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Well I Decided to Visit the UK

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posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 12:42 AM
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Since ignorance is often borne out of a lack of understanding, I decided to break up a business trip to the Netherlands a week ago with a visit to England, in fact Cheshire to be precise, and thought I would post a no-nonsense commentary on what I learned about the socio-political status, especially relating to crime in the UK.

There was one over-riding issue that seemed to affect everything - namely the behavior of the kids over there. The papers were full of it, the TV was full of it, and it was a common topic of discussion with the friends I was staying with over there and the locals they introduced me to.

I had to learn some new phrases including ASBO, CHAV, and HOODIE. There was an excellent TV show called "Question Time" which I wish we would emulate in the US. It featured a right wing newspaper columnist (idiot), a former Conservative minister called Heseltine who came across as very intelligent, a Labour minister called Clarke (I think) who came across as somewhat more fake than the average politician, and a female guest who had little to add to the discussion. Once again one of the main topics was the allegation that ASBOs (Anti Social Behavior Orders) were now actually seen as a badge of honor by the young recipients.

Other stories that stick in my mind during the visit was the arrest and prosection of an off duty police officer who saved a girl from a mugger, only to have the mugger complain about being assaulted by the officer, who was then prosecuted but thankfully exonerated of all wrong doing.

There was the father who murdered his own child because he discovered his wife was cheating on him and was sentenced to a minimum of just 15 years in jail, as was a man who burned an entire family to death because their daughter had dumped him, this being his second murder of a girl who had ended a relationship with him, and he was still in his thirties - he would likely be free before he was 50 - incredible.

I know that SminkeyPinkey will likely jump to the defensive here, understandably so, but I had the impression of a nation in serious moral trouble. I witnessed myself during a trip to a small local town that standards of behavior, especially in young children, were non-existant. I cannot recall the last time I heard young kids shout out the F Bomb with such frequency - unless you include some of our inner city toilets like Cleveland and Detroit. Life sentences seemed to equal 15 years in most cases, with some killers released to kill again as described above. Lesser but still very serious offences often received no jail time, especially violent assault. Apparently in addition to being the most violent first world nation, the UK was given the dubious honor during my visit of having the worst behaved teenagers in Europe based on criteria that included under age drinking, sex, and teen pregnancies.

The newspapers indicated that 1.1 million Britons had left the UK during 2006, a 50% increase over prior years, and the locals I met in my friend's local pub all seemed to want to move to France or Spain, talking about the UK in very bad terms. People talked about high prices especially for gasoline and housing, runaway immigration and high crime. I honestly didn't meet anyone who spoke of their country with pride, very alien to an American.

People just seemed so unhappy, and the country seemed to be in something of a mess. Sorry no offence intended, but there it is.

Maybe I should stick to visiting London, that will always be one of my favorite European cities.

[edit on 12-11-2006 by Retseh]




posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 07:01 AM
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Hello Retesh
Well im sorry to say but your post is true!
This country has "gone to the dogs", crime is out of control, there is no respect from the younger generation at all, to anyone!

It certainly does seem that the younger generation are "completely out of control" and have "no morals".
The authorities, the parents, the schools have no dicipline over them what-so-ever, it seems that everyone hands are "tied".
All of the above are aware of the the Politically Correct Brigade,and where as many years ago when you done something wrong if you were caught you got a clip round the ear from the local beat bobby and that was that..you accepted it..full stop.

Now it seems that if the police, schools, or even parents say or do something which the PC brigade feel is in their words "against human rights" and not politcally correct, these youngsters go crying to one of the Many Organisations or lawyers on a no win -no fee escapade, which ends up costing everyone money!!

Is it that society as a whole is getting more violent...or does it seem that way coz im getting older..i dont know....but it just seems like madness out there sometimes?

I think (sminkey will be able to tell if im right or wrong) but there is more Britons leaving the UK than ever before?
The office for National statistics said that there was 3 million immigrants entered the UK while 1 millions British left the UK since the Millenium.

It is sad but TRUE !

And Retesh, sorry mate but IMO london is one of the worst places...



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 07:14 AM
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I visited Manchester three months ago and the one thing that I will always remember is walking out of a pub and a guy with a knife trying to mug me, the attempted mugging isnt what stunned me it was the fact that he was using a knife.




PS. sorry I guess thats a little off subject.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 07:16 AM
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Retseh:
You have hit the nail on the head there i am afraid.
I live not far from cheshire,and the youth are out of control.
I blame the diet of junk food and crack primarily.(Those two staple American Imports)
TV does not help.
then there is the "you can`t f~** in touch me" attitude.
Not a nice mix.
The hoodies,well thats a reaction to the state surviellance machine.
Its all very clockwork orange in the UK at the minute.

However,the media have over hyped the problem to such an extent that youths feel victimised...an like I have said before "if you treat a man like a criminal for long enough-he will start to behave as one."

Not all teens are like that.
But the few who are get so much more notice.
The headline "teenagers behaving well"dosen`t have the same selling power as
"crazed teen mob on rampage horror."

My bro and all his mates are between the ages of 17-20 ish,and not a single one has an ASBO.

It is grim up North,but its not all bad.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by Retseh

The newspapers indicated that 1.1 million Britons had left the UK during 2006, a 50% increase over prior years, and the locals I met in my friend's local pub all seemed to want to move to France or Spain, talking about the UK in very bad terms. People talked about high prices especially for gasoline and housing, runaway immigration and high crime. I honestly didn't meet anyone who spoke of their country with pride, very alien to an American.

People just seemed so unhappy, and the country seemed to be in something of a mess. Sorry no offence intended, but there it is.

Maybe I should stick to visiting London, that will always be one of my favorite European cities.

[edit on 12-11-2006 by Retseh]


Well this is not only happening in the UK. In The Netherlands they were anouncing yesterday that in the first nine months more then 100.000 people emigrated from the Netherlands, they expect a total of 130.000 at the end of this year. Which is comperable to one average city in the Netherlands. This is a record and it is going on since the last 3 years. Germany, Spain and the US are populair.

I will emigrate also in a few months to Buenos Aires for at least a few years because my parnter is going to work there. And if I like it, we maybe stay there a lot longer.

[edit on 12/11/2006 by rai76]



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 07:47 AM
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Whilst the UK certainly does have its problems (No one has ever claimed it to be perfect), I would point out - as others have - that the press tend to focus on bad behaviour as opposed to good behaviour. You see stories on the news of all the things you mentioned, but you don't see the stories of young people running a stall at a local carnival to raise money for the local church, for instance (which happens where I live - "up North", ironically
).

ASBOs aren't seen as a badge of honour everywhere, either (again, the media hyping things up... that's how they sell their newspapers and get their viewers) - I'm not sure how many UK residents caught the Pride of Britain Awards last week, but there was one lady who praised Tony Blair for introducing them despite the fact that she was a Conservative voter. They were never supposed to be the ultimate way to end all crime - they were supposed to be another method of clamping down, and that's what they've done. I suppose that - besides the death penalty - no punishment can stop criminals re-offending.

I also caught the episode of Question Time you refer to. Peter Hitchens was the newspaper columnist (a contributor to the Daily Mail - that particular newspaper quite liked Hitler in the 1930s, so what do they know?
), Amanda Platell was the woman who didn't say much (a former Tory spin doctor when William Hague was the leader of the Conservative Party), Charles Clarke was the Labour politician (he was sacked as Home Secretary back in May over a scandal involving the early release of foreign prisoners), Michael Hestletine was the Deputy Prime Minister under Margaret Thatcher and there was also Sir Menzies Campbell who is the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

To conclude, every nation has its problems. The UK is far from perfect, but I don't think there are many other countries in the world where I could live. So yes, I'm proud of my country and - despite its problems - I am quite happy to stay here. I'm sure the problem of crime will be solved eventually, too. It'll take time and effort, but you're being very unrealistic if you think there's a magical solution.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:08 AM
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We need to tell the politically correct loonies to stuff there moronic ideas up their backsides.
Bring back corporal punishment in schools and let the police clip the little bleeders round the earhole.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:20 AM
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Welcome to the hell of chavs, political correctness, joke prison sentences etc

The world is a #ed up place, not just Britain but everywhere.

My way to cure the chavs would be for national service to be bought in and any teenager convicted of any crime would have to serve 2 years in the army on top of their normal sentence (5 hours community service probably).



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:24 AM
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i love my country but i hate what it's 'becoming'

'british people' are leaving britain and immigrates are replacing them....we are becoming an immigration country (similar to the US),

true, theres better places to live than britain but i feel 'british life' is easyer than that of any other country....example, you can live on the dole over here and still be well off :/

[edit on 12-11-2006 by st3ve_o]



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
My way to cure the chavs would be for national service to be bought in and any teenager convicted of any crime would have to serve 2 years in the army on top of their normal sentence (5 hours community service probably).


*votes flyer for prime minster*




posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:34 AM
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Bad Lads army on a national scale?
You would defo get my vote for that Flyer.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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I'm glad you liked Question Time; it's a decent, well-moderated attempt at serious debate, and during the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the Iraq invasion, it was the scene of many debates that really did make me proud to be British. On the subject of national pride... Britain is, unlike the US, a post-imperial country. and hence "Colonel Blimp"/"John Bull" types are often regarded with suspicion and ridicule, rightly so, IMO. There is also, unlike the US, no infrastructure dedicated to inculcating respect verging on fetishism for the national flag. Those people who give the flag prominence are, almost invariably, members of the far right.

I myself am deeply suspicious of the patriotic instinct. I remember that, after learning that the British territories of the Falkland Islands were invaded, I was beside myself with rage for twenty minutes or so, at the end of which time I calmed down enough to wonder "where are the Falklands, exactly?" I did not then, nor do I now, consider myself especially patriotic, and yet for a few minutes I'd have happily killed. I'm therefore rather glad that there's little effort to instil patriotic fervour in the populace, because it is so easily manipulated. I saw this kine of manipulation in the US in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and found it very disturbing.

On the other hand, many of us love the values with which Britain associates itself in its national mythology - calmness, tolerance and fairness being the main ones. It is the decline in these national values that some of us find distressing, along with economic factors that are far from unique to this country, or from which the US is immune.

I'd agree with your assessment of the panel of Queston Time. Heseltine was one of the few Tories I could respect. Charles Clarke is just a cretinous windbag, and Amanda Platell an insubstantial toady. The star of that show is usually the audience, who, unlike the panel, have no constituency to which they need to appeal, and no ideological baggage. They also invariably disdain politicians' attempts to manipulate them, and respond best to intelligent argument.

Britain certainly has its faults, and there are a few places I wouldn't mind living in... but not many. I'd happily live in Canada, France or Spain, but certainly not the US., which, oddly enough, I found (in my years of working there) to be a nation in serious moral trouble: obsessed with war and with its own professed superiority to all other nations, and entirely unable to look its faults squarely in the eye.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 08:51 AM
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i was mugged in amsterdam at gun point,id of preferd a knife
i felt safer in miami than my hometown lancaster(uk), but La gave me the fear!
I hope to move to manchester soon,london has never appealed to me,

my sis gets the fear from a group of kids-as most old people do,they dont evan have to do anything but public perseption has it that they r trouble,

Id hug a hoody,but it would seem a bit pervy.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 10:20 AM
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I'm sorry that my observations weren't isolated, after all, the US and the UK are close cousins, and no one likes to see their family in trouble.

The US of course has some big social problems of its own - our own immigration issues, the ongoing problems with our African American community, the Iraqi conflict, inner city crime, corporate fraud etc etc. But one interesting difference that is often overlooked is that the US is not truly one country, it's really 50 small ones that mostly agree on the big issues. Life, crime, standards and values are 180 degrees opposed if you were to compare say Arkansas and California (yes - LA is a living nightmare).

One can study all the statistics and all the latest reports, but what it comes down to in the final analysis is whether people are actually happy. When I left Cheshire I left behind people who seemed genuinely miserable with the state of their lives, and 2 flights later when I arrived in Phoenix people were actually happy and contented - you can feel it, it's not something I usually notice, but being away made me acutely aware of it when I came home. There's more to us loving the US than just a blind indoctrination to some colored flag, people are happy here, just a dumb American smiling kind of happy maybe, but happy nonetheless.

It is my earnest hope that my friends in the UK can find some of that for themselves, I think everyone deserves it, regardless of where they live.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 10:31 AM
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Retseh,just out of interest,was it your first visit here?
Reason I ask is a lot of us Brits can seem glum all the time.I blame the weather for that.Sure we have problems.I`m sorry to hear your friends have been badly affected in cheshire.
But a lot of it is just good ol cheesed off Tommy,as usual!
I think in Britain we are certainly suffering from the effects of overpopulation,which does not help matters.In the USA you have a lot more room to breathe so to speak.
Thank you for your concern,you are right we are "family" really in many ways.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 04:10 PM
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I'm not so sure about full national service, since we have a professional military (which, I must say, is one of the finest in the world) and conscripts tend to slow things down (see the French military prior to them abolishing conscription at the beginning of the century). Besides, you'd have a job persuading the Chiefs of the Defence Staff to accept it.

However, just a sort of 'boot camp' for young offenders (Bad Lads' Army style discipline, physical exercises and so forth coupled with some education and encouragement to do something with one's life) would maybe be a better idea. It could maybe be run by ex-servicemen who maybe can't go off to war any more but could still run the place.

Retseh, I'd also encourage you (if you get the chance) to visit other places. Further north (North England and Scotland) might be a good idea, since you've been to the south of England a few of times. Try visiting the countryside - I'm sure you'll find a big contrast to city life.

I admit I've only really been to the touristy areas in the US, but I do follow US news with interest (I was as gripped at the recent mid terms as I would have been had there been elections in the UK, for example... although their result will obviously have an effect on UK policy in the future) and talk to some Americans I've met over the net - politics and general life is always something to discuss with everyone, I suppose.



posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 10:25 PM
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Retseh...

Since ignorance is often borne out of a lack of understanding, I decided to break up a business trip to the Netherlands a week ago with a visit to England, in fact Cheshire to be precise, and thought I would post a no-nonsense commentary on what I learned about the socio-political status, especially relating to crime in the UK


To the netherlands from where? Which Country? I would like to ask first of all?
You visit one part of the UK and you think the whole country is part of this?

While I agree there is a high-rate, Take a look at the other crime rates around the world, before you criticise the crime ratyes in the UK.

An another thing, the so called fale arrest, isnt as bad as the brutality as the cops in the USA dish out on innocent victims, and the world have seen most of that....

too: JamesMcMahn

Was the suspect aphrehended?

If You lived in the USA you, an if that was a mugger they would have shot you on the spot, not stabbed you coutn yourself lucky eh... That is why most do not have guns on the streets and that is why, most cops over here do not have side guns either, if you want a gun go to the usa oks.



The US of course has some big social problems of its own


Umms that is an understatement, for you to come over here and criticise this country, maybe you should look at your own eh and open ur eyes before you come over here an try an drag this country through the mud..

Just because your friends or you have been treated badly, does not mean that the whole UK are the same. You need to visit different parts of the UK before you can come to that assumtion, And I find it insulting you put us all in to the one bag when you The original poster have only visited once city or even one town inthe whole UK



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 07:56 AM
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What's to be 'defensive' about?

Is the UK the land of milk and honey, a beacon of perfection in the world?
Of course not.....
.....and despite the delusions of some it never was either.

Every generation complains about 'its' annoying, irreverent and occasionally violent youth, individually and in groups/gangs (you'll find ancient Roman and Greek writings saying exactly the same stuff literally thousands of years ago).

Loads of people the world over bitch about taxes no matter what Gov is in office.

......and loud rude idiot journos, 'on message' politicians and all points in between afflict pretty much everywhere, sadly.

Sure we have our problems......and what? Who doesn't?

It's true British emigration is high at the moment (in 1991 it was approx 290 000 and in 2005 it was approx 380 000) but as with all things it shifts around and ebbs and flows (and if you factor in the growth of the population overall the differences between decades is actually negligible).

The ONS (office of national statistics) will give details - www.statistics.gov.uk...

You'll also be able to see the Home Office stats showing that whilst some stories might sound harrowing our overall crime level isn't actually especially bad, in fact relatively speaking it is lower here than it has been (tho it's also true many people simply refuse to accept this).

Like I said we're not perfect - far from it in fact - but compared to the rest of the globe we really don't do so badly; the UK remains in a minority, it is still one of the most stable, safe and affluent countries to live in ......and the vast bulk of 'our people' really ought to open their eyes, do themselves a favour and tune in to appreciating that and their good fortune to have had such a fortuitous accident of birth to be born here.

You could certainly do a hell of a lot worse.



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