Monday, 21 July 2008


Fixing Planet Earth


An endless tide. A never ending stream of violence gushing forth from the streets of Britain. A torrent of the young, armed to the teeth with blades of steel, lunging towards the unprotected, naive people and their values of British society. The children. The children are killing children. One stabbing. Two stabbings. Three stabbings. Murder after murder. Child after child. Teenagers murdering teenagers in a lawless gangland that is engulfing our streets and our lives. Politics is to blame. The break down of the family is to blame. Economics are to blame. Social injustice, the absence of religious morals, no police, political correctness, a lack of discipline, the death of respect. Our society is being torn apart by its future. Adults afraid of children. Gangs of youths that maraud the streets, hunting, sensing, smelling for their next senseless victim in their crime wave of hatred. The streets are no place to feel safe anymore. Adults across the country cower in fear of their own shadow. No one – no one – is safe. Britain is under attack from within.

And the bullshit goes on.

This country, this green and pleasant land, is allegedly under attack. Day after day, we are informed of the never ending violence that is seen on our streets. We’re told we are in the midst of a knife crime ‘epidemic’ – some sort of incurable disease that is taking control of our society. And at the centre of this infinite human drama are children. Teenagers specifically. Children are apparently out of control, they have lost respect, they have lost interest and they are turning on decent civilised folk. Knives have apparently killed nineteen young people this year, and every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to have a solution. Right wingers are calling for greater police presence, tougher prison sentences and a refusal to tolerate this abominable behaviour. They blame the media, single parents and divorce, the lack of religious morality in public life, the rise of atheism, unchecked freedom of speech. And the Government. Left wingers blame economics, the class divide, the fact that no one is willing to listen to and take the time to get to know the struggles of these young people. And the Government.

Both have valid points, but both are wrong.

You see, there is no simple, one note solution to this problem, and let me demonstrate why. Firstly, let’s take the left wing approach. One of the most common arguments is that this crime is spiralling out from a massive class divide, that the wealth of the country is making the poor ever poorer and the rich ever richer. That no one listens to the people on the council estates, and that if we would stop to address the economic unfairness in this country then the sun will shine, the birds will sing, all will be right with the world and the problem will solve itself.

It’s a lovely image, but as you can probably tell, it’s one that I think is more than a little silly, not thought through properly and deserves to be treated with contempt. You may disagree with me, so let me deflate your bubble by asking you this; twenty years ago, were the poor not just as poor, in many cases poorer than they are now? Yes they were. So why was there no “knife crime epidemic” then? Fifty years ago, when the majority of the population was still living in the grip of rationing, the country was economically crippled and its infrastructure bombed to pieces, was there a ‘knife crime epidemic’ then? There was not. Similarly, we do not see the economically disadvantaged in France or Germany or America creating a ‘knife crime epidemic’ in their own back yards do we? This is simple, conclusive proof that the argument doesn’t work. It’s an out, an excuse. A way for the liberals that hated Thatcher to be able to excuse the criminals in our midst from their actions and shift the blame onto politicians. It’s failed logic.

Listening to young people is also not an answer here. Why? Because throughout the entirety of human history, particularly in the west, we have not listened to our young people. If you want an example of how adults have never understood the way the young think, look at the cultural and sexual revolution of the 1960s. No knife crime there, at a time when the established generation of the early twentieth century was convinced that society was preparing to collapse. Didn’t happen did it? Why? Because young people became old people. The people that didn’t want or need to be ‘understood’ matured. Many of them are now terrified of the new plague of disaffected youth that now meanders through our society in hoodies, skinny jeans or tracksuits. There is nothing to fear, really, it’s just kids being kids. The ones with knives are carrying them for a very different reason to being misunderstood.

On the flipside of the argument you have right wingers stating that the only way to deal with this problem is to impose strict, unwavering, merciless justice onto those young people that break the law. The Blair-in-waiting, Conservative leader David Cameron, even went so far to say that any young person caught carrying a knife should be jailed. This is not a solution. Firstly our prisons are overcrowded and overstretched. Throwing children in jail for carrying knives – many of whom do so for protection, not attack – is not a solution. If anything, that will compound the problem, because once a person goes into jail, they are often stuck in a vicious cycle of repetition that they cannot be broken out of (there is a simple solution to this; stop furnishing jails like a three star hotel and make the jail time so awful that no one would ever dare reoffend. Tough, and very anti-liberal, but I guarantee you it would work).

Similarly, the problem that we face is not the fault of Gordon Brown. There is a degree of blame that can be lumped at the feet of the Labour Party, mainly for their terrible social experiment of living in a world where no child is ever penalised for anything and is protected from birth to maturity. The blame is never put at the foot of the child, the child is never wrong, and rather the responsibility for their actions is placed elsewhere. In this case, at the feet of these politicians. This is one of the fundamental causes of this problem, but not in the way I have just illustrated.

So I feel that while a portion of the blame should be put on the steps of Labour HQ (not on the steps of 10 Downing Street though, as a Prime Minister is leader of a party elected to govern this country, not a President responsible for running things alone) a massive steaming chunk of blame should be placed on the doorsteps of the men and women that have created this climate of fear in our country, those who are running rampant and unchecked across British society, telling people what to think and why to think it. It should be placed on the doorsteps of Fleet Street, and the blame squarely on the shoulders of the mass news media.

Yes, I feel that the news media is one of the key factors that has contributed to this alleged epidemic. They are not out stabbing people, but they are the ones demonizing these children and making grown men and women afraid of walking their own streets at night. Allow me, briefly, to illustrate a couple of points. Firstly, the use of this word ‘epidemic’, a medical term that is meant to describe a disease that infects the human population at a substantially above average rate. This knife crime business, looked at it through those eyes, is not a epidemic. Especially when looking at the actual figures: “19 young people killed by knives this year”.

19 dead kids is not a lot.

It’s the middle of July. In seven months, 19 young people have been killed by knives. Now, in the same time, how many young people have been raped, or killed in car accidents, or suffered from abusive parents, or committed suicide? How many of them have died by choking, or electrocuting themselves, or cancer, or even asphyxiating themselves while masturbating (a of the leading causes of death amongst teenage boys; Google erotic asphyxiation). 19 ‘young people’ is not a comparatively high number. The reason that this 19 are getting so much coverage instead of rape victims, the homeless, world affairs or whatever else, is because the knife crime ‘epidemic’ is the media’s current pet project. It’s their momentary baby which they know will drive up sales of their publications. Like Madeline McCann was last year. Remember her? How do the media know that these certain pet projects will drive their sales? Because they created them! They talk about nothing but this certain issue, and ram it down our throats until it is the only thing many people can think of when it comes to current affairs.

Also, let’s look at the language that they’re using here. It gives away a lot about the problem we face. ’19 young people have been killed by knives this year.’ We’ve dealt with the number - the figure - but let’s look at the rest of the sentence; ‘Young people’. Makes them sound so innocent doesn’t it? Makes them sound so fresh faced and youthful, almost like they could be your own child. But these people, while young in age alone, are far from innocent. All bar two or three of these ‘young people’ who have been killed were gang members already involved in crime. That kid that got stabbed on Oxford Street in broad daylight? That ‘unprovoked murder’? He was about to be, or had been, (my memory fails me) convicted of rape. He’s no innocent. He’s no ‘young person’. He’s no kid. So this term ‘young people’ should be reclassified. And the few that have been murdered for no reason at all – the real tragedies - can join the same list of other dreadfully unfortunate people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and encountered a murderous psychopath.

The term I have a problem is this one ‘killed by knives’. Did the knife just leap off the ground and drive itself into someone else’s chest? Did it maliciously spring from someone’s pocket into another persons neck? I don’t think so. These knives are held, gripped tightly, in the hands of another human being. Knives didn’t kill anybody. A gang member killed another gang member. It’s people – these ones all reaching the age of maturity, but still at a time in their lives when consequence means little – killing people.

So let’s reclassify this phrase, this talking point that the media uses. Let’s make it speak the truth:
‘15 gang members stabbed to death by 15 other gang members who they probably would have killed themselves, and 4 unlucky teenagers that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when they encountered a murderer.’
Sounds a whole lot different now doesn’t it? Tells a different kind of story. The soft, anomalous language has been removed and the blame has been placed squarely at the feet of these child criminals.

And there’s the other problem. Blame. Responsibility. I mentioned it earlier. It is not the politicians that need to be blamed heavily. It is not even the children (though they must be forced to face up to their actions). Children don’t raise themselves. It is the parents. The parents that are sat on their backsides at home while their children are out killing other children. The parents that let their nine year old kids play the 18 rated Grand Theft Auto IV, where you are encouraged to buy and murder prostitutes and police men. The parents that let their 8 year olds watch ‘Get Rich Or Die Trying’ and then listen to their dad and his friends laugh about how cool it was when 50 Cent blew a guy’s head off. The parents that refuse to take responsibility for their actions. The parents who didn’t wear a condom, didn’t plan things properly or who were just too damn lazy to pull out and cum on the back seat of their Ford Escort.

These are the people that have help create this ‘epidemic’. These people who breed like cockroaches, and then let a media that has lost all semblance of responsibility, that has turned a nation of once smart people into celebrity obsessed, fat tubs of lard (mentally as much as physically) that couldn’t find their ass with both hands and refuse to accept any blame or any responsibility for what they’ve created, raise their children. The teacher that tells them that their kid is a delinquent and that they have to do something about it isn’t listened to; they’re punched in the mouth. The other parent that complains to them about their children bullying other children is flipped off. And the Government that tries to stop their kids from chain smoking and binge drinking is ridiculed for “interfering”. The Government tries to impose stricter laws of discipline in schools, parents like this begin complaining that it’s upsetting their kids. Because it’s easier to ignore and placate children than it is to actually raise them properly. And a child can’t be blamed for having no concept of respect for life or laws when a parent has never taught it what the word means.

And who champions their causes? The media. The media that creates these perceived crises and celebrates their lazy work ethic. The media that hounds public figures and creates ‘celebrities’ out of vacuous morons whose only talent is being able to swear at the same time as removing their clothes. The media knows that these parents will eagerly consume their coverage of whatever Amy Winehouse is doing, while the other adults that read their paper grow ever more terrified of being stabbed in the street by child soldiers.

Prisons do need reforming. Economic and social divides need to be addressed. But blame needs to start falling at the feet of those that need to be blamed. Responsibility – personal responsibility – needs to start being demanded from both people and press. The media’s job is to report news, not sensationalise or create it. The parent’s job is to parent, not let a child raise itself. And if you can’t take responsibility for yourself, and do the job you chose to do, then maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore.

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