we must start by a tacit acceptance that social policies have got to change. It would be nice to have a “sorry” from those promoting the smashing of marriage and denigration of fatherhood – but we are unlikely to get that. A period of silence from them  is the next preferred option. And while that’s happening, those who do understand the social realities of life must get on with the rebuilding.
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About The Author

Jennie is the wife of Matthew and mother of eleven children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

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