Andrew O’Hagan in the Telegraph takes up the fashionable topic of ‘anti-social behaviour’:
I grew up on a housing estate myself, and I watched it go, in the course of 20 years, from being a zone of optimism and clean living to a sink estate and an unemployment black spot.
My mother lives alone and her door was kicked in by junkies in the middle of the night, just so they could steal her telly. My mother has never been the same (she moved into sheltered housing) and I recognise that the yobs who ruined our street are very different from the respectable working class of my youth, who deserved (and still deserve) every bit of support the Government and the community can give them.
But a couple of paragraphs later we have,
Miss Rooney’s street, like so many in Britain, has been over-run by people fuelled by a mad sense of entitlement, by a vast carelessness and selfishness, and violence on their minds.
Overrun? I suspect Mr O’Hagan would find the yobs, like him, grew up on the estate. The difference is they (and probably their parents and grandparents) also grew up on the state. It is the support the “Government [with the same capital G as God] and community” gave them that created the “mad sense of entitlement”. If the state teaches people that they are not responsible for themselves then those without other information will believe it.