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DA Mail Online: “Why Britain needs a new kind of National Service (and young people who won't sign up should be denied benefits)”

David Blunkett: That is why I am proposing the creation of a National Volunteer Programme, a wide-ranging scheme to give volunteering opportunities to all young people aged between 16 and 25.
This month’s riots were the biggest threat to our social cohesion in decades.

Beyond the mindless criminal behaviour, what emerged from the debris was the troubling reality that too many of our young people lead lives without purpose or responsibility, showing respect for neither their neighbourhoods nor themselves.

The values that build a strong citizenry, such as caring, respect and responsibility, were shockingly absent from streets in parts of Britain during those days of chaos.

These values were once inculcated in our young by a range of social influences, such as the family, the local community, the Church, schools and the workplace. But in our rapidly changing world, all those forces are in decline as instruments of moral guidance.

This has meant the bonds that once bound us together down the generations are missing.

Two weeks ago, the Office of National Statistics revealed that there are 979,000 young people aged 16 to 24 who were not in employment, education or training…..

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