Paper on “UK Riots” | Eksamenssæt maj 2012

- Give an outline of the views on what caused the UK riots presented in texts 1 and 2
- Characterise the tone and style used in text 3. Illustrate your answer with examples from the text.
- Taking your starting point in one of the texts, discuss how society can prevent similar problems in the future.

Minority groups have a tendency to revolt when they feel discriminated against. The relatively small groups of social outcasts tend to rebel against authorities with violence and vandalism. It is only human to want to be heard, and to want others to see the world from our own perspective. Unfortunately, it is not always easy for minority groups, who usually belong to the lower social classes, to get their point across without causing havoc. It can be a political challenge to contain and undermine riots once they have begun, and the diplomatic aftermath is usually just as difficult to sustain.

In this paper I will focus on the events of the 2011 riots in the United Kingdom and with the help of three critically published texts, I will attempt to distinguish who, in reality, is to blame for the actions of the street level workers in London and other British cities.

The British tabloid newspaper The Sun published an editorial on their website on august 10, 2011, titled “The Fightback” (Text 3). This editorial was published as a list of demands for Britain’s politicians, stressing the actions that should be taken in regards to the UK riots, according to The Sun. The publishment was written as if it were in bullet points, making it very clear for all readers what the message is. Each demand is spaced one line from the other, emphasising every issue with the detail it deserves. This listing of demands is consistent throughout the entire text and gives the overall view of the requirements a strong and fierce attitude.

Apropos the attitude of the text, the tone of “The Fightback” editorial is both emotional and logical, and highly serious. It is clear when analysing the text that it was not written to government officials, – “Jailed thugs must serve every day. And no let-off for young rioters.” There is an obvious use of casual speech, which indicates that the author is directing the editorial towards the general population, aside from a more formal audience. On top of the informalities, the text is made up of mainly short sentences, – “The courts must be ruthless. The maximum sentence for riot is ten years. So let’s see it applied.” These short-structured sentences make the text comprehendible for all audiences and again helps stress the demands, which is the sole purpose of “The Fightback”.

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