The Riots, Communities and Victims Panel, set up by David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in the wake of the riots, will highlight the role of big business in creating a damaging consumerist culture in some of the most deprived parts of the country.
The violence last August was characterised by the looting of stores including Foot Locker, JJD Sports, Orange, O2 and Adidas. When it publishes its final report, the panel is expected to offer recommendations to limit the impact of advertising on the young and vulnerable.
If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be rocking back and forth in a dark room. Whimpering.
A source told the Observer: “This isn’t about damaging the economy or stopping people from selling goods, but about big brands having corporate social responsibility commitments. The brands should be an influence for good.”
Of course, it wouldn’t matter a jot what they said, if we had a PM with a spine and some testicles, but we don’t.
Neal Lawson, chair of the pressure group Compass, believed there needed to (sic) a genuine sign from the government that it understood the problem of consumerism. He said: “If they remove billboards, that would be a sign, or did what they did in Sweden and ban advertising to under-12s, fine. But they need to go at it at that level. If it is just asking business to be more socially responsible, they are just messing around.”
I despair of my country, I really, really do.