UK riots: "institutional capitulation" the main problem
“We saw the complete impotence of the police at the beginning of riots and we have seen a lack of response from the government in terms of drawing a line under this situation,” Gilland said. “We have to put more pressure on the government and top police officers about how they responded to that,” he added.
According to Gilland the fact that an 11-year old boy has been charged for looting means UK society is facing a complete undermining of adult authority.
“If we do not have adult authority, then how can you expect young people to learn that they need to adopt certain standards?” stated Gilland. “We have had a long process of undermining adult authority in our school system and also undermining parents. This has been pushed very much by government and officialdom. It is not surprising in our society that young people think they can wonder around and not show respect to other people,” he added.
The fact the government is now blaming parents for the lack of control is not very helpful, believes Gilland, and what has actually occurred on the streets was due to a very small number of people.
“What I am arguing is that at the root of this problem is a much more fundamental problem that affects much larger sections of society. Politicians have constantly undermined parents by saying they cannot be trusted to bring up their children and therefore they require parenting classes and intervention into the family,” he said.
He also maintained that the message UK society is sending now is that adults cannot be trusted, that they are not voices of authority and that the voice of young people needs to be paid more attention to.
“This is a very dangerous message to send out, because it is upsetting the normal balance of things where adults are responsible for putting young people under pressure, challenging them to achieve the best they possibly can,” he concluded.