Failing

Reading time: 3 mins

Is this the best we can do?

Playing 5-a-side football last night (soccer), the ball flies over the high-fencing to the path behind the pitches. This is a regular occurance. Three young boys (around 10 years old) spot the ball and one jogs over to get it. We shout our thanks “Cheers!”. He then grabs the ball, and runs off. “Little bugger!” we thought and a couple of the (fitter) guys head off after him. The young boy and his mates head along the path and turn into the adjoining park (separated from the football pitches by a large hedge).

I jog after them too, and on turning into the park we are confronted by around 15 ‘kids’.

“Come on then” one of them shouts, “come and get yer football”.

The two guys ahead of me sprint forward, knowing that the kids will split up and that the chance of getting the ball back is slim, but I guess we are thinking they will muck about for a bit then kick the ball back. We presume they will split up and run in different directions.

But they don’t split up. The kids stand there, egging us on.

Then one reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a hammer. Another bends to the ground and picks up a large stick from the long grass. The others all start looking around for weapons. We stop running towards them.

They run at us, shouting, swearing, threatening.

Bear in mind these are kids, the oldest is maybe 15, the youngest is easily 7 or 8. We back off, and give up, what choice do we have?

This is the country we live in and it sickens me. Sickens me that these kids already have little to no chance, sickens me that their parents can’t even be bothered trying.

Discipline? They don’t know the meaning of the word, and with the recent news that smacking is set to be banned altogether how are they supposed to learn? I could easily generalise and say that all of those kids live in council flats and at least one of their parents is on the dole and not that bothered about finding a job. It’s the snob in me that leaps to those assumptions. But am I wrong?

Every week another government report comes out detailing that people are screwing the benefit system to the tune of £xx million, that TVs in childrens bedrooms are bad, that spanking is bad, that another realignment of benefits will mean an extra £xx per month for ‘poor’ families. It’s all the same, tweak this, blame that, and ultimately ignore the problem.

So why should I support these families? The ones that live off the state, whose children wear £100 trainers and yet can’t speak properly. Who skip school and seem to have no ambitions other than to follow in their parents footsteps. Why are we making it so easy for them? Where is the political party that will set things right? Where is the politician willing to alienate the sleeping vote? Compulsory voting? Why? Why should people who care only for themselves get a say in what goes on in our country?

This society is rotten. It’s not the only one I know, but the problem with Britain is it’s size. You can’t get away from it, or I would just stay in my middle-class, suburban lifestyle and not care about these lay-abouts. That’s the attitude I should take, isn’t it? Well that’s what I see when I hear a lot of politicians harping on about the lower classes and how they need to nurtured along and cared for and all that claptrap.

I am liberal on many many issues, but not this one. Clamp down now. Make these people contribute, or stop baby-sitting them. Give them enough to have a roof over their head and food on the table and be done with it… if they don’t like it, ask them to try the slums in Mexico.

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