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By Phil Thornton
Now that Linda Robson has shamelessly jumped on the anti-knife crime bandwagon as a way of reminding Joe Public of her career as the one wasn’t the fat one in Birds of a Feather, surely it’s time that the hysteria surrounding youth crime is put into its true perspective. Ofcourse knife and gun murders are terrible wastes of life but y’know what, I carried a knife when I was a kid and I never stabbed anyone. Once we held a lad down and I got out my dad’s penknife that he kept stashed on top of the kitchen cupboard and held it to this kid’s throat (why me aul fellar had a stashed knife was never made clear) at which point his elder brother legged me into our kitchen and me dad gave me a hiding for a) taking his knife and b) threatening someone with it. Kids!
About ten years later, I used to carry one of those cheapo plazzy Stanleys when visiting my girlfriend’s flat on a notorious estate. Just in case I needed it like. I never did but I carried it anyway, same as I used to carry around a footy sock weighed down with slummy when two brothers were ‘after me’ and a baseball bat/walking stick/wooden implement whenever the mood took me. Like most young lads I got tooled up for protection in the hopes that if I ever did get confronted by rival gangs, I’d have something to scare them off with. The only people I knew who carried blades and actually used them were the usual psychos who everyone steered well clear of anyway.
Gun crime is different but back when we were kids you EXPECTED to get shot with a gat gun atleast once every summer holiday and it didn’t even make the local paper never mind the 6 o’clock news. In the ‘bootboys’ 70s every road, street, estate, town had its own mobs and you were constantly on the run from one mob or another. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been twatted sometimes quite badly by rival gangs within a half mile radius of our house. That’s called ‘childhood’ and even a ‘sensitive’ lad like me was expected to take the knocks of childhood without whining. Once I got a brick lashed at me, hitting me in the back and I couldn’t talk for a week. Me aul fellar just shook his head and said ‘don’t go looking for it then.’ Fair enough!
Later on when I almost got stuck down for smacking a bizzie who’d been standing on my mate’s throat, it became a bit more serious and having watched Scum, I realised that I wasn’t cut out for DC or jug. Know your limits! What I’m trying to say in a roundabout way, is that the right wing press always need demons and enemies whether real or imagined to keep everyone scared shitless, as this encourages half-witted, cowardly MPs to ‘act tough’ and treat the symptoms of crime instead of finding a solution to the causes; tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime eh? New labour have failed in a decade of power to even ‘understand’ the true causes of youth crime never mind attempt to cure it. Poverty, poverty and boredom, poverty, boredom and macho showing off. Same as it was in the 50s with the teds, 60s with the mods, 70s with the skins, 80s with casuals, 90s and now with the hoodies.
I don’t doubt Linda Robson’s sincerity (OK, I do) but how exactly is a washed up shite sit-com star going over to the black ghettoes of America to report for The fucking One Show going to add an iota of sense to the debate? Note how the stabbed kid who’s sister was in Eastenders (there’s the tenuous link to Robson – her son was with him) was extra newsworthy just as the kid who’d been a minor actor in Harry Potter got the tabloids going potty. Middle class kids make far more heroic victims! The tragedy is more acute because they had ‘prospects’ denied to the worthless scum who usually end up dead at the end of a blade or a barrel. Nothing gets the Mail and co more outraged than ‘their kind’ being on the receiving end of everything from what they regard as unfair taxation (inheritance etc) to crime. They feel so hard done to these ‘hardworking families’ these ‘law a biding tax payers’. Knife wielding hoodies are just another despised symptom of a society that they and their hideous offspring want immunity from.
A year after that Warrington fellar got kicked in by towny whoppers, his missus has become a Daily Mail icon of impotent rage. No doubt she’s still angry and mourning her and her kids’ loss but is too easily seduced by a parasitic media who use her rage to promote their own twisted agenda.
My 17 year old nephew got seriously macheted a few years back and after a long drawn out court case, the attacker got a pathetic 3 month sentence whilst my nephew lost his job and still has pain in his hand and arm. The attacker was in his 50s with a history of mental illness. Young psychos become old psychos and no amount of knife amnesties and youth scare tactics will alter that. Cherie Blair? Get to fuck, your hands are red from the blood of thousands upon thousands of victims slaughtered at the altar of your family’s ambition and greed. The Mirror’s 5 point plan to solve knife crime is so ridiculous, that even Swine had difficulty parodying it but here goes :
1 Take knife carrying thugs to see how knives are made by visiting steel factories in Sheffield.
2 Show young people how knives can be used for a variety of purposes, such as cutting up food and whittling bits of wood, instead of just stabbing people.
3 Get Chesney from Corry and Andi Peters to front a campaign aimed at replacing knives with spoons – ‘Blades Suck, Spoons Rool!’ – which will convince kids that carrying knives is uncool.
4 Ban the word knife altogether and remove it from the Oxford English Dictionary thereby confusing potential knife carriers who will have no frame of reference for the weapon.
5 Text all kids under the age of 25 with the message ‘Knf crm = boo!’
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