Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The UK riots: What would you do?

Many of us have been shocked by the recent days' events that have swept across the country. My own fair(ish) city of Wolverhampton came under attack from mindless thugs. Shop windows were smashed, peoples livelihoods put in jeopardy and many law abiding folks across my city have literally been scared for their safety and the safety of their family and friends.

Whatever the underlying sentiment of the nation may be in these troubled times, there can be no doubt that these were acts of wanton lawlessness, and need to be dealt with in a suitable fashion.

So I ask you, what would be your response to deal with these idiots?

Simply read the following and select the one option that you most agree with from the following list of possible riot control solutions and another from the list of how to deal with the aftermath. Add the two numbers together to get your score and see which political leader you are most akin to.

Possible riot control solutions:

1) Local community leaders are sent into rioting hot-spots with pamphlets about career and education opportunities and information about art competitions in a bid to dissuade youths from further looting.

2) Greater police presence in city centres, including more police community support officers who will be drafted in to chase off those pesky youths by means of their high spec mountain bikes and loud voices.

3) Issue the police with greater operating freedom, a wider variety of non-lethal weapons and reduce the burden of procedure and paperwork.

4) Allow the public the right to defend themselves and their properties using 'all reasonable measures' with little (if any) recourse to prosecution for their actions.

5) Full riot control procedures to be implemented without any fear of reprisal for Police Officers. Water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas to be used as standard crowd displacement measures.

6) Issue the police with heavy-duty assault kit, including high calibre handguns and Kevlar body armour - with free reign to 'utilise where necessary'.

7) Send in the army - equipped with fully automatic rifles, fragmentation grenades, armoured vehicles and air support.

8) Implement a temporary nighttime curfew in city centres. A shoot on sight policy applies to anyone caught breaking the curfew.

9) Hire mercenary death squads from the Congo and instruct them to use any means necessary to subdue the rioters. All human rights violations will be ignored.

10) Nightly flyovers from b-52 bombers dispersing biological/chemical weapons on city centres.

Dealing with the aftermath:

1) Provide weekly therapy sessions and anger management counselling for the disaffected youths who have been arrested during the riots.

2) Set up more youth clubs to encourage young people to engage in positive activities such as sport, fitness activity and community projects.

3) Youths that are arrested for looting should be sentenced to participate in monitored community service/neighbourhood renewal programmes and encouraged to learn a practical trade through local education schemes.

4) Anyone convicted of looting should be sent to a minimum security prison where they have access to well equipped cells, sports facilities, healthy diets and education programmes.

5) Those found guilty of involvement in rioting should be sent to a maximum security prison where they are fed on a subsistence level diet and are routinely forced to undertake gruelling physical labour programmes.

6) Prior to incarceration for their crimes, those convicted of acts of public disturbance are subject to spend half a day in public stocks and members of the public are encouraged to pelt them with rotten fruit and vegetables.

7) Convicted Rioters are sent to an undisclosed, unregulated medical facility to undergo 'behavioural re-programming' before being reintroduced into society.

8) Those found guilty of rioting and other public disturbance acts are surgically castrated to avoid their further breeding.

9) Those found guilty of rioting and other public disturbance acts are publicly executed. Events are televised and spectators encouraged.

10) Suspected Rioters and looters are rounded up, made to wear identification, forced into ghetto like areas and stripped of all possessions. Eventually these groups are counted, organised into smaller groups and sent by national rail to newly formed 'working camps'. Many are never seen again.

So, given your score, if you were in charge, which historical leader might you most be likened to?

0 - 4 - Mahatma Gandhi

You strongly believe that it is deep, underlying social problems that cause people to act irrationally. You believe that violence is not an effective solution to societies' problems.

5- 8 - Nelson Mandela

You desire to see peace, prosperity and equality for all, but you are more than willing to openly demonstrate your anger through the use of measured force when this is challenged.

9-12 - Barack Obama

You want a calm, orderly and well disciplined society but will happily resort to a strict regime of heavy handed policing to ensure this.

13-15 - Margaret Thatcher

You see any kind of social malcontent as a scrounger and/or a 'good-for-nothing' and will use all reasonable measures (and some dubious ones) at your disposal to ensure that they conform to your standards. The use of hard and fast military force would be acceptable if it restores the status-quo.

16-18 - Colonel Qaddafi

You see all those who do not share your views as scum who are beneath you and pose a threat to your way of life. Without reason, they should be be crushed using unyielding, relentless and more often, lethal force. Collateral damage is to be expected and should not be considered to be an issue.

18-20 - Adolf Hitler

Anyone who does not meet with your strict criteria of behaviour is a pointless burden on society, and is no doubt a result of poor breeding and other abnormal genetic factors. A final solution is required to eradicate these people from the face of the planet.

On a final note

All joking aside, I have been appalled by what I have seen and truly cannot believe that this kind of thing could have been allowed to happen. Whatever the economic problems and the political backdrop of the situation, nothing good ever comes from this sort of reckless behaviour. The need for decisive and intelligent action is crucial, as is the need for us to restore a sense of pride, dignity and unity in our society.

Many have called for drastic solutions for dealing with these recent outbursts of violence , but we should remember that it is all too easy to overreact and follow the lead of people with very distorted ideas about how the world should be.

It is a curse of humanity that we don't easily learn from our mistakes, but if we use our heads, if we stand up and make our views known in a passionate but informed manner then maybe we can start addressing the real issues.

Look after yourselves and take care of each other.

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