Riot Special Young Voters' Question Time


Riot Special

With riots happening nationwide, a special debate on the crisis. A studio audience puts questions to the panel about the looting, the role of the police and the underlying causes.


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Transcript


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

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

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

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

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

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turned government adviser Sheldon Thomas. Businesswoman turned TV

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

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:00:57.:00:59.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:02:13.:02:19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:04:24.:04:26.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:05:57.:05:58.

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

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

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

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

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society has become materialistic. It has become so materialistic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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kids in Walthamstow watching looters come to our town centre and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:09:48.:09:58.
:09:58.:09:59.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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many different reasons, and too many politicians are better at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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so frustrating. So many young people are trying to express

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:12:38.:12:41.

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

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

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

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

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

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One thing I think is really important is that we understand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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because they see corporations making all the money, because they

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:15:30.:15:32.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:45.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:17:58.

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

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

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

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

:18:12.:18:21.

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

:18:21.:18:25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:18:48.:18:57.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:19:25.:19:31.

the audience. Basically, when the MPs apologised for claiming

:19:31.:19:41.
:19:41.:19:41.

expenses fraudulently they were forgiven. When bankers broke our

:19:41.:19:48.

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

:19:48.:19:58.
:19:58.:20:02.

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

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

:20:09.:20:15.

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

:20:15.:20:19.

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

:20:19.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:28.

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

:20:28.:20:33.

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

:20:33.:20:36.

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

:20:36.:20:40.

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

:20:40.:20:44.

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

:20:44.:20:47.

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

:20:47.:20:51.

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

:20:51.:20:57.

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

:20:57.:21:00.

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

:21:00.:21:05.

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

:21:05.:21:14.

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

:21:14.:21:17.

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

:21:17.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:24.

Traditionally there is a presumption of innocence, and his

:21:24.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:36.

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

:21:36.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:42.

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

:21:42.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:50.

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

:21:50.:21:57.

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

:21:57.:22:03.

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

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

:22:10.:22:14.

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

:22:15.:22:18.

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

:22:18.:22:22.

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

:22:22.:22:30.

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

:22:30.:22:34.

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

:22:34.:22:39.

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

:22:39.:22:43.

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

:22:43.:22:52.

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

:22:52.:22:55.

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

:22:55.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:02.

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

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

:23:07.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:15.

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

:23:15.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

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

:23:28.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:38.

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

:23:38.:23:41.

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

:23:41.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:50.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:54.:24:03.

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

:24:03.:24:07.

was saying what is the difference between these youngsters that have

:24:07.:24:11.

got issues and poverty, and they have been through traumatic

:24:11.:24:14.

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

:24:14.:24:20.

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

:24:20.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:38.

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

:24:38.:24:41.

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

:24:42.:24:46.

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

:24:46.:24:51.

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

:24:51.:24:55.

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

:24:55.:24:58.

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

:24:58.:25:04.

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

:25:04.:25:08.

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

:25:08.:25:13.

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

:25:13.:25:18.

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

:25:18.:25:21.

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

:25:21.:25:25.

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

:25:25.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:39.

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

:25:39.:25:42.

pointed out that the Government cannot help. You have broken

:25:42.:25:47.

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

:25:47.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

that person cannot help. With people from backgrounds like that

:26:00.:26:03.

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

:26:03.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:20.

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

:26:21.:26:30.
:26:31.:26:31.

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

:26:31.:26:35.

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

:26:36.:26:41.

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

:26:41.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:49.

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

:26:49.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:26:58.

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

:26:58.:27:01.

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

:27:01.:27:04.

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

:27:04.:27:08.

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

:27:08.:27:13.

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

:27:13.:27:17.

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

:27:17.:27:23.

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

:27:23.:27:29.

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

:27:29.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:44.
:27:45.:27:48.

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

:27:48.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:27:58.

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

:27:58.:28:02.

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

:28:02.:28:05.

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

:28:06.:28:10.

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

:28:10.:28:14.

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

:28:14.:28:17.

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

:28:17.:28:21.

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

:28:21.:28:25.

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

:28:25.:28:31.

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

:28:31.:28:35.

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

:28:35.:28:41.

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

:28:41.:28:45.

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

:28:46.:28:50.

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

:28:50.:28:54.

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

:28:54.:29:00.

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

:29:00.:29:03.

Responsibility. You are not communicating that to the country,

:29:03.:29:10.

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

:29:10.:29:20.
:29:20.:29:22.

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

:29:22.:29:27.

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

:29:27.:29:34.

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

:29:34.:29:39.

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

:29:39.:29:44.

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

:29:44.:29:50.

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

:29:50.:29:54.

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

:29:54.:29:56.

Walthamstow have been the youth workers and outreach workers who

:29:56.:30:01.

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

:30:01.:30:06.

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

:30:06.:30:10.

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

:30:10.:30:15.

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

:30:15.:30:25.
:30:25.:30:26.

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

:30:26.:30:31.

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

:30:31.:30:38.

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

:30:38.:30:43.

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

:30:43.:30:47.

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

:30:47.:30:51.

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

:30:51.:30:55.

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

:30:55.:31:00.

basically cutting all of the funding for youth services,

:31:00.:31:05.

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

:31:05.:31:11.

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

:31:11.:31:15.

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

:31:15.:31:19.

in the community that want to actually run projects within the

:31:19.:31:26.

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

:31:26.:31:31.

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

:31:31.:31:37.

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

:31:37.:31:44.

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

:31:44.:31:48.

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

:31:48.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:32:04.
:32:04.:32:05.

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

:32:05.:32:10.

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

:32:10.:32:13.

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

:32:13.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:25.
:32:26.:32:28.

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

:32:28.:32:32.

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

:32:32.:32:35.

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

:32:35.:32:39.

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

:32:39.:32:42.

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

:32:43.:32:47.

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

:32:47.:32:54.

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

:32:54.:32:58.

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

:32:58.:33:02.

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

:33:02.:33:06.

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

:33:06.:33:12.

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

:33:12.:33:17.

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

:33:17.:33:23.

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

:33:23.:33:27.

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

:33:27.:33:31.

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

:33:31.:33:36.

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

:33:36.:33:40.

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

:33:40.:33:45.

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

:33:45.:33:50.

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

:33:50.:33:54.

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

:33:54.:33:57.

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

:33:57.:34:00.

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

:34:01.:34:07.

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

:34:07.:34:11.

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

:34:11.:34:16.

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

:34:16.:34:22.

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

:34:22.:34:28.

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

:34:28.:34:33.

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

:34:33.:34:43.

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

:34:43.:34:49.

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

:34:49.:34:53.

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

:34:53.:34:57.

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

:34:57.:35:00.

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

:35:00.:35:09.

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

:35:09.:35:14.

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

:35:14.:35:18.

one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the whole of

:35:18.:35:25.

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

:35:25.:35:29.

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

:35:29.:35:32.

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

:35:32.:35:37.

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

:35:37.:35:43.

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

:35:43.:35:51.

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

:35:51.:35:55.

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

:35:55.:35:59.

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

:35:59.:36:05.

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

:36:05.:36:08.

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

:36:08.:36:14.

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

:36:14.:36:17.

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

:36:17.:36:27.

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

:36:27.:36:30.

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

:36:30.:36:34.

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

:36:34.:36:39.

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

:36:39.:36:43.

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

:36:43.:36:47.

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

:36:47.:36:51.

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

:36:51.:36:58.

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

:36:58.:37:05.

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

:37:05.:37:15.
:37:15.:37:16.

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

:37:16.:37:20.

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

:37:20.:37:29.

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

:37:29.:37:33.

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

:37:33.:37:37.

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

:37:37.:37:41.

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

:37:41.:37:44.

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

:37:44.:37:48.

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

:37:48.:37:51.

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

:37:51.:37:55.

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

:37:55.:38:01.

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

:38:01.:38:06.

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

:38:06.:38:11.

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

:38:11.:38:16.

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

:38:16.:38:21.

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

:38:21.:38:24.

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

:38:24.:38:29.

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

:38:29.:38:35.

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

:38:35.:38:40.

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

:38:40.:38:50.
:38:50.:38:51.

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

:38:51.:38:58.

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

:38:58.:39:01.

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

:39:01.:39:06.

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

:39:06.:39:08.

government and schools are providing the right facilities to

:39:08.:39:14.

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

:39:14.:39:17.

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

:39:17.:39:20.

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

:39:20.:39:25.

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

:39:25.:39:34.

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

:39:34.:39:40.

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

:39:40.:39:45.

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

:39:45.:39:49.

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

:39:49.:39:59.
:39:59.:40:03.

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

:40:03.:40:08.

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

:40:08.:40:14.

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

:40:14.:40:23.

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

:40:23.:40:27.

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

:40:27.:40:35.

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

:40:35.:40:43.

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

:40:43.:40:47.

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

:40:47.:40:51.

weekend, because communities are based on family. Benitez you

:40:51.:40:57.

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

:40:57.:41:05.

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

:41:05.:41:10.

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

:41:10.:41:14.

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

:41:14.:41:17.

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

:41:17.:41:27.
:41:27.:41:31.

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

:41:31.:41:41.
:41:41.:41:45.

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

:41:45.:41:55.
:41:55.:42:02.

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

:42:02.:42:07.

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

:42:07.:42:11.

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

:42:11.:42:21.
:42:21.:42:24.

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

:42:24.:42:33.

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

:42:33.:42:36.

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

:42:36.:42:38.

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

:42:38.:42:48.
:42:48.:42:49.

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

:42:49.:42:54.

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

:42:54.:43:02.

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

:43:02.:43:08.

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

:43:08.:43:12.

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

:43:12.:43:18.

appreciate Everybody's points. Everyone has mention some valuable

:43:18.:43:22.

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

:43:22.:43:28.

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

:43:28.:43:34.

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

:43:34.:43:41.

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

:43:41.:43:51.
:43:51.:43:54.

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

:43:55.:44:02.

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

:44:02.:44:08.

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

:44:08.:44:15.

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

:44:15.:44:20.

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

:44:20.:44:23.

Government saying they would back up people who did not have

:44:23.:44:26.

insurance. I have got some shopkeepers in Walthamstow who do

:44:26.:44:31.

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

:44:31.:44:34.

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

:44:34.:44:38.

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

:44:38.:44:42.

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

:44:42.:44:46.

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

:44:46.:44:50.

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

:44:50.:44:57.

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

:44:57.:45:00.

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

:45:00.:45:04.

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

:45:04.:45:09.

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

:45:09.:45:13.

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

:45:13.:45:16.

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

:45:16.:45:20.

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

:45:20.:45:24.

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

:45:24.:45:31.

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

:45:31.:45:41.
:45:41.:45:43.

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

:45:43.:45:50.

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

:45:50.:45:56.

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

:45:56.:46:01.

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

:46:01.:46:05.

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

:46:05.:46:09.

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

:46:09.:46:14.

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

:46:14.:46:21.

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

:46:21.:46:26.

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

:46:26.:46:31.

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

:46:31.:46:35.

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

:46:35.:46:39.

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

:46:39.:46:42.

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

:46:42.:46:47.

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

:46:47.:46:52.

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

:46:52.:46:55.

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

:46:55.:46:59.

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

:46:59.:47:03.

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

:47:03.:47:10.

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

:47:10.:47:17.

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

:47:17.:47:20.

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

:47:20.:47:28.

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

:47:28.:47:31.

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

:47:31.:47:34.

we are passionate. We need to translate that passion into

:47:34.:47:40.

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

:47:40.:47:44.

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

:47:44.:47:50.

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

:47:50.:47:54.

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

:47:54.:47:58.

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

:47:59.:48:04.

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

:48:04.:48:14.
:48:14.:48:15.

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

:48:15.:48:23.

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

:48:23.:48:28.

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

:48:28.:48:31.

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

:48:31.:48:40.

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

:48:40.:48:45.

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

:48:45.:48:53.

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

:48:53.:48:56.

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

:48:56.:49:00.

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

:49:00.:49:04.

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

:49:04.:49:09.

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

:49:09.:49:13.

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

:49:13.:49:19.

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

:49:20.:49:23.

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

:49:23.:49:32.

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

:49:32.:49:40.

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

:49:40.:49:45.

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

:49:45.:49:49.

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

:49:49.:49:53.

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

:49:53.:49:57.

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

:49:57.:50:02.

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

:50:02.:50:04.

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

:50:05.:50:11.

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

:50:11.:50:20.

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

:50:20.:50:23.

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

:50:23.:50:27.

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

:50:27.:50:33.

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

:50:33.:50:37.

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

:50:37.:50:45.

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

:50:45.:50:49.

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

:50:50.:50:52.

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

:50:52.:50:56.

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

:50:56.:51:01.

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

:51:01.:51:05.

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

:51:05.:51:09.

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

:51:09.:51:18.

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

:51:18.:51:23.

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

:51:23.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:34.

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

:51:34.:51:40.

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

:51:40.:51:45.

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

:51:45.:51:49.

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

:51:49.:51:53.

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

:51:53.:51:57.

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

:51:57.:52:02.

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

:52:02.:52:06.

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

:52:06.:52:11.

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

:52:11.:52:16.

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

:52:16.:52:19.

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

:52:19.:52:23.

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

:52:23.:52:28.

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

:52:28.:52:32.

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

:52:32.:52:37.

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

:52:37.:52:41.

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

:52:41.:52:48.

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

:52:48.:52:51.

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

:52:51.:52:55.

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

:52:55.:52:59.

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

:52:59.:53:03.

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

:53:03.:53:12.

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

:53:12.:53:17.

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

:53:17.:53:27.
:53:27.:53:34.

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

:53:34.:53:37.

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

:53:37.:53:42.

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

:53:42.:53:49.

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

:53:49.:53:54.

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

:53:54.:53:57.

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

:53:57.:54:03.

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

:54:03.:54:07.

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

:54:07.:54:11.

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

:54:11.:54:17.

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

:54:17.:54:21.

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

:54:21.:54:26.

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

:54:26.:54:30.

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

:54:30.:54:38.

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

:54:38.:54:42.

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

:54:42.:54:46.

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

:54:46.:54:50.

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

:54:50.:54:55.

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

:54:55.:55:00.

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

:55:01.:55:05.

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

:55:05.:55:09.

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

:55:09.:55:12.

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

:55:12.:55:17.

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

:55:18.:55:22.

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

:55:22.:55:25.

perhaps today the thoughts that everyone has put forward will help

:55:25.:55:28.

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

:55:28.:55:32.

just for businesses but for communities and families and young

:55:32.:55:36.

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

:55:36.:55:46.
:55:46.:55:51.

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

:55:51.:56:01.
:56:01.:56:02.

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

:56:03.:56:11.

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

:56:11.:56:14.

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

:56:14.:56:19.

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

:56:19.:56:24.

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

:56:24.:56:31.

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

:56:31.:56:35.

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

:56:35.:56:40.

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

:56:40.:56:48.

With riots happening nationwide, BBC THREE broadcasts a special on the crisis. Presented by Richard Bacon on the day parliament is recalled and David Cameron makes a statement to MPs. A studio audience puts questions to the panel about the widespread looting, the role of the police and whether the underlying causes are simple criminality or widening social gaps.


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