a stick of rhubarb

Posted: May 25, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

What do the following people have in common? A sixty year old man banned from dressing as a schoolgirl, a man banned from sniffing petrol on garage forecourts, a grandmother for attacking another woman with a stick of rhubarb and two ladies for force feeding swans.  You got it in one; they have all been issued with that badge-of-criminal-honour, the ASBO.  The Government declared this week that the ASBO is to be phased out, to be replaced by new, community based orders.  The ASBO remains a rite of passage for many of the young underclass, you have no “respect” without one and young yobs have gone out of their way to achieve the bestowing of the title.  Tracksuited, hoodied, trainered and ASBO’ed; the full set for the British hoodlum.  A retail industry built up around the moniker with clothing and hats bearing the logo, quickly followed by the ASBO-lovelies on the Jeremy Kyle show, all tattoos and attitude, displayed on British TV like a grotesque freak show put forward as “entertainment”.  The low level anti-social behaviour designed to be dealt with by the ASBO is the kind of stuff that has to be tackled at a community, local level.  The issuing of decrees from central  Government doesn’t have much effect on the council estates of the blighted communities.  The empowerment of those who are forced to live alongside the young yobs must be the way forward; the proposed “community trigger” whereby five complaints result in police action sounds decent in principle, probably won’t be as straightforward in practice.

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