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Do you know what was really behind the riots?

Tuesday 30 August
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Pic: David Monniaux, Creative Commons 2.0

Celia Atherton, Dartington’s Director of Social Justice writes…
Do you know what was really behind the riots? Was it simple bad behaviour? Was it simple inequality? Was it more than David Cameron would have us believe as he announced his review this week – where he suggests it’s all about individual and family behaviour. He says ‘We must fight back against the attitudes and assumptions that have brought parts of our society to this shocking state’ but will focus mostly on individual responsibility and tired tirades about human rights and health and safety. He looks set to ignore wider issues – that a greedy society is one produced by decades of consumerism and celebrity.

Just the week before last, John McDonnell MP wrote: Haven’t the warnings been there, from as wide a range of people from Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett to Rowan Williams? We are reaping what has been sown over the last three decades of creating a grotesquely unequal society with an ethos of grab as much as you can by any means. A society of looters created with MPs and their expenses, bankers and their bonuses, tax-evading corporations, hacking journalists, bribe-taking police officers, and now a group of alienated kids are seizing their chance. This is not to condone but to understand. Addressing inequality is the only way we can avoid a rerun of these riots.

Do you care about these issues – do you think it’s way more complicated than so many of our politicians and pundits would have us believe. Why not come to Dartington this September, hear Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson talk about their book The Spirit Level and think about it with others – and enjoy yourself while you’re about it? These are hugely important issues – ones that affect every part of our lives. So, let’s use all our senses to think about and act on what we learn.

Interrogate! will be the first, and probably only, opportunity to debate these issues and have fun at the same time – dance, watch films, laugh, draw, eat well, debate, think, listen to great music. Take a look at all that’s on offer: dartington.org/interrogate

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