ON FRIDAY morning, I looked out into our small garden to find a certain amount of chaos. Pots had been smashed, the bench overturned and all manner of climbing greenery pulled off and scattered. Yobs had invaded, tempted, no doubt, by the piles of scaffolding irritatingly left outside our back wall by the firm constructing new flats opposite.But, some of you may be thinking, Katie Grant lives in Glasgow, so what on earth does she expect? Well, contrary to what many southern folk may believe, Glasgow contains some extremely attractive areas that are inhabited by the (expletive warning) prosperous middle classes, and the West End is certainly one of them. Parts of town like that do indeed attract undesirables from elsewhere, but that wasn't the case this time. On the contrary, what shocked Ms Grant was this:
At that moment I felt the nadir of our "it's nae my fault", disrespectful culture had been reached. These youths were not feral predators from a housing scheme. They were not neds. They were well spoken and, although I didn't ask, they were almost certainly university students. Yet for all their education, they could not see, for the life of them, why I might be upset. The idea that their visit to our garden and the damage they had caused were in any way wrong or shameful had to be pointed out to them.Ms Grant is correct in saying that her experience:
... does, however, illustrate that mistake of thinking that yobbery is confined to one section of society. Increasing numbers of affluent parents also produce offspring who, while hardly qualifying as alienated, are just as lacking in any kind of moral compass.What is to be done? I have to say, along with others, that some radical response needs to be forthcoming, although surely Laban Tall is correct in not expecting one until we have "either a BNP or Sharia administration". (Which of those will come first is not-at-all clear so far.)
I liked this suggestion:
Imagine young Kyle outside Tescos main entrance all Saturday, bearing a sign that said 'I stole money from my gran to buy drugs'Sadly though, Kyle might regard the sign as a badge of honour.
On the other hand, the middle class yobs who trashed Ms Grant's garden might not relish standing outside the entrance of Glasgow University bearing a sign that said:
"I am a spoiled, uneducated brat, subsidised by the British working class, and, if any potential employer sees me, don't even think about giving me a job".