Crofton Park shooting reported

The South London Press reports that:

"A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was shot in the back in an incident that led to 17 arrests.

"The teen was rushed to hospital after the shooting in Brockley at around midnight on Saturday night.

"A total of 17 youths, most of them male, have been arrested and bailed over the incident in Foxborough Gardens, near the junction with Chudleigh Road."

134 comments:

Danja said...

Surely that's Ladywell, or Catford or something.

patrick1971 said...

Wow...just around the corner from my house. Indeed, I walk past that spot every day on my walk to Ladywell station. Foxborough Gardens is seriously dodgy; if you're ever on the 284 and see anyone looking a bit shady, 9 times out of 10 they get off at Foxborough Gardens.

fred vest said...

"Surely that's Ladywell, or Catford or something"

that's the main thing eh

Anonymous said...

If it's bad news it's in Crofton Park, if it's good news it's in Brockley! The original SLP article didn't mention Crofton Park at all - it reports the location as Brockley. But yes Fred it hardly matters, kids are being shot across London and nowhere is exempt (or likely to remain son).

Anonymous said...

Last post should end 'likely to remain so' - Fred isn't my son.

Tressilliana said...

I find it a bit hard to believe that shots fired in Foxborough Gardens could be heard in Jam Circus.

However, my first reaction is horror, as a a child up in Foxborough Gardens would most likely have gone to the same primary school as my children who are of a similar age, so I'm now thinking that it could be someone they knew (if the girl in question grew up there). That brings it all a lot closer.

Brockley Kate said...

How terrible! And 17 bailed.

A propos of this, I was really interested by the names of the roads which lead off Chudleigh Rd - they seem to be combinations of two first names. Eg. Francemary Rd, Arthurdon Rd, Elsiemaud Rd.
I was wondering whether whoever built it was perhaps a devoted family man who wanted to preserve his childrens' names for posterity?! Anyone know anything about it?

Tressilliana said...

Yes, that's the Heath Estate, Kate. Mr Heath was the builder who bought the plot of land between Chudleigh Road and Brockley Grove right down to the Crofton Park Baptist Church. He wanted to name the roads after his childen but he had more children than roads so they mostly had to share. Gordon and Henry were the lucky boys who didn't share with a sibling but got -brock and -son respectively to finish off their roads.

Tressilliana said...

Forgot to say that my favourite is Phoebeth.

Brockley Kate said...

Thanks for the info Tressiliana, that's really interesting!
My fave is Elsiemaud.

Anonymous said...

Trust this forum to turn it into a thread on properties...

Tressilliana said...

Another thing I like about the Heath Estate is that you can see so clearly that Mr Heath started building at the Ladywell end and steadily worked westwards - because the style of the houses changes so markedly street by street. By the time you get to Elsiemaud Street (IIRC that's the furthest west) you're looking at semi-detached houses more or less in the Arts and Crafts style (I think), but at the eastern end the houses are classic late Victorian brick terraces. One reason changing styles, the other was presumably that he built up his capital from renting/selling the small houses and then had the funds to build bigger ones.

Anonymous said...

Strange how this thread has gone from a shooting,To roads named after girls names,mmm me wonders

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you're not a token deli customer your being shot isn't work talking about?

Yoda said...

For every thread there is an anonymous whinge bag. We must be cautious.

PfkaG said...

Tressilliana, you are a veritable mine of useless information, but it's just what I love about this blog!

Brockley Kate said...

That's ok it's probably just Fred Vest and his big wooden spoon, again.

Tressilliana - that's really interesting, cheers - I'll have a look next time I'm down there.

Danja said...

Gun crime is a very bad thing. Poor girl, her shoulder must be sore. /platitudes

Happier, "Fred Vest"?

And shouldn't that have been "Cautious, we must be", Yoda?

Tressilliana said...

'Tressilliana, you are a veritable mine of useless information'

Yes, I've worked hard on that over the years! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

There is a 'Christmas estate' in Forest Hill (circa), developed by a builder called Christmas. I can also reveal that Vicars lived on Vicars Hill.

Yoda-ish said...

Your eye is keen, Danja. You are well versed in the words of the Jedi.

I on the other hand am winging it and will shuffle my vertically challenged self back to the corner.

Anonymous said...

SLP article concludes:


“Operation Trident is investigating whether Foxborough gardens is in Brockley.”

Headhunter said...

That is interesting Tressilliana... I love unusual info like that about local street names.

Sue said...

I'm sorry to hear this and as one of the three ward councillors I have asked the local police and council community safety team for a briefing on what happened. Please don't rush to dismiss Foxborough Gardens as some kind of hub of criminal activity though - it has its problems like almost every other road in the area, but it also has a very strong community working hard to improve the estate, setting up an active tenants and residents association, organising a community fun day and hopefully also getting a new play area soon for younger children on the estate.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Foxborough Gardens hasn't been streetmaped....and Sue I'm certainly not going to dismiss Foxborough Gardens, but I will probably avoid it.

the man with no name said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paddyom said...

Operation Trident is the black-on-black teenage crime team isnt it? Gosh its scary all these young kids growing up trying to dress and act like 'Brooklyn rappers' with attitudes to suit. I dont understand it to be honest, I mean they live in a first world country in a relatively leafy suburb with parks, shops, social support if needed etc... they should be playing games not trying to be Al Capone. I reckon the parents need a severe reprimand. Hope that poor girl is OK.

I blame the parents said...

Well I do...

fred vest said...

although attributing blame to the parents is not something that can be denied as a correct response to things like this, it doesn't really address the real issue as to what has happened within society over the last few decades which has resulted in parents (and adults in general) adopting such attitudes and approaches to life and relations with other individuals/scoiety which in turn then leads to this kind of thing happening

both youth on youth violence and parental indifference to it, are manifestations of a wider malaise

Anonymous said...

Frederick, you are right of course, and although a bit of a crude comparison, the revelations about MPs expenses is showing the same lack of connection with a realistic attitude to consequences.

Headhunter said...

I'm with Paddyom on this. This constant "it's society's fault that I'm a moron" is ridiculous. People have increasingly begun to demand individual rights at the expense of the community, especially since Thatcher, however when it comes to aportioning blame, things seem to have swung the other way. The individual never wants to take responsibility for their or their close family's actions and instead blame the government, society, their neighbours, their housing, facilities in the area etc etc. If people are going to breed they need to take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately any notion of personal responsibility is normally knocked down by mung campaigners.

fred vest said...

headhunter, everyone has worked out that individuals in society no longer seem to take responsiblity for their actions (and with that i'd extent the same comment to companies and 'the market' as well as just human individuals), the question being asked is what has happened to our society that has resulted in the production and continued reproduction of this rampant individualism and absolving of any notion of personal responsiblity over the last few decades

it's not a question of blaming society itself for the problems, but finding out (and confronting) what has happened to and in society that has allowed this situation to develop, clearly thatcher was a turning point for the speeding up of this phenomana which championed the cult of the individual over society/community/solidarity while paying lipservice to so called notions of personal responsiblity, but she was but a figurehead that was able to articulate & implement measures that allowed that movement to develop, if it hadn't have been her though it would have been someone else

Danja said...

Aren't gangs about group solidarity?

Brockley Nick said...

Give me society now vs society 30 years ago any day of the week.

Ah for the days of race riots, strikes, Love thy Neighbour, cot death, football hooliganism, asbestos, Are You Being Served, institutionalised child abuse, sexual harassment, etc, etc.

Tressilliana said...

Bit sweeping, surely, HH?

'The individual never wants to take responsibility for their or their close family's actions and instead blame the government, society, their neighbours, their housing, facilities in the area etc etc. If people are going to breed they need to take responsibility.'

Anonymous said...

30 years ago? I bet you were just a laddie then.

fred vest said...

odd binary logic you're applying ther nick

i wasn't aware of this being a discussion about which period of time was the best, both periods have good and bad elements to them, the discussion was however about what has happened over the last 30 years that have specifically led to the triumph of rampant individualism over any sense of personal responsiblity and collective communal solidarity of which youth on youth violence is symptomatic off (this type of thing being noticeable only by it's absence in previous generations - and the level, nature and pathology of youth violence in today's society is in no way comparable to any period in the past, be it football hooliganism,mods and rockers,teddy boys etc..)

(however if you want to play that game, i'm sure those who were in their prime in the 70's weren't as troubled by the imminnent problems of rampant population explosion causing global instability and unrest, extreme poverty and inequality across the globe,twitter, natural resource depletion at ever increasing rates, global warming and all that comes with it, religious fundamentalism and random barbaric attacks on innocent civilians, rogue states with unstable leaders developing nucleur capabilities,britain's got talent, globally organised paedophile rings, human trafficking, the strong foothold hard drugs now have in society and the resultant impact, the complete objectivisation of the human body, the normalisation of exploitation of women through the media for commerical gain, the commodification of sex,plummeting standards of education, etc.. etc.. - but as i said these points are irrelevant to the dicussion at hand, as there's also plenty of things that are better now than what they were back then)

Tressilliana said...

I took my A levels in 1979. Yes, there were bad things about the UK in the 1970s but it wasn't all bad. A few good things that spring to mind:

- Fewer cars, so far safer for children to play outside than it is now.

- Gap between rich and poor far smaller than now.

- Free university tuition, maintenance grants for just about everyone. Overseas students didn't pay a fee that is so extortionate that only the rich can come to the UK to study.

- Everyone had access to an NHS dentist.

- I don't think there was as much binge drinking or violent crime. Young people didn't drink spirits much and beer, cider and wine were much weaker than they are now.

patrick1971 said...

"Free university tuition, maintenance grants for just about everyone. Overseas students didn't pay a fee that is so extortionate that only the rich can come to the UK to study."But that's hugely unjust and was rightly changed. "Free" university (which I fully support)is actually paid for out of taxation; why should non-UK/EU students not be paying the full amount of their tuition?

fred vest said...

"Aren't gangs about group solidarity?"

yes in a very narrow sense, and in the same way that an orgainsed paedophile ring provides solidarity for its members

but gang culture just plays into the whole cult of the individual anyway hence it's allure for youngsters, it's promise of instant gratification, money, status, respect, sex (consensual or otherwise), all of these things seem instantly more attainable through gang membership

the whole belief system and philosophy of gangs these days is predicated on the type of 'get rich quick/status/the weak go to the wall/darwinianism' that the cult of the individual over society exemplifies

it's no surprise that people's behaviour starts to mirror the environment than they are born into and which conditions them

patrick1971 said...

"[Foxborough Gardens] also has a very strong community working hard to improve the estate, setting up an active tenants and residents association"As I was the one who was dissing Foxborough Gardens, I'll reply to this :-)

It's easy to say stuff like this about these places, but speaking as someone who walks past that estate every day, the problem is the people. There are always dodgy looking types hanging around and it's the one part of my local area where I quite often feel unsafe. No amount of community associations are going to solve this unless they get rid of these characters, who do, after all, have to live somewhere.

And we hear this same refrain about every problem estate, that there are good people doing wonderful things, etc. So why aren't these estates improving? Simply because the actions of the minority of scummers outweigh all the work done by the decent people who live there.

It's like that school that's being closed down in Deptford by Greenwich Council. All the activists are talking about the wonderful community and how important the school is, but it's being closed down because it was condemned by Ofsted (which indicates students who can't behave and parents who aren't involved). At the closing down meeting parents screamed abuse, threatened violence and the police had to be called. Some community!

Brockley Nick said...

Fred, my point was that the discussion was declinist - society is imploding, something non-specific must be done. Of course, depending on what weight you attach to each variable, you can make a case that society is getting better or worse.

Personally, I think society is more open, tolerant, aware and inventive than it was, and therefore better.

@tressilliana - free university education for everyone! So long as you're one of the tiny minority of upper middle class people (predominantly male) who actually went to university in those days.

Agree with you about cars / roads, but I think the change about kids playing in public is more to do with changing attitudes to risk, rather than the risks themselves. In the early 80s, as a seven year old, I played with friends, unsupervised on Blackheath for hours at a time. Were there fewer child-abductors in those days? No. Yet, would I let my seven year old do the same thing today? Not a chance. We are a far less risk-averse culture than we were in the days when seat belts weren't compulsory and people could smoke on trains. Probably for the best, but of course, but not without cost...

Brockley Nick said...

Far MORE risk-averse, sorry.

Anonymous said...

I went to Art College in the early 70s, (it could be classed as a 'university' because I left with a BA (Hons)), but I am very far from being 'upper middle class people' (but I am male).

I am, and was then, a person with no parents who had applied for art college several years after leaving school (comprehensive).

My education was free and I received a grant.

I live in Ladywell...

We look at our surroundings through the prism of our own experience.

(6 'O' levels)

Danja said...

the whole belief system and philosophy of gangs these days is predicated on the type of 'get rich quick/status/the weak go to the wall/darwinianism' that the cult of the individual over society exemplifiesSo that was very different in the Kray's day, was it?

Just good old cockney muckers all in it togetherfor each other?

Brockley Nick said...

Anon - sure. Not everyone who went to university 30 years ago was upper middle class.

Brockley Nick said...

People always let the Krays off on the basis that they were good to their mum and only took it out on other bad'uns. A bit like most gang members today.

Tressilliana said...

I'm not male, Nick, and I think I would classify my family as lower-middle-middle-class. I know the percentage of the population going on to university/polytechnic was very low but my hunch is that one of the reasons for that was that a far higher percentage of young people left education without getting A levels. At both 16 and 18 it was far easier then to get a decent job straight from school, so there wasn't the short-term incentive to stay on in education, for those who weren't very academically oriented.

My own children are coming up to university age now and I am finding it hard to get my head round the idea that they will start their working lives laden with debt unless we pay the fees for them, which would be a major financial commitment.

Brockley Nick said...

Whatever the reasons, university education used to be something only a few people benefitted from. That's why free places were affordable. It's good that people should contribute towards their own education at this level, it means they don't take it for granted. And why shouldn't our kids start their working lives in (low-interest) debt?

patrick1971 said...

Well, it's the whole grammar school system argument, isn't it? Far fewer people went to university under the grammar school system, but a much larger proportion of those who went were from lower-class backgrounds.

So the choice would seem to be fewer people going to proper universities but under a less class-based system, and the rest going to apprenticeships or well regarded technical colleges; or everyone going, but with poorer people going to inferior pseudo-universities.

Ducks for cover.

the man with no name said...

I don't know why my comment has been removed by admin, I asked it as I feel it might be related to this incident!

Does anyone know what happened opposite Jam Circus on Sunday night?

westsider said...

Hang on a minute, I'm rich but went to a pseudo-university! Etc

patrick1971 said...

"University education used to be something only a few people benefitted from. That's why free places were affordable."True, but the people going to university were then pretty much guaranteed a better-paying job so they would pay back the cost of their tuition through their working lives in tax rather than as a loan.

And, additionally, people with better jobs tend to rely on the welfare state far less, so university is one of the few areas where the middle classes saw a benefit from the welfare state. As they pay for it, their support is vital to ensuring it's maintained. As such, free university is hugely important and necessary.

Brockley Nick said...

Manwithnoname - it was removed because it contained speculation which this site cannot allow.

Your new question is perfectly acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Was it you or your parents who payed for your education (if it wasn't free) Nick?

Brockley Nick said...

I came out of university with student loans to repay and repayed them myself. Going to university is not only incredibly fun, it's (on average) financially beneficial. Why shouldn't I make a contribution towards it?

All being well, my kids will have to do the same.

Of course, I have a mountain of mortgage debt to repay nonetheless.

Pete said...

I graduated from university with about £13k worth of debt having paid fees and got the usual student loan.

People must accept that someone has to pay for the cost of university. The current system has the student paying a proportion of the costs after they have graduated in what is effectively a tax. My graduate debt gets (very slowly) reduced every time I get paid as it is automatically deducted.

Why is it less fair for me to pay the cost of my education than the general public? Many of whom probably didn't get to go to university?

Tressilliana said...

Why is it less fair for the whole community to pay for the cost of schools and the health service? It seems to me to be much the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Tolerant Nick ? Dont you mean soft

Pete said...

It's hardly the same thing at all Tresilliana.

The vast majority of people attend state schools and make use of the NHS.

The only people who are put off going to university by the thought of student debt clearly haven't thought the whole thing through properly.

You only have to make repayments once you earn more than the the threshold. The amount that they deduct is a percentage of everything over the threshold and is not particularly punitive. Once you get to 60 or 65 (I can't remember which) the debt comes to an end.

The alternative is for people who never had the chance to go to university to pay higher rates of tax to fund the lucky few who do.

fred vest said...

"Fred, my point was that the discussion was declinist"

apologies, i should have commented on what a great thing it is that our youth are slaughtering each other on the streets in historically unprecedented numbers and pointed out how much better to have that to deal with that than some asbestos and some hoolies scrapping with each other

it's you whose extrapolated from the particular to the general and projected positions that were not argued in the first place, smashing down your own strawmen doesn't add much to debate you know

Anonymous said...

I wish I could make use of the NHS in terms of dentistry - its costing me a fortune!

Headhunter said...

I agree with Tressilliana, university loevel education is far more exclusive now than it was in the past. 30 or more years ago, if you got the grades at A level, you got the place at uni. Only a small minority of the top achievers managed to get a place, however if they did and if they came from a less wealthy background, they had grants to help them and tuition fees paid.

Nowadays, universities are businesses and want to attract students at any cost so that they can offer a nice dividend to their shareholders. University is no longer for top achievers, but for anyone who can afford the extortionate fees or are willing to take the risk that they will be able to pay off an enormous debt as they start their career. Many poorer families will simply not be in a position to send their kids to uni, whether or not they are high achievers academically.

With the flood of places at universities across the UK, drop out rates have also increased hugely and degree and A level standard have fallen. Even when I did GCSEs/A levels back in the late 80s and early 90s, teachers were already bemoaning the lack of standards/general dumbing down.

IMO far better to encourage the old system of apprenticeships and work at 16 or 18 for those who simply are not cut out for uni education (and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that), than try to get every 18 year old to head to uni whether it makes sense or not.

The uni system these days is all about "show me the money".

patrick1971 said...

The other problem with a lot of university education in this country is that the older universities are still based very firmly around a three year full time undergraduate degree, i.e. with the student not working. They need to become more flexible and move towards a system of credit points, so it's easier for students to finance their degrees whilst working at the same time, and maybe taking five years to finish rather than three.

Tressilliana said...

@Anon 14.22 - L. Ziman and Associates, Brockley Road near Crofton Park library and station - NHS dentists and perfectly fine in our experience.

ogg said...

Headhunter, that's tosh. The academically gifted can and do get in to good universities in this country.

Where are the stats to back up any of the grand claims you've made?

fred vest said...

"So that was very different in the Kray's day, was it?

Just good old cockney muckers all in it togetherfor each other?"

clearly there are some parallels, there are also some differences, both qualitative and quantative - however i'd say that the allure and attraction of gang culture today is much more alligned with the type of individualistic society that we live in today, so the existence and increase of gangs are both a cause and effect of this great new society that must be praised at all times lest one be seen as 'declinist'

what gangs offer these days and what cult of the individual youths want are accutely aligned, this alignment wasn't anything like as solid in the past, as societal/communal bonds/responsibility exerted a fairly powerful counterforce to the attraction of gang culture, however now those countervailing tendencies been torn apart it's open season

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tressi - treatment in progress, no loans for expenses though

Unite said...

Come on fred, spit it out. Say the answer is the return of union power. you know you want to.

fred vest said...

i've no idea what the (practical) answer is, but i know it's not union bosses on a quarter of a million a year pimping labour to capital

as a general principal though i'd say john major got it half right when he said 'We must condemn a little more, and understand a little less' - i'd say we need to understand a little more and condem a little more

Headhunter said...

Ogg - You have completely misunderstood. I didn't say that academically gifted people don't get into higher education, what I said was that if you are academically gifted but cash poor, without the option of a grant or having tuition fees paid, university may not be an option if you or your family are not willing to shoulder 5 figures worth of debt at the start of your career.

Back in the day, fewer people managed to get into university, but those that did were the high achievers, whereas these days, the attitude is, if you've not got the cash, you're not coming in.

fred vest said...

i was 'academically gifted' (lol) and cash poor and the system back then never done any good for me headhunter, i was shunted into the holding pen of a school whose only role was to contain kids until they could be released into the community on a YTS/slave labour scheme (milk round, then postie for me), so the education system actively filtered out people, regardless of academic ability, at a really early stage in the education process, once you were on that track no amount of idealistic crap about opportunity for those who could manage made any difference

Anonymous said...

What form did this academic gift take Frederick?

Headhunter said...

Your experiences aren't the same for everyone. My grandfather was well and truly working class. He was the son of a music hall violinist/alcoholic in Yorkshire and was raised in a tiny terrace. Actually, he was probably better off than many working class kids, but still most definitely not priveleged. He managed to get into Leeds Uni in the 1920s. My dad did the same, studied Engineering at Nottingham.

Neither would have managed to get to higher education without grants, the finance simply wasn't available to them. Instead they got themselves into Grammar schools and worked hard.

I do take your point though, there is a fundamental problem with streaming kids at the age of 11 or whatever, when their intelligence and academic ability simply may not have developed . However my thoughts relate to the other end of the educational scale.

fred vest said...

"What form did this academic gift take Frederick"

king of prussia

patrick1971 said...

As noted above, though, the 11 plus was a huge leveller in terms of increasing lower-class participation at university. Fewer people went, but proportionately more were from lower-class backgrounds than had been the case previous to 1944. A cynic would say this is why the Tory Heath government was so keen on comprehensive education; doesn't explain why subsequent Labour governments, comprised in many cases of grammar school beneficiaries, have also been so keen on it. Pulling up the ladder...

patrick1971 said...

Fred, were you the King in Prussia (there never was a King of Prussia) who signed the surrender to Napoleon on a raft in the middle of the river at Tilsit? I always love that image.

Tressilliana said...

It's my understanding that the middle classes were not universally keen on the 11+ because they didn't like it when their children failed and were consigned to secondary moderns. Some secondary moderns were good but a lot were not.

Also, although many children from poorer families did extremely well in grammar schools, not all did. Some of them were subjected to appalling snobbery (both the traditional kind from some teachers and pupils, and inverted snobbery from their former classmates who hadn't passed), and even when they weren't a lot of them found the home/school disconnect very hard to cope with.

Comprehensives are better in theory but in practice in areas like ours they don't all get a balanced intake, which creates its own problems.

fred vest said...

nah, i was the one who got hegel to big up my manor

(and therefore, since this was after 1772, I was the king of prussia, rather than king in prussia)

Anonymous said...

great - did you get to wear a crown and everything?

fred vest said...

you know i honestly can't remember ever getting to wear a crown, i wore everything else though

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you can't remember whether you wore a crown or not what else are you forgetting?

Headhunter said...

Tressilliana - I guess that's also true, my mum failed her 11+ because she had severe asthma as a youngster and was barely in school. Her parents who would probably be described as upper middle class couldn't bear the thought of her going to a comprehensive, so she was sent to a private Catholic convent school to avoid the stigma!

baudrillard said...

To get back on topic, the chap who insisted that Foxborough Gardens is dodgy as hell was, in my experience, wholly correct. I live on Chudleigh Road and see and hear the flotsam and jetsom from that estate on a daily (and nightly) basis. I'm constantly picking up their litter, being disturbed by screaming rows and having to nurse my one-year-old son back to sleep after he's been woken for the umpteenth time by the ludicrously explosive engine of an off-road (I believe) quad bike being ridden around aimlessly by two young males in black balaclavas... I rang the police about those clowns on more than one occasion, but nothing's been done... I could go on

Not Headhunter's Dad said...

Hey! I also studied Engineering at Nottingham.

Tamsin said...

Talking to a friend recently who commented that we were the incredibly lucky generation to be able to go though the grammar school university grant route. The present system is dangerously misleading in raising false expectations and encouraging square pegs into round holes. It's part of the measuring "outcomes" culture and analysing a successful society on what is easily countable - like the number of people going into tertiary education - rather than the more difficult markers - the number of people in jobs that satisfy them.
A huge error back in the 1950s - if only they had been called "Modern Secondaries" rather than "Secondary Moderns" and were seen to be of equal value as the grammars it would have been a whole different mind-set.

Anonymous said...

I worry about the hordes of "graduates" from "university" who have read subjects such as "drama and golf" and want to follow careers for which they are patently not qualified intellectually or on paper.

Their expectations have been raised far too high.

on the subject of student loans, why should the bus drivers with 2 children pay tax to support someone to read the above subject? it's nonsense. you want that sort of luxury, like anything in life, take personal responsibility for it and pay for it.

Danja said...

Reactionary tosh.

The world has changed. Workforces need to be more educated than when there was loads of work banging rivets into steel plates to make ships, etc.

This doesn't excuse media studies degrees, however.

fred vest said...

"It's part of the measuring "outcomes" culture and analysing a successful society on what is easily countable"

definately been an obsession of new labour has that, and given the disadvantages of such an approach are conveniently hard to measure, the true (non financial) cost of this approach is never really effectively highlighted

Anonymous said...

Archeology, Another wasted subject,how many Archeologist's do we need,Suppose they could always work foe Murphy's digging up the roads

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that the foundation charters of public schools like Eton and Harrow were expressly intended for the education of the poor and deprived.

They evolved into institutions catering for the social elite, be it the landed gentry or those that grew rich from trade and industry.

Oxford and Cambridge evolved into their finishing school. Full of clubs for gentlemen idlers from which to contemplate which bit of the country best deserves their remarkable talents. The colleges always did let a few swotters in to do a bit of the studying and give the place some academic cred.

If this sounds like ancient history, look to Cameron and his Bullington club chums. They may well be ruling the land soon enough.

Educational institutions provide a social network for the socially ambitious.

This is no less true all the way through the system. Where there is great competition amongst parents to get their little darlings into the 'best' schools. This is true of the ambitious middle classes. Conversely the poorest end of society feel that academic education has little relevance for them.

I grew up in a working class area where macho industrial jobs paid best, colleges and unversities rather peculiar concepts full of rather daft people off University Challenge. I grew up acutely aware of the anti-intellectualism that permeates the poorer areas of this country. Also, all too aware of the efforts ambitious parents made to get themselves out of that environment.

Now developing social networks is not the primary purpose of educational institutions. Nor is getting a well paid job. These are secondary effects.

It is supposed to be about the accumulation of learning and knowledge. Nonetheless they exist within a national economy and part of their purpose is to educate in order to further the interests of the country.

Most of the countries of the world are acutely aware that world economy has changed. Education systems need to produce people who have technical skills to take advantage of the new technologies, new industries.

Sadly the system that existed was ill suited to this purpose, but it was all had to work with. So we have the 'university' becoming mainstream rather than elitist.

The general idea is to raise the level of education across the whole population. Hence, a massive expansion. The UK is not alone in doing this.

People may have issues with the way this has been done, the efforts to measure and improve the quality of schooling. The league tables. The inevitable erosion of quality sacrificed for volume.

But for all this, the strategy is sound and education encourages social mobility. It makes this a less unequal society, against the grain of its natural tendancy.

We should be learning all through out lives and have flexible institutions that provide for that.

We have quite some way to go before we get to that stage.

It would be helpful if people could look at these matters in broader terms rather than from the point of view of self interest.

Paddyom said...

Baudrillard I understand your frustration. You see places like this all over Lewisham, areas where the kids rule themselves and responsible adults are nowhere to be seen. Social housing developments (I assume) littered with wheely bins, motorbikes and old pimped up cars, rubbish strewn everywhere and hoards of scary looking children wearing hoods (even in 27 degree heat!) behaving anti-socially. You know without asking that they are from fatherless families of multiple children with an overweight single mum too busy screaming on her mobile phone and gobbling fast food to be a parent. The kids are malnourished from their diet of junkfood and turn increasingly agressive with no moral understanding. If the kids do anything illegal their mum blames the police or government cos there is 'nothing to do round here' or they blame neighbours for over-reacting. The scariest thing about all this is that their mothers will keep churning out little brothers and sisters until she can produce no more (as she is financially rewarded for doing so) and at a very young age these kids will in turn become parents themselves, move into surrounding areas, continue reproducing at an above-average rate and the vicious circle continues but widens. I doubt this blatant social issue will ever be solved with the 'hug-a-hoodie' tactics which suceessive governments have trialed. Surely the only thing these people respond to is losing the only things they have, free money and their freedom. Firstly the public tap which drip-feeds their lifestyle of reproduction and agression should be tightened. Financially rewarding people to reproduce is such a terrible idea. Secondly the agressive little mites which society has already let down who cause serious trouble in neighbourhoods should be taken away to a government run correctional facility in somewhere like the Hebrides, to educate them about recognizing right from wrong, teach them manners, explain how to behave in a modern society and show them how lucky they are to live here. Teach them their options re training/work etc... when they rejoin society. But we need to get tough i am afraid. I am not saying take out the whip just yet but we need to get real about the trouble we as a society (and our children!) face and realize what the perpetrators will actually respond to - money and their freedom.

Anonymous said...

Bring back National Service?

The birch?

Short sharp shocks?

Why, when people lament the social ills of society, do they insist on resurrecting solutions that mete out violence and bullying to correct the behaviour of people born into poverty?

As if there was some magical age when crime was low, education was by the book, social discipline was rigid and.....people knew their place, it was the one they were born into.

Some people seem simply prefer to live in a society run like an institution.

I would like to hear about ideas that are progressive and break these cycles of poverty. Rather than simply containing the troublesome elements.

The answer must be to catch them when they are young and show them another way. Schools are the obvious place to do this. But all we hear about is the whining of professionals who object to having their peformance and those of their schools measured.

Education is far too important to be left to teachers.

Health is far too important to be left to doctors.

Wealth is far too important to be left to bankers.

Government is far to important to be left to politicans.

Yet we are encouraged to leave it up to these professional groups and the institutions they preside over.

I think, just as we saw a mass disaffection for institutions during 80's we are on the verge of another crisis of confidence in the 'honourable' regulated professions.

I hope that this results in people taking more responsibility for themselves their community. Leave it up to the professionals and you can be guaranteed there will be areas of hidden neglect that will cause many social ills. Leave it up to institutions any they go bad and lose their direction.

Individual responsibilty is a natural instinct. It needs to be encouraged and broadened to include the communities we live in.

Monkeyboy said...

jesus Paddy calm down. We could of course have them all killed or perhaps forcibly sterilised.

Be the change you seek said...

Paddy, actions speak louder than words. Go and mentor a kid, volunteer some of your time for the community in which you live.

Paddyom said...

Yeah that was a bit of a rant. I stand by it though, most of these teens who terrify their hard working neighbours arent interested in being 'mentored' or 'paid to go to college'. These softly-approach schemes which treat them as victims are obviously not working as we have been trying them for years and the problem is not improving, its getting worse. So we need to try a completely different route. Before any more innocent kids get stabbed for not handing over an ipod. Zero tolerence worked for NYC and I would vote for any political party which would get tough on these nightmare citizens in London. Rant #2 over and out.

Paddyom said...

Anon 15:05 - I dont think there is much actual 'poverty' left in Lewisham is there? I havent seen any homeless people living here but i guess there may be a few so will stand corrected.

The people i refer to are certainly not victims of poverty unless poverty means 'takes the bus' or 'only one plasma TV'. The people i am refering to have free fully furnished housing, no bills, weekly cash benefits, healthcare, cheap transport etc...etc....etc... Yet they behave atrociously and whinge more than people who live in actual poverty in somewhere like say, India, where they are industrious and hard working as they quite simply have to be. Virtually nobody here lives in poverty compared to the poor overseas.

National service? Now thats a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Paddy you really are the worse kind of human being. Sink or swim, the poor are poor because they deserve it... I hope I never live in the kind of country you seem to want.

Paddyom said...

Anon 21.18 - I really am absolutely baffled by your comment. Especially the 'poor are poor because they deserve it' thing..i mean what on earth? Sorry if i was a little too frank for you, I assume that was my crime. If you wish to propose a different solution to societies problem of anti-social behaviour please do so, I am all ears. God knows we need some ideas.

Brockley Kate said...

Not sure about the assertion that zero tolerance worked for NYC. Evidence? (other than concurrent-ness of supposed cause and supposed effect)

Monkeyboy said...

Your solution seems to be kicking people when they're down and utter contempt for those without a job or who may have had some bad luck or made some bad decisions. And yes, some people milk the system...at both ends of the income scale. That's hardly new.

Monkeyboy said...

Actually you're right. Political correctness really HAS gone mad. GAY PENGUINS ADOPT CHICK!! http://tinyurl.com/qkfjsw

This will knock MPs expenses off the front page.

Paddyom said...

I really dont see why you think i would condone 'kicking people when they're down' or how i have 'utter contempt for those without a job'? I spoke about dangerous hoodie teens and their parent(s), I never mentioned the unemployed. All I want is safer streets for me and my children and yes I am proposing a little brute force to stop anti-social behaviour to achieve that. I dont mind people disagreeing if they can propose an alternative? Believe it or not a strong hand may actually be good for the out-of-control teens themselves as they learn some respect for others and themselves. Anyway, dont worry my friends, what i am proposing will never happen and London will continue to have teenage stabbing after teenage murder forever so long as things stay as are.

Anonymous said...

When your children become 'hoodie age' I hope you look at yourself and paint yourself the same picture that your painting these other parents paddy.

It's rubbish and a gross generalisation.

max said...

Well, what you propose is what goes on in Brazil and I don't think it's desirable really.
In fact we are already half way there as we lock up more people than any other European county and the result is? Lots of re-offenders.
Wouldn't you expect that kids that have serious behavioural problems have serious problems in their families? And if they don't have a good family to support them and they go astray what would be more effective? Some other adult taking interest in them or a bit of time in jail?

And the joys of welfare state as you put them don't exist. Those that make a habit of staying in welfare are giving themselves long term damage and the children raised in those families lack positive role models in their lives and this can have a devastating effect on a child's psyche.

I do agree with what many said here, people must get involved with their community and try to be inclusive so that social barriers are weakened, that's the best insurance against a fractured society with all its consequences.

Jim Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

I spoke to the new sergeant for Ladywell today about this. Fortunately the victim was not seriously injured and she has now been released from hospital. Neither she nor the majority or those arrested in connection with the incident lived in Foxborough Gardens. He said that the evidence suggests this was an isolated incident for the area. Police have stepped up patrols in the area and have also conducted weapon searches in the area to try and reassure local residents.

Please don't dismiss Foxborough Gardens as some kind of sink estate - it's nothing of the sort.

If you see people acting suspiciously in the area or suspect criminal activity, then you should call the Ladywell SNT on 020 8721 2484 (in an emergency call 999).

Tamsin said...

But you can try and try to be inclusive and so often have it chucked in your face. Millwall put on basket-ball sessions - professional coaching, their fantastic premises - aimed at kids in the NDC area. Take-up was so low that they accepted children from outside and my son and a couple of his school friends went along for a bit, but it died through lack of interest.

It is terribly difficult to create a genuinely empowering (sorry about that word) project that can turn these children round and you need charismatic people to do it who are in rather short supply.

What has changed over the last twenty years is rampant commercialism - endless advertising for the latest must-have technology - and the instant celebrity culture.

The Surestart programme tried to get to the root cause of many social ills and there is lots going on in Children's Centres but I don't think its enough. And "fun days" with a free lunch will not necessarily make you a better parent, although baby massage and story-sacks might.

Paddyom said...

Anon 22:42 - again no alternative proposal made by your good self, just statements of disagreement with my opinion. I think you are putting words in my mouth slightly as I am not talking about ALL parents, just the ones who let their kids run riot around the area, which believe me, mine simply would never be allowed to do. And if my kids did get into trouble with the police they would regret it! Reasonable dicipline is required otherwise many more kids would end up like these gun wielding hoodies.

Max I welcome your thoughts. I wouldnt throw these teens (many of them no longer officially classed as children) into jail as opposed to some sort of an institution designed to train them, teach them dicipline, how to to behave properly, teach them respect for life and others, educate them about right from wrong and HELP them. It needs to be forced on them as offering optional support such as mentoring or volunteering sports events etc... are ignored by these children. I admire everyone who suggest investing time in your community and getting involved etc etc etc...but has anyone here ever walked down to Foxborough Gardens (or wherever these cretins congregate) and approached a group of hoodies, introduced yourself and offered them some mentoring? You would be laughed out of the estate if you made it out alive at all. These kids are simply not interested in such programmes to better them as its 'uncool'. And many are older kids so you cant force them to go to these things. So i am afraid an element of brute force (maybe I should call it coercing, but hey) needs to be applied to improve the situation. And the reason i proposed them being sent to somewhere inhospitable like say the outer Hebrides is that while i would want kids to learn and benefit from any enforced experience, I would not want them to overly enjoy it either. It should be an absolute last resort deterrent.

max said...

Paddy, there are already institutes for young offenders and they're no fun. They are supposed to do exactly what you say and they are there to deal with the worst case when nothing else worked, just as you say.
Do you really think that some sort of mass treatment of punitive coercive education for Britain's kids would solve many problems? I think that this is a completely crazy idea.
You'd have to have round the clock qualified supervision on a ratio of close to one to one and the cost would be bigger than rescuing the banking system.
And this only for keeping order, then you'd have to run the programs.
And those programs would be run in a vacuum, because you'd educate people to behave themselves within an institution, once you open the gate you're back at square one.
It's a very misguided idea Paddy.

What about investing a fraction of that ocean of money into addressing the causes of the problem?
More investment into children in care to increase the chances of them not slipping into the bad sort of social network?
What about investing more into programs like Surestart so that people that have just become parents but didn't grow in a social environment that equipped them with positive role models can get some help to grow happy and fulfilled children?
What about supporting families so that people with children are not forced to live like hamsters on the wheel just to make ends meet and are therefore unable to take due interests in their childrens' wellbeing as they develop?
For every child causing trouble there is a set of parents that failed, and most times something could have been done to prevent that failure.

Children and young people are the product of their society, if they have a problem it's because it's the system that produced them that is defective and you need to work on that.

Anonymous said...

Well this seems a familiar refrain. Does anyone remember the Thatcher years and Willie Whitelaws solution to youth crime?

The Short Sharp Shock. It was to create 'Detention Centres' run like military Boot Camps where inmates were subject to rigorous military regime.

It was a very popular with the older generation for a dealing with troublesome youngsters.

Bear in mind that this was done at a time when schoolkids were often subject to beating by teachers. Corporal punishment in state schools was pretty standard and somewhat more severe in public schools.

What did it achieve? Riots on the streets sparked down by heavy handed policing.

During then early 80's there were large numbers of 'public order' incidents. Teenagers fighting and looting. Some of these were the big riots such as those in Brixton and Liverpool, but there were incidents all over the country.

You can point to a couple of reasons for it at that time. A demographic change: more young people, mass youth unemployment, unfair stop and search 'sus' laws and heavy handed policing.

The 'Short Sharp Shock' resulted kids who caused trouble being given the benefit of physical fitness training by the military. Then released back onto the streets to....fight with the police.

It was not a particularly bright idea. But it got votes.

We now imprison more than twice as many people as we did then as a result of successive Home Secretaries and their 'get tough' policies. With appalling re-offending rates.

If youth crime was high on the political agenda there would be the resources devoted to finding out what works from youth schemes around the country and making sure the same is available nationally.

It ain't rocket science.

But it is not a political priority, so we will, before long have another 'get tough' Home Secretary who will make pronouncements, change sentencing policy and cause further stress on the Prison Service, Police and the Justice system.

The reality is that we have to live with low level crime. It is much less now that kids have lots of video games, Internet sites and mobile phones to keep them occupied.

I don't buy these stories about massive increases in youth violence. Tabloid tosh.

I often think that there is a section of the population who a addicted to moral panics of one sort or another. That is quite sad.

Tressilliana said...

One start would be to have more health visitors working with families from when a baby is born. It's too late to try to intervene with a family when the child starts school, especially if the parents have a negative attitude towards school and teachers.

Anonymous said...

The worst iniquity in today's society is where the respectable poor subsidise the feckless. It's disgusting but the current recession - don't believe any of this green shoots rubbish, it's a dead cat bounce - may go some way to sorting it out. The low paid simply will not be able to afford the requisite tax to cover our gargantuan debt levels and their representatives will soon realise they need to change their tune to maintain their sinecures in Parliament.

I have never understood for example why we pay benefit to the able bodied while importing unskilled labour. This cannot be right.

Tamsin said...

For over twenty years the Pre-school Learning Alliance in Lewisham has run a low-cost incredibly effective Family Support scheme. One to one, trained workers befriend a mother of very young children, self-referred or referred by Health Visitors, and offer the sort of low-key help that relations or neighbours would if society were not so fragmented - intoducing her to local toddler groups, going with her to hospital appointments to keep the toddler occupied while she sees the doctor with the baby, etc. - just for a few months until she has built up her own networks and got through the tricky patch.
The Sure Start in this area also did something similar. However as the "outcomes" are so undramatic and unmeasurable it does not really tick the right boxes and is chronically under-funded.

Anonymous said...

If the outcomes were "unmeasurable", how do you know it was "incredibly effective" or indeed "low-cost"?

max said...

Measured!

baudrillard said...

This debate, both on this forum and in society in general, is, to my mind, going round in circles. One person suggests something, another rubbishes it, only to have their suggestion rubbished by someone else, and so on. It simply becomes an intellectual competition, with everyone out to prove themselves more liberal and forward thinking than the next person, while no one has the cojones to address the problem. Admittedly, the issues here are hugely complex, from social and familial breakdown to mass consumerism, but surely the point is that we all want to live and raise our children in a safer, fairer and more relaxed and respectful society? The thing about the kind of people who provoked this debate is that they simply have no respect for others - to them, the values that have defined the best things about our society for generations (courtesy, consideration for others to name but two) are just signs of weakness. Yes we can argue the toss about people having always been at times discourteous or inconsiderate (myself included), but at least we knew it was wrong. These clowns live in a vile, Darwinian, dog-eat-dog world and they seek to impose it on everyone else. No amount of hand-wringing over the harsh upbringings of these poor lost souls, or well-meaning mentoring schemes is going to change their basic drive - one of pure, unfettered aggression that seems to extend to every aspect of their lives. I don't have the time or the energy to offer my own theories on solving the problem, but suffice to say that I'm with Paddyom in taking the view that there comes a point when you can only fight fire with fire. How exactly that is achieved is one for the authorities.

baudrillard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Good gracious, what a radical view!

Don't imagine that something similar hasn't been put forward many times before on this blog in the previous years, but if you do, of course, you run the risk of living in a selfish world where everyone thinks their point of view is valid just because they're expressing it.

Be the change you seek said...

I am not liberal, I am a church going, believer in self reliance, however I am not unaware of the complexities of human psychology and sociology.
I understand where someone like Paddyom comes from, he's speaking from frustration, but quick fixes don't work and I am not a believer in utopia, where thinks and behaves the same if that is indeed the definition of utopia.
A lot of these feral type people don't behave like
Paddy does because they don't know how to. If you have been brought up where all you know from those around you is violence in language and in actions, how can you be expected to be diffrent. It takes an enormous amount of awareness and willpower to be anything different hence I suggest people like Paddy and you, be mentors, do community so that these kids growing up see something different. Don't just sit on a computer condemning people if you have done nothing to help them.

Tamsin said...

At Anon 13.11 - Very good point! We know it was low cost because it was just the worker's hours. We know it was intitially effective because people are weaned off the support of the scheme. What we don't know and can't measure is what difference it makes 16 years down the line. We haven't got the facilities for follow up studies to check that families we help at this stage don't relapse later. And with so many imponderables, how much worse would their situation have been without our work. As I said, unmeasurable.

At Max - thanks, but that's the national office. The local branch - and this bit of their work - is: http://www.pre-school.org.uk/lewisham/parent-support

Anonymous said...

http://www.surestart.gov.uk/research/evaluations/ness/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_Start

baudrillard said...

Anonymous. FYI everyone's point of view IS valid - that's why we call it a democracy.

As for doing nothing to help people, some years ago as a single man I took an interest in a couple of local lads who seemed to me to be going off the rails. I befriended them and offered them the benefit of my experience in how to go about sorting their lives and securing a future. Result - they stole my car...

Be the change you seek said...

No one said it was going to be easy. I bet if you were kind enough to do the same thing again, you'd approach the situation with the benefit of your hard won experience and things would result differently.

Tressilliana said...

I think in Baudrillard's place the result of my hard-won experience would be that I'd fit my car with all the locks and alarms on the market and give youths going off the rails a very wide berth.

Be the change you seek said...

yes that's understandable some people are stronger than others, or have considerations that they put above society, like car.

Anonymous said...

I just suspect that all these people who are taking the 'boot-camp' attitude may not have teenage children themselves.

Teenagers can do the most extraordinary anti-social things, and, as a parent, I can vouch for the fact that my son went completely off the rails for a few years, but I consider myself a respectful member of society and if you were to meet me I hope you would find me thus.

My wife and I stood firm in the face of teenage angst and our son is now a perfectly normal person, in fact many of you who went to the BC thing in the LT last night would have spoken to him during the course of the evening.

So I say to you, examine your feelings about anti-social behaviour but do so with tolerance, understanding, compassion and resolve to leave your own ego behind whilst doing so.

Be the change you seek said...

Here is a link for all those who have it within themselves to do something to help; be it mentoring, fundraising, or even awareness raising.

http://www.chanceuk.com/

Be the change you seek said...

Video of Chance UK

Chance UK website

drakefell debaser said...

On the point of corporal punishment, I was brought up under that system and received various lashings from the age 8 through to age 18. My first house master when I got to senior school, now sadly passed, was a weight lifter and was Mr Rhodesia many moons ago. Suffice to say when he handed out a lashing you felt it and I still recall my first summons to his office for 3 of his best which left me unable to stand up afterwards in order to thank him. There were clear lines set out and if you decided to cross over you knew the consequences so you only had yourself to blame. I also had the choice not to attend that school.
It’s now 13 years since I left and I only have fond memories of the years I spent there. I have nothing against the house masters that punished me and I appreciate the tough love and advice that was passed on.

The school I went to is not a borstal and remains one of the best schools in Southern Africa despite our incumbent despot. http://tinyurl.com/mwlmcf

As a product of that system I think it has lots to offer boys. It is not for everyone because people respond differently but the option should be available.

Anonymous said...

@ Paddydom 03.06.09 20:10
‘I don’t think there is much actual 'poverty' left in Lewisham is there?’
Do you really believe that? I can’t understand how you can be so blinkered! There is real poverty in Lewisham (and London) a lot of it affecting children. I can’t face addressing your other points as I have to get some work done today but the facts are these:
4 in 10 (or 650,000) London children live in poverty
Lewisham has one of the highest rates of child poverty in London and is the 11th most deprived borough (out of the 32 boroughs in the capital).
Lewisham is ranked 39 out of 354 local authorities in England in terms of average deprivation. (Where 1 is most deprived).
Poverty affects your (among other things) achievement at school, your career prospects and your health. Ranting about the ‘feckless’ parents whilst ignoring the fact that their children haven’t chosen any of this shows such an enormous lack of empathy, I’m not saying that there’s a miracle solution but dehumanising this section of society can only make things worse.

http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/london/child-poverty-in-london-the-facts/lewisham-36/

Paddyom said...

Anon I understand your statistics, but my point is that the government stats you are quoting are flawed as real actual 'poverty' is pretty rare luckily in this country as there are safety nets vis a vis social welfare to ensure people have roofs over their heads and have food in their mouths. 4 in 10 kids in this city are not malnourished from hunger (maybe from eat junk food however) and have homes, schooling, clothing etc... Maybe they dont have an ipod or a car but does that make them poor? And I really believe that labelling them as 'poor' is unhelpful and makes them believe they are victims. Which they arent.

In relation to the rest of my points - and i direct this at everyone else (Anons) who were abhorred by my frank comments - I reccommend you all watch the BBC documentary about the murder of Ben Kinsella as told by his sister and you will see that my suggestions are working in the US right NOW. And while we continue to throw money at programmes to 'help' those who break the law more of our kids are being stabbed to death. Its time to wake up to the reality - these soft programmes are not working, we need to get tough like in other countries. So its time you guys all faced the reality of the situation and how to remedy it.

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