Sunday, May 27, 2012

This is what you need to fix anti-social behaviour

platform5 coverTheresa May is rattling on about replacing ASBO's with something that sounds different.

The media are wringing their hands about "broken Britain" and wondering what can be done whilst loving the chance to fill news programmes with footage of scumbag chavs.

I've blogged this before, but the problem is simple. Lots of people have nothing to do. If they don't have jobs, none of them have the imagination to do something interesting.

More to the point, if they do, then they will be pilloried for it.

The photo shows a Platform 5 train spotting book. If you have one of these, almost everyone will laugh at you.

Until we reach the day when people who smash up things or beat up pensioners are treated worse than those standing on the end of a platform taking train numbers*, or that ownership of an ASBO is seen as more desirable by telly people than the ability to fully line a 4mm scale locomotive, then Britain will stay "Broken".

*I could also say pretty much any hobby that people reading this blog indulge in. Trainspotting is just the most extreme case.


Paul Barrett said...

I have an engrossing hobby which requires and helps build a wide-ranging skillset, including soldering, measuring and marking out, research, problem solving, visualisation, photography, communication (writing blog entries)... - I could go on but you get the idea.
Yet its one that is frowned upon by those who can't see past 'grown men playing with trains', even by those with some degree of intelligence. But those trains are built by myself using all of the skills mentioned above. Surely being a model railway enthusiast is something that we should shout about rather than keep to ourselves?


neil whitehead said...

Pete Waterman turned up on Newsnight a few weeks ago and took part in a discusion on youth unemployment. He has taken on several engineering apprentices for his locomotive preservation company from the local unemployment office. There were interviews with a couple of them and what came through was that just wanted a chance to do something, to get out and earn a living. One was a girl who wanted to be an engineer who was not encouraged at school in any way or at the local job centre, had been out of work for a couple of years and got into a bit of trouble. Pete has given her a chance. He mentioned his other enterprise, Just Like the Real Thing. Similarly with Mary Portass reopening a ladies underware factory, the youngsters she took on also wanted to work. There must be millions of youngsters who have creative hobbies-here, where we are in France, there a large meetings every weekend in the summer of radio controlled cars on specially constructed tracks. The under 30's easily outnumber the oldies. I've seen youngsters at the end of the platfrom at our local station taking numbers and photographing stock, not as many as in my youth but the interest in railways continues.
I think the problem must start -and end-at school. Creative thinking, self-motivation and skills need to be taught.

Phil Parker said...

Neil - My feeling about school is that things would be a lot better if teachers had to have real jobs beofr being teachers. Then they might have a better idea what people need to know for real work. That goes double for members of parliament.

There are a lot of kids who have creative hobbies. It's just that they aren't cash cows and so the commercial world doesn't love them.

Phil Parker said...

Paul - I think we should be able to shout about it but unless you are famous (see P. Waterman) then you are classed as different and therefore a problem.

Smash up your local town though and you get respect, at least from the authorities.

neil whitehead said...

Total agreement, Phil. It's like admitting you are a Scout, at least in the UK. I was involved in a millenium bid to build a new Scout group headquarters near Manningtree in Essex. We raised over £200,000 from the local community which the Millenium Commission match funded. Previous to that there was a waiting list of 4 years to join the Scouts and Guides. Yet the perception is that both these organisations are a bit of a joke, just like model railways, to the media. But they are both fantastic organisations giving youngsters life skills which they can't get anywhere else and certainly gets them out of the house. We ended up with a marvellous facility used by all the local community from play groups, evening classes, dance groups, various clubs (but not a model railway club) and wedding receptions which the old village hall, built in 1920, couldn't accommodate. The major problem is getting adults to become Leaders, especialy men, because of the movement's negative image even when the Chief Scout is Bear Grylls.

Phil Parker said...

Scouts - Full of wierdos wanting to molest children. Can't let our litle darlings join anything like that. Far better to keep them locked up inside playiong computer games. Except when we can't be botherd and just let them turn feral.