Golden Dreamers' Night Out in Tottenham
A morning-after assessment

An as yet unpublished report for a northern council, being prepared by one of Cultural Dynamics’ partners specialising in Local Authority issues, has more to say about the Tottenham Riot than any amount of instant and uninformed rhetoric by politicians and civil servants “on the spot” in London this Sunday morning – because it highlights the local dominance of a single values orientation.

Readers familiar with our values research will recognize behaviours congruent with young Prospector values – the desire for esteem from others and the Values Attributes of Asocial, Respect, Distracted, Power and Material Wealth – the perfect mix to create a riotous Saturday night out.

The news channels are full of images of the result of values motivations in action. Politicians and others of the “community activist elites” are starting to come out with judgements and statements deeply based on “moral outrage” or “ethical questioning” of the behaviours that lead to the media images captivating the viewing public.

Talk radio is filled with instant opinions from “ordinary” members of the public – or at least the portions of the public who listen to and phone in to radio stations to give their opinions about any and everything. Neither of these sources has the language to think insightfully and creatively about the values and behaviours that have lead to the riotous behaviour.

Putting aside morals and ethics – neither of which has a significant effect on the values set of people holding Prospector values – the behaviour can be seen as stemming from their own guiding principles deeply rooted in pragmatism.

Their pragmatism allows them to absorb multiple and continuing lack of opportunities to satisfy the aforementioned Values Attributes, in the hope and expectation that they will be met. Their internal story – their values driven perception – is that they have to street wise, clever and fast moving, to take advantage of any opportunity to gain the esteem of others.

Their pragmatism is unhindered by more conventional forms of morality – “think about the community, neighbourhood, family and friends before yourself”. It is largely unhindered by the ethics that guide many community leaders - the activist elite - that are embodied in thoughts and processes that are driven by and, for the most part, satisfied by meetings and community organizing.

In truth the core of this type of values set is best represented by the Golden Dreamers values mode, represented below in an Attribute map from the last British Values Survey.

When this values set is presented with opportunities to “be seen to be seen” they will take it - with little thought of the morals and ethics of the situation. Their pragmatism drives them to take the opportunity presented to them to stand out from the crowd; to exhibit behaviour that is noticeable to others; to increase their status among their peers.

Golden Dreamers

This Values Mode is an important part of the 15-24 year old age group. You do not see many people younger or older than this (police and media excepted) in the coverage of the situation. Using this form of values analysis it is possible to move beyond the age group, racial or economic analyses that will inevitably come from experts and politician. It is possible to look at the motivational core of the people involved.

Readers already up to speed on CDSM’s methodology and analysis will recognize this pattern as the area that produces much of the dysfunctional, non-cooperative and confrontational behaviour in business, governmental and political organizations.

In short, the streets of Tottenham are experiencing the outcomes of the values set world view that has lead to phone hacking, police corruption, the banking crisis and global climate change!

The drive for esteem today and let tomorrow take care of itself is a basic drive for millions of human beings in the UK. It is normal to them. This is not about being good or being bad. Behaviours that give them the ability to satisfy their psychologically driven values needs will trump moral and ethical considerations. Satisfying these subconscious needs makes them feel good, it makes them happy.

This is not about behaviour! This is about satisfying the Attributes in the Danger Zone. When these are satisfied the Golden Dreamer feels good – it makes them happy.

So are we – the rest of the geographical area – doomed to perpetual dysfunctional behaviour by these people?

The answer lies in our own hands.

Redefining the reality
Building from Core Values

If we continue to mis-define social issues in terms of irrelevant or incomplete concepts, rather than values based concepts, we will continue to be doomed to repeated behaviours. These types of repeated behaviours – that are known and undesirable, but occur anyway - have been typified by various thinkers and researchers as “inevitable surprises” and are totally preventable.

This values based perspective can help decision makers and elite activists in their search for a language to use to understand and rectify the current situation - to create policies and procedures to harness the power and energy of the Golden Dreamers into a force for good in their communities, instead of the dysfunctional behaviours that lead to good feelings in the Golden Dreamers but suffering for the rest of the local area.

Working with the core values of people and creating opportunities to satisfy associated Attributes within their values set is the key to behaviour change. It gives the basis for the creation of policies and procedures that lead to opportunities for values satisfaction, without the dysfunctional but pragmatic behaviours that have resulted in a “Golden Dreamers' Night Out in Tottenham”.

Bookmark and Share