Today in the news David Cameron has stated the the kids involved in the recent riots need “tough love”. the old chestnuts are being dragged out, social depravation, bad parenting, sub standard education, blah blah blah, change the record Davie. This current wave of civil disobedience has little to do with the excuses you roll out time and time again, but more to do with the social and economic environments you and your Government, and previous Governments to be fair, have created over the years. Years of ignoring what requirements the youth required, to keep them amused and their minds occupied is to blame, look at the facts, youth centers closed and funding stopped, no viable employment options, apprenticeships scrapped, all equates to an outlook of no future for the youth, and this has not been a recent thing it’s been going on for decades now.
Rebellion from the ranks of the young have been around since the inception of the teenager in the 1950’s, their rebellion included some violence through the “Teddy Boys” but on the whole that generation were grateful to have the freedom and the cash that their parents did not have, and caused little problem to the authorities.
the 1960’s saw the invention of Hippies who were politically aware and were not afraid to show it, mainly against the war in Vietnam and the race wars in America but rebellion was rife, songs were written, marches organised and riots ensued, the modern teenager was born.
1970’s teenagers were a different breed, overspending by governments in previous decades, left the ’70’s teenager with no future, strikes, three day working weeks, crumbling housing, the list goes on, enter the Punk Rocker, spurred on by the bleak landscape they dressed as tramps ripping clothes and cutting their own hair, and the songs lyrics screamed rather than sung, we were angry, we wanted answers, we wanted jobs, we wanted a future, but as subsequent Governments ignored their generation of youth so did ours, it got worse, with riots and mass unemployment. the ’70’s merged into the ’80’s, enter the Conservative Government and well things did get worse, the Tory party widened the Class barrier that Punk attempted to crush, we got angrier, and protest marches were common place in the ’80’s, CND, Right to Work, Anti Poll Tax, Animal Rights, the list goes on.
In the advent of the ’90’s and towards the Millennium, the youth seemed to avoid rebellion and confrontation, but take into account this was the decade of House / Techno music, a moronic drone of bleeps, whistles and repetitive drum beats, that closely resemble a group of car alarms going off simultaneously, spaced out on ecstasy amongst other recreational drugs, no wonder the fight is not there.
So history lesson aside, teenage rebellion has always been with us in some shape or form, forget the looters and mindless thugs that rampaged through the streets of England, they were in the minority of a genuine angry mob, there is not that much has changed through the years, well, with the exception of the attitude forced upon the youth of today, which is, get money, be successful, be quiet and do as your told. With modern day youth icons such as Jordan, Jedward and the like, is it any wonder that the young are becoming less educated, and less ambitious, it’s a ” Give it to me now ” culture, but they don’t want to work for it, we see it every week on the X-Factor, sob stories about how much they want to be a pop star, but not prepared to do the hard slog to earn their right to be “stars”.
But this is not really their fault it goes back to the Thatcherite yuppies, the scum that flaunted their quickly gotten wealth in everyone’s face, easy money. It’s the deep rooted greed culture that is largely to blame for the “Bad Youth” of today. The politicians can bleat on every time they want reelection that they will do all they can to build youth centres, fill apprenticeship posts etc, but they never will, they will never understand the youth, we all reminisce of how ” It wasn’t like that in my day ” or ” we never acted like that “, sorry guys, but yes we did, well, I know I did, but we are all quick to forget our youth as we get older, we get more responsible, home to pay for, kids to bring up, jobs to keep, and in most cases just getting older has it’s own worries. The young know exactly what they want, what they can get is another thing, but if Governments listened to them more often, got them involved at a basic level, gave them a voice, maybe, just maybe they might just get somewhere.
Yes, I agree there are some bad teenagers out there, but for every bad one there are dozens of others that do want a future, and want to shape that future, as Malcolm Owen from the punk band The Ruts once sang ” Give youth a chance “, Cameron & Co. could do worse than take heed.