Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Are you disrespecting my family?

Recess Monkey has given the latest bit of ‘antisocial behaviour’ spin the treatment it deserves. For the past few years, we bleeding-heart types have been told that we’re completely out of touch with what’s really happening in the grim, wide world and should accordingly button it. Imagine our surprise, then, when John Reid chose Leytonstone as the launch pad for his crack team of ‘respect’ commandos.

Personally, up until now I’ve felt occasional twinges of doubt as to whether I’m qualified to comment on the Great Asbo Project, living (as I thought) in a rather pleasant, friendly bit of London. I’m actually very pleased to have brought my children up as fifth-generation Leytonstonians, just like my parents, grandparents etc. etc.

It seems, though, that my qualifications are far better than I thought: without realising it, I’ve been living in a hellhole so antisocial that the Home Secretary himself felt moved to come and make a pronouncement against the backdrop of our pitted roads and bullet-raddled walls.

True, a few youth clubs and a park or two wouldn’t go amiss, and neither would a crackdown on some of the more antisocial residents whose lives are devoted to persecuting any child with the temerity to play in the street. Apart from that, I felt pretty content living here. Now, though, I've been given
something to worry about: will my teenaged sons be tackled to the ground SAS-style the next time they venture out of doors after dark?

I'm left with a distinctly ‘King is in the altogether’ feeling about this antisocial behaviour malarkey. I'm also rather insulted that some politician should swan into my patch and make rude remarks about it. The nerve of it! Hasn’t he got a ministry somewhere that needs sorting out?


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