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Youth crime in Britain

Blogger Clive Davis, who is well known to us at Samizdata, has this distressing report about an attack by youths on his teenage son. He’s not been impressed by the response by the police. It will not ease Clive’s anger one jot to hear that I had exactly the same experience when I was mugged in Clapham nine years ago. The police jotted down some comments, took a statement from me, including a description of the attackers (I managed to hit one of the bastards quite hard, I am glad to say). About a week or so later I was contacted by Victim Support, offering counselling, which I politely refused, although I was grateful for at least some followup. I had bad headaches for about a week and had to take several days off work. It is, as Clive and the rest of us Londoners know only too well, a regular occurence.

What to do about it? That is the big question, perhaps one of the biggest questions of public policy in Britain. Sure, the economic worries arguably are taking a greater share of the chattering classes’ time right now, but the long-running issue in Britain, at least since I have been interested in public affairs, is the continued uptrend of yobbery and violence in British society. It has been blamed on many things, with varying levels of plausibility: the lack of authority figures that can inspire and instill respect in youngsters, mostly boys; the breakdown of the family and the rising levels of single-parenthood, which in turn is encouraged by perverse incentives, such as the Welfare State. Throw in a culture that celebrates, or at least does not condemn, yobbery and violence plus the decline of manual labour and lack of outlets for youngsters who are not academically gifted, and you have quite a toxic mix. As for the last point – the decline of manual labour – I certainly do not think that could or should be reversed, given all the gains we have enjoyed from the move to a more service-based economy. But it is a problem that has to be thought about. I personally think one step would be to cut the school-leaving age and hack away labour market restrictions so that apprenticeships can be viable. What so many kids lack is a chance to learn a skill and quickly experience the pride of earning a proper wage. It would be a start.

Time magazine has already caused a stir with this front cover. Good. Sometimes it takes a foreign news publication to tell it like it is about what is happening. Not very “Cool Britannia”, is it?

Anyway, my best wishes to Clive and his family.

77 comments to Youth crime in Britain

  • Ben

    “They’re roaming the streets. They’re out late at night. There’s an issue about gangs in Britain and an issue about gun crime as well as knife crime” -Bottler

    But Guns and Knives are banned in the UK right? So that problem is solved… right?

    UK Libertarians should be pushing for CCW laws right about now. It’s about time the state stopped gelding the public when it has proven time and again that it cannot protect us.

  • Jonathan, you might be interested to know that we have an effective small-scale scheme designed to tackle exactly these sort of individuals who are at risk of dropping into a life of crime, for whom the government really hasn’t a strategy at all for the moment. The London Boxing Academy Community Project is managed independently of the state. Do email me, if you would like to know more about how to help.

    http://www.civitas.org.uk/education/LBACP.php

    Nick Cowen, Civitas

  • permanentexpat

    So many ideas about the causes of our present yoof culture(?)/problems…but think about it. This has been going on over a long period of time. We speak of broken families & lack of parental control without understanding that the parents of these feral shits are the same as their asocial progeny…they (the parents) having experienced the same social problems. Often it isn’t lack of parental control…the little bastards are doing exactly what their parents did…& sometimes continue to do.
    This is a dreadful generational problem & will take generations to correct…given the guts to do something about it.
    I am not optimistic & believe that nothing short of a cataclysm in The Septic Isle will bring its now awful inhabitants to their senses.

  • the other rob

    I’m sorry to hear of the lad’s experience and hope that he recovers quickly.

    In contrast to Clive’s tale, when my collar bone was broken last year, in an unprovoked attack by a drunken 40-something arsehole, the police could not have been more helpful and pro-active.

    Not that it mattered in the end. Despite his pleading guilty to GBH and having form for ABH and spousal abuse the judge let him off with a suspended sentence.

    Of course, if he hadn’t paid his TV licence it would have been the electric chair…

    Oh, and Ben is not wrong. In Northern Texas, where my in-laws live, such incidents are almost unheard of.

  • Nick M

    permanent,
    Yes. Here’s an anecdote for you. I walk into my (not too classy) local boozer and there’s a blazing row between some folks in their 30s and the landlord. They are parents of some kids that had been drinking underage there (and I mean 13-14 underage, not older teenagers).

    Guess what the fight was about? It wasn’t concerned parents having a go at a dubious landlord for selling their kiddies booze illegally. No. It wasn’t even because he’d barred them from the pub. It was because every pub in the area had barred them for causing trouble and now the kids couldn’t drink anywhere. Their parents were arguing the kids case for them.

    Now leaving aside the fact these children were well underage and that the landlord was absolutely right not to turn his boozer into a youth club. Leaving aside the fact he might have lost his license and with it his home and job if he’d continued to knowingly serve them. Leaving that aside for a moment ponder this…

    The kids had been barred from every pub in the area and they hadn’t been barred for being underage solely. They had been barred for being drunken, obnoxious and violent and underage. Now, consider that for a moment. Your 13 year old son is getting kicked out of pubs for being a larrikin and top of your agenda is ensuring that the last pub in the area to bar him is barring him.

    Andy, the landlord, was a rough and ready sort and bear in mind this was not the sort of pub where you ordered a cheeky merlot to go with your steak and ale pie… But he was flabbergasted, stunned.

    I have seen many examples of poor parenting in my time but this is a complete inversion. I was pretty stunned too.

  • Kevyn Bodman

    Going back to Ben’s post, the first comment here, I’m guessing that CCW means Carrying a Concealed Weapon?
    If I’m wrong please let me know; if I’m correct then I think it’s ONE of the changes we need to make.
    Law-abiding citizens must be able to exercise effective self-defence.

    We also need more, and more visually prominent, police for visible deterrence and thus prevention of this kind of opportunistic crime.If there is a well-founded belief that 2 hefty policeman will be coming down the street at any time in the next FEW minutes a reduction in assaults/muggings can be expected.

    Punishment levels after a crime has been committed and the criminal has been caught need to be looked at too.

    But we mustn’t focus just on policing/punishment.
    The Civitas boxing scheme is good, they also provide efective remedial schooling.
    The chance to do rewarding work, an earlier commenter mentioned the restoration of worthwhile apprenticeships, is also important.
    These things help young men have a sense of achievement, a sense of pride and self-worth.

    Not a simple problem to solve; this comment doesn’t arrive at a complete solution.

  • It’s very simple: The kids have nothing to fear, and some of them have realised this.

    Concealed, my arse. The only reason I don’t *openly* carry is because I’m more afraid of the police than I am of the muggers.

    As for a realistic policy that might actually happen, some kind of three-strikes system might help, but you’d have to stop criminalising non-criminals as well to make room in the jails.

  • RRS

    Perhaps many urban areas of England (or Britain, generally) could benefit from the formation of what the whiners will call “Vigilantes.”

    Community (or volunteer group) funded Contra-Gangs could be organized somewhat along the lines of what were the “Guardian Angels” of NYC.

    Given that much of the behavioral motivations may be to achieve significance or “power,” recruiting to shift that power to useful purposes, as the English military did with Scots’ turbulence.

    Try vigilantes, even in small sectors (maybe with stun guns?)
    Things will improve with community support of the right groupings.

  • llamas

    The other Rob wrote:

    ‘Not that it mattered in the end. Despite his pleading guilty to GBH and having form for ABH and spousal abuse the judge let him off with a suspended sentence.’

    Maybe because it was playing all weekend on AMC, but I’m reminded of the opening scene from ‘The Godfather’:

    Bonasera “I — I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The
    judge sentenced them to three years in prison — suspended sentence. Suspended sentence!

    They went free, that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool. And those two bastard, they smiled at me.

    Then I said to my wife, “for justice, we must go to Don Corleone.”

    Maybe – just maybe – if there were a real and present chance that when a feral youth who tries an attack like this, he would actually suffer real and present physical consequences for his actions, this sort of crime would be discouraged.

    I’m not in favour of untrammelled vigilantism, but have seen several examples where ‘street justice’ did a far-better job of righting wrongs than the official kind – and US crime statistics certainly seem to support the idea that the threat of robust physical response plus a victim-supportive justice system reduces the incidence of this sort of thing.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Nick M

    Kevyn,
    It would be a start but…

    Read this.

    I know The People is a terrible rag but…

    Note this…

    Relatives of the pair mocked Sylvia during the trial at Preston Crown Court. She said: “It frightened me to see how little Harris and Herbert seemed to grasp what they had done.”

    I have met Herberts and Harrises. They are utterly depraved. They are beyond any conceivable redemption. They kicked her daughter to death after stomping her boyfriend into a coma.

    This is a big problem. I have no idea what the solution is but I’ll have a go…

    The MSM have got this wrong. Almost all have run with the headlines like “kicked to death for being a Goth”. Well, a bunch of Herberts and Harrises attempted the same on my wife a while back and she isn’t a Goth. Sylvia Lancaster is of the opinion (at least according to The People) that we need to be more tolerant of people who chose to dress differently. With the greatest respect I disagree. This is not an issue of multi-culturalism. This is an issue of feral evil and the breakdown of civil society.

    The fact she dressed as a goth is irrelevant. I have met the Herberts and Harrises of this nation and anything, absolutely anything will set them off because they are thoroughly nihilistic. They are also quite smart in a low manner. They attack in numbers and what is shocking is that it’s always the same… Initially friendly, then they mob you. I have been physically intimidated by 11 year olds. It’s quite easy when there’s eight of them. It’s embarrassing. I was in my mid 20s and I’m nearly 6′ tall. They do it because they can and they do it because they have no conception of rights other than their own to cause chaos and distress.

    Paul Marks of this Parish famously opined (at the expense of Hilary Clinton) that “it takes a village to burn a witch” mocking her comment that it takes a village to raise a child.

    I think Clinton was right (though I wouldn’t have her on the Parish Council) because it does take society in general to raise children. I don’t mean this in a socialist way. I mean this in an old-fashioned way. Kids get away with an awful lot because, essentially no unrelated adults ever even verbally chastise them anymore. I got up to “antics” as a kid but I knew to respect the neighbours and I knew that if Mr X from number 4 gave me a telling off then if I blabbed to my parents they’d probably say “and he was bloody well right to”.

    Increasingly children are royal prisoners not interacting with adults beyond their families (or teachers, social workers etc.) and the result is the solipsism of kicking someone to death.

    I am guilty here. I have not interacted with children on the streets where I have lived because I knew full well that they’d tell tales and some tattooed, lumpen “temporary dad” would be round to fill me in or accuse me of being a kiddy-fiddler. I link the two. The extreme paranoia about child sex abuse is part of the atomization of society. When I was a kid it was just still possible to coach a junior team or work for the Scouts or run a boxing gym without being automatically, by default, considered a pervert unless proved otherwise.

    I used to swap computer games with a retired chap down the street. It was innocent and simple but imagine that now?

    Another major problem is that schools are now expected not just to teach History and Chemistry and stuff but are expected to turn out well-mannered young adults. Sorry, no, that is not the job of a teacher. If I were to go into teaching (which I wont) then I’d be there to teach maths and physics, not forming an orderly queue or how to use cutlery. That is the task of parents and of wider society. You have to be civilised before you can be educated. If you just don’t give a toss what anyone thinks of you then there is no hope.

    We just need standards of behaviour. That is all. Talk of cultural “toleration” really misses the point. Sophie Lancaster, the goth kicked to death, had facial piercings which I’m sure would have made a Victorian Maiden Aunt come over all queer. But… there is a hell of a difference between reaching for the smelling salts and stamping on someone’s head.

    Oh, and another thing. Can we please for the love of God finally bury the “There’s nothing for us kids to do round here” excuse. It’s got whiskers. When I lived in inner city Manchester (or London, Leeds, Nottingham…) there were hordes of things to do. Vastly more than my own commuter-belt childhood yet it was routinely trotted out.

    Mr Cowen,
    You are onto the right lines. Boxing is excellent. It is the absolute antithesis of a mob kicking a girl to death while she attempts to protect her boyfriend.

    JP,
    Ding on apprenticeships. I knew some right “characters” at school and the ones who got apprenticeships at 16 did… Well, rather well for themselves.

  • I’ve read this story before. Something about an orange clock.

  • guy herbert

    Rob Fisher is quite right,

    It’s very simple: The kids have nothing to fear, and some of them have realised this.

    Moreover, it is nothing so conscious, necessarily as realisation. They have fully internalised, from early childhood, a situation where no-one may lay a finger on them without being harshly punished by the authorities. The solution is a conservative one rather than a libertarian one: to severely clip the child-protection industry, to restore in loco parentis to schoolteachers, and to restore the presumption that a responsible adult’s word is normally to be preferred to that of a child.

  • guy herbert

    … oh, and wait 30 years.

  • Kevyn Bodman

    Nick M.
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
    I don’t live in the UK, but do my best to keep up to date with what’s happening there and it doesn’t look good.

    A close friend of mine put forward an idea today, before I knew about this thread, that was shocking to me.
    Shocking because he’s an honourable, compassionate man and a bit of a bleeding-heart, much as I would like to still think of myself.

    He wants to bring back the rope.

    He’s in his early 40s, benefitted from a liberal Arts education and would be called a sort of ‘progressive’ with approval by many.So, not a crusty old ‘Disgusted ,Tunbridge Wells.’

    The thinking behind it is; some people can’t be reformed, they can’t be reasoned with, they must be made afraid.
    So, for criminals like Harris and Herbert, and those who murdered Gary Newlove,, execute them.
    They won’t do it again and others will be made afraid.

    Harris and Herbert were too young as the law stands,;but it’s under 18s who are the problem and the law can be changed. Maybe? What might the EU say?

    It’s only a few hours since this idea was put in my mind, and if you’d told me a year ago that I’d even consider it I wouldn’t have believed it. Again this comment doesn’t arrive at the complete solution.

    Looking back I see it was also Nick M who put up the anecdote of the teenagers being barred from the last pub in the area. Astonishing, and not in a good way.

  • permanentexpat

    Guy writes:

    The solution is a conservative one rather than a libertarian one: to severely clip the child-protection industry, to restore in loco parentis to schoolteachers, and to restore the presumption that a responsible adult’s word is normally to be preferred to that of a child.

    Woweee!…although true, that’s a task Sysiphus would laugh at.
    Those of us who are old enough to remember will understand that this is part of a very much wider problem originating, like so much both very good & very bad, in the US of A.
    Frailty, thy name is woman…Gloria Steinem et al. to be precise, whose Feminist Movement immediately developed into the worst socially destructive scourge of our times, Political Correctness.
    It included ‘empowerment’, which is to say that anyone with an imagined/perceived grievance was, ipso facto, a victim in need of restitution & special, privileged treatment.
    This brilliant, suicidal idea was eagerly imported into the now Septic Isle which, being basically a socialist envy society, embraced it joyously & added as much nannyism as possible to its basic concept.
    The present unacceptable situation is the result.
    Civilized societies have always treated wo/men & kids with due respect. Uncivilized societies, of which we are clearly now one, have absolutely no idea.
    “as ye sow, so also shall ye weep”

  • Nick M

    Kevyn,
    No. It is not the rope. The rope is not needed. This is banal, simple common-place evil. These are spoiled brats. These are not criminals per se. These are kids who broke my wife’s nose for giggles and fits. They broke my rib for the same reason. I see no way to scare them. Put it this way, Harris and Herbert are going to have the key thrown away (well, at least as much as can be done for juveniles). I am a law-abiding citizen and I would go mental if I was banged-up for even a couple of months.

    Oh, I can imagine situations where I have had to resort to violence. Imagine? I’ve done it. But there was always a reason. I can imagine the justification of an armed robber shooting a security guard to get his paws on mucho moolah but kicking someone to death for a larf…

    I am not sympathizing with the armed robber but there is at least a motivation there. A motivation that makes sense in some way. Crime is not rational. It is almost invariably not the best use of one’s time and resources to better oneself. I have lived in a number of rented houses and I always asked the current tennants about burglaries. Once I was told that somebody had shinned up the drain-pipe and half-inched a bottle of Wash ‘n’ Go (why take two bottles into the shower?) from the bathroom. They called the fuzz. The fuzz said it happened all the time because because it’s just the dandiest thing to cook up heroin in.

    That is not firing on all cylinders. There was a shop just opposite, a Co-op, and it could have been vastly more easily lifted from there. This was quite a nice student house. It had four students all had laptops. The thief made off with a GBP 0.89 bottle of shampoo.

    This kind of criminality is not going to be deterred by any kind of cost/benefit analysis because it just doesn’t work like that. I mentioned my broken rib. I had a couple of cash cards on me. So did my wife. I even had a packet of cigarettes and a digital camera. At no point did these kids even attempt to extract those from me. One of them punched my wife in the nose. I saw the red-mist and took a brick in the chest for my pains. I was mad as hell because there was no point to their activities. They were not thinking “We can jump those two and make off with a few quid”.

    They were obnoxious brats who got a kick out of making a 5’1″ woman cry and me incandescent with rage. Ironically, in a way, the same kind of primal rage that they felt. Now we should have taken my wife’s broken nose and ran with it. They wouldn’t have chased far, they never do. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t because I was in a mood of utter outrage. I got a bust rib for my pains. It only hurt when I breathed which, alas, I had to do all the time.

    Afterwards, at the A&E, I reflected. I disengaged when they started throwing bricks. I did this because I knew that I could be blinded by a rock in the eye. I did this because I cared about myself and my girl. I was also throwing rocks, bricks, whatever… But ultimately I caved , and ran, because I cared more about the safety of me and the missus than about doing them (richly deserved) harm.

    I love Holmes stories. Holmes by and large tackled veritable Napoleans of crime. He tackled people with their eyes on the prize. He would have been stumped by the petty, pathetic, nihilism of the streets of this century. I could have killed one of those kids and I swear I wouldn’t have had a picosecond of remorse over it but I didn’t because getting my wife and myself to safety (and I’d only just bought that camera) were more important.

    And there lies the difference. I was a rational player. Provoked, yes. But that’s their game and they play it like pros. I withdrew when the game was not worth the candle. If I had persisted I would have been killed or seriously injured but at least a couple of them would have suffered the same fate. I didn’t because Nick M and gf were worth more than that.

    Essentially what I’m saying is that none of this violence is motivated rationally in any way shape or form. it therefore cannot be deterred rationally. At some level, probably subconsciously the underclass who do this hate themselves. They just don’t care for themselves.

    It is total nihilism. Hanging them won’t make the slightest difference. A clip round the ear… Well actually no. There’s no need even for that. It’s just enough for them to respect adults and therefore feel bad about their disapproval.

    Where the current government has got it wrong is the ASBO. Official condemnation simply doesn’t work. You have to feel it from your nearest and dearest and from Mr Jenkins down the road and Mrs Patel in the corner shop.

  • Dan

    Even the Yanks think we’ve lost it, this was last week’s cover article for Time magazine (I can’t locate the picture, dang!) If they think our streets are violent, we’re in deep shit.

    http://tinyurl.com/264zxy

  • Nick:

    Increasingly children are royal prisoners not interacting with adults beyond their families (or teachers, social workers etc.) and the result is the solipsism of kicking someone to death.

    Problem is, I doubt they have any meaningful interaction with their parents either. It all begins at home, the village just serves as reinforcement. Paul was right to mock Hillary. I absolutely agree with you about the rest.

  • Jerry

    My God !

    From the comments/articles here – what in the hell are
    the you going to DO about these animals.
    Let me pose a question so that I am not talking from a false premise.
    Is it true, that if I am attacked and do considerable damage to the attacker ( rendering him/her ‘inoperable’ for a while ) that I will be charged and possibly get locked up ??

    If so, you have one hell of problem on your hands and it isn’t just the ‘youths’ ( think government ). Also if this is true, the ‘youths’ KNOW IT and use it to their advantage !
    It’s GOT to change.

    Just something to think about –

    If I have to deal with rattlesnakes, I don’t care what their motivation or feelings are. ( Make no mistake, these youths are no better than rattlesnakes – will attack without any intentional provication, are quite capable of killing you, have no remorse for wounding/killing, and are plentiful in some areas – sound familiar ?)

    Now, my approach is to kill the dam* things FIRST when encountered.
    I don’t care if ‘the word gets out’ in the rattlesnake community that ‘that ugly old troll will KILL YOU’. I don’t care what its motivation is or much of anything about it but I DO KNOW that 1) this particular rattlesnake will never again threaten me and 2) most importantly, there is now ONE FEWER rattlesnake !!

    Unfrotunately, something similar is going to have to happen to, if not solve, at least reduce this problem.

    I don’t mean kill on sight, necessarily, but lock up for a LONG period of time if not ‘forever’, &/or kill if attacked without the worry of going to jail for defending yourself.

    Somebody(s) going to have to grow a pair and stop trying to be so dam* civilized about the whole affair.
    It’s NOT a civilized situation and it CANNOT be dealt with in that manner and expect any positive results.

    Finally, had that been MY daughter, if the litttle SOB’s weren’t in custody, what’s was left of them would have been found eventually, probably in pieces.

    Call it bravado, bluff, anything you want but I mean it.
    My daughter is probably the most precious thing in the world to me and if someone does her harm they WILL answer to me if AT ALL possible.

  • guy herbert

    A clip round the ear… Well actually no. There’s no need even for that. It’s just enough for them to respect adults and therefore feel bad about their disapproval.

    Precisely. Retaliation or arming the populace will make no difference to them because this is how they have been socialised to be. Some conception of ‘teaching them a lesson’ is stupidly futile because they have had a lifetime of lessons that they needn’t respect adults, and, on the contrary, that adults must respect them and avoid conflict with them. (Which is precisely what I did on the tube on Saturday evening when a group of four youths decided it was funny to spit paper balls through drinking straws at other passengers.)

  • llamas

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080328/NEWS/80328005

    Street punk with gun tries to rob pizza delivery man making honest living.

    Pizza delivery man shoots punk, disarms him, waits for police to arrive. Punk runs away – shot.

    Punk is arrested in hospital bed for armed robbery. Punk’s accomplice, also.

    Pizza delivery man, as yet, not arrested or charged with anything.

    This in Des Moines, IA, which is about as boring a community as you can find.

    There’s at least two sides to the question of how you discourage violent anti-social behaviour. Not only must the risk be made quite high for the violent attacker, but both victim and attacker must also know that the forces of justice will generally side with the innocent victim. In most parts of the US, a victim of a violent assault who defends him-herself is generally viewed very-favourably by the general public, and the assailant who comes off worse garners very little sympathy – the general response is ‘if you went to rob the man and instead you took a beating, or a bullet – well, don’t go to rob people’. Those are the mindsets, I submit, to which the UK public and criminal-justice system will need to return before this problem can get any better.

    llater,

    llamas

  • guy herbert

    (… which was by no means only straightforward fear – I have no wish to spend hours explaining myself at a police station, and on the national DNA database for life, as would inevitably follow a (highly likely, were one not to be badly injured in such circumstances) arrest on suspicion of assault.)

  • llamas

    Report from the front lines:

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/?storyID=4651

    llater,

    llamas

  • Midwesterner

    From Llamas link,

    A new police community beat manager, responsible for three villages including St Day, announced peace talks between residents and young people. The yobs demanded facilities – skate parks, street activities. Residents agreed, hoping they’d cease their onslaught, but the kids made no promises to stop the intimidation.

    Gee. Now there’s a plan that sure to succeed.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Until the courts are far more sympathetic to victims of such yobs, expect this to continue. I honestly do not see Britain become a nation where the ability to carry firearms will be allowed in my lifetime. My fear is that so many Britons are inept in handling guns, that in the short run we’d get quite a problem of domestic accidents, etc.

    At risk of provoking a lot of wrath around here, we need a “holistic” approach. Here’s a few ideas to throw at ye:

    Lock the bastards up after any offence of violence. Put them to work. Really hard, knackering work.

    Scrap any insane plan to keep bored teenagers in schools beyond the age of 16, or even younger. Remove red tape and cut taxes to encourage employers to take on apprentices in trades where the non-academic ones can quickly learn a useful skill and essentially, some valuable pride. When their buddies see their pals earning a living, it won’t be quite so cool to hang around street corners like a jerk.

    Legalise drugs. It will cut the price and wipe out a large slice of organised crime. It will also reduce the number of people jailed for victimless crimes. We’ll need those cells to jail others (see above).

    Reduce taxes. Take a whole swathe of lower earners out of the income tax code; abolish welfare for anyone of able bodied status who can work. Workfare was tried in the US, it worked.

    Encourage marriage, not by state handouts or special tax breaks – I want a flat, low tax – but by cutting taxes across the board. Get the state out of marriage entirely, but celebrate long-term unions, be they straight or gay. The crucial thing here is that any long-term, binding agreement between people who love each other is a plus for civil society and hence the environment in which kids grow up.

    Encourage sports and healthy objects of male aggression. Aggression is not a bad thing, so long as it is channelled. I think feminism, properly understood, is a great advance, but boys are boys, they need space to romp around as boys do. So we need to stop shutting sports grounds, discouraging rough and tumble games, avoidance of risk, etc. Charities should spend more time on our home turf, running sports clubs, etc. Boxing gyms – why the heck not?

    Remove other job-destroying regulations that discourage employers from taking a chance on hiring some youngster with few qualifications. Make it easier to sack people. The long-term benefits are that reputation, high personal conduct will become valuable personal assets in the labour market.

    Reform the police. Get the lazy fuckers out of their offices and back on the beat. They’ll get fit.

    Sentencing: any crime of violence gets jail time. Introduce proper restitution. Someone like me or Nick M should be paid damages, by the aggressor.

    Other, longer term issues are in the realms of culture, and the sort of material that we see on TV, film, etc. I honestly see no role for the state in this. However, and this is a crucial distinction, our so-called moral “guardians” like the Archbishop of Canterbury should spend less time taking it from behind from the Mullahs and more time reminding their flocks of the virtues of civility.

    And a very good evening to you all.

  • permanentexpat

    Isn’t it just wonderful to live in a country where you are literally afraid to protect yourself for fear of the law(?) which should protect you…but will not.not can not, but will not.

  • permanentexpat

    Jonathan & I have crossed swords in the past but I cannot do less than entirely agree with all that he said, ending with his evening greeting. First class.

  • permanentexpat

    ……….I’m also surprized (not) at the number of commenters and wives/friends who have been attacked. I am fortunate in not having had this experience. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that, although time has shrunk me a couple of inches, I was 6’4″ & built to boot in earlier days. Then again, we were a tad more civilized in those days & gratuitous aggression was frowned upon…and those stupid enough to call the peace into question learned the error of their ways from the local bobby who would give the offender a discrete belting.

  • llamas

    I agree with everything that Johnathan Pearce wrote except this part:

    ‘Reform the police. Get the lazy f*ckers out of their offices and back on the beat. They’ll get fit.’

    I think you’ll find that the average beat copper would love nothing more than to get out on the street and start sorting this out. They’re not sitting in the station for a lack of will – they’re sitting in the station doing paperwork and filling out forms and complying with the 101 political targets that have been imposed from them on high. The problem is not the police – the problem is the Home Office and the politicization of the police to suit party-political goals. It’s all task-forces and ‘addressing the needs of (insert favoured identity here) and ‘working in the community’ and all the rest of the PC claptrap. Let them get back to feeling collars and being (as the old term has it) ‘thieftakers’. Support them with a prosecution service that wants to put bad people behind bars and a judiciary that is willing to put them there. And build enough cells to take them.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Reform the police. Get the lazy fuckers out of their offices and back on the beat. They’ll get fit.

    I didn’t mention A Clockwork Orange flippantly. Already the police are the yobs. They are entering the workforce, and in a few years, there will be no police in Britain who weren’t (or aren’t still) yobs.

  • Nick M

    The crucial thing here is that any long-term, binding agreement between people who love each other is a plus for civil society and hence the environment in which kids grow up.

    Agreed JP. Absolutely. But… How one achieves that is the tricky bit. Civil society has to come first. Otherwise it doesn’t work. Within that context it’s bloody obvious. Otherwise… Well, I refer you to my comment on the pub in Leeds. There are things which are not illegal and in fact should not be illegal but they should be frowned upon and that frowning should be enough.

    It isn’t because some people don’t give a monkey’s.

    It is for me. It is for you. It isn’t for the parents of kids who have put themselves thoroughly beyond the pale of any definition of civil society.

    Let’s say I could have located the parents of the morons who broke my wife’s nose… They would have probably laughed their tits off at the incident, tousled the kid’s hair, and told me to “fuck off”. If that had been a child of mine they would have been grounded till Judgement Day at the very least.

    Guy,
    Your 6:06 put in a short paragraph exactly what I’ve spent several lengthy posts trying to say.
    But… This is because we were raised right.

    If a kid isn’t raised right (and Alisa is correct – the parents are the front-line) nothing on this planet will prevent them from becoming holy terrors.

    Mid,
    I wouldn’t mind a skate park round here but I’m not about to kick the shit out of anyone over it. I pity fools such as I.

    Jerry,
    Let me pose a question so that I am not talking from a false premise.
    Is it true, that if I am attacked and do considerable damage to the attacker ( rendering him/her ‘inoperable’ for a while ) that I will be charged and possibly get locked up ??

    That is about the size of it. You are allowed to use “reasonable force” for self-protection but that’s it. My understanding is that the onus is on you to prove it. They might have a rap sheet 8 miles long and you might have once overstayed on a parking meter for ten minutes but it will matter not a jot.

  • Midwesterner

    In the 25 years I have lived full time in Wisconsin, I have only once ever found myself in danger of an unprovoked* physical attack. And that was in gun controlled, self defense adverse, hard left wing Madison when a peace activist went ape shit at me during Gulf One went I dared attack Saddam Hussein’s character. (It would be funny if it wasn’t so startling.)

    Outside of Wisconsin, without one single exception, every time I have ever been under any physical threat it has happened in a ‘gun-free’ zone. But that said, I am sympathetic to Johnathan’s concern about guns in the hands of British citizens. People who have not grown up exposed to guns need to be introduced to them carefully. One need only watch Hollywood productions to see how most liberals (American usage) think guns are to be handled. Movie gun handling, which is probably what most Brits think is normal, is truly frightening.

    Also, I would have, had llamas not, pointed out that while there may be exceptions, all of the cops I know hate the office and would love nothing better than to do what they signed up for. But one caveat llamas, discontented street cops quit, the ones content to tick boxes stay on. I don’t know how long UK policing has been deteriorating, but they may be well on their way towards turning the force into a bunch of box-tickers. Or worse, as suggested by Phelps.

    *The reason I qualify the statement is that for several years I had a responsibility to interfere with trouble makers and some of them took offense to that. The drunk ones, usually.

  • the other rob

    Mid said: “But that said, I am sympathetic to Johnathan’s concern about guns in the hands of British citizens. People who have not grown up exposed to guns need to be introduced to them carefully.”

    I’m a Brit who is familiar with hand guns. They were still legal in the UK when I was a young adult. Since the law was changed to ensure that only criminals were allowed to possess them, I’ve tried to keep my hand in whenever I’m in the US. And I think my frequent comments about the lack of random, unprovoked violence in TX speak to my opinions.

    But I think that the problem in the UK is worse than stated above. It’s not just that we have a generation who are unfamiliar with weapons. It’s gone on longer than that and we now have a generation of parents, who, not having learned from their parents, will be unable to teach their children.

    Thinking about it, the problem is not restricted solely to weapons discipline either.

  • BladeDoc

    From Robert Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” (not the hideous movie)

    DUBOIS
    Never mind. Long enough. It means
    that such punishment is so unusual
    as to be significant, to deter, to
    instruct. Back to these young
    criminals—they certainly were not
    flogged for their crimes. The
    usual sequence was; for the first
    offence, a warning—a scolding,
    often without trial. After several
    offences, a sentence of
    confinement, but with the youngster
    placed on probation. A boy might
    be arrested many times and
    convicted several times before he
    was punished—and then it would
    merely be confinement, with others
    like him from whom he learned still
    more criminal habits. If he kept
    out of major trouble while
    confined, he could usually evade
    most of even that mild punishment,
    be given probation—”paroled” in
    the jargon of the times.
    This incredible sequence could go
    on for years while his crimes
    increased in frequency and
    viciousness, with no punishment
    whatever save rare dull-but-
    comfortable confinements. Then
    suddenly, usually by law on his
    eighteenth birthday, this so called
    “juvenile delinquent” becomes an
    adult criminal—and sometimes
    would up in only weeks or months in
    a death cell awaiting execution for
    murder.

    Dubois points at Rico.

    DUBOIS
    (Cont.)
    You—Suppose you merely scolded
    your puppy, never punished him, let
    him go on making messes in the
    house . . . and occasionally locked
    him up on an outbuilding but soon
    let him back into the house with a
    warning not to do it again. Then
    one day you notice that he is now a
    grown dog and Still not
    housebroken—whereupon you whip
    out a gun and shoot him dead.
    Comment, please?

    RICO
    Why . . . that’s the craziest way
    to raise a dog I ever heard of!

    DUBOIS
    I agree. Or a child. Whose fault
    would it be?

    RICO
    Uh . . . why, mine, I guess.

    DUBOIS
    Again, I agree. But I’m not
    guessing.

    On the plus side by eliminating the death penalty, you never have to feel bad about killing the antisocial dog.

  • tranio

    47 years ago I was driving a Walls Ice Cream wholesale delivery truck in Liverpool. A 10 or 11 year old boy threw a stone at my truck. I stopped and chased him as I was going to give him a good clip around the ear. He ran to his house and knocked on his front door.
    Just as I caught up with him his mother answered the door and asked what was happening. I said that he had thrown a stone at my truck, I was wearing a Walls coat.
    She said ‘Did he’ and immediately started giving him a bigger thumping than I would have given the kid.
    A very satisfactory outcome.

  • 47 years ago in Liverpool…I slowly learn stuff about people here:-)

  • Whilst a gibbet on every street corner is probably taking things too far,certainly one outside every off-license would be a start.

  • It is total nihilism. Hanging them won’t make the slightest difference.

    There’d be no repeat offenders. That’s something.

  • Sunfish

    Also, I would have, had llamas not, pointed out that while there may be exceptions, all of the cops I know hate the office and would love nothing better than to do what they signed up for. But one caveat llamas, discontented street cops quit, the ones content to tick boxes stay on. I don’t know how long UK policing has been deteriorating, but they may be well on their way towards turning the force into a bunch of box-tickers. Or worse, as suggested by Phelps.

    Phelps’ problem SHOULD be easy to avoid. God knows we discovered the answer here before I was born.

    Pre-hire background investigations. Right now, correct me if I’m wrong, but would-be police in the UK can be commissioned at 18 years old and are only subject to a PNC check, similar to a NCIC inquiry here. Worthless. A properly-run PD will have an exhaustive inquiry, enough so that my background investigator had spoken to every former romantic or sexual partner of mine, neighbors in every neighborhood I lived in from ten years old onwards (and that’s an investigator in CO having to travel three states east to do so), etc. It’s expensive and intrusive but it also can cut down on yobs in the ranks. (One large midwestern city, not going to name it but Hillary and Obama both come from there, has a problem with gang members as police. Mysteriously, this problem materialized about the time they gave up on proper background investigations. Hmmmm….)

    As for the morale problems of those actually interested in finding the bad guys and locking them up, as opposed to the ROADs and BONGOs[1]…no easy answers. I mean, I have an easy answer but it won’t happen. The easy answer is to simply fire the Home Secretary and all of the command ranks, and everyone else who cashes a paycheck but never leaves the office, and replace them with a bunch of actual working police, but that ain’t gonna happen this side of the Second Coming of Jesus.

    It doesn’t help that, in the UK he’d be a criminal.

    [1] Retired On Active Duty, and Books On, Never Goes Out.

  • renminbi

    Civilization is built on the blood and tears of barbarians. The mark of a civilzation is it doesn’t apologise for maintaining standards,and for inflicting whatever pain is necessary.
    Not only have your criminals been emboldened but so has your incompetent political class.They (politicians and “civil” servants) have learned they can do pretty much what they want. It isn’t power which corrupts, it is impunity.

    In NYC twenty years ago you heard all kinds of excuses for why crime couldn’t be stopped,but basically the bleeding hearts at the NYTimes and their followers didn’t want it to be stopped. Getting a mayor who was serious (Giuliani) made all the differance in the world. Police chiefs whose precincts had problems straightened it out or were fired. If crime here reverted to its previous level it would be the end for whoever presided over this mess, since the public expects better. Murder rate down 3/4 since 1993 and other crimes similarly.

  • Michael H

    I’m sorry to hear about all the violence in the UK. For sometime, I had been thinking that the UK greatly resembles the what was predicted in “A Clockwork Orange”. I recently reread it. It seems spot on. Alas.

  • Fat Man

    Rudy Giuliani is now available. New York is now one of the safest cities in the world. He has done it before, he can do it again.

  • Ernst Blofeld

    So the police are run from the national level by the Home Office? That sounds like a mistake.

    In the US police are generally accountable to local cities or, in the case of rural areas, the county sheriff. The state mandates some general requirements for becoming a cop, but the actual police departments are run by the local government. If a citizen is dissatisfied with the policing he goes and raises hell with the local city councilman or mayor, and if the local politico values his job he does something about it.

  • Welcome to the wonderful world of paganism!

    We’ve all been here before…it was called the Dark Ages. This is what being in a godless society is all about…bringing up savages.

    Enjoy it!

  • Nate

    I’m reminded of Terrence O. Moore’s essay Wimps and Barbarians(Link) (particularly the Barbarian part, in this context).

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I think you’ll find that the average beat copper would love nothing more than to get out on the street and start sorting this out.

    Possibly I was being a bit harsh on the coppers, but to be honest, it would be easier to make the case that police are all consciencious crime-fighters had there been a more concerted effort by them to resist the rising tide of red tape.

  • llamas

    Johnathan Pearce wrote:

    ‘Possibly I was being a bit harsh on the coppers, but to be honest, it would be easier to make the case that police are all consciencious crime-fighters had there been a more concerted effort by them to resist the rising tide of red tape.’

    I don’t think you understand. One thing that has remained steady in the UK police (and it’s a good thing) is that it has a paramilitary command structure and discipline. In other words, the contsable does, what the sergeant tells him, the sergeant does, what the inspector tells him, the inspector does, what the chief inspector tells him, and so forth. This fish rotted from the head down – the red tape was imposed from the top, not built from the bottom, and the working coppers have two choices – comply, or leave. Such vestiges of local command structure as remain have been entirely overwhelmed by the inexorable tide of central control from the Home Office.

    A lot choose to leave. I was just reading a story that some massive proportion – like 90% – of the new-hire coppers in the Canadian province of Alberta are fully-qualified UK coppers who have relocated there under some kind of rapid-entry scheme. One of them is the UK copper formerly known as David Copperfield, whose ‘Copper’s Blog’ and newspaper writings chronicled the decline of the UK police so vivdily. He’s a copper in Edmonton now.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Sarah

    I’m glad BladeDoc quoted that bit from Heinlein — I was wondering if I would have to do it.

    I have to say I’m pretty appalled by the number of people who claim to have been attacked just in this forum: I don’t think I heard of this many assaults in four long years of living on campus in an urban university environment; nearly every robbery or attack on campus makes headlines 75+ miles north of here, in the town I lived in during high school. Heck, they had time to do not just our attacks but two other major cities as well (in the town itself, all fights happened at bars and the police report — published once a week in the paper — mostly featured the occasional bicycle theft or speeding ticket.) The bar fights in the big cities don’t get mentioned, but anytime there’s more than one attacker or the victim is female or even just a stranger to the assailants, pretty much the whole state knows.

    What you all are describing honestly reminds me of the Detroit featured in RoboCop.

  • Chris

    The police cannot protect you. Our US Supreme Court has ruled that they have no obligation to protect either. Almost always, they arrive after-the-fact, to help prosecute a crime that has already been committed. “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”. If you’re lucky, they catch the punk, who then enters the criminal justice system, for what it is.

    So what is the solution? One word: Consequences.

    This can take two forms (short of repairing the broken family):
    1) A criminal justice system that effectively PUNISHES the perpetrators. Or…
    2) Citizens who are allowed to defend themselves. In many US states, when faced with violent force, citizens are allowed to take out their gun and shoot the bastard, without any obligation to retreat. Not surprisingly, those states tend to have the lowest levels of violent crime.

  • It doesn’t look like your government is doing its job in protecting you OR in allowing you to arm yourself for self-protection. Frankly, you guys could use a strong dose of revolution, and a Constitution with a Second Amendment (You’re perfectly welcome to borrow ours!). And concealed carry permits.

    “An armed society is a polite society.”

  • llamas

    While I’m a big fan of self-defence and the right of citizens to arm themselves for that purpose, I’m not so sure that that alone is the solution to the problems of ‘feral children’, as described.

    If it descends to the level of violent assault, sure – but that’s not the majority of the problems. These little monsters are creating havoc, not so much by simple violence, as by destroying other peoples’ quality of life – often in ways that appear so carefully and deviously devised that you can only wish that their energies were channelled more-effectively.

    Being noisy, loud, drunk, rude, littering, destroying property, and being nothing but an intolerable nuisance – these things all contribute to making peoples’ lives a misery, but really cannot be resolved by restoring the human right of self-defence. Enthusiaistic law enforcement along the lines of ‘broken window’ theory seems like it would do a lot more good.

    llater,

    llamas

  • boqueronman

    A lot of wind has been expended in these comments. The solution seems pretty simple to me. I had the dubious privilege of living in New York City during the early 1970s under Mayor John Lindsay, when it deservedly gained the reputation of being crime ridden and ungovernable. Sounds like urban Britain is entering this dark world. How was the problem solved? During Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration a new aggressive, policing policy known as the broken window theory was established. ALL crimes, no matter how seemingly trivial, were punished. There still exists a great deal of controversy about it, but it cannot be argued that its implementation coincided with a sharp drop in NYC crime rates. Such a public declaration and implementation, dare I say it, of a war against crime is necessary, even though probably insufficient by itself.

  • llamas

    Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons (for US readers, think House Majority Leader) tours her own South London constituency wearing body armour:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/01/nharman201.xml

    The money quote?

    ‘It’s almost like when you go to a meat factory they give you a hair net, or you wear a hard hat on a building site.’

    In other words, go out on the streets of Peckham, you need body armour, like you need a pair of shoes.

    It’s ironic because Harman has been a solid supporter of the exact sort of PC clap-trap that has led to the breakdown of families and the development of ‘feral children’. She has famously questioned the value of having fathers in families, and criticized stay-at-home mothers and the traditional family.

    llater,

    llamas

  • rkb

    Those of us who are old enough to remember will understand that this is part of a very much wider problem originating, like so much both very good & very bad, in the US of A.

    You’ve never heard, I take it, of Germaine Greer?

  • Meanwhile, back in the USA…

    (Third-graders plot to kill their teacher.)

  • Aglifter

    Simple, make those nihilistic attacks a form of suicide — immediate, and visual. In TX, you can also use lethal force in defense of property, and to stop “criminal mischief* at night.”

    The savages might not respond to much, but if the little vermin start dying for their mis-deeds, it will get around.

    *Criminal mischief can be much more serious than it sounds… (There’s a category for 300K+ in damage in the penal code… of course, it can also be smashing mailboxes… doesn’t matter. Properly raised Texans do not engage in such behavior, nor do we trespass, due to similar, severe consequences.

    The lack of self-defense is one of the, many, reasons why I won’t travel to western Europe anymore — I’d rather not have to risk my freedom and my right to be armed because I hit back…

  • permanentexpat

    rkb:

    Those of us who are old enough to remember will understand that this is part of a very much wider problem originating, like so much both very good & very bad, in the US of A.

    You’ve never heard, I take it, of Germaine Greer?

    Posted by rkb at April 1, 2008 06:23 PM

    I fear you take it wrongly…If you wish to equate Steinem with this stupid Aussie bitch that’s OK by me. You may, however, allow that ‘the movement’ had its origins in the US and was quickly taken up by those whose self-worth was/is seriously in doubt.
    As parthenogenesis is not, as yet, realized in homo sapiens(?) there may still be some use for you ;-))

  • How was the problem solved? During Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration a new aggressive, policing policy known as the broken window theory was established. ALL crimes, no matter how seemingly trivial, were punished.

    Crime was already falling before Giuliani took office, and crime fell everywhere in the country while Giuliani was in office. Correlation or causation? No one’s sure.

  • There is a 2000-pound elephant in the room that everyone has so far tiptoed around. Such delicacy will surely show the cut-throats who’s boss.

  • renminbi

    The drop in crime in NYC was much sharper than elsewhere.

  • Sunfish

    How was the problem solved? During Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration a new aggressive, policing policy known as the broken window theory was established. ALL crimes, no matter how seemingly trivial, were punished. There still exists a great deal of controversy about it, but it cannot be argued that its implementation coincided with a sharp drop in NYC crime rates. Such a public declaration and implementation, dare I say it, of a war against crime is necessary, even though probably insufficient by itself.

    You’re missing a few factors:

    1) NYPD, during Giuliani’s term, (and to be fair, Dinkins before him) was under intense pressure to cook the books. Homicides were recorded as “death investigations.” Trick rolls[1] were recorded as either “theft from the person” (a non-violent crime) or as “lost property” (not a crime at all). Burglaries were recorded as trespassing, etc.

    2) “Broken Windows” policing works where there’s meaningful sentencing and where it happens with relative speed. The UK does not have meaningful sentences for much of anything: Sentences for burglaries and robberies are measured in weeks or months (suspended), and people are routed into the UK version of deferral or probation that would never be considered for it here.

    3) Giuliani didn’t invent BW. William Bratton did. Giuliani mostly stood around and took credit for whatever happened. Not to defend Bratton: his invention of CompStat inspired the development of whole new methods of lying about statistics mentioned above.

    The short version is, reasonable people might disagree about whether the prospect of prison actually deters crime. A lot of offenders aren’t capable of the forethought necessary to think “if I kick this old man’s head in I’ll end up on the Isle of Wight or somewhere.” However, during their time inside, at least they’re not offending against the general public. Warehousing isn’t actually a solution, but it buys time to think of something else.

    [1] where someone patronizes a prostitute and is mugged by her pimp; a violent crime

  • Johnathan Pearce

    There is a 2000-pound elephant in the room that everyone has so far tiptoed around. Such delicacy will surely show the cut-throats who’s boss.

    Say what you mean. (If it is a reference to Islam, then perhaps you’d like to explain why crime rates, especially for violence, have been going up for far longer than the latest troubles.)

    Permanentexpat: I am not sure whether feminism, in the broadest sense anyway, has much to do with teenage male violence. It ought to be entirely possible to focus and channel healthy male aggression without demanding that women stay at home and don’t go to work, which is what some critics of feminism come close to implying.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    There is a 2000-pound elephant in the room that everyone has so far tiptoed around. Such delicacy will surely show the cut-throats who’s boss.

    Say what you mean. (If it is a reference to Islam, then perhaps you’d like to explain why crime rates, especially for violence, have been going up for far longer than the latest troubles.)

    Permanentexpat: I am not sure whether feminism, in the broadest sense anyway, has much to do with teenage male violence. It ought to be entirely possible to focus and channel healthy male aggression without demanding that women stay at home and don’t go to work, which is what some critics of feminism come close to implying.

  • Sunfish

    Johnathan Pearce:

    Say what you mean. (If it is a reference to Islam, then perhaps you’d like to explain why crime rates, especially for violence, have been going up for far longer than the latest troubles.)

    Not Islam. It’s a reference to something that had great power to inspire stupidity long before Islam was on the map, and specifically mentioned in the “You’ve been smited” message.

    Clicking on his name, then on his profile, then on some of his other blogs, is everything you need in order to discount him as a moron.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Sunfish, thanks.

  • permanentexpat

    Permanentexpat: I am not sure whether feminism, in the broadest sense anyway, has much to do with teenage male violence.

    Did I say that, Johnathan?
    I suggested that our current Nemesis, Political Correctness, was a logical spin-off…or extension of the feminist movement.

  • There is a 2000-pound elephant in the room that everyone has so far tiptoed around. Such delicacy will surely show the cut-throats who’s boss.

    Yup, we need to ban elephants. Those bastards, with their tusks and floppy ears…

  • Midwesterner

    Johnathan,

    I am not sure whether feminism, in the broadest sense anyway, has much to do with teenage male violence.

    But it actually may. The role of males in families in that economic stratum has been eradicated by the state under the name of ‘protecting women’. ‘Useless’ males who have no role in society are hardly likely to respect it.

  • RRS

    These comments about the U.K. police seem to indicate one thing: It is NOT a deficiency of the police, but rather a lack of broad enough public concern with the conditions.

    It seems easier for most to be concerned with looking for and offsetting the causes of the conditions, rather than facing and changing them directly.

    Hence the suggestion that those who are concerned enough work at that facing through organizing Counter Gangs to engage this enemy of basic freedoms directly on the streets – take back the streets.

    It may even be necessary to “sponsor” those corrective organizations – much the same as private security is used. But, if there is the will by a sufficient number (even if it is not of the general populace), it can be done.

  • I concur with BladeDoc. If you want to read the whole excerpt from Starship Troopers, I have it here.

    The problem begins with young children. The fix begins there too. The difficult thing is accepting that, after a certain point, the victims of their anti-social training cannot be “corrected.” They can’t be “fixed.” All you can do to protect society, really, is remove them from it. There aren’t enough psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors available. Nor are there enough prisons to house them all. It’s been going on for too long.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    ‘Useless’ males who have no role in society are hardly likely to respect it.

    Mid, and the solution to that situation is what? I gave a few vague ideas, such as encouraging apprenticeships.

    permanent expat: it is too easy to blame PC – assuming one can define political correctness coherently anyway – on feminism. I tend to blame PC culture on a broader mix of factors, including post-modernism and the fact that when socialists lost the economic argument, they resorted to culture as the battleground instead (arguably, far more successfully).

    Giving women the democratic vote, for example, or letting them pursue careers and break away from traditional roles, etc, does not strike me as having much to do with political correctness. Feminism, at its best, is about individual liberty, whereas PC culture is profoundly illiberal.

    What does, I think, matter is how radical feminists have embraced the whole anti-risk culture which tends to be particularly hard on boys, who actually need to be able to enjoy their boisterous natures without feeling ashamed or frightened.

    I noted some time ago the cultural significance of the huge popularity of The Dangerous Book For Boys as an example of how parents wish their sons could be less mollycoddled.

  • permanentexpat

    permanent expat: it is too easy to blame PC etc.

    says Johnathan.

    I may have painted with slightly too broad (no pun) a brush, leaving cleverer folk than me to join the dots together.
    The feminist movement was, in my opinion (really) a good idea…it rightly identified women as victims. Its fault was that it concentrated on already highly empowered women in the US, whereas the real problem then & today lies (mostly) outside the confines of our cosy, privileged western society…no need to elaborate.
    Its effect was almost immediate & pretty successful…so much so that other ‘victim’ groups were all too eager to jump on the bandwagon…again, no need to elaborate as these groups are well-known.
    Again success…with the predictable consequence that anybody could claim ‘victimhood’ and demand special treatment, preferential quotas etc. That this should snowball into the PC monument we endure today comes as no surprize. The paradox is that those who did not consider themselves as ‘victims’, now most assuredly are…again, no need to elaborate.
    Thus it is that I ascribed the seeds of our downfall to the birth of the feminist movement. ‘Unintended consequences’ is, I believe, the expression

  • The problem is not with feminism in itself, but with the affirmative action type policies that followed. Women should be equal to men before the law, but not “more equal”. So the unintended consequences are not of feminism itself, but of (surprise) politicians messing with it. It is similar to what happened to the original blacks’ civil rights movement.

  • Joe Doakes

    Reading the comments nearly makes me cry.

    I was an English Lit major in college and lived in Clapham for a month in the early 1980′s as a student. It was the happiest time of my life – seeing the sights, visiting the places I’d read about, walking the ground trod by giants. My favorite day was retracing Bob Cratchit’s walk home from Scrooge’s counting house (as best I could).

    Day or night, I felt completely safe riding the Number 88 double-decker bus back to our student lodgings.

    Now that I’m a short, fat middle-aged white guy who wears Yank clothes, I doubt it would be sane to return to my old stomping grounds, much less bring the wife, kids and grandkids.

    There’s something indescribeably sad about knowing that.

    Joe Doakes, Como Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota USA

  • Sunfish

    These comments about the U.K. police seem to indicate one thing: It is NOT a deficiency of the police, but rather a lack of broad enough public concern with the conditions.

    Yes and no. “The Police” may or may not be deficient (see my comments above) but the criminal justice system is clearly not up to the task. As you note, at heart a lack of public concern is the problem. However, the UK system doesn’t really leave room for public involvement to change things: the only public who really have the power to force an incompetent or lazy chief out are the voting public in the Home Secretary’s borough. From what I gather, the same problem applies to the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts. IMHO, a true independent judiciary would be a huge step forward, but I digress and I’m not sure how much it’s my place to say so from the other side of the ocean.

    Hence the suggestion that those who are concerned enough work at that facing through organizing Counter Gangs to engage this enemy of basic freedoms directly on the streets – take back the streets.

    New York had the same thing happen in the 1980′s, with the formation of the Guardian Angels. P.J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores gives an interesting account of an afternoon spent with the Angels.

  • llamas

    Sunfish wrote:

    ‘New York had the same thing happen in the 1980′s, with the formation of the Guardian Angels. P.J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores gives an interesting account of an afternoon spent with the Angels.’

    It does indeed. And the money quotes from that account, for UK readers at least, may be when he discusses with the residents of a ghastly public-housing hellhole the possibilities that there might be in privatizing their homes and taking steps to toss out ther gangbangers and drug dealers who make their lives a living purgatory. These measures were being proposed by then-HUD secretray Jack Kemp. The exact response – ‘I’m not going for any of that’. These folks were so conditioned to believe that public housing and public safety (as then practiced) were their only choices that they would sooner stay in their floating hells then explore alternatives.

    The same, I think, would be true in the UK when it comes to significant responses to crime of all sorts. The population has been so conditioned to believe that crime is going down (after all, the Home Secretary says it is), that crime elsewhere (and specifically the US) is far, far worse (it isn’t), that The British Police Are The Best In The World (small prize for identifying that one) and that any other approaches to securing public safety will lead to running gun battles in the streets as roving bands of vigilantes lay waste to Woking, that any suggestions along those lines will elicit the same response – ‘I’m not ‘aving that!’.

    Bear in mind also that quite a large number of Britons – voters – are actually perfectly happy with the idea that law enforcement is sparse and ineffective. This state of affairs allows them to resolve what they see as important issues within their communities and without outside intervention, continue to practice their cultural traditions unmolested (it is estimated that several thousands of Asian girls simply disappear from/in the UK each year, in furtherance of their cultural traditions), and live lives filled with petty crime virtually unmolested.

    llater,

    llamas

  • RRS

    In the now almost 40 years of direct exposures (working there) homogeniety of British civil society has become what chefs would call a “reduction.”

    It is a reduction existing in the accomodations afforded by Legislation to other individual predilections both foreign and domestic in origins.

    Legislation has replaced the “rules” and order of the hard won but naturally evolved civil society that produced Common Law and Equity. In the period since 1918, the objectives of Legislation have been determined by factors not congruent with the preservation of civil society; and, the general electorate of Britain (as well as in the U.s.) [in part by the expansion of the electorate] have lost control of Legislation through complacency or to advance self-interests.

    To restore the personal safety elements of civil society will likely require direct conflicts with Legislation and the resultant risks of penalties will have to be taken to restore the personal safety aspects of civil society.

    Legislation is not Law. Conflicts with Legislation to achieve some degree of restoration of the proven personal values of civil society is not “breaking the Law.”

    Take back the streets by forming and sustaining groups who will restore that necessary part of civil society. The Queen in Parliament can only generate more Legislation not likely to be any more conducive to civil society than what it has excreted in the past.