Grim Britannia

Corpsey

call me big papa
I wonder if the brutality he describes there is related to growing up in a rough area.

I remember a lot of low-level cruelty/bullying at school but the stuff he describes here seems quite extreme to me.

Maybe I'm repressing those memories, or I was unaware of it because I was naturally scared of the violent/rebellious boys.
 

vimothy

yurp
no reason to expect the same level of brutality at all times and in all places

my childhood featured its fair share of unpleasantness and there was always bullying and cruelty going on around me to some extent but nothing like that
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
When stories about terrible things happening to children hit the papers, whether it's done to them by other kids or by adults (Victoria Climbié, Baby P, the various grooming gang sagas ad nauseam), there is almost invariably an extensive catalogue of warning signs that were either missed or wilfully ignored. And then you get all the usual platitudes about "lessons learned" and how "we must never let this happen again"... and a few months later there's another similar case in the news. And probably a whole load of nearly-as-bad cases that, for whatever the reason, have't hit the headlines.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
I guess the idea is that this is the tip of a very large and shitty iceberg, the rest of it consisting of incidents that are less extreme than murder but still pretty unpleasant.
Sure but there is no way that this wouldn't have been a big story. There are loads of points about to be made about the media and what gets picked up on and so on, but it would be a bit weird if it was item five on the news before the funny story "Meanwhile in Liverpool two ten year old boys tortured a toddler to death - and now off to Manchester where there is a cat that says "fuck off"".
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Sure but there is no way that this wouldn't have been a big story. There are loads of points about to be made about the media and what gets picked up on and so on, but it would be a bit weird if it was item five on the news before the funny story "Meanwhile in Liverpool two ten year old boys tortured a toddler to death - and now off to Manchester where there is a cat that says "fuck off"".
Yes, an actual child murder will invariably be a big news item, that's true.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Quite a lot of distance between 'raps' (nasty as it is) and sticking a battery up a kids bum then killing it
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Does that O'Hagen article fit into this thread because he's talking about growing up in the 70s?

Or is the assumption that there's still a horrific underbelly of child-on-child violence going on under the polished flatscreen surface of today's britain?

I would actually hazard a guess that today's children are less physically violent towards each other than they once were, although they're now able to bully their peers through social media. Maybe that's (sort of) wishful thinking, though.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I think people are more comfortable with their grimness wrapped up in nostalgia.

Kids are less violent now afaik because there are better ways to alleviate the boredom and push boundaries. Same with adults.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Do you think today's parents (generally) treat their kids better than they used to?

I noted in that O'Hagen piece that he talks about his dad giving one of his brothers "the beating of his life". To me that suggests that less serious beatings were routine, and can't help but think that might have been the root of some of that violent/cruel behaviour he talks about.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Do you think today's parents (generally) treat their kids better than they used to?

I noted in that O'Hagen piece that he talks about his dad giving one of his brothers "the beating of his life". To me that suggests that less serious beatings were routine, and can't help but think that might have been the root of some of that violent/cruel behaviour he talks about.
I think that's a tough one to answer but obviously I would like to think so. The kids I know are generally lovely of course - even the ones who have had a rough time of it don't seem to have been subjected to parental physical abuse. I'm sure it still happens but is maybe less universally socially acceptable now. I think parenting (as opposed to "being a parent") is something most people realise is an active process now if that's not too patronising? Like "being a good Dad" is a good thing to strive for.

I think younger men and boys are now generally a lot better at expressing their emotions in non-violent ways. But y'know talk to a teacher or a social worker for a walk on the grim side.

Parents at the sharp end are going to be stressed to fuck for the forseeable though and this will not help.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I had a pretty/very cushy upbringing and even I used to get smacked a bit (in the 80s/90s). I don't think you're allowed to smack kids now. Obviously people do smack their kids (and worse), but it's not approved of or tolerated.
 
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