Has Britain gone bad?

SLRboy said:
If you worked with the drug using homeless you must have noticed that behind every case there was a dreary history of lovelessness, family breakdown and abuse.
Well brought up kids feel wanted and respected and therefore naturally without the use of will power are able not to fall down the drain.
Their sense of self respect works for them.
The unloved don't have that self respect because they were never respected to begin with which is one of the reasons they fall prey to drug and drink problems.
Last thing they need is to be told that they are lacking in moral fibre.
Re. 'Last thing they need to be told is that they are lacking in moral fibre':

Now, I cannot claim to be an expert in this field. I am going on six months experience well over ten years ago. However, I am going to disagree with you because (...and I know I am risking sounding like a total b****d) I reckon, in some cases, this was exactly what they needed to hear because, frankly, it was true.

Telling them that their current situation was down to their own decisions was the first step necessary to make them resposnsible, productive citizens. Their life stories were pretty depressing, but in large part because of their own actions.

I knew a family friend of one lad who had been taken in by his uncle and aunt. I attended case conferences with probation officers and social workers and heard details of others. It was a sad litany of stealing from family and carers and abusing trust.

The probation lout who shot his wheel-chair bound step-father with an air gun? He bullied the happy-clappy volunteer night worker into giving him his car keys so he could allegedly visit his baby daughter. He proceeded to roar around local housing estates leaving rubber on roads and precincts.

Their moral apathy was based on a mind-set of learned helplessness. They were mainly products of the same local, special school and I remember listening to their stories of their French trip - my old man made WO1 and I never got to go on any school trip overseas!.

Now, this may not sit easy with Guardian editorials or sociological theories. This is anecdotal evidence but what I will say is I went there with an open-mind and a willingness to help and came away determined not to be part of a system which was an expensive part of the problem.

No doubt there are children out there who experience horrendous, damaging abuse. I am not doubting their problems or needs. I wish I could have spent more time with such deserving cases.

What I am prepared to say, however unfashionable or unpalatable it may be, is that there are, in my experience, some wasters out there who have had it no worse than anybody else and the last thing they need is excuses and chances to stay in a value-free zone of self-indulgence.

A society with the courage of its convictions would be better for such people, and such people would be better for such a society, if they were given some boundaries, lines and measures to start developing a moral sense of their own. Such a foundation for action may not have come to them by nature, nurture or whatever earlier in life but that is no reason why they cannot be challenged to become more than statistics and welfare dependents later.

'Tough love', I hazard, is better than none for everyone concerned. If you can persuade me otherwise, great. However, for now at least, this is my stand.
I can add to this bit.

exile1 said:
... why are the so many people living below the poverty line? Silly me, the line has shifted of course.
Current practice in most developed countries is to define poverty in terms of the national average household income. The wealthier your society is, the higher the poverty line.

For example, IIRC the value used in the UK is 60% of the national average household income. With the average coming in at a tad over £25k after taxes and benefits, you're looking at a "poverty line" of £15k a year. (If anyone cares to post official figures rather than my own estimated-from-a-low-resolution-chart ones, fire away.)

The World Bank, on the other hand, reckons that "moderate poverty" is living on less than US$2 per day. I would guess that the number of people in the UK living under those conditions is pretty small, although worldwide there's an estimated 2.7 billion people in "moderate poverty".

LankyPullThrough said:
Telling them that their current situation was down to their own decisions was the first step necessary to make them resposnsible, productive citizens.
I agree, although with a minor caveat about the way the message is delivered.

Mrs Jim runs three highly successful projects aimed at steering 13-16 yr olds back on the straight and narrow. For the past four years I have helped out in a voluntary capacity so I get to see it working at first hand.

One of the most effective techniques (although it does take time and patience) is to reinforce the truism that actions have consequences. Once that sinks in they become aware that they are more in control of their own future than they think (or would like to think). When the light finally dawns they start to think for themselves more, and consequently behaviour changes.

(When I say successful I mean in a tangible way, such as youth nuisance down by 60 percent, truancy down by a similar figure, etc.)
SLRboy said:
describing what I said as 'utter, utter bollox' doesn't actually take things forward. I am of course open to comment and criticism but lets keep it productive can we?
When you say 'utter, utter bollox' you give the game away.
Sounds like there might be just a little pain and anger hanging around Sven world.

As for me and mine, no kids or adults are f'ucked up. Everone not only loves each other but actually likes each other as well. Because no one trys to play perfect to begin with everyone muddles through with common decency and tolerance.
No ones in nick and no ones in rehab. So if I want to be harsh:
if we can do it why can't you?
OK mate I take Your point.

However, Yoou are wrong about the lovelessness, abuse etc that You talk about.

As for "Well brought up kids feel wanted and respected and therefore naturally without the use of will power are able not to fall down the drain.
Their sense of self respect works for them."
... I will treat You to another couple of anacdotes. MY nephew had a friend whose parents doted on him. He had the 'ideal' upbringing - good school, wanted for nothing - felt wanted and respected and had a good sense of worth. He died of an overdose several years ago - the first in my area.

Do You remember the girl whos parents allowed the photographs of her body to be released after she died of an overdose - did she sound like she had a "dreary history of lovelessness, family breakdown and abuse" Just read Rachels story again
bling-bling.............yes poverty is subjective but we can't cure the rest of the worlds ills but throwing money at it "a la Brown". I am therefore as a pensioner living below the UK poverty line and my solution was to go and live abroad when I retired where the added bonus is that I live in a good lifestyle in a village where there is no yob culture and as far as I know, no serious crime. Life is sweet.
Some interesting points all round here. Back to Meiktilaman's question though, 'Has Britain gone bad?' (...wouldn't want to p*** off the NGSFO community!).

If I am understanding the contributions to date here properly, there seems a bit of a consensus that there have always been bad Britons and probably always will be. However, there have always been good (Great?) Britons and, God willing always will be.

If we all remember that then there's hope. I think it was Shackleton who said that optimism was the true moral courage. I think we are about due a few wins for the good in this country and it is possible to view current affairs as an evenly fought bout e.g. the courage and efforts of those on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan compared with the values and standards of their political leaders. I know who I'm for.
First Sven,
who ever said it was a good idea to 'dote' on a child and play act out an 'ideal' upbringing. Thats the problem. I said didn't I, my and mine don't 'dote' and we don't aspire to some fictional 'ideal' we are more like the Simpsons with knobs on.
Maybe the parents of the kid were 'doting' on it to keep a failing marriage together, maybe they were giving the kid too much of what they wanted to give the kid rather than what the kid needed. Maybe they were doing what they did for appearences sake.
Maybe the kid didn't inside feel 'worthy' of what he had been given and felt himself a fraud. Maybe, maybe, maybe,..who knows?

All I know is round my neck of the woods no kids get 'doted' on, whatever that means.
And if you tried to create the 'ideal' upbringing, whatever that means they'd laugh in your face and think you had gone mad.
Look at the f'ucking Osbournes, look at Keef Richards or any of the Stones kids they have all turned out all right even though they had total druggies for dads. And their marriges last.

Its pretence and falsity that f'ucks things up.

Now Lanky,
yes we can see the kids (armed forces) doing what kids often do, trying to live up to the espoused parental (government) ambitions when all the while the s'hit parents (gov.) has got other agendas and aren't looking after the kids (armed forces) properly and giving them what they need.
It makes me spit. Shoddy rounds of ammo bought from Pakistan. Buying ammo from Pakistan just beggers belief.

You wonder about drink and drug f'uck ups?
Just wait for a few years.

As for Rachel, it may instead have been murder.

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