Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Thugs in British Media

I've been blogging British tabloid media stories on yobs: one today in the DailyMail suggests to me that things are intensifying. There is an increasing and an intensifying focus on violent young males, and these stories, and the reader comments that follow them, indicate that some political -- or even cultural -- change is imminent.
"The do-gooders - many encouraged by today's politicians - are doing nothing to frighten off the sort of thugs who left Christopher with his heart beating, but not really alive.
"Even ten years ago it was different. We still believed that out in the streets you wouldn't get mugged by gangs of youngsters who you didn't know from Adam.
"Now, the teenagers who strut about with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other are afraid of no one. I see them every day outside the pubs wherever I go."
Helen Newlove, the widow of Garry Newlove, who was beaten to death outside his home in Warrington, has called for a return to capital punishment in this country.
"I agree with her, and so do thousands of other ordinary people who are sick and frightened of what is happening."
Marion is not a political animal. But she has a reason to be angry.
She says: "I sat there, day after day, at the Old Bailey trial. It was all about the rights of Ashman, Wakeling and Patterson.
"The excuses given by the three teenagers and their legal team for why they had attacked Christopher, leaving him almost dead, were astonishing.
"One said he had eczema; another had been brought up by his grandmother. Yet the court took them seriously.
"Meanwhile, their friends in the public gallery were waving at them in the dock, and one of the gang's relatives was told to leave by the judge for swearing continually
"Wakeling, Patterson and Ashman even laughed and joked in court, just as they did after they left Chris all but dying in the street.
The question for us, of course, is how the coming change will follow the pattern fictionally mapped in Burgess' (not Kubrick's) A Clockwork Orange.

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