Another load of tosh this morning from some well-meaning pillock on the BBC. Apparently, when questioned, over 50% of those convicted of mugging said that they did it not for money or mobile phones, but for the fun of it.
The ‘expert’ conclusion – we need to find a way to keep these offenders amused in other ways.
I really despair of such stupid, mindless, and pathetic ‘experts’. Were they never young? Were they never bad? People who break things or break rules often do it for the sheer hell of it. It IS fun to break things. It IS fun to break rules. We all know this as children.
Offering muggers a place to go and play pool or skateboard is never going to stop them mugging people. This kind of nonsense argument should be laughed out of the debate. We all obey rules out of fear of the consequences for doing otherwise. We also obey rules once we appreciate that doing so improves the living conditions of all members of society. If there are no consequences, we have nothing to fear and no sense of solidarity, empathy, or belonging.
As I see it, the liberal ‘experts’ have had their way too long. You only have to see the results obtained by the excellent series ‘Bad Lads’ Army’ to see what a spell of something along the lines of national service could do for a lot of people. Yes, I can hear the derisive cries, stuffy and mocking Colonel Blimp impressions, and accusations of not understanding the poor little souls’ problems, but frankly, giving troublemakers a sense of purpose, an esprit de corps, and a feeling of pride in what they can achieve under a strict regime has demonstrably proven more effective than attempts in recent years to curtail increasing problems of anti-social behaviour.
Liberals – open your eyes!
Mobile phones are now going to be made in two parts.
A small RFID Tag gets injected under the user’s skin (a simple operation done at any mobile phone shop).
When your mobile phone goes more than 3 metres from the RFID Tag is is paired with, it will explode.
This stops people snatching phones more than twice (once with each arm).
It also has the advantage of training people to keep their mobile phone with them instead of leaving it on their desk at work and wandering off…
Re: The solution
Yeah, that’d work! Stupid mobile phone leaving on desk… (mumble, mumble…)
Actually “liberal” reform programmes have a very good record of success. For the very same reasons that Bad Lads Army does, programmes that give youths attention, structure and a place they can usefully acheive something work.
The notion that Liberal approaches have had their way is utter arse. Liberal approaches have not failed; they’ve not been tried. Liberals have long pushed for investment in these areas, this hasn’t happened. Instead we’ve seen the poorer areas of our cities spiral downwards while enforcement has been weak and sporadic.
Sorry, but whilst that conclusion may be true academically or statistically, the fact that living standards are far and a way higher than they were fifty years ago or even twenty years ago, people have far greater opportunities than they did then and much greater class mobility, but most of us have far more common experience of anti-social behaviour in recent years strongly suggests that something is badly wrong.
I don’t accept that anyone is worse off now than they people were during the 1920s, when many people wondered where their next meal would come from: not their next fix.
What has changed? Well, when I was at school a mere twenty years ago, telling a teacher to f*** off would have at the very least got you suspended – and I went to a bog-standard comprehensive. When I trained as a teacher, such behaviour was, if not a daily, then certainly a weekly occurence and there were NO consequences. As a teacher, I was told that sarcasm or fear was unacceptable in the classroom. In contrast, these very things were used to great effect by teachers when I was at school to put cocky kids in their place and ensure that such kids didn’t get any credibility for insulting teachers. You know what? It worked and outside school, kids will encounter sarcasm and will have to expeience fear. I have experienced both liberal and disciplinarean approaches in school and I know absolutely which one works. I also know that this applies in society at any scale.
Discipline and rule of law absolutely has to come before liberty. The latter without the former is anarchy. Paddy Ashdown (hardly an illiberal person) conveys this very well in his diaries.
Getting back to the original subject, we all know that the bad behaviour of most children is not down to poverty, otherwise we would have the ‘chav’ phenomenon all around the world in far poorer countries or it would have been prevalent in this country during the austere years of the first half of the twentieth century. I knew kids from very privilged backgrounds who were ‘bad eggs’, because it was fun to get away with what you could. Show weakness in the face of such attitudes and they will laugh in your face, or if not in your face then certainly behind your back. I know, because I was like that too as a child!
We all know that the best teachers were the strictest ones: the worst were the ones who couldn’t control a class and more importantly, the ones who children didn’t fear. Children need boundaries from a very young age. In recent decades, these boundaries have fallen. I don’t need any academic research to confirm or dispute this – I live it and see it every day.
You’ll understand my anger when the situation seems to be getting progressively worse (I’m not talking media coverage here, but personal experience) and all I hear from the media is how we can best embrace these poor little souls. Convicted criminals tell us that they mug people for fun and we STILL look for deeper reasons. Whilst my views may be considered ‘old-fashioned’ or simple, it doesn’t make them wrong.
We should listen to some of the older generation who have experienced far more social change than any academic ever could through reading other peoples’ opinions and paraphrasing them in research papers. My impression is that the liberal experiment since the 1960s (whilst valid on many levels) has indeed categorically failed. Granted, that is my impression, but my own experience will always hold out to be more valid than any media reports.