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Architects of Citizenship GCSE ‘baffled’ by riots

A rioter, if you live in Hampstead.

The panjandrums of curriculum design were distraught last night, as it finally sunk in that an enormous number of teenagers had decided to riot- despite having been taught Citizenship, either explicitly through a discrete GCSE, or some other modular or integrated model.

‘This defies explanation,’ said one unhappy DfE architect, who did not want to be named. ‘It specifically says in the GCSE not to riot. We taught them all about voting, and local government, and different types of laws and stuff. How on earth they could have misinterpreted this to mean that they should get their best Eveready hoodies on and pitch dustbins through the nearest TK Maxx window, I just can’t imagine. The world’s gone mad.’

Asked whether it was possible that in-school initiatives to explicitly teach children to be better citizens were doomed to failure, our source became aggressive. ‘Of course not! Look at SEAL; see how successful that was, eh? Now children are in touch with their emotions, and teachers know that it’s nice to be nice. Ground breaking.’

Teacher representatives were less impressed. ‘Ah yes, citizenship. It’s like a negative-version of musical chairs; if you get it, you’re out. Created explicitly as a way of getting kids to ‘re-engage with their communities.’ Makes you kind of wonder if there’s a problem with community engagement that it shouldn’t be tackled, oh I don’t know…in the communities maybe, instead of asking us to fix everything in society that appears to be a bit broken. Perhaps if they want kids to start voting again they should stop burgling their expense accounts and hiring crooks. Just a thought.’

Twitter-poll supports abolition of jails, apparently

Meanwhile there was controversy brewing as many criticised the amount of time it took to mobilise middle-class liberalism against the police. ‘It was a disgrace,’ said Athena Chiswick, ‘The riots had been going on for hours before there was a decent outcry on Twitter in support of the poor desperate, excluded victims of society who had been forced into mindless looting of Dixons by a world that doesn’t care. Awful.’

Many ideas have been floated as to the source of the violence, and some expert cultural commentators such as Russell Brand, who apparently is now qualified to comment on such things, have suggested that social exclusion is the root, as well as poverty-related lack of opportunity.

‘Thank God for Russell Brand,’ said a man yesterday. ‘Puts his finger right on it. These children have struggled through fourteen years of free education in a society so cruel and totalitarian that, in theory, starvation and exposure to the elements are impossible. How on earth haven’t they rioted before? Don’t people realise these people are only one giro away from being unable to subscribe to Sky Sports+? You can forget Somalia, Haiti and Ethiopia- these kids are really desperate.’

Others aren’t so sure. ‘Who the fuck rattled Russell Brand’s cage?’ said one yesterday. ‘Five minutes ago he was rubbing his knob on a phone and bragging to Manuel about shagging his grand-daughter. Have you read his book? Sorry; his booky-wooky? He thinks he’s the Messiah, instead of a tiresome lothario who talks about his winky a lot. Interesting that the millionaire Brand went on boozy benders wrecking stuff on anti-capitalism marches. Interesting. Oh, and apparently he thinks Mag Thatch started it. Is Arthur 2 coming out?’

Online, a petition is gathering strength protesting about the severity of the sentences handed out to the first rioters arrested. Entitled, ‘We don’t live anywhere near the riots but we imagine that they were just kids letting off some steam,’ it looks certain to trigger a Commons debate in Cameron’s new ‘listening’ parliament. The Head of the Met welcomed this, calling it ‘A wonderful example of Vox Populi. Anything else you’d like? Free energy? Chocolate that makes you thin? You’re welcome, incidentally.’

Other developments:

  • The ‘police started it’ claims Dianne Abbott, who was among the first to suggest a curfew. ‘They’re getting a bit close to my son’s private school,’ she said, looking worried.
  • The EDL are, it was confirmed, ‘still arses’.
  • ‘It’s a black day,’ said David Starkey, as he completed his retrospective DVD on the Minstrel show, and licked the lid of his marmalade.
  • Putting lots of coppers out on the streets arresting criminals ‘reduces the number of riots’, although experts are so far unable to explain the link between these two phenomena.