In a timely tribute to the Wire Series 4, which is supposed to be shown on an obscure satellite channel from tonight – although I can’t find it – Britain has decided to model itself on Baltimore’s East side. Teenagers shooting or stabbing each other has become a staple item of every day’s news. Today, the police announced a new task force after three teenagers in South London have been shot within a few weeks.
There have been too many reports about the the horror of British childhood recently to ignore them all.
Britain was bottom of a UNICEF league table of European children’s well being. The Netherlands came top. Anyone who has been in the Netherlands and the UK will probably agree to the truth of this. Walk round most English housing estates and you’ll see enough semi-feral children to make you fear for the future.
There could be an infinite number of blogposts about the reasons for the difference, although my favoured one is that adults in the top-ranked countries often actually treat their kids with respect and talk to them and spend time with them…
The BBC quotes Paul Vangeert, a Dutch psychology professor:
Much of this, he says, comes from the relationship that Dutch parents have with their children. And, from the fact that less pressure is put on them at school.,,,,One of the strong points of the Dutch family, he says, is that it is very open and communicative. Relations are generally good between parents and children and they can talk about almost anything.
This analysis seems like pure common sense to me but it fits very badly with the current child-rearing fashions. There are any number of TV programmes (SuperNanny, etc) to tell us that acting towards our offspring as if we are paid dogtrainers will work wonders.
Just in case you doubt the truth of the survey result, there is a story so repellent and sadly all too imaginable that it makes you start thinking there must be a missing link species living in the UK. In case you ever wondered about the home lives of the type of people who go to watch cage-fighting shows or illegal dog-fighting, here they are. And these are females. This is a story to make you reach for the culling apparatus.
Four Devon women goaded a boy and girl toddler to fight and filmed the result. (That’s only a link to the BBC story, not the film.) Some quotes:
The boy, aged two, is seen crying after being punched in the face by the three-year-old girl and is told by one of the four women in the room “not to be a wimp or a faggot” and to hit her back.
The court heard that when interviewed by police, one of the women said: “I didn’t see any harm in toughening them up. I done the same with my own children.”
(The kids are now in care. Which doesn’t really inspire much confidence that they’ll end up any better off, the care system being well known for turning out stable and balanced human beings… )
The whole thing makes you wonder about how many more of these gangrenous morons there are. Well, listen to this, from the police Detective Sergeant :
“Locally this is something that is new to us, but we are aware that similar incidents have occurred elsewhere in the country and it is something people need to be aware of.”
PS. If you don’t know the UK, Devon is almost as far from inner-city squalor as you can get. It’s mainly rural and one of the most popular holiday destinations for the few English people who still take holidays in England.