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Britain’s problem not looting, but lost young generation

Published time: August 12, 2011 20:49
Edited time: August 13, 2011 02:57

A picture grabbed on video broadcast on YouTube shows Asyraf Haziq Rosli, a Malaysian student, being mugged by a group of people pretending to help him during London's riots on August 8, 2011 (AFP Photo / http://www.youtube.com/user/ReaderDriver)

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While the UK discusses a crackdown on social media as a result of recent riots, MP Jeremy Corbyn says the country has trashed the life prospects of its younger generation and repression cannot help that.

­In his analysis, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party says the feeling of “being alienated” is the most prominent factor that turned a peaceful demonstration in Tottenham, where the previous week the police had shot dead Mark Duggan, into nationwide scenes of criminality.

There are a number of issues at stake here,” Corbyn told RT. “One is the relationship between the police and community in some parts of Britain – particularly what happened in Tottenham. The second is the group of people who see themselves able to steal with impunity, taking designer clothes, watches and that kind of thing. And a very much a larger group of young people who are often unemployed and feel that society is not doing much for them.

Overall, in Great Britain 20% of young people are out of work, continues the MP. Many graduates find difficulties getting a gob, while school leavers encounter hardships searching for further training. The young feel that their chances of getting anything good in life are quite limited and therefore they go for other options, says Corbyn.

Corbyn explains the current state of younger minds by the policies of David Cameron’s government – and that of Gordon Brown’s before that – as well as by the current recession in the country’s economy.

It also comes in part from the more recent cuts that have taken place in students’ allowances and benefits in general,” he says. “So there is an increasing impoverishment of poor young people particularly in the big cities of this country.

The MP believes the government should take urgent steps to bring these young people back to the mainstream of society. Cracking down on social communication tools, like Twitter micro-blogs or Facebook social network, as proposed by PM Cameron, is “ridiculous”, says Corbin.

What you have to do is to insert a moral value into society and encourage young people to believe that they have some stake in the society. And that is the problem. It is the social alienation, the impoverishment, the disillusionment of the young people,” observes the MP.

There is a very unpleasant agenda surrounding this, which David Cameron in part is promoting. One is the containment of the social media. The other is eviction of whole families from homes because one member of the family has been charged or convicted of an offence connected with the events of the past week. And then he suggests bringing in the water cannons and bringing the army on the streets – all kinds of draconian measures,” he says.

Jeremy Corbyn stresses that repressions and censorship will not help the UK.

We have to listen and try to understand – not the principles of those people who are stealing simply for themselves – but the danger to all of us from the very large number of young people who do not feel any problem with getting involved as they don’t have any stake in the society as a whole,” he concludes.