What caused the summer riots of 2011 in the UK? Many reasons have been suggested and a long list of possible causes has been drawn up over the summer. The baby boomer generation should be added to the list of suspects. It is the baby boomers, those born roughly between 1945-1965, that caused the riots – it’s mostly their fault .
UK riots: a long list of suspects
Who or what can we blame for the UK riots? It’s complicated but we could…
- Blame it on the education system: The nations favourite scapegoat is at fault because being a responsible citizen isn’t part of the National Curriculum, according to some sources. Let’s blame the teachers, they are an easy target.
- Blame it on the police. The law enforcers were caught napping and have been accused of having poor relations with local people.
- Blame it on the government. Twenty years of Labour rule under Blair/Brown followed a year of Cameron’s coalition. Depending on your political persuasion, it is all the current / previous governments fault the UK is falling to pieces.
- Blame it on the parents or lack of them. Irresponsible parents let their children run riot, if you believe what you read in the newspapers.
- Blame it on inequality and the widening socio-economic gap between rich and poor. Inequality in society makes people want to steal televisions and trainers that can’t otherwise be afforded
- Blame it on the recession, high unemployment and grim job prospects for everyone, but especially those aged 16-24, the NEETS, not in education, employment or training.
- Blame it on technology especially twitter, facebook and BlackBerry Messenger etc people used technology to incite rioting, and they only needed 140 characters to do it – allegedly. Riot! (that’s only 5 characters)
- Blame it on the baby boomers, they stole their children’s future and they’re not giving it back. Just ask David Willetts MP, he’s written a book all about them . In a nutshell, the book describes how the baby boomers took all the houses, jobs, cheap education, welfare, free health care and decent pensions. To add insult to injury, they undervalue the claims of future generations (Generation X and Generation Y) by spending their kids inheritance (aka S.K.I.-ing). Should it be so surprising that their disgruntled sons, daughters and grandchildren were rioting on the streets?
It is hard to conclusively prove that any of these suspects are guilty as charged because the causes of rioting are complex. However, it seems likely that the unequal wealth and influence of baby boomers was a contributing factor in the UK riots. You can read all about it in Mr Willett’s intriguing book [1,2].