Did anyone see it coming?

The sight on the TV of young people looting and burning down whole suburbs in the UK has shocked us all. With over $300 million dollars AUD in damages, 5 dead, scores injured and whole suburbs still under siege. Many are asking, “Did anyone see it coming?”

The answer is yes.

Warwick Marsh, co-founder of the Australian Fatherhood Foundation, thinks  it’s very simple: in Britain we have “a fatherless and a marriageless society” and “all of this chaos and social destruction is the fruit of the policies of the powerful elites many of whom are ‘ultra feminists.'” The solution: “promote marriage and the natural family” or, Marsh threatens, Australia “will soon face the societal disintegration currently being experienced in Great Britain and it won’t be good.”

That British bankers, billionaires and Bullingdons  are “ultra feminists” is news to me, and I daresay to them too.

(But curiously enough, “promoting family values” is exactly what Nadine Dorries says is the fixit for the riots – except that being a British fundamentalist right-wing Christian she thinks it should be done by tax breaks rather than a National Marriage Day.)

March handwaves away talk of racial prejudice and discrimination, inequality, a failure to invest in young people, closing down youth clubs, the imposition of radical and fearful policies that no one voted for: senior police officers warned that the savage cuts in public services would cause “disaffection, social and industrial tensions” (September 2010) and talked of  “a new era of civil unrest” (January 2011) Before the last general election, Nick Clegg warned of  “serious social strife” if an administration with minimal support raised taxes, laid off public sector workers and froze wages – all of which David Cameron then did, with Nick Clegg’s support. (What would Britain have been like if Clegg had had a backbone? A question for another day.) No, the simple cause of riots in the UK has to do with civil partnership, equal marriage, and probably gay adoption, too.

Yet in Scotland, there were no riots. This has been ascribed to various causes – the weather, different kind of gang culture, urban planning (if you live in the most deprived areas of Glasgow or Edinburgh, getting to the nearest big shopping centre to riot and loot would take a fair amount of involved public transport – difficult to keep up the momentum of a riot when you have to plan on a long bus ride or a trip in the clockwork orange) but if you’re Warrick Marsh, it must surely be because Scotland is against premarital sex, homosexual marriage, and children born outside of a “natural family” (by which Warrick means, married mixed-sex biological parents, which is actually not that natural, but … pass):

From the 2010 Scottish Social Attitudes survey

  • Only 13% think that sex before marriage is always or mostly wrong, while as many as 69% think it is all right for a couple to live together without intending to get married.
  • Just 36% feel that people who want to have children ought to get married.
  • As many as 55% feel that contraception should be more easily available to teenagers, including those aged under 16.
  • A clear majority, 58%, feel that sex between two adults of the same sex is either ‘rarely’ or ‘not wrong at all’.

As the Herald said last Sunday: “In a society which values equality there can be no question of requiring any individual to act against their conscience or religious conviction. Neither, however, can there be acceptance of legally-enshrined discrimination.”

And yet… no riots.


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Filed under LGBT Equality, Riots, Scottish Politics

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