Riot Special Young Voters' Question Time

Riot Special

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Why did England erupt? This is the only programme on British


television to give young people their chance to tell you. Welcome


to this special edition of Young Voters' Question Time. Good evening.


With me tonight, Adam Deacon. Labour's rising star Stella Creasey,


who had rioting in her constituency this week. The former gang member


turned government adviser Sheldon Thomas. Businesswoman turned TV


presenter of Kate Walsh. And the Government's ambassador for the


"big society" Shaun Bailey. Welcome to this special programme.


We're in London, with what I believe is a lively audience. See?


Of young people, who I'm sure will want to challenge our panel's views.


And you can get involved as well. Details are on screen now. You can


go on Twitter. Let's get our first question, from Anastasia Kyriacou.


How can people argue these rioters are looting because they arent part


of this luxury consumer society, when they plan looting on their


BlackBerrys? Shaun Bailey... Lot of it is just pure criminal acts. I


used to be a youth worker. I was watching the BlackBerry feed, and


people were saying, let's go to Shepherd's Bush market. And


somebody was saying, what do you mean, it's called Westfield.


Someone was saying, it is quite nice to terrorise the police for


once. But I have to say, I don't think it was really a big political


statement. Is this about a culture of bling and a culture of greed?


think it is a little bit of everything. When I was watching the


riots, this thing has been boiling up for a long time. Young people


are quite angry at the moment. Not every young person, but there's a


lot of angry young people out there at the moment. I saw all types of


people. All types of people. What do you mean, it has been building


up for a while? I did some of my first interviews in 2006. I met


politicians, I met David Cameron. We spoke about these issues deeply,


about some kids feeling that they're so out of society, they do


not feel part of society. They feel that people do not care for them,


people were not watching their back. I was always talking about this,


saying, things have got to change, you have got to get into young


people's minds. You have got to go to the schools, do something,


because there's a lot of people, young people, that are quite lost.


I have been saying that since I was six. In 2011, we have riots on the


street. I do not think any of that is right. I was shocked, but there


was all types of young people. There was angry people, a lot of


angry kids, also kids that just went to get free stuff. Let's be


honest about it. It was like a game to them. But there was also kids


from well-to-do families, that do not need to be there, but it was a


fun day out for them. It was young people saying, we can get away with


this, let's go and do this. Talking about these underlying causes - so,


they have been there for a while, and they have been ignored, and


people should have noticed... Does anyone here think the Government


should have seen this coming? You're shaking your head. I do not


live in London myself, but I have got some friends who live in


Croydon and stuff. Some of them were very upset. Their local high


street was trashed. No matter how poor you are, robbing shops,


ruining restaurants and things like that, it is unjustifiable. It is


just wrong. I have got to agree. I come from a working-class


background myself, and I may have gotten a little bit of trouble, but


down to good parenting, good role models in school, I knew the


difference between right and wrong. Watching these riots, I just cannot


understand how people can get stuck in and ruin people's livelihoods,


their businesses, their homes. They're ruining their own local


shops. And ruining their own local communities. We're here talking


about looting and shops being burnt down, and no-one's going to support


that. Everybody in society would agree that it is not right. But I


worked with gangs, I do not work with people who commit anti-social


behaviour... And they have been saying that they have had 20


murders over the last two years. They do not see anybody jumping up


and talking about those murders. We have seen girls being gang-raped,


no-one's talking about that. I know people that have raped girls, and


they are coming out in less than six years, and that girl is


traumatised for a long time. Why is it not talked about? Because this


society has become materialistic. It has become so materialistic.


When you're in a society which is focused on materials, it is OK for


Nick Clegg and the rest of them to say, we're not going to tolerate


looting. But I'm going to tell you this, there's brothers down in


Peckham who will say that their brothers have died, and no Nick


Clegg or anyone has stood up and said anything about them. The


strongest time I have heard David Cameron speak, ever, and say he is


not going to tolerate gang violence any more, was when shops got burnt


down. We have had 20 murders. We can sit here and have a debate, I


will have that debate, but I am going to stick it raw, I am here


for the people that's dead. Because right now, as far as I'm concerned,


shops can be rebuilt. You can't rebuild a dead body. And that girl


was traumatised because she was gang raped, you cannot put her back


together. But is this the reason people are rioting? We do need to


talk about these issues, but I think it is opportunism. It is


about greed in society. This is a corrupt and immoral society, from


the highest level, whether it's MPs' expenses, whether its


businessmen avoiding paying tax and taking it overseas, there are many


social issues, all from society. you look at the younger generation


right now, they are one of the first generations to go through the


most materialistic lifestyle we have ever had in this country. When


I was growing up, I had four channels. We were not bombarded by


images all the time. I speak to young people, they're bombarded by


images of i-Pads, sex, money, just a bombardment. Some of these kids


cannot get their hands on that. They can't. But for the first time


ever, in 2011, that's all the images that they're getting, all


the time. If you want to be cool, be like that. If you want to be


that kind of person, get those trainers. If you keep doing that to


young people all the time, there is going to be a time when they burst.


I condemn what I saw, it is wrong. But it is not black kids, it's not


Asian kids or white kids, it is a culture of thinking. Stella Creasey,


do you agree with what Adam Deacon said, and if it is true, how do you


change that culture? There is a kernel of truth is it. I stood with


kids in Walthamstow watching looters come to our town centre and


attack our shops, and nobody was more scared or more angry than


those young people. That's why I think it is right to say there is


no excuse for any of this. But trying to deal with some of the


reasons is a more complex problem. Sheldon Thomas is right to talk


about the issues happening with young people right now, which we


have to work with. There was a 17- year-old kid in Walthamstow, a


bright kid, living on my road, who was killed by a gang because they


were trying to steal his mobile phone. There are lots of young


people who are the victims of this, as much as they may be involved.


Trying to turn it around is not just about one simple thing. It is


not just about what the police do, what the politicians do, it is


about what we as a community do. That's what I'm focused on. Can I


just find out, who has sympathy for the rioters? OK, let's go to the


gentleman on the back row. I'm from Hackney, and basically, you have to


think about, we're all young people that are trying to make a living.


We're all individuals in different ways. Basically, every young person


has their own mind set about what they can do in life. Not every


young person always has the dream of making success in life and stuff


like that. You have to think about all the influences, like Adam


Deacon said, the different things which are coming up in young


people's lives, which are bombarding us. Different situations


and stuff. It leads us to different things. But we are also human


beings, no-one was born a criminal. Who said they had sympathy? I would


have us like sympathy, because if you look at it, these young kids do


not have the mind sets which politicians may have. When you grow


up in a certain part of life, you may not have much encouragement,


there's so many different reasons, it is not just one which is the


exact reason. When you have to look at the whole situation, chilly so


many different reasons, and too many politicians are better at


talking and listening. They are leaders, and leaders need to listen.


The more they listen to what is being said in places like this and


many other places, like I said the Boris Johnson, the better. The


Government now, there's too much talking from the politicians. So


many people are explaining themselves, and saying, this is the


reason. Then they continue on to say their own stuff and not take on


board what is being said. It needs to be taken on board, because it is


so frustrating. So many young people are trying to express


themselves. Some in the wrong way, some in the right way, like myself.


You're not listening, take on board and actually listen to what's being


said to you. Who has got no sympathy? Let's go the other way...


There are explanations, obviously, but there are not any excuses.


Horrific things happen to loads of people every single day in this


country. Three people died on Monday night in Birmingham, or


Tuesday night - did they go and riot? No, they didn't. We have got


people who have been unemployed for 10 years - did a riot? No, they


didn't. It wasn't just kids rioting. Hang on a moment. Go ahead. You're


going on like it was just the youth rioting, it wasn't. There were men


and women out there. It was not just young people. We can't be held


accountable for what everybody else is doing. You can't just group us


and say that we are the bad ones, when everyone else is joining in.


One thing I think is really important is that we understand


that not the same things happened on the same nights or in different


places. There were a criminal gangs organising people to loot, and also,


people got caught up as bystanders, they got caught up in the emotion


of the situation. We have to understand all of these different


things happening in different places. This is why it is important


to talk about what happened. I just want to respond to that gentleman


up there. The young people I'm working with feel betrayed and lied


to, because the Olympics was supposed to provide this big thing


of jobs and apprenticeships in east London. And what they have seen is


that they were lied to, because actually, it did not materialise,


any of the jobs for the local young people. As for the apprenticeships,


that never happened at all.. These guys are saying that if the


Olympics cannot provide jobs for young people, which it promised it


was going to... Seb Coe promised that it was going to be a legacy,


it was going to leave a lasting legacy. And they cannot see it,


because they see corporations making all the money, because they


are taking up all the industry. You have to understand, young people


are not going to continue to sit down and keep being lied to by


politicians... This is not a reason to kick in shops. I never said I am


supporting anything, I'm saying, I understand some of the madness


behind what they were doing. Some of these young people are fractured,


they're coming from a serious background where their families are


broken, where for a anger and frustration, they have seen things


in their life which you're not supposed to see at seven or eight


years old. We have got girls that have been raped by step-parents,


living and going to school, and no- one understands why they're angry.


No-one understands what's going on. Because you only see the anger. But


We live in a complex society, where lots of things go wrong for people.


I have been with a group of 500 people today and there was pure


anger in the room. One young person asked a question about


responsibility. They were saying to the room, who do you think is


responsible? That is why community is important. If you are talking


about community, at what point is the Government responsible for your


community? Are they responsible? Are they responsible in your house?


You sit there and you say that, but the reason I got involved...


are the Big Society spokesperson. So is the government involved in


the community or not? You are the spokesperson. It is easy to sit


there and be clever about it. youth worker and I work in the


community. Hold on. I sat with 500 kids today and a lot of the things


they asked for, asked them, do you think the Government could give it


to you? They came to the conclusion that a lot of it comes from them.


There is plenty that Government can do for you but there is even more


that they said they could do for themselves, and that interests me.


It is about his sense of belonging and that is what has been lost in


our community and our country. Shildon will correct me if I am


wrong, but it is about a sense of belonging. Young people join gangs


and feel a sense of belonging as part of that. Where is the sense of


belonging? Does it come from school, parents? It is not going to come


from cutting places where young people can go. That this is what is


important to me today, what went on in the room with those young people.


They said to me, we need to do this and that. I have been a youth


worker for 22 years. The removal of the youth club, I know what that is


like. This is the second or third time that has happened. One second.


The important thing is that the sense of belonging you are talking


about, I ask you, do you think a Government can give that to you?


Yes, they can, with funding. They are cutting it by �70,000. It is


cutting the funding, end of story. Was the Government right to cut


youth services? No. But this is the important thing. I spoke to a group


of students who were going off at me about rising tuition fees. One


of them said, it is his inalienable right to a free education. I said


to him, is it your inalienable right about my Auntie having earned


the replaced? There is only so much money. -- having her knee operation.


We are talking about the young generation coming through. That is


the future, really. The problem is that you cannot underestimate young


people. Young people, I talk to them regularly. You cannot


underestimate them. They watch the news, they watch TV. They get


bombarded with images of Government lying to them. Let's get this


straight. Young people did not get us into this whole recession


business, it was the bankers. me get the next question. There is


criminality in the Government. And one of the News of the World guy's


got a job. David Cameron's words were that everyone deserves a


second chance. For me, that has got to go back to the young people as


well. We are coming to the next question which will cover some of


that territory. Justin. Hello. You appear to have a number of fans in


the audience. Basically, when the MPs apologised for claiming


expenses fraudulently they were forgiven. When bankers broke our


economy, they were given bonuses. Why should teenagers be made


homeless for stealing a pair of Let's explain the background to


that comment. Stella, let's hear from you. In Wandsworth, a family


have been evicted from their house because a child was involved in the


riots and he or she and his parent, male or female, have been thrown


out of their house. What do you make of that? I do not know the


circumstances but you are right to say what happened with MPs. I am a


new MP and I hate the way that people think... People get into


politics because they want to try and change the world. When people


act like those other MPs do, it is horrible because people do not see


the good will and we lose the goodwill which we need to work in


our communities. Equally, think we need to restore the boundaries that


say that what happened on Sunday night in Walthamstow and in Hackney


on Monday, it is not right. We need to restore that boundaries. Nobody


stole trainers because they could not get them. They stole them


because they thought they could get away with it. But making them


homeless! That is my question. point here is that a young person


who was involved in the riots, he and his parents have been thrown


out of their house. He has not been convicted, simply charged.


Traditionally there is a presumption of innocence, and his


parent has been thrown out of their house. That is clearly wrong, even


if he is convicted, because it is non-proportionate. Of course, that


will make the situation worse. If that child has come to the point


where the parent cannot supervise them, or did not want to, throwing


them out is not going to fix anything. Back to your point about


MPs, they should have been treated with that level of to


proportionality. If you are young and angry about that, that is


completely fine and I accept that. But why the riots were such a


problem, for me, was because we attacked our own communities.


you leave kids in poverty for so long, right, so long, you don't


invest in their estates and their flats, what starts to happen is


young people start to think, you know what, I am not proud of this


place. Hold on. I am talking. sorry to interrupt. This is the


problem. You are talking over me and people want to talk of the


young people. Don't talk over me, please. What I am saying is that


young people do not feel proud of their community, so they seem to


think... That is not true. What are the postcode wars about. They are


proud of their road, but I don't think they are really thinking, you


know what, attacking McDonald's, attacking the little corner shop on


the corner is a different thing. They are looking like they can go


and attack all of the shops. My thing is that for most of them it


was a fun day. I don't even think most of them realised what they


were doing. Everyone was doing it. What it comes down to his education.


It comes down to education. Stark educating the young minds, because


I don't think they realised what they are doing. -- start educating


the young minds. Did it make them feel significant that there was


this big event on the news that everyone was talking about?


course. This could have got stopped. I saw the riots in my home town of


Hackney. I thought, this is going to get stopped. The one in


Tottenham hit everyone by surprise a little bit. When it started in


Hackney, the police watched that happen. That was sending a message


to young people up and down the country, there is three staff, go


out and do it. -- it is three. has answered my question because I


was saying what is the difference between these youngsters that have


got issues and poverty, and they have been through traumatic


experiences as has been touched on, what is the difference between


those that go and riot and those that do not? It is a number of


things. Go-ahead. I am sick and tired of young people being talked


about like they are some group of animals that do not have an agency


or choice. I am from an inner-city area and everything got mashed up.


I am from north-west London, around Harlesden. There was a lot of


destruction over there. I was born and raised in that place and a love


it to bits. My church is down the road. We are all poor, but we are


happy and poor together. We are not stupid. We do not think, the


Government is lying to us, so I need to smash the corner shop down


the road because I don't have a choice. Why don't you take that


route, and others do? What is the reason? I have respect for my


community. Why do some people not have respect? That is what I'm


saying, they do not. It is possible in life for people to just the


wrong. People do not try to understand neo- Nazis because we


are united in our position to that. Where does your value system come


from? It is an amalgamation of what my mum gave me, what I learned from


a community and how I learnt to navigate through life. He has


pointed out that the Government cannot help. You have broken


families, so your family cannot help. What if your friends are the


same way inclined as you? Who do you turn to? Give me an answer.


Because we are sitting here saying that this person cannot help and


that person cannot help. With people from backgrounds like that


who do not have role-models, some still did not get involved in


rioting and looting. There were kids from all over involved. There


is a majority that do not have that, and where are they going to get it


from. Do we need to rebuild the family, rebuild communities? What


do we need to do? I would say it is a minority. Far more people did not


riot than did. But a lot of people hold the same views. But they did


not take the same action and that is the point. No one is saying that


the riots were a good thing for the country. That is an irrelevant


question. Someone said about MPs and bankers, two of the most


powerful groups in any country. They get away with it, they can say


we are sorry, and what are you going to do about it? Banks


contribute so much to the GDP growth of this country. People on


benefits in subsidised housing have no voice, so they look at other


people getting away with it and they think, I do not feel like part


of this country and it is a nonsense to me. Let me give you a


statistic. A student this week with no previous convictions was jailed


for six months for stealing bottles of water worth three pounds 50. Jim


Devine, ex-Labour MP, got four months in jail for �8,000 of


expenses fraud. This is what I was going to save. Does that make


sense? No, it does not. There was no justice in that. Jumping back to


what we were talking about before, talking about belonging. Adam


Deacon was talking about community, and Shaun was talking about the Big


Society. The problem is that the Government are on to something with


the Big Society. The problem is that they do not know how to


articulate it. You are the ambassador. It seems like we are


all talking about community and family. The way that I see it is


that if young people feel a part of their community, like this


gentleman, have respect for their community, have a stake in their


community, have active involvement and an active voice... How do you


make someone feel they have respect? I think the Government on


to something with the Big Society. Shaun is an example of the


Government not... At the end of the day, the problem is sitting in


front of us. This is not a personal point, but this whole society thing


is great. Talk about it. If you are going to talk about the Big Society,


it is down to the Government to give the Big Society but you have


to put it out. You know what the Big Society means to me,


Responsibility. You are not communicating that to the country,


that is the problem. I am not saying it has been communicated


I really want to answer that question. What is the Big Society


and what does it mean? Responsibility. Firstly, I believe


it is a minority of people who do not have that support. No. I am


entitled to my view. I am just telling you what I believe. This


has been a boiling pot. How can you say it is a minority? It has been


growing for years. The connection between us, what a gentleman was


saying at the back, the people who helped the police keep the peace in


Walthamstow have been the youth workers and outreach workers who


have been out every night. They have been trying to get them to


come off the street. The outreach workers from organisations, all


this year they have had funding cut and yet they were out there when


the community needed them. The Big Society is also about us in the


Government taking responsibility. We don't get a police service, we


get a police force. This is or about a class system. It is a


biased class system. It is about economic slavery, social exclusion,


poor representation, stereotypes... We basically have not got to say.


We are not part of the old boys' network, we never went to Eton. A


lot of people, on ground level, there's a lot of young people that


are doing a lot to help their community, but the Government are


basically cutting all of the funding for youth services,


children's services, basically, we have nothing. They're not cutting


all of them. Do you know who's getting the funding? Middle-class


people who come from other boroughs and apply for the funding. People


in the community that want to actually run projects within the


community are finding it hard. Please explain to me why that is.


I'm going to read some comments from Twitter. Thomas has tweeted,


he says, I'm 18, the riots were the only way to get heard. The


Government has no outlet for our generation. It is his opinion. This


one says, the riots in London are nothing more than mindful violence,


no excuses. The youth in the UK would not know what it is to have


nothing. It brings us on to parenting. This question comes from


Emily Herrlinger. When you see some of the parents bringing their


children to court, it is clear to see why the kids do not feel they


have a chance. Is it the Government's role to tackle poor


parenting? I will answer that. That's the point I was going to get


on to, concerning the "big society". You cannot have a "big society"


picture when families are so fractured. For me, we have to


address certain things in our community. One of those things we


have to address is teenage pregnancy, which is the highest in


Europe, and has been for 10 years. This is not an attack on young


women, but the fact is, a 14-year- old girl and 16-year-old boy are


not in the right frame of mind to raise a child, because they


themselves are learning to be adults. They're still growing up.


This is not an attack. I want you to hear me out. Over the last 10-15


years, under both governments, none of them have actually had any clue


about how to address teenage pregnancy. In fact, we have, in


this society, a government which allows young girls to get the Pill


at 13 without their parents' consent. 30 years ago, that would


never have happened. I am not attacking young women, I'm trying


to build a picture. A "big society" can only be built when you have


strong families. If you have no strong families which have morals


and discipline and values, you cannot then feel that you are pot


of something. Part of the problem we have in this society is that,


unlike what my brother is saying, and I respect what you're saying,


but unfortunately, I've lived a bit longer than you, and there are a


lot of young people who do not feel the same way as you do. Let me


finish. That is not to say that young people cannot get to where


you're at. What I'm trying to say, it takes people in the community,


like myself and the people on this panel, unfortunately, there are not


enough men, as in adult men, responsible men, to take that role


to help the community to get where it needs to get to. What does the


Government do about that? Simple - the Government needs to address


teenage pregnancy first. How? have to change the education system.


It is up to us. Let me finish. I am not suggesting that is not a family


problem. It is a family problem, but the question is, what does the


Government do about it? First, they need to reverse the fact about


getting the Pill without your parents' consent, that has to be


reversed. Let's hear from some of the rest of the panel. I wish I had


the answers. The area I am from, Cannock, in Staffordshire, has got


one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the whole of


the UK. I managed to improve my opportunities to education, through


strong parenting, and had fantastic parents, I had really good role


models in school. I don't know how you can create these role-models


for people that are lacking them within their life. I do not have


the answers. But the role models kept you on the straight and narrow.


Absolutely. Parenting, I will be honest, as much as we say this


about young parents, I have got to be honest, I think parents get a


bit of a hard time. I say that because governments, they keep


making laws. When I used to mess around, clip around the ear, and


sometimes, that has got to be necessary. I'm not talking about


massive violence in the household. I'm talking about just common sense.


I believe that in this country we have gone so far the other way, so


PC... On the way down here, my mate was telling a story about how the


police came to his house after these riots, it was an African


family, and they couldn't control the son. So the dad came and


slapped his son round the head. Apparently, I do not know if this


is 100% true, but the guy got arrested. If that is true, the dad


got arrested for doing that to his son. There would seem to be not a


lot of common sense in that. There is kids going up to their parents,


and I have seen this - you can't do nothing, Mum. It has come to a


point where young people feel they cannot be told by anyone. Somebody


from the audience. My friend said something very astute, he said, if


you don't fear your parents, you're not going to fear the police. If


you're from Tottenham... It is not just fear, it is respect. I


completely agree. At the end of the day, the commissioner, David


Cameron, everybody is on the TV saying, parents, where are your


children? If you're going to take away power from them, how do you


expect them to have that level of control? It goes back to what you


said about fear. I'm sure nobody thinks you have to tremble in your


boots with your parents, it's respect. If the Government are


taking the power away from the parent, how do they expect children


to respect their parents? This lady here, you have been waiting for a


while. I would like to say, can everyone stop putting emphasis on


teenage parents? This is not the reason it's happening. Why would


that not be a part of the picture? Maybe some of these rioters are the


kids of teenage parents who have grown up without a role model?


people turn around and say you should not give pills to 13-year-


olds, if teenagers want to have sex, they're going to have sex. But does


it make it right? I'm asking you, you have to back up your statement


- are you telling me it's OK for a 13-year-old girl or boy to have sex,


yes or no? I'm not justifying when is the right time to have sex, that


is a personal choice. When you don't have morals... Come on, sex


education and the Pill is not the only way teenagers find out about


sex. If teenagers are going to have sex, we need to make sure our


government and schools are providing the right facilities to


teach them how to do it safely, and the right to say no. If you're


telling 13-year-olds, you have to get parental consent to get the


Pill, that 13-year-old is going to get pregnant nine months down the


line. I feel that offering the pill to a 13-year-old is encouraging


them. Not offering, but at the same time, you're saying, the auction is


there. Also to be having secrets from your parents. Once again,


you're alienating the parents from the child. That is one reason which


has led up to these riots, the fact that you're alienating parents from


the children. This is all very interesting, but it has very little


to do with what happened over the weekend. You want to talk to me


about parenting, how dare David Cameron blame parents when, under


him, parents are working longer hours for less money... David


Cameron is expecting parents to work longer for less pay, never see


their families, and then blame them. I would like to know about Michael


Gove's parents, when he looted �7,000... I will tell you why


you're wrong. It has got a lot to do with what happened at the


weekend, because communities are based on family. Benitez you


something, I have got two little children, and I am the law in my


yard. I don't care where Michael Gove went, what David Cameron said,


I'm the law, because I have taken that responsibility. I hope that I


will have a relationship with my daughter, and if somebody is


offering her the Pill at 13, I will tell her, you need have nothing to


do with that bill. Go on. We have moved so far away from the issue.


Wait, let me finish. Why did this thing begin? Because the police


killed a man dead, in Tottenham. Wait, wait. Of course, we need


justice for the families of the people who died. There's a lot of


things which need to be addressed. But that's not necessarily the root


cause. We are going to move on to another question. This is the final


question this evening, and it comes from Joanne Thibeault. When we


rebuild our store, what does the panel think the Government should


do to reassure us business owners and the community that this wont


happen again? Let me explain, you worked at the furniture store in


Croydon which was burnt down, and which has become symbolic of what


has happened. And we have some of the family. Thank you very much for


coming down tonight. Your shop survived the Blitz. It has been


there for 144 years, five generations of our family. I


appreciate Everybody's points. Everyone has mention some valuable


things, but what do we do? I appreciate the complex issues. I


know it is a shop, you're right, we can rebuild it. But we're just


trying to run our business. We watched our shop getting scraped


off the road today. I do appreciate that there are horrible problems


about there. But for us, the riots are horrendous. I'm very sorry


about what happened to your business. The point - what can the


Government do? First and foremost, can I say how sorry and shocked all


of us were. I think it was your dad on TV, holding back the tears. I


think there is some practical stuff we can do, I was pleased to see the


Government saying they would back up people who did not have


insurance. I have got some shopkeepers in Walthamstow who do


not have insurance. But for you to want to be built, you have got to


have confidence that the streets will be saved, and that there will


be a community of people who will want to buy your goods. In the next


couple of days, we have got to get London calm again. We have got to


get order back on the streets. After that, it is the coming months


and years. Rebuilding the community will take time. It is not a choice


between family or community, it is both. It is about supporting


businesses and young people, the two things together. Because then


the young people will be able to make good choices in life, they


will be able to get good jobs and come and buy your furniture. What


frustrates me, when people talk about young people, is, they only


talk about the riots, they do not see that we have got to make sure


young people can make good choices because of all have the talent and


potential they have. My area has lots of bright, talent people, and


they deserve opportunities. That's what we have got to get this


Part of her question was that she would like to know this will not


happen again. The only way you can really get that is if you think the


Government, really, think of some radical ideas of changing things up.


Like what? I will go back to education again because the one-


size-fits-all education system does not work. Myself, I strongly


believe that young people, let's be real, it was madness the other


night. It was madness. And I just think it is wrong. I am telling all


the people out there, calm down. Because setting fire to shops and


people in there, that is madness. Let me finish. I come from Hackney.


I was in a hostel at 15. I had nothing but I had this thing of, I


want to become an actor. I strongly believe young people can do a lot


more than they think. We live in England and there is opportunity.


Let's be real. There is more opportunity than young people might


think, but you have to have a certain head. You have to be very


focused. How we stop this happening is we go back to education and


start giving young people opportunity. If I was to listen to


my school, I would not be acting now because I would be in a college


in Hackney doing media studies or English that would not have helped


me, personally. I want to hear some more voices. There is no point


shouting. Education is part of it. There are a lot of hands up, so I


am going to come to you but I need short answers because we have nine


minutes left. Short answers. The lady there. The Government need to


understand the language of the youth. You are calling us angry but


we are passionate. We need to translate that passion into


something else. The same way they research everything else, they


should research us as youth, because we want to talk to them. We


can improve everything, we can. about giving them a stake in


society? If you have something to lose, you do not want to lose it.


Give them jobs, education, training, apprenticeships. Most of these kids


cannot read properly, cannot do basic numeracy. It comes back to


education. Adam, Adam... You have to let some other people speak. Let


some other people speak. Fine, I did have my hand up for a while.


Everyone is giving an people a bad name and everyone is Gissing the


Big Society. In Clapham, Croydon, Manchester, there were young people


helping to clean up after the riots. Was anyone here involved in the


clean-up? You were involved. We did the Brixton clean-up and peas in


the streets. -- piece. This morning we were sending out leaflets,


trying to calm things down, saying we need to condemn the criminals


but we need to confront the social issues. You need to distinguish


between an excuse and a cause. David Cameron is blending them and


saying it is just criminals. If he says that, he vindicates his


policies, because he knows that if we link it to his cuts, it is all


over for him. The riots were to do with greed and boredom. People do


not have anything to do because they do not have jobs. There is


high youth unemployment. OK, you are saying these people are poor.


They are on Blackberry phones. This is poverty! I want to hear what


everybody is saying so you need to talk one at a time. You cannot


generalise it as boredom. These kids were jumping into fires,


taking what they could. Do you think that is just boredom, to risk


their lives? With high youth unemployment, people do not have


anything to do, no way to make money. They cannot go out and do


activities because it costs money. There is nothing to do and they are


bored. It is more than boredom, but I am saying that is an aspect of it,


do you not think? Yes, we have not heard from you. I heard the young


lady at the front speaking about reassurance for business owners. I


think the whole public needs reassurance. We all need to be


equal under the law. We talked about MPs' expenses and their soft


sentences. Since 1999 we have had hundreds of deaths in police


custody and not one conviction of a police officer. It is a disgrace.


It is a question of self value and valuing those around you. If you


are taught to value yourself and think that you have something to


give to society, you can be giving back as well as taking. There needs


to be more emphasis on, you know, believing in yourself, and I don't


think there is. Especially when young people, this whole audience


is being referred to as young people, and being tied up in


violence. Yes, the gentleman in front there. I am a Diana award


Holder. I want to know when we are going to shine the light on the


millions of positive role models, young people, in this country,


because we have got to do that. only have about five minutes. Back


to the panel. Closing thoughts. Stella, have you learnt anything


tonight? Of course. I always learn because there is so much talent and


so many ideas in our young people. That is why I want to make sure we


have the support that you need. We need our police, which is why they


should not be cut, and to support and invest in youth services.


Listening to you, all of the energy that you have got tonight... There


are 50,000 unemployed young people in London and we need to get a


system in place to get jobs for you so you can make good choices. If


you make those choices, we can do something. Basically, I believe


young people, going back to your thing about role-models and


positivity, there are so many young people doing positive stuff. But


the media have a lot to answer for as well. We get called feral youth.


We are getting caught these names. No other class really guess that as


much as the young people. Hoodies, hooligans. But we never actually


dwell on the positive stuff. There's a lot of positive kids out


there. Shaw, what have you learnt tonight? Sitting here reminds me


that young people are alive and they see what is going on. Unlike


the point about millions of active, positive young people, and you are


right to bring up Mark Duggan. If you want to rebuild community, the


issue, and I do not just mean that individual but the issue, needs to


be looked at again. I accept that. Listen, I don't think, cutting the


police for me, I am not... Listen, the riots that we have had, the


police could not have stopped. For me, I have realised that a lot


of young people still have that passion, they still have the fire,


the creativity, the ideas. But what is really my concern is that we are


all in this room today, for the last two years there have been over


20 murders of young people, yet we do not hear that same fire and


passion in trying to find answers for why the killings are going on


in our community. So I think, for me, no disrespect, my prayers go


out to you, Sister, that your shot has been burnt down. I am totally


against that, but what I do not understand is how we think killing


each other is OK, but when a shop gets burnt down - no disrespect -


we want to sit and hold a national inquiry about shops being burnt


down, when a couple of months ago they 14-year-old was chased on his


bike, stabbed 17 times, six months previous to that a girl was gang-


raped. My question is, isn't society twisted? I think there does


need to be an inquiry about why this happened to try to get to the


root causes of the problems. There are lots of unanswered questions


today. Do not cut the police. I think there have been great ideas


about community issues and role models. They need to listen to the


young people. Just a minute. The panel have listened to you. We


cannot hear from every person several times. Let me go back to


the House of Reeve's family. Tell me your thoughts. You have heard


what the people have said and you wanted some reassurance. Have you


heard anything that has reassured you? I think it is so complicated


and I know that this is going to take a long time to sort out. But


perhaps today the thoughts that everyone has put forward will help


to make some headway and make sure this will not happen again, not


just for businesses but for communities and families and young


people. But all communities, for everyone. How are the rest of your


family? They are OK. It is horrible. How about Mark Duggan's family?


Look... Leave it there. It is not disrespect. I'm not disrespecting


anybody, I am merely asking why a... Who said she did? It is a question


we addressed earlier. Thank you. That was pretty much as rowdy as we


imagined it would be, but thank you. Thank you very much, and I hope


that you feel it presented tonight. I got as many of you on air as was


feasible. Thank you. That is it for this special edition of Young


Voters' Question Time. Thank you to the audience, thank you to you if


you joined in on Twitter, and thank you to you for watching. From all


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