You’ll Notice that Corporal Punishment isn’t One of the Considered Options.
Reader Aaron sent me a link to an MSNBC story on Britain’s “Yob Culture” and the (pathetic) efforts to rein it in.
Sweet bleeding jeebus.
By Jennifer Carlile
Updated: 2:29 p.m. ET May 18, 2005
BLUEWATER SHOPPING CENTER, England – Although accustomed for decades to violence from “yobs” and football hooligans, Britain is stepping up its fight against what’s been dubbed an epidemic of antisocial behavior.
There it is again, “antisocial behavior.” That’s British for “violent crime.” This is one of those things I both admire and despise the Left for. Controlling the language allows one to control the debate. I’m not certain if it’s a case of “magial thinking” in that, by altering the words they believe they can alter reality, or if it’s only a cold-blooded understanding that changing the definition will allow them to invalidate the arguments of the opposition without actually having to refute them, or if it’s some combination of both. I suspect the latter. Look how well they do it. It’s almost unconscious now. The Right does it, too, but the Left has mastered the art form.
The perpetrators of the thuggery have been identified as “hoodies,” young people who wear hoods and caps to avoid detection and give off a threatening image.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has made banishment of this street crime a priority for his third term of office, while one of his closest aides has disclosed a scary encounter with the teenage gangs that roam Britain’s urban areas.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who once launched a fierce left hook to retaliate for a thrown egg during an election campaign, described his alarm at being accosted by a large group of hooded youths.
“I went to a motorway café about a year ago and some kid said something to me,” he said. “I said ‘what did you say?’ and he came back with 10 people with hoods, you know, these fellas with hoods on.
“He came at me in a very intimidating manner,” the 66-year-old said.
Yes, I imagine they did. Prescott being an elderly man faced with ten youths should have found it intimidating. I’m 43 and I’d find 10-to-one odds intimidating, especially if I were unarmed. But wait!
Prescott, who was rescued from any possible attack by his security detail, is one of the big supporters of Blair’s decision to focus on street crime.
Rescued “from any possible attack” by his security detail! How nice! Too bad Thomas Noble didn’t have a security detail. Neither did Mi Gao Huang Chen. No, Mr. Chen had to depend on the police, who failed him for fifteen minutes, even though he
was attacked, oh, sorry, experienced “antisocial behavior” from possibly twenty “yobbos” in a “high-profile” police zone. Well, at least two of Mr. Chen’s attackers antisocial behaviorists have been charged with murder. The hoodlums youths suspected in Mr. Noble’s death have been “slapped with Asbos”. WTF are Asbos, you ask? Well MSNBC is here to tell you! Just hold on through the rest of this:
Although gun crime here pales when compared with the United States, binge-drinking, street brawls, vandalism, muggings, and general menace are seen to be terrorizing the public.
The United Kingdom is the most-monitored nation in the world, with more than 4 million closed-circuit television cameras operating around the country. But culprits frequently evade Big Brother’s watchful eye by concealing their identities with the ubiquitous head wear.
“I think the fact you go around with these hats and these covers… I mean, it is a uniform, in a sense,” Prescott said last week.
As a result, a large shopping center in southeast England offered a new tact by implementing a “code of conduct” that includes a ban on the wearing of “hoodies.”
The 330-store Bluewater center in Kent drew up the code of conduct to outline its “zero tolerance approach to antisocial behavior” following consultations with guests and staff.
In addition to banning head coverings (other than those used for religious purposes) and swearing, “groups of more than five without the intention to shop will be asked to leave the center,” the mall’s leaflet says.
Blair last week praised the initiative. “This type of disrespect and yobbish behavior will not be tolerated any more,” he said.
No, it won’t be tolerated. And if they continue to do it, the Brits will emulate the UN and issue another sternly worded warning!
“I think it’s marvelous,” Bluewater shopper Jill Hopper said of the initiative this week.
“It’s such a pleasant atmosphere here; you don’t want a whole group of hoodies coming around — it’s great they’re taking these kids on,” the 46-year-old said.
“They do intimidate some people and that’s their aim,” said 27-year-old shopper Adam Cropper.
His girlfriend Laura Thomas, 23, added, “They’re all quite young and trying to act older … they wear (hoods) to make people think they’re stealing even if they don’t have the balls to do it, it’s all part of their act.”
Until, of course, they do work up the balls to do it. Or until they try to intimidate someone, and failing, become violent. I mean, wait until one of them gets a knife and a nice young Briton like Laura Thomas asks “What are you going to do, stab us?”
Cropper, a doorman, and Thomas, a bar manager, both added that they would like to see a complete ban on caps and hoods in city centers.
That should go remarkably well with the semi-automatic weapon ban, the handgun ban, the knife ban, the “offensive weapon” ban, the… Well, you get the picture. How about we just ban clothes? Won’t that work? But no, they have better ideas!
Bluewater’s code of conduct follows in the footsteps of other government and private initiatives to quash hooliganism that include:
* Handing out antisocial behavior orders (ASBOS), some of which bar offending youths from entering city centers or visiting former partners in crime.
* Passing out yellow and red cards in a warning system similar to that used on the soccer field.
* Giving away chocolate to prevent alcohol-fueled violence.
* Banning the designer label Burberry (an apparent favorite with teen gangs) from some bars and clubs.
ASBOS: Antisocial behavior orders. This would be similar to our restraining orders. Go peruse Zendo Deb’s site, TFS Magnum for some stories on just how effective restraining orders are here. Remember, some of the
goblins mislead youths suspected of being involved in Thomas Noble’s death received the dreaded ASBOS!! I’m sure they’re suitably chastened.
The other options? Yellow and red warning cards? Want to bet on how many of them end up stuck in public toilets, used with a little scatalogical imagination? Chocolate give-aways to “prevent alcohol-fueled violence”? I thought I’d never heard anything stupider than “midnight basketball” in association with youth violence prevention. Banning Burberry? So they switch to Tommy Hilfiger?
How do human beings disconnect from reality this way? I can’t finish the MSNBC piece, I’m too disgusted. All of this reminds me sickeningly of Theodore Dalrymple’s The Frivolity of Evil though. Read that if you have the stomach for it.