Riots, Parenting and Social Media Networks

Lord Soley

I was unable to attend the statement in the Lords yesterday. Initially the decision was to recall the commons but not the Lords. This changed on Wednesday but I was on a Scottish island visiting a neolithic tomb – no sign of riots there!

My very brief thoughts on the rioting so far are that the social media networks do seem to have played a particularly important part in organising rioting groups but this does not mean we should immediately clamp down on them. Getting the politics right in dealing with new technology that is so important to society is no easy task.

Secondly, I have felt for a long time that we are still floundering when we try and deal with inadequate or grossly inappropriate parenting. Back in the 1990’s I organised a series of Parliamentary hearings on parenting and we demonstrated that there were many good schemes around that were supporting parenting. The reports of those hearings are still available but it is a very difficult area for government to deliver on. Bringing up children is  tough – for parents and children alike! No one has perfected parenting and skills vary widely. In view of the age of some of the rioters we must revisit this debate.

24 comments for “Riots, Parenting and Social Media Networks

  1. Dave H
    12/08/2011 at 10:56 pm

    You ought to note that the social media was instrumental in organising the clean-up operations afterwards. I’d like to see how the government proposes to clamp down on social media, given that much of it is based outside UK jurisdiction. Would we have a censorship firewall like the Chinese or some Middle East countries? Don’t forget that the internet was designed to be resilient against damage and there are all sorts of ways to defeat censorship.

    As for the parenting issue, we’ve had many years of government encouraging parents to put their children into nursery and daycare, and putting pressure on the parents to go to work. This has undermined the family unit and I consider it to be a large part of the problem. Instead of wasting money on ‘early intervention’, spend the cash on making it possible for parents to spend time with their children instead of farming them out.

    We’ve had many years of trying to solve problems by adding more government and it’s failed dismally.

  2. Twm O'r Nant
    13/08/2011 at 8:37 am

    In USA Ky they had something called Big brother/little brother, which promoted friendships between responsible adult males/females with the young of their own who had problems.

    I din’t find out any more about it, but it might work here. I would always welcome
    deprived kids from London/B’ham here but there does not seem to be any organization for such contacts.

  3. Lord Blagger
    13/08/2011 at 9:02 am

    Setting an example is important.

    Here’s an annotated extract from Hansard.

    Gerald Kaufman (£43,564 expenses including 4 grapefruit bowls at £540)
    I condemn the naked greed of these criminals and their taking advantage
    of their pampered and privileged opportunities ..

    David Wilshire (£160,532 expenses including £100k on a flat 15 miles
    from main home) My honourable friend has hit the nail on the head. This
    is not about ideology, it’s sheer naked greed

    John Healey (£84,562 expenses including £6,194 for renovating his
    kitchen) We should understand a little less and condemn a little more,
    Mr Speaker; only tough action against these feral youths will …

    Speaker (£146,780 expenses) Order! Order! Members must set an example
    to young people!

    • Twm o'r Nant
      14/08/2011 at 1:10 pm

      “David Wilshire (£160,532 expenses including £100k on a flat 15 miles
      from main home) My honourable friend has hit the nail on the head. This
      is not about ideology!

      If you do your accounts properly and take as much as you want that is proper. That is accountancy, and might even be accountability.

      If you don’t do your accounts properly,
      and take as much as you like that is stealing, but not ideology.

      Stealing has often been equated with being a marxist or anarchist. Banking is equal to
      being a reactionary Tory, or changing the guard at Buckingham palace.

  4. maude elwes
    13/08/2011 at 12:14 pm

    One of the most important factors to have created the situation we have presently is the feminine approach to boys and their environment. They are being emasculated by too much female domination. Single mothers, female teachers unable to and or not wanting to, address their need to show their masculine traits in sports or choices of subjects.

    Young boys and young men must feel they are hero’s, or can be, and if this is removed from them, you get the opposite of hero taking over, for their need is to show how powerful they are. This trait is totally rejected rather accepted by, and appreciated for its wonder, in this super feminine society of ours.

    Girls are, in general, not clubable. Their needs are very different. Feline is singular, masculine is pack.

    Which, of course, is why independent boys schools do so well with the young entrusted to them. The outlets of sport, army cadets, competition, camping out and male hobbies, as well as the raising of the masculine self esteem, especially if Dad isn’t around, is so important. Boys reject the soft touch. They want to save the world. And so they should, it is the nature of the beast after all. It should be admired.

    I don’t believe the men of government do not understand this? Most of them went to male dominant schools, didn’t they?

    • ladytizzy
      14/08/2011 at 1:42 am

      Maude, I would be enormously grateful if you would clarify or, at least, help me understand your post. For example, you use terms such as boys, young boys, men, young men, girls, single mothers, female teachers, without further definition or parameters. Similarly, feminine, super feminine, feline; they lack the contrast from which I may hang my hat.

      While I’m at it, would you expand on a couple of your other terms such as “masculine is pack”, “Boys reject the soft touch.” A bit too Andrex, for me at least.

      Also, I’m intrigued by your theory that young males (age still to be determined) need to to be heroes, and that they will behave in the opposite manner if “this” is removed from them. What is “this”, do the Met know about it, and is it cheaper than them?

      I suppose I should also ask what you meant by, “Girls are, in general, not clubable…their needs are very different”

      • maude elwes
        15/08/2011 at 11:16 am


        I would be enormously grateful if you would clarify exactly what it is about my wording you find so difficult to comprehend? Example: boy, young men, girls, single mothers, female teachers, etc.. Which are the ones so difficult? Will you explain. Otherwise, I suggest a browse through the dictionary or thesaurus would enlighten. What is it about these descriptions you find so hard to ingest? You being erudite should find it the easiest of all parameters to follow. Goodness, you would be way out of your depth if you bump into a ‘gangsta yoof’ of ‘any’ chronological age. And if I were you, I wouldn’t bother trying to hang a hat here, for my explanation, should one be needed, would not fit your head size.

        Quite clearly you have difficulty understanding the masculine principle. Additionally, despise the notion that the human race has ‘two’ sexes that are quite different in their need for fulfillment and satisfaction for their diverse psychological traits.

        Try reading a little Jung and listening to a bit of Joseph Campbell, they may broaden your horizons on this matter.

        And if you need to ask what it means by ‘girls are not clubable,’I suggest you read what Margaret Thatcher wrote on that matter. When she found herself trying to persuade those around her awkward, in the ‘clubable’ male environment she was caught up in, and quite against even her, ‘masculine’ trait to lead or dominate, could not understand the nature of their sex.

        And as far as Andrex is concerned, don’t be without it, for you may get caught short.

    • MilesJSD
      14/08/2011 at 8:50 am

      With due respects;
      but males of any age, equally with females of any age, and with ‘eunochs’, do NOT need Heroisms nor any other derivative from the long-obsolescent Reinforcement Theory:

      our common human Need in this, both political and post-political as well as Earth-citizenship social, is for Egalitarianly-Inclusory-Relevance,
      per individual,
      distinctly differently, but compatibly, evaluated from Global Hierarchical Governance matters.


        • MilesJSD
          16/08/2011 at 2:11 am

          I did not say that I think Heroism to not be one of the archetypes or characteristics (your ‘traits’) of the male human mind (your ‘psyche’);
          Jung in fact said that the male Anima is manifested as female “soul” in one of the basic four Anima Archetypes of which Helen-the-heroine is but one (the other three being Eve (sexual), Mary (mother), Sophie (beneficent).

          I said that neither males nor females NEED derivatives from the now long since obsolescent Reinfrcement Theory such as “heroism”
          (because) we now much more vitally need egalitarianly-inclusive-relevance (i.e. complete democratisation)

          More recent research, such as is still being done by the Club of Budapest as well as by the Club of Rome, the World Wisdom Council, the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, the Global Marshall Plan, the Japanese Goi Foundation, and the Universal Forum of Cultures of Monterrey, shows that we all now need to take active part in consciously and deliberately improving our own “evolution”.

          The most comprehensive and short introduction to this “peaceful evolution-improving revolution” I am aware of is “the Chaos Point” (Ervin Laszlo).

          A much more complex, and controversial, study is “Living In The End Times” (Slavoj Zizek; who is described on the front cover as being “The most dangerous philosopher in the West”) 500 pages of small print hailed by friend and foe as new essential reading.

          Expert or Beginner in thinking, we still need to be on the qui vive for Enthymemes (missing facts/factors/premisses/arguments); and I suspect, from skimming this tour de force from a still young Zizek that, vital to be comprehended though every topic and issue in it are, both he and the critics have missed the enthymeme concerning the “one human being: one human living” formal-argument and moral-reasoning Issue.
          So traditional “simple explanations” are likely no longer going to be of any primary use to us, Maude.


          • maude elwes
            16/08/2011 at 1:02 pm


            Thank you for your suggestions and response to my posts regarding acceptance of the male/female difference of psyche.

            My point, Miles, is, because of many years of politically correct views stultifying the concept of masculine/feminine differences in the human condition, boys/girls, men/women have been subjected to a lessening of their self esteem. This is created by ignoring the nature of the human being and by denying its needs.

            Your point on what future evolution the human race holds for us and the needs we have are very real. However, evolution of the kind you suggest is not with us in quite the most acceptable form required to benefit ‘presently’ from those highly desirable concepts. What we have is a denial of the direct demands of the human psyche, regarding the search for and desire to, fulfill a necessary drive to satisfy our instinct for gender gratification. This desire, above all, is what leads to a feeling of contentment. Without which, a perception of unhappiness or deprivation festers.

            Unless, society openly ‘accepts’ and ‘admires’ the differences in both sexes and the need for those senses to be fulfilled, the more distraught mankind becomes.

            So, the further away from the natural human condition young people are pushed, the less contentment with their lot. In other words, they are mired in unfulfilled frustration. The outlet for this, is the dramatic drive to fulfill the ’emptiness’ by acquisition of unimportant items. The desire is to be rewarded with ‘gifts’ for being deprived of spirit not body. And, as this need is of the subconscious, it is hard to define intellectually.

            Therefore, society has to change this unnatural manifestation before more spiritual (not religious) harm occurs.

  5. Barry Blatt
    13/08/2011 at 12:49 pm

    Nice to see someone in parliament not resorting to knee jerk reactions about social media. The scale of the riots would not have been much affected by stopping Facebook and the like, the problem was that the rioters did make better use of the communications at their disposal than the police did, and ran rings round them. Water cannon and plastic bullets? Waste of time when the rioters can find out where they are and tell their mates to avoid the area and trash someplace else instead. And if plastic bullets were used we would now be looking at even more dead and injured and even more vehement hatred of the police. Didn’t we abandon them in NI becuase they just created martyrs?

    • Lord Blagger
      16/08/2011 at 4:24 pm

      Well I think we should ban the BBC, Sky news, Radio and all the other outlets including the Lords and Parliament from reporting on the riots until over.

      We can axe all the telephone system too, plus the entire internet.

      Aren’t they just as much to blame as blackberries?

      Ah yes. The wiff of hypocrisy in the morning.

  6. Gareth Howell
    13/08/2011 at 4:39 pm

    Why is it that in hot weather the working/claiming classes of today, including the
    Afro/Afrocaribbean/Asian people do not use the beaches and seaside resorts of these islands?

    SOME do. I did a rough head count of the 8 mile B’mouth promenade recently on the hottest monday and out of say 30,000 people on the beach,only about one in 400-500 was ethnic non European.

    So they want to use water cannon on rioters?
    Is that as good as a dip in the sea?

    Do they not go to the beach huts of the UK because they are not welcome and because there is quite an effective color bar?

    If they had been building sand castles, and dreaming their drewams thge same as everybody else, would they be stealing and ransacking like that? Nah!

    L.Knight mentioned the EDL (English defence League) demonstrating in Weymouth.
    I see his point; they are not wanted in Weymouth but they ARE always welcome with me!

  7. Gareth Howell
    13/08/2011 at 8:00 pm

    All this rioting is a very serious matter which I really can not help laughing about.

    I don’t know what it is but the most vibrant, lively switched on part of the UK Community is up in arms and rightly so.

    All the old fogeys like David Starkey, the historian, are utterly out of touch with the fact that (local kids are being marginalized which is not so good,but they are 25% unemployed too so does it matter?)The ethnic minorities are the genetic future of the people of these islands, and as for quoting “Rivers of blood” in the context, I am just very sad that such people are given any air time at all to vent their dimwitted ideas.

    Black is beautiful!

  8. MilesJSD
    14/08/2011 at 10:13 pm

    Inappropriate Lifespan Education and Earth-citizenship development strategies and curriculums are much more greatly responsible for current-century apathies, demonstrations, protests, riots, uprisings, low-voting & democratic participation, and for many kinds of civil, individual, and collective human conduct and behaviour shortcomings and failures;
    if not totally so, when you include (as you do) “social media networks” (but this is a mere small-slice of the total inadequate failure of the Overall Education and practically absent Earth-Citizenship Development Strategy)
    than is “inadequate parenting”.

    I have previously submitted Resources lists for this much-needed Strategy, only to have them censored-out, including by Lord Soley:

    nonetheless some past, and current, LOTB blogs are publishing these advances.

    Try a combination of
    Perceptual Self-Control know how (WT Powers et al)]
    “Mindset” (Dweck);
    Friendly Method III Needs & Hows Recognition and Cooperative Problem Solving (Gordon; Bolton; et al;
    Even the by now many-editions-long “Joining Together” (Johnson & Johnson) –

    to mention only a few.

    2213PM.Sn14. JSDM.

  9. Twm O'r Nant
    16/08/2011 at 6:28 pm

    The Social security system is a many and splendoured thing. Cold weather payments in December/Jan being universally welcome.

    In the case of the rioters, and it will no doubt happen again if we don’t give it much more acareful thought, is to decrease payments during the rest of the year, and INCREASE them at the beginning of August, so that they may temporarily arise from subsistence to EXISTENCE, with a journey to
    Clacton or Margate in exactly the same way as
    their Working class predecessors did (from Hackney at least)in August in the late 19th to mid 20thC.

    It seems very much as though these maturescing kids have never once seen the sea waves of Jamaica or Barbados or wherever their forebears came from, and that a trip to
    any seaside resort,for these claiming class es, with a suddenly increased security payment in August would solve the problem.

    Like the “no cycling” signs on Bournemouth promenade which I inauguarated/instigated
    in (july and august) some years ago, it looks a bit dammed silly if it is blowing half a gale, and torrent and torment comes from the sky, there are not more than two other people on the promenade, and one of them tells you to get off your bike because it is “no cycling”.

    There is indeed an optional DSS scheme which allows for small loans to be made, with a reduction on a weekly basis until it is paid off.

    A carefully considered extension of that scheme would pay handsome dividends in those riot torn places.


    • maude elwes
      17/08/2011 at 11:43 am

      What puzzles me, in respect of all this lack of understanding of male rioting and the cause thereof. As David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson, whilst up at Oxford, all belonged to the riotous Bullingdon Club, and the similar damage to property by them, was paid off in lieu of their dept to the owners of said property, you would expect these ‘alpha males’ to know exactly where our street youth were coming from.

      These sons of rich men got away with their criminality because, for some unknown reason, we British have a rule of excusing this behaviour in the sons of the well to do. Now I wonder why that is?

      Equality in criminality is very important and the ruin of a person’s life is an astonishing attack on those of a ‘different class’ in one who has been guilty of the same criminality, for no reason that can be apparent to the ordinary man in the street.

      Mr Cameron should be more gracious toward the frustrated youth of the UK and find a way of channeling this aggression in the same way he and his ‘mates’ mindless competitiveness was dealt with when he was around the same age.

  10. Gareth Howell
    16/08/2011 at 9:30 pm

    I may say that if there are Africans as aggressive as Obi Egbwana, involved with the usually rather gentler Afro-Caribbeans in these various riot torn places I would be rather more concerned, not least of the spread, throughout the world of the children brought up to use, and kill with, the gun.

    The extraordinary work (I think about a black gang in Belfast) made horrific viewing recently, translating the violence of Africa to the streets of a large European city.

    He seems to be the same man as befriended me in the late 60s, and was a tough customer indeed of whom I had to be very wary, but it was his experience of the Nigerian civil war that made him so.

    The novel must be the role model and classic of its kind/novel genre, now in film version.
    I believe it has been adapted to fit a more recent war, but plus ca change, plus c’est la meme choses.

  11. MilesJSD
    17/08/2011 at 12:52 am

    “Therefore society has to change (the/its unnatural repression or distortion) of our natural gender-needs…)”

    The distortion goes much deeper than repression of such subconscious archetypal energies/drives;

    it effectively suppresses both the seven incarnate body-mind-spiritual energies (which religions* and pastoral-psychology** respectively identify as sacramental, chakra, or sefirot, and somato-psychic, vital-needs
    (1) baptismal/root, and grounding;
    (2) confirmation/hara, and centering;
    (3) communion/solar-plexus, and boundarying,
    (4) marriage/heart, and bonding;
    (5) confession/throat, and sounding;
    (6) ordination/third-eye, and facing;
    (7) unction/the Divine, spacing.
    * Caroline Myss “Journal of Inner Dialogue” and “Anatomy of the Spirit”;
    ** David Boadella “Lifestreams”;

    and it represses/denies similar body-mind ancient-knowledge and modern-advances alike, which are only “private-market-available” in the form of various yogas***, dynamic-healthy-posturing****, and body-mind centering*****
    *** Sky channel 275 “Body-In-Balance”;
    **** “The New Rules of Posture”(Bond);
    ***** “Wisdom of the Body Moving” (Hartley);

    and you and most other individuals will have acquired similar short lists of vital individual-human-development and mutual-education work that are being denied and excluded by Education, Religious, Community, Health and Governance authorities.

    It will take a lot more than “society”, and obviously a lot more than the “Market”, to rescue the human-race, including our British citizenry and youth, from all that ‘sub-humanisation’ and repressive life-distortion


  12. Senex
    17/08/2011 at 5:08 pm

    “I was on a Scottish island visiting a neolithic tomb” Yeah!

    One of da US intelligence satellites saw somebody on Eriskay with a crown on der head peering down rabbit holes. Wasn’t you was it? See, the revenue men made rabbiting illegal on Eriskay cos of what happened to SS Politician. Apparently, da social network was a gossipin about plunder and a wrecked Politician and many of the da locals got caught and was hauled up before dem magistrates.

    Folks was putting dem bottles of whiskey down their trouser legs, knickerbockers and rabbit holes, neolithic tombs and any place dey cud ide it. Revenue mens still looking for dem bottles deys planning to install CCTV down every rabbit hole but cutbacks – yu knows what a means.

    SS Politician – Anybody had a sinking feeling of late?

    Ref: Trials

  13. Twm O'r Nant
    19/08/2011 at 7:59 am

    Equality in criminality is very important and the ruin of a person’s life

    I have an acquaintance, who says it did him a lot of good, but he may be exceptional. He probably realized that he must make more effort not to get caught, in the future, committing the same crimes, as he always has done in the smuggling business.

    Does equality in criminality mean that we can all commit the same crimes?

    • 19/08/2011 at 11:12 am

      No – It simply means that most of the people we take to be ‘the successful people’ are just more successful criminals!

  14. Twm O'r Nant
    19/08/2011 at 7:32 pm

    You mean they pay their bills without being charged and convicted, or losing their liberty?

    What is the price of freedom?

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