Blair, please shut up and listen…

Thursday, 12th April 2007 at 9:00 UTC 1 comment

Once again I’m left wondering if young people today are the new scapegoat group in society. Blair wants to crack down on gun crime through initiatives that will only send the wrong messages. In a week where we’ve been told that children abuse their teachers and bully them online, its starting to feel like everyone under the age of 25 is somehow part of a terrible conspiracy to destroy the world. If this goes on, maybe I’ll conclude that ‘young’ is the new ‘Jewish’.

Suddenly we have to go tell young people how to behave. We’ve even had announcements of a new 3R’s: rules, responsibility and respect. As if rules are going to do anything. As the Commission for Racial Equality points out in rebuttal to Blair’s announcement mentioned above, more must be done to make young people, especially from ethnic minority communities feel welcome in society.

Perhaps the only respite has been the announcement that more should be done to help African-Caribbean boys succeed in School. Maybe more needs to be done to help them communicate with the pen rather than the knife and gun. I’m reminded of the film “Bowling for Columbine”, of the interview with a certain despised figure of popular culture, Marilyn Manson. Rather than come out fighting with all this rhetoric about stamping down on young people, rather than telling young people how to live their lives, the government and all of ‘mainstream’ society should do what Manson suggests:

“I wouldn’t say anything. I’d listen to them. Because that’s what nobody ever did.”

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Entry filed under: Culture, Education, Freedom, Politics.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Helen  |  Friday, 13th April 2007 at 21:51 UTC

    I did think it was intriguing and somehow wonderful that the people who came off best in BfC were Marylin Manson and the South Park guys. I guess because they’re well-known for appealing to teenagers, they actually have a chance of understanding what goes on in their heads.

    I remember being, well, surprised at the news that children consider ASBOs a badge of honour. Not because I thought children would be ashamed of their ASBOs, but because I was stunned that this was considered “news”. Of course they are proud of their ASBOs, that’s what rebels are like. I remember a sweet Christian woman confessing that when she was in school she did a record number of detentions and she still felt rather proud of this!

    The problem with life in general is that people refuse to actually try to understand each other, but this is especially bad with children and teenagers who can’t fight their corner as effectively and have to suffer other people believing they know what’s best without actually asking or understanding. Have you heard about how there will be monitoring of children to see if they’re “at risk of offending”? Granted I can understand paying attention to children in vulnerable situations but labelling them pre-criminals is just stupid.

    I suspect that Bisto advert will do more for families than Blair ever could…

    Reminds me of a time at when I was on the bus home from school and there were two older people talking about the noise and the kids etc. If memory serves I was a sixth former and not even wearing uniform, I tried to make a joke with them, and the woman turned to me and said, “You’re very rude!” She didn’t mean me, she meant the entire younger generation. It makes me sort of wish I’d been daring enough to snap back “well you’re old and boring” or something equally as mature 🙂

    Reply

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