What's gone wrong in England?

In the wake of the August riots, media discuss what has gone wrong in our society, and how can it be fixed.

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    England's streets are calm again. But there's still plenty of interesting debate going on as to the causes of the riots that swept across London, Birmingham, Manchester and several other towns, and have now resulted in well over 2,000 arrests.

    Here are three thought provoking articles. The first is by Lara Pawson on Pambazuka News.

    And here's one from the Daily Telegraph, by Peter Oborne.

    To a perhaps surprising degree, Lara Pawson and Peter Oborne are in agreement.  They are both saying there is a moral crisis in England. But whereas, I would suggest, Lara is saying that the British class system is intrinsically corrupt (and the product of a cruel and exploitative history), Peter is saying that this is a country that  has recently  lost its way.

    Typically, British critics on the left have blamed the riots on poverty, whilst those on the right talk about a criminal culture of irresponsibility in our cities. This article, in The Economist, tries to steer the middle ground

    Finally, who were the rioters? There's been a lot of coverage in England of the handful of arrests of well-educated, middle-class people who took part. But detailed analysis here by The Guardian shows that less than 10 per cent have jobs or are in full-time education.


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