Riots: Tony Blair speaks out
Surprisingly little noticed, Tony Blair gave an interview on Friday about the riots:
“The complicated bit is why are there so many, why is there this sizeable minority of people who are prepared to do this?”
He explicitly rejects the idea that “there is a bunch of children who are born evil.”
The problems of parenting are universal. “I find with my own children that boundaries are really tough,” he says, “and it is tough in the modern world because there are so many temptations and things they want.”
But what if nobody is there to set boundaries?
“You read stories in the papers and it just makes you want to weep when you hear some of the parents describing how they just can’t control their children and, anyway, it’s not really their job.”
At the heart of the response, he says, must be the meticulous targeting of time, energy and resources.
“I don’t know if I can put a number on it – it might be 100,000 deeply broken and troubled families I think this is a real project for this Parliament in saying right, we know who they are, we know where they are, we know how you can help to strengthen a family. So let’s roll up our sleeves, not be embarrassed with worries about ‘is this a nanny state?’ but these families are costing hundreds of millions of pounds for the country, they are completely dysfunctional, they need help and we are going to get in there and actually try and turn this around.”
Nor does he rule out driving this from Downing Street: “There may well be more we need to do so the centre is really applying its grip and drive to this particular issue.”
Old device. Apologies. It was David Cameron talking to Matthew d’Ancona (above) in the Sunday Telegraph today. But you really could not tell.
Photograph by TERI PENGILLEYTagged in: david cameron, Riots, tony blair
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter