Tag Archives: 社会問題

London Riots: Day 3

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今回の暴動の特徴は、BlackBerry端末同士で行うインスタントメッセンジャーBlackBerry Messenger(BBM)を使って広まったこと。BBMはショートメッセージサービスより迅速でしかも無料、またFacebookやTwitterと違い、内輪でコミュニケーションが取れるため、ギャングメンバーの間で人気なのだそうだ。BlackBerryというとビジネスマン御用達というイメージがあるので、ギャングたちが好んで使っていたとは意外だ(テレグラフ紙記事)。



On the third day of the London riots, which began in Tottenham, north London, on last Saturday following the fatal shooting of a black suspect by the police on August 4th, is spreading across London and has become totally out of control. The video above is a riot in Hackney, a borough we live. Thank god we live far away! Originally a peaceful protest turned to riots, involving violence, vandalism, looting, arsons as well as clashes with police – everything goes now.

Riot mapphotovideoWiki

This series of riots has spread via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), an instant messaging application allowing users to communicate in a similar way to text messaging but it’s free and quicker, and more private than Facebook and Twitter. I thought BlackBery is for business people, and was surprised to know that it is also a favorite device for gang members (Telegraph article).

This riot with such a large scale is thought to be the worst disturbances of their kind since the 1995 Brixton riots, which began also after the death of black young man in police custody. Also similar to Los Angeles riots in 1992, it seems that there are still huge mistrust against police among black community. Also those cases happened in poor neighbourhood with high unemployed rate, so rioting may be a good opportunity for frustrated youth to show their anger to the society. The victim this case is thought to be a well known member of notorious gang group and a cocaine dealer, who always carry a gun for protection (Daily Mail article), and now investigation is taking place, mainly about who shot first, as also a policeman was injured at the scene. It is not clear yet, but I assume that there was a enough reason for police to shoot him, though that doesn’t mean that they could kill him, but I don’t think it was because of stereotypical idea of “police = racist → let’s shoot the suspect”, popular among certain people.

Put serious people on protest aside, I can’t stand some idiots who take an advantage of the situation, vandalising and setting a fire to whatever they feel like for fun, and looting stores while police is too busy taking care of rioters. I’ve seen so many footages and photos on newspapers, TV and internet news, showing young looters happily running away from stores with stolen goods. There are some people taking a ‘trophy’ snap and showing it off to friends. What’s to do with “police brutality” and those disgusting illegal acts?? The victims are locals in their neighbourhood, not the police!


David Cameron’s Plan to Get Tough on Benefit Fraud

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イギリスは日本やアメリカに比べ、福祉が大変充実している。困っている人を助けるのは大変いい事だと思うのだが、多くの人が、その制度にあぐらをかいて、得をしているのも事実だ。無料の国営医療サービス(NHS)、低所得者用の格安・無料の公共住宅(Council Housing)や家賃補助(Housing Benefit)、失業手当(Job Seekers Allowance)、子供手当(Child Benefit)、障碍者手当(Disability Benefit)など、数多ある福祉手当を駆使して、若くて健康体であるにも関わらず、何年も働かずに暮らしている人たちがたくさんいる。


今日、デーヴィッド・キャメロン首相が、財政赤字減少のために、Benefit Fraud(福祉手当詐欺)に対して厳しい態度を取ると表明した。不正に福祉手当を受け取る行為を撲滅するために、Targeting Benefit Thievesキャンペーンを展開しているDWPDepartment for Work and Pensions/労働年金省)によると、昨年、5万6493人もの人たちが、Benefit Fraudをはたらいたとして捕まり、不正に受け取った手当を返還させられたそうだ。こんなに多くの人が不正を働いたという事はかなり驚きだ。道理でテレビ広告をバンバン流し、ポスターを街角のそこかしこに貼って啓蒙活動をするはずだ。

キャメロン首相は今日、年間約10億ポンドに上るBenefit Fraudと5億ポンドの不正税金控除への対策として、プライベートのCredit Rate Firms(信用調査会社)を使うと言っていたが(参照記事)、果たして、どのぐらいの成果が出るだろうか?

UK is known as a welfare state that offers a variety of benefits to people in need, in compare to many other non-European countries. It is great to support vulnerable people, but at the same time, it is true that there are some people who don’t need help, take advantage from the welfare system. Some people including young people live on benefits for years, though they are completely healthy and capable to work, using numerous welfare benefits possible – free NHS medical service, free or inexpensive Council Housing and Housing Benefit for low income families, Job Seekers AllowanceChild Benefit, Disability Benefit and so on.

Often you can see the stories of those people on the media, such as single mother who have had dozens of children and never worked but live off child benefits and other public financial supports, and young men who have no intention to look for a job because they believe the income from low-paid jobs wouldn’t be much higher than benefits.  In order to maintain these welfare system, British pay massive 17.5% VAT (would be 20% next year), and I always wonder if British tax payers wouldn’t get furious at these people.

Today, Prime Minister David Cameron promised a tough stance on benefit fraud, to reduce the budget deficit. Last year 56,493 ‘benefit thieves’ were caught and had to pay back the money they received, according to DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) that launched Targeting Benefit Thieves campaign in 2002 to crackdown on these falsely claiming benefit. Over 50,000 people! No wonder why I have seen TV ads like the video above and campaign posters all over the town.

Cameron’s plan to tackle the problem that cost £1.5bn a year fraud,£460m from child and working tax credits and £1bn from benefits (BBC article), include use of private credit rating firms to go after benefit thieves – hope it works.

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