Anyway, I thought I'd re-post something I wrote last year when the stories coming from the British press were getting too much for me to take. I apologise for the language. I was a little angry when I wrote it.
I'm a regular visitor to the BBC News website and, let me tell you, that is how you make a website. Quick, easy to navigate, thorough, impartial, informative...and utterly depressing. A standard visit to the
There is, undoubtedly, some Daily Mail-style scare-mongering going on here. A brief glance within the pages of that racist, stuck-in-the-40's, wasn't-Diana-wonderful, right-wing pamphlet of hate would suggest that you can't leave your house without bumping into two young, working-class boys duelling with steak knives. Now, granted, I've been out of the country for some time, but I'm assured things aren't quite that bad. You can't argue with the figures though.
And the scary part of all this is it's almost understandable why the kids are arming themselves in this way. If I found myself wandering the streets of an inner-city council estate because my benefit-grabbing mother was too busy raising the 6 other pay cheques she'd dropped since I was born to keep me entertained then I'd probably carry a knife too. Because you can be damn sure that the other group of lads has got one and what am I going to do? Not defend myself??
I didn't have a knife as a child. I never saw anyone with one and I never knew someone - or even knew someone who knew someone - who carried one. Now we are told that that there are 400 victims of knife crime a week. Whilst we must take these statistics with a huge pinch of salt, it can't be disputed that young people in
It's my own personal opinion that the youth of
We live in a culture of anger and hatred and this is perpetuated by a media which has to be held responsible. We always have to be angry about something. Whether it's Russell Brand leaving a slightly lewd voicemail on the 'phone of some old actor that nobody cared for previously, or the Baby P scandal which, whilst tragic and terrible - truly awful - was just another example of child abuse which just so happened to receive more coverage than any of the others did that week. If we keep allowing our kids to feel this anger towards people and happenings, then can we really be surprised when this anger manifests in violence? Just today, one of the people on my facebook joined a group called 'Dem ppl who caused dem fires dat killed da orse shud be torchered n burned'.
What? Is that a fucking joke? Are you serious right now? 'dat killed da orse'? And are you seriously advocating that some arsonists that killed a horse should be burnt at the stake like Joan of Arc? Let's castrate rapists as well shall we? And while we're at it, let's cut the hands off thieves. And stone adulterers to death. Oh wait, hold on, now we're
The Government has a responsibility to promote positive ideals and alternative resolutions to conflict. We need to elect a leader who will set an example. Invading a country and leaving thousands of people dead in order to pillage its most saleable asset and, in the process, lying to your people about the reasons for committing these atrocities is not sending out the right message. Why would a young lad think twice about stabbing some lad for his 'phone when his Government is capable of such appalling behaviour?
We need to rebuild the moral fabric of our society and move away from this obsession we have with celebrity culture, the get-rich-quick, the material fantasy. We need to find aspirations that are less transient, more attainable. Peace, love, unity, friends, family, happiness...these are the things that will keep the knives in the kitchen drawer. If we can demonstrate this to our young people, then perhaps we could lead them in a more positive direction where they can achieve the best that they possibly can in life. And this doesn’t mean being the most successful businessman, or having the biggest house. This means building a happy home, a family, leaving a legacy - no matter how big or how small.
These people have been lost in a world where reality TV 'stars' take the front page while lost soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are hidden in corners on page 6. No wonder the line between right and wrong has become blurred.Peace and love,