The UK Prime Minister David Cameron is proposing a mandatory civilian version of national service as a way of instilling some discipline into youth. I’m not sure it’ll work, but it might be worth exploring the possibilities. The military has some success in teaching discipline.
However, I don’t like the idea of the State trying to fix youth that haven’t been raised with proper values. That’s the family’s job and I doubt the State can fill those large shoes.
There’s also this:
He also denounced the ‘chilling effect’ of human rights legislation on behaviour and vowed to rewrite the rules when Britain takes over the chairmanship of the European Council in November. (Source)
It’s not entirely clear what he means. I know that the “thought police” are extremely active in the UK and other European countries, making sure that everybody bows to the gods of political correctness. If the PM is trying to fight this, then I’m all for it.
Meanwhile, many people in the media continue to lament at how severe the law-enforcement authorities are being towards those reluctant and unsuspecting rioters who apparently were like remote-controlled drones that couldn’t help themselves as stones and beer bottles unwillingly came flying out of their hands. On this matter, it’s good to remember these sublime words of John Paul II the Great:
Sin, in the proper sense, is always a personal act, since it is an act of freedom on the part of an individual person and not properly of a group or community. This individual may be conditioned, incited and influenced by numerous and powerful external factors. He may also be subjected to tendencies, defects and habits linked with his personal condition. In not a few cases such external and internal factors may attenuate, to a greater or lesser degree, the person’s freedom and therefore his responsibility and guilt. But it is a truth of faith, also confirmed by our experience and reason, that the human person is free. This truth cannot be disregarded in order to place the blame for individuals’ sins on external factors such as structures, systems or other people. Above all, this would be to deny the person’s dignity and freedom, which are manifested – even though in a negative and disastrous way – also in this responsibility for sin committed. Hence there is nothing so personal and untransferable in each individual as merit or virtue or responsibility for sin. (Source: Reconciliatio et Paenetentia (Reconciliation and Penance), No. 16)
The media think they’re being compassionate by sympathizing with the rioters. But as JP II points out, they’re actually denying them their human dignity as free beings.