Despite our slightly right wing blog on water cannons, perhaps it’s time to speak up for the young. Cameron has called parts of our society ‘sick’. Yes, but which parts? The Daily Mail is sounding off about ‘respectable’ and ‘decent’ people and slamming the thugs, sometimes quite rightly, but as Judges begin to use words like scum, how quickly are we going to forget what has been exposed so recently about the scandals right across the Media, and in the Police? About MPs fixing their expenses, or about the hugely dubious behaviour of many bankers. Where does the moral rot start and stop? If respect is at a minimum, perhaps there is little wonder, and perhaps we need to respect what it is to be young again and to need to hope. How difficult and frightening it can be at times, how easy it is to be led by peer pressure, and how lost you can become. We talk rightly about parenting, but what hope is there if that generation has not been parented, and we also forget that we all go through profoundly different stages of development as human beings. The language of another generation is often not even heard in developing brains, no matter how much you splash it across Newspapers. The failure of literacy is partly cultural, but also an educational scandal and a tragedy for them, and now us. If ‘society’ wants to and really can parent its young, beyond the family unit, and not just threaten, though it’s tough love we should be talking now, the last thing we want to do is stigmatise certain groups, and it is always with the young that the future lies, in a world dominated by intstant reward and short termism. So add some compassion and understanding to the action, and also remember that in being too draconian you threaten to harden and criminalise another generation.

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