Monday, July 14, 2008

Yours in despair, London

People of Britain!

Do you feel unsafe on our streets? Do you worry you or someone you love is going to be stabbed?

Well relax. The government have come up with a solution to end knife crime. Take the perpetrators to A&E to see the consequences of their actions. Then everything will be alright.

What absolute bollocks.

Kids who knife other kids couldn 't care less about the consequences. As long as they feel 'respected', then it doesn't matter who lives or dies. So this won't work.

It's only by them doing hard time that will have any effect and make the rest of us feel safe. Jackie Smith lives on another planet. (Things have come to a pretty pass when we've got a senior politician called Jackie anyway).

I hate to sound all Daily Mail here, but I serioulsy think National Service is just what the teens of today need. There's no respect for authority, so no discpline. This would not only sweep them off the streets but give them a good dose of social responsibility and teach them citizenship. Schools are powerless to do anything, so kids - quite literally - are getting away with murder.

When I was at school, corporal punishment existed and, although I got the cane three times, the slipper twice and the strap more times than I care to mention, it hurt and it was a deterrent. Moreover, it didn't turn me into an over-sensitive social misfit with esteem issues. I was in the wrong, and I knew it. So did my parents, who always sided with teachers. But didn't everyone's back then?

I think corporal punishment should be reinstated. Since it vanished it's all gone to Hell. We can't do or say anything anymore. No one dares say what they really think for being labelled judgmental or politically incorrect. Therefore, everyone does whatever they please and think they have a right to do so. Try telling them it's not always acceptable to do whatever you want, whenever you want and you're like to find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Do I sound like Richard Littlejohn here? Should we believe everything we read? Whenever I see a nice teenager I'm taken aback. I'm led to believe they're very rare.

Anyhoo, something's got to be done or we're all fucked.

See you on the Sheltand Islands.


Clair said...

I'm all for some kind of compulsory community service for those kids who don't work. Don't do it, and don't get any benefits. Simple. And if you don't want to get a job as you can't be arsed, get your benefits taken away, too. Like you say F-C, people have to be made responsible for their own actions and not have the rest of us to blame/pay for the situation they're in.

And don't get me started on 'respec'. Little bleeders. (Sadly, literally). When a kid was murdered down the road from our office, it was awful, but when I found out he was a dealer with previous, I, Bill Hicks-like just shrugged and went 'I don't think we've lost a cure for cancer there'.

Roman Empress said...

Any liberal society has to pay a price. Social freedoms for some equal fear for others. Saying that, the allure of these gangs have more to do with home life (or a lack of it) than anything else, they want to belong somewhere because their family life is lacking. It's a complex issue.
The French students death shocked and upset me of course and now I double lock the door at night. Although most people have been doing that for decades anyway. I genuinely don't feel any harm will come to me where I live and I don't live in the most savoury part of town.
In summary, in an ideal world families should stay together more, instead of adults treating life like a computer game, when they're stuck on one level, they ship out expecting something more exciting. The ramifications are enormous.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I'm inclined to think that National Service (even if it was ever re-introduced, which I doubt it will be) wouldn't actually make much difference. The damage would have been done long before these boys were given their uniforms and dodgy haircuts.

I've met, and meet, some fantastic, fascinating teenagers, but I also recognise those you're referring to in your post, F-C, and I fear for and fear them in equal measure. I probably sound like an old-fashioned Trot, but I see them as the bastard offspring of Thatcher and Murdoch. All the greed and lack of responsibility of the former (with her famously foul assertion that there is 'no such thing as society), and fed a diet of pap culture, divisive envy and resentment by the latter. It made me laugh bitterly to hear Norman Tebbit on Any Questions over the weekend, claiming feebly that Thatcher only failed to sort out the social problems of the country because she was so busy sorting out the economy in the 'first part' of her administration. If only she'd been given an extra ten years, eh? Though I'm sure we'll be hearing similar excuses from Labour before too much longer.

Inevitably the only 'legit' role models for this generation are overpaid idiot footballers (for the boys) or the idiot women who shag them and get to spend five thousand quid of their money on a handbag ( for the girls). If you're not going to be a footballer, that just leaves the less 'legit' role models of dealers and gang 'dons' (a ludicrous label which I've heard use to describe the scabbiest little pusher on a South Coast estate). The kids have no imagination to think beyond that narrow definition of success- and their parents often are of one mind with them, so no challenge from that quarter.

I don't think two years of square-bashing would put that right. The roots run way too deep.

Does that help? No, thought not.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

National Service? So the thugs can beat up and bully all the nice well-spoken boys that read books, who will presumably have to do it as well? Not a good plan.

Beth said...

If you got caned more than once it wasn't that much of a deterent was it...?

Cocktails said...

Yes, you do sound like the Daily Mail and although I know where you are coming from, I have to disagree with you.

Putting aside the fact that knife crime very probably isn't actually increasing, is corporal punishment really the answer? Punish violence with violence? This is really just a band-aid solution anyway.

It is wider society as ISBW points out, which is the problem, not to mention parents themselves.

There was an interesting programme on R4 last night talking about 'character development' or creating 'good citizens' -essentially there aren't enough opportunities for children and young people to develop strong characters and those that need it most often have the kind of parents who will give it to them least.

Five-Centres said...

Glad to hear all your views. Re-reading my post I can see I was off on a rant and I do sound disturbingly Daily Mail, but my point about people taking responsibilty for their own actions stands, if that came across at all. And that's especially important for the parents.

The Thatcher years have a lot to answer for.

Five-Centres said...

Oh, and Beth, it WAS a deterrent - I just didn't plan on getting caught! But where's the deterrent today?

Anonymous said...

"I hate to sound all Daily Mail here, but I serioulsy think National Service is just what the teens of today need."

But wouldn't they have to be 18 to do national service?

I get the impression that many of the thugs killing on London's streets are wayyyyyyy younger than that.

How do we "bang up" a 9 year old with a knife?

For me I think two possible solutions:

(1) a knife amnesty with a period of (say) one month for knives to be handed in voluntarily (obviously not all knives will).

(2) a campaign to make the law clear to shops that it is ILLEGAL to sell bladed weapons to people under 18 years of age.

(3) spot checks on DIY stores and other shops who sell knives and more stop and searches on the streets.

Lots more is needed on the social front as well but I can't believe that Gordon pussyfoot Brown and Boris stupid posh twat Baffoon of London Johnson have not come up with numbers (1) and (2) in response to the current crisis.

Wish I had seen your post hours ago, FC, but I've been busy!

BPP said...

Hear hear! I'd bludgeon the bloody lot of 'em if I was in charge. Six of the best and a stint in the British Army - that's what these knife-wielding maniacs need. Try the 'you're direspecting me' line with a warrant officer bawling in your ear'ole, you little bastards.

How showing 'em a chap in a hospital covered in bandages is going to help, I don't know. Show 'em the instruments, that's my advice ... not that the lilly-livered cowards who run this country will take that advice (or that those devils in the bloody EEC'll let 'em anyway, the swines). They'll probably send 'em off to Butlins etc. etc. etc.

Five-Centres said...

I think you can go into National Service at 16? It probably would make no difference though. Too little, too late.

Good points though. Have you considered running for Mayor of London next time, Sharon?

Anonymous said...

All of the solutions that people have suggested are worthy of serious consideration, but surely, the knife crime is a symptom rather than a direct problem in its self? It's the 10,000 (according to the good ol' BBC) problem families that are the breeding pit for this and the majority of the other social problems that we have. Sure, we need a short term solution to keep this in check, but let's get to the root cause and find out why these violent, anti social families continue to abound.

Punish the culprits now, but put something in place to stop the families creating social misfits in the first place.

Since the parents probably don't even see that there is a problem, I'm gonna have to suggest that schools take on a greater role here. I don't like big government, but I like gang culture even less.

Anonymous said...

"Good points though. Have you considered running for Mayor of London next time, Sharon?"

Just let me get down to my shimmy skinny goal weight + get my hair done, and I will roll out my manifesto for the media!


Clair said...

'I'm gonna have to suggest that schools take on a greater role here.'

Schools are for educating children. Their role is NOT to have to teach them right from wrong, teach them how to eat properly, or to advise parents that during a school play is not a good time to yak or answer your phone, especially if your kid's in it. But this is the role teachers are playing now - Mr Chipz's rather wonderful blog puts things into context.

Five-Centres said...

That's a great blog. Makes very interesting reading. It really is the fault of the parents, and proves schools should not have to wipe arses and noses.

LF Barfe said...

Interesting comment about Jacqui Smith. I'm certain that having a Cabinet minister called Andy is indicative of the whole country being utterly fucked. Footballers can be called Andy. DJs can be called Andy. Guitarists can be called Andy. The moment Andy Burnham became a Cabinet minister, he should have been forced to answer, by law, to Andrew and nothing else. There is a problem, but National Service isn't the answer. Buggered if I know what is, but there you go.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, I totally agree. I don't *want* the schools to have to do this, but I just don't see a better way right now. We can't get social workers into the homes with enough influence to make a difference, but we do have the kids in schools long enough (I hope).

The punishments are the short term fix, the introduction of more guidiance for kids in schools is a medium term solution and someone still needs to find a long term one. That's a culture change.

I'm no social worker. I don't *know* the solutions, but I do think that something needs to be done before, as a parent, I feel the need to take the protection of my kids into my own hands in a way that protects my kids at the expense of others...

Because if I need to, I will and in the long term this will make the problem worse...