No easy answers to why rioters came from all walks of life

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From: Dale Smith, Conservative Councillor for Wharfedale and former Deputy Leader of Bradford Council.

THERE can be no excuse for the recent displays of vandalism, theft and criminality. A few days ago neither the politicians on holiday nor even many of those involved would have believed that the sights and actions we have all witnessed across much of the country were possible.

Why then did such an eclectic mix of people behave so reprehensibly? The ranges of people arrested so far appear to be from wide extremes of age, education, and social class, to say nothing about race or religion. This suggests that there can be no one simple answer or solution.

Clearly something has gone badly wrong over the past years.

While parental and family example, guidance and role models are definitely the predominant factors in any child’s upbringing the impact of examples set by community and their leaders must not be overlooked. Recently we have witnessed too many Members of Parliament grossly abusing their expenses, the news media prolifically abusing their previously held honourable place in society and some footballers especially displaying appalling examples of bad behaviour. Further disgraceful examples are the bankers benefiting at the expense of ordinary folk as they ignored what were the accepted and decent principles of investment and those businessmen who blatantly shrugged off massive debts and liabilities by “pre-packed” buy-backs and questionable ethics.

Is it any wonder that a relatively small proportion of society lost their cool?

I pray that the apparent calm in Bradford District continues and that the lessons from the quiet but united dispatch of the EDL last year were the first steps along the long path to mutual respect and understanding.

From: Hilary Andrews, Wentworth Court, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

I HAVE been listening to views on the introduction of national service of some kind for the youth of today. Of course it should be introduced and made compulsory. Many countries in the European Union still have compulsory military service and we don’t see riots there. Why do we always adopt the daft ideas of Europe and ignore the sensible ones?

From: Arthur Marson, Mountjoy Road, Huddersfield.

AFTER listening to the various politicians giving their views on how to solve the rioting problem, the saying that comes to mind is “physician, heal thyself”.

They continue to call each other “Honourable and Right Honourable” members, while the expenses scandal has still to be finalised. Until it is, there would seem to be little point in adopting a “holier than thou” attitude with regard to other transgressors.

Change must start at the top. Is there the will?

From: B Murray, Halifax Road, Grenoside, Sheffield.

IS it surprising that young people misbehave when the television is spewing out violence constantly, there is no sense of right or wrong in the home, parents are missing and their only support is other gang members? Also in some areas there is nothing for them to do.

From: Trev Bromby, Sculcoates Lane, Hull.

DAVID Cameron is planning his revenge on looters. His well- thought-out plans start with evicting looters and their families from council property.

The second stage: the family report to Social Services as homeless, they are put in a hotel for six months at the cost of £1,000 a week until they find private property with rent far in excess of council property which will be footed by the council who evicted them in the first place. Multiply by 100? Time for one of your famous U-turns Dave?

From: Phyllis Capstick, Hellifield, Skipton.

TONY Blair was the worst Prime Minister this country has seen almost for ever. He has amassed a great fortune for himself, and his wife continues to worry that they will never have enough money. Need I say more?

Why was he allowed to get away with his atrocious dictatorial actions for so long? Children need discipline from an early age, yet no-one is allowed to touch them, and don’t they know it.

Get rid of all the stupid laws, many of which were introduced under Tony Blair’s leadership.

From: John Rookes, Bramley, Rotherham.

IN the aftermath of the riots, will lessons be learnt? I fear not, as the police chose to adopt a kid glove approach, when they were told by David Cameron (albeit a little late) that they could use whatever force needed to bring the situation under control.

Why weren’t water cannons, tear gas, or plastic bullets used?

From: Max Nottingham, St Faith’s Street, Lincoln.

DAVID Cameron seems to hold meetings and put out statements just to grab headlines.

It’s an old trick; Blair did it. But Cameron should realise after a year we have all rumbled the ruse.