Riots in England and broken pacts of trust

August 14, 2011

It has been very sad to see the riots, the people affected, the destruction and the breakdown of relations between the parties involved.  The Police shot Mark Duggan, and claims were made he had open-fired first.  These were later retracted.  Feeling safe is a fundamental need for uses humans and a society, and one the ways governments serve us as citizens that have elected them is by providing that safety via resources such as the police.  When that pact is violated, trust is broken.  

I wonder whether it is possible for a government to truly understand people they are elected to look after. Or is this dynamic now so forgotten that those in power become heady with it, forgetting what they are there for?  Is there enough resource in government put to understanding how to help the majority of the country feel 'looked after'?  This can go a long way to the public accepting a leadership, engendering loyalty.  Look at the Google, Innocent Smoothie, John Lewis model.  The common factor is the individual's needs are valued. 

Instead, Governments and their agencies seem removed from the people they serve and unperturbed about the violations of providing basic need.  Perhaps they understand their role differently to what the public does.  There are protests about tax cuts for the rich whilst the middle classes and poor get taxed in various ways. This further breaks down the pact of trust.  Maybe Maslow's hierarchy of needs is so cliched, no-one wants to refer to it.  But it does provide an understanding of what a governing body can look after to help individuals feel valued and heard.  But for that to happen, they would need to truly care about the state of the people, rather than only the vote.  If they did care about the individual, they would already be doing something different.  Catch 22.

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