So, the e-petition to to remove all benefits from convicted London rioters has become the first petition to break the 100,000 signature threshold, meaning a debate between MPs in the House of Commons – or the merits of such a debate being discussed by the Backbench Business committee, thanks Harry.
The petition states that “any persons convicted of criminal acts during the current London riots should have all financial benefits removed.” This is because “no tax payer should have to contribute to those who have destroyed property, stolen from their community and shown a disregard for the country that provides for them.” I don’t know about anybody else, but I find this idea difficult to stomach.
I appreciate that those that rioted have done wrong – horribly, disgustingly wrong – but removing benefits from them will remove what, exactly? Those involved in the riots will be punished for their actions. Removing their benefits will increase resentment for those involved. Not to mention the fact that innocent people will be affected by removal of benefits – households and families will lose money. The vicious cycle continues, making people poorer or even homeless, therefore increasing the likelihood of crime and deviance.
In bewilderment, I ask how any government can support potentially making anybody – and let’s debunk the idea that a) all young people were involved in the riots and b) all those involved in the riots were young people, because neither of those are true – homeless is beyond me, and is the epitome of sickening.
I am not condoning the actions of those who looted, caused damage or otherwise played a part in the riots this week. They should not just be waved away, and I have the greatest of sympathy for all those affected from the riots, let me make that clear. Rioters should be rehabilitated in some way, undertaking community service to re-engage them with their communities and society perhaps, but one thing is for sure – removing their benefits will be counterproductive and damaging to individuals and families.
Sign the petition against the removal of benefits for convicted rioters here.
Let’s not make the divide any deeper.