I think I'll.......

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240818 zaxdog
Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:31 pm

Hope none of those organisations are afiliated with the "Socialist Worker" publication (an oxymoron if ever I heard one)! Whose attitudes when pusuing their publication is very threartening :angryfire:

Ultimatley these riots were just a case of thugs wanting stuff and of course not being willing to work for it. I know it can be hard to get jobs but when I was searching even the job centre staff were frustrated by the many people who considered hotel work/cleaning/retail jobs beneath them. When will people learn that yes there is inequality in the big bad world but it is up to them to get off their bums and do something about it not commit vicious crimes :banghead:

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240820 southeast-isher
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:00 pm

We need to separate the weed from the chavs.

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240821 julie_lanteri
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:01 pm

well that was a very interesting read!
One thing bothers me though... Everything seems to revolve around class / "haves" and "have-nots". But don't we have the same kind of attitude spread across the new generation regardless of how much money they've got? A feeling of "I want therefore I should get"? no sense of responsibility but know everything about their rights? A society where some people are better off on benefits than working, where teachers are responsible for students' grades, where kids tell their parents to F off and let their grand parents standing on the bus is not just caused by the evil government and the rich guys in their suits, is it? And the worst might be to come... what's going to happen when the little rich brats take over daddy's business, become layers, surgeons, or worse, politicians? :tongue: I can't help but wonder if the fast spreading lack of values and parental education has not a role in all of this...
As far as punishment is concerned, I think they should be forced to clean, restore, rebuild, redecorate. Maybe they'll learn what it's like to actually work and give them a sense of achievement. Because you can only feel that with something you've done, not something you've been given.

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240822 pelmetman
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:03 pm

SouthernDave wrote: I am not in a position to judge them.


I am :wink: ..........Because I was brought up to know right from wrong :roll:
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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240824 SouthernDave
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:06 pm

MKG wrote:Ah - you have your own agenda after all, SouthernDave.

I feel I should point out that the man who wrote the article posted above by Green Aura, a man who has lived it - you know, been there, done it, got the T-shirt - stated quite categorically that there was nothing political behind the riots.

And we came out of Iraq quite some time ago now.

Mike


An agenda? No, only convictions. Why is my view 'and agenda' and yours merely opinion? :scratch:

I couldn't get the link to work by Green Aura and the Facebook stuff requires a 'log-in' which I can't, so cannot comment. However, if you mean these riots are a-political this is wrong. They may not have a direct or concious political leadership or aim, but they are a direct result of capitalism and the way it run.

Yes, maybe we officially ceased operations in Iraq in May but a) this is being pedantic in the extreme and b) I am not sure we are unofficially out of that country militarily and I know we are not out of it financially or politically.


Zaxdog, no nothing to do with the SWP. If you take the time to read you'll find that out quite quickly!

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240825 SouthernDave
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:14 pm

julie_lanteri wrote:well that was a very interesting read!
One thing bothers me though... Everything seems to revolve around class / "haves" and "have-nots". But don't we have the same kind of attitude spread across the new generation regardless of how much money they've got? A feeling of "I want therefore I should get"? no sense of responsibility but know everything about their rights? A society where some people are better off on benefits than working, where teachers are responsible for students' grades, where kids tell their parents to F off and let their grand parents standing on the bus is not just caused by the evil government and the rich guys in their suits, is it? And the worst might be to come... what's going to happen when the little rich brats take over daddy's business, become layers, surgeons, or worse, politicians? :tongue: I can't help but wonder if the fast spreading lack of values and parental education has not a role in all of this...
As far as punishment is concerned, I think they should be forced to clean, restore, rebuild, redecorate. Maybe they'll learn what it's like to actually work and give them a sense of achievement. Because you can only feel that with something you've done, not something you've been given.


Isn't this the very same 'morals' that we are being shown by our politicians every day though? We are all told everyday what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' by the state, the church and businesses but how do they act? Judged by their own poor standards, they act appallingly all the time. They don't show restraint when invading other countries or waging wars, they show no moral fibre or integrity when they stick their fingers in the till, they show no concern for values when they close old people's homes or hospitals. The very people who lecture most on right and wrong are often the same who commit the most heinous acts against large swathes of people but because it's impersonal or 'legal' according to their laws, that's all okay. But the minute anyone dares step out of their pigeon holes or challenges the status quo of legalised theft, destruction and robbery, they are criminalised, demonised and punished.

Again, I am NOT defending any action or anyone, merely pointing out some of the root causes and worse, the utter hypocrisy of the government and whom they represent.

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240827 MKG
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:20 pm

SouthernDave wrote:An agenda? No, only convictions. Why is my view 'and agenda' and yours merely opinion? :scratch:

I couldn't get the link to work by Green Aura and the Facebook stuff requires a 'log-in' which I can't, so cannot comment. However, if you mean these riots are a-political this is wrong. They may not have a direct or concious political leadership or aim, but they are a direct result of capitalism and the way it run.

Yes, maybe we officially ceased operations in Iraq in May but a) this is being pedantic in the extreme and b) I am not sure we are unofficially out of that country militarily and I know we are not out of it financially or politically.



It may be a view with which you agree, but it isn't "your" view. Its blatant political dogma.

The riots being apolitical, although that has been my view, is a statement from an ex gang member writing in the Facebook article. Shame you can't read that. But you are now arguing with him, not me, and I think I know who I believe.

Finally, if stating the fact is being pedantic in the extreme, then you're right - just call me Uncle Pedant.

You are attempting to hijack a situation which has caused a lot of pain to a lot of people for your own political ends.

Mike
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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240829 julie_lanteri
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:52 pm

SouthernDave, you have your opinion and I respect that. However I don't think pigeon-holing (is that even a word?) people/groups ever lead anywhere. Yes, there are people in politics, business, church that are as you describe but they are also some who are honest and deserve what they've got. Just like there are people who have very little moneywise but do their hardest to raise their children well and inspire them. What happened those last few days is a disgrace and a massive slap in the face to those who do. So yes, I think the idiots who've been out, behaving in that way should be punished and no, I am not interested in whatever excuse either side have got to say to push their own agenda. It's not Robin Hood!

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240830 grahamhobbs
Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:59 pm

Southerndave thanks for the article by the professor. I was reflecting along these lines to myself, having heard that France had blocked a certian type of selling of stocks to prevent stockbrokers gambling on a devaluaion of the currency. Basically speculators gang up on a currency, and in a self-prophesying onslaught, bet on it going down. What difference is this to a gang of youths standing there kicking in a shop window and stealing whats inside.

Turning slightly, I really dislike the TV programme 'The Apprentice', gone are real apprenticeships and what goes now, what is cool is who can blag the best, who can scam, who can cut a deal, who can 'make' money. Do this and you win. In my day this person would be called a spiv and dispised. But these are the ideals that we are presented with on one programme after another, everything is competition, 'make' money. it invades every aspect of life, It used to be, in the building industry at least, you gave a price and shook hands, that was that. No, now it is hagle, haggle, haggle, bit more off, bit more off. Then even if you confirm it all in writing (which you have to these days), at the end of the job, it's oh can't we do a deal, blah, blah and you have to haggle all over again. The rip off mentality has spread throughout society from top to bottom.

MKG, you may say the riots were non-political, but I could retort that that in itself is political, it is exactly what the Government is trying to tell us. Don't ask questions or wonder why it happened in our communities, we'll get the water cannons out and start another war. Sorry but I live and work in the communities most affected in London and I want long lasting solutions not rhetoric and more anger and conflict.

The ex-gang member was very clear as to what needed to be done, engage the youths, open youth clubs, etc, all poltical questions. He also showed that the vast majority of these kids could easily be well respected members of society given a chance, another political question.

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240831 MKG
Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:29 pm

I have decided, after a whole five or so minutes of heart-rending deliberation, to resign from this thread forthwith, as it has become pointless and I have better things to do with my life (counting sheep springs to mind).

Enjoy t'revolution, brothers - you'll get that swine, Gradgrind, in the end.

Mike

EDIT: Wouldn't you just know it? I actually meant Bradley Hardacre.
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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240836 grahamhobbs
Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:32 pm

MKG wrote:I have decided, after a whole five or so minutes of heart-rending deliberation, to resign from this thread forthwith, as it has become pointless and I have better things to do with my life (counting sheep springs to mind).

Enjoy t'revolution, brothers - you'll get that swine, Gradgrind, in the end.

Mike


I'm sorry you've decided that because I think this thread has provoked me, and hopefully others, into thinking about things more deeply about what's going on in our communities, for instance the gang culture, which I knew was there but hadn't given it much thought. You say that the leaders should be banged up for 10 years, but we all know that is not going to happen unless they caught murdering someone. No we have to change our communities so that there is not this fear, there is not the grounds for violent gangs to exist.

On a self-sufficiency note, I thinking communities need to be more self -suficient. In my youth we hardly ever saw a policeman, the community itself policed itself. The neighbours had no inhibitions in telling you off, nowadays just like the gangs are formed out of fear, ordinary people are frightened to say anything. We, except the gangs, are all isolated individuals. Gone are the organisations that bound us together, the Unions, the big local workplaces, ...the pubs, we now all sit and drink alone in front of the telly. In the cities we hardly know our neighbours, there are no real communities anymore. Of course, after the war this was a concious policy, to break up the East End communities, break up any working class collective, disperse people, put them in blocks far away. Since then waves of immigrants have, except to an extent within themselves, exacerbated this. But look what a coherent community can do, the Turkish ommunity saw off the rioters.

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240840 Zech
Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:44 pm

For the benefit of SouthernDave, and anyone else without facebook access who'd like to read it, here's the article by former gang member Joe Best. It's the most powerful thing I've read in a long time, and the only thing that seems to offer any real insight into the riots, in my opinion.

---

The biggest thing that these kids want is they want to be heard. How do I know this? Because today I just found myself reminiscing about my youth time in London, spured on by the desire to correct some gross missunderstandings of the situation. Its not supprising because it looks very different on the outside than from the inside. Anyway, I started writing about these rioters and it turned into this note about what’s going on inside the minds of the rioters based on my first hand experience as a teen. Then I realized as I was writing it, even after all this time. I still want to be heard too. I enjoyed writing this alot and I think as the author, i am the greatest benficiary of this article! Hope yuo get something from it too.

The first thing is that kind of life is so crazy for someone so young to be leading that you cant quite believe its real, yet it is. i was eleven when i first found my self in the gang "WhiteCross" for white cross street ec1. Not a good place for a mixed race kid but thats where i lived and that was that. I left when i was 19. I have hundreads of stories from that time that even when i share them part of me thinks i must be making it up - you get the feeling noone belives you really. How can they? So this note is about that life and what is the mind set that creates what you see on your tv today. I tried to correct all the gramma and spelling but as I wrote it I begane writing like how I use to speak and I decided just to leave it as is. It takes too long to fix and its An appropiate mixture anyhow!


Pre-Riot

The funny thing is most of society naturally assume the Rioters are normally sitting around relaxed and doing nothing much on the dole and then suddenly go on a riot because they got annoyed about some situation. That is far from the case. That might be what yuo see but it is not what is going on. What we are seeing is a limited glimpse into a world that is continuous and is also the only thing many of these kids know. Imagine there is a fight in yuor local saloon and you only know about it when someone comes flying through the two swing doors. This riot is some one coming flying through those two swing doors! So despite ever increasing sophistication, my adrenalin clouded memories and the many random factors, this is pretty much what is going on in the minds of the rioters:

Fear:

This is from hindsight because I never knew I was scared. The fear is so pervasive its like the old “fish cant see water" issue. Its only now I see fear was everywhere.

Everyone is tense, vying for position, "respect” Another word for that is trying to feel safe. When you get disrespected you are trying to not feel fear so you correct it. If you don’t, you feel more fear!

Everyone is in a state of fear of being singled out by his or her piers as the loser for the day (and so gets victimized)

Every one is in a state of fear. Period.

Everyone hides fear so deep they don't even know that’s what all that anger is: Fear!

That's what all the bravado is: Fear!

The strange thing is that being in the gang makes you feel you are safe because it protects you from other gangs but it is your source of fear also.

The fear exists because you don’t feel included in society. You are an outcast, a shadow and so your only world is the gang and your only safety comes from the gang. The worst thing you can do is grass on the gang if they hurt you. If you do that you are pretty much done. You cant leave the gang either. You are stuck. You need it for safety but fear it turning its gaze on you.

Communication:

Conversations are mostly simultaneous because every one wants to be herd but no one is listening

You hope its not u next for what ever it is that goes down so you verbally one-up your peers "G them up" because you being loud and funny means its not you next unless you go too far with someone then its you next. Oops!

Most conversations are about nothing. It's all very current and observational. There is no public space for reflection. “Look at Tommy's trainers, ha ha, who's that man over there, look at this I found, that cars got a case in it. Who's got weed. Give us a fag. Lets go Oxford Street for thieving, why's that geezer looking at me, there's a car on fire in the high street, lets go.” This means that things kicking off is always just round the corner. Individually these kids can be really smart but you don't get to see that much because all the smarts is used for survival. They can also be really dumb too.

This tension is palpable and will swarm toward any activity like a wild fire. This is the real communication, the group act. When something kicks off it gets swarmed as the group focus seeks relief from the mindless banter and street corner bravado and the risk of themselves being the victim.

The other time the communication gets focused is in gang fights or people hunts or riots! This is a different process. The bravdo is still there but the leaders show themselves. The fearlessness of some of these kids still shocks me today. Imagine what you fear you must feel if you are willing to run head strong into a gang of 50 people swinging a baseball bat to avoid it. I never did that one.


Behavior

It’s a continuous hi-risk interaction with your environment. Pushing the limits, pushing against authority.

This type of social structure is like a tinderbox fuelled by adrenalin. Once - a few gangs clubbed together to take on this big gang. My job was collecting bottles for petrol bombs. The big gang got wind and never showed up. So what happened? Someone thru a petrol bomb at one of the smaller gangs "for a laugh” (Remember: Interacting with the environment in a risky way, pushing boundaries, getting status, not being the loser of the day.) Throwing a petrol bomb at another gang meets all those demands. And whoosh it kicks off and the park gets set alight and a mini-riot ensues. Still, the group mind prevails and everyone is vying for security. Security is found be being a 'big man'. By acting out. Contrary to what might make commonsense the more you act out the SAFER you feel. Want to feel safe, throw more petrol bombs. Be in the gang! Join in the riots!

Mind-Set

The conversation afterwards is not one of somber regret or deep hurt or even concern. It’s not even serious unless there is a news camera or an adult about. Then we would fill in the blanks that the media/adult/social worker (wanker) wanted us to fill in. “Its cause we ant got jobs blah blah.” But none of us wanted a job. We had the dole and thieving. Plus getting a job means being a looser. Our conversations were never like ' wow the world is bad, we cant get jobs, look at those others, lets protest, we must riot to make it right' This is largely because we know no other world with which to compare. When you hear a kid say its because of the rich, they don’t really know what that means. I knew people had money because they drove down Old street to get to the city back when Old street was like a deserted moat between islington and the square mile. I also saw money on TV. But I did not really understand what rich meant. The actual mind-set is more of “Oh man, did you see that. Yeah I blasted a car, it was amazing, dam, then I hit Argos and raided it, got a new stereo. Micky got caught by the feds, got a fag?" it was all excitement and fun and boosting and laughing. Laughter full of fear. rolling from one hot spot to the next

As for jobs, we did not want jobs because we felt disconnected from society (we did not call it that we called it "im not a f**king mug". Getting a job meant becoming a “jed” a mug, a loser or for the more black areas, an uncle tom, especially if it was educated work. Being mixed race I had my core white gang but sometimes hang with black gangs in dalston and hackney and so could see the same thing elsewhere, irrespective of colour. The kids do want money and they want to be successful and they want to be respected it’s just that when they are disconnected from the world, your world, they seek all those things in the gang. And that means, thieving, fighting, breaking and having contempt for all authority.

Politics:

The only political agenda here is the gang one. These kids are not thugs either. The gang is the thug, not the individual. It’s simply a social climate of fear and boredom that is dry as a tinderbox and any spark from the inside or outside is enough to light it up. Any spark! The only difference is sparks from the outside unite all the various gangs, hence the riots. Sparks from the inside cause fights among and within the gangs so you don’t hear about it so much unless a kid gets stabbed and then its on the news a few times a year. But the attacks and pressure is continuous and never stops just because the news does. These sparks are going on all the time, multi-daily, never ending. Really, all the time. But an external spark like a kid getting shot unites and leads to a riot with police and it is a once in a lifetime event which you would relish! Im certain that many of rioters in tottenham could have been rivals of the kid that got shot but the police are a bigger threat and so the gangs unite and riot as well (like we did against that one big gang). That day I had with the petrol bombs was a highlight along with the 24-hour siege of the youth club. Thoses stories gave kudos for years! This riot will too. Pity any gang member that missed them! Thats the mind set at least.

The Fix

We were always looking for a fix of adrenalin. And everyone eggs-on the next person. The gang is the thug. If you can break the gang you kill the thug. When I was on my own I was pretty bright kid but you stick me in that gang and I did whatever it took to not be the loser, not get picked on and keep myself safe, to survive. Its like being put on a stage and your mates are watching and you got to impress them! The weapon of choice was bravado, If you did not have bravado you were in the firing line. I got by using big personality, big mouth and being smarter than most of my mates plus I had two brothers with a fierce rep, plus my gang was one not to be messed with because they were proper violent and that kept me semi-safe when I went to other areas. Others in my gang just hurt people but in a strange way that made me more safe. Everyone had their tricks to be safe. I was scared and I didnt want to seriously hurt anyone so I figured out my way to do that and it meant being really loud and visible when we smashed up stuff. I could fill my unwritten rep quota by smashing up inanimate objects or thieving or my favourite one, getting kicked out of every class of school in the most visible ways possble: lighting up J's in the maths class, Walking out of the school realy slowley (instead of running out) during class so every one would see me, messing up teachers cars in front of them, making kids by my weed even though i knew it was just leaves and they new it was just leaves, and refusing to answer the register with any word other than "Bollox". School was my speciality! Compared to some kids in my gang I was relatively good ( i never stabbed anyone) but in normal land I was really, really bad.

Disillusionment

You don’t really ever know you are the underclass. In fact you think you are above normal people. You "live in the trenches while they do F**k all". You don’t see you are a disadvantaged kid from a dysfunctional society, you only find that out when you leave and start trying to interact with normal people. Until then you just know your own world. Everyone looking in on this kids thinks they can see the world you see. They cant. When I was in to all that 10-19, my knowledge was :

Mum,Dad,Teachers – all tenuous relationships

The Manor - Old Street/Whitecross street, St Lukes Estate, The Church (it was a dump then used for all kinds of mischief)

Other areas outside mine are dangerous and if I go their im vulnerable

The west end is no-mans land, no gang runs the west end so that was the thieving hotspot and our playground –oxford street, you might get the oocasion clash if you come a cross a rival gang out for fun too.

Police were the enemy – the more you torment them the more kudos you got.

Anyone in the street I don’t know is either the enemy or potential victim

They were the enemy was any authority especially if they tried to talk to us about what we were doing.

They were a victim based on random events/mood/who was hanging out that day.

Outside people: They had money and I had two choices, job or stealing/dole. Shops: shops were never ours, aways someone else. We had no investment in the local business so we robed them often. Driving cars through Argos on old street was a fav technique.

College – a break from the gang until but you have to keep it quiet or another gang knows where to find you on you own and so you don’t go any more – Little broadwater farm chased my out of a technical college in north london during my first failed attempt at getting an education because after that I never went back.

University: Where gays go. Not joking, Thats what we thought.

Students, punching/mugging practice fodder!

Arcades – where you go instead of school



Today the kids have a bigger world due to the internet but its still not the world you see. Its another world and it is stil really small.


The Solution – The actual solution lies in awakening but no one will hear that yet so this below is not definitive list and just ideas based on what I felt would have worked in my gangs or did partially work in my gangs based on resources availible today.


Unseat a culture based on fear.

Kids must feel safe from the continuous risk from their peers. If there is nowhere that is safe then they remain dependent on the gang. Good youth clubs are safe, colleges can be safe, but mostly the community must feel safe. This is done by making people feel part of the greater society, everyone. Parents must feel included and that they have a real investment in the area and thus take control of their own kids. Local people need to work in or run local businesses.


Replace the adrenalin hits that this type of lifestyle affords.

I grew up with “the buzz” and when I escaped, everything sort of felt dull and bland. The buzz from living that way is really addictive and is initially unmatched in normal life. I would have more emotional ups and downs in a day on the street than normal life gives in a month, just sitting on some street corner doing nothing. I know it seams hard to believe but that’s how much goes on in these social groups. The dynamic is chaotic. You are either after a gang, being chased by a gang, selling stolen stuff, selling drugs, stealing stuff, stealing drugs, stealing money, extorting money, going for girls, being chased by someone for going with there girl, getting chased by the police, doing dares and on and on. Non-stop.

If you provide something for these kids to-do that is cool, fun and exciting, they will do it. Once a youth club arranged a bike-ride-to-rye we did not no where the F**k rye was but we ALL went. It was also a highlight like the petrol bomb event! Also you can pull away individuals. You can slip them from the edge of the gangs. The kids that keep on ending up as loser for the day want out. So do the brightest ones. It's hard to leave though because that brings on the whole gang wrath. I did it but it meant having to sneak in and out of my house for two years, but I just knew it was not my path to be in that gang any more so I put up with the regular hunts ( Don’t worry it was easy cause I knew the game too well ;o). If there were an alternative that was safe, these kids would leave. As much fun as it is in a gang, your nerves get shot and you also deep down you start to suspect it goes nowhere good especially when you reach a point where you need to go pro or quit. That’s the time to peel’em off.

Role Models: The most important

When you see these kids, know that they are tense and scared and trying to be seen and heard to protect themselves from each other but no one is listening. That's pretty much what is going on. They need a new focus new role models and somewhere to feel safe from themselves that provides an outlet. The most successful methods for change is introducing group creativity that is seen as cool. Music, writing, Sports, challenges. But it has to be ligit. Fake gets spotted. What works: Think Krumping in LA, or when Skatebording hit London in the 80s. we were obsessed until they closed down the skate park!! Acid House was another big hit. Every swapped knifes for decks and converse.

They need activities that lead them to their role models. At the moment they only have role models in music and thuggerry. That’s why they like the music but give them more role models in any area and a path to get there and they will walk it no matter what it is. I wanted to be Stacy Peralta that summer (skateboarder) Ha I had a role model! If they are left on the street corners, with only role models being the most crazy gang members be prepared for them to burn stuff down.

They need new mentors and role models to replace the invisible leader, the one that notes if you have been disrespected or not. They need to see that the biggest disrespect they can have is to follow this damaging social code. You get any one of these kids on their own and they are pretty all right and they would get this. But in the gang, the social pressures take over. The crowd mentality takes over and everything you got to say falls on death ears. It's a community action that is needed to solve this. They are operating with a code of conduct that is defunk and that’s what needs to change.


Take Out The Ring Leaders (the only place for a hard line)

In every gang there are only really one or two hard line criminals (I mean ones that would kill someone or reckless stab someone as appose to pulling punches as most kids do). What I mean by this is some kids will be throwing petrol bombs and bricks in the direction of the police. But a few will really be trying to kill someone. The latter are the ring leaders. Sure we were all criminals buy normal standards but I’m talking about relative criminality and only one or two seriously want proper damage. They are like the king bee and they control the workers. Even the gangs know this. There was a wisdom shared by older gang members that if you ever get caught by a rival gang go crazy on the leader and lef it, If you sort him out you might get away. Same applies to policing. If you get rid of the leader the gang dissolves a bit.

The police action needs to be smarter. We used to love courting the police. They couldn't really do much and if they put us in a cell for the night, great! More adrenalin, more excitement, more kudos for getting nicked! We would complain about being unfairly stopped all the time but we should have been stopped more! I never when by a day when we did not have a good reason to be stopped. We were never not up to something. Never! And if we didn’t like the risk you just get a 10 year old to do it/carry it. That use to happen! However, I think they should ignore the small crimes as it just builds the subjects cred when you get nicked for that. But they should lock people up for much longer for serious crimes to kill the kudos part and make an example of their current role models. Take out the ringleaders.

All night in the cell for trouble making just gives you a chance to scrawl your name in the wall and tell a great story the next day. A few weeks inside just gets you to meet role models of the wrong kind. But if you get 10 years for serious crimes, that’s not fun or cool and by the time you get out your gang is long gone.

For small crimes the kids should be put somewhere they learn a skill, meet new role models and do something positive, they need an ultra liberal approach. You want to peel away the weakest links which decreases gang size and power and dissolves the social fabric that keeps this madness alive. At the same time you have to get rid of the ringleaders, because then the gang fear is reduced and so is their respect and status as a role model. That needs a hardline approach, unfortunately! To see this in action, on a small scale and in a school watch this brilliant channel four documentary

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-unteachables/4od


Summary

It’s a tough situation but it is a social issue not a political one. Its not about just police behavior as such it’s more about a volatile social structure that is being dealt with in a way that just throws fuel on the fire. The media and police combine to make it worse. Eventually, most of the gangs dissolve because the ringleaders grow up so the real focus needs to be how to not make new gangs. That would be the real success. I knew the kids on the Broadwater Farm estate. They actually came after me for one reason or another, but I saw them coming and also I knew someone high-up cause his little brother was in my class. But the point is , the original broadwater farm gang must have grown up now yet there is still a Broadwater Farm gang! And this is the point, you need to sever the line and this only happens by offering a better viable and safer life path.

And if you ever get caught up in a situation your best bet is as follows:

1) Play deft don’t look up and keep walking. There is a massive chance something more shiny then you will catch their eye because the attention span is measures in seconds.

2) If they come after you, they will probably talk first. This is the fun bit for them, the sneak attack. You options are a) walk in to the nearest shop not pub) and just ask for help b) point at the nearest block of flats and say you live there or your family live there or your cousin lives there. Its your best bet. There is a strange loyalty about postcodes. Its worked for me!

3) What I would do now. Tell them I’m a music producer and I need some guys for a video. Take their numbers and promise to call. Ask the to send you some lyrics. I know it would work 100% because what you are offering is now more shiny then them beating you up.


After You Leave the gang

Once you get out it aint over. Then begins a long period of adjusting to normal society. To negotiating, to not getting your own way by force. To not feeling like you need to dominate every situation just to feel safe. Yes others can speak to and it is ok! And learning to trust people and make friends. To have relationships that don’t resemble what you came to know. To managing anger, impulse and rage. To sorting out addictions. To feeling threatened in every/any situation. When I left my gang, my goal was making money and I hop, skipped and jumped into a 6 figure salary at Goldman sachs, via a masters degree and so skillful blagging (you never lose it) in just 5 years. .

But once the dust settelled I realized that I could not really function. I was angry, having daily road rage, losing friends and ending relationships, getting in to fights in my suit on the tube!!! Stealing from shops! Still! And still suffering with all the addictions I picked up as a kid. I realized the real wealth was not in the “trainers” after all but in learning how to have good emotions and friends. That was what it has come down and it became creating emotional freedom and friends! This is the only wealth I recognize one can truly own and i can say, i finally did it. (95% ;o)


Stereotypical Background

Lastly, I do not condone these kids actions. However, its worth understanding what the lives might be like for the worst offenders. And remember not all these kids are bad. In old street there were maybe 10 council estates, a few thousand families and our gang peeked at 50 and the core was 30 kids and of those there were 3-5 hard line guys. Any way this might be the life:

Imagine being 10-18. You have at least one dead/absent/in jail/on dole/angry parent. Your older brothers further up the ranks are also dead/absent/in jail/on dole/angry or are respected gangsters. Your dad might even be. You might be ‘cursed’ with an older brother who got out and has a job as an insurance sales man so you don’t speak to him much. Your younger siblings, of which you are the carer got picked on recently. You have no idea how to care for them except you know you have to fight their attacker of your rep is done and you are annoyed at them for getting bullied because their bully, stabbed someone nine times last week. What to do! You’re terrified of all options.

At school you are a failure, expelled twice and mostly absent. The gang at school are babies compared to your own so you use it as some ‘free time’ to be the bigger bad boy and bully everyone before you go back down the ranks in your own gang. Or your school is in another area and every time you go there you fear getting jumped so you stop going. It doesn’t matter anyway because you are always being told you are stupid which makes you wonder cause you’ll constantly outsmarting them all time. Its just that your smarts are misguided and lead you in the wrong direction. Also you might actually be really unacademic too and need help but its not coming and you cant ask for it. Every time your mates see you with a pen they rib you until you chuck it at the teacher to prove your not a “goody goody”.

The day starts normally with some act of cruelty, could be your dad on you, brother on you, you on your brother, you on your parents, you on anyone. Anyone on you. And you’ve been sexually abused as well but you didn’t think it was a big deal so you didn’t tell anyone, after all you first f*** at 12 anyway. You started smoking at 9, alcohol at 13, and have been hooked on sugar and junk food since birth. You think you are an adult, you never thought you were a kid and you cant understand why people keep calling you that. It vexes you.

Your self-esteem is very low but you don’t know those words, your parents have no money and yes, you have herd of a place called India where there are even poorer people but you have no idea why anyone is telling you that, you ant ever gonna go there! All you know is you need the right clothes and stuff or your become a target of your gang gaze and you need to find away to get it at all costs. You worship stuff cause it adds protection and you don’t even know or question why! So you steal it or you steal money to steal it or you bully others to steal it for you or you bully others to steal it from their parents, especially when you find out they are one of the few kids whose parents have a business.

You might be in or you know of a ring of girls who shoplift cause they do most of it and regularly go to the west end to “work”. if you’re a guy, you do more break-ins and ram raids or are a look out or a carrier if you are young. Whoever you are, one of your mates was murdered. One of your mates got really hurt by a gang. You know of a gang that is after you by name and you are after someone in another gang. The conflict is entirely based on rumours but that’s not the point. The only thing that bugs you, really, is your still sleeping in that abandoned van on the estate and you have to pop into your mums to get a shower when you dad is out cause he wont let you in the house. So you cant get a job and besides if you do you’re a sell-out. The biggest issue though (which you have no idea you even have) is your social skills are week. You can’t reason or negotiate. You have very strong emotional urges and your two modes are “Fight or Flight” and “all good.” There is no “lets talk about this” The only time you ever herd that said was when someone was buying time so he could hit the guy over the head with a bar he had up his sleave. The talk never happened. You thought that was f**king brilliant.

There is no time to think about anything other than being safe. There is no time to reason. Whatever else people you should be thinking about, it is not happening cause the drive to just survive that day takes precedent


This is not written as an excuse for what is going on in the Uk today but rather a look at the real reasons: deep inside the worst council estates there is a social sickness and what you are seeing is a small glimpse of that sickness leaking out. But its been there for years and has never stoped being the daily reality for these kids. So by that measure the perpetrators are the victims. I hope this all helps some people understand better what is gong on in the minds of these kinds.

If you want to see the only movie that comes close to sharing this life style watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdoKD4gTQ2c

And my final quote to some my take on all this.

"I saw grief drinking a cup
of sorrow and called out,
'It tastes sweet, does it not?'
'You've caught me,' grief answered,
'and you've ruined my business.
......How can I sell sorrow,
when you know it's a blessing?'"
~Rumi


Peace to london
---
Rachel

Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

My blog: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.com/

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pelmetman
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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240851 pelmetman
Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:42 pm

grahamhobbs wrote:I'm sorry you've decided that because I think this thread has provoked me, and hopefully others, into thinking about things more deeply about what's going on in our communities, for instance the gang culture, which I knew was there but hadn't given it much thought. You say that the leaders should be banged up for 10 years, but we all know that is not going to happen unless they caught murdering someone. No we have to change our communities so that there is not this fear, there is not the grounds for violent gangs to exist.


I think you will find it was not Mike's suggestion that they should be banged up for 10 years but Joe Best's, which is why it is all the more powerful that someone who has been part of that culture, which is so alien to the rest of us suggests such a solution :shock: ............You are quite right that our soft liberal justice system will not allow it, and as far as I am concerned they have to accept a lot of the blame with their wooley liberal minded approach, along with the anti smacking brigade, coupled with the neutering of traditional discipline we have a unintentionally created a feral breed of kids :? ......... but that's always been the problem with the chattering classes they think just because their wonderful offspring are petrified of the naughty step, they think the same approach would work with everybody else's sprogs :roll: ..............As we can see this is patently not the case :roll: .
Last edited by pelmetman on Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240852 SouthernDave
Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:32 pm

Shame Mike as discussion is about an exchange of ideas....... :dontknow:

IN answer to your point I suppose you could at a push call it a 'dogma' although that is not a term I would use as this usually applies known truth or authority. Socialism and Marxism are based on sicentific materialism and therefore constantly adapting and re-testing their own arguments in light of new knowldegde, which is far from the traditionally understood ntoions of dogma or dogmatic application fo arguments. I still don't accept I have any agenda other than discussing with people and perhaps raising ideas?

Thanks Zech for posting the Facebook copy. An interesting perspective and well written for a 'feral' if indeed they are. But taking it as a genuine account (and why not?) it does make for an underlining of what I have been saying earlier in that the attitudes expressed are a result of the system they have been raised in does it not? And further, although the writer says the actions are a-political with which I agreed (take note Mike, I know you're still reading! :lol: ), this is also what others have been saying - the actual events did not start or act with any political concious, so a-political, but have resulted of political and economic situations.

Pelmetman - If very strong 'justice' systems, corporal punishments, the death penalty and the like work, why do countries like America and especially the middle and far east have such problems with criminality, violence, civil unrest and the like?? And conversely those countries with more liberal regimes AND good economies (i.e. more money, better shared) have lower crime rates like Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Japan? Does this not lead to the conclusion that these ideas of punishment do not work?

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Re: I think I'll.......

Post: #240856 Big Al
Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:16 pm

I will start these things won't I.......
[size=150]Member of the Ishloss weight group 2013. starting weight 296.00 pounds on 01.01.2013. Now minus 0.20 pounds total THIS WEEK - 0.20 pounds Now over 320 pounds and couldn't give a fig...
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