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What is a 'Sustainable Community?' Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Callum McKayle, United Kingdom Jun 8, 2005
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions
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What is a 'Sustainable Community?' What is a sustainable community?

Today, in the era of political correctness, social exclusion is considered acceptable. Why?

The Prime Minister has latched on to the word ‘respect,’ in his pledge to wipe out the, ‘problem of youth today,’ but I ask him, does that work both ways? Should young people expect to be considered contributor to today’s society, or should we just carry on sitting there, while we get mass-labeled as idiots, and no-hopers, and should we soon expect to be asked to drink from different taps from those of others? Sit at the back of buses? Shall we expect to wait until were spoken to, before we speak?

This generation of young people is the first that it has been estimated that they’ll die before their parents, and the mushy mess, which most young people eat five times a day probably, doesn’t help. A hugely outnumbered minority of young people consider crime to be fun. They think that stamping on people’s cars, and slapping random-picked people is a fun thing to do, so the government steps in with a huge infringement on young people’s human rights, by initiating a blanket curfew.

This means that any law-abiding young person (yes, there are some!) cannot be out of their place of residence after 9 pm. This has obvious social effects, as all young people who volunteer on a local level, must cut their activities short, or risk being publicly humiliated, by being returned home by the police. Speaking of humiliation, the government recently spoke about the possibility of making young people who commit crimes wear a bright orange suit whilst carrying out community service sentences, similar to that of America. They think that humiliating a young person will stop them from breaking the law again. There is absolutely no evidence to back their claims that public humiliation does anyone any good.

Look at young people who get named and shamed by the media for getting an anti-social behaviour order. Do the media consider the consequences of this? No, that’s the simple answer. They probably don’t care either. One of the worst things that have happened to young people is media initiated. The media appear to control this country, rather than the government, politicians are scared about what the media might interpret their comments to be, to the point where they don’t actually answer questions anymore, I mean when was the last time, when asked a yes no question that didn’t involve “Do you want a cuppa?” That resulted in an answer less than ten minutes long, and totally avoiding the point?

My experiences with politicians have been 80% favorable. All the MPs for Sheffield know who I am, and what I do (I'm a member of Youth Parliament,) but on the other hand, the first time I spoke at a national conference, I spoke to the former Health Minister, John Reid, who appeared to be so desperate to avoid one of those awkward situations where no one says anything, that he proceeded to tell me that I had a “Nice, Scottish name,” and that I’d probably got my surname from someone being raped a few hundred years back…. (!) That stunned me to the point, where I could only lightly chuckle, whilst internally furious that he’d said such a thing. (My family origins lay both in Jamaica and Ireland, so I’m afraid you’re wrong there, Mr Reid.)

Media has led politicians so out of touch with young people that they seem oblivious to the real issue of youth crime, and seem incapable of constructive measures toward young people. For example, upon hearing that hooded clothing had been banned from a shopping centre, Tony Blair (instead of an appropriate response, which would have been to say that’s an infringement on young people’s rights,) he approved it, leading to it being implemented across the country.

The Government appears to feel that social exclusion is the answer to solving the problem of youth crime, and achieving their goal of a ‘sustainable community.’ Now I’m no genius, but even I can see that sustainability requires measures that both sustain the community, and that paves its future. Otherwise it can’t claim the title of a sustainable community. If you socially exclude a generation, taking decisions on their behalf with no/unsatisfactory level of prior consultation beforehand, without considering that that generation will eventually be the community, ten years down the line, you’ll just have an even worse problem.

I’m pretty sure the people in charge remember their years of youth, and should consider what today’s young people have to through in addition to what it may have been like in the past.

Let’s look at our point of view. In addition to the usual anxieties of a teenager, (puberty, adolescence, etc,) at school, they’re given exams, which effectively, shape the rest of their lives at the age of 15-16. When there is a high rate of young people passing their A-levels with a good grade, society chooses to call for the exams to be made harder and more difficult, citing that the rising levels of passes mean that young people aren’t challenged enough, and that the exams are too easy.

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Writer Profile
Callum McKayle

What can i say? I like the odd grumble, and i love writing articles!

What is a sustainable community?
Odimegwu Onwumere | Jun 28th, 2005
I read and it was therapeutic to my soul, albeit I was shedding tears. Our politicians all over the world look despotic.Why!!!!!

Sustainabilty is communities
Henry Ekwuruke | Jan 4th, 2006
It is good that you write this article for us to read and talk back. I am overwhelmed by this. I believe you have made your point and raise the awareness. Good!

Sustainable Community...
Jerry | Nov 9th, 2006
A sustainable community is a community that can provide for itself, financially, morally, socially and all wise. It is being sustained by its own produce. It solely depends on its own produce. It is able with no intervention from outside quotas to comfortably fend for itself.

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