Thursday 11 August 2011

Riot Talk in Monotone on Radio 5

I was on BBC Radio 5 Live with Shelagh Fogarty yesterday talking about the riots in my monotone voice with a clued up lady from Manchester. I wish they had given me an hour after my rant to play some seventies soul and jazz to soothe my mind after talking about social breakdown and the urban underclass. Click on the show for the 10th August it's roughly an hour in to the programme. I am in the Mail tomorrow, Friday the 12th, for those of you who are interested.

Link to Radio


Bernardoni said...

Thanks for your article in the Mail. I can see you're angry, and what you write makes the reader angry, and rightfully so. I just want to ask you about the interview with Darcus Howe, I guess you've seen it on YouTube. What would you tell Howe (if you wouldn't be telling him off)?

Anonymous said...

I'll pass on the Mail, but was quite impressed with the radio programme. The interviewer seemed to do her guests the courtesy of letting you speak whole sentences and to develop a theme. Amazing! Still can't quite believe it was the BBC.

Presumably your voice was processed & disguised in some way. How did that work?

For some reason I've often imagined an Irish 'voice' when reading your excellent blog. If it's not your own accent then you should think about adopting it ;^) .


Ian said...

I heard you speaking on radio 5 the other day and you seem to be the only person speaking any sense. I just hope that your frank observations are picked up on by the government and that the offensive youth system is turned upside down.

Ian said...

In fact, I always want to say thank you. For too long we have had deluded politicians like Theresa May come on to the TV and claim they speak for the majority of the population when they say things like "we police by consent" when the majority of the population are screaming out for the use of water cannons.
I am young, middle class and know the types of people who got involved in these riots well as I am from a deprived area of South London and I want to say wholeheartedly that the time has come for punishment to mean exactly that.
Do you think that some form of national service could be the way forward? There has been criticism for Cameron's new National Citizen Service but perhaps if we did have something compulsory of that sort, these kids would have more respect for authority and a sense of belonging.

cheeky chappy said...

Having watched the Question Time special last night, I was worryingly shocked to see that our esteemed elites, not to mention large swaithes of the audience STILL don't understand the feral, sub-human mentality of these thugs. They don't want more chances, they don't want better education. THEY DON'T WANT to f***ing CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY! All they want is to continue living and feeding off the hard work of others.

The panel members were largely still tripping out the same bleeding heart, apologist, civilised and compassionate thinking. When are they going to get it? In order to deal with the underclass you have to get down in the gutter with them. Savages only know, respect and fear savagery. We've had 30 -40 years of their softly, softly approach and it has been violently thrown back in our faces.

Until our elites grasp this simple fact and start fighting fire with fire, the problem of the underclass with never be got rid of.

Anonymous said...

I listened to your radio prog. Good stuff but I fear the ruling elite not only don't get it, they don't want to know.
Anyway your comment about children knowing boundaries caused me to recall my own childhood and how different things are now.

I used to play with the son's of miners, often football or cricket on the open spaces surrounding our homes.
You could tell the miners, they usually wore broad leather belts, their sons would be kept in line by the threat of a "belting".
A frequent cameo was enacted at mealtimes, after a couple of calls from their mother, that were usually ignored, a father would appear and motion to undo his belt. At that point we always lost one or more players for a while.

Of course, disciplining your children in that way today would be regarded as child abuse, but was it?
Kids certainly knew there were boundaries and consequences if they were overstepped and fathers exercised judgement over what was appropriate punishment. By the standards of today the kids grew up to be well-adjusted but also without the need for middle class professionals, which is perhaps why today's SS don't like it? said...

I was listening to the radio programme in the car and kept shouting "yes" to everything you said. When I got home I Googled you. I've ordered your book and your blog is now on my "favourites" list. Thank goodness for someone who talks common sense - thankyou!

Lesley said...

Heard you on the radio, already got the book. Keep talking, hopefully those in power will start to listen

Unknown said...

In a week when I'm sure most people have been shocked and have despaired of a certain section of their communities, I was heartened to read about a young 18 yr old Rhyl student girl who entered a house fire twice in order to rescue a young man of 21, who sadly died the following day. Most of our youth are good citizens,who rarely get a mention.

Lack of any firm discipline which involves consequences, both in the home and schools. Parents and teachers who have through slack parenting and teaching practice, become to familiar with their children/pupils,by trying to treat them on an equal footing, thereby losing authority and respect.
Until some parents and teachers start to parent and teach with authority, and are given the power back to do just that, I don't see how this can be turned around.

Sonia said...

I come from the so-called 'underclass'. I have spent my whole life trying to manage 'challenging' people and it's depressing. However, I think the reasons for these riots are complex. Explaining all the rioters as materialistic, criminal thugs is too simplistic, although some of them were just that and murdering scum too. The rioters were angry. We live in an over-materialistic and violent society from top to bottom. We are fighting 3 wars with innocent people being killed every week. We have consumeritis rammed down our throats constantly. I have spent my life bored rigid listening to people brag about their stuff. Stuff that takes no skill or effort to get, just a credit card. There are no jobs except unstimulating badly paid ones. The cuts are coming, and the apprehension cannot be ignored. We have corrupt, immoral, greedy, selfish MP's, business leaders, bankers etc. And many of the problems Winston describes with his 'clients' are exacerbated by dysfunctional councils, care workers, social workers, etc. (Winston sounds extraordinarly sane for his line of work)and the privatisation of social services. Private 'care' businesses (I include so-called charities here who hide their profits by paying themselves big wages)are motivated by profit. The clients have to be attracted and kept. The clients are kept happy by letting them do what they want no matter how anti-social. The clients are simply commercial commodities, and councils collude with private business.

WinstonSmith33 said...


You speak so much sense.

WinstonSmith33 said...


Darcus Howe was right about many things in the 70s/80s but he is simply delusional with his reasoning about the causes of these riots. He is viewing today's society through the injustices of the past. He is more interested in promulgating outdated analysis. He is a slave to theories that once reflected reality. He is also a pompous and rude man with a chip on his shoulder the size of a boulder. The riots in Brixton, Broadwater Farm and elsewhere in the 80s had some rationale, though not justified, understandable. We are dealing with a very different beast now. I fear they will happen again by the end of the year. Hope I am wrong but the underclass have woken up to the fact that they can take to the streets and cause immense destruction and the police will take days to quell it.

Outreacher said...

Now we are reaping what we have sown.

The policies of alienation have created a generation of youths who feel completely disenfranchised from society. For years people like Winston have cast arrogant judgement on disadvantaged young people, to the affect that such people have had enough of being unsupported and ignored by wider society. Is it any surprise that feelings of anger have boiled over and resulted in these protests?

If we are to engage with these troubled young people and give them the support they need, we must abandon the right-wing rhetoric spouted by Winston and other Daily Mail types, and get serious about giving the underprivileged the opportunities they need.

Yvonne said...

Sonia: A generation or two appears to think that getting stuff is easy just use a credit card. No-one seems to think that the bill has to be paid. My generation, I'm 70, has let our children down by not installing the pay for what you get, and that Society does not owe you a living.

Just a suggestion said...

Winston, is it possible to turn off comment moderation so comments are posted immediately? I think this would greatly improve debate, as it is difficult to get a conversation going when comments appear sporadically.

Obviously you would still be able to remove comments that were offensive or OTT.

Les said...

Comments made about the polarisation of wealth are interesting.A glance at the Times rich list shows the wealth of the top 1000 going up from £259billion to £396 billion in 2 years. So who are the opportunistic looters of Britain?

Anonymous said...

Dear Outreacher,

I assure you that the British youth get abundant opportunities compared to youth from many other countries with minimal to no welfare assistance and barely any help for job-seekers.
However, the youths in these other countries do not run riot. The difference lies in the existence of a culture that promotes self-reliance and hard work, coupled with painful penalties (eg. corporal punishment) for those who create disorder in society.

I know this sounds radical, I think the kindest thing would be to impose these painful penalties for British youth. Since, they lack self-control at present, these penalties would help them to avoid creating havoc and instead turn their minds towards gainful employment. Through this, they might gain some self-respect and hopefully start contributing to society because of their own desire rather than because of the stick. I believe this approach is used in several Asian countries with good results.

For those who feel to corporal punishment is too inhumane, I would venture the opinion that plastic bullets and other forceful methods of riot control are also forms of painful deterrent, except that the latter can injure or even kill innocent bystanders, whilst the former is measured and safe if used in moderation, as Britain has done in the past.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Just a Suggestion

I would love to turn it off but unfortunately I need to screen comments before I post them. This is for several reasons. Firstly, some people on the extreme end of the liberal or left spectrum can be openly very abusive to me and whilst I expect this I dont want to clog up the comments with rude and unconstructive comments that dont add to the debate. On the other end of the spectrum some people advocate extreme violence against the underclass for even the most minor of misdemeanours. This too is unconstructive. I publish all kinds of opinions including one's that are highly critical of my views but when people get abusive or seem to or actually revel in the idea of violence as a means of revenge then I will not publish the comments. Also any comments of a racist, homophobic or sexist nature wont be published.

Zenobia said...

@Sonia - You are right for the most part; there is a general abdication of responsibility and the rise of the victimhood industry, race relations industry, and so on and so forth which relies on there being social problems in the first place. Wasn't there a Winston post that said that if we do our jobs properly we do ourselves out of a job?

@Outreacher - Speaking as someone who works in legal aid law and does, in fact, have dealings with these "vulnerable persons," I would say that the clients fall into two broad categories. The working stiffs who've fallen foul of some sort of genuine injustice or problem and who genuinely are interested and take their share of responsibility for getting out this situation, which are about two thirds of it, and the lackadaisical unworking classes who have no concept of responsibility or the need to do anything for themselves because they're used to the omnibenevolent State bailing them out. These are the ones that despite engagement and advice and suchlike don't do anything, and when you tell them that only they can take the steps required to save their home or ensure their rent is paid on time or get the evidence of the disrepair or even come to the hearings, accuse you of being a judgemental pain in the arse or talking down to them.

Quite frankly when confronted with this I tend to simply say that if they don't turn up to Court or pay their rent or whatever, they're the ones who will lose out. But because they've been constantly bailed out in the past they now expect you to do everything for them up to, and including, holding their dick when they piss.

Now, Outreacher, tell me why it's so wrong or unreasonable or judgemental to insist that people take their share of responsibility and to tell them that if they do not they are the ones who will lose out, which is the truth and which people ought to understand from an early age.

@Winston - I would be interested to see some of the leftist invective you attract just so I can point and laugh.

heather9599 said...

Adults have to start behaving like adults again and setting boundaries for all children. Children need to feel secure and most of these feral kids have never had any boundaries set in their lives or have been rewarded with goodies when they have broken the boundaries. We now have at least two generations that think they can do anything they want and get confusing messages when they break the law. We need literally to get back to basics and parents need to be responsible adults towards their children. We need to punish people who break the law with stiff penalties and bring in human rights for victims. If you break the law you have no rights whatsoever,

Anonymous said...

We're in a right mess. There is so much bile and anger in this blog and the comments. There's not much looking for the other side of the story (from those on left or right).

I worry about the 15 - 20 year olds that hang about outside my flat (in a council block). They're friends of my neighbours son. They generally make a lot of noise, drop litter, talk about fighting (or materialistic nonsense) anytime I ever over hear a conversation, stare at me every time I walked about my front door, which freaks me out because I've also seen them concealing weapons. I suspect they probably engage in a bit of petty crime such as low level dealing etc.

A while back though I was carrying in some furniture into my flat and my neighbours son helped us carry some stuff in. I was really shocked. It just didn't fit with the perception I had of him (or them). After that I've been talking a bit more to them. There had been a couple of stabbings local to us and on chatting to the lads they were pretty edgy and didn't feel protected by the police (their words). Their reaction to the stabbing has been that they don't really go out beyond the estate anymore, apart from hanging around outside making noise, driving scooters up and down, and winding me up!

Once I'd talked to them though things seemed to change - they became more vulnerable in my head and less threatening. We say "alright" to each other. I know their names. They're still annoying but I feel a bit better.

I agree with what you say about the lack of consequences for criminality, dependency culture, lack of identity, role models etc. I think these are the key things driving the riots - along with inequality - though you may not agree with that. But beyond all the policy stuff, on a personal level, being curious about those that we fear has surprising effects. I guess some of your readers will view this as compassionate nonsense. Perhaps they're right. But it helped me deal with my local problem.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Anonymous above,

I agree that inequality is an issue and a serious and detrimental one at that and it is why I am a social democrat.

However, these riots had nothing to do with inequality. Poverty in Britain is relative and believe me the underclass are doing ok. Ive worked with them and once they go down the breeding path they get well looked after. I agree with a welfare state but not the behemoth of a one that we created in Britain which has become rather than a helping hand one that has been chewed to the bone by the lumpenproletariat (the old degree in Sociology and Politics comes in handy again).

Outreacher said...

Zenobia, I will ask you the same question Winston is often asked: Do you really think that someone with your attitude should be working in a job where one is supposed to be HELPING the vulnerable and unsupported? By being so sanctimonious and judgemental you are chipping away at what little self-respect these unfortunate people might have remaining, that's if they have any self-respect left after being constantly put-down by wider society.

It is obviously difficult for people like yourself and Winston and others on the reactionary-right to feel empathy for those who society has turned its back. Not everyone has the privelges you take for granted and they are frustrated at constantly being ignored. If we learn anything from the protests in London and elsewhere it should be that if you constantly ignore the needy then they will react against the system that has left them in dispair.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@ Outreacher,

Thanks once again for showing how little you understand of the underclass? Are you actually working with them yet or do you just read about them in Sociology books?

Firstly, get your facts right. I am a social democrat and I espouse the values of Old Labour in relation to crime and lawlessness. I also abhor the levels of inequality in the UK but inequality and poverty are two very different things.

When I am at work I treat all the young people I work with respect but I also challenge their rude and abusive behaviour if that's judgemental then guilty as charged. I actually believe in trying to guide wayward teenagers on to the right path and that involves making a judgement on their negative behaviours and trying to veer them on to the right path. Unfortunately, the system uses mostly the carrot approach (it should be a balance between carrot and stick)and we see where this approach has led to.

The 'needy' and 'unsupported' that you speak of and that I have worked with in Supported Housing are between 16-25. The majority dont work and have their rent paid for by the state. Some of them scrape by on Jobseekers Allowance but they have enough to eat, bills paid for and a roof over their head. Most of the projects I worked at were kept in good condition, which cost a lot in maintenance, due to how many of the residents liked to vandalise or never bother with basic cleaning.

There were also quiet a few young people on Income Support which pays a higher level of benefit and many on this were also getting Disability Living Allowance (for depression, mental health issues due to skunk). Many of the residents after their rent was paid for had between 120-210 pounds to live on a week.Almost all the residents moved in with TVS, Stereos, Playstations and many also had laptops not to mention top of the range phones. They used to tease me about my unfashionable model.

They also had personal assistants like me to remind them of this that and the other and apart from me and one or two others most of the staff would actually take eith partial or full responsibility for ensuring the young person was maintaining beneftis thus giving them the impression that even the free money they received was the responsibility of others to sort out.

We live in one of the most unequal states in the developed world I agree. However, instead of dealing with that issue through reducing the gap between the overpaid and the undepaid we have instead created a behemoth of a welfare state that disempowers people by handing them the bare means of survival (which is generous compared to many countries. We then allow them to live dependent on the state refuse to judge them or nudge them in to meaningful activity. Instead we then fund these individuals to breed another generation of feckless individuals whom have no aspiration to become educated or train or for any personal improvement. This is the underclass and as Ive said before it is the traditional working class with a value system and sense of deceny who are forced to live amongst them.

Outreacher I dont possess any of the privileges you think that I have. I am currently without work and have lived for the past 5 years mostly doing insecure badly paid agecny work with some of the most challenging groups of people in society. If that is a privileged position then Id hate to see your idea of underprivileged.

Anonymous said...

Winston, you may call yourself a social democrat, but your views and the type of support they get on here suggest otherwise. It's often pretty hateful and divisive stuff.

The small amount of work you have done with young offenders and in supported housing does not validate your views by the way. If experience gave strength to an argument my views would hold considerably more weight than yours. I’ve worked in social care for 23 years in child protection, mental health, substance misuse and young offending and feel you talk utter nonsense. You always blame the wrong people and would rather berate people like Outreacher than put forward any positive suggestions about how to improve society. And before you start ranting about me I expect everyone I come into contact with to take responsibility for their actions, I just don’t feel the need to despise them at the same time.

Great Thinkers (In Their Own Words) episode 3 - currently on BBC I player is very relevant to this discussion and well worth watching for those who value informed and intelligent social comment. You may of course prefer late night phone ins on Radio 5.

Anonymous said...

All this righteous indignation gets us nowhere, but has been fascinating to watch. Last week I was interested to see some fat bloke from The Sun on Newsnight intensely moralising so soon after News International’s recent disgrace. Is nicking a pair of trainers really worse than illegally hacking the phones of murdered children?
On the same program was Michael Gove whose expenses claims ripped off thousands in public funds. He was allowed to give this back and apologise, but this opportunity will not be extended to any looters.

Anonymous said...

Does the fact that you are not currently in work make you a member of the underclass yourself Winston? Or does your sociology degree protect you from this label? You either have the State paying your rent or you have access to private funds of your own, but surely you could get a job in a supermarket or McDonalds? Or maybe you should be made to work for benefits as the government are suggesting. Personally I believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay and that the government have responsibility to oversee an economy where decent jobs are available for everyone. I wish you well in your job seeking, but hope you steer away from youth work until you understand some models of change.

Out of interest are you familiar with the work of Charles Murrey?

Anonymous said...

Skunk doesn't cause mental health problems. I just looked it up...the early psychosis research shows that skunk brings forward the onset of psychotic illnesses by four or five years. The problem is that it means some of the kids will drop out of education earlier and that's a massive shame. There doesn't seem to be evidence it causes depression.

I agree that some offenders need a lot more consequences than they get currently. I think there's also a big problem with the carrot. It's just as important as the stick but it shouldn't be playstation or material orientated. It should be about people's time, interest and curiosity. That might be a neighbour or anyone really. Kids never keep their tough guy act up all the time. I'd love to see a bit more about how you engaged some of the difficult kids. Some are pushed into offending through peer pressure (which I'm sure was true for the riots). Some of those should be reachable eh. I know you've had success, because despite what some posters say, you seem an intelligent and sensitive bloke.

You said on the radio that some of the young people you'd worked with were characters. Please tell us more about them....

Sorry to hear you're not working it's tough times eh.

WinstonSmith33 said...

To the individual a few comments above who feels that six years of experience working with young people doesnt qualify me to give an accurate analysis of the problems young people face or to provide a critique of the states role in creating and perpetuating these problems I have this to say.

Yes, you have more experience but you subscribe to the prevailing models of 'support' that has overseen increasing crime rates amongst young offenders, particularly those of a prolific and more serious nature. Your work in Child Protection is part of a care system that the previous director of Barnardos, Martin Narey condemned as shambolic and detrimental to the welfare of children and to which I and many other frontline workers in care homes can testify.

You accuse me of speaking nonsense yet it is your views that are the prevailing model adopted throughout public policy in relation to young people. I think for many people the evidence to whether these are a success or failure were borne out on the streets of some of our major cities last week.

WinstonSmith33 said...

To one of the many anonymous above.

Being out of work doesnt make one a member of the underclass. In fact, I have met people who I would categorise as members of the underclass who would take home a middle class salary. I have met people who are unemployed and on benefits but who are trying to work or improve themselves in some way.

To me the underclass are characterised by many characteristics, unemployment is only one of them when it is chosen and one makes no effort to change it. However, the main characteristic to me is an attitude of irresponsibility and a contempt for law and order, lack of manners, no respect for one's fellow human beings and one's community and a lazy and disinterested attitude to work, training or education.

Josh said...

Anonymous said...
"Is nicking a pair of trainers really worse than illegally hacking the phones of murdered children?"

17 August 2011 08:04

Is that how you would describe the disorder the country saw over the last week or so? Just "Nicking a pair of trainers"?

Have you forgotten about the dozens of shops, homes and businesses looted and torched? The livelihoods lost, the lives ruined? The people assaulted, mugged, raped (at least one that I've heard of) in the streets? or the four people (at least) murdered?

After all that, you dismiss it as "nicking a pair of trainers"?

By trivialising the events of the previous fortnight you're spitting on the victims of the thugs who made a mockery of the law and society.

Anonymous said...

Working in children's home doesn't give you insight into child protection work Winston. Undertaking joint investigations with the police, conducting forensic interviews of children, applying for care orders in the family courts probably does. I have done all of these things and done the same work abroad. Our system is by no means perfect, but the Children Act 1989 is a sound piece of legislation and the number of children being removed from dangerous situations has increased massively over the last few years. Obviously in most cases the abuse that led to the child being taken into care is more detrimental to their welfare than the care system itself.

My point about models of change has nothing to do with what you perceive as the prevailing model of public policy. It is about how you communicate when you talk to an offender. What exactly are you doing when you are "working with the underclass?" Should they listen to you because you have a degree in sociology or do you have a range of skills that you can access? Some workers in this field do have such skills, which is why the recidivism rate for community sentences has dropped below that of custodial ones.

Anonymous said...

How many of the current two and a half million unemployed do you estimate are lazy and disinterested in training or education? The government's assumption that lost public sector jobs would be replaced by the private sector doesn't seem to be working out. I suspect the likes of Cameron are only concerned with serving the interests of their own class. Consequently I consider them, not the "underclass", to be the real enemy.

Zenobia said...

@Outreacher - Yes. I do think I should be in this field, as I will now explain.

1. It is my job to explain to them what steps can be taken to get them out of whatever hole they have fallen into or dug around themselves. There are things that I can do this but there are also things that they can do and in almost every case a Judge will be more likely to exercise some sort of sympathy if the client has taken concrete steps to HELP THEMSELVES. I can explain to them what those steps are but I cannot do it for them. If they just bumble along and rely on excuses and crowing about how they are suffering and victimised they will wear out that sympathy very quickly.

2. I like to think I am good at what I do. However I also consider that unless I advise them that they MUST take responsibility and buck up their ideas or they will lose out regardless of how put upon and vulnerable and victimised they are, because that is life and life is tough, if I did not tell them this then I would be doing them a disservice.

3. In my (albeit limited) experience, the clients who understand this are the clients who are more likely to succeed at their cases and also are less likely to be back again and again to see me over the same sort of issues. I don't want to see them back again and again over the same issues. I like to think that I might be able, somehow, to assist them in turning their lives around. But everything I advise them on and represent in in relation to is worthless unless they act on what they are advised.

4. Today I had a client in a disrepair claim spend 20 minutes screaming at me down the phone because I dared remind her of her obligation (and yes, it is her obligation - the Court order reads, "THE CLAIMANT must..." not "The Claimant's solicitors must...") to ensure that all her disclosure documents had been sent to us and then, if they had, to swing by to check and sign the disclosure statement I had prepared for her. This was the 4th time I had asked her about this because she kept failing to so do and the opposition were breathing down my neck over it. What prompted this rant was that I told her that she was the one who would lose out if she didn't do this, and when I told her that there was no need to shout about it she accused me of "making her shout" and slammed down the phone before I could explain that nobody made her shout; she chose to herself.

How, pray, is it unreasonable to truthfully say to people that if they do not do things that they ought, they are the ones who will lose out?

More to the point, why should I excuse this sort of thing in the first place. I am here to assist these people, not to be an organic abuse accumulator. And the best assistance I can give them, a lot of the time, is that they need to buck up their ideas and take responsibility if they are to get out this situation. If they do not do this then this is their funeral. If this is a reactionary sentiment then smack my arse and call me Sally the Reactionary.

Is there something about this, Outreacher, that you don't seem to understand? Because I'm completely lost as to why you disapprove so.

Outreacher said...

"lack of manners, no respect for one's fellow human beings and one's community and a lazy and disinterested attitude to work, training or education."

Is that how you describe yourself on your CV Winston? Because from reading your vitriolic blog it seems to sum you up nicely.

I also don't see how you can possibly claim to be a social democrat given that you have no concern for the working class of this country who are born in to poverty with little to no chance of finding employment and thus find themselves needing support and help from you, yet all they get is denigration.

These protests have shown that people forced to live in poverty will always rise up and fight for the opportunities they have been denied by oppressive elitists who would rather spew bile towards the working classes from behind their daily mails.

WinstonSmith33 said...


We have one of the most generous welfare states in Europe. I have agreed with you that there are serious issues with inequality but you have failed to see the difference between inequality and poverty. How can someone who is housed and given money to feed him or herself considered to be in 'poverty'. In fact, as Ive already stated some people depending on their benefits are as well off as people working and in some cases better. I have worked with many such cases.

You really are one of the most deluded people Ive ever engaged with and you obviously have a limited grasp of political ideology. The Labour party prior to the cultural revolution of the sixties was full of people who were socially conservative but believed in a progressive economic sphere. I am not socially conservative in all my views but I am in relation to crime and the rule of law and order and with regards to basic decency. I may have views that you disapprove of but I have always treated members of the underclass with the respect I would show anyone else. You seem to not see the difference between the underclass and the working class and as you claim to be left wing perhaps you should read some Marx and acquaint yourself with the term the 'lumpenproletariat'.

Anonymous said...

Your blog and expose in the MEN has obviously led to questions being raised in the YOS service. You obviously felt compelled to expose these practices but do you ensure that these are now being addressed in an effective way at strategic level? Surely, aren't you equally responsible to expose the improvements made in practices as all services following the riots are now under closer scrutiny? Surely investigative journalism would review the initial findings.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Anonymous above

I no longer work with the YOS.

Anonymous said...

@ Outreacher
You said:
I also don't see how you can possibly claim to be a social democrat given that you have no concern for the working class of this country who are born in to poverty with little to no chance of finding employment and thus find themselves needing support and help from you
These protests have shown that people forced to live in poverty will always rise up and fight for the opportunities they have been denied by oppressive elitists who would rather spew bile towards the working classes from behind their daily mails.

My entire family is working class and yes we were born poor but (some of us have) our self reliance, respect for ourselves and others has always worked for us and I find your comment above grossly insulting. Who are you? A benevolent country vicar ministering to the poor, I find what you have to say horrible to say the least.
What you have said reminded me of an incident last year. I had two friends, both social workers who love to do the “ooh look at my sink estate friend, has a degree and everything.” “Now isn’t she amazing? So well informed, well read and clever”. During a discussion at a dinner party I held (yes Outreacher, working class people can hold dinner parties too, whoop!) the subject of post ’68 liberalism and its impact on the working class and poor came up and I took the position (having lived the life and done the work) of stating that I thought our education, welfare systems and criminal justice system was the perfect liberal partner of neo liberal economics in the creation of an infantilized and dependent underclass. The two social workers took umbrage at this and guess what I am too them now? I quote “Sounds like she knows what she is talking about even if she does not”.

Anonymous said...

@ Outreacher (Cont'd)

You see I am no longer the dependent victim, I have ideas of my own and “have bit the benevolent hand that fed and nurtured me “. These people are dead to me now. Why I ever expected to be taken on my own merit by these people I cannot explain. I suppose that I was na├»ve enough to think that they thought of me as an equal with the same human dignity that they have, clearly not. Even my educational achievements and extensive work experience are sub standard according to their world view. Now I have ideas of my own it would appear that these two would rather put me back in a box to exist as a grateful recipient of their ministrations. You are just like the two Social Workers described, oh and when the people rise up Outreacher, it will be bleeders like you they come looking for.

Also, can I recommend a book to you? It is called the Intellectual Life of the Working Class by Jonathan Rose. It beautifully describes a life that people like you have destroyed. However, it sounds to me as if you not read to broadly outside of your syllabus.

Now, let us get past “it is all Thatcher and the Daily Mail readers fault”. It is not, as I have already mentioned post 68 liberalism was a perfect partner for neo liberalism in destroying this life, our entire, self serving, political class is to blame. Your partisan idealism is sickening and patronizing. I have never wanted help from the likes of you and I do not need it. My sister who breeds in an unrestricted fashion and then abuses and neglects the children that you apparently advocate for, gets plenty of help from the state and is out shopping for clothes each week. The kids have Playstations etc, only one can read but there is a massive flat screen on the wall. The house is filthy and full of neglected pets (and the obligatory Staffie), the garden full of rubbish and she is, just like Zenobia points out, never expected to take responsibility for any of this and kicks off wholesale if challenged. From where we stand, holding people in positive regard whilst we challenge their norms is absolutely necessary if they ever really are be become self determining and autonomous individuals. By your reasoning if you are poor, you are blameless, you are offending, you are a victim. WTF???? Grow up!

Please leave us alone Outreacher, your kind are finishing us off. You are really not helping. In fact to prove my point I would be happy to invite you my barrio to see the results of the adled thinking of people like yourself.

Shame on you comrade, shame. Maybe you would like to now advise me that I am misguided and misinformed and I just need your understanding and help. Show me the way

WinstonSmith33 said...

Anonymous above

Here! Here! Two of the best comments Ive ever published on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Winston.

It is nice to actually be listened to................