Saturday, January 15, 2005

A Clockwork Orange? Drunken Violence in Britain

Telegraph | News | 'Wait till it's 24 hours a day. It'll be bloody marvellous'. Ah yes peaceful, pastoral Britain.... where violent drunks wander the streets, and terrorize the locals. Instead of looking forward to the weekend, locals are trapped in a bad situation.
Mrs Slawson, 37, should be looking forward to some leisure time, perhaps at the cinema or in a restaurant.

At 8pm she double-locks her front door and checks that the twin CCTV cameras bolted to the wall of her home are working. Mrs Slawson is not, as one might assume, locking the door behind her to go out for the evening, she is locking herself in. For the next 12 hours her home, just a quarter-of-a-mile from the centre of the Northamptonshire town, will be her self-imposed prison.
And in case your tour-guide fails to mention it, here are some things you have to look forward to.
Young men, brawling and screaming obscenities, wrestle and fight in the streets or stagger down alleyways to urinate or vomit. Some, their natural aggression exacerbated by literally gallons of beer washed down, perhaps, by spirit chasers, brandish hastily grabbed weapons fashioned from litter bins or smashed bottles. For them, or their victims - often chosen at random for no other reason than that they are there - the evening will end in the overflowing waiting-rooms of their local accident and emergency units.
Thugs armed with broken bottles, and anything else they can lay their hands on, and victims selected at random; why should that mean I need to be able to defend myself? (Thugs have rights too, don't they?) "Just a bit of the ultra-violence." Alex would be proud.

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