Spare the Rod? No, bring back hardcore discipline.

More outbreaks of thuggery took place last night and even more juvenile delinquents were out swarming through the streets like a plague of locusts, looking for a free pair of trainers, a new flat screen TV, or in the case of some, bags of Basmati rice and a wooden rocking horse.

TV? New Mobile? Designer Trainers? No, let's take the rice.

Many of these masked and hooded looters were only in their mid teens, but some of them were as young as ten. Yes, that’s ten. As in should be at home and under the constant supervision of an adult.

Quite why a child of this age, or even those of 14 or 15, are allowed to be roaming the streets with nothing but violence on their minds is a mystery to any parent who has even the tiniest bit of control over their child’s whereabouts.

But many of these parents I guess are too busy blaming the government and those who pay their taxes for the shitty life they feel they have, not to mention the disappearance of their ‘Layabout Allowance’ and ‘Dysfunctional Benefit’. The ones that are paid with those taxes.

So it’s not a great surprise they probably wouldn’t have noticed or batted an eyelid when Thug Junior and Minni Oik got down from the table without saying ‘Thank you’ and skipped off into town to hurl a couple of petrol bombs and rob a few shops.

Now I’m well aware that I exist in a totally different world to the one in which many of these rioters live, and for that I’m very lucky. Well actually that’s not true. It’s not all down to luck is it. Potentially the fact that many generations of my family made an effort to listen and learn at school and worked bloody hard once they left had something to do with it. There were certainly no silver spoons being shoved into any of our mouths as babies and no titles or inherited wealth to rely on.

One massive difference that’s very apparent between our 2 worlds is a small matter of discipline, something that these feral little rats out there have obviously never encountered.

Go back a generation (in most parts of society at least) and there was a little something called respect. Respect (mixed with a helping of fear) for teachers, parents, the police and anyone with authority really. And unlike today, where these yobs think they ‘deserve’ respect from everyone and their brother, children back then accepted, or were at least resigned to the fact that respect was something you were given as you grew up and earned it.

When I was at school (a good one admittedly) we didn’t really do anything more rebellious than carve our initials in the desk or pass notes. We were expected to stand up when a visitor entered the room and wouldn’t dream of addressing a teacher by anything other their correct name. We had to keep our socks pulled up, our mouths shut in lessons unless asked to speak and our grubby little feet off  ‘Central Hall Carpet’ – which we did, even though we felt it was a pointless rule.

So discipline was pretty much a given and the punishments for misbehaving ranged from being hit across the hands with wooden rulers, smacked around the face (unacceptable even then but it still happened) whacked with a cane, made to stand outside the classroom, being sent to see the head, given detention or being suspended and, in the extreme cases, expelled.

These days (at some schools) it’s the pupils hitting the teachers with rulers and fists, throwing books at each other, threatening violence if they don’t get their own way, leaving the classroom when they feel like it or simply not turning up to school in the first place.

And why do they act this way? Because they get absolutely no structure, guidance or discipline at home either. Some parents just don’t seem to care that the only qualifications their vile offspring will earn are an ASBO and a criminal record, or that the only lessons in life they’re learning are how to get free handouts for doing bugger all.

These riots are down to ‘poverty’ and being part of a ‘suppressed and ignored society’ these angry hoodies all say, but this is a little hard to take seriously when they’re out on the loot dressed in £100 designer jeans and organising the nightly violent get-togethers on a £300 smart phone. They really need to look up the definition of  ‘poverty’ in a dictionary, but apparently Waterstones have been left well alone, so that’s not likely to happen.

It’s also rather funny how these kids openly resent everyone in this country who works hard to earn their money, yet they idolise soccer players who earn in excess of £100k a week and rap stars who wear diamonds in their teeth and blow a years worth of benefits on one bottle of Champagne. This sort of wealth is OK is it?

So can the actions and shocking attitudes of this apparently ‘lost generation’ all be blamed on the area in which they may live, the state of the economy, the government in power, the high unemployment figures, the state of the education system and a society as a whole that seems to treat celebrity, material wealth and overnight fame as the Holy Grail? No, I really don’t see how they can.

There may be many problems in this country, but none of them can be used as justification by this small group of pathetic individuals who are rioting for fun, stealing for kicks and destroying countless livelihoods and homes because they think they can.

And if all of these reasons above were the only thing to blame, then every child from a single parent family at a badly performing school in a deprived area would be out on the streets. But they’re not are they. The majority are at home with their parents being disciplined, trying hard at school and going on to achieve something with their life.

So in answer to those who are now wondering if it might just be down to a generation of parents being a little too soft on their kids, the answer is yes, of course it bloody is.

These pint-sized hoodlums need to face the consequences of committing this sort of crime. They don’t need a caution, a slap on the wrist or even an ASBO, they need old-school, hardcore discipline. So never mind ‘Spare the Rod, Save the Child’, some parents need to start using sharp sticks and electric cattle prods to get their unruly brats inline.

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