Thinking For The Individual

Formerly known as 'Thinking For The People', this site offers some reflections on the state of British society and her people from the perspective of a libertarian Conservative with a passionate belief in the pillars of freedom and responsibility.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Disrespect of Britain's Youth

A lot has been said in the last couple of weeks about the rise and rise of Britain's hooded youth. The decent, law-abiding majority are angry at this symbol of our modern society's way of accepting every chav and scally boy that threatens our peace.

I have only one piece of advice for anyone who feels worried, amused or indifferent about this debate: the last time the government had any gripes with people wearing hoods, it was the monks. Perhaps the answer to the appalling disrespect in Britain's youth is better history teaching. Because if they start to associate hoods with the monks, it might be a less cool fashion!

On a more serious note, there is a problem with the way the debate about respect in Britain's youth is conducted. Readers who have followed my posts regularly may not have gathered, but this writer is considerably younger than he lets on. Yesterday evening, I was sat amongst a gathering of older friends who were complaining typically about the way things used to be and how kids today don't behave like they used to. They found a number of reasons why, ranging from my sublime way of blaming it on the Welfare State - I was the lone voice in the room at that time - to the ridiculous of blaming it on Thatcherite individualism. The truth is that changing Britain's youth is not as easy as rolling back the years and setting policies so that our society accurately resembles the state of affairs of some bygone epoch, some zenith of respect. The debate is much different to that. My friends who last night bemoaned 'kids today' passed the following hours talking about how appallingly-behaved they used to be when they were younger. They even gave a few examples of how rude and disrespectful they had been in the last few weeks, and each time they had another tale I would conclude sardonically (like a typically disrespectful yob) 'kids today'! But most importantly of all, they tried their hardest to absolve themselves of most of their responsibilities as parents.

Quite simply, government diktat can not make a respectful, law-abiding youth. That is the job of each and every parent and teacher throughout this island. But so long as we are forced to put up with nannying governments who are willing to devolve no powers to parents over how to bring up their children, how the hell do we achieve that?

Perhaps 'disrespect' is an entity. Perhaps it's there. Perhaps it has been there all the time, exemplified by 'mods and rockers' in the past and by 'hoodies and chavs' today. I don't know, but that seems like too convenient and too lily-livered a conclusion to me.


At 8:50 pm, Blogger heather said...

I have just returned from Scotland, and noticed the huge anger towards "hoodies", who seem to be running amuck in your fair land.
One story: a young lady waiting for a train at Almouth told me about how she and her boyfriend's apartment had been invaded by thieves. In the process, the girl and her friend were beaten up - WITH A HAMMER!!! She screamed loudly enough to bring the police, the bad guys were caught, she and her friend were in hospital, etc etc.
Then the corker (the one that reminds me of Canada): she said that later, during an evening at a pub, one of the Bad Guys approached her and said that if she dared to bear witness against him in the oncoming trial, then she would regret it...

Another straw in the wind. I checked some books out of a library in a very small village in Argyll (a great library by the way - tons of thrillers!!!). In every place I have ever been, when said library is closed, it provides a slot for return of said books. Well, this Library, in a green and leavy corner of Argyll - had welded that slot shut because of the nasty things that had been pushed through.


Post a Comment

<< Home